31 Jul 2009

Loving our sponsors

Once again I would like to show our sponsors a bit of love for paying to put their Project Wonderful adverts on our blog. I picked out some pretty coloured goods today as it is so grey a day here I needed a bit of a spectrum injection.

Starpixie's work is always stunningly beautiful and she has yet to find a craft she doesn't excel at. Her choice of fabrics is always sublime and the care and love she puts into her work shines out. This hair clip flower will brighten up every ones day when you wear it.

I'm so glad Teal Stripes advertised on this blog because finding this shop was like a breath of fresh air. There is a great mixture of goods and artworks in the shop and I love the fun slant on many of the pieces. Jellyfish forever!

Ravena Relics recycled and salvaged materials are used to make gorgeous items like this flower corsage brooch. Anyone that takes unused/pre-used materials and creates such beauty is fantastic in my eyes. May your shop flourish!

Lina Fire is a site full of lamp work beads and glass jewellery. The colours and shapes are fun, vibrant and eye catching. It's great to see such passion in peoples work. The new products page on this website is a joy to behold. Check it out!

Big Blue Bed makes so many cute items to sell in her shop. This little flower brooch with it's polka dot button center is great. I was introduced to Dorset buttons in this shop, which I'd never seen before. Take a look at the variety.

All you lovely people that sponsor our blog with your Adverts I'd like to thank you. I hope that our readers click through to your shops as often as I do, because I've found so many beautiful goods in your shops. Thank you!

30 Jul 2009


I've spent all day yawning. I can't seem to shake the sleepy feeling today. Everything I've tried to do today has been a struggle and not gone quite as planned. I even drank a cup of coffee, which is something I very rarely do, but it made no difference. I'm still yawning wide enough for the world to fall in every 5 minutes.

Pink Panzees little sleeping kitty can sleep anywhere, even on the edge of a log. I feel like I could do that today. Every time I sit down I start to doze off.

Bib Bon eye mask would help aid a deep sleep, and as they have super a hero on the front I'm sure all my dreams would be full of adventures and fun.

Alvin the sleepy mouse has found a little leaf to sleep on. Troll Tracks has perfectly captured that tranquil face all animals have when in a deep sleep.

Always Adorable's princess isn't all she seems to be as she doesn't appear to have noticed the pea under her mattress. I wouldn't notice it either hehehe.

Bibelot Forest has created Chester the sleeping fox, who obviously is just as tired as I am today. I hope he is warm enough under his toadstool. Maybe I should find him a blanket.

I have to wake up and cook some dinner now, but I don't guarantee I won't doze off and burn it. Poor Jon might have a charred dinner tonight.

29 Jul 2009

Twitter friends

Twitter is a strange world of people sharing, laughing, commiserating, and rejoicing what is going on in their lives. I've been on it for a while under the name CapnSkulduggery. A lot of the people I follow and that follow me back are fellow artisans that chat about what they are making and what they have sold etc, so I get to see lots of amazing handmade goods. I thought you might like to see a few of them.

Kitty Ballistic's fun felt fortune cookies are a great present to give a friend. I'm sure if you ask Helen, she will customise the message in the cookie for you. That way it can be a very personal fortune for your friend.

Tomato Tea has had a shop on Coriandr for quite a while, but has only just got her first sale there. I was surprised it took so long as her goods are beautiful. When I have some cash I will most definitely be purchasing some of her hand spun yarn.

Yay for pirate sock kitties from The Other Mousie. This lady is great to follow on Twitter, because she is always up beat, happy and fun to chat to and I love seeing all her new goods as she tells us about listing them in her shop.

Snapdragon Beads is a most talented bead artist. Her jewellery is so stylish and her colour choices are always fabulous. As well as her Etsy shop she has a shop on Coriandr, both are full of fantastic items.

The ever so lovely Swirlyarts is not only a very talented lady, but she is kind and generous with her time and the help she gives to other artisans. As the editor and writer of Cuteable she supports the handmade movement by highlighting the best of the best that you can find for sale online. A more dedicated champion of recycling and handmade goods you won't find.

If you love handmade goods and want to find all the latest listings being put up online you won't go far wrong in logging onto twitter and then do a search for "#handmade". You should bring up lots of posts containing links to new listings.

28 Jul 2009

Well slap my thigh and call me Sheila!

So today I had an urge to find myself some new Pirate boots, so that when I am dressed up as Captain Skulduggery Dug I can really look the part. Of course my first stop was the handmade and vintage sites and so far I haven't ventured past those sites because there are just so many boots to peruse that I haven't needed to. Take a look at some of my finds.

James Roland Shop has these amazing multi coloured long 1980's thigh high suede boots. Sadly they are a size too big for me, but maybe if I wear a few pairs of socks with them...? They are just so fabulous and fun.

I used to own a pair of boots this colour and these ones from Goodeye vintage wearables would also be very tempting to buy if only I had bigger feet. I love the slouchy nature of them and I think they would go really well with a pirate costume.

Addicted to Mermaids' pixie felt boots are fabulous, gorgeous, yummy and scrumtastic. If I could get a pair with a sole for outdoors on them I would consider buying these too. They would fit in perfectly with the Pirate Pixie Crew image.

Now these ones are pretty much the archetypal boot most people imagine when you say Pirate boots. Deer Heart Vintage is selling these vintage over the knee suede black boots and are probably the style I will end up purchasing as they will go with almost any costume colour.

Lastly I had to share this cute boots from Florence in a box. I think they are a fantastic design, easy to wear shape and totally handmade. I'm very tempted to go for a purple pair. They would not only look great with costumes but also jeans and big floaty long skirts. I love them!

I'm off to keep on searching for my perfect pair of boots. Have a fantastic day!

Written by Lynne of the Pirate Pixie Crew and Hyperloop Hoops

26 Jul 2009

Artisan of the Week, Helen of The Beading Lady

This weeks Artisan is the lovely Helen of The Beading Lady shops. She has her main shop on Misi and 2 others on Folksy and Etsy. She quite obviously has a love of beads and all things shiny and uses that love to the maximum in her shop. I'll let her tell you a bit more about herself and her work.

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
Hi, I'm Helen ~ The Beading Lady. I make beaded jewellery and accessories. I work mainly with silver plated findings and glass beads but am getting more and more adventurous as time goes by.

I started my jewellery crafting with memory wire bracelets 2 years ago but about 6 months ago I decided to begin combining my lovely memory wire bracelets with a card. My hubby's suggestion at 11pm one night ~ which of course kept me up all night thinking how it could be done. When I started actually selling the Beaded Bracelet Cards I thought perhaps there were other types of jewellery and accessories that I might be able to make and perhaps sell. I started listing on the Misi site in November / December 2008 and haven't looked back since.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
I went to a jewellery making party at a friend's house and really enjoyed making the memory wire beaded bracelet. A few days later I started looking at where I could buy the equipment from and what I would need. To begin with it was relatively simple but as I've become more and more creative, I find myself needing more and more tools and beads. Hubby is not amused but as some of my sales paid for a few of the kiddies Christmas presents, he can't complain too much.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
I love to just sit with a pile of beads and see what they become. I can sit down thinking I will make a bracelet with this little pile and suddenly it becomes 2 handbag charms instead. I also love to show my daughter ~ she's my biggest supporter and is always quick to point out any mistakes I may have made in patterned jewellery.

4. Which part do you find hardest?
The hardest part for me is knowing when to stop. I am a Mum to two children and I am also a Virtual Assistant working from home. It's so tempting to sit down with my beads once I've dropped the children at school instead of getting on with some typing work or doing the housework.

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
In one year's time I would love to still be sitting at my crafting table making beaded jewellery but the difference would be that I wouldn't be as worried about money as my jewellery would be selling like hotcakes.

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Not to give up. It's so tempting to say "oh that didn't work, I'll not bother" but I've found that whenever I'm tempted to give up, I have a fantastic, supportive hubby who gives me a gentle push. If something doesn't work the first time, try again but in a slightly different way.

7. Could you name artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
I think Misi has the most amazing crafters listed there. Mostly UK based they are all so gifted and also really supportive on the forum too. I'm not actually sure I could name just one.

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
My favourite sandwich filling is chicken mayonnaise but not just any chicken mayonnaise. There is this little teashop on the other side of our village run by this tremendously grumpy man but he makes the best chicken mayonnaise sandwiches I have ever tasted. It's a "Mummy" treat to go there with a few friends while the children are at school.

Thank you Helen for taking part in our blog. I hope that you get your wish for a years time and that you have lots of success. I agree with you that there is a lot of talented crafts people selling on Misi. the site is well worth a visit and a search around. Dear readers if you'd like to check out more of The beading Lady's shops and her blog take a visit.

Written by Lynne of Pirate Pixie Crew and Hyperloop Hoops

23 Jul 2009

Wedding Celebrations

To celebrate the wedding of Jon's mum and Tony, her lovely Dutch partner this weekend and Mithi and Drew fabulous wedding last weekend, I thought I'd pick out a few hand crafted goods made as weddings in mind.

To start off with traditional weddings need rings. Mithi and Drew made their own rings with the help of Anna Lovell, which gave them that extra special meaning, but if you don't feel so crafty Laurie Sarah has a gorgeous selection of handmade rings.

I have never seen anything like this amazing head piece from Hatastic. This half cut nautilus shell has been reclaimed and used to create this show stopper of a head dress. The iridescence of the shell is stunning. Weddings are one time you can really dress up, so why not go all the way and splash out on this one off piece.

If you'd like a more princess look for your wedding outfit this tiara from Celdesign would be perfect. It's sparkly and showy but in a modest stylish way. It could be used in conjunction with a veil if you like or just weaved into your pinned up hair for a more simple look.

Every little girl going to a wedding likes to getting dressed up as a good luck bringing fairy and this dress from Masamuals will allow them to do that. In Ivory and gold it will go with most colour schemes. Maybe by adding some small little wings will make that little girl feel even more special.

Corsages are also a tradition for weddings and as I'm not a big fan of cut flowers I went on a search for an alternative and this organza flower from Tamsyn Amber fulfils the job perfectly. It is so pretty, stylish and simple and it is something that you can keep forever as a reminder of the big day.

If you are getting married soon I'd like to wish you a happy life with your new life partner. If you are going to someones wedding I hope you have lots of fun and enjoy the day as much as Jon and I enjoyed Mithi and Drew's wedding last weekend. It reflected who they are and what is important in their lives perfectly and we were honored to be able to be part of it all. This weekends wedding is going to be a more formal affair and I'm looking forward to seeing Jon's mun and Tony making their vows, as they make a perfect couple.

Written by Lynne of Pirate Pixie Crew and Hyperloop Hoops

22 Jul 2009

I spy with my little eye

Recently I've been noticing a change in my eye sight. I find when I look up from working for a long time I can't get things into focus very quickly. I'm sure it's just an age thing, but it's bugging me so much I think I better go and get my eyes tested by an optician. The thought of having to wear glasses after having 20/20 vision all my life isn't my idea of fun. I'm the only person in my family that has so far not had to wear glasses, but I think soon that time is going to come and knowing the annoyance glasses have become for my sister, because of the various glasses she has to wear for doing different things, I'm not relishing the though.

Not only is it the wearing of them it's the cost of them that puts me off, but then I found this listing from Patty Mara of some vintage glasses and it gave me the idea of buying gorgeous pre-owned glasses frames and just having lenses made to fit.

Fanciful Devices' spectacle necklace got me thinking about nice ways of wearing glasses for close up work around my neck so I wouldn't keep putting them down and losing them. The only thing is I don't want them to make me look like a maiden aunt.

JYates mirror stickers reminded me that glasses don't have to be all about getting better vision. They can be about fun and style too. I love the idea of being able to try out a load of frame shapes, to find out which suit you, in one go by sticking them all to a mirror.

I'm also thinking, do I really have to stick with traditional styles of frames. EDM Designs has given me a bit of an idea about having something a bit more exciting and different. Those magnifying lenses could be just what I need for close up work.

The last thing I thought about was, if I have glasses I need a case to keep them safe in when I'm not wearing them. Atelier De Soyun has this pretty hemp textured fabric case, but there are loads of others out there if you want something a bit more off the wall. Maybe I could have various cases to suit my mood of the day.

I guess I better bite the bullet and get down to the opticians and make sure my eyes are ok and check that my problem is nothing more than aging eyes. There are loads of conditions that can be picked up by an optician, so remember to go along and get them to check you out every couple of years. Don't be like me, leaving it until you have a problem.

Written by Lynne of PiratePixieCrew and Hyperloop Hoops

21 Jul 2009

Rabbit Dreams

I had a very strange dream last night that involved lots of bright orange rabbit's doing strange dances around other rabbits, that were a rainbow or colours, of in a field full of flowers. The orange rabbits were full of joy and happiness and as they danced their smiles and happiness were passed on through the rest of the rabbits until all of them were grinning ear to ear. As more rabbits smiled more flowers burst open displaying huge vibrant coloured petals and stamen gorged in bright orange and yellow pollen ... I have no idea what it means but it was very pretty.

Tobyboo bunny may not be dancing, but this mint coloured bunny has a very special use. It is a tooth bunny. It keeps any tooth, that has fallen out, safe until the tooth fairy can come and pick it up. It has a pocket inside that is lined in spotty fabric to make sure that tooth stays safe.

This tea cosy from Rosy Tint is just so cute. The flowers, grass, toadstool and bunnies are just so much fun. It can keep your tea warm and give you a giggle first thing in the morning. I love the way the bunnies are burrowing into the grass.

I don't often use photos with water marks on this blog but this plumber bunny from Amigurumi just made me laugh out loud. The thought of a rabbit with a drain plunger turning up when you call the plumber around to unblock the sink just tickled my funny bone.

Sola Sola created this beautiful felt bunny called Fedor and once she had she found out that Fedor liked to be out in the coldest Russian winter. To be kind to his feet Sola Sola made him some boots to wear to keep his toes warm. They'd be a bit hard to dance in though, being as they are, so big.

MouMou rabbit has some flowers in it's ears and seems to be red in the face, so maybe it has been dancing so fast it got a bit flushed and caught up some of the flowers in his giant ears. I think he needs a drink of water and a small cuddle to revive him.

Strange dreams are always coming to me and most of them don't really seem to make all that much sense or have any meaning to them, but I'm glad I have them. It makes sleeping so much more interesting!

Written by Lynne of Pirate Pixie Crew and Hyperloop Hoops

20 Jul 2009


When we were little children I used to love going up the mountain behind my grandparents house to play on the grass and to the wade in the little streams and rivers that flowed down it. The wildlife the water attracted always excited me, but of all the creatures we found there the shimmering sparkling dragonflies were always my favourite to watch. Their shiny iridescent wings and bodies fascinated me. No matter how I tried I could not capture their beauty with coloured pencils or crayons, and photographs I took didn't sparkle as beautifully as they did, so I decided that they must be magical creatures and that was why I could not replicate them. Funny how a child's mind works. Ever since then I have always loved dragonflies.
Kim Winkeler Photography had no such problems getting her photographs as this one show. A dew covered Dragonfly is an amazing thing to find, let alone capture it with a camera. It's an amazing photograph! I am quite envious of the talent that capturing this picture must have taken.

Ruby Spirit Designs has created this beautiful dragonfly necklace with a large feature pendant. You can't see in this shot of it the small dragonfly details further up the chain (click the photo to go to the listing to see other photos) , all details that show lots of thought went into the making of this piece.

Oh my! I saw this painting by Lancaster Art and immediately I was just drawn in to see how it was painted. It looks like a fossilised dragonfly rather than a painting. Something about the monochrome colours used and the depth of the canvas adds to that feeling. I think it's fantastic!

Bead Art by Houkje must be a very, very patient as well as talented person. All the hundreds of seed beads that went in to the creating of the wings on this dragonfly must have taken many hours to make. They sparkle amazingly and really do have the feel of just how a dragonfly's wings look. Great work!

Rustic Diva Designs painting screamed out at me "Pick me to feature" when I was looking for dragonflies to share. The purples, blues, reds, yellows, turquoise and yellows all work so well together. It's bright, bold and makes me feel happy just by looking at it. Huzzah for colours and painters that know how to use them!

What's a favourite creature from your childhood? Run off now and see what beautiful handmade goods can you find made with that creature in mind. Write a blog about the items you like and come back here and link me to the blog. I'd love to see what you find.

Written my Lynne of Hyperloop Hoops and Pirate Pixie Crew

19 Jul 2009

Artisan of the Week, Ruth of Sumptuosity

Happy Sunday everyone. Today we will be introducing you to the small company Sumptuosity. Ruth, the lead designer from the company, has agreed to tell us a little about herself and and her roll in Sumptuosity. This company consists of 4 people who all work together towards the making and selling of some of the most gorgeous pieces I've seen in a long time. I really am smitten with their designs and workmanship.

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
Hello My name is Ruth and I am one of the founding members of Sumptuosity, I am also the chief embroiderer. At Sumptuosity we design and make small gift items using free hand machine embroidery, silk and lots of vintage fabrics. Our range currently runs from single button brooches to handbag mirrors, bookmarks, notebooks and lavender bags.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
I started to sew again in the Summer of 2000 (the first time since I had been at School due to a horrible sewing teacher!) and as a release from the pressures of writing up my Ph.D thesis. The idea of turning the craft into a business was entirely the influence of my 'go-getting' husband. The second major influence was going to a talk and demonstration of the artist Naseem Darby. Life was never the same again after that.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
The best and most enjoyable part of my work is the embroidery. I absolutely love to do my freehand embroidery and really enjoy that first switch on of the sewing machine in the morning.

4. Which part do you find hardest?
The hardest part for me is definitely delegation, as I hate to tell other people what to do and I am always reluctant to give up any of my designs for others to sew.

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
In a year's time I hope that the business will be preparing for the New York International Gift Fair - fingers crossed.

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice that I ever heard was in the talk that Naseem Darby gave - she said that in regards to free-hand machine embroidery, people should just have a go, enjoy it and not 'worry' about getting it wrong; as there was no such thing as getting it wrong, broken thread, broken needles were all part of the experience. Just go for it.

7. Could you name artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
I would definitely recommend that people look at Naseem Darby's website. Also have a look at Naive Textile Art, a wonderful mother and daughter team that I have met at trade shows and have been very impressed with their work.

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
My favourite sandwich filling is Falafal, hummous, sweet chili sauce and lettuce all stuffed into a wholemeal pitta bread. Yum!

Thank you Ruth for sharing a little bit of information about your business and life. I was drawn to your work firstly by the freeform frogs. I have a thing about frogs. I think they are gorgeous, so you drew me in and the more I looked through your website the more I liked. Check out what I mean readers. The site is full of utterly fantastic items.

Written by Lynne of Pirate Pixie Crew and Hyperloop Hoops

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