Friday, 30 December 2011


Hope you have all been having a wonderful Christmas.
My two boys have had a ball.

I am feeling a little sad at the moment as I return to my day job on Tuesday after having 10 months off on maternity leave.  It will be very hard to leave the kiddies.  On the plus side I do go back part time and I shall be attempting to keep Sweet Williams going at a rapid pace as normal - although I most definitely will be needing matchsticks!!  If I'm not around as much as normal in January it will be because I am getting used to a new routine!  Wish me luck :-)


I had a few new bits delivered before Christmas which I haven't shared with you yet.

When it was delivered I didn't want to open it as look how it arrived...

And this was what was inside...

I have lots planned for this and indeed have already used two of the fabrics to make a little draw string bag and a purse - new things for 2012.  I haven't taken any pics of them yet though.

My eldest boy is 4 and the poor thing still has Winnie the Pooh in his bedroom!!!  So many things have got in the way that it hasn't been changed.  Anyway, its been decided he will be having a nautical themed bedroom which I hope to make a start on in January.

You will see in the pic above a fabric at the top left with little anchors on.  This along with the few either side of it will be going towards making bunting for his room.

I also got some of this ribbon I'll use in his room.  It is mega cute...

I shall be making his curtains, bedding and cushions myself and may even have a go at covering his bean bag (never tried that before so if anyone has got any tips)...

This is the fabric I will be using...

I have chosen paint and will be getting that soon.  I will make sure I take pics when the room is finished - it may take me quite a while though!!

I have had a go at making a felt daffodil brooch.  Will be perfect for spring and since I am from Wales  I shall be proudly wearing one on March 1st!  I haven't added them to the website yet as I may tweak the design a little.

The flowery fabric behind the daffodil is a Cath Kidston bag which my hubby bought me as one of my Christmas pressies!  He knows what I like!  He even got me a little Cath Kidston tape measure for my sewing box :-) amongst lots of other fabby things :-)

I shall have lots to show you soon so I do hope you will pop back to check out my new makes.  Thank you to my new followers on here and on Facebook - I look forward to reading your blogs and following your posts in 2012 :-)

Have a fantastic New Year however you may be celebrating - for me it will be snuggled up on the sofa in my pyjamas eating as much chocolate as is physically possible and sewing to my hearts content!!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas and a BIG Thank You!


I am probably more excited than the kids!!
I can't wait until they go to bed and are fast asleep so I can put all the presents out and then to see their faces light up tomorrow morning.  Christmas is magic again when you have children.

This year has been a year of great things including the arrival of baby William in April.

James' Christmas concert

And of course the launch of Sweet Williams!

Can you believe that Sweet Williams was launched ONE MONTH ago tomorrow!  In just one month I have done 6 craft fairs, sold lots and lots of handmade goodness, held a competition and had a magazine feature!

Not bad going for my first month!

What will 2012 bring I wonder???
Hopefully another exciting year.

I also go back to my day job on 3rd Jan.  I am going back just 3 days a week but I have no idea how I am going to fit everything in!  We'll see how things go.

A BIG thank you to everyone who has followed me in setting up my business and for all the support and advice I have been given.  I hope you stay with me so you can watch how my little business will hopefully grow into something special.

I know this is on Facebook but I can't remember whether or not I have blogged about it!  Here is a preview of what is to come next year.

Very large hand embroidered cushion.  I have a few other things up my sleeve so watch this space!

For 2012 something that is definitely on the agenda is getting the message across to as many people as possible is that hand made can now be modern and very professionally made.  I want to express to as many people as possible that as brilliant as the high street is how many of you have purchased gifts or something for yourself that 10,000 other people have also purchased???  When buying handmade you are buying something that is either completely unique or something that is nowhere near mass produced and maybe only 20 people in the whole world have the item.   This makes handmade products seem much more attractive in my opinion.

Who's with me then on a mission to change the way the general public think about craft in 2012???

Everyone of you have a fantastic Christmas and New Year.  I may or may not blog over the festive period so in case I don't I shall see you all next year all ready for an amazing year.

Emma xxx

Monday, 19 December 2011

Craft Fair Tips... promised in my last blog post a couple of days ago I have put together some craft fair tips which may be of some use to fellow crafters out there.  I have learned a lot over the last few weeks where I have done 5 craft fairs (6th one coming up on Tuesday).  I am still a beginner at doing fairs so I will no doubt continue to learn the more fairs I do.

I will say that I will probably forget a few things so I will come back to this post to update it.  Also, if you have any of your own tips I would love to hear them.

Accepting a Craft Fair

1.  Firstly ask if there is a fee for the table so you know how much money you have to make before you start making profit.

2.  A rough estimate size of the table you will be given eg. a school desk size, pasting table etc.  This will help you judge how much stock you will need to take with you.

3.  Where it is - not only area you need to travel to but where in the actual hall, room etc you will be placed.  If you have a choice of tables on arrival think carefully and don't just jump in.  I done one where I thought it would be brilliant because I was right by the door to Santa's grotto so I thought parents / grandparents would have browsing time (which could turn into buying time) whilst waiting their turn to take the kids in but what actually happened was a blocked view from potential customers and lots of children picking and prodding products and even throwing things on the floor!!

You may need to consider appropriate clothing depending on where you are and if you are outside consider whether your items need to be weighted down somehow or if they need any other protection from the elements!

4.  Whether or not you need to bring anything.  I have been places where you have needed your own table.  I have two pasting tables just in case.  I have also had to provide raffle prizes, donations etc so check if you need to take anything.

5.  Unless you know already ask whether or not they have held a craft fair there before and what they expect the footfall to be.

6.  Ask what time the fair starts and finishes and what time you need to be there to set up.  Setting up a table takes me a lot longer than I would have expected.

Preparation Beforehand

I only done my first ever craft fair a few weeks ago so I didn't know what to expect and had NO IDEA how to set up my table.  What did I do???

1.  Set up a mock table in the living room...  It really does help.

2.  I bought a sign to make my table look a bit more professional.  When visiting craft fairs before as a customer I often saw the signs attached to the table using string.  Trying this myself was very fiddly and didn't look great.  Practice putting your sign up beforehand.  I found using large safety pins worked best...

And if you do have a sign get yourself a cardboard tube to store it in so it doesn't get squashed.

3.  Buy a table cloth(s) and iron beforehand.  It looks a lot nicer.

4.  Don't have table cloths?  I bought double sized bed sheets in ivory especially for craft fairs ;-)

Packing Ready to Go

1.  Pack an extra table cloth - I found this extremely handy.  I'll explain why later on...  Pack cloths on the top - you need these first remember.

2.  Decide how you will transport all of your items.  I used a large suitcase for large items, table cloths, packaging supplies etc. I have noticed I have been the only person to do this at the craft fairs I have been to.  Everyone else I have seen have arrived with many trips to the car with a ton of boxes.  A suitcase is much easier as you can wheel it in instead :-)

3.  I had little compartments within my suitcase for various items and little bags for things like price tags, spare string, ribbon etc so everything is within easy reach.

4.  Bubble wrap is invaluable :-)  as is tissue paper and sticky tape!

Checklist of Essentials Needed

1.  Safety pins

2.  A couple of pens

3.  Notebook - handy for jotting down orders and keep a tally of what you have sold.  This make is far easier working out your profit when you get home.

4.  Packaging supplies - bags (although you need to charge for in some areas including where I am based), tissue paper etc

5.  Sticky tape - I take a normal roll with me together with a pretty pattered tape which I use for packing customers purchases.  I also take one of those tape dispensers which is so much easier.

6.  Props for your items - see Setting up your Table below...

7.  Calculator

8.  If like me you haven't got time to price every item individually make little cards with the prices on instead to pop next to the item.

9.  A diary.  I have been asked to attend another craft fair whilst in the middle of attending another.  Easier to pencil it in there and then.

10.  A decent float.  I always take £100 which consists of £30 in £10 notes, £35 in £5 notes, a bag of £1 coins, a bag of 50p coins and a bag of 10p coins.  Because in Wales we have to charge 5p for bags which includes paper bags I also take some 5p coins with me although I have found that hardly anyone wants a bag and are more than happy with simply having the item gift wrapped in tissue paper and pretty tape.

11.  Something to keep your float in.  You could use a tin but I find this difficult to conceal, cumbersome if you need to leave your table or turn your back on it.  I use a long handled shoulder bag with many pockets for notes, change, pens etc.

12.  Ribbon and string.

13.  If you are doing an all day event you may want to take something to do - you could take your latest craft project with you and do a little demonstration.  I think this makes customers realise that the items on your table have been made by you, are not mass produced and you can use it as a prompt to talk to your customers about your work.

14.  Something to eat and drink.

15.  Camera.

Setting up Your Table

1.  Arrive with plenty of time to spare before the fair starts to set up.  It takes longer than you think.  Like mentioned above, set up a mock table first and have a play around with how you would like it to look.  It will also help you judge just how much stock you need.

2.  Use props.  This was my first ever table...

It was a good turnout and lots of sales but to me the table was too flat.  I was very unhappy with it and felt it needed a bit of height.

I went and bought a few props and this is what happened...

Adding a bit of height makes all the difference.  I am now on the lookout for something to replace the Christmas tree in the New Year!  Any ideas appreciated.  I am thinking of using some raised boxes covered with a cloth for displaying cushions and doorstops etc.

3.  Use decorative plates, bowls etc.

4.  Try and display some of your items as they would be used by your customers.  It attracts their attention and gets them thinking how they will use the items themselves.  For example I covered a Christmas tree in decorations and I took a washing up liquid bottle with me to display one of the mini aprons.

5.  After setting up your table have a look to see if there is any space left anywhere.  For example, is there a very large gap at the end of your table?  I had a very large gap at the end of my table at my first event.  I found a few chairs, used my spare table cloth to cover them and then displayed all my cushions on it.  Very effective.

6.  I now make myself a packing table at each fair.  Sometimes I have been lucky to have a large shelf or cabinet behind me which I have covered in a cloth and placed my supplies on like this one here...

You can see I have managed to lay out my tissue paper, display a couple of cushions and have some paper, pens and calculator etc handy.

If I am not that lucky I place my emptied suitcase on the floor behind my table.  I put my large plastic box on the top on the suitcase (which I use for transporting delicate items) then place my spare table cloth over the top.  This now becomes the prefect packaging table at perfect height when sitting down :-)

During the Fair

1.  Sounds obvious but always smile, say hello and try and make eye contact with those visiting your table.

2.  Like mentioned above take something to do - preferably a craft project.  Potential customers like seeing how you make your things and makes them realise that it is YOU who makes all the wonderful things on your table.

3.  Keep a record of what you sell.  Makes life easier to tally up how much you have made and what you need to replenish your stock with.

4.  Tidy your table often (people like to pick up and move your items around a lot)!!

Packing Away

1.  Make sure you make the effort and take the time to pack everything away perfectly.  By doing this you will save yourself so much time for the next fair.  Also, it usually saves the need for ironing any items again etc.

2.  Pack cloths on the top - they are the last thing to go in but are the first things to come back out again.

Anything Else

1.  Take business cards.  I always place some on the table and have a little printed out sign saying "Business Cards - Please take one".  If a customer hasn't picked one up I pop one in each package purchased.

2.  Take photographs.  I can look back on each of my stalls and see how they have progressed / changed and can see what needs to be altered next time around.

3.  If you can, pay a visit to all the other stall holders.  It's nice to network.  It is quite possible that you will see the same faces again and at the same time you can have a look how they have set up their tables so you can gain some ideas.

4.  Product and Public Liability Insurance.  Very important.  I have been asked at many events (not all) to provide a copy of my certificate.  Always carry spare copies in a plastic wallet to all events as I have been asked to provide a copy on arrival before setting up my table.  May be worth asking beforehand if you need to provide a copy.  When I applied for my insurance I got covered the same day as applying and the documents were emailed to me the next day so it can be a last minute job if you haven't yet got cover.  It really does give peace of mind to both yourself and your customers having insurance in place.

If you want to ask me anything or have queries or help in relation to craft fairs either comment below or email me -

IF YOU have come this far - well done - bit long winded this post.
I hope it is of some use to someone.  If you know anyone it may be useful to please feel free to share it and pass it on.

Also, if you have any tips of your own please share as I would love to hear them.

Emma xxx

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Shabby Chic Hearts - New for 2012 :-)

I have been busy playing with bits of fabric and buttons since last night and have come up with this...

I uploaded it to my Facebook Page earlier so you may have already seen it there.  I will be making these with different wording and a few colours also.

There will be lots of this type of looking goodies for 2012 - very shabby chic looking things.

I am working on a wonderful cushion which I am hoping to have almost finished this evening.  Will show you pics when done.  I have lots planned for 2012.

AND I may have some super duper business news very soon - keep your eyes peeled!  Don't want to give much away at the minute in case it doesn't work out :-)

Wrap up warm everyone - it's a cold one x


I will have a post coming soon with tips for craft fairs and events full of things which I have learnt over the last couple of weeks.  It may be of some help to others...

I also have another late one booked for Tuesday 20th December 2011 at Ynysfach Primary School, Resolven, Neath.  If you are local pop in around 3pm x

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Has it Really Been 5 Days...

... since my last post?

Oh dear, you can tell it's coming up to Christmas and its mega busy.

Orders are still flowing in although it is now a bit quieter this week and I feel I can breathe a bit now I have finished all of the craft fairs.

The last one was at Cefn Coed Colliery Museum on Saturday where my hubby was Santa!!  Here he is in his grotto!!

This was my table...

I have never been so cold in all my life.  It was bitter in there and was close to the door.  I didn't take my coat off all day and was glad to get home in the end.

I have made more cards...

And have even tried my hand at decoupage.  What do you think...

They are extremely pretty.  I made two of each design although I just have the one fairy one left now.

And look how cute these are...

Anyone who knows me well or been reading my blog a while will know I am obsessed with squirrels.  May just have to keep this one for myself!!

Our decorations have now gone up...

We have a tree that is almost 8 feet high but as our house has now turned into a warehouse with all my stock there is no space whatsoever to put it this year so I have decorated the small one instead.  I quite like it as there is much less mess and it means the cat won't live in it for a couple of weeks looking for birds!!!!

Looking really cosy.  And it smells divine as I have cinnamon candles burning and bowls of these everywhere...

I also decided to use my old cooking basket (which I have been using on craft fair tables) filled with sprayed pine cones and giant baubles.  Looks quite nice at the side of the fireplace...

Today I sat in the window for a good hour watching the hail come down.  I couldn't believe how big the hailstones were.  It gave me a lot of thinking time for new ideas for next year and indeed may try one of them out tonight when the kids have gone to bed and after I have packed up today's orders ready for taking to the post office in the morning.  I have been dreaming about having a shop filled with all my goodies!  Have found the prefect premises.  I WISH!!  May have to do the lottery this week you know!

For now I will leave you with a picture of William who looked so cute and who was absolutely shattered after watching me put the decorations up!!  It's hard work being 8 months old aye!!!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Fourth Craft Stall...

It certainly is manic this week.

Yesterday was my fourth craft stall.  All my tables look very similar now so sorry for more pics that look the same but this was the one I done at Resolven Building Blocks yesterday...

Almost sold out of Christmas cards yet again.  FAB!  So my job tomorrow will be making another batch of around 30 cards to take to the Christmas Fayre on Saturday.  Cefn Coed Colliery Museum, Crynant, Neath.  10am - 4pm.  If you are local pop up.  Santa will be there travelling first through the village on the back of a tractor!!!  I'm giggling at this point as my hubby will be the Santa!!!!  The things we do to help out :-)  all good fun for the kids though!

I woke up this morning to lots of wonderful orders.  I am truly amazed at how my little business has taken off.  Think I timed it well with Christmas so folk are buying gifts and I am expecting the start of next year to be extremely quiet (although I have a few things up my sleeve).  Thank you to those who have ordered goodies and for supporting a new small business, it means a lot.

After packing orders this morning it was nice to catch up with a friend and have a lovely lunch - the first proper lunch I have eaten in weeks as haven't even found time to eat properly.  Ooops!

These red  and black bag charms have been flying out this week.  Made 6 now.  I think it's the little strawberry button that is winning people over.  It's very cute!

Indeed, I have another to make now and an order for an apron to pack ready to be dispatched tomorrow morning so I am off to play with buttons and fabric for a bit.  Oh how I love my little job :-)  FAB :-)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Busy Week!

These are two pics from a stall I had at Tan-Y-Lan Primary School on Monday.  Thank you for having me.

I have another stall this afternoon at Resolven Building Blocks 2pm - 6pm.  If you are local come along.  Santa will be arriving at 3pm.  Really looking forward to feeling all festive this afternoon.

I am shattered.  Been such a busy week already with 3 stalls this week (last one is Saturday) and so many orders.  Brilliant though.

I visited the new Hobbycraft in Fforestfach and bought lots of new goodies including...

Some fab pretty fabric :-)

I also hand delivered the launch hamper to the lucky winner.  Here it is all packed up looking pretty (sorry pics not great)...

I made this batch of cute Christmas cards...

I'm off to get ready for this afternoons Christmas Fayre and pack everything up :-)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Third Christmas Fayre...

The weekend is almost over and I have a super busy week ahead of me again.

Yesterday I had a stall at another Christmas Fayre (Resolven, Neath).  It was great and I didn't realise how much I had sold until I got home.  Most of my lavender bags had gone, all my Christmas cards, all but 1 of my aprons (I had 15 at the start of the week!!!) and lots of decorations.  Very pleased with yesterday.  Thank you to everyone who came.

I met the lovely Joanne from JoJo's Cakes.  Look at these...

These didn't last long let me tell you.  Delicious!

I made some hearts out of some lovely Cath Kidston fabric and finished them with hand sewn buttons and co-ordinating ribbon and bow.  I haven't had chance to add them to the website yet but if anyone wants one give me a shout.

Today I have made 3 large heart bag charms, 5 lavender bags and a tote bag with co-ordinating bird bag charm.  I will show pics in my next post.  I'm off to pack it up now as I will be hand delivering it all tomorrow to one of my lovely customers.

Then, I need to make a batch of Christmas cards to add to tomorrow's stall.  I will be at Tan Y Lan Primary School in Morriston tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, 2 December 2011

And the Winner is...

Bethan Lee

Congratulations.  You are the winner of this lovely hamper!

I really hope you will like everything that's in here.  I am having fun wrapping everything up :-)

Thank you very much to everyone who entered - 98 entries in total!  Fantastic!

I am not stopping, once I have wrapped the hamper I have 4 Cath Kidston fabric heart decorations to finish for taking to tomorrow's Christmas Fayre.  Then, I am going to try and make a start on a large order I have received today.  I never imagined the business would take off at rocket speed.  It's fantastic :-)

Also, a friend has planted a new idea in my head and over the festive period I shall be planning some cool things for next year.

If you are local, please please pop into St. David's Church, Resolven, Neath tomorrow.  10am - 4pm.  Lots of things going on and I would love to see you.

Have a good weekend :-)

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Second Christmas Fayre & a Magazine Feature :-)

I was really happy heading to my second Christmas fayre today.  I was very organised.  Everything was packed up and sorted last night and piled by the front door ready to go.  I did manage to make 15 yes 15 mini flower brooches last night and this morning to take as I had almost completely sold out of them at Monday's event.

Here they are: -
Sorry photo not brill 

And you will spot this new colour amongst them...

I love this one.  Baby pink with a pale mint polka dot button.  

Today's stall at Rhyd Y Fro Primary School in Pontardawe was fab.  Really enjoyed myself and received so many lovely comments and lots of sales :-)

If you read my last post you will know I wasn't really happy with my stall.  Today I was really pleased with it.  What do you think???

And you get to see me!!!  (not sure that's a good thing though!!!)

I think the Christmas tree makes all the difference.

AND a copy of this arrived today...

Look who is on page 10...

I am absolutely thrilled to bits.  It may be a small feature but it's my first feature and I am so happy :-)

I have another Christmas Fayre to prepare for which takes place on Saturday - St. David's Church, Resolven, Neath - 10am - 4pm.  Please pop in and see me if you are local, I would love to see you.

Finally, you have until 1pm GMT on Friday to enter the competition to win the hamper.  The winner will be drawn shortly after.  If you haven't entered already pay a visit to THIS POST HERE for details :-)