Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Bags! Bags! Bags!

“Every girl needs a bag (or ten) in her wardrobe and a handmade bag is the perfect present to give at any time of the year.  You can’t beat the pleasure from owning a truly unique bag ...” (Lisa Lam, p.8 The Bag Making Bible)
I love making bags.  I’m truly addicted.  In my Folksy shop you will find all kinds of handcrafted bags:  bags with bows, flaps, or appliqué.  Bags made of silk, vintage fabric, or recycled fabric.  Bags that are made with lace or adorned with lace (there are lots of those!)  There are floral totes, patchwork bags and embroidered bags, so I am sure you will find one you like!

Here is a small selection of bags available to purchase: (Click on the photo and it is a direct link to my shop.)

Terra Handbag

Minerva Handbag
Naomi Handbag
Calypso Tote

Dulcie Handbag
Ursula Handbag

Why do I make bags?
I love fabric.  I’m truly addicted to purchasing it.  I love the feel of it in my hands, the colours, the patterns and most of all the potential.  I feel like a wizard when I can manipulate a piece of fabric and create something very beautiful from it.  I love using my sewing machine.  I get a real kick from hearing it whirring away, busily sewing fabric together, and I feel like we are an important team working on joint projects!  I also love hand stitching too.  I find it very relaxing.  I can sit back with fabric, needle and threads to hand and just enjoy the simple pleasure of stitching.
It saddens me that people aren’t buying my bags – they don’t love them as much as I do and feel that they want to own them.  So my challenge to you is with forthcoming New Year around the corner, I want you to make a New Year resolution:
“In 2012, I will buy one of Edwina’s bags!  Repeat: In 2012, I will buy one of Edwina’s bags!”
All my bags are all truly unique and handcrafted by little old me.  I feel like I put a little piece of me in each bag so do buy, do value it and don’t for get to show it off to your friends, so they will want to buy one too!
Wishing you all a stupendous and prosperous 2012!
PS.  This bag is on special offer all this month.  From 1.12.2012 it will revert back to its normal price so grab a bargain whilst you can!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

In Memoriam

Christmas means...

Presents wrapped so carefully,

Tree lights shining bright,

Excited children’s faces,

The sound of carols in the night-

It is a time for celebrating, a time for feasting, a time for laughter and a time for giving...

But Christmas can also be a sad time for those who have lost loved ones too... There is the family of the daughter, whose tragic story has featured in the news this year.  This Christmas will be very difficult for them.  It will be difficult for wives and partners who have lost husbands and lovers. It will be difficult for children who have lost fathers, mothers, brothers or sisters.  It will be difficult for husbands or partners who have lost their wives or lovers...

I lost my lovely Mum a year ago last October.  She was a courageous, stoical woman with a dry sense of humour.  I miss her loads still.  Grief is painful, but after a while the pain gets better but the reality of the loss still remains.  Memories remain of the dearly loved person.

This Christmas I was prompted to do something in memory of my Mum.  I packaged together some of my handcrafted items, a key ring, a bookmark, a silk lavender sachet, a small heart cushion and a Christmas card.  I then passed them on to my Mother’s minister, who is going to distribute them to elderly single women, perhaps those who have lost their partner, or do not have much family, or who find Christmas difficult.

It is spreading my bit of Christmas spirit...  I do hope they like the small gifts.

This last week I have had a bit of a listing frenzy, stocking up my shop on Folksy after the lovely sales that I have had.  Here are a few of the items that are now stocked in my shop...  Please click on the picture and it will take you directly to the item in the shop.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Best wishes


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Craft Fairs – what I love and what I hate!

Things I hate:
  • Getting up at the crack of dawn
  • On frosty mornings having to defrost the car!
  • Driving 20 or 30 miles to the unknown venue
  • Driving on the motorway when there are road works and you are already running late!
  • Taking a wrong turning during the drive – and that’s even when I’m using my Sat Nav!
  • Remembering during the drive all the things you have forgotten to bring!
  • The performance of loading the car, unloading the car, setting up...etc.
  • Fairs that haven’t been very well advertised and the result is very few visitors!
  • Visitors who examine your stall quite closely, make rapturous comments but then walk away without purchasing a single item!
  • That feeling driving home when you feel it was a waste of time and wonder if craft fairs are worth the hassle!
A6 Covered Notebook
Bridget Handbag
Aphrodite Handbag

These are a few of the items I SOLD at a recent Craft Fair:
    A6 Covered notebook – I have another in my shop and will be listing more soon
    Two Handbags:
    Aphrodite – I have told a story about this bag in a previous post.  So nice to know it has gone to a good home!
    Bridget – this was a surprise but the person loved it!
Things I Love:
  • The feeling of anticipation whilst you are planning and making items beforehand – “this could be the one!”**
  • When you wake up on the day and the sun is shining (always a good sign – you think!)
  • Driving on the motorway when the traffic is light and you make good time!
  • Feeling smug because you have remembered to bring everything this time (including the float!)
  • Arriving at the venue and being greeted by warm and friendly fellow crafters!
  • Finishing setting up the stall well before the start time and everything looks beautiful.
  • Selling an item to a fellow stallholder BEFORE the fair starts!
  • Looking around the other stalls and seeing what amazing and gorgeous things the other crafters have made and are selling – FAB!
  • Customers who make lovely comments and purchase something!
  • Talking and chatting to fellow crafters whilst waiting for the absent customers!
  • Packing up early when you have made the table fee and a reasonable profit so you are going home happy... and
  • Whilst packing up a fellow stallholder comes up and wants to buy an item they were looking at earlier!
  • The sense of achievement.
Finally, I had the most amazing feedback from a customer to my Folksy shop this week and must share it:

Received my notebook today very quick service and it is even more gorgeous than it looked in the picture , beautifully packaged too , i just love this shop :)

Listings this week included the following:

A5 Vintage Lace Covered Journal

Phoebe handbag

Silk and Lace Purse

Enodia handbag

Silk and Lace Purse
Maia Handbag
Maia handbag
A5 vintage lace journal
Enodia handbag
Phoebe handbag
Two silk and lace purses
Please visit my Folksy shop and purchase something for yourself or for someone for Christmas!
 BFN Edwina

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Beautiful Butterflies


Red Brick Glass
I like butterflies because they are delicate, beautiful, not at all scary like some flying insects... colourful, fragile, ephemeral, but most of all they are inspiring!

Did you know that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 species of butterflies worldwide?  That seems such an incredible figure, it is hard to imagine!

Did you know that artistic depictions of butterflies have been used in many cultures including Egyptian hieroglyphs 3500 years ago?
Encaustic Art

The reason I decided to write about butterflies is because culturally, butterflies are a very popular motif in the visual and literary arts.  They inspire all of us. As you can see from the photos on this post, they continue to so so in our arts and crafts work:
Black Cats Whiskers


Sian Bostwick jewellery
Have you ever been to a Butterfly farm?  It is a lovely experience.  I visited Stratford-Upon-Avon Butterfly farm a few years ago.  It is so amazing to be surrounded by butterflies of all different sizes and colours!

I think it is great that butterflies are widely used in various objects of art and jewellery: mounted in frames, embedded in resin, displayed in bottles, laminated in paper, drawn, sewn and used in mixed media artworks and furnishings.  They seem to deserve this honour, somehow.

In Ancient Greek word for "butterfly" is ψυχή (psȳchē), which primarily means "soul", "mind".
In Chinese culture two butterflies flying together are a symbol of love. And in some old cultures, butterflies also symbolize rebirth into a new life after being inside a cocoon for a period of time.
Dab and a dash
I could have included even more examples of butterflies from the lovely creative folk at Folksy, but this is a first for me and it has taken ages and ages to put this post together.  I think I was a bit ambitious to try this so early in my blogging career!!

What I would like to do now is offer you something really special.  I am giving away a free pack of four Patchwork Christmas cards.  All you have to do is join as a follower if you aren't already, and leave a comment, and the person to receive the Christmas cards will be chosen by some random method!
Patchwork Xmas Cards
Another thing you must do is checkout the butterflies in my Folksy shop.  There is one at the moment, but I will be listing another during the coming week!
Careford Creations
I am sure butterflies will continue to inspire us as they have done for thousands of years, so let's all carry on the good work!

BFN Edwina

P.S.  Don't forget to leave a comment.  You could be the winner of these lovely Christmas cards!