Sunday, 11 December 2011

Season Finale

Bea's Christmas Robin
Thanks to everyone - customers, suppliers, fellow crafty folk, for all the fun I have had this year.  Now is the time to tidy up the craft room and plan for next season.

Yesterday was the first Christmas Fair for the Really Wild Festival and was held in St David's, Pembrokeshire.  It was very friendly and cosy and I loved seeing the reindeer, even if they did look a bit grumpy.  Perhaps they wanted to be in Scotland with the snow.

Needle Felted Miseltoe bought at the Christmas Fair, St David's

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Very Christmas Vintage Fair - Narberth

Geranium's Vintage Wares
Giddy Aunt, Narberth, organised their first Vintage Fair and a busy time it turned out to be.  Canvas & Cloth and Nelly Dean were also at the venue, along with several other stall holders. We hope to be back at the Plas Hyfryd during Easter for another fair.
Nelly Dean's Stall

Canvas & Cloth's Stall

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Rygbi ....

It was all excitement and anticipation with us this morning, as Wales were playing France at the rugby World Cup in New Zealand.  It was also time for me to be at the craft fair in Maenclochog, helping to raise funds for the church in Llys-y-fran.

The sun came out for the first time in at least a week and the local community turned out to enjoy our crafty stuff, cakes, tea and soup. 

Wales lost the match .......

Nellie Dean's Christmas decorations

Bea Creative's sachets

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Any more fairs?

Geranium and Canvas & Cloth share a stall
The Albany Hall in Haverfordwest was such a lovely venue for the vintage fair yesterday.  It was clean and bright in the main hall and the ladies in the kitchen made some fab cake. It was a shame that the fair didn't go on until 4 and had to stop at 2, but I made some lovely new friends and hope to bump in to them again at the Christmas Vintage Fair in November, at Narberth.  The very generous Vicky had such wonderful pieces on her stall and I just had to buy the old fashioned crepe paper Christmas garland and bits and bobs of textiles.

Nelly Dean's stall at the vintage fair
 My next venue will be at Maenclochog Community Hall for the craft fair, fundraising in aid of St Meilyrs Church, Llys-y-Fran -  This will be on Saturday, 15th October from 10 - 4 and there will be refreshments, bric a brac, local produce, raffle, crafts and a children's activity corner.  Although time is running out, I am still making items for sale on my stall.  Bea Lovegrove and Nelly Dean will also be there, with their lovely hand sewn goodies. 

Mandy Roberts' stall

Monday, 3 October 2011

A Vintage Affair - II

There is a Vintage Fair taking place on Saturday 8th October from 1000 until 1400hrs, at the Albany Hall, Haverfordwest.  The hall is adjacent to the swimming pool and leisure centre, near The Green.  I will be sharing a stall with Camilla from Canvas & Cloth, Naberrth and will be selling knitting and sewing haberdashery, bric a brac, books, patterns etc.

Friday, 23 September 2011


Llangolman Church - Michaelmas Fair
We are up to our elbows in fairs this week.  Tomorrow there is the Llangolman Church Michaelmas Fair, in aid of raising funds to help keep the church up and running.  Not all of us are church-goers, but we feel that it is important to keep our local churches open and available for the community. 

Although it is a bit too early to be thinking about C*******s, I have made a few unseasonal items and will be hoping to sell them at the church fair tomorrow.

Narberth has the ever popular Food Festival, which is open on Saturday and Sunday.  There is also the Pig Street Craft Fair, where you can buy lovely crafty items and Pembrokshire Pet Pawprints will be selling handmade, natural pet snacks. 

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Crochet sessions

Hoopla Yarn
It has always been my intention to learn how to crochet but have ony got as far as buying books and hooks.  On Saturday I went to Canvas and Cloth in  Narberth, where they were holding a crochet workshop. The plan for the day was to learn how to crochet by making a bag.  We were going to use Hoopla Yarn - Canvas & Cloth are stockists -

The yarn is made of  recycled  selvedge from cotton t-shirts but feels stretchy and firm, so ideal for a bag.  There are bright  colours and neutral shades, as well as patterned varieties

After 4 hours of intense learner crocheting (with loads of mistakes and help from C), this was my happy result:

Burgundy Crochet Bag

Monday, 4 July 2011

Catch up ......

Jeannie's Beannies
Had a gap month or 2 from the blog but am here again with tales of crafting and such like. 

Was kept busy knitting beannies for the shop - not many buyers in this hot weather but you always need to forward plan for those long months in the cold and dark.  Sensible crafters are probably thinking about their Autumn and Winter collections already.  Creating takes such a time!

Over at Jane's vintage shop, where I have my Haberdashery Emporium (shelf), I have been selling de-stash yarn.  These days I am only using natural dyed yarns, so decided to have a clear out and pass on my stash to better homes.  The yarn sells at the bargain price of £1 per ball and has been proving popular with my loyal customers.

 Vintage wooden knitting pins are always interesting to me because they were used in the 1940s and 1950s.  So many people I know tell me that their mothers used to use them.  My mother used plastic and steel pins, as far as I can remember.  I sell these wooden knitting pins for £3 per pair in the shop. They are not as bendy as bamboo but look good on the craft stall.


At the Wonder Wool festival I bought this sock yarn and have now dyed it with Madder and it turned into a lovely shade of Madder brown.  The Really Wild Festival at St David's is happening at the end of July and I am planning to sell the yarn there.  The Guild has a stall at the show and I am in charge of the sales table on the Friday.

Apparently, the hot weather is ending today as rain is coming in from the west.  This means I can stop being distracted by sunshine and garden, so can stay indoors and busy myself with photo shoots for the blog.   My current knitting project is making mini bunting for the craft fair at Maenclochog this Sunday.  Also need to get on with the dolls ........

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Saturday, 16 April 2011

Nearly Easter

It's nearly Easter holidays and we have just had the sunniest weather - warmth and blue sky.  Last week-end was Wonderwool Wales at Builth Wells.  Not only did I find some wool bargains there but I also had a fab time with the shop girls at a lavender farm at the top of the Brecon hills.  So much eating, drinking and squealing.

I have been dyeing with natural plant dyes and have experimented with onion skins, daffodils and dandelion flowers.  The yarn will be sold from my Folksy shop and any Guild shows that I attend this summer.  This week I am going to try Brazilwood and Madder dyes but it can be difficult to get the right colour from them.  Not that it matters - it is all just fun to do.

Fizz enjoyed camping in the garden, I am sure of it.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Things to do ....

This week I will be dead heading the spring bulb flowers from the garden and then using them to dye some yarn.  One method of dyeing is to place the dried flower heads in a pyrex dish, together with cold water, alum and cream of tartar as a mordant and then leave in the greenhouse and let the sunshine do the work.

There is a "Show and Tell" at the Guild meeting this Wednesday but unfortunately I have sold all my knitting, so I will probably take some work in progress, such as Fair Ilse leg warmers, 4ply doll clothes and some yarn I have dyed with onion skins.  The other members usually produce some amazing items, so it will be an interesting evening.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Shrove Tuesday ...

Time to use up the eggs and make the pancakes.  Lemon, sugar, golden syrup, jam?  Lambs are in the field, frost in the early morning, sunshine - it will probably rain later this week.  Spring nearly here?

Lyle's Golden Syrup in a resealable tin. This ...Image via Wikipedia
Today I am also going to a photo shoot to promote the Damson & Slate shop.  The article on running a business in the countryside, will not be published until February 2012.  Let's hope that the shop is still flourishing next year.

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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Mug Cozy

The Wonder Wool Fest is nearly upon us - 9th April - and I haven't made anything to sell, but the Guild have asked that we make some mug cozies to sell on our stand.  How about casting on 48 stitches and kntting rib or moss for 22 rows.  Cast off and add buttons on one of the sides.  In front of the buttons  make button holes with crochet hook and a chain stitch.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Change of mind!

The vintage shop has started making a profit!  Just when I had made the big decision; now I am not going to shut it down but carry on until at least September.  Hopefully, visitors during the season will love to shop at Fay Philips Vintage Store.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Business time ...

It's time to get on with business - I am going to finish having a small unit in the vintage shop as it is not attracting sufficient customers.  Yes, this is just a hobby but I would like to make some profit!  This means I am going to make a better effort at promoting and selling on the Folksy site.  There has been some interest shown, so I am hopeful I can make some more sales.  It is also time to get on with knitting my dolls as I have orders coming in. 

Friday, 21 January 2011

Pet in the house

We bought a puppy from the local animal rescue centre and he has taken over my life!  There has been no time for crafting as I have been cuddling and fussing over the new arrival (he is a puppy and a resuced one).  Who is in charge of this house?!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Folksy shop

Some time ago I came across a stack of old knitting patterns, they were mostly baby clothes patterns from the 1950s and 1960s.  As vintage designs go, I don't think that young, yummy mummies, would wish to dress their lovely babies in such outdated designs.  Adult vintage knitting designes are something else though.  Although the yarn and needles produced for the current times are certainly different in texture and shape, I do feel that today's knitters would turn out a good, wearable garment from these patterns.

This week I will be loading up some of the vintage knitting patterns on my Folksy shop site, with a view to making some sales.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Hen Galan

In Pembrokeshire Hen Galan, or New Year according to the Julian calender, is celebrated on 13th January.  The Julian calender was abolished in 1752 and replaced by the Gregorian calendar.  The people of the Gwaun Valley, Pembrokeshire resisted this change and today still celebrate the New Year in the old way.

Children go from house to house, carrying an apple decorated with a sprig of evergreen.  The apple represents prosperity and the children are rewarded with sweets and money.  Sing songs are performed and traditionally the men would go game hunting and the women would prepare a feast.

Tonight there will be much music and singing in the valley.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

January Blues

It is mid(ish)-January and not really that good.  The weather here is poor.  Today we had thick fog and yesterday it just didn't stop raining.  Some parts of Wales have had to cope with flooded houses and roads.  A friend has been suffering the effects of swine 'flu and pay day is far in to the distant future.

There are plenty of projects to keep me busy though, such as making hats for the Spring collection in the shop and a Fair Isle scarf I started over the Christmas holidays.  Next Wednesday the Guild get back together for the first meeting of the year and we are going to have a crochet session!  Crochet is something I have never tried but would like to make a bedspread, old fashioned style.  Have you seen the price of the crochet bedspread in one of Toast's catalogues?  Cheery news then.

Friday, 7 January 2011


The shop where I am working part-time, is closed now until January 20th.  Yesterday some of us met up for coffee in a local cafe and then spent some time in the shop, taking down the Christmas decorations.  It was 12th night and all good things must come to an end.

The shop is being spruced up for the new season and us knitters are working out colours and designs for our 2011 collection.

My contribution will be to carry on with making beanies, as they are so popular with our male customers.  I am also going to make beanies with a lacy pattern, so will be looking at what is on offer on  The colours will be neutral and the yarn will be from Welsh farms and mixed breeds.  Fab.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Would rather be ......

... in Queensland.  Well, not in the North.  Rockhampton is in a pretty bad way with all the flooding.  They have had such a lot of rain recently; it is the wet season, but La Nino is in the wrong position, therefore the climate is topsy turfy.  A bit like here in the UK, where the Gulf Stream is all over the place, but not the correct place.
Tropic of Capricorn monument 'wall' at Rockham...Image via Wikipedia

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