Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sewing day

The wonderful people at Tudor Rose Patchwork offered me a "Charity Day" and the use of their workshop this summer.  Not only that, but they advertised the day for me and took bookings, and lent me equipment, and provided drinks!
I was blessed by so many people attending.  Some came for the whole day; others dropped in for part of the day only.  Some came through the advertising; others through direct contact with me. Some were (very) experienced bag makers and others were complete novices. In all I think about 15 people came throughout the day - all to help me make various styles of pocket bags.  I provided instructions and materials (though many people brought their own contributions).  They made the bags for me!

Many started with the backpacks and I ended up with a good selection of these.  Others focused on the shoulder bags.  I managed to deplete my stock of pockets considerably, for which I am very grateful.

Several of the bags have already sold; more are still in stock.  Some were purchased by their makers on the day!

Thank you all!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Embroidered panel bags: Coffee!

As a non-coffee drinker, perhaps I don't share the sentiments of this bag!
"Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee".
The slogan appears to be popular, however; it has also been featured on some of my postcards and purses, and they always seem to sell well. 
I do enjoy watching people scan through the sayings on my bags - I can often tell when they have reached a particular one by their response!

Friday, 29 August 2014

This Summer's events: Woburn Sands

This was a new event for me.  When I booked, the event was planned as an outdoor folk festival with stalls surrounding the field.  However, the event had to be replanned as the result of the theft of a generator at the previous event.  Consequently this year's event took place in various locations around Woburn Sands itself, with folk acts performing in various local hostelries, and craft stalls in two halls.
I suspect the hall in which I was placed was the better of the two locations. We were right by a bus stop, and had many people come in while waiting for buses.  We were also quite close to the pubs where bands were playing.
It was a very hot day, and footfall was slow, but I was pleased overall with the resulting takings and with the interest in the work in Utange.  I think work could be done on advertising and promoting the various venues, as we had several visitors in who were not entirely sure what was happening where.  All credit to the volunteers who organised and ran it, however!

Thursday, 28 August 2014


Long silence - the summer has been very busy!  I have been sewing and attending a lot of fairs, as well as other "stuff"!  Posts to follow - about to set up a lot to appear over the next days.  Hopefully I will be able to win back regular readers, and attract some new followers as well.  I have lots of tutorials in the pipeline, and some new designs in my head which I hope will become actual bags and maybe even tutorials at some point.

I have lots of plans too for my trip to Kenya in 2016.  I already have several people who have expressed an interest in coming with me to help the women of Utange set up businesses.  My "business startup fund" (held by The Sure Foundation to buy the resources and equipment for women to begin their businesses) already stands at over £1200, and I am hoping it will be nearly £5000 by the time we go.

I am really hoping for people who can:
- teach women crafts, including paper bead making, crocheting from "plarn" made from old t-shirts and carrier bags, sewing, and hopefully something utilising local resources such as coconut shells and palms.
-teach business skills to the women and help them to develop business plans.
- provide and teach basic literacy and ICT skills.
- teach some "mechanical" skills such as bicycle and sewing machine maintenance
- help the village to develop a cashew nut cooperative (I would like to provide a small processing plant at a future point)
- source and distribute solar lamps with recharging points (for phones) to the most needy homes in the village.

If these (or any other ideas) catch your interest, please get in touch.  If you know me, you will know my email.  If not, leave a comment on this post and I will get in touch.  You will need to fund your own trip - the cost from the UK will probably be about £1500 for two weeks.

And please pray!