Friday, 27 May 2011


I'm having problems logging into Blogger and therefore I can't post up the details of the giveaway. I am posting this from my phone and don't fancy doing a full post on this tiny keyboard!

Hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly. Hang on in there! If it's any consolation this extra time is giving me time to think of extra goodies to include :-)

EDIT: Yee har, I'm in! Thanks to the lovely Jenny for suggesting that I use a different browser. Happy days!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

giveaway news and craft fair essentials

I thought it was high time we had a little giveaway on this blog! I have a few things put aside and will be posting a blog post about it later in the week. I have had some good luck with Facebook giveaways and blog competitions last week so I thought I'd return the favour in my own small way.

Come back later to find out what goodies are on offer and follow the blog to enter!

Do you like my craft fair money apron?  I've been meaning to make one of these for so long and it took a fellow craft fair trader requesting one for me to actually get round to it. You can of course buy these commercially but I wanted a pretty apron to keep my cash safe and not lying in a tin on the table. I have included a pocket to insert business cards and a separate section for pens. Then there are two generously sized pockets for cash and note books, etc.

These are available to buy from my Folksy shop here Let me know what you think about them!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

vintage fair - a first for Pembrokeshire!

I'm doing my first vintage fair on Saturday, eek! I have seen how popular they are in other parts of the UK but this, I believe, is the first one being held in Pembrokeshire.  I'm busy making more vintage tea cup candles, including some new scented and coloured ones. All very exciting!  My products are a mix of new, vintage and upcylced materials so hopefully there will be something on offer for everyone to enjoy.

I originally made tea cup candles for my wedding reception and I must say they looked great. Especially when teamed with old tea pots, jugs and coffee pots being used as vases. The flowers were beautiful spring flowers and I thought tied in with the simple vintage style very well. I still have the tea pots, etc so I'll take them along too and pop them on the stall.  I have a beautiful old fashioned black Bakelite telephone with a dial on the front. It isn't for sale but I might take it along as a prop. It is beautiful and it works too, bonus!

If you are in Haverfordwest on Saturday please pop along! Albany Hall, Hill Street. 10am to 2pm. Tea and cake also being served. Free entry!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Craft fairs - all the fun of the fair!

I've been doing craft fairs for nearly a year now and I have seen and learnt so much in that time. The way I set out my stall has evolved and changed over the year. I have bought props to help make my stall stand out from the rest. My favourite have got to be the vintage French apple crates bought on t'internet. They provide storage for stock between fairs and also for transporting to the events. Once I'm there they also provide much needed height and interest for the table. Although, some people do not seem to appreciate their rustic charm as I was once asked why I had fruit boxes on my table and that she had some back home on her farm and wouldn't dream of using them for decoration. Takes all sorts I suppose, she could give them to me!

My display layout is still evolving and think it will always continue to do so. I haven't cracked how to display bags to their best advantage but I have some ideas to try out at the next event I go to. And I definitely need to tie my lengths of bunting differently so that I don't have to refold them each time a customer rifles through the pile!

I have found that you cannot predict how the fair or event will go. The ones where you think you'll do a roaring trade, you find yourself totally doubting yourself and wondering why you haven't done as well as you'd hope. Then there's the small event where you do really well and equally wonder why. Like the one on I did last year: a winter's evening too close to Christmas for comfort, icy roads, hardly advertised, small room, hardly any tables but everyone that came in seemed to buy something. That's the kind of event I like!

The comments you receive and the direct feedback can be amazing. You feel that all the time and effort that has gone into your work is appreciated when people tell you how nice your products are. Although you do have to develop a thick skin for the odd comment that may sting a little! Some people cannot help being a little too loud when talking to their friends, don't they realise you can hear them! Older ladies love looking at my stall  with the bunting and vintage tea cups. They often start to reminisc about sewing in their younger days and are pleased that people are still sewing as so many people don't do it these days.

It is always nice to see which traders you are next to at each event. Most traders are lovely people and all out to help each other out and support each other. I have had chairs lent to me, my stall looked after while I have a quick trip to the loo or a sneaky look around the event and help to redo my stall when it blew over many times at an outdoor event recently. The networking possibilities are great at each event, there is always someone new to meet.

I have seen some sights over the last year too.  Like a small, excitable child grabbing a delicate item off a table and running across the room to show her mum. My heart was in my mouth as I rushed over to suggest I took it off her and put it back before the stall holder came back!  And let's not talk about the stallholder sipping from a vodka bottle throughout an event!

So, I have another new event for me this weekend. It's a vintage fair so I need to make the stand look vintagey if I possibly can. Maybe I'll take my old Bakelite rotary dial telephone as a display item. I'll have to put a 'not for sale' sign on it though!

I'd love to hear comments from people about their craft show tales. Have you cracked out to display your products? If you have please spill the beans, new tips are always welcome!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Narberth - Britain's best shopping street?

Google has placed my town in the short list for the best shopping street in Britain. How exciting is that? Google Street View Awards are a celebration of Britain's best streets, to be voted for in a nationwide poll.

Photo credit Hight Street UK

An expert panel put the shortlist together, including some great movers and shakers in the world of tv, magazines, tourism and newspapers. Narberth has a thriving High Street and we have superb selection of independent shops. There are boutiques, homewares, antiques, bridal, gifts, etc. We also have two butchers, two grocery shops, two delis and many more, far too many to mention. My particular favourites are Pretty Lovely lingerie shop, White Boutique and White Bride, The Golden Sheaf Gallery and Canvas and Cloth.

In addition to the long list of great shops, we also have a varied selection of cafes, restaurants and pubs. Two sisters Plum and Vanilla run their cafe, Plum Vanilla, serving an interesting range of homemade food. What a great name for a great cafe!

Photo credit: White Boutique

It is wonderful that Narberth is at last getting the recognition that it deserves. I think it is one of the best towns in Pembrokeshire but some may say that I'm biased because I live here! We have a thriving live music scene, popular winter and summer carnivals and a food festival which is a foodies heaven! Narberth has real character, unlike many towns in Britain which, sadly, are failing and struggling to fight against out of town shopping centres. Let's hear it for independent shops and the High Streets of Britain!

Voting closes on 22nd May and the winners will be announced in June. Fingers crossed we win.

Place your vote here!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Bobble Bunting

My bobble bunting continues to be popular. It has been recently featured in a blog on Folksy Folksy bunting blog.  I was delighted to be featured as my shop hadn't been open that long. 

Today I was delighted again to see it featured on the blog by Viv at Poppy Sparkles It was great to see my work alongside some great examples of bunting.

The bobble bunting is available to buy from my Folksy shop.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Red and Aqua

I seem to be obsessed with red and aqua at the moment. I am drawn to it all the time and every time I use it I think it looks so pretty. The little lavender bag above made with aqua linen, spotty grosgrain ribbon and spotty cotton with freehand machine embroidery. Smells gorgeous too!

Then there's the brooches. This one is made with lovely and thick 100% wool felt and a piece of red, white and aqua cotton. It is finished off with a little cluster of random buttons in the corner.

This brooch is made with the same lovely thick felt and I've contrasted the blanket stitching around the edge. Please excuse the dodgy photo editing because it looks like I have made it all angular but it isn't really. Just the way the photo has been cropped! More practice needed I think.

What colours are you liking at the moment?

Monday, 2 May 2011

Questions, questions, questions!

Oh dear, I seem to have opened a can of worms by re-starting my blog. Where did my pretty background go? How do I get rid of that annoying 'missing photo' thingy? How do I add a swanky Folksy shop badge? I may be some time answering all of those questions. And more, probably.

Help me!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

*cough cough*

Oh dear, I kind of disappeared there didn't I? I kind of lost my confidence and had a bit of blogfright. The longer you leave it, the harder it is to come back, don't you think? I did think of starting again somewhere else but decided to give it another try. Let's see if I can keep up the posts a bit more this time, eh?

Well, what has happened in the last 10 months? I attended some craft fairs with my nellie dean stock (some good, some not so good), a holiday from hell (Malta, argh!), Christmas came and went, a few birthdays in the family and my husband completed his first triathalon! I find it amazing how much you learn by doing different events and fairs. I have worked hard to make my stall look appealing and have been adding various bits and bobs over the months. I now have some lovely vintage French apple crates, a seed tray, old china bowl (50p in an eco shop, bargain!) and a shabby chic style tailor's dummy which is covered in a rose pattern.

My website finally went live after many hours of hard work and I have many more hours to put in to finish it off! I expect that I will be tweaking and adding to it for some time yet. I also opened a Folksy shop and even managed a sale! woo hoo! I have lots more items to add to that too but I'll get there eventually. Oh and I'm on Twitter too @Nellie_Dean. No wonder I have a hard time keeping on top of making things and housework with all this online and social media stuff to keep on top of.

Right, the Sunday roast won't cook itself so I'll have to pop back soon with more news.

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