Friday, 22 May 2015

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Return of a favourite slogan.

This one always sells rapidly, so I have tried to stock up.
"I can only please one person each day.
Today is not your day and tomorrow doesn't look good either."

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Ickwell May Day 2015

This is a wonderful event, which has become one of my favourites (and also one of my most profitable).

For my first visit last year, the weather was glorious and the crowds were out in force.  Although the weather was not quite as glorious this year, the crowds were out and my new animals lines were extremely popular.

I had a slightly different position this year - conveniently next door to the main food stall, which did the most fabulous bacon rolls!  I was still not close enough to see the maypole dancers, but my lovely husband did take some photos and share them with me on Facebook!

I was also visited by a few work colleagues - current and moved on.  Many thanks to Nik and Jo (and the chocolate brownie was fantastic!), to Lisa and to Karen. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Blue flower bag

Another flower bag.  As I have said in a previous post, I tend to make these in a variety of shapes and sizes.  This makes them a little more time consuming in terms of cutting the lining to individual sizes, but has proved popular with customers.
This version is a little shorter in length than most, but big enough to hold a folder.
Shared at

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, 18 May 2015

Making plans...

With just over a year to go till I go out to Kenya to work with women and help them to develop businesses, my plans are starting to firm up.

I am in the process of taking the first steps in terms of donations. This will entail providing solar lamps to two schools in Utange - a total of eight for each school.   I intend that some of these will be given to the staff, and some will be used as prizes for the most improved student in each class. 
The lamps I have chosen are the Sun King Pro 2:
This not only provides quite a powerful light, but also allows phones to be charged and can run a radio as well.  I hope this will enable some of the families to "sell" phone recharging to their neighbours, providing an income.  In addition it will, of course, do away with the need to buy kerosene for lighting fuel, and make it possible for children (and adults) to study in the evenings.

My intention is that these prizes will be awarded annually, and possibly extended to other schools in Utange as well.

Stage two will take place during my visit - I am finalising plans to teach some of the women to sew items to sell.  I hope to run courses, each class lasting for a week, for two to three hours each day.  I will provide each woman with a unique pattern - for soft toys, bags, or phone cases.  Some will be from recycled fabrics and others from African fabrics.  Over the course I will teach them to make the items.  For their first items, made during the course, I will provide all the materials.  At the end of the course they will receive a certificate (apparently they love these!) and a gift of needle, thread and possibly scissors.  I hope local hotels can be persuaded to stock some of these in their shops, to sell to tourists (when these return to the area).

Stage three will be grants to local women to develop existing businesses.  This will be harder to facilitate, but I hope it will be possible.  My hope with this is to enable expansion of local industry, so that their owners might need to pay other villagers to do their washing, or collect wood, or maybe even employ them in their business.

Stage four (possibly alongside stage three) is to provide other training - such as training in effective crop growing.  A local organisation based at Haller Park can facilitate this.

There are yet more plans - cashew nut farming, with a cooperative processing plant; bee keeping; a market for tourists to buy hand made items direct from the women; getting some of the handmade items brought back to the UK to sell here; possibly even online ordering.... - but those are a long way in the future.  For now it is the lights, the training and the business grants.

Exciting times!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sunset elephant

I'm loving the fabric on ears of this elephant.  Such lovely African sunset colours.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Roger Rhino

Please welcome the latest addition to the rhino clan.
There is a distant family connection with Reginald - you may notice the similarity in colouring!
Linked with
Sew Cute Tuesday

Friday, 15 May 2015

Restocking the bibs

I spent a lot of time running the embroidery machine over the Easter holidays (which currently seem a VERY long time ago!) to restock bibs.  Unfortunately it took me a very long time to finish these off by adding the velcro fastenings.  I did manage to achieve this in time for the Ickwell May Day event.  Here are some of the "tried and trusted" bibs I restocked.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

More hippos

Here are two more versions of my "almost final" hippo.

Both have ears from the African fabric I was given - I am getting close to using it all up, sadly.

Shared at A Round Tuit.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Grey cargo

These cargo pants had some lovely pockets, which unfortunately don't show too well on this photo.  They turned into an attractive and very usable bag, I feel.