Sunday, September 28, 2008

musing...remembering what we do achieve.

I muse a lot.... i have been musing this morning....

This year we grew garlic.

We planted the bulbs in January ... they grew.. have been harvested and are being used in our cooking. I was just now cleaning out the garlic press whilst musing. The bulbs are only small, but still very tasty.

It made me feel happy knowing that we are using them and that this year we have successfully grown them.

I know that often i think only about the things in my life that i don't do and beat myself up about it. This is probably common for many of us. Maybe we all set unrealistic goals. However big or small i find that when i focus on what i do achieve rather than what i don't then i am much happier.

Yesterday I did something some may call brave and others may call crazy. I met a virtual friend. I am so glad that i had the courage to do it and thankfully it was wonderful. I shall write a little more about the day on my next post but all that i will say is that we both wished that Pipany could have been there too.
Wishing you all happy weekends .
ginny x

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

sorting out the old and moving forward

Today started off so sunny but soon the rain came. I confess that i am not good when it's cold, grey AND raining. I need sunlight or at least a little warmth and i love clear skies.
To take my mind off the weather i have been catching up with a few friends... one who i hope to meet finally this weekend!

I have also been getting reacquainted with a few other friends. Some poor lost souls who have been in storage since our move out of the Flour Loft studio.

They are some old doll designs.... Isadora fairies,which i know we will make again as they were very successful and so lovely to make, and Flora gardener dolls which we made when Alice and i were still working as folkydokee. They are boxed and would make a great present.

We really want to clear some space now (as we have much smaller workrooms) so they are on offer at £20.00 each plus postage (which varies depending on location to be sent). I photographed some of them today and will be adding them to the new aliceandginny website soon... once i work out how to add the shop facility. We would be really happy to see them go to off to new homes to be loved rather than stay with us in a box.

Our old folkydokee website was designed by my husband and it really was lovely. We had an online shop added but as it was so difficult for me to upkeep and change and add things then we - i - decided to buy a basic Mr Site package. It uses templates... a little like a blog which i am used to although it is a little frustrating trying to change the fonts and sizes as it adds all sorts of strange html code... it is not particularly sophisticated either. Has anyone else used Mr site? I would be interested to know how you got on with it. At least i won't have to rely on asking my husband when i want to make changes now... goodness knows i keep him busy already... poor man! I am surprised he wants to come home sometimes...

The new website will be more of a space where we can add tutorials, tips and info about what we are up to. We have added a gallery of some past work too and we will add a few things to purchase from the online shop from time to time.

As well as working on the website i have actually done some sewing today....I have been working out a new prototype doll pattern - a slightly larger one with a separate head as well as limbs. I always think they look so odd till they have their faces embroidered on and they have clothes and hair added. It is nice to see them come to life. I think i am going to try to sew a little each day as i really have missed it recently.
back to my doll stuffing...
Happy evenings to you all.
g x

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sew Fabulous Fabric and draw winners

Today is the 18th of September ... publication date of our first craft book Sew Fabulous Fabric.
It is a really exciting day for us!
As we are new authors and not famous there are no trumpets fanfaring and no book launch parties...aah! ... maybe one day though?!
We do, however have a book event planned next month on Saturday 18th October at our local Waterstones in Farnham. If you are nearby please do pop in and say hello.

So what shall we do to mark today? What about a virtual launch? Not sure how to do one really but my guess is a bit of bubbly and lots of cake with some good company.
Anyone care to join Alice and I?...we raise our glasses to toast the arrival of Sew Fabulous Fabric... hic!

please help yourself to a piece of virtual cake...

and some bubbly...

And now for the bit, as they say, you have all been waiting for...the winners of the draw for a free book.
Firstly we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered. We were overwhelmed with how many comments there were and offers to review it on your blogs and we thank you so much for all your lovely messages and good wishes. It has been great to make some new friends and to have some new blogs to read too.

Alice and I did the draw this morning, picking out 3 names as we have 3 books to givaway.
All we needed was folded up paper containing the names of each entrant... 54 in all,

a lady with a long nose (do i win Pip?), a green hat and a baby.

The names were then put into the green hat by the lady with the long nose and then the baby... the very cute Rufus picked them out, helped a little by Alice.

The first name out was Karen .... well done to you. We really hope that you will enjoy the book x

The next name drawn was Louise from this is my patch and home is where the heart is and the final name to be pulled out of the hat was miss sew and sew.

Well done to all of you and if you could please email me your postal addresses i will send the books out to you.

For anyone who is still interested in buying a book it is now 'available' and can be purchased online via Amazon and other similar sites both in the UK and USA. It is also listed on some Australian sites too. It will also be available in local book stores and if it is not in yours just ask and they should be able to order it in for you. It is also available from our publishers David and Charles.

So back to the bubbly.... cheers everyone... this has been fun! ...and fingers crossed for us for good reviews!
warmest wishes to you all.
ginny and alice xx

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sew Fabulous Fabric and a competition...

In November 2006 Alice and I exhibited as 'folkydokee handmade' at Country Living Magazines Christmas Fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. We spent a fair bit of money on this show to achieve a warm friendly little shop like space with a counter made by the lovely Rod (my other half), a wooden style floor, a gold painted border a with Merry Christmas stencilled greeting and a mock up mantlepiece where we hung our handmade Christmas stockings.

Country Living Christmas 2006

As many of you who do these kind of shows will know it is very hard to have space to store everything, put samples of all the product ranges on display and to also make the space welcoming and uncluttered and importantly fit us both on the stall (we come as a pair!) and allow space for folk to come in and browse.

As a small company we could only ever afford a small space but the long thin ones always worked best for us as you get a lot of wall space to hang products and still have room for browsers to come in and have a closer look. We achieved what we had hoped for and i think it was all worth the extra time and money spent as we received lots of lovely comments about our little space. I feel it also was an important element in why we were approached at that show by the lovely Ali from the publishers David and Charles. This meeting was the start of an exciting collaboration for Alice and I which has now reached completion.

Ali, who had been drawn to our stall and our recycled textile products asked us if we had ever considered writing a book. We had both toyed with this idea before having both had teaching backgrounds, but had never really pursued it.... (i secretly always thought i would write a self help book.. god knows i am an expert as i have read so many.. but that's another story). We arranged to meet to discuss the possibility of this after the Show.

The next stage was for us to submit a synopsis of the structure that a book would take and a list of projects. We had to wait a while to see if our proposal would pass various stages, costings.. etc. Finally we got the go ahead and then began... With the sad loss of Alice's baby Poppy in mid pregnancy, working towards Hampton Court Flower Show and with the Summer Holidays in between, we certainly had our work cut out...

Creating the projects for the book was such fun and the process of writing the text a real creative challenge which we both loved. Alice and I have different styles so we were constantly editing what each other had written. The book contains beautiful illustrations which accompany our step by steps drawn by Helen Philipps and for the project photography we were so lucky to work with the wonderful Simon Whitmore. These photo shoots were tiring but great fun.

The book was finished back in April and we received a copy in July.... this is me (photo taken by my 10 year old) with my copy... i could not stop jumping up and down i was so excited... i am on the phone to Alice sharing the excitement.

Here is a little sample of some of the projects included in the book, having been created from a mix of recycled fabrics, natural fabrics, remnants and scraps as is our style....

Simon Whitmore's photographs

a full contents list can be found by clicking on the book cover
in the side bar and following the search in book facility.

To celebrate the launch of Sew Fabulous Fabric I wanted to run a little competition open to all bloggers as as thank you for all your support and comments over my last (almost 100) posts.
Our publishers, David and Charles have kindly given me a few free copies of 'Sew Fabulous Fabric' so, these are up for grabs. You don't have to answer any questions to enter or live in the uk as we will post the book worldwide (please note that it is written in English), but what we would ask is that if you win you could write up a little review of the book and post it on your blog.

Our books official publish date is 18th September, although i understand that it is now in stock, so i will do the draw on the 18th September at 9am. Good luck.
ginny and alice xx

p.s. a thank you message for Diana from Pebbledash who sent me one of her wonderful handprinted cards to wish Alice and I good luck with the book launch... so lovely of you, thank you so much x

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

the last day of the holiday

Today is the last day of the holiday as the children return to school tomorrow... hooray!

Don't get me wrong as I have really loved having them close by but i must admit that now at the end of a lazy Summer we are all looking forward to an ease back into a more daily routine. I know that i shall miss them but i know too that it will enable me to get into my new workshop and to start working on some of the new ideas that have been buzzing through my head all Summer.

Today is also the last day that my youngest is 7 and the last day before she goes to junior school. Yes, she is starting a new school on her 8th birthday, but is pretty cool about it all as she will have her elder sister there looking out for her. She will have to wear a tie, but she is confident that she can construct this without help. I still have 2 boxes of their school clothes to label, which somehow got lost as my crocheting addiction took over. I now have 18 grannie squares, 2 of which use 2 colours! ... may attempt 3 next time.

For those of you who love crocheting here is a sweet link for making some crochet trees from a lovely blog called resurrection fern... i am tempted to try but i will have to wait.

Thank you for all your comments on my last post and the suggestions of ticking off things on my list before i move onto the treats (ie, crocheting ). I have finally ticked off the buy school shoes, although my eldest is developing her own sense of style, which is great, but even finding shoes which fitted- a mammoth task in itself- then there was the not liking them to deal with. I must admit i knew what she meant... well would you want to have shoes with a toy in at age 10? how i hate those toys in the heel anyway... i am sure it interferes with the comfort and structure of the shoe.... a rant i know is shared with many other mothers in search of suitable shoes. I also expect that many school teachers find them a trial too. So we have opted for a fill in 'cheaper' pair until we can find some nice plain ones that fit.

Today i need to food shop , make a school P.E. shoebag (still on list), make school bag with eldest (new addition to the list), do some laundry (always on the list), sew on all those labels, wrap and prepare some birthday presents and organise a bithday party. Wish me luck.
How are you filling your day today?
ginny x