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 : madebylolly@hotmail.com or leave a comment on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/madebylolly

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

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