24 Dec 2011

have yourself a merry little christmas

To all my readers and fellow crafters, I wish you all a merry christmas filled with love and cheer :)

21 Dec 2011

sad, sad times

Just wanted to pop in and say that we lost my beautiful Auntie Christine a few weeks ago. She was a brave, hilarious lady and we will all miss her so much. She was a straight talking woman with a wicked sense of humour and a dirty laugh! My Uncle was with her every minute, and I don't really know what he will do without her. So we are excited about christmas with the kids, but kinda not as well...

Grab every minute with both hands, life is way too short

10 Oct 2011

cheeky chappies

I have started my Christmas crafting in good time this year for a change :)
I am making felt hanging decorations for the tree and mirrors/picture frames.

I wanted a round shape like a bauble, but something cute.
After messing around with paper and card (Maltesers boxes are the perfect colour!) I came up with these cheeky robins.

They have plaited yarn legs with 3 little toes, and black beady eyes.

They are all slightly unique as I have hand cut and stitched each one.

Their little tummies are lightly padded with fabric scraps from other projects.
The wings are only stitched at the front so they are 3D.

I am enjoying creating these cheeky chappies immensely, and I have got a few orders from family and friends too.

So when ours have enough little buddies for the tree, I will be making more to fly to other nests :)
These measure about 3 inches (8cm) across, but I have had a request for a huge fat cushion version so I'm looking forward to making him!

23 Sep 2011

a bit more grown up...

So now I'm a bit more grown up, I read anything.
Crime, romance, teen fiction, travel writing, science, children's books, history, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, comedy, autobiographies: whatever takes my fancy.
And all interspersed with a good helping of psychology and sociology (I'm hoping to go back into teaching when little brother starts school).

Craft, art and design books are my guilty pleasure. They are normally inordinately expensive, but so beautiful and inspiring that you just cannae leave them on the shelf.

I still love crime novels. Mo Hayder books keep me up all night (both reading them and thinking about them). That handprint on the little boy's window...

bill hicks

As my last two posts had a quote from the man himself as the title, it's only fair that I put a little linkie to the clip it's from :)

Warning: contains bad words. There you go, you were warned...

bill hicks: looks like we got ourselves a reader

looks like we got ourselves a reader 2: more booky goodness

I used to be quite fussy about what I read, and stuck to a few favourite authors as a young teenager.
I started on Christopher Pike, and read each in a night.
Then I moved onto adult books by around 13.
Dean Koontz was definitely in my top five.

And Shaun Hutson.

I loved Misery, but have never been a big fan of Stephen King
(don't all gasp at once).
David Martin was also in there.
And Robert Ludlum never fails to excite and delight.

Anything a bit scary with a smattering of blood n guts was right up my literary alley.

Then I discovered James Patterson and had to read the back catalogue one after the other until I caught up!

My boyfriend of the time introduced me to fantasy (calm down, you know what I mean).
We were full on hair swinging moshers then, and fantasy seemed to go hand in hand with that somehow (both still are actually, his hair is longer than mine!)
R.A.Salvatore is amazing! I was in love with Wulfgar...

Just remembering these books makes me want to re-read them.
And I never do that. Ever.

So many books, so little time.

5 Sep 2011

Looks like we got ourselves a reader

I love reading. Love it. Always have.
I started on Peter and Jane books from Ladybird.

I was a keen and fast learner and my Mum always encouraged me. She subscribed to the Humpty Dumpty Club for me, and I got a big package every month.

It had books, puzzles, games and flash cards. Nobody else I have asked has ever heard of this. When I Googled it today, I found a huge forum of people saying exactly the same, and many of them have kept some bits and pieces. My girls have the animal dominoes and alphabet cards. I also still have some of the books (they are nicely illustrated but some are racist by today's standards, as was the norm)

As a child my favourites were Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl - no surprises there.

I read the Garden Gang, and of course Mr.Men and Little Miss.

I had a huge appetite for books. When I ran out of fiction I read a twelve volume encyclopedia. [My uncle did the same thing when he was suffering with mental illness - I've never made that connection before.]

I also spent hours copying out pages or even chapters from books. Being an only child obviously had a profound effect on me!

I'm hoping the monkeys will love books as much as I do. They certainly have plenty to keep them going. Little Sister is just learning to read now, and she is picking it up so fast. We know she is very bright, but have still been surprised how she absorbs and remembers.

Next time I will waffle about my favourite authors in my teenage years :)

22 Aug 2011

The "C" word

I'm starting to think about homemade gifts for our family Christmas this year.
Last year's homemade Christmas was much more successful than I'd hoped.
Although it did take me months to knit 3 scarves: hence why I'm thinking about it in September this year.

When Big Brother was 3 and Big Sister was 364 days old (boxing day baby) I was disappointed that I didn't finish the personalised stockings I had started in November.
That was in 2004, and I found all the pieces in a box in my craft cupboard a few weeks ago.
I hang my head in crafty shame.

The girls are so crafty and creative. Little Sister's nursery school report said her drawings and creations inspire the rest of the class to emulate her!
Little Brother has become fascinated with stationery already...I've taught him well.
He will do anything for a glue stick or paintbrush.
His most recent creation was a get well card for his little girl friend next door who has fractured her leg.
(He picks all Daddy's flowers and passes them through the fence to her, they are BFFs)

Big Brother is also very creative, but in a shy way.
He hides his creations until he has edited and remade them to his exacting standards.

I will certainly have another bash at personalised stockings or present sacks this year.
We are lucky enough to have 4 monkeys now, so I better get cracking.

I was feeling all positive then.
Til I told Hubs I am going to take some piccies to put in this post.
He suggested I take a photo of the big cardboard box in the girls' room.
He is referring, of course, to the beautiful wooden doll's house I bought 4 years ago and never built.

A property developer could have built 2812 super apartments in 4 years.
The ones for people with a love of miniature furniture and no desire to stretch their legs whilst watching TV.
Unless they want to turn the compact dishwasher into a foot spa.

Me, on the other hand, well I've managed to paint the basement an authentic Georgian shade of blue. Oh I know. I amaze myself.

This doll's house (hereafter referred to simply as "the house") is a little thorn in the side of my self image as a good, caring mother.
I had grand plans for "the house". Grand Designs even (ahem).
I even toyed (hehe) with the idea of a conservatory for the little dolls to spend sunny afternoons in.
I designed wallpaper on the computer to print out and hang up. They were going to be rich dolls, obviously.

I bought many wonderful books on the subject of building and furnishing Doll's Houses. Which goes without saying for me really.
I have never met a subject I couldn't spend months reading about and then run out of time to actually try.

All of which brings me back to the big box. "The House".
I scuttle off to the kitchen and return triumphant.

Behold the airfix models I bought Hubs 2 birthdays ago. BNIB as they say on eBay...

The Defense rests, Your Honour.

21 Aug 2011

no more whinging for a while...


I said I was going to take a few days to do some thinking and that ended up being a few weeks.

I have taken away the pressure to create every day by dropping out of the daily listing club on Folksy for a while. And guess what...
My creativity has returned :)

I tried to turn my passion for making things into a small business, and it just seemed to take all the fun out of it.

The pressure to sell stuff, and worrying if people will like it was overwhelming for a while - how silly! When I think what people are going through every day, and what is important to me, I feel a bit daft stressing out over brooches and bags.

My lovely Hubs has fished the smashed memory card out of my camera slot (don't even ask) so now I can take some pics and show you what I've been up to for the last couple of weeks.

The only crafting time I get is when the monkeys have gone to bed and me and Hubs crack open the DVD boxsets. He sits at one end of the sofa working on his laptop, and I sit at the other sewing, snipping and generally faffing. Hence my late night craftiness is usually powered by:

29 Jun 2011


yep that's me...
can't put my finger on it this week but I'm in a foul mood. I never let people see me down or depressed, but even I can't hide it lately. My energy levels are zero, and my motivation is in minus figures I think. I am lucky I have 4 little monkeys to keep me busy I think.

I have started a couple of projects lately but abandoned them, not knowing what I don't like about them. Everything I make just looks rubbish.

I don't even know where this has all come from. I have suffered with depression since I had it after the birth of our second baby. It comes and goes but seems to have gone for longer this time before it wandered back in, so I think I got cocky and thought I was over all that!

I am taking a few days to have a good long think about what I'm doing, where I'm going, and what I'm going to do about it, and hopefully I will be back soon with less whinging...

24 Jun 2011

Folksy Friday: the Fabulous Fifties

As my lovely Mum in Law Marie is 60 this weekend, I have chosen the 1950s, when she was born, as this week's folksy friday theme. What a great era for design and fashion! I would have loved to be around then. And in the 20s and 30s. And 40s. And 70s. I was just born in the wrong decade basically! Click on the pic to visit the shop :)

Vintage red polka dot chair from Dear Old Blighty

Phil's Drive In pin up girl bag from Uniquely Different

T-Bird T-Shirt from Retro Without a Cause

50's Hostess Apron from Jacqueline Jones

Pretty Penny 50s Charm Bracelet from Pinup Trash

Vintage Cushion Cover from Audrey's Cat
If you are a fan of retro fabric this lady is the lady to know - check out her shop!

20 Jun 2011

I've got to admit...

I hate promoting myself.

I love designing things. I love sketching new ideas. I love shopping for materials, and finding amazing treasures to recycle. I love sewing. I love jewellery making. I even love ironing (only projects - not proper ironing with clothes and stuff).

But I can't be faffed with all this self promotion stuff. And now everyone keeps telling me it's the most important part of what I do. Damn! Really? Are you sure? If I just make cute little things and put them in cyberspace, won't they find their way to new owners? No? Oh...

I use twitter, and chat to some lovely people. And I do tweet about my shop and products...sometimes. My PR man (hubs) says I should put a link to my twitter profile here >>>
maytreelane on twitter

I have a facebook business page, and I put photos of new products on there...sometimes. PR man is watching, better give you a link >>> maytreelane UK on facebook

And my folksy shop is where you can find the aforementioned little things >>>
maytreelane's folksy shop

But if I'm honest, joking aside, I would rather just be sewing! I would love to make a small living (or even a modest contribution!) doing what I love, but am I willing to be a shameless self promoter if that's what it takes? I'm still not sure...

If I sold enough to pay for more lovely fabric, buttons and beads without going bankrupt, then maybe that's good enough. I love my hobby, and I wonder if turning it into a small business would spoil it?

How have you all found the switch from hobby to selling? I'd love to hear your experiences - and tips!
Lisamarie xx

8 Jun 2011

still here...

just to let you know I'm still alive :)
the monkeys are off school and we have been away in Wales with NO internet!!
normal service will resume soon :)
lisamarie x

19 May 2011

Folksy friday: this little piggy went to market...

My folksy Friday this week was indirectly inspired by a lovely lady from America called Deanna.
She is a quilter, and sent me a lovely package of fabric scraps from her projects.
New fabric makes me a bit giddy, and it's great to get all sorts of things you wouldn't have found or chosen yourself.
There were some animal prints, and I couldn't resist these little piggies so I put them on a fabric collage and added a keyring.

Here are my favourite piggy items from folksy. Just click on the pics to visit the shops and have a snuffle around :)

dottery pottery - ceramic pig brooch

top sock drawer - petunia the pig

diomo glass - pink pig suncatcher

lynwood crafts - peony pig brooch

with hugs and kisses - baby pig booties

lej jewellery - glass pig bracelet

sky blooms - large flying pig windsock

hollowbourne - flying pig copper brooch