Sunday, 2 August 2009

Barn owl update!

Just a quick update on my previous post about the nesting barn owls...

There were only 2 owlets that fledged from the box this summer. This probably means it was not a great year for field voles around the farm or maybe the parent birds were a bit young and inexperienced for raising a larger family. Anyway the 2 young birds looked to be doing well and were off flying around the garden and fields by the time we left the farm! Hopefully they will go on using the nestbox in the years to come.

Saturday, 1 August 2009


Well the removal men eventually turned up and took most of our things away to be stored somewhere in the uk until we find them a new home. Meanwhile our time at the farm came to an end and we had to pack everything else we wanted to take with us into the back of the van! There wasn't much spare space in there by the time we finished!

The dog of course had her spot...a room with a view! Extremely well tied down dog cage positioned so that she could look out of the windows and not get too bored as we travelled.

And there was a tiny space left for this little guy...well we couldn't really leave him behind!

And then we were off....

So we're finally back chez nous in Scotland! It seems like we've been away aaages and in fact it was the best part of 3 months (!!) so it's not surprising. Now it's just a struggle to get back into the daily routine (disrupted by searching for a new house still) and get on with crafting new stuff!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Buttons, originally uploaded by HollingdaleDesigns.

I know it's been ages since the last post but we are still in the process of moving so I've been a bit distracted. I haven't just been packing boxes getting ready to move though, I have made a few sets of buttons too!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Nesting Barn Owls!!!

Nineteen year ago when we decided to buy an old farmhouse in France as our full time home one of the first things I wanted to do was put up an owl nesting box. So, making use of an old tea-chest I found, I made a few alterations in the hopes that some owl might find it a desirable residence. It was placed up in the eaves of the large barn at the back of the house. After it was in place I bought a book about Barn Owls and was dismayed to find that the best design for their nest boxes was nothing like mine. So I was really pleased and surprised when one evening a few months after it was installed I saw a Barn owl fly out of it!! There were 5 owlets reared in the box that year!! This is what the box looks like today...

19 years on and it's still in place. Admittedly it is looking a little worn but guess what.... the owls are still using it!!! There is a pair of Barn Owls nesting there again this year! This means I get to sit in the comfort of my bedroom in the evenings and watch them coming and going and if my stay at the farmhouse goes on long enough (not sure yet how long it will be) I may even get to see the latest generation take their first flight!!!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Been a while!!

I know it's been ages since my last blog post! I've been travelling about but have finally come to rest for a few weeks in one place which will hopefully allow me to get back to the computer for a while! I've even had some time to make some things in polymer clay! Shame I couldn't bring a kiln and some glass with me as this is a great place for inspiration (more about that later)!!

Anyway, I've mostly been making buttons, of course, but have also managed a few things which I'm hoping will become components in some jewellery. The problem I have now is that I keep making and baking but not getting around to sanding and polishing!! This means the 'to-be-sanded' pile is mounting up fast! Took this photo earlier and then made 2 more batches of baked items which need to be added to the pile!!

Monday, 27 April 2009

OMG I came third - Delphi Art Glass Festival 2009!!!

I can't believe it!! I entered this dish a while back and had almost forgotten about entering. Then tonight I was just checking my e-mails and almost didn't check the one from Delphi. As it turned out it was announcing that the winners had been chosen and when I went to look there was my dish!!! Gobsmacked or what!!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sunny Sunday!!

It was such a gorgeous morning this morning I took the camera out into the garden to see what was going on. Here's a few of the things I found...

There are more like these on my flickr photostream!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Baby Booties!!

I was just having a little wander around the internet and Folksy when I came across some of my buttons! Now, most times, I don't get to see how my buttons are used, they go off to the post office and are never seen again. They may end up on someone's knitted cardi or grace the front of a handmade card or even just get to hang out with lots of other lovely buttons in somebody's button jar. So, it was really great to see how Baby Blonde Design had sewn them on the front of the new baby booties she has made. Take a look...aren't these just the cutest!!
This last pair don't have buttons on but I think they are just so fancy!! Perfect booties for a special occasion!!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Sock knitting!

So I have started my journey into the wonderful world of knitting socks! First up was a visit to the local craft shop for some double pointed needles. It's an interesting little shop which unfortunately is soon to be no more. Anyway, the very nice lady sold me some needles. Now I'm not sure but I think the packet was quite old, if anyone can tell me the approximate age of these I would be very interested to know...

Having got some needles I started with a ball of scrap wool, just to get the feel of working with 3 needles instead of 2. Hmm, well it seemed to be going ok until I realised I was working inside out! Ooops! Thank goodness for Google - soon sorted myself out! Little bit later and things were going well enough to try the real thing with my hand-dyed yarn from Blottedcopybook. Wasn't long though before I could see that needles and yarn were not well matched and the size just wasn't going to be big enough.

So attempt number 2 was abandoned and the hand dyed yarn put aside until I know I've got the right pattern and needles for it. In the meantime I'm going to try and actually get to finish at least one sock (though 2 would be preferable) so that I have some idea of what I'm doing! Third time lucky maybe?

Friday, 10 April 2009

Happy Easter!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend! As promised I have pictures today of the goodies I received from Sam at Incy Wincy Stitches in her role as my Secret Easter Chick!

Here's all the lovely pressies together, although they didn't stay like this for very long as, sorry to say, the chocolate met with a very quick demise! Well... it was my favourite!

Here's a closer look at that really pretty felt egg... the chick isn't there as he flew off to decorate my desk calendar!

Sam makes the prettiest little fabric buttons and has a shop on her website where she may even be selling some of my buttons soon. Anyway as she sent me the gorgeous fabric squares, which she bought from Gone to Earth, and the button blanks I just had to have a go! So here is my first fabric button...
it looks ok in the picture but I think I need some more practise! Actually it could get quite addictive! :)

Lovely surprises!!!

I know I've been neglecting my blog again! I've actually been rather busy as I had an order for a large quantity of knitting needle ends from Kerry at Pennydog and wanted to get them finished for her as quickly as possible. They are all ready now apart from the varnish drying on the glittery ones so I will be able to get those out to her soon.

Anyway I was really lucky this week as not only did I receive my parcel from my Secret Easter Chick (who turned out to be Sam at Incy Wincy Stitches!!!) but I also received some beautiful hand-dyed yarn from Vonnie at Adventures of a Lady in Training!!! She even put in some of her beautiful stitch markers with owl charms on.

Now I need to think of something to knit. I was thinking socks as I've never knitted socks before but I'm not sure now - I'd want to go around with no shoes on to show off the lovely colours! The parcel also included a beautiful card which had been handmade by the very talented Sue aka Chickadee!
Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you what I received from my Secret Easter Chick!!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Blog interview and Time for Tea Swap!

Well I have been a bad blogger, can't believe it has been a week since my last post! But I have been kept so busy over the last few days filling orders for buttons and trying to keep the stock in my Folksy shop topped up that I've hardly had time for anything else! Not that I'm complaining...I'm still really enjoying my button making. In fact I have a few ideas that I hope I will have time to try out in the next couple of days!

Meanwhile Kerry at Pennydog blogged a little interview that she did with me a while back, so visit her blog to take a look!! She does great things with resin (remember the knitting needles!?) and has even written a book about it!!

Another really nice thing that happened today - I received my swap parcel from Katie at the View from the Hill and it was full of goodies!! Here's a quick photo that I took before I started on all the chocolate! And if you'd like to see a pic of the things I sent Katie, you can look here!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Cute buttons!!

I got an e-mail this morning to let me know that some of my buttons had been featured on a post by Daisie Davies who was a guest editor on the Cuteable blog!! It was my Dizzy Daisy buttons there amongst all the other cute items! Yay!!

I've been busy lately getting things ready to send off for the "Time for Tea" craft swap! Really pleased with how it all turned out but would you believe I had the box all taped up before I realised I hadn't taken pics!! Arghh!! Oh well I hope Katie likes her swap items!!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Hearts Galore!!

I have been stockpiling buttons that were baked but needed sanding and polishing. So last night I had a good session and managed to get 4 sets done! Still a couple of sets left to do but at least I can now get those other sets listed in my Folksy Shop!! So the shop is looking a bit better stocked now!

I was hoping for more sunshine this morning for taking the photos but alas it was not to be. At least it was not dark and rainy! Now I've listed those 4 sets I think I need to make some buttons that aren't heart shaped! :) Getting into a bit of a rut there. After all that sanding I think the next buttons will be mica decorated ones that have to be varnised for a change! :)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Wild beasties in the forest!

It was such a lovely spring morning this morning we decided to go up into the woods for our morning walk! Lots of birdsong now and wild flowers like the primroses are looking very pretty so it was a very pleasant wander. Sadie especially likes the wood walks as she usually gets to go off lead so she enjoys more freedom than usual. Just as we were coming out of the forest and about to turn towards home though we all spotted some very strange wildlife lurking in the grass....don't think I'll find any mention of these in my wildlife identification books....

Some little person is going to be a bit upset at forgetting their special wellies I think!! Awwww

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Hot Hearts!!

Finally got my latest batch of buttons sanded and polished so they are now up for sale in my Folksy shop! The first set are another stripy lot, this time in shades of pink and orange and heart-shaped so they are called Hot Hearts.

The second set are the first daisy shaped ones I've made and have swirly patterns in pink and blue so I called them Dizzy Daisies! :)

Friday, 13 March 2009

Red Nose Day!!!

Hellooo everybody - Happy Red Nose Day!!

Don't forget to pop over to the Crafter...oo Comic Relief Shop over on Folksy where all proceeds are going towards Comic Relief!!! There are some great things for sale over there including some of my buttons of course! How about this great corsage made by Cloudhopping

or maybe these cute little slippers from Blonde Design...

and don't forget there's still time to put in a bid for the challenge necklace....

just send an e-mail to me with your bid!!! Winner will be announced this evening and all proceeds will of course go to Comic Relief!!!!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Floral hearts

I seem to be quite addicted to making the polymer clay buttons at the moment! The thing about making buttons is that I can try out lots of different techniques and then instead of wondering what to do with the resulting clay I can turn it into buttons. I got the mica powders out again today and thought I'd try using more than one colour. The result...these floral heart shaped buttons...
I'm going to have to make more of these! I was really pleased with how they turned out!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Blue sky and buttons!

After the last post with the snow I just had to take a pic of the sky outside right now. It's been such a gorgeous sunny day today and looking outside from our back door the sky was sooo blue....
I've been busy again with the button making. They have proved to be so popular that I have started stocking them in my own shop on Folksy too...well I have to be able to afford to buy more clay somehow! I've been trying out Kato clay the last few days and I have to say that, although it takes a LOT of conditioning, it really is lovely to work with. Here are pics of the buttons I finished today. Just wish I had been able to capture the lovely shine on these after all the sanding and polishing!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

March Snow and Challenge Necklace Auction

Yes we have yet more snow this morning! The poor mini daffs that were doing their best to flower in our garden look a bit weighed down don't they!? I don't think the snow will last long, the sun has been out a couple of times but we do have heavy snow showers forecast for during today so maybe we will get even more.

On a different note....Incy and I have decided to auction off the necklace we made to raise a bit more cash for Comic Relief. So we are taking e-mails for bids over £20!! Come on's a gorgeous bright necklace and will look great in the spring and summer months!! It's also a one of a kind...what with the lovely embroidery done by Incy and the handmade lampwork beads that I made there is a lot of value in it!! But best of all it will mean more money for Comic Relief so all proceeds will be going to a really good cause!!! I will even pay the p&p myself so no extras to pay. Send an e-mail to either myself (see my profile page) or Incy with your bid and we'll announce the winner on Comic Relief day!!!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Combined medium challenge!

Over on the Crafter...oo forum we decided to do a different sort of challenge where we worked together in pairs so that we could make something using the mediums of both people. We could make anything we like but it was to be in vibrant colours!

I had Sam from Incy Wincy Stitches as my partner which was great and we decided we would make a piece of jewellery combining felt beads which she would decorate and glass beads that I would make. Sam also stitched a great little pouch to put the finished piece in.

So, this is what we came up with...

We will be selling the necklace to raise money for Comic Relief!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Jewellery from Sea Maiden Gems

I was contacted by Sarah of Sea Maiden Gems a couple of days ago as she had used some of my lampwork beads in a bracelet she made. It's so lovely I thought I would show some of her work on here! Isn't this gorgeous...I love what Sarah has done with my beads!

Sarah has only been making jewellery for a year which is difficult to believe! This necklace is another of my favourites especially as it's turquoise which is my birthstone!

Here's a picture of a commission Sarah did recently, an unusual combination of gems, crocheted wire and welsh yarn! Really special!

Not only a talented jewellery designer but Sarah takes a great photo too! I must ask her for some advice!