Thursday, 28 April 2011

Confession... and Competition Time!

Forgive me bloggers for I have sinned.... It is over a week since I last blogged...

But bloggers that is not the reason for my confession. It is something much more serious - I have a dreadful and embarrassing habit, an addiction almost. The harder I try to control it the worse it seems to get. I fear there will be no cure only brief moments of respite and relapse before the craze takes hold again. Everywhere I go I am seeking to satisfy my craving and search out places where I will be able to indulge myself. However, each source of satisfaction is never as good as the one that came before or the one that might come after and I remain on an endless quest to obtain my fix.

It is the most terrible affliction - I am turning into a junk junkie!

Image from
The signs were always there. For nearly 10 years of my life I worked for British Heart Foundation in many of their shops, and there was rarely a week that went by when I didn't have a pile of stuff to purchase at the end of Saturday! I'd like to say that this was how it all began, but I can remember much further back to my childhood and using the pennies from my pocket money to purchase plastic gee-gaws from the local boot fair!

Some recent purchases....
And it really is getting worse. On my recent holiday to the Isle of Wight I dragged the other half round charity shops, flea markets, indoor markets and yes... even a boot fair! And for my sins I found a gorgeous Monsoon dress, a red clock shaped liked a birdhouse to go in the kitchen and three vintage dressmaking patterns - a bargain at only 10p each! Luckily he doesn't mind - just so long as we indulge his passion for dusty second hand book shops too!

So really this obsession is long lasting, deeply rooted and impossible to cure... 
so I'm not going to try!

But this leads me on to my competition...
...and my second confession! I have recently surpassed 100 blog followers and have let the occasion go by without so much as a thank you. No celebration, no fanfare and certainly no giveaway. It is now time to rectify that situation!

For the next week, all blog followers have the opportunity to win one of my famous goody bags containing a selection of goodies made using treasures I have gathered on my travels - all in return for a helping me indulge my passion for junk! The Goody Bag will be purple themed and will contain one of my new Summer Scarves (made from vintage fabric!), a matching Felt Brooch, a Wristlet Keyring and a Gift Card.

To enter all you have to do is:
  1. Become a blog follower - if you aren't already!
  2. Leave a comment telling me the name of the town in the UK where you have found either the most or the best charity/junk/flea/shops/market/boot fairs!
    That's it! You get the chance to win a goody bag, I get to find out the best places in the UK to go shopping! Who knows, I may even do a couple of special trips and report back what I found!

    Good Luck - I can't wait to see your suggestions! 

    Here's the small print: The winner will be picked using a random number generator on Sunday 8th May at 6pm. You must be a blog follower to enter, and you must leave a comment under this blog post. The winner will be announced on this blog and receive  the items pictured (a Summer Scarf with matching Felt Brooch, a Wristlet Keyring and a Gift Card) which will be posted free of charge to a UK address. 

    Friday, 22 April 2011

    Little Miss Sunshine!

    Doesn't the sunshine make the world seem like a happier place?

    I know I am definitely not the first to make this statement - just reading through the tweets, FB updates and blogs I follow is enough to tell me that!

    But I am perfectly happy not to be the first one to have said it this year - and I know I will definitely not be the last!

    I'm sure I'm also not the first person to curate a collection of sunshine themed pictures for their blog either but I really couldn't resist! I started compiling this collection at the beginning of the week when the sun was still shining and then set this post to auto publish - so who knows what the weather is like by the time you read this (probably miserable since it's a Bank Holiday weekend!) But whatever the weather, I hope that these pictures cheer you up and you have a fabulous weekend!

    Just click on the pictures to be taken to the sellers Folksy shop!

    Friday, 15 April 2011

    It's all Wight...

    Soon we are going to be visiting the lovely Isle of Wight for a bit of a break and a chance to meet up with the other half's family.

    I can't say I'm relishing the drive (Yorkshire to the Isle of Wight seems an aufully long way when your car is as unreliable as ours is!) but I'm really looking forward to heading southwards and seawards once again.

    Although I have loved living in both the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, hailing from quite near the Kentish coast I do miss the chance to just pop down to the seaside (especially on stormy days!)

    So todays Folksy Friday collection is seaside inspired and features some of my favourite designers and craftspeople (some of whom I have actually met!)

    Just click on the pics to be taken to that seller's shop.

    Now I'm definitely in the mood for a holiday! I can smell the sea, hear the gulls and feel the (very cold) sea trickling betwen my toes. Anyone for fish and chips followed by an ice cream?!

    Thursday, 7 April 2011

    The ultimate day off...

    Today is the first Friday that the other half and I will both not be at work for a very long time!

    We have spent all week planning and as the days have ticked our excitement has mounted... but there's no need to get over-excited - we haven't got anything spectacular booked, just a proper old fashioned 'day-off'!

    I thought I would use my Folksy Friday this week to illustrate a few of the things we are planning to do...  
    (just click on the descriptive caption to be taken to that particular item)

    A nice long lie-in... if only my bed were this beautiful!

    Have a lovely cooked breakfast - hopefully ours won't be so mini!
    Do a spot of shopping...
    Watch some cricket...
    Have some afternoon tea...
    And generally just chill out!
    Sounds perfect to me!
    Hope you all have a lovely day too
    Laura x

    Tuesday, 5 April 2011

    This post has been brought to you by the letter....'P'

    After last weeks post about looking to the future, I stumbled upon a forum post on Folksy asking What does april hold for you? I thought - I know the answer to this! And so I got chatting with a few people who were sharing their plans and setting themselves particular goals and targets for the coming month(s).

    Later on in the day, after catching up on some of the blogs that I follow, I popped back into the forum to add another post which said:
    I'm going to try to be a bit more personal and share more about my life in the blog posts that I write. I’ve realised that my favourite blogs that I read, and the posts that are the most enjoyable to write are the ones that are all personal, positive, pretty and professional!
    I also decided that this would probably be a good mantra to live life by!

    But, dear friends - it didn't end there! The more I thought about it, the more I realised that the letter 'P' has a lot to offer to my life philosophy! So especially for you I have put together a page of pictures that illustrate particularly well the power of 'P'!


     Yes - this is me! I missed 'face behind the business' day on Facebook so I thought it was time to share a personal picture of me - just so you know who you're dealing with!

    So... Am I anything like you imagined?


    Yes - that is a giant onion!
    I'm giving a thumbs up to staying positive and to thinking big!

    Pretty / Pride

    This was the result of my first attempt at producing some really clear product shots.

    An unashamedly pretty collection!

    I was really pleased with the outcome and feel proud of what I have achieved and how far I have come since last June when made by lolly x first started

    Professional / Presentation

    I think a job worth doing is a job worth doing well! There will always be limits to what can be achieved - time and money are not infinite (nor is the amount of space in my craft room!)
    Whether it be my professional business branding, the presentation of my stall, or my approach to life in general, I want to take myself seriously (but not too seriously!)

    Profit / Planning

    I really want to make sure I give 100% to the business from now on (after all it has to go some way towards making up the shortfall since I have lost a day of paid employment!)

    This means more planning - booking more craft fairs, setting up online shops etc but also being slightly stricter with how I spend my days - making sure that what I am doing helps make some more profit!


    I'm not sure whether it's just a phase I'm going through,
    but the colour purple is featuring even more
    heavily than usual in the made by lolly x colour palette!

    So much so that I decided that all my passion for this particular colour needed a special outlet.

    I can now formally launch my new collection
    'A Passion for Purple' available exclusively in my new etsy shop

    Please feel free to post any comments - I'm sure you'll all have some ideas for 'P' words that I've forgotten that I can add to the philosophy!

    Friday, 1 April 2011

    Looking to the future!

    Apologies for being AWOL for a little while - I promise I haven't forgotten all about you!
    Life has been busy with lots of real-world concerns crowding in and interfering with the creativity. Fortunately most of these issues now seem to have resolved themselves and I have been able to dust myself down and start planning and plotting.... (cue evil genius laugh!)

    Basically, due to funding cuts and the subsequent re-structuring process, my real-world job has been relocated and been reduced to just two days a week. Financially this is not ideal.
    BUT... it does have lots of advantages!
    • Less days out working means more days here at HQ designing and making!
    • Not working Fridays means I can reinstate my regular Folksy Friday blog spot
    • I will be able to devote more time to Yorkshire Made
    • I will now have an extra day off with the Other Half 
    • If we get a nice summer I will be able to enjoy it while it lasts!

    All of these positive outcomes mean I will be able to make more products and therefore commit to attending more fairs too! I've started to make more bookings and the made by lolly x events calendar is starting to fill up nicely! The next few events are:

    Reetsweet Art Design and Neo Craft Fair at the Corn Exchange in Leeds - this Sunday 3rd April!

    I'm really looking forward to this one! It's my first event in Leeds and my first visit to the Corn Exchange for about 10 years. I can't wait to see what they've done to the place. You can find out all about my fellow stall holders by reading the reetsweet blog 

    After that I am booked in to do Montgomery Hall in Wath-Upon-Dearne on the 16th April, The Glasshouse in Doncaster on the 1st May, and Beighton Lifestyle Centre in Sheffield on 25th/26th June, as well as a couple more that have not been confirmed yet! 

     I've also started testing the waters with a new range of gift wrapping. It's currently only available through made by lolly x on Facebook or from me at craft fairs. You can see the full range in the photo album on FB. If it proves popular I may start selling it in my Folksy shop. Let me know what you think!

    And this is my big exciting news...
    I'm also planning to open a new made by lolly x online shop! 

    This one will be on Etsy and will be a little bit special - a place for me 
    to indulge my passion for purple! 

    The shop will showcase some of my favourite purple designs that are currently available through my Folksy shop, but will also allow me to experiment with some more unusual and unique designs! I'm hoping that the range will be incredibly diverse, taking in lots of different items, styles and materials. Everything that the lover of purple could need! I'll keep you posted on my progress and let you know when the shop is ready to be launched!

    So really, I've got enough to be keeping me busy for a little while! But I've always 
    got time for custom orders ;-) 
    Have a great week. 
    Laura x

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