You can now find my blog and examples of my work at www.tinyandtoad.co.uk
Master Griffin’s account of his visit to Big Pit has now gained 309 views.
It has been retweeted a dozen times, shared by seasoned communications professionals, elected representatives, and at least one hard-bitten real newspaper editor. It’s also been replied to by the lovely comms team at Big Pit.
Thank you to you all, you sentimental, lovely people. You are soft.
We now have a little boy who understands why writing is great, why one word after another word after another word is one of the most powerful weapons in the world, and most of all is proud of his hard work. He’s beaten his Dad in page views, which to a little boy who’s shorter than his friends and trying to make his mark in the world is gold. He’s also a young man who wants to be a writer.
But most importantly of all, he sees in a…
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Materials + Labour + Expenses + Profit = Wholesale x 2 = Retail
The above seller’s formula is what most craft business owners are told to use when working out how to price their items. It’s what isfair. I mean, let’s face it, as much as we crafters, artists and other creatives do what we do because we love it, if we’ve taken the leap into selling our makes, it’s because we want to see a return for the time, money and passion we’ve invested.
And rightly so.
But, see, there is a fundamental flaw in using the above formula which most if not all crafters have to also take into consideration; what consumers will actually pay. Most of the time the two figures don’t even come close to each other.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a popular item and work it through: The featured image on this…
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Last night I finally finished my ‘Emergency Basket’ tutorial and you can find it here and it’s free!
Here is the original basket that I gifted at the weekend:
And here is v3 – two more being required to perfect the pattern for the tutorial:
I wanted the basket base to be decorative in its own right, that way, there’s no need to feel that it has to be filled.
I hope you enjoy it.
Meanwhile…I am in the middle of a new project we’ll code name ‘flowers’ and it’s beginning to look a little like this:
And that’s what I need to be getting back to right now.
Enjoy your Tuesday folks and I will be back soon!
It’s been a while hasn’t it?
December passed in a blur and I am sure I am not the only one feeling like that. I’ve taken the first few days of January as an opportunity to reflect on what is next for T&T and this blog.
Truth be told, I love crafting but I sometimes find writing about it a drag. Other times, I have far too much to say! So…this year, I am planning to mix it up a bit. I have even written a blogging schedule! I hope you like the new look.
I can’t believe that the last time that I blogged was 25 November. That means that I haven’t shared anything of Christmas at T&T HQ. So, just before 12th night ends, here it is (or was!):
I’ve included a few pics of the T&T crew because, really, the children were what Christmas was all about. I hope you laughed at our attempt at a gingerbread house! It completely fell apart. Oops!!
Today has been my first day back at the T&T desk (well, actually, the sofa as my desk is covered in Christmas decorations that still need boxing!) and it feels good. I have been furiously planning and preparing.
And, just before I go, I thought that you might like to see the inspiration for T&T for 2016:
Today I am guest blogging with Mrs Crafty B in the relaunch of her ‘Meet the Maker’ spot and as part of #craftychristmas.
I’m so excited!
Here is the link to my contribution (click on the blue words!)
It features a personal favourite of mine, you might be familiar with it!
Happy Tuesday everyone, what does it hold for you?
I have an order of Santa hats to get to work on!
Enjoy your day, however you are spending it.
This morning, I spent a relaxing half an hour or so finishing off the pennants for my first ever fabric bunting. No yarn, no felt. Just these pretty little fabrics. I then hopped out to The Wool Shop (this fab little shop in Liskeard which stocks yarn, buttons, haberdashery, lingerie, tights AND ladies footwear)to purchase the bias binding to enable me to string my pennants together which I had planned to do this evening. I need to refine my planning skills because I’m currently stuck in a holding pattern as it didn’t cross my mind to buy matching thread at the same time. Never mind, at least I have something to look forward to tomorrow!
If you’ve been reading for a while you will know that I am a hearts and flowers girl…but that’s not all. I’m also a tiny little bit addicted to bunting. If it incorporates hearts and or flowers all the better. I’ve had a little tot up of the bunting garlands in my house – 7 and counting. The only rooms that have, thus far, escaped are the bathrooms and our bedroom. (If I had a photo of an amused looking husband shaking his head at me I might insert it right here!).
Instead, I’ll remind you of the last bunting that I made:
And, of course, it plays quite a large part in many of my wreaths:
As I was sewing at far too close to midnight last night, I got to wondering why we call it bunting and how long it has been around and whether it has always been used for purely decorative purposes. I associate it with the mid 20th century – I’m sure my parents must have been surrounded by it during their post-war childhoods…weren’t they?
My research tells me that it was actually only used for special occasions and and then put away again until the next time that it was needed but I shall continue to imagine that period in history a la Darling Buds of May and in constant street parties festooned beautiful bunting.
What is bunting?
The OED 1995 edition defines it as 1. flags and other decorations. 2.a loosely woven fabric used for those and by 2009 the entry had been updated to flags and other colourful festive decorations.
These are some of the many bunting offerings at Glastonbury Festival 2015:
Today, we use the term to refer to any strung together decoration. Here’s one that I made a year or so ago – no sign of a triangle there.
On my journey of bunting discovery, the first revelation that I happened upon was that it was originally made from fabric woven from yarn!! We’re not talking crochet here, of course, but it’s nice to think that the little triangles that I enjoy hooking aren’t all that far removed from the pennants of history.The fabric used was called ‘buntine’ (derived from the middle English ‘bontine’) and was used to make signal flags (flags with combinations of numbers representing each letter of the alphabet) used onboard the Royal Naval ships in order to send messages.
One very famous message communicated in this way was sent from from HMS Victory as the battle of Trafalgar was imminent and repeated throughout the fleet. You might have heard it a few times before:
“England expects that every man will do his duty”
Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson
21 October 1805
Bunting has become a staple of vintage chic yet its 19th century origins couldn’t be any further removed from the cosy interiors created by modern homemakers in the 21st Century and I think that it has taken on a different meaning for me.
I’m just off to start hooking my next offering – watch this space!
I’ve just had meander through my photos and it seems that I had forgotten quite how much bunting I have shared 2015 with – I’ll leave you with some of my favourite images just for fun!
Thanks fore reading
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, so thought I would take a break from craft (almost). Just for tonight.
2. Your greatest allies on this crazy journey are other mums. They are also capable of being your harshest critics. Hang on to the good ones, you’re going to need eachother.
3. You are going to look back at the early weeks one day and laugh/cringe at some of the crazy things you did! For me, it’s the video of us bathing Little Mr Toad for the first time – baby in one hand instruction manual in the other! I’m weeping with laughter inside just thinking about it!
4. It’s a huge secret, but babies don’t spend the nine months in the womb reading baby books. They can’t read and, if they could, they probably wouldn’t be reading the book you bought. That’s ok because they are as individual as you and me.
5. Breast feeding is (for all but the lucky few) hard. Really, really hard. The Mum feeding in the cafe may look like she has it sorted but, in all likelihood, she has spent hours and hours behind closed doors struggling to make it work and even now she’s afraid that she’s getting it wrong. She almost definitely isn’t.
6. You are going to become completely blase about wee, poo and vomit and will probably find yourself leaving the house wearing at least one, if not all three. More than once.
7. This little gummy bundle is going to teach you things you had no idea you needed to know. The greatest thing you will learn is how completely and utterly unconditional love can be.
8. A “mother’s instinct” is actually a thing.
9. “This too shall pass” – you’ll hear that a lot and that’s because IT WILL. Soon the baby days will be gone forever and you are going to miss them.
10. The early days are a crash course in extreme exhaustion. Tiredness like you have never, ever experienced before but it is so, so worth it. Few, if any, babies sleep through from the off, they aren’t made that way and that’s ok.
11. The answer to the question “how do you do it?” is L.O.V.E. In other words – I love this tiny human more than words can explain and would give my life for him*, he needs me.
12. Perfect parenting is a figment of imagination and exists only in the dreams of those who are yet to experience it for themselves. You are going to get it wrong sometimes, don’t be hard on yourself when you do. Tomorrow is a fresh new day.
13. Those leaky eye pregnancy hormones have done something crazy to your tear ducts because they will continue to leak at the drop of the hat. I’m willing to go out on a limb here and say that that isn’t going to change for the rest of your life.
14. No matter how exhausted you have been all day, you’ll wake up and develop a need to do anything and everything you can think of the moment the gummy wrinkly bundle is asleep. You’ll probably get fed up of hearing well meaning people telling you to “sleep when the baby sleeps”. One day you will realise that you should have listened to them and begin sharing that advice with all and sundry. You’ll actually do it (when you can) when baby number two comes along (and, if you can’t, wish you could jump back in time to the newborn days with baby #1 and go tell yourself to, for goodness sake, sleep when the baby sleeps!).
15. This is going to change you. Forever. For the better. It’s going to add new colours and shades to your life and that old life is going to feel monochrome by comparison – even tho leaving the house, with your partner alone or after dark is now almost completely a thing of the past.
16. You can do it and, if you are struggling, there is no shame in admitting it and reaching out for help. We all struggle sometimes – see ‘thing’ 12 above!
17. All you really need is nappies, clothes, a sleeping place and a supply of milk and love. The rest will take care of itself.
18.There are going to be good days and bad days, there are going to be days you feel like a total failure and there are going to be days that create memories that you will hold on to for the rest of your life.
19. It is possible to make peace with a ‘Mum tum’ and stretch marks.
P.S. 21. You’ll become so evangelical about it that a list of ’10 things that nobody tells a Mum to be, but probably should’ turns into a list of 20 (or 21) things quite by accident.
I’d love to hear what you would add to the list.
Thank you for reading.
* I am a Mum of boys
I don’t know about you, but I need a break (yes really!) from Christmassy yarn. Just a little one, I haven’t undergone a complete personality transplant!
So I thought I would tell you a bit more about my Happy Home Bunting (it made a small appearance in a previous blog post which you can find here).
This is where it started:
Really! You might remember that these heart decorations were my made for my first Etsy customer and as I sat making them, it suddenly struck me that I ought to be able to tweak them into bunting and I have been wanting to make all-year round crochet bunting for months and months.
We’ve been living in our Cornish home for just over a year and therefore the decor is still a work in progress. My lounge has been niggling at me for quite some time because it just didn’t have the cosy ‘spend all your time in me’ feel that I wanted it to have. This bunting turned out to be the beginning of me putting that right.
These little shelves have now become my favourite corner of our home…and have you noticed that my Christmas heart has snuck in there too? You see, I said I was only having a tiny break from Christmas didn’t I?
Thanks for reading xx