Wednesday, 27 June 2012

E2BN update

The conference was really enjoyable and informative - I learnt a lot!  Having the stand was fantastic.  It opened up opportunities for so many wonderful conversations about Utange and the work Debbie and Paul have started there.  People were so generous and I sold about half of the stock I took with me, making a total of well over £200 over the two days.  Considering that those two days contained about 8 hours where people were not in talks of some kind, I am thrilled by the results. 

OK, now I need to get back to the sewing. Lots of sewing to do - particularly of various types of owls!

(If you are reading this after seeing me at E2BN< please leave a comment!)

Monday, 25 June 2012


Stall is all set up ready for the start of the conference tomorrow. Lots of lovely comments including suggestions that I will sell out. I didn't bring all my stock but I think selling out is unlikely - though I may run out of owl cases!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

School fair

A great success with lots of sales - especially owl phone cases. More to make to refill stock!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Sunglasses cases version 3

Yet more sunglasses cases from the weekend.  In some ways these are my favourites.  They are easy to make and hold their shape well.  However, I do think they will only appeal to a female audience (though I can't quite work out why I think that.

I have ideas about how to develop these - I am sure I can turn them into monsters and owls and maybe other creatures as well!  I'm not sure whether I have time to do this, but I can dream....

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Thursday, 21 June 2012


I wanted to share these pictures:

These are all children receiving food at the weekly session (every Saturday) in Utange, Kenya.  Utange is a traditional bush village.  At least 500 children in the village were only eating every three or four days before the feeding programme started. Now they get a weekly meal of rice or maize.
They then go on to collect a bag of maize flour which they take home.  This helps to keep them fed during the week.
Debbie noted on her last visit that the children are already looking better nourished.
The feeding programme initially cost £1000 each month, to feed 500 children. With the drought in Kenya, food prices have doubled and the programme now costs £2000 every month.
Which means that one of these:
raises enough money to feed a child for a week.
It means that my sales so far this year have raised enough to feed 500 children for two weeks.
It means that last year I raised enough to feed all the children for one month.
I'm aiming to beat that this year!

When people ask (as they often do) why I do this, I ask them how I could stop, knowing that what started as my hobby (and remains a pleasure, most of the time) is making a real difference to children like this:

For more information please visit the links at the top of the side bar. We have a facebook page which I maintain - please consider joining it.  Please watch the Feed 500 video. If any of my projects or tutorials have helped you, particularly if you have made any of them to sell, please consider making a donation through the Paypal link at the top of the page.  I know that some of you already have done so. Thank you. I don't have access to the information about who, so I can't thank you personally, but thank you on behalf of those children.
Thank you too to all those who follow my blog, or visit regularly; to all those who have featured me or linked to me.  It all helps.  It helps to encourage me to keep going, and it helps to get the word out about these children and others like them. 

I'm sharing this at the following link parties:

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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Sunglasses case version 2

This version of the case has sparked off all kinds of ideas in me for other versions (monsters, for example) and also the idea of making some of these which are longer, as pencil cases. Watch this space! In the meantime, the owl theme continues on this blog and I present to you some owl sunglasses cases. Easy to make, they are basically an elongated version of the owl purses. Cute, I think. These have a fastening so the glasses won't fall out. I'm really hoping some shoppers will want a full set ... phone case, sunglasses case, purse and bag!!

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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Large pocket bag

Last night I pieced the outside and straps for four of these bags, but only managed to line and finish one of them.
These are made from eight pockets, each in an 8" square, and three gusset pieces, each 4" x 15.5".  The lining is 15.5" square and the three lining gusset pieces are each 15.5" x 4".  I made my straps from strips 4" wide.
Join the pockets in pairs, then join each pair to make a block of four pockets.  To one piece add gussets to the sides and base.  Join these gusset pieces to the other block, and then sew the open 4" edges of the gussets at the base.  Make the lining in a similar way, leaving one bottom edge open for about 6" to turn the bag.  Pin the handles in place. Sew the lining to the bag, right sides together and turn through the gap.  Sew up the gap after turning and top stitch the top of the bag.  I added a covered cardboard base inside my bag to give it more of a defined shape.

A useful sized bag, with plenty of strength, and plenty of pockets for shopping lists, children's toys, and all the bits and pieces we end up carrying around.  I think I would dedicate one to receipts - which would clear up my handbag no end!

I'll be sharing this project at the link parties below.

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Monday, 18 June 2012

Sunglasses cases version 1

I had a day of making sunglasses cases yesterday.  I've finished three styles so far, and two of the styles have led me to think of more variations I can make. Now all we need is the sunshine to create a need for sunglasses and I might have a good seller on my hands!
This version is another way of using front pockets.  The pockets will be useful for storing a cloth to clean your sunglasses.  These ones have no fastenings -so good for the car where protection is needed, but maybe not so good for a handbag where they can slip out.

Very simple to make if you fancy having a go yourself.  Mine are 8.5" x 4.5" unsewn - two rectangles of outer fabric and two of lining.  Stitch the top edges of lining and main fabrics together, then stitch round three sides leaving the short lining edge open.  Clip corners and turn, then stitch the open end closed.

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