Wednesday, 24 November 2010

How Do You Display Yours ?

I have been playing around a bit lately with new ways of displaying my stock. Its funny what you see on your travels or find laying around that makes you go oohh, that would do for that ? I have quite a large display in the shop I run, it is made up of an old table, fruit crates, a plank of wood, an old cutlery tray and an array of baskets. My cutlery tray is great, I have recently moved some pegs into it that were in basket & they are now flying out!

I am also discovering that certain things look great visually yet they mean the customer darn't touch the item. Some customers like to have a rummage, some like to see a price label so they dont need to turn the product over & some like to be served. I am now adding more & more little brown luggage labels with prices so they can see whats what without the need to ask.

I went on the move twice this last week & had great fun creating washing lines on my stalls !!!

This weeks find in my garage was an old baguette board. I've had it years & I used it about twice when we first got married & had friends round for bbq's ! It was perfect for displaying soaps on today, I think after this weeks fayre I may add it to my display at the shop for my mini plaques or trinket boxes ?

Its all a learning curve but I love it, the challenge of how to get the most out of a product is just great, I remember as a kid wanting to be a window dresser.....guess my dream is being lived except its with bits of random dotty wood !

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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Christmas !

It occurred to me today whilst painting all things red & white that I haven't even found the time to share my Christmas creations with you. I am so busy concentrating on processing orders & prepping things for 3 Christmas fairs I dont know what day it is !

All I keep hearing & reading is how many days are NOT left til the big day....yikes its creeping up on us fast ! Personally we dont get festive at home until quite late in the day. Our family deadline to have the house all dec'ed up is my husbands birthday (16th). I did have a laugh this week when my hubby passed a house on his way home from work with Christmas lights in the window !!

I've kept things simple this year just sticking to red & white & mainly hearts. I ummed and ahhed over trees, stars. stockings, angels & just couldn't decide, so stuck to this. However I am already thinking next year where I may go bright & funky & a bit different !

All my creations are available to buy direct from me or by visiting From The Wildes Christmas shop, where loads more Christmas creations can be found !

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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Win £500 of handmade Goodies !!!!

As you may know I sell some of my products on the fab website that is From the Wilde. In Ellie Wilde's own words the site is "an eclectic collection of some of Britain’s most exciting and contemporary designer makers, artists and illustrators" !! There are currently loads of great products on there and it really is worth while having a browse for your Christmas shopping.

Sounds good ? want to get some of it for free ? then keep reading !!!!!

This month From The Wilde have got together with the great on line magazine From Britain With Love , this site celebrates all things British and handmade. Each month they run a competition and for the whole of November some From the Wilde makers (including me) have donated prizes !! There are £500 worth of handmade lovelies up for grabs so get entering, good luck xxx

Saturday, 30 October 2010

I've Been Kidnapped !!!!

Well, well I here you all that really her.....yes hi guys, its me & I'm back.

What can I say......nothing I guess but the truth which is my lack of blogging is totally & utterly bang out of order. I've just realised tomorrow is the last day of the month and I haven't done a single post this month, which is so bad. You may be curious to know why and where I have been ? well sit back & I'll explain the truth........

Facebook kidnapped me !!!

It was about a year ago when a few crafter/maker friends of mine gave me some advice, one had even been told it from the likes of Business Link & WIRE.........."you need to need to facebook.......get on twitter......forget a website......raise your profile......create a fan base.... spread the word......start with blogging......then sell on line......its the way forward"

So I took the advice & began my journey into this mad & rather strange world of social networking. I'll be honest and say I didn't even know what a blog was, I thought facebook was for teenagers & twitter for celebrities, lol !!!!! I'm not even a great texter never mind an online cyber goer ! But I'll give anything a go, so I did. I regularly wrote posts on here, made time to read all your comings & goings & we together shared news & views. I loved it ! I found blogging a very inspirational & motivating tool. The sharing of work, trends & ideas really helped me. My dear hubby made frequent comments about my blogging & the amount of time I took reading, writing, commenting etc. I really found my confidence through blogging and was buzzing that my business was finding its feet. So one day I decided to go for it........I clicked that dangerous button

'join facebook' AAAHHHH!!!

And that was it, they had me, kidnapped & cuffed !! I set up a Muddy Puddle Crafts Page & was there. It is quick, it is easy, it is instant, it grips you, its non stop, fans appear from no where, orders start coming in & before you know it I'm a serial facebooker, lol !

No seriously guys thats how it is! I have been on here from time to time but never long enough to post. I have read your posts but often whilst waiting for my photos to up load on facebook, sorry. Then before I get the chance to leave a comment, there it is...... 'ping'.......there goes my phone & pc letting me know I've got a facebook notification.

Well enough rambling & time to stop this fiasco of neglecting blogging. I feel like my daughter about to take her girl guiding promise at Rainbows so here goes.......

"I promise that I will do my best to love blogging as much as facebook & not to neglect you and ensure I post at least once a week"

Thanks guys, see u next week, if not before, Jo xxx

ps if you see me on facebook please tell me to get on here & you'll be pleased to know for now I'll be giving twitter a miss !!!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Where Did the Summer Go ?

It occurred to me today whilst flicking through my photos that I have yet to share my snaps of France with you. I went in August and have been back for nearly a month so with Autumn banging on the door thought I'd best get on with it !

You may be aware that my parents live there so I go quite frequently, they retired there 4 years ago and not long after my brother & his family joined them. They are all very settled with the kids (age 13, 11, 7 & 4) all fluent, my brother & sister in law sorted work wise & my parents enjoying their retirement in stunning chilled out surroundings. They live in the Languedoc region, about an hour south of Toulouse, an hour from the med and views of the Pyrennees from the house. Their nearest big towns are Carcassonne & Mirpoix, despite being to both of them probably 15 times in the last 4 years a visit wouldn't be a visit with out a trip to the famous Mirpoix Monday Market and the Medieval Cite of Carcassonne.

I took loads of pics this time but have just collaged my favourite ones for you.........

A day at the lake with the Pyrenees in the background !

The vines & melon fields that surround the house & are literally at the bottom of the garden. They pick the melons each night & we often popped to see the man (the village mayor in fact) to buy 4 for 5 euros freshly cut, bargain !
The wares on offer at the market, no I didn't try the mussels & yes I wish I had room for a basket in my suitcase x

Inside the Medieval Cite of Carcassonne.
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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Crafty Sunday

Happy Sunday everyone, got a bit of a change for you this week. Thought I'd give you a break form Muddy Puddle Crafts makes and present ..................
Muddy Puddle Mini's
(my children x)
This week they have been busy creating at home for the annual Stoke Bliss Flower Show & Ploughing Match. For all you un countrified people out there its what happens around here in by part of the world........... basically a bunch of farmers get together in a field & mess around in the mud to discover who ploughs the best furrows......mean while their wives bake and flower arrange to see who's the best home-maker.......the oldies present their home grown veggies in the form of the longest runner bean & biggest marrow........and the kids get creative !!!!! It may seem a little strange but its fun for all the family and a good old fashioned British tradition. As a child I loved our local Flower Show (minus the ploughing) and was always keen to compete under the guidance of my dear Nan, borrowing her vases & oasis to do wee flower arrangements. The thrill of winning a certificate and the 20p prise money was the best feeling ever !!!
Anyway onto the creating..........
Age 4's "A Collage of Outside Materials".......he got SECOND PLACE !!!!!!

Age 4's "Decorate 3 Digestive Biscuits".......he got HIGHLY COMMENDED !!!!!!

Age 6's "Decorate the first letter of your name"..........she got FIRST PLACE !!!!
Age 6's " Make an Animal from Fruit & Veg".......this cute bug won nothing :(
But hey ho didn't they do proud xxx

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Oohh Aahh Fresh Flowers (is back)

You may remember my quest some time ago to always keep fresh flowers in my newly refurbished kitchen.....I set myself a modest budget that wouldn't break the bank of around £3, decided to buy from random supermarkets and agreed to share them with you ! When I was a good blogger I would regulary share what was brightening up our home.....well our summer has been sooooo busy with so much time away we have had more jugs of "Uurr Dead Flowers" than "Oohh Aahh Fresh Flowers".

Well my quest is back on track as of this week....I have broken the rules already....but there is good reason.

My husband is currently working in America & has been away for nearly 3 weeks. I came home the other day to find this gorgeous bouquet had been delivered from him !!! It looked great then but as the days have gone by its got better & better, the smell is un believable and the pink lily's are really something. Hope you can smell them through your monitor ?

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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Crafty Sunday

Good evening bloggers ! Is it really Crafty Sunday again ? this will be a quicky for me as I have a sofa full of ironing, got to clear the decks so we can actually sit down !

Well this has been my first week as a full time mummy with no kids to look after, my little boy started school :( Its been a week of mixed emotions, still cant believe that it both my babies are at school, what will I do with out them.... but on the other hand I can now have privileged 'me' time. I'm sure I'll adjust and get into my own little routine but think I'll be a be a bit lonely, its been sooo quiet. Anyway to keep my mind off the situation this week I've thrown myself into Muddy Puddle World & what progress I've made............

12 Shabby Key Rings, 6 Flower Necklaces, 2 Bookmarks, 3 Dotty key Rings, 6 Brooches, 10 Chunky Hearts, A family Key Hook & a Double Heart Door Hanger ! Phew.

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Friday, 10 September 2010

Back by Popular Demand.....

For those of you who have followed me from the start on here & on facebook my profile picture has remained the same 'dotty chunky hearts'. Despite all the progress I've made and all the new products I create I dont think I will never change it. You see these cute little things are dear to my heart............

Way back when when I started Muddy Puddle Crafts I had quite a small product range and was always on the look out for new ideas and new blanks to paint. On a trip to Hobby Craft I found 2 bags of blank papier mache hearts stuck in the back of a bargain bin so I bought them. After a bit of paint, some dotting, some varnish and some ribbon they were transformed into 'chunky hearts'. For weeks on end they travelled around with me from craft fair to craft fair and always cheered up my stall ! They sat in baskets, hung across my stall on a washing line and were dotted here there & everywhere. Gradually I sold them all and was gutted when I only had one left and couldn't get any more.

Then last month on holiday in France I went to the French version of Hobby Craft & found some very similar ones but in wooden !!! They were the same size, just perfect. But I had the same quantity problem, they only had 10. Of course I bought the lot and with a lot of thinking I've chosen my 10 favorite colour combinations............

Lime & Fuchsia because its so me, and the best combination EVER !
Red & Fuchsia because I just love the cheery clash it creates !

Baby Pink & White because its as pure as a new born baby !
Fuchsia & White because every little girl is just MAD about pink !

Baby Pink & Brown because it makes pink grown up & Sophisticatd !
Duck Blue & Brown because it reminds me of the seaside - sea, sand & driftwood !

Fuchsia & Aqua as its become my little girls favorite colours !
Aqua & Red because its just soooo Cath Kidston !

Purple & Pink because purple lovers do exist & I hate purple & lilac !
Yellow & Purple because they are the wackiest combination of complimentary colours !

These 10 limited edition little hearts are available to buy for £4.50 each plus 75p p&
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Monday, 6 September 2010

Crafty Sunday on Monday !

As far as Muddy Puddle goes I am rushed off my feet at the moment, catching up, making orders, re stocking the shop, playing with new ideas & thinking Christmas. I am bit all over the place with a lot of half finished products that I hope will eventually come together so I can resume some sort of order ! There's nothing really of any substance to share this week so thought I'd share a more personal project with you......'scrap booking'

Cant remember if I've mentioned in the past I have been asked to compile a scrap book about my time (the last 6 years) as a mum at the local family centre I attend. The HOPE Family centre is where me & the kids have hung out for the last 6 years at various toddler groups, both my 2 went through pre school there and I have done many courses. Its a great place where both me & the kids have made some great friendships & I too have learnt new skills. Over the years while the kids were in creche I have done courses in sign language, spanish, gardening & web design to name but a few. The centre really impacts on family's lives and of course recently with The HOPE Emporium craft shop opening it has helped launch my craft business.

So I was given an old hardback book, told to rip out some pages, get out the glue & go for it !

I love the faded burgundy cover so much I have left most of it visible and personalised it with of course polka dots ! As the pages area bit battered I needed a way the strengthen the book for page turning so I have gone ribbon mad !

I have stuck, torn, written, drawn, collaged, painted, printed, its just great fun !

Align Centre

I have also been lent the cutest box of stamps which I am going mad with ! I am so excited by them I'm off on Amazon later to treat myself to my own set !

Its great fun and as well as my creative brain working overtime my writing brain has kicked in and there's no stopping me. Jotting down thoughts on such busy colourful pages is really helping me put pen to paper.
I am already thinking about doing another one when I have finished this one and would recommend all you creative types to try it !!!

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