Welcome to the land of Clootielugs where squirrels, rabbits and their like rule the roost. I love to make and sew and find inspiration from many sources although nature in its many forms tends to be the thing that fires my imagination most often!

You can see and purchase many of my creations on Folksy:

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Winter Weddings

A covering of snow provides a magical backdrop for photographs and sun reflecting off snow creates a very flattering light...in fact in our house we call it natures airbrush!
I know I'm not alone in loving the sheer romance of winter; with gentle snowflakes, sparkling icicles and rosy cheeks. It's little wonder therefore that winter weddings are proving a popular choice for many couples.
Ah..I hear the cynics amongst you shaking your heads.
Well, obviously here in the UK there's the potential downside of just a lot of rain and grey skies but let's just ignore such negative thoughts for now and concentrate on the concept of a winter wonderland instead!

I have been making my little birds for quite some time now and have recently added custom birds to my repetoire. I can make these as gifts for new babies, christenings, birthdays, anniversaries...and particularly.. WEDDINGS!

This little couple were for a Scottish wedding..

and these two are very elegant I think..

I have been looking at lots of Folksy items suitable for a romantic winter wedding. As you can imagine there are lots and lots of wonderful wares to see! For this weeks Folksy Friday selection I have focussed on bridal wear and accessories; for this one special day the bride is truly the star of the show!

The bride will want to sparkle in the winter sun and this crystal and silver tiara from IfIwasarichgirl is exactly what's needed! It is wonderfully elegant with a series of graduated czech stones mounted on a silver-plated band.

Equally gorgeous and glitzy in the most chic way possible are Becky Leigh's hair combs. I love their vintage style and charm.

How to be glamorous, elegant and warm can pose a tricky mix for any bride...and bridesmaid. Here are Folksy solutions for all the ladies in the bridal party...

This delicate shawl from Draped In Lace is so feminine and pretty! Made from 100% Shetland Wool handspun and dyed in 1953, it has 3,700 Japanese glass beads incorporated into it and is a wonderfully soft moss green colour. It is very special indeed! There are lots more in this fabulous shop and in maker Julia Blakeman's other shop The Crafty Bride!

For an alternative style have a look at the sumptuously stylish and super cute capelets on offer at Gaia Noir. These are made from eco-frindly, organic fair traded cotton velvet and come in a variety of classy colours! The bride and bridesmaids could all wear them...I'm imagining them all in dark red capes against ivory dresses in a country setting in the snow! How romantic and affordably so at just £32 each!

Handbag designer Linda Wilde from Folksy shop WildRoseDesigns has a beautiful selection of bags for all ocassions. This ivory clutch is the must have bag for a winter wedding. The luxurious silk dupion fabric is complimented perfectly by a sophisticated faux pearl trim.

Of course a wedding is the most special of occasions..however, if you would like to keep a bit of fun in the proceedings whilst maintaining your glamour and style then Folksy seller Imogen's Imagination has the most gorgeous of solutions. Taking my selection full circle here is milliner Sophie's take on a wedding bird! Sophie can even offer a custom version with longer length veil! I think it's fantastic!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Hoop Hoop!

I've recently discovered the joy of embroidery hoops! They make wonderful frames for all kinds of fabric art. They make a curvy change from the hard cornered edges of traditional frames and I love that I can make the back look just as beautiful as the front!
I've begun a series of animal hoops...so far I 've got mouse, fox and badger but fawn,and maybe mole are soon to follow!

Motivated by my new hoop addiction I have been on a Folksy quest to see what other sellers have made using these versatile frames..

I love Jennie Sandford's lyric hoops! Jennie uses vintage metal hoops as well as wooden ones to present her work. I've chosen to feature this metal framed embroidery of lyrics by venerable wit Morrissey from The Smiths. The back of the hoop is finished neatly in grey felt.Jennie has added a signed piece of muslin which also credits The Smiths lyrics. A black satin ribbon means the hoop is easy to hang wherever you choose!

I love this version of a decorative hoop found in Folksy shop The Grimm Exhibition. This shop sells a glorious array of wares using darkly vintage prints and printed textiles. This hoop features an image of a vintage fairy complete with delicate wings. The hoop is bound in cotton printed with old french script and the piece is finished with a layer of pretty tulle. The edges of the fabric are allowed to spill out from the hoop creating a frilled appearance. The hoop hangs from a length of french scripted cotton and as the piece de resistance a muslin sachet of magnolia scent has been stitched to the reverse so this hoop doesn't just look gorgeous but smells delightful too!

Of course, hoops don't have to be round. This hoop by Athene Noctua is oval. Re purposing a piece of vintage embroidery, maker Rebecca has further embellished the piece using bits of vintage lace and ribbon, a pastel button and glass beads. This work is also backed neatly in a bright green felt.

Serious lovers of hoop decoration will find their oasis in Folksy shop Bella Bobbin. Amanda and Sarah are the brains - and the fingers - behind Bella Bobbin and together they have created a shop full to the brim with the cutest characters and prettiest patterns in paper and textiles! I really like this sweet hoop. The two trees on a pretty polka dot background is made special by the addition a little string of bright bunting. Deceptively simple and immpecably cute! Bella Bobbin also offer gorgeous personalised hoops - perfect to mark any special occassion! Why not take a look for yourself?

I have a daughter who favours bright red lipstick and seems to think it appropriate to smudge this all over my bathroom towels! So this next hoop rings bells for me! I have to say creator Sam Gibson makes red lip marks seem much more artisitic and beautiful than the random smears on my hand towels! The careful embroidery allows Sam's lips to jump out at you - could you resist planting a return smacker on these? Unique and funky you have to visit Sam'shop of original stitched illustrations!

If you feel inspired to create a little hooped wall art of your own then Folksy seller Lupin sells these adorable mini hoops at the very reasonable £8 for 6. At just 3" diameter these would make sweet Christmas decorations for your home and tree - you could even create unqiue gift-tags with them!

...and that's what I love about hoops - they create so many wonderful possibilities....

Friday, 30 September 2011


It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend!

Such thoughtful words courtesy of Rebecca Black - (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzfQwXEqYaI - my favourite of the numerous parodies!)

Words shape our world. As our primary means of communication; words can hurt and they can heal, unite and divide, they can save our bacon and let us down, they allow us to describe innermost feelings and express connections between abstract concepts. I love words!I don't know if anyone watched Stephen Fry's fascinating programme 'Planet Word' (BBC 2 Sunday)? In it, Fry begins to explore how children develop language, how it continues and will continue to evolve, how language allows us to express a sense of past, present and future and the way our use of language sets us apart from all other species. Words.. words.. word...loving, annoying, celeberal, emotional, useful and nonsense...here's a selection of those on offer from Folksy sellers - I hope you enjoy my choices!

This lovely fabric braclet made by Spots and Stripes can be custom made to express lyrics of your choice. The combination of words and music have a particular magic and listening to a song can transport you straight back to a certain place and time in your life. This bracelet would make a meaningful and thoughtful gift to someone who shared a special moment and time in your life!

Words can of course be simply functional but this next item manages to combine functionality with emotion. One of the special moments in my life was when my lovely husband proposed to me on Jamaica Street in Bermondsey. I'm hoping I can pinpoint that particular spot in this gorgeous heart garland made by Naturally Hearfelt! It measures 3 foot long and is double sided so I've got twice the chance of finding my 'heartfelt' location!

Funky Mosaics uses words that resonate to make this unique and decorative wall plaque. Buzz words for the soul make this beautiful piece of wall art both heartwarming and inspiring. Take a look round maker Liz'z shop and marvel at her original and colourful mosaic work.

The desire to find a soulmate or 'special friend' is a very basic human need. We like to believe in fate, in love at first sight and love written in the stars but in our fast paced world sometimes we have to be a little more pro-active! Thus the hundreds of lonely heart adverts to be found in the back of newspapers all over the world! Folksy seller Phoebe Bee Bee has made these cute little keyrings from a lovely cotton fabric depicting examples of these adverts. I think these are really fun!

One of my favourite things about words is the way in which we can express emotional concepts through descriptions of physicality. Examples would be describing someone as 'hard hearted' or 'fluffy'! French writer and thinker Emile Zola once said 'I am here to live out loud'. I don't think he meant to shout his way through life but rather that he was not planning to live a subdued or submissive life.
My understanding of Zola's words was that he intended to live a life of zeal and conviction, to express himself freely and to agitate if necessary. Folksy shop, Blue Daisy Glass has captured this life-affirming quote in a grogeous pale green fused glass pendant. Why not take a boisterous browse round this beautiful folksy shop?

Of course, words can provide a wondeful way to relax as well and reading remains a top national pastime! I seldom sit down with a good book without a nice cup of tea to hand! This decorative papier mache sculpture by Cherry Tree Handmades combines my two favourite activities! The numerous petal shaped layers have been cut from the book '101 Things for a Housewife to do' which,as maker Cherry Tree says in her description, 'harks back to a bygone age, when people had TIME'. Well, I don't know about you but I've always got time for a cuppa! The teacup is further embellished with delicate decoupaged images of butteflies, bees and there's even a little ladybird in there too!

I hope you've enjoyed my tour of Folksy this Friday. Have a great weekend and remember to choose your words wisely and cherish our wonderfully rich and descriptive language!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Nursery Rhymes and other tales...

I found these beautiful vintage cotton reels recently and knew I wanted to use them decoratively.

Obviously designed for winding, I hit upon the idea of printing rhymes, snippets of stories and quotations onto strips of cotton to wind around the lovely reels.

I love lace and pretty things and have had a great time embellishing my strips of hand-dyed cotton with some muted and delicate lace which I had bought some time ago, just because I liked it! My first finished reel displays the perennial nursery favourite 'Hickory Dickory Dock'. I am currently working on reels with a heart-warming quotation from Wizard of Oz and even a special festive design in time for Christmas shoppers!
I asked fellow Folksters to show me their nursery rhyme inspired creations...and here they are! They are great fun and all available to buy, just click on the shop links!

Natalie at NOfKantsCurios has crocheted this sparkly red snood - perfect for a glamorous and modern Miss R. Hood! Those wolves had better look out!

Helen McCartney Designs is the shop for nursery rhyme artwork with lots of pictures and illustrations inspired by children's stories. Many feature Helen's own little characters such as 'Ned', an adventurous teddy bear, and his friends! I like this Little Miss Muffet print, I don't blame little Miss M one little bit -that spider looks like trouble to me!

Staying with the spider theme I love these Incy Wincy hairslides by Folksy seller, Merry Berry and the Little Panda! Even an arachnophobe like me has to admit these are CUTE!

'Ladybird, Ladybird, Fly away home..' I always want to interupt this rhyme to shout: "Look under the frying pan Mrs Ladybird, look under the pan!" I'm certain mummy Ladybird and all her little ones were reunited in the end - I won't have it any other way! This sweet ladybird card from DeesDesigns is just one in a birthday card set for sale in this maker Diane Burton's super card shop.

I think there are more than 'one, two, three, four, five..' little fishes on this bright and lively fabric covered notebook by talented Folksy seller Dab and a Dash. Just the right size for little hands to hold and/or just perfect handbag-size for us older notetakers! With my sieve-like memory, writing notes to myself is becoming an all too frequent occurrence!

'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' is, I think, my favourite nursery rhyme! It's so sweet and so is this pretty card by Ello Designs. What a lovely way to thank someone or give to a special friend just because!

Now, earlier this year I acquired a new gentleman. My latest fella is loud, ginger and very very naughty. No, it's not Chris Evans (God forbid!) and Mr Clootie need not fear...my latest little lad is 'Albert' the kitten, seen here looking like butter wouldn't melt.. He's 8 months old now and quite the little adventurer! 'Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat where have you been?'.. more like '..What have you done?!'

Folksy maker Phoebee Bee Bee makes lots of gorgeous cushions, amongst many other fab fabric creations. This is her 'Pussy Cat Pussy Cat' feather padded one - isn't it lovely?

They say great minds think alike so I can only assume that the creator behind Folksy shop Off the Hook has indeed got a great mind! This wonderful crocheter is saving her pennies to fund a trip to India where she will undertake voluntary work at an orphanage. This little hickory dickory mouse is adorably cute! She also comes in pink! Here she is nibbling cheese...

Remember Rodger the Rabbit and his penchant for curvy redheads? Well this must be his brother Rodney! The creator of Rodney, Jeansknattyknits, suggested he ought to 'run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run' but I think Rodney looks like a laid back kind of guy with the gift of the gab who would prefer to charm his way out of trouble! What do you think?

If you have a budding little 'Pat a cake, Pat a cake, baker's man' (or woman) at home why not treat them to a gorgeous apron by PosySews? The fabric is inspirational and I only wish my cakes were as perfect as these!

With Hugs and Kisses Folksy shop is a magnet for little ones everywhere! Filled to the brim with the most delightful bright and characterful designs. Here you will find clocks, toy boxes, photo frames, toys,fantastic finger puppet sets and many many other wonderful creations! I've chosen to show a picture of a 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' clock..but I'd suggest popping along to the shop yourself to see the full range!

Lastly, myself and talented Folksy crafter Coatimundi are uncertain whether we can strictly call 'The Owl and the Pussycat' a nursery rhyme - so it's a good job this is my blog and I get to place the goalposts isn't it?! Of course 'The Owl and the Pussycat' can be called a nursery rhyme - it tells of unlikely love and triumph over adversity, its combination of romance and utter nonsense is just what's needed in today's prosaic world! Coatimundi has even named her shop after the title of this famous tale and illustrations from the poem feature on a couple of her stunning pewter brooches as well as this peweter picture frame that would make a lovely Christening gift or birthday present.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Maybe, you can never be sure...there'll be knocks, rings,letters through your door......

We love the ones whose writing we recognise, we look forward to lots on our birthday an at Christmas, we dread the gas ones, and get all excited at the big brown bulky ones..what are they - 'they' collectively are; THE POST!

I've been a seller on folksy for some time now and rely our good old postal service not to let me down and so far (I'll just gloss over the incident of the empty envelope..)they haven't. First class, second class, special delivery...stamps, stickers and string...queues, scales, and now of course the persepex letter tester thing ..too thick? too long? Every envelope's an adventure!

With Christmas in mind..(yes, it really is just around the corner!),I have been busy making postman robins this week. I plan on taking the handsome fellows picture atop a postbox - just as soon as the weather brightens up! Here he is looking ready for action...

So, in homage to our sometimes beloved,sometimes infuriating Royal Mail...I present to you today... a Folksy postal selection...

This unusual little brooch,made to resemble an up-turned postman's hat, is cute,quirky and very British! Seller Starryeyedcrafts makes them in different colours and featuring different Royal Mail ephemera. At only £3, I think they would make a great little stocking filler!

I love the photographs of Gail Griggs and this one fits the bill perfectly for today's selection! Gail has photographed this vintage toy post van using a technique called ttv which allows her to retain the imperfections on the lens of her 1940s camera - wonderfully enhancing the van's vintage appearance. Gail offers this image as a greeting card too!

This postal band jewellery from the pica pica really caught my eye! For the past year my son has been avidly collecting these red rubber bands discarded by postmen on a daily basis so I was amazed and quite tickled (ooh Mrs!) while browsing Folksy to find that the pica pica designer Gosia Adamska has found such a unique and creative use for them!

This pouch, by The Undercover Owl, is every knitters delight! Ideal for storing knitting paraphernalia and preventing balls of yarn rolling about the floor as you work. With its vibrant pattern and great Post Office theme, I could see it being a hit with little children for postman games - I know I loved pretending to deliver letters to all the family when I was wee!

Purpose made for children to play post games this great little felt postbox and letter set will last for years! The set comes with one felt envelope and ten rectangular cards purpose made to fit the envelope. Clever maker, The Cheeky Squirrel, will make addition envelopes for just £1.50 each, so you're little postman...sorry, postal worker(!).. can be kept busy sorting and delivering the mail for hours!

I hope 'the post' brings a smile to your face today!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Cornish Treats

Counting down to holidays here in Scotland....kids break-up from school on the 1st July, I've an arts market in Edinburgh on the 2nd (Out of the Blue, Drill Hall if anyone is nearby!) and then we're off and away. 10 days camping in Cornwall - bit risky I know (weather-wise) and possibly a little uncomfotable (but we have purchased new double inflatable mattresses for everyone - so here's hoping!) and maybe a little lacking home comforts (but hey! I can live without telly if there's a pack of cards to hand!)and the best bit is.....the dog can come too!- (you have no idea the emotional rollercoaster I embark upon if I have to leave my Lucy behind!). So...today's Folksy Friday is a small selection of Cornish and Cornwall related goodies I have found in Folksy shops this week.

This gorgeous work by Cornish artist and maker Kirsty Elson has surely whet my appetite for the beautiful cornish coast. And Kirsty now has her wonderful collage work for sale as greeting cards too!

This super cute jug with bobbing boats, turquoise sea and silver slivers of sun are a perfect evocation of everything I am longing to find on holiday!Made by Julia Davey you can find it in her glorious ceramics shop at Folksy.

Cornwall is not all about the seaside however, as this exquisite woooden bowl by Trenithick Crafts proves. Made from a lovey chunk (I'm certain that's not the correct wood-turner term!) of ash it's the perfect size to be both practical and gorgeous!

Even in Cornwall little ones might need a woolly bonnet for chillier days. Cornwall is full of 'the little people' I believe, so it would seem fitting to choose this adorable crocheted pixie hat to keep little heads warm! I love the plain creamy white wool selected by maker Mooncat Dream Designs and I think Britain has just found it next top supermodel too!

I can't resist a little subverting of tradition and this ring by Cutie Pies is just wonderful! I think as far as 'statement' pieces go this is a little gem!

My final Cornish treat has to be food related again - the wonderful Cornish tea, scones, jam and mmmmmm....clotted cream. Captured perfectly by the fantastically named Poochie Freak Photography and Hidden Cottage Cards this image makes a greeting card destined to cheer anyone up...except perhaps those on a diet - a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips - but OMG!! It's SOOOO worth it!