Thursday, 8 December 2011

It's all been a little hectic...

Well I guess there's no two ways about it - I have certainly been slack on the blogging front recently! I apologise if any of you have missed by regular ramblings, but things have been so hectic here at made by lolly x HQ that 16 hour sewing days haven't been unusual!
(And I've become addicted to Twitter!)

I've been busy with my Autumn/Winter ranges which started with the 'Poppy Fields' Collection and has now become the Christmas Collection. 
As you can see my new colour fascination is red!

Both ranges have been extremely popular and have been featured at The Gift Gallery on the Shambles in York and at the Wonderfully Made art and craft exhibition in Silkstone (as well as still being available in my Folksy shop!) I've also held my first ever gift party, taken my first ever workshop, attended five times more events than last year and had a massive bunch of custom orders!

So, I'll hope you'll forgive me for not being around as much!

But, it's all starting to quiet down - a least a little bit! My last fair of the season is this weekend, so I shall soon be able to start to wind down (unless all my online customers are leaving it all to the last minute!)

The fair is to be held at Elsecar Heritage Centre near Barnsley - and should be a fantastic event! Not only is it quite near where I live (so no super early get up!) but lots of my friends will be there too! A full line-up of the 68 different exhibitors can be found on the Script Events website here, but I would definitely check out Our Little Craft Company, Chic-yCow and Curious Cat Creative!

So, if you are looking to support handmade this Christmas, and you live local to Barnsley - get yourself down to Elsecar Heritage Centre on the 10th and 11th between 10am and 4pm!

Don't worry if you're not local - you can still shop handmade via my online shop right up until the 19th December 
But... don't leave it too late -
I'm expecting some items to sell out at this weekend's fair!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Just like Christmas... A visit from the supplies fairy!

Oooh the anticipation!
By now you probably know that I like to be frugal and thrifty whenever I can, and will only buy from large retailers when I have to (which is still more often than I like!) But, just because I keep a tight hold of my purse strings doesn't mean I don't get excited when the supplies fairy leaves a parcel of goodies at my door!

Let me at it!
A short while ago I took advantage of a too-good-to-miss offer with Panduro who were very generously offering a whopping 40% of all goods from their very extensive craft catalogue! Although I have used them before and have really liked the quality of their products as well as the massive amount of choice, I don't order very often as some of the prices can be much higher than you can find elsewhere.

The excitement builds...

BUT... 40% discount was too-good-to-miss, and this is what I bought:

Et voilĂ !
1 large square scrapbooking frame, 13 blank A6 notebooks, 2 oval wooden boxes, 1 straw wreath, 1 wooden chicken, a packet of toadstools and 1m of fine black netting!

And this is what I made with some of the contents of my parcel:

As you can see I have a bit of a thing for red at the moment!
(and it's a good thing too - since Poppy season is upon us and all I've been doing for the last 2 weeks is making poppies!)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Tuesday Tips - Be Thrifty!

Who says you have to pay over the odds for craft materials?
Not me, that's for sure!

If you can't forage for your craft materials (see last weeks blog here) then at least try to be thrifty when buying them! Look:

A lovely beaded necklace found for sale at the local junk market/bootfair for only 50p! Really not my style at all, but a fabulous source of beads - and I bet it'll work out cheaper than buying from any 'normal' retailer!
Give them a wash off in warm soapy water, then carefully de-string them all, and just look at all those beads!

In total the necklace yielded approximately 100g of seed beads for 50p - buy something similar from Hobbycraft and you would be paying 99p for just 15g!

Now I understand that it's not always possible to source all of the materials you need from 'alternative' sources - I still have to pay for the majority of my materials from every-day retailers, but it really doesn't hurt to keep your eyes peeled when you're out and about.... who knows what you might find!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tuesday Tips - Foraging, but not just for food!

I've always had an interest in foraging, but over the last few years as our income has reduced and we have moved closer to the countryside I have had both the need and the opportunity to take up this little habit!

Foraged Cherry Plums and Blackberries
I'm not always as prepared as I should be and often have to miss out because I lack a suitable bag in which to carry my 'finds' home in (no matter how gentle you are, blackberries will always squash, staining everything in sight! This is the one occasion when there is just no better portable carrying device other than the plastic bag!)

Foraged Fruit Compote
Windfall Chutney
I'm also not as organised as I should be, and have missed out on entire crops because I forgot to walk down the lane at precisely the right week in June! At times I've been incredibly naughty and not got round to using some windfall fruit that I was given until it was fit for nothing other than the compost bin.

But despite it all I have managed to make some lovely 'Foraged Fruit Compote' (entirely from my own recipe!) and 'Windfall Chutney' (from a fab recipe in Jam, Jelly and Relish by Ghillie James)

BUT... did you know that you don't have to limit foraging to foodstuffs?

Being a crafty lass, I am a bit of a magpie when it comes to haberdashery.... buttons, ribbons, buckles, do-dahs and gee-gaws - I have to keep them all! I will remove ribbons and buttons from all my old clothes before they are recycled, shrink any woollen item to make felt and basically pinch anything pretty to re-use it somewhere else! Now this obsession has spread across my family and every time I return home to Mum I find that she has managed to collect together all sorts of bits and pieces from the people she knows!

This is just a small selection of what I returned with last time....

Feathers, buttons, ribbons, petals, sequins and wooden shapes...
And fabulously - once people know that you like collecting crafty items they often do all the foraging for you, and you'll find that every time you go to visit you'll come away with 
'a few little bits I thought you could use'
And one day, if you are very lucky you may just find that someone passes on that holy grail of craft foragers 'Mum's Button Tin'

Friday, 23 September 2011

Folksy Friday - The September Embers - Update!

Large imageWe're more than half way through the month, and although I may not have been able to list every day, I have definitely been more successful than at previous attempts at daily listings clubs!

So far I have managed to list 10 items - including one of my new favourites - this Blooming Petals Rainbow Brooch made from four different colours of felt. This version - although it looks simple - is actually very complicated to do! Each individual petal features three different colours of felt and it is incredibly important to make sure they all line up properly as if each petal is not aligned exactly the same, everything looks really weird!

Anyway, what I wanted to share with you were some more of my favourite colourful items from other members of the club! (I bet they've managed to list more times than me!) If you click on any of the names you will be taken to the listing for that item - or if you would like to see more work by the September Embers you could always try the Folksy Forums - there is always a link to the listing clubs on the chittah chattah thread!

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Laura Faye Crafts
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The Glass Boutique
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Ritzy Swish
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Dottery Pottery
Girl of the Sixties
Carols Crafts

Well, I'm off to see whether I can get a few more items listed and catch up for this month - either that or sit down now and start preparing ready for next months club....!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tuesday Tips - Buy Out-of-Season...

Buy out-of-season? Have I gone totally mad? Well, if I was talking about fruit and veg, then you would totally have my permission to be shocked and horrified! Of course, when we're talking about fresh produce the mantra must always be, buy local, buy fresh and buy in season (or even better go foraging!)

But today I'm not talking about fresh produce - I'm talking about Winter accessories! In this category, it can often be prudent to buy out-of-season. So many bargains to be had!

Here I can be seen modelling my brand new Winter scarf and hat. The scarf was bought in an Oxfam charity shop on a scorching hot day whilst I was on holiday in Whitby, and the felt beret was bought for a bargain £2 in the Matalan Summer sale! Both items were significantly cheaper then than they will be by the time the cold weather comes round - and... how smug will I be on that first day when the temperature suddenly drops and no one is prepared!

Ok, so the cheap sparkly bow may not be entirely to my taste - but that's not a problem! A few simple snips and it has been removed - ready to be replaced with a brooch from my new 'Monochrome' Collection! The only question is... which one shall I use?!

Many of the brooches seen here are currently making their debut at Otley Court House Art and Resource Centre - and can be seen there throughout the whole of September!
I will be listing them very soon in my Folksy shop but if you can't wait that long and would like a custom order you can email me at : or leave a comment on my facebook page:

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Folksy Friday - The September Embers

Well this Summer was the coldest on record since 1993 and although I can remember a few sunny days and seem to have rather ruddy looking tanned arms (well ruddy-ish compared to how lily white they usually look!) this Summer seems to have come and gone without me noticing!

Time is ticking away, and before I can say 'mine's a 99 with extra sprinkles' Bam! it's September which means that before too long the dreaded 'C' word will be upon us once more!

In a desperate attempt to make sure that made by lolly x is prepared for Christmas (oops I said it!) even if I'm not, I have decided to take part in this months daily listing club on Folksy. The aim is to list a new item every day - or as often as possible - and then to share your items, as well as those of other people in the club on Twitter, Craftjuice, Facebook, Flickr, blogger... you get the idea!

So... I will start as I mean to go on, with a Folksy Friday collection from other brave souls who have also decided to take part in the club! 

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I will also be doing some #FF shout outs on Twitter for those September Embers that are taking part! If anyone wants to follow me I can be found at @madebylolly

Good Luck to everyone - may the sales fairy visit often
Laura x

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tuesday Tips - I can see clearly now...

Grandma's Miniature Market
... the dust has gone!

If you are looking for a little clarity in your life, I can strongly recommend a duster or a damp cloth! It surprising how a simple tool can make life seem so much brighter!

Now I am no domestic goddess that's for sure - I certainly can't compare myself to the buxom beauty that is Nigella Lawson - nor am I anywhere near being a perfect housewife in the mould of Anthea Turner. But I would like it put on the record that even though I do not measure up to these two - neither do I need the help of Kim and Aggie!

However, this being said, I am no fan of cleaning and will quite happily find 101 things to do to avoid housework of any kind! But occasionally, just occasionally there comes an event that requires some concerted effort. These kinds of events have a scale of intensity:

Super Deep Clean
This is the most intense of all the events and only happens once every two/three years (precipitated by a move from one rented property to another!)

Deep Clean
Happens twice a year - once when the OH's parents visit and once when mine visit!

A Quick Top to Bottom
Happens about three times a year and is in addition to the other events. Usually occurs when a friend we haven't seen for a while decides to come to stay!

When you see the landlord walking purposefully towards the house...

This is the usual level of cleaning event where we do our best to keep on top of things, but can't quite be bothered!

Recently we had a visit from the OH's parents so we went into full 'Deep Clean' mode - dusting things you never think of dusting (well I certainly don't!) So, skirting boards, radiators, the tops of doors, behind the sofa... everywhere that was anywhere got a dusting! I could have challenged Anthea to come round to mine and do the white glove test I'm sure!

But this brings me on to the point of this blog post, and today's Tuesday Tip - or should I say Tips plural as my tip today varies depending on the type of personality you are!

If you are a straight talking realist who approaches life head-on, likes to know the warts and all truth of any situation, who likes things to be clear defined and seeks clarity....

 It is amazing what is revealed!

If you prefer to approach life from a slightly sideways sidle, prefer your bad news sugar coated - or to remain in blissful ignorance and don't like to look at things too closely....

The shock of seeing the world as it really is may just be too much!

And me... If I had the choice? Well, the occasional short, sharp shock is good for the system - like jumping into cold water or ripping a plaster off - but now, the in-laws have gone, and there will be no urgent need to dust my mirrors for a couple of months...

....ahh blissful ignorance!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Monday Makeover - Felt Scraps

Because of the weird and wonderful shapes I use to create my folded felt brooches and accessories, I often have lots of odd scraps of felt left over that are just begging me to create something! 
So... A couple of weeks ago when I had a few spare minutes I sat down, had a play, started folding and cutting and voilĂ  an idea was born!

Take some scraps of fabric...
Cut to shape...
Lay out the design...
Decorate with beads and stuff with wadding and lavender...

 ...and before you know it, some beautiful mini lavender scented sachets, that look ever so pretty!
Perfect to use as air fresheners, the delicate scent of lavender will sooth and relax you - try hanging in your wardrobe or in the car (much nicer than one of those little smelly trees you buy from garages!)

Or... If the hot weather has been giving you sweaty feet and smelly shoes - try using the sachets to freshen your shoes. Their dinky little shape means they fit perfectly!

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