Saturday, 22 December 2012

It's the end of the world as we know it.......or possibly not!

So......this is the last post of the year from 2 Crafty Birds and I feel it will be a bit of a reflection on the year just gone.

So the things I have learned:

1) I can sew!
2) I can sew quite well!
3) The vast majority of crafty folk are fantabulous and ever so slightly bonkers
4) Booking a craft fair 3 days before Christmas is the stupidest idea ever
5) Generally anyone that's negative about what you do, cannot do what you do, they just like the sound of their own voice!
6) Running your own business is damn hard, exhausting, leaves you with no social life, money or anything else but is infinitely better than anything else
7) Fabric glue sticks rock (thanks Handmade By Mrs H)
8) Putting pins in on an angle does mean less breakages (again thanks Mrs H)
9) My sewing machine hates upholstery fabric
10) I hate shot taffeta
11) Spray starch is my best friend (Mrs H again!)
12) Outside craft fairs are a bad idea, especially given the British weather!
13) My mum rocks!
14) My mad spaniels will eat absolutely anything, including gloves, zips, magnetic snaps and cotton reels
15) My kids are the best and make me proud every day
16) There really aren't enough hours in the day and Christmas starts in July when you're a crafter!
17) Strictly Come Dancing = too much ice cream and chocolate and is very bad for your health but Artem more than makes up for it!
18) Singing the Proclaimers at the top of your voice tends to give you a very sore throat
19) Sleep is good but at this time of year very scarce!
20) The end of the world didn't happen, I'm still here, 2 Crafty Birds lives to fight another year! Yay!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Bad Birdie!

Oops, it's been ages since I updated this blog.  I can't promise I'll get any better but I promise I'll try!

So what's been going on in the world of the crafty birds?  Well we've been working like trojans the past few months, getting ready for the Cardiff City Crafty & Hobby show.  It went really well and we'll definitely be back in May 2014.  I've decided to take a step back from the jewellery making as it's really, really hard to make a living from my woven stuff, I can't unfortunately charge what the pieces are really worth, given the current economic climate.  So for now, it's commission only pieces and I'm moving on and concentrating on my obsession with handbags.  For someone who was never going to sew I seem to have caught the bug :-)  I absolutely love making them, at the minute I'm making a lot of fabric ones, but I'm also experimenting with felting.

So today's experiment involved knitting two pieces, 32 stitches by 60 rows on the knitting machine.  The first piece was wet felted, rolled 50 times vertically, 50 times horizontally, 4 times in total.  It was then shoved under a hot tap, then the cold four times and thrown into the tumble dryer.  After 5 minutes it was shocked under the hot and cold tap and put back in dryer for 5 minutes.  This was then repeated with a ten minute spell in the dryer.  Following that I put it back under the hot tap, added a little hand soap, rinsed with cold and then 40 minutes in the dryer.  Phew!  After all that it had shrunk from 17cm x 19cm to 12cm x 14cm which is great but sadly it just hadn't felted enough in that the stitches were still quite visible.  So the second piece has been put in the washing machine on a quick wash programme, mini load at 70 degrees with three towels.  The results to be announced later!

I've also been having a go at some wedding tiaras and hair combs, not sure where I'll go with it, one thing's for sure my fingers seriously need to harden up!

Crafty bird No.2 has been busy designing her first original LindiBears teddy bear and very cute it is too!

Well that's it for now, I'll report back later with the results of the washing machine felting.........

So the results are in..... although I have less control over the shaping of it as it felts, the washing machine wins.  The original piece was 17x19cm, it's now 12x7.5, strangely it's shrunk more vertically than horizontally, I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around?  One thing I have discovered when machine felting is that the seams always end up really clumpy if I sew it together first, so my plan is to knit up a square, felt it down and then cut it into the shape I want and sew it, not ideal, would much prefer a seamless look to it, I may try needle felting the seam down slightly, if it doesn't work then I've not lost a great deal!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Well it's all go here this morning - completely forgot about Craftfest so just had a manic half hour submitting avatars, forms and such like, just the album to finish now.  I've been given a knitting machine so have been very impatiently waiting for my new wool to turn up, which thankfully it did this morning, Botany wool so lovely and soft - hopefully if I can figure out the machine I can get started on a new range of felted bags :-)  In the meantime I'm working on a netted collar using some lovely silver top drilled crystal bicones, very punk/goth looking, I've also got a cellini spiral necklace on the go but that's going to take me AGES!

Looks like it's going to be a busy few months for the crafty birds, we have a bellydance Hafla in September, the Cardiff City Stadium Craft and Hobby Show in October, a jewellery party (possibly two) not to mention keeping the shops stocked up and ready for where did I put that other pair of hands?!

You can find us @ and also Crafty Bird No. 2 is @

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Just a quick post!

Well it's all go at 2 Crafty Birds - both myself and Crafty Bird No. 2 (aka Mum) are having major clear outs prior to the big shake up, I think we can safely say that our logo of 2 magpies is entirely apt!  Mum apparently has got rid of 16 bin bags of stuff from an 8 foot by 8 foot craft room and I've managed to collect 3 kilos of beads ready to sell in the great destash!  Listing that lot will be fun.  So nothing vaguely creative appears to have taken place and judging by the to do list, it's not likely to in the next week :-( However it's all in a good cause and we'll be back and cooking with gas with a new streamlined look and feel to the company in just a few short weeks :-)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Business is........

deathly quiet!!! Still trying to reorganise everything, get on top of listings, sort out my stash and now this week we have a small school fayre and a business course to attend, on top of which I just realised that my previous business is still registered with HMRC, the new one isn't and I've forgotten my log in details lol.  When someone invents a new day in the week or at least a few more hours in the day my life will be so much easier!  Feels like my brain is chock full of different ideas and tasks to do, one more thing and I'm sure I'll just explode.  Might just have to write a list to remember it all.  Hopefully it'll all settle down by next week and I can start getting back into a routine or at least something that resembles one lol.  Haven't created a great deal in the past few days, just a felted frog and sheep ready to go onto calico bags, a pencil case and what appears to be a lot of mess!  Ah well, no rest for the wicked!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Computer says Nooooooo!!

Well what a day!  Far from being creative and getting more beads destashed and listed on Folksy, I've spent hours trying to rip out a horrendous virus from my sons computer.  Just a warning if you get a box pop up that looks very legitimate called Data Recovery, it most definitely is a virus, do NOT click anything!  Instead pop over to and just follow the instructions.  You might find that you're locked out of starting in safe mode, in which case switch your pc off halfway through loading up and then reboot, it should then give you the option to start in safe mode.  The saga is not quite over for us unfortunately as their screen keeps kicking off and forcing us to restart every 15 mins!!!  Looks like I'm in for a very long night :-(

On a crafty note, I ordered the botany selection from World of Wool (selection of wool tops from their waste products) and they're fabulous!  The felt is currently reduced to 1.75 a metre as a well, bargain!  Hopefully I'll get to do something tomorrow with it, in the meantime, this is a bag I finished a couple of weeks ago, I absolutely love it, so meet George the needle felted owl!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Oooo I've been neglectful!!

Just realised it's been ages since I posted a blog (mind you I said at the beginning that I struggled to keep a diary...), whoops!

So the story so far, well we did the big show in Cardiff City Stadium in May.  It was a bit of a mixed bag really, the first event of this kind run at the venue so there were some teething problems, usual thing of too many jewellery stalls, resellers sneaking in etc but we made our fees back so I think we'll probably do it again.  We've done a couple of smaller fayres, but to be honest I think we'll knock them on the head, unless you're selling stuff for under a fiver they don't tend to go very well, more's the pity.  It's prompted us to have a bit of a rethink about our business venture and some big decisions have been made.

Essentially we've decided that we've been trying to do too much, as in too much variation in the things that we make, which is leading our stalls to look far too cluttered and jumbled up.  So what we've decided to do is to still keep 2 Crafty Birds as one over-arching business but with separate brands on separate sites, so we'll end up with the LindiBears brand (mums mohair artist bears) with their own exclusive website and I'm going to ditch the fashion jewellery and concentrate on more of a niche product line, primarily bead weaving and bead embroidery.

If we do any fayres, then we are more likely to just stick to the fabric crafts for those, smaller ticket items such as needle felted tote bags, handbags, aprons and the dreaded bunting (sorry but I loathe and detest the stuff!!!)  So with all that in mind, I'm busy sorting through my bead stash and listing it on Folksy - currently got some miracle beads, copper coloured beads and some beautiful shell pendants listed on there at far lower prices than some of the stuff you can get on Ebay and if you combine an order you only get charged an extra 20p postage!

So that's it work wise at the moment, oh apart from a small business course that we're on next week, which I'm looking forward to but my mother is dreading lol - keep telling her she can't just do the fun bits lol

In my other life, the kids have finished their first year in college, have signed up for year 2 (that was a relief I can tell you), Hamish McBeth (aka scruffy spaniel) has managed to steal 2 balls of felting wool, whilst Harri Mac (aka kleptomaniac spaniel) has just about stolen everything else, including a felting needle which I found him carrying around in his mouth earlier on.  Normal service resumed then!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Ok, so now I'm panicking!  We have just under two weeks til the "big show" and I am nowhere near ready!!!  Not helped by the fact that I've had to overhaul the shop banners, got stuck into promoting like a demon, am waiting for the launch of The CraftStar shop and the house is in such dire need of cleaning that I think even the ants are going to move out in disgust!  I've also got to redo the weekly photos as they were shocking, so that will be this afternoons job I think, then it's onto finishing the embroidered broach and hopefully get the earrings started that popped into my head at 4.30am (ggrrrr).

On a more calm note, the items I have finished............

The stripey bag and the flower bag are the same bag, it's reversible.  I'm really pleased with these :-)  They're a good size too, with squared corners so you can fit loads in :-)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


I am a very bad birdie!  I kept meaning to update the blog all last week but have discovered that I actually have a natural ability to procrastinate!  My big event is coming up in just over two weeks and true to form instead of actually knuckling down I decided to hop from idea to idea, whilst actually accomplishing very little!  Still, we've got the etsy shop up and running properly now and have paid for a little advertising on there, fingers crossed someone actually buys something before my mum hits the mohair shopping again (seriously, she's obsessed!)  Had a great impromptu party with a good friend of mine on the weekend, which led to me actually taking a day off, which I have to say has probably done me the world of good and made me refocus.  The house is a tip, the dogs are behaving like toddlers with ADHD after being fed a box of skittles and the teenage sons are killing each other on a regular basis - hey ho, normality reigns!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Buttons, buttons and more buttons!

Well today I think I might have gone a little overboard on the buttons.  I decided that I'd try to do some "jubilee" themed ones, then kind of went a little bit nuts from there!  This evening I made a start on another "slinky" bracelet that someone recently commissioned, pics to follow hopefully.  Other than that I've just sat here and listened to the howling wind and pounding rain - fingers crossed the roof holds!!

Saturday, 28 April 2012


I guess technically it's Sunday morning now, so I'm a little late with this blog.  I blame this entirely on my brother dragging me out to a rock club til the wee small hours!  Which after a night on the vodka with my lovely mate is probably a step too far and I will end up paying for it for about a week lol.  I did however achieve something crafty today, I made a polymer clay button.  And I intend making a lot more.  I kind of like Fimo but never really been interested in making beads from it, but buttons - marvellous.  I can never find the ones I like and get impatient trawling through shop after shop so from now on I shall make my own.  I might even make some to sell once I get the hang of the damn canes!  Anyhow that's it for now, I is very tired and will probably feel much worse in a few hours - night/morning all!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Early Bird....

Get me being all sensible - off over to a friends tonight to hit the vodka and celebrate the first official sale on Folksy - twas a small, but very welcome one!  Figured if I post now, then my usual tendency to talk absolute drivel (ok worse absolute drivel) when slightly merry will be headed off!  So today I posted out my first sale, must put my postage costs up and then proceeded to cut out a pattern for a clutch bag.  The cutting out went ok, the sewing however was a disaster, ended up sewing the wrong end twice in half hour and haven't even attempted to fit the wadding yet.  I did however managed to put in a magnetic snap, so I'm proud of that if nothing else lol.  Whether I'll be able to complete the bag tomorrow (the vodka may just halt that) is another thing.......

Thursday, 26 April 2012

No........step away from the loom!! I did some work! Not much but at least I got some done.  The back of my mind is shrieking "the show is 3 weeks away, work damn you!" but the front of my mind is thinking "hmmm, I think I'll just pop on the laptop for a minute".  The trials and tribulations of my little sisters loom project continued today as she threaded her loose ends through.......kind of.  Trying to teach someone loom work and then have a completed piece in 3 days is really not a good thing, still we eventually finished about 9.30 this evening, it's going in tomorrow so hopefully that will be the end of that! I found myself wondering about bead embroidery today, I love seed bead weaving as it is, so it might be something I have a closer look at, maybe try out a cuff bracelet, I've been fiddling around with a design idea on publisher so who knows.....I really wish I could draw at times like this, I have so many ideas going around my head but no way of getting them graphically down on paper :-(  Tomorrow I shall be attempting a clutch bag, I've got some gorgeous hot pink fabric and some silver lining fabric, so I'm thinking it's going to be pretty stunning, bit trial and error as I've not made one before, but watch this space as they say, maybe a pic on here tomorrow.  Right that's it, time for bed or I'll be fit for nothing tomorrow (no change there then!).  Night, night.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Ok, I admit it - I am not Wonder Woman.  I cannot survive on less than 6 hours sleep and I cannot keep the house clean, make for a show and a party, supervise two teenage boys and two exceptionally badly behaved springer spaniels! So for one night only I am having the night off!  Kind of.  Nothing of any crafty note to post today as it consisted mainly of cleaning like a demon, trying to stop Harri the monster spaniel from eating the Jcloths, tea towels and sponges and a long hot soak in the bath.  Tomorrow is, as they say, another day.......

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Mash Up

Well what a strange day, did my usual, went to bed exhausted, head hit the pillow, brain went into over-drive!  Consequently got up later than I planned lol  Went to my usual bead supplier to help Crafty Bird No.2 to choose some printed ribbon to use on her new range, LindiBears, exclusive, one of a kind mohair teddy bears. Bought some beads for my lil sister to use for her jewellery project, which in true Dozy Rosie fashion she left until the last minute, i.e. it has to be completed by Friday!!!  So dragged out the loom, gave a lightning quick tutorial to her and then left her to it lol. Finally I've spent the evening chasing one of the lunatic spaniels around the house as he steals everything in sight, so far tonight it's been the tv remote, cap of a coke bottle, a piece of hematite, 3 crystals and my shoe, he nearly had my iphone but lucky for him he thought better of it!  In between legging it round after the four legged fiend I've been trying to redesign my business logo, stupid folksy however give a really awkward size, so something that should only take an hour or so has taken me about 5!  I'm still not completely happy with it, but it's the best it's going to get for folksy I think.  Can't decide whether to bead or sew a new handbag tomorrow, think I'll see how the brain fares in the morning :-).  Night all!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Itty Bitty day!

Today is one of the days where I seem to be here, there n everywhere yet have accomplished very little!  I've been manically trying to find my way around Google+ - don't even go there, setting up a shop on Etsy - nothing listed but hey I have a shop, trying to find customised woven sew in labels - took me an hour but got there eventually and dealing with the trauma of a doomed teenage love affair.  Have I actually made anything? 'Ave I eck!!  Oh and I've partially made a website, but very half heartedly lol.  I really must get some work done but somehow I think it's more likely to be EastEnders, catch up on The Voice n bed :-)

One thing that I have accomplished, albeit in the wee small hours is a handbag, I only started sewing 3 weeks ago so I'm very pleased with this, still a few niggles to iron out but all in all a tidy effort.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Sort Out Saturday!

Sadly not a beady day today, but the good news is that I've been able to move back into my bead room after the flat roof incident last week!  Briefly, at midnight last week I found myself having to wake up two very disgruntled teenagers to frantically move everything from the bead room into the sewing room as it was raining inside!  We now have a temporary roof so thankfully I could move back in there today and also left me no excuse not to actually clean it and sort it out, so it's now looking all neat and tidy again (it will NOT last).  Now it's a case of cleaning out the sewing room and getting some order into it now I have the space back.

Hoping to go through the folksy shop tonight ( and reorganise it a little and take a close look at the postage options, pricing is difficult enough but working out postage for each item is a nightmare!  So I'm thinking that what I'll do is send anything under a tenner 1st class post and anything over that 2nd class recorded delivery, as for international deliveries that's even more of a nightmare, hopefully it will all fall into place eventually lol.

Kids are back in college next week so the plan is to get the routine back and work like hell ready for our big craft show at the end of May.  It always seems like I have loads of time to get things done and then I realise that actually no I don't!  Nose to the grindstone from Monday!  Be nice to get back amongst my sparkly things.......

So that's it for today, catch you all tomorrow hopefully. x

*Update - it's taken me hours to update folksy - but that's one thing off my list!!

Friday, 20 April 2012

If it was Monday, it'd be Manic Monday!

Well this is my first attempt at blogging, but given that I was no good at keeping a diary, there's no guarantee I'll be any better at this!  So for now I'll just introduce myself and 2 Crafty Birds in general.

So, 2 Crafty Birds are essentially a mother and daughter collaboration, one of whom has been sewing and crafting for a long time and one who's relatively new to it.  I started doing strung jewellery about 16 months ago and discovered I had a bit of a flair for it.  I've now moved away from stringing so much and now turn my hand to seed bead weaving, the smaller the bead the better!  I've also just started sewing, making luscious home furnishings and handbags (this from the girl who swore she'd never touch a sewing machine!).  My mum is a self-confessed teddy bear addict and so she provides the handmade, one of a kind teddy bears that you can find in our folksy shop - I introduced her recently to the joys of polymer clay and she's now busy making one of a kind bear figurines as well - I get the wonderful job of photographing them all!

Not sure where this blog will take us, I suspect it will be a mix of the crafting we do, coupled with anecdotes about the utterly insane springer spaniels I live with, one of whom has a nasty habit of hoovering up any dropped beads including Swarovski Crystals!!

So that's it for today, hopefully I'll remember to post again tomorrow, but let me ease in gently folks lol

Ta-ta for now!

Crafty Bird No. 1