About Me

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North Somerset, United Kingdom
My parents were worried when I ran around with scissors – now I play with fire and (intentionally) break glass! Based in the beautiful South West of England, close to the sea and often the scene of beautiful sunsets, I am inspired by the countryside around. Working with sea glass collected from remote beaches, soda lime glass from Murano, Italy, Europe, USA and beyond, I create artisan beads, for use in my own jewellery or for you to enjoy in your own creations. But I couldn’t stop there; continuing the theme from round rods to flat sheets, mostly from the USA, I break large sheets of transparent, opaque, multi-coloured and dichroic glass into much smaller pieces to make a kiln-formed range of bright, colourful jewellery and home decoration. Each piece I make is individually designed around the shape, size and beauty of the materials and intended to be unique, wearable, usable and affordable. All my glass work is kiln annealed for strength and durability and designed to give pleasure for years to come.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Bags sale and free gifts

Many of my clutch bags, shoulder bags and wash bags are now reduced, some as much as 50%.

These are available from my Folksy and Etsy shops - my Etsy shop now has a 'sale' section so you can find them easily.

Also on sale, up to 50% of my normal retail price are silk and velvet scarves. Also available from my Folksy and Etsy shops and also as opening offers from my website shop.

Many of my clutch bags are ideal for spring weddings, dressy nights out, formal events and would also make a great pouch to go inside a larger handbag - never leave home without those vital things again. Many are ideal also as a make up bag or 'discreet' bag kept in your office drawer, discretely holding those things ladies would not wish on general view to everyone who stops by to rob you of stationery.

The waterproof lined wash bags or wet bags are great for travel, holding your make-up or damp sponges on that last morning of your trip, stopping the rest of your luggage getting damp too. Great also for swimming costumes after a trip to the beach, pool or gym. Customers have also bought them to hold their knitting wool - the flat base allows the wool to move around the bag but not scoot around the floor, getting dirty. The nylon shock cord is so tough that it'll not wear out and let you down. The spring loaded toggle ensures that the bag doesn't come undone and spill the contents all over your gym bag or suitcase.

The blog readers discount code for my website shop runs to midnight on 31 December 2009.

Last but not least, all purchases of bags, scarves and jewellery will get a free gift as a way of saying thank you for supporting my shops during 2009, until midnight on 31 December.

International shipping is available from all my shops, including my Folksy and Etsy supplies shops and I am posting parcels each day so you should not have to wait too long for delivery.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Opening offer at Blue Box Studio Direct

Now that my new shop is up and running, one of the features it allows is to offer discounts. This is possible without all the faff that happens when you offer discounts on Etsy and Folksy, revised invoices, Paypal repayments, will the seller really refund me ....

As an opening offer in my new shop I am offering a 10% discount off all items (but excluding postage costs). This will run until 31 December 2009.

Just visit my new shop following the link from the home page of my website - www.blueboxstudio.co.uk or go direct at www.blueboxstudio.bigcartel.com and enter the discount code BLOGREADER in the discount code box.

Now you can buy from Blue Box Studio direct

Something I've wanted to do for a long time is have my own shop running from my website. Many of my customers tell me that they do not want to buy from somewhere where they have to sign up first. Having researched the easiest way for me to do this, with the limited computer ability I have, I settled on using Big Cartel to add a 'cart' to my website.

Having registered I followed the instructions to the letter [ex-civil servant, old habits die hard] and proceeded to attempt to add a CNAME to my DNS. I add at this point that I understand what this means as much as I understand the Big Bang theory. I asked my hosts, 34sp.com how I should do this and then went back and asked for simpler instructions as there were warning all over the page that things could go seriously wrong if I didn't get this right. Fears of bringing the WWW to it's knees, satellites going out orf orbit and worse were allayed when they offered to do the bizz for me.

I've since realised that the CNAME thingy directs all traffic to my website to my shop. This wasn't quite what I was after and further enquiries of Big Cartel, who's instructions I thought I was following show that I only need to add a hyperlink to my website and should get the CNAME thingy removed if that is all I want to do. The CNAME bit is taking longer to undo than do! Hyperlinks I can do and if I'd followed my gut instinct I'd have tried this option first!

Anyway, we battle on bravely. My new shop has stock, although not as much as I had hoped by the end of the day due to sorting out the teething problems. More will be added in a day or two. You don't need to register to buy and can pay through Paypal using your credit card or your Paypal account.

My Folksy and Etsy shops will continue as they are for now but I will review them in the New Year. The teething problems in the new shop will hopefully be sorted in a day or so and all things will revert to being tickety-boo.

Do please have a look at my new shop - http://blueboxstudio.bigcartel.com. There will be more to come later.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

More supplies goodies from Blue Box Studio

I decided to sort through a couple of little boxes hidden in my cupboards and found lots of gorgeous buttons, magnetic snaps and metal bag frames in various sizes and various coloured metals left over from my bag making exploits. I've been so busy making scarves that I've not had the time to make more bags so have decided to destash some of the supplies until I have more time.

These have been listed in my Folksy supplies shop and my Etsy supplies shop. If you make bags or use buttons in your work go along and have a look, there are some real pretty and unusual ones to be had.

Just a taster of what I have on offer ............

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Sterling silver - new in my supply shop

Just listed in my Folksy supplies shop, http://blueboxstudiotoo.folksy.com, are some sterling silver discs that are surplus to my requirements. Lots of sizes from tiny to large, all suitable for jewellery and all selling at a fraction of what they cost me, as I'd like to create some space in my cupboard.

Do take a look and grab a bargain.

I've listed for UK customers only at the moment as the signed for postage outside of the UK is quite expensive but if you are outside of the UK and are interested, get in touch and I'll let you know what signed-for postage to your country would be.

Last but hopefully not least! We'll be in Salisbury on Saturday

Where has this year gone?

This Saturday sees us at our last show of the year. As previously announced, we will be at the popular craft fair in the Guildhall, next the regular Saturday market.

To make way for new ideas next year I will be having a small sale on many items so it is well worth popping in to have a look what is on offer. Many items will be half price.

This fair is likely to be busy, I understand the organiser will have stalls over 2 floors for this show. All work is handmade by the seller, no bought in things here, just innovative, well made, original items from (reasonably) local sellers.

As usual, mention my blog and you get a free gift (of my choosing) with your purchase. At least if you do not buy from me, do come and say 'hello'.

It will seem strange to pack things away for the last time on Saturday evening but this will give me time to concentrate on my on-line shops. There will be a few days left to buy on-line before the published guaranteed last posting dates for Christmas.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Announcing another new shop

After much soul searching I have decided to open another supplies shop, this time on Folksy to offer all those things I no longer have a need or home for to my (mainly) British customers.

BlueBoxStudioToo is now open for business on Folksy - currently listed are some cabochons that never quite made it to jewellery, some of my ever-popular excess stock of cufflink backs, and a pile of things are sitting on my little 'office' table ready for listing later today.

If there is anything you are particularly looking for, get in touch as I have several years of carefully squirrelled away things looking for new homes.

I've not quite taken over the world as much as Tesco(!) but you can now buy ~

sea glass, textiles and accessories (and a few supplies whilst listed) from my Etsy and Folksy shops as well as ~

supplies, tools, loose sea glass and destash from my Etsy and Folksy shops.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Create Festive Fayre 2009

This Friday evening and Saturday sees us at the Create Festive Fayre, run by Bristol City Council. As the poster says, this one is not solely crafts but the standard is exceptionally high throughout. The Create Centre is on the Cumberland Basin by the Swing Bridge, housed in one of the red brick bonded warehouses. Signposting is not brilliant, so here's a map!

Friday evening has a real buzz, with shopping from 4-9pm. There's a live band and Bath Ales bar so come and shop in comfort. The Create Centre has its own cafe so you can grab a snack to sustain you but I personally recommend The Lockside for food - I'll be there for breakfast early on Saturday morning, it's our Create Fayre treat! It does get busy so if you've not booked you may not get in. Do book to come back another time, it's a hidden gem, and one of our favourites with a view of the river and the bridge swinging if you are lucky. Child friendly too, with toys to entertain kids whilst you eat in peace.

Saturday the fayre is open from 11am to 4pm.

I understand I will be in the same place as last year so head up the stairs or take the lift, around the one-way system (it works, it's needed, this fayre is busy) and through the open doors into the small room at the end - I'll be hiding between the 2 sets of doors!

Mention my blog post and I'll include a little something extra with our purchases.

i look forward to seeing some of you there.

Monday, 30 November 2009

The process of making hand painted velvet scarves

I thought, I'd show you the process of making my hand painted velvet scarves. Several customers had enquired about this at the weekend fairs and it's hard to explain without pictures in the middle of a craft fair.

I had some purple dye already mixed and, not one to waste anything, decided to dye some white velvet purple for later screen printing. Having left it, or should I say 'forgotten', for a few days I removed it from the dye and washed in a special solution to remove excess dye. Then it was ready to start work.

Here it is securely taped to my work table. Next task was to screen print it with the rather disgustingly named 'discharge paste', which i mix up to my own recipe ...

... I had a frame ready prepared. Once screened I prepare the scarf for steaming. Discharge paste doesn't take all colours back to white, the colour of the fabric before dyeing. It tends to remove some of the colour but not all and often leaves mysterious colours that are dependent on the colours that made up the dye in the first place. My black velvet often goes back to silver, gold or copper tones

but the purple surprised ....

... and horrified me by turning yellow! Something tells me this will not be a popular colour combination with my customers so I shall over-paint the yellow stripes with dye when the fabric is dry, much as I do with the black velvet.

Each scarf is hand painted with usually more than 8 different dye colours, then is again left to dry before thorough washing to remove excess dye and stitching to make a double sided velvet scarf. Although, due to lack of space, I tend to screen several scarves at a time, then dye, paint and sew, I have worked out that it takes about 5 hours to make each scarf. This and the high quality of the raw fabric, as I explain to my customers, is why my scarves cost more than a mass-produced item from the High Street. Each is handmade, no two will be identical.

For the next few days the day-job gets in the way of my creativity so I will be in my studio until probably 11pm each evening hand painting and sewing these scarves, ready for my next fair on Friday evening and Saturday at the Create Centre in Bristol.

These scarves are one of my most popular items this winter! It's sometimes hard to keep up with demand for them but I have plans for a different pattern in the next batch, which may or may not be ready for this weekend.

As well as the scarves, I've been busy drilling sea glass for my next delivery of bottle stoppers, another item that has suddenly become very popular at fairs. They make great presents for men, wine drinkers and original presents for the 3rd wedding anniversary (crystal or glass) or any celebration where a bottle of wine is involved! The sea glass for these has been personally picked and selected from beaches around the English coastline, before being cleaned and carefully drilled ready for making into these lovely wine stoppers. They are not just for keeping wine left over at the end of the day, the look great used as a presentation piece at the table.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Oh I do love to be beside the sea side

This weekend sees us at the Winter Gardens in Weston-super-Mare. Right on the sea front and next to the shopping mall and high street, this is a convenient venue to come and get your quality hand made Christmas presents.

There is a cafe on-site for a warming lunch, hot chocolate, coffee and more. I was brought up by my mum's side of the family, keen shoppers, to buy something then have a cup of coffee to stop and look at your latest purchase before going off for the next item. As a result I love shopping and cakes (which is a little apparent when you see me).

There's easy parking around the venue in nearby multi-storey and open air car parks.

Lots of lovely bracing walks along the sea front and beyond. Weston even has donkeys on the beach although I can't guarantee they'll be there when you visit!

If you read this and then visit and purchase from me at the Weston fair this weekend, just mention you've read my blog and I'll add an early Christmas present to your bag (of my choosing, at my discretion and purchase necessary).

Even if you don't want to buy from me, do come over and say hello.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Ooh, pressies!

I do love it when parcels arrive, even if I have paid a fortune for the contents. Combine this with my love of textiles, the feel, the expectation of what I can do with them and you have my perfect day.

Today is one of those days.

Last weekend I was busily screen printing scarves when I ran out of black velvet. To me it's a bit like getting to the end of a jar of coffee (except I don't drink instant coffee), there's the expectation of banging the spoon through the foil cap on the new jar (but I have instant for visitors who don't like proper coffee). It was raining, blowing a gale and I couldn't get my screened and steamed scarves on the line to dry. My studio may seem big but it isn't when it is filled with hanging rails, steamers steaming, screens dripping ... you get the picture. I sneaked some washed scarves into the dining room and hung them on the old wooden airer that comes into play when the weather is not up to drying things outdoors. In Clevedon that's most days, but not usually the days I am also printing fabrics. At the moment I have no choice. It's my busy time of year and my galleries keep asking me for black velvet scarves that I've painted.

As well as making all the things I make, I also work 3 days a week in an office. My job isn't stressful but it can be very pressured so coming home and locking myself away in my studio painting and making scarves is the perfect antidote. Usually there's something worth listening to on the radio although this week I treated myself to Rod Stewart's Soulbook CD. Not that I've had a chance to listen to it yet. I come home, make a cup of tea, paddle (on a bad day) out to my studio, shut the door, crank up the heating and settle in for some dye painting. Usually DH comes out (dry days) or rings me on the phone, we have ones with an intercom (wet days) to ask who's cooking dinner and has the answer 3 letters ('you') or two ('me'). I like odd numbers so guess the answer. I'll make it up to him after Christmas.

My supplier in the US was out of stock of my usual velvet so I started looking around for a UK supplier and found one which offered a very similar price, taking into account the $£ rate, VAT, import duty, customs charges, Parcelforce fees and the hassle of having to go and get from the Parcelforce depot. DH collected it from the courier today, they needed a signature and couldn't get it in my parcel storing dustbin and I've just unwrapped it. 14 metres of lovely, pristine, soft, beautiful silk viscose velvet, just waiting for me to haul it to the studio when it stops raining and start work on it.

Pictured here with the scarves I printed, steamed and washed on Sunday, desperately trying to dry themselves on the old airer by the radiator. If DH has noticed them he's not said. He doesn't like me dripping dye all around the house, hence needing a studio for this, perhaps he things these don't have a drip potential. Last weekend's scarves will be hand painted tomorrow, dried, washed and sewn, ready for despatch to some of my galleries or perhaps an up-coming craft fair.

Unwrapping the roll of velvet is just like popping the foil on a new jar of coffee to me.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Who sells these in the UK?

Another last minute panic. I've almost sold out of my lovely sea glass bottle stoppers. I get the metal parts from the US and think they are made by Aanraku but I don't think I can get more in time for my big fair the weekend after next. So I'm panicking.

Does anyone know if you can get these in the UK? I can get them much quicker if I can buy in the UK.

They are not the same as the wood turning versions that are available as those only have a short screw to screw into wood. The ones I want have a mandrel that can be unscrewed to add beads, glass, whatever. Perhaps they are in your glass work catalogue or in a wood turning catalogue?

Where is the time going?

One minute I have all my autumn fairs ahead of me and the next they are nearly all over. When I booked them 10 months ago the plan of fairs seemed a doddle, now it feels like a day off would be a nice treat.

So, this weekend was 2 fairs at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Saturday in Portishead, the heavens blew and rained on us but we saw lots of people and overall had a brilliant day - even if we got very wet loading the car afterwards. Sunday should have been in a permanent marquee in the grounds of a busy pub, but we were relegated to a temporary marquee which felt it wouldn't keep the rain off our heads in the ensuing gales and downpours. Sunday was a bad day. Cold, wet, damp, and that was just us sitting in the marquee. Never mind, taken as a whole in wasn't a washout financially, even if it was physically. I'm yet to thaw out completely but hot toddy's are staving off the chills and colds, coughs and sneezes.

Thursday evening will see us at Northleaze School in Long Ashton near Bristol, from 7pm to 9.30. I've never taken part in a short evening fair before and don't really know what to expect. I'm taking a mix of inexpensive items which will be ideal for children's gifts and more expensive items for Mums. I'm used to a 9 foot space but will have 44 inches so it'll be a challenge although the organiser has said she'll try and find me a couple of feet for my scarf and bag stands. Wish me luck, I think I might need it.

Saturday and Sunday sees us at the Winter Gardens in Weston-super-Mare. It's right on the sea front so we'll either have lovely views or be battered by the high winds and waves. This is the only Weston-s-Mare fair that I do. There is a lovely restaurant so visitors can spend some time in the venue; it's close to the shops so is not off the beaten track. We'll be in the Ballroom, sounds grand, and hopefully we will see a good crowd of both visitors and stall holders.

And the seaside pictures? I guess they just resemble time for me and are photos taken over the last year or two by Yours Truly. they are, from the top:

Wooden pier, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Remains of wood posts, somewhere on the Isle of Wight that had no sea glass on the beach
Receding tide - I think that was in south Wales
Setting sun, Totland Bay, Isle of Wight

All photos on this blog are (c) Sue Harris and may not be copied without permission.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

And this weekend?

We'll be at Somerset Hall in Portishead on Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm. It is in the small shopping precinct at the end of the High Street, nearest to Cabstand and Waitrose. The band were named after the town, not the town named after the band before you ask.

Sunday sees us at the Whitminster Inn, on the A38 near to Gloucester. It's just off junction 13 on the M5 so convenient to get to. this fair is open from 10am to 4.30pm.

Brave the elements, we are going to, and come to see us!

Monday, 16 November 2009

UK last posting dates for Christmas

I haven't a picture of a red Royal Mail van, so here's a picture of a red boat!

Royal Mail have just mailed me details of Christmas last posting dates so I thought I'd mention them here.

The last day for 2nd class mail is 18 December, 1st class is 21 December.

Special Delivery, guaranteed next day delivery or your money back is available until 23 December.

International Airmail last posting dates start from 4 December, so I'd better get a move on and post my sister's present to Australia!

Airmail dates are

Friday 4th December
South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Far East, Asia, New Zealand
and Australia

Thursday 10th December
Japan, USA, Canada, and Eastern Europe

Friday 11th December
Western Europe

There will not be deliveries from December 25 - 28 but there will be extra deliveries in the week running up to Christmas, both evenings and on Sunday 20 December.

And, for heaven's sake, this information all came wrapped up in my first Christmas card (from Royal Mail).

Further details are available from the Royal Mail website and there's a handy leaflet to download and keep by your desk.

New Etsy shop - it's BlueBoxStudioToo!

After much soul searching I have decided to open a second Etsy shop for my supplies, destash, unwanted findings, tools etc because I think it will give a more streamlined appearance to my main Etsy shop.

Currently listed are some fabrics and cufflink blanks but shortly to come are some jewellery tools I no longer use and some spare silver findings. As supply items expire in my main shop they will (possibly) be relisted in my supplies shop so it will a little while before I get both shops exactly as I want.

When I get time I have a large box of sea glass, recently collected but yet to be sorted so there will be some goodies from that for sale too.

There'll be the same great service as currently offered to Etsy and Folksy customers, but now in another place.

If there is something you are specifically looking for (within the range of items I sell) get in touch, I may well have it lurking at the back of a cupboard, waiting to be listed and loved again.

For sea glass jewellery and accessories, silk & velvet scarves and accessories visit http://blueboxstudio.etsy.com and http://blueboxstudio.folksy.com.

For jewellery supplies, fabric supplies, tools and general destash visit http://blueboxstudiotoo.etsy.com.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Shop Handmade gift boxes - now on sale

I've contributed to ShopHandmade's gift boxes, giving my sea glass pendants, ideal for adding to your favourite chain, ribbon or just giving as a gift. All together 27 designers have contributed to these boxes, which are better than the traditional 'sample' box in that you get full sized products but as a huge discount off the normal price.

There are currentrly 15 unique and limited boxes. You can see these on Shophandmade's website
so you can see what you are getting before purchase. You can then buy them from Shophandmade's Folksy shop. I understand they will also be available from the Oxford Handm@de fair on 29 November.

I'm off to browse those gorgeous boxes, so prettily presented. There are only 15 and they are sure to be snapped up soon!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Another day, another dollar

Who said that?

This weekend we are setting up stall at the Guildhall, Salisbury in Wiltshire, on Saturday from 9.30 to 5pm. This has been a regular for us this year, with one more fair there on 12 December. Next year the Guildhall is being renovated so there may not be many chances to be there which is a shame as I like wandering around Salisbury (leaving Alistair in charge of the stall - it's not a free-for-all!).

There is a general market in the market square, next door as well so come along and get your groceries at the same time. There is lots to see and do in Salisbury, the Cathedral is beautiful and now that there is a Park & Ride, parking's not such a nightmare either.

If you are in the city, come along and say hello.

As usual, my Etsy and Folksy shops will close for the duration - just in case I sell something at a fair that is also in one of my shops. They will both open by Monday morning UK time, perhaps earlier.

Next week I will be listing some of these gorgeous pink, purple and blue shibori dyed scarves that I made a couple of days ago.

My shibori dyeing kits, which have instructions for fixing the dyes in a microwave can now also have instructions to fix the dyes in a conventional steamer, on request. Not only can you make your own masterpiece in your microwave, you can also now also create a sensation in your steamer! This idea came about when a customer asked for conventional steaming instructions for her kit. I made the pretty scarves above whilst testing out my instructions, written long ago but rarely used for shibori dyeing as I prefer the microwave method, not least because it generates less steam. So if you fancy having a go at making your own scarf but haven't a microwave, just let me know when you order your kit from either of my shops, or from fairs and I will include the steaming instructions as well.

I will also be listing some cotton fabric fat quarters next week - I need to make space in my cupboard so watch this space.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Weekend fairs - a curate's egg!

Well, what a difference day makes - or a month. A month ago we did so well at the craft fair in Hereford and poorly at the fair in Ross on Wye. This weekend it was the opposite. Hereford wasn't a complete wash-out, it did stop raining for a while. We didn't come home empty-handed but nor was there a happy dance in the Harris household. Ross was definitely one of our better days, the fair was quite busy (unusual for Ross) and we did well.

My faux-pas off the weekend was that I forgot to check how many shibori dyeing kits I had in my box! When Alistair asked me if I had another secret bag of them somewhere I knew I was in trouble. I'd remembered I needed to do this about an hour after I'd gone to bed. Did I get up and do it or did I do it first thing in the morning? I really need a notepad by my bed. It went out of my mind at that point and didn't come back until much later. Fortunately I was able to take orders and post them out today but obviously, as I was offering this as free post, I've more expense. Never mind, it impressed the post office staff as I staggered in with lots of jiffy bags today. I should practice what I preach and make a list of things to do before each show, even if it is 1am when I start writing.

My next faux-pas hasn't yet been confessed to Alistair - er, we are down to our last 6 scarf blanks. I order these in from the US and they are currently out of stock. Oops. My kits make great Christmas gifts, and we were amazed how many we sold this weekend.

Thinking things happen in 3s, my car has decided yet again that it's sick. Sadly it's not old enough for the government to give me money under the scrappage scheme, nor can I afford a new car, or another used one come to that. We replaced the clutch soon after we bought it then bought a warranty as we had a feeling about this car. So far, over 2 years repairs under warranty have overall exceeded the value of the car. The clutch started to lose pressure a month or so ago but the garage, very reliable, said they'd tweeked something and it was alright now. Then it did it again a week ago, and on Friday. One minute I have a clutch, the next I stall the car at the traffic lights and look a fool (which I can do without the car, thanks). Today I'm told it is probably the master cylinder. I know nothing about cars so presume that's like a Foo Foo valve! It is expensive and covered by the warranty but they will not cover the costs until the 'probably' bit is eliminated. I'm hoping it will be fixed Friday as we are in Salisbury for a fair on Saturday - or not, having found out how much it is to hire a car for the minimum 2 days.

I don't usually buy from the fairs I attend - I'm under Alistair's watchful gaze. I did buy fudge from the lady at the next stall but that is really to bribe Alistair who has a very sweet tooth! The man opposite was selling shell jewellery and also some shells so I bought a gorgeous nautilus shell which is now keeping company with the turbo shells I bought at a trade fair. I think it's rather pretty. The man is selling his stock to 'retire' and now breeds snakes! Fortunately he didn't have any of them with him.

The blue bottles are victorian medecine bottles - the origin of the blue sea glass I find on the beach. My other purchase was some lovely slate placemats and coasters. The sellers are called Simply Slate but I can't find a website to link to. They are based in the Forest of Dean by a husband and wife partnership. Very reasonably priced they will look much better on my maple table than the cheap glass placemats I bought from Big W many years ago! If anyone would like details of this seller, send me an email and I'll find a phone number for you. At £25 for 4 placemats and 4 coasters, they are very reasonably priced.

Today I have been steam fixing silk scarves in a vegetable steamer. Usually I use a microwave but one of my customers bought a kit but hasn't a microwave so wanted detailed instructions for
steaming another way. Slow, but fun. All I have to do now if type up my additional instructions and print in case anyone else asks for them. Who said vegetable steams were for food?

Friday, 6 November 2009

Pretty boxes for your pressies

Working at craft fairs every weekend from September to Christmas means a bit of forward planning is required when it comes to the all important Christmas shopping. I can't bear the crowds on Christmas Eve! This year I started earlier than normal and bought most of my presents on-line. Where would I be without Etsy, Folksy and Amazon?!

Wrapping presents has never been my strong point - despite once having a Christmas holiday job working in John Lewis as a gift wrapper. It seemed so much easier when I was 18. Or perhaps it's because JL provided endless sizes and shapes of box in which to wrap difficult shaped items, many colours of ribbon and ready made bows, and fantastic bags to carry it all home in.

This year I wanted to make my Christmas as 'handmade' as possible - be it my hands or someone else's. So I started making my own boxes. One of my challenges was a box suitable for gift wrapping my sea glass bottle stoppers which I sell at fairs and I started making pillow boxes for this. Sometimes the pieces of sea glass are just a bit big for the pillow boxes so I turned to wedge boxes, stocking up on beautiful double sided pearlescent card stock at a local store.

I've thoroughly enjoyed making these so I made a few for you too. If you'd like them. These are a handy size for small gifts (from necklace to diamonds) or chocolates and, so that you can decorate them to your own theme, I've included ribbons but left plain for you to decorate. They'd look wonderful used as place markers for Christmas parties or dinner, perhaps holding chocolates, something scented or a cigar for your guests. They are made from 240gsm card
stock so are tough enough be filled with light things
and hung from the Christmas tree
(assuming your tree is big enough).

I'm selling these in packs of 2, scored and ready to be folded in a with card and ribbons in a variety of colours. The pastel pearlescent card subtly changes colour as the light falls on it so they look really pretty. The packs are mixed colours but if you have any special requests then get in touch and I'm sure something can be worked out for you.

These boxes are available from my Etsy and Folksy stores.

My stores will close around 10pm tonight (UK time) and re-open by Monday morning, perhaps sooner if I get back from my Sunday fair as a civilised hour. I'm at the Green Dragon Hotel in the city of Hereford tomorrow and at the Chase Hotel, Ross on Wye on Sunday. If you are in the area come and say hi.