Handmade In Keswick at Craftfest

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Handmade By Edwina

I know Edwina from the marketing we both do on our Folksy shops.  Here's she is telling you about herself in her own words.  Don't forget, I can do clickable photo links now, so if you want to know more, you know what to do ('cepts that one at the top, that one don't work).

Tell us 'bout yourself Edwina.

I have always been creative. I worked in publishing, both editing books and a monthly magazine, but latterly I worked for the NHS organising workshops in order to help improve quality of service. I took early retirement due to ill health in 2005.

My biggest craft influence was my Mum who knitted, crocheted, did dressmaking and embroidery and could also make the most delicious apple pie! So I am sure I developed an interest in crafts from my Mum.

I have a passion for textiles. I love fabric, lace, buttons and I am always exploring new ideas and techniques on how to use them in my craft.

I have been making bags and purses for several years. Each one is different – I rarely do the same bag twice – there may be some similarities, but essentially all my bags and purse are unique!

I love books and so I combined my love of fabric with this by creating covers for notebooks, journals and sketchbooks which I bind to the hardback book.

A5 Journal vintage style

I am passionate about creativity and I am surrounded by a huge stash of buttons, fabric, lace and other supplies. I have numerous craft books which I am constantly adding to and lots of craft tools! Part of my day is spent promoting my Folksy shop on line, whether it be blogging, or uploading photos to Facebook or Flickr, posting on the Folksy Forums or using Pinterest and Craft Juice. It takes up more time than I really want to spend!

Working on projects is really what I want to do. I have several at various stages of production and I juggle my time to move them on. Because I am a member of the Folksy Daily Listing Club I am constantly being challenged to list an item on a daily basis. This is definitely a challenge because the majority of my items take more than a day to complete!

I am inspired by beauty, texture, vintage, upcycling and the need to create something very tactile that also has a practical purpose.

Venus Handbag with vintage lace

I studied art and design at Birmingham City University a few years after I retired, and I also took a year long course in Life Drawing at North Worcestershire college. I love the human figure. My artworks were heavily collaged, textured, mixed media works of the female figure. See my website:

I had a couple of exhibitions, but my focus changed quite quickly when I taught myself to use a sewing machine and I became heavily addicted to textiles!

Diana bag with vintage fabric

I have the luxury of no family or work commitments, but disability and long-term illness often means that fatigue is my frequent enemy.


I particularly like this website.  There's lots to see...Lu


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Weather in Keswick

It's been stonking!
Add caption

Thursday, 24 May 2012

What is CRAFTfest?

Is this event any different to a multitude of others?

The more observant among you will have noticed the small advert I have for CRAFTfest June 2012 as my header.

Its fairly obvious (I hope) that its an online craft fair, but it is different (that's me hoping again) in that each of the 150 or so stall holders is going to work really hard to promote the event and each other.

So is it actually going to be any different?  Well, time will tell. But I am certainly not going to be thinking that I should have done more, and I have a plan (I haven't yet really, but it is forming).

What is CRAFTfest supposed to achieve?

Some sales on my Folksy shop and my Etsy is the ultimate aim.  Greater exposure for Handmade In Keswick can only be a good thing, and some different contacts in my network may help me achieve that.

What's the plan of action?

Tricky one this, as this is my first CRAFTfest, I don't really know what to expect.  I've been put in the Purple Advertising Team (whatever that might mean) and I think I'm gonna be fairly flexible and try to work with whatever anyone else might do, but I do have a plan of sorts. 


As well as trying to work out how to embed my stall link on to my blog, I'll be blogging every day from Saturday 9th of June to Saturday 16th of June, showcasing work from the Purple Team.  Each blog will be posted on my Handmade In Keswick Facebook Page; Tweeted; Pinned; and Stumbled, shared on the Creative Connections Ning, various forums and teams that I belonged to.  And I'm hoping other CRAFTfest stallholders will engage in the process, by commenting, sharing, and allowing me to share their own related blogs.


During the week, Purple Team stalls (and any others I fall over) will be posted to my CRAFTfest Pinboard, and also shared, repinned etc as mentioned before.  I'll be looking for other CRAFTfest Boards, commenting, repinning, sharing, tweeting etc, and I hope other stallholders 'll be doing the same.


Purple Team stalls will be Stumbled prior to the event starting, and I'll be investigating what else I can do to extend that, and asking other stallholders for ideas about it too.


There'll be Liking, sharing, commenting and anything else I can think of from my Handmade In Keswick Facebook Page and my personal page, as well as posting on other stallholders pages, during and before the start of the event.


I'll be tweeting Purple stallholder links along with #CRAFTfest all through the event, as well as retweeting and answering any I find.  I'm just setting up to Twuff some stuff to go out overnight during the event, in the hope of engaging our overseas cousins.

I'll also be Tweeting links to anyone famous/influential/pots of money I can think of during the event.  Haven't quite worked out who yet, but I'm hoping that other stallholders will have some ideas.


The usual posters, business cards, newsletters etc.  I off to a usually well attended local fair this Saturday, so I'm hoping to give out some info then.

Check out our progress through the Craftfest week starting here

Lets not forget the weather

Have I done enough?  Am I doing enough?  I hope so, cos I'm sitting inside, and its HOT out there.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Things To Do In Keswick

Tempted by a UK holiday?

 Here are a few things to do in Keswick.


Colder Than Here at Theatre By The Lake

Ghyll scrambling and via ferrata

Water Fools -Fous-de-bassin


Keswick Salsa Party

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 Weather In Keswick

 Hot, sunny and gorgeous

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Beth Wells from All About Audiences

I met Beth a while ago at one of the workshops run by All About Audiences, which turned out to be fantastic for networking as well as learning stuff.

Here's Beth:

I studied Music at Bangor University in North Wales and then worked for various organisations including Bangor New Music Festival, Harrogate International Festival, an Art Gallery in Macclesfield and then the Hallé for a while before joining the team here at AAA.

I work in communication and events for All About Audiences as part of the Client Services Team. All About Audiences are the Audience Development Agency for the North West, based in Manchester city centre and we work with Arts, Heritage and Cultural organisations to help them to understand and grow their audiences.

It’s always really exciting to get out of the office and go and see some of the great projects and events that are taking place in the arts and being able to help. The people that we meet are always so passionate about what they do.

My days are quite varied, one day I could be in the office putting together our e-newsletter and managing our social media channels and then the next day I could be out and about helping to deliver training for organisations. Our next event will actually be taking place in Kendal when we’ll be running an Introduction to Social Media Marketing Workshop at the Brewery Arts Centre on 30th May.

In my free time I like to garden at my house in North Wales, I’m the original plant killer but I try…Music is still a big part of my life and I play in a local amateur orchestra. I also enjoy hockey (despite the bruises!) and offshore sailing when I get the chance.

If I had a photo like that, I'd be posting it everywhere. I'd suddenly have to not shy about using my photo as an avatar on my shops.  Lu 

You can contact Beth in the following ways
And if you can get to Kendal on 30th May, then the courses are highly recommended

Weather in Keswick

 In the last few days we've had 5°C, followed by 20°C next day, then we had hail - heavy - my dog shot in so fast!

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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Managing time and commitments

How do you catch up with everything you need to get done?

I recently had some time away from home for family reasons, and I'm still trying to catch up with myself.

As well as the usual make stuff and stock my Etsy and Folksy shops, keep up with  Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, this blog, and various other social media sites, I've had the

Actually start growing something this year at the allotment
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Not a lot going on here

Actually take part in the Art Journal Challenge, which has been running for a number of weeks now, with not a peek from me.
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Not much progress with the Art Journal challenge either

I'm currently ignoring all housework, my husband, and pretty much all social activities.  The dog gets whizzed round at top speed and luckily there aren't any children to worry about.

I always think of this book whenever things are at this point.

What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?: A Revolutionary Programme for Doing Everything That You Love

How does everyone else do it?

Who'd like to share their top tips with us?

Blog Features

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Weather In Keswick

In the past few days, we've had a day at 5°C, followed by a day at 20°C, and today we have (my favourite) sideways rain.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Art collaboration

Blog Giveaway

This week, Dawn of http://www.etsy.com/shop/lillysnightgarden has included me in a collaborative round robin art project.

I love the work I do on HandmadeInKeswick and my Etsy and Folksy shops
I've been interested in doing some collaborative work, or mail art work for a while, and so I've been excited at the prospect.

Then, I realised that I am the first of the group to 'alter' Dawn's beautiful, clean crisp print.

Talk about intimidating!

I did just look at it for a bit, wondering what on Earth I could do that wouldn't 'ruin' it for the other participants.  (Yes I know, I didn't need to think like that, but I haven't done anything like this before.)

I was nearly paralysed with the bloomin' fear of it.

Of course, there were options:
  1. Paint it black and pretend that Dawn sent it that way.
  2. Buy something, glue it on, and pretend I did it.
  3. Pay someone else to do it for me.
  4. Lose it.
  5. Pretend it never arrived.
  6. Ignore and hope it'd go away
  7. Just get on with it!

  8. So number 7 it was.

    My mantra has long been, if in doubt, apply gesso, so off I went.  I played it cool, resisted treating the whole glossy surface and just gesso-ed the bit I was doing.  That gave some 'tooth' on the glossy surface.

    Which enabled me to apply a bright yellow pastel, which gave a lovely effect, but was very messy, so (after a painstaking clean up involving a lifetime supply cotton buds, I tried the pastel again mixed with gel medium.

'S OK, but the colour's rather restrained, so added some yellow acrylic paint.  I think some green pastel went on there at that stage.
Those TV ads for the shimmering hair colour kept popping in my head, so went a bit girlie and added gold.

then bronze
then a bit of red

I've stopped now.  Its all a bit neat and tidy for me, but I think that'll do.

On to the next person.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Squintessential

And once its been round everyone, Dawn's going to use it as a giveaway.

Follow progress here

Weather in Keswick.

No other way of putting it - its been HOSSIN' it down here.  All day.

(Another little bit of local dialect for you there.)

It even silenced the song thrush for the day.

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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Teresa Metts of Lileesgramknits

Clickable link expert

I met Teresa via Etsy, and I owe her a special thanks as she has helped me conquer the very thing I have been battling with for weeks on here - those darned clickable links.  No small feat for a complete technophobe like me.

She has kindly agreed to tell us a bit about herself and her work.  Look out for those links and BE IMPRESSED.  (Right click on the pictures and select 'Open in a new window' to see more.)

So I'll hand you over to Teresa:

I have been making stuff as long as I can remember. I used to spend my allowance on pads of lined paper and envelopes so I could use my water colors and paint on them to make people stationary.

I was a teenaged Mom, so I have spent most of my life working and being a Mom. Now I am a Gramma and my lovely husband is letting me be a housewife while I try to get my Etsy business off the ground.

I have finally found my one true crafty love and it is fiber. I love everything about it, from washing the stinky fleece, to dyeing, spinning, knitting, crocheting.

Hand dyed chenille from Lileesgramknits

The great thing is if you get tired of doing one thing, there is always something else to work on. That way I don't get bored and go off and start another hobby!

Hand dyed roving from Lileesgramknits

Everyday is a bit different, either computer work or playing with the fiber. There has been a lot of spinning going on lately.

Hand spun, hand dyed yarn from Lileesgramknits

Inspiration is everywhere. Anything colorful catches my eye, and things I hear on tv or the internet to my family.

Sometimes I have too many choices and that makes me want to do nothing....but other than that, creating is part of my everyday life.

You can find me at:

Twitter: twitter.com/#!/Lileesgramknits
Ravelry: www.ravelry.com/people/Lileesgram
Blog: lileesgram.blogspot.com
Etsy: lileesgramknits.com

Readers of this blog can buy from Teresa at a 10% discount, by using coupon code: THANKS

Teresa told me she's have me knitting and spinning sooner or later.  Having seen the gorgeous colours in those yarns, I think she may be right. - Lu

Weather in Keswick

Friday I burnt my face eating my tea outside, Sunday we had snow on the tops again. Still dry though, unlike the rest of the UK.

Lots of folk about in Keswick, but I haven't noticed yet whether many of them are using the brand new biker bus going up to Whinlatter.

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Saturday, 5 May 2012

Sneak Preview

 An appetiser

As promised, next week, I will be featuring an interview with someone more interesting than me.  In the meantime, here's a little look at one of the pieces I've been working on, which was inspired by this original painting.

I love free machine embroidery, so I transferred the basic colours and shapes on to some calico, and starting randomly stitching into it.

What do you think?