Friday, November 9, 2007


The males in our society don't often get a pat on the back but I would like to do a bit of publicity for these guys.
They are a bunch of hardy young men from Ayr who are tackling a huge fundraiser for Alzheimer Scotland. They are the members of the Tartan Army, Ayr branch.
Apart from faithfully following their National team and ( just occasionally!! )enjoying themselves, the tartan army do raise lots of money for deserving charities. The Ayr team raise funds for three charities and this year it is the turn of Alzheimer Scotland in memory of Ally MacLeod who dared to raise the hopes of a whole Nation that we might just win the world cup with Ally's army.
The members are going to do a sponsored walk from Somerset Park, Ayr to Hampden, a distance of 34 miles, in time for the kick off for the Scotland match on 17th November 2007. They think this is the first time this has been done.
Please visit and show some support for this mammoth effort

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Old World Shoppe

Today I would like to introduce you to Edie of Edie is a memeber of the OWS group who craft using traditiional methods, skills and materials. If you like what you see in Edie's shop you can enter ows into the search engine at and you will be led to the other members of the group.

1. How are your creations inspired?

I get my inspiration from all around me. I am very visual. I can see anything and just about make something like it. I don't need a pattern. I make up my own. I love to look at catalogs and dream about how I can make something I have seen. Of course the things I make, bags, pillowcases, jewelry totes, etc. all have a basic shape that is not difficult to duplicate. I am afraid I am not very original. I do wish I could come up with something that no one has ever thought about, but I believe that place has already been taken. There is really nothing new on earth.

2. Which product are you proudest of and why?
I believe I am proudest of my handbags and shoulder bags. I have always had a love for bags. Even as a child, at the middle of the last century, I would take a cereal box and make a purse to play with. Even before "making your own bag" became popular, I made a bag occasionally just for fun. Now I have perfected the construction of my bags in such a way that they will last a long time. I use plenty of fleece, interfacing, and other means of construction to make a quality bag that anyone can be proud of. I believe in having all the seams matching, fabric cut in the right direction, seams finished with a serger where necessary, and many pressings throughout construction. I go that extra mile to make something that will bring complements to you when you carry it or use it.

3. What kind of work area do you create your pieces in?
My work area consists of a small room that is totally devoted to sewing. I tell everyone it is "insulated" with material! There are very few bolts of fabric that I can resist! I have so much material, thread, trim, and construction materials, until there is hardly room to work. I have a "brand new" Janome Memory Craft 6600 that I love to sew on. I also have a Singer 5 thread serger that I have had for sometime. My house and sewing room is smoke free and pet free so people who are sensitive to these two things, can feel free to buy from me.

4. What are your favourite colours?
My favorite colors are fall colors. I am just drawn to oranges, browns, dark yellows, and dark greens. I have to make myself buy other colors because I am reminded that everyone does not care for the colors I do.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Le Bar du Vent

Time to introduce you to another Dawanda seller, this time from France. Agathe creates wonderfully inspiring pieces of jewelry.

1. How and when did you discover your creative talents?
I am not sure about "talents" actually. The urge to make things has always been there - I mean, when I was 6 or 7, I remember that I had come up with a mixed media drawing method (doesn't that sound grand!) : I would "draw" flowers using colour pencil peelings and leads, that I would glue onto paper to turn them into the corollas and stems of my flowers. The result was limited in terms of variations and aesthetics, but I was exhilarated that I had thought it up myself.
And so on and so forth : I love exploring new materials and techniques.Yet I have had only very basic artistic schooling. Some times I get an image in my mind of something I would like to make, and because I couldn't draw to save my life, I have to think it up with my hands. Now, that can be very messy...
Because I am addicted to clothes (as opposed to fashion) I first dabbled with fabrics - I have made evening dresses for myself (and dolls, earlier on), dresses for my nieces (my beloved guinea pigs), I have knitted pullovers, always trying to make exactly what I wanted and could not find to buy. About five years ago, I discovered crosstitching and began accumulating supplies and projects. I loved using the embroidery patterns to modify or create clothes, cushions etc. My own very humble version of French couture...
I came to jewellery through crosstitching (strange, I know, but some patterns include beads and that is how I discovered a brave new world...) fairly recently, finding that many of the techniques I had dabbled in came in handy, and that the results of my daring experiments tended to be less messy in this creative field.
It suits me that it is such a versatile activity, and I love nothing more than making a piece with someone in mind. Every single piece I have made is more than material to me, it makes sense in a way, because of texture, tradition, colour, memories, references... I love that. I call it thinking with my fingers and find it very soothing, probably because it allows the whole of me to come together.

2. You say that one of your inspirations is sea life. How are you inspired?
That too goes back to my childhood. I first grew up by the sea, and I only come into my own when I am by the sea. I can only be truly happy barefoot on a sand beach and I just have to live with that - and with the fact that, right now, I cannot be barefoot on the sand very much. So I make up for it, trying to build myself a future when I will be able to.
Because the sea is the seat of life, in general and not just to me, it's an incredibly rich source of inspiration, in termes of shapes, colours, textures...

3. Your main selling place is Dawanda, why?, what do you like about it?
Well, the first thing I like about it is that it exists! I am immensely grateful that Claudia and Michael came up with this idea and have tackled the work!
I discovered Dawanda, surfing on the net, looking for community sites that I could fit in with my very virtual shop, just as I was bracing myself to put together my own site (as opposed to paying someone to do it for me) and I couldn't believe my luck! So that, of course, I still haven't come round to giving reality to my site (it's all there in my head - the ideas, I mean - the I.T. is not...).
On Dawanda, it is incredibly easy to list items in a way that is really suitable to such items as ours. Obviously, the fact that listing is free (so far) is a huge incentive to try and list very different items, including inexpensive ones. I had tried my hand at selling on e-bay and other non-specific sites, but Dawanda was really conceived for those precious little jobs of ours and I find it rather more congenial than Etsy.
It also suits me so well that it is multilingual that I couldn't believe my luck there again... and like the various ways to communicate on the platform and the sense of community it makes for.

4. Where would you like to see your talents take you?
Well, guess what! On the seaside!
Right now, I have a "proper" job that is important and interesting to me, but I cannot see myself doing it for 25 to 30 years more. Not full time anyway. Whereas I cannot see myself NOT making stuff, or living away from the ocean forever. So I am working on turning Le Bar du Vent into a proper venture, hoping it can take me to the ocean where I would like to live and work. Eventually.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Interview with a Dawanda Artist

I have decided that I would like to introduce you to artists and sellers that I have come across who I admire and think deserve a little promotion. I have to say this may be a long list, but I have chosen to start with Sara Millis who has been a driving force among the UK sellers on Dawanda and a godsend to some of us less technologically aware with some of the site aspects.

1. Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.

I am a Fashion and Textile Designer/Crafter working and living in London with my long-term partner, Darrin. I graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2000 and started full-time work in the fashion industry designing and developing womenswear ranges for luxury, high street and boutique designers and brands – not all at the same time, but over a six year period! Although I enjoyed my work immensely, I often felt I was missing the opportunity to work on my own creative projects. So I decided to become freelance in June 2006, offering my services to a number of clients at any one time. This gave me the time (through creative scheduling!) and space to channel my creativity into my own work and so in January 2007 Sara’s Texture Crafts was born.

2. Where do you find your inspiration?

I take my inspiration from life around me, whether it is from my peers, film, music, art or nature. My biggest inspiration though is texture – anything with a textural surface or detail catches my eye and often inspires me to create.

3. Do you sell your work?

I have a website at through which you can find links to each of my shops, a bit about my products, my gallery, events diary and a link to my blog – Crafts of Texture. Here are the links: – eBay shop selling high street and handmade craft kits, equipment and handmade greeting cards– Etsy shop selling handmade jewellery, accessories, textile art and kits – DaWanda shop selling handmade jewellery, accessories, textile art and greeting cards.

4. You mentioned that you sell on DaWanda. How did you find out about the site and how long have you been selling there?

I found DaWanda through my MySpace page. DaWanda approached me to tell me of their new site and promotional opening offer. I get many emails like this through various forums and sites that I advertise on and always try to explore each site before I dismiss an idea. After entering the site and having a good look around I saw potential for my own products, so joined up and have been an active member since late May 2007.

5. Tell me a bit about your current DaWanda collection.

My current collection on DaWanda is my first and I felt it was important to base it on my love of texture. In terms of theme, well I have slowly been developing that and I would say it is based around my passion for vintage.

I have glass and felt jewellery, fabric brooches and 3-d greeting cards in store right now, but plan to expand my range from mid-September.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Style lab is where sellers will list their products that they are willing to make to your choice. There will be two categories. One will be where the item will remain at a set price and only certain things will be changeable, for example this bear will be the same size and shape but you can choose the tartan, the paw colours and the eyes. The second category is where you will see a product, say a quilt, that the seller has done but you would like a different colour scheme, size and pattern. You can contact the seller with your wish list and they will discuss if this is possible and tell you a price. If you are both agreeable a contract will be entered into where you agree to pay for the item that they have agreed to make especially for you.
I think it will be exciting. You can get customised items or specially made designer items amd be that bit different from the Jones's.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Tailor made at Dawanda

Dawanda are soon to be launching a new feature called Style Lab. While we await to see exactly how this works they tell us that members will be invited to offer their customers special tailor made products. We are intrigued.

If this has also caught your imagination visit Dawanda by clicking on the button to the right of this page. They tell us it is starting in the coming days.

If you are interested in starting a shop with Dawanda they have a special offer on at the moment for new members, take a look at their blog.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Harry Potter craze

Well, I was browsing around in facebook this morning and having a look at some of the groups related to knitting. In one of the groups I came across this blog and was blown away at the content. There are links to free patterns that people have posted for you to to knit anything from a bookmark to full sweaters. Some of the patterns are well worth a look. I highly recommend spending time at this blog and it's links for all Potter fans.
The balaclava and hooded gloves pictured here are not, however linked to the above mentioned blog. This was a custom knit I did for a fan of both Harry Potter and friends and of balaclavas. I think I shall keep this one to myself for now.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Well, already thoughts are turning towards Autumn. After the summer we have had I actually find that quite comforting. I love the colours of Autumn, all those reds, brown, golds. It makes travelling in the highlands here much more interesting. There is something very inspiring about these colours especially mixed with the purples and greens on the heather moorlands.
We will be travelling to Argyl either through Speyside or down the Great Glen next month and I will spend a good part of the journey watching the countryside for signs of the changes in colour that hail the start of Autumn. The beauty of being a non-driver.
The inspiration so far has resulted in a sweater with squirrels on it. The front has a very busy squirrel working on a nut and the back has two sqirrels either chatering or confronting each other, depending on how you want your story to go.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Explore Dawanda

Have finally got around to telling you about a newish site for selling and buying handmade goods.
Dawanda is based in Germany and therefore is a little more European friendly as everything is dealt with in Euros. It is funny to see the Americans that have strayed onto this site from Etsy struggling with the very problems that we all struggled with when having to convert to US$.
( I mean funny in the nicest way possible of course ).
Anyway, Dawanda has some wonderfull European crafters selling their creations. It is bright and cheerfull. As with all sites it has it's own navigation system but with a little patience it is easy to find your way around.
It is also multi lingual haveing the ability to post and use the forums in German, French and English.
This is a young site but I highly recommend that you either click here or use the small dawanda button opposite to go and have a browse and see what you think. I would be interested to read your comments if you would like to leave them here once you have had a look at the site.
Happy shopping.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Toffee and cream

Here he is, Toffee and cream. Not sure if he is feeling the heat or if this is an indication of how he earns his money!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

More bears

These are the latest bears to be completed.
Another, in a different theme is being made at the moment and will hopefully be posted soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Old World Shops on Etsy

Do you value the more traditional things in life?
Do you appreciate the time and effort that a craftsperson puts into their work?
Are you after an item that will last and reflect your personality rather than a fashion whim for a few months?
Do you appreciate quality and timeless beauty?
If you answered yes to some or all of the above questions then you need to browse in the Old World Shoppes on
Jump over to Etsy and and enter the code ows into the tag;item search on the top right of the page and you will be led to some fantastic items individually crafted by artists and creators on Etsy from the world over who spend time and patience making these items just for you.
Most of the artists you will find to begin with are from the U.S. but there are a growing number from Canada, U.K., mainland European countries and many other countries.
For quality and individuality visit Old World Shoppes at

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

New bear added to Etsy

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is the latest bear to be added to He continues the Jacobite theme of the last bear which is now on it's way to the U.S.A. as a present, hense the vagueness of location.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

chicken doorstop 001 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

NEW CHICKEN........ well probably more Cockerel due to the rich cottons that have been used to create him. He has a zip on the base and can be filled with gravel or dried beans, to create a doorstop or you can use it to put your sleepwear in and it can protect your bed. Uses are probably only as limited as your imagination.
chicken doorstop 001 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New bear

After finishing a kilt and Jacobite style shirt for a 10 month old to wear to a wedding I put together the bear that was lying in pieces waiting patiently to come to life. As he was being assembled a disussion from Etsy forums was going through my head where people were saying that they prefer their bears to be wearing something, even just a hat. Suddenly the flash of inspiration. Having just made a Jacobite shirt for a baby I thought that for a bear would be a dawdle. Ha! Bears have big tummies, and minds of their own. However, I persevered and am quite pleased with him. Have to work now on variations to make this a series. Someone may wish to start a collection of them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Peace swap

Today, while watching closely day 1 post-op dog, I finished my Item for the Etsy Peace swap.

I was paired with a lovely stained glass artist so I had my work cut out, espeially once I saw her completed piece for me which you can see at

She requested a bear in anything red. I persuaded myself to part with this last piece of lovely crushed velvet which I adore. Carefull working was needed as velvet frays so easily when you work with it. The little gold coloured tears are to represent the ever striving failure to find Peace in the many parts of our world. As this bear is about to go on a very long journey from Scotland to the U.S.A. I have made it a tartan blanket, also in red, which is in my own family tartan Christie. As you can see it has a very fat tummy so that should see it on it's trip okay.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Peace swap

I have been involved in a Peace theme swap on Etsy, the shopping site for handcrafted goods of all types. This morning I got an e-mail from Vicki ( the person I was paired with ) with a link to this site where she had posted my piece of stainedglass. I amabsolutely delighted with it. I knew Vicki did wonderfull work but ws unprepared for the piece she has made me. I would urge you to visit Vicki's blog at http// and take a look at what she has made me. I must away and make progress on what I am making Vicki. I will post it when it is done.

Mother in Laws 80th birthday present

Just as well my mother-in-law doesn't surf as she would be annoyed at me telling the world that she is 80. A very fit, active, independent lady who is very art and crafty herself doing wonderfull decoupage and tremendous cross stitching, what on earth do you get her as a present?

I promised myself that it wouldn't be a quilt, no way. Guess what? Yep! It ended up as a quilt. I went with the memory theme and the square within a square pattern. Due to the messing around I left myself very little time and as a result had to do the piecing by machine. This left me less than happy with the result as it moved around far too much. As usual I did the finishing by hand and put on a label that didn't mention age.

The end result was that she loved it and had a lovely emotional time of memories with her friends on her birthday. I believe before it reaches it's final hanging place it is getting taken around family and friends so I guess the effort was worthwhile and very much appreciated.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Just wanted to pass the word around that has a peace theme being promoted amongst some of the sellers. If you are interested in seeing quality handmade craft items that promote world peace then log onto Etsy using the link above, enter marchforpeace into the tag search and you will be directed to a section dedicated to peace. There are many talented artists here and items to suit all tastes and pockets. The above two pictures are my items and can be found at for a fuller description and more pictures

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

New year

Well, another new year and Margaret still trying to play catchup with the world in general. Got onto this site via the forums in only to find that I already had a blog which must have been done on one of my computer challenged days as I had merely joined and did nothing about setting up. I do find that if I can't figure out what is going on after a few tries then I am better going doing something else and coming back later. The trick these days is remembering to come back and where I had been. Anyone else know that feeling? or are you all spritely young things like the new members from my school on another site, most of whom weren't even born when I left school. I should just audition now for grumpy old women, shouldn't I?
POSITIVE THOUGHTS FOR 2007. I am going to learn all about blogging and networking without bugging my stepson as I did far too much of that in 2006 ( I think it makes him feel wanted but makes me feel inadequate ). I have met so many nice people on in the last few months( link below) that it has finally restored my faith in the human race that some people out there do care about each other and what is happening in the world.
I am also determined that a very challenging project set me by a client will be finished this month. It is a combination of patchwork and applique in silks and satins to compliment an existing piece of clients wardrobe and truth be told I have been a little feirt of it but have now grabbed it with both hands and taken control. It's also a bit scary that client is on other side of the pond making fittings impossible.
If anyone would like to peruse the links below and make comments or suggest new projects I could tackle then please feel free, but don't be too hard on this almost menopausal, feeling her age woman. Constructive would be good.