Friday, 29 October 2010

Show me the money.

This year is turning out to be pretty expensive. Along with the twenty squillion pounds we paid for the neverending loft conversion, we have had to repair the washing machine, then replace the washing machine, replace the hoover, replace the iron, and now the central heating is broken. Not broken in a major way, but it'll still cost about £150 to fix it.

Add to that the extra bill we have from our builder for changing the stair spindles in the loft (they were twirly, and they just weren't right. Now they're straight and they're lovely. Yes it was important and worth the money. Now be quiet) and using better quality wood on the cupboard doors (we're staining it rather than painting), and we're a bit strapped for cash.

I'm still finding things to put on eBay, and we're selling nearly all of our dvds on Music Magpie, but we need more moolah. So one of the obvious solutions is for me to try and sew up a bit of cash. My mum, the lovely grandma pickledweasel, has a little business making and selling glass jewellery and art. She does lots of farmer's markets, and always takes along a little selection of wooden brooches on my behalf. When I started making bags we talked about selling some on her stall, so I thought I'd finally crack on and make up some stock for her. I've been buying bits and bobs of fabric in preparation, and have quite a few patterns that can be used to make items to sell. My aim was 10 bags using this pattern in 7 days. If they sold, I would try a few more different styles out. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Er, no. Despite this being the fourth time I've used this pattern, the bag pictured took me around 4 hours to make and is unsellable unsaleable unsellible no-one would buy it. The outer is faux suede and the lining is a bit of vintage soft cotton I found in a charity shop. Both fabrics are quite lightweight so I thought I would use fusible interfacing on the floral cotton to give the bag a bit more structure. Only when I came to turn it through it had obviously added a bit too much structure, because it was like bloody childbirth. The stitches on the strap split, and tore the lovely old cotton. I had to unpick and re-sew the join at the tops of the straps so many times to get the two sides the right length so they would sandwich together properly that there is a whole new pattern of little holes in the faux suede. It just doesn't cut the mustard.

I have to accept that I don't have the speed or the skill to make it worthwile financially. In fact, I'd probably make more money if I stopped buying fabric and bag patterns :) I would love love love to make money out of sewing, but I just don't think it's feasible for someone who works part time and has a two and a half year old the rest of the time. Selling online is slightly easier, as you can make things as they're ordered, but you still need time to promote your business and find patterns that work for you and that you can use to make things comercially (or design your own). I've got rid of my little Coriandr shop, which was rapidly going nowhere due to a lack of promotion on my part. No matter how badly I want it, or believe it's my destiny (in an X-Factor styley), making money from stitching stuff isn't going to happen right now.

So it's back to eBaying the contents of my wardrobe and shopping in bulk at Approved Food in an effort to save money. If anyone has any 100% proven get rich quick schemes, or interesting recipes for tortillas or cous cous please comment below :)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

I have cake, and someone has won the giveaway

And the winner is......

Kitschy Cooooooooo! Lucky girl :)

I too am a winner, as I've had a cracking birthday. Me and mr pickledweasel ran away to Llandudno yesterday for a whole child-free 24 hours. Although we'd been there only a couple of years ago, I had somehow re-invented Llandudno in my head as a sophisticated wine bar and Michelin starred restaurant filled coastal resort with balmy nights and 4 star hotels on every corner, so was a little surprised to find it was a freezing cold slightly run down welsh town full of cheap B&Bs and, bizarrely enough, the Cambrian Rally.

We lived it up. I had a tea while we waited for the film to start.

So rather than wear the satin slash neck dress and purple suede wedge pumps I was planning to stun the north Welsh coast with, I just stuck with my jeans and jumper and we had dinner early at a Mediterranean restaurant, and then went to the cinema to see The Other Guys (which is an hilarious film). We stayed in a crappy hotel where the bathroom smelt of swimming pool and got woken up at 1am by drunk rally drivers, and then this morning we went to a greasy spoon overlooking the sea and had a huuuge fry up, and then did a leisurely promenade walk.

And mr p had a coffee.

Back in time for tea with Munchkin and Grandma Pickledweasel, and just as I was thinking I wasn't getting a birthday cake and I'd have to stuff my face with the jelly munchkin had helped grandma make, mr pickledweasel unveiled this beauty:

Isn't it a thing of skill and beauty? I love the foot :) AND it's all different cakes inside - the top is walnut cake, the side is angel cake and the bottom is Madeira. It makes turning 35 just about bearable :)

Friday, 15 October 2010

Giveaway extended!!1! (Because I am tired)

...after doing a twelve hour journey from Kent to Lancashire :-S

Plus a pitiful number of people have entered (the people aren't pitiful, just the number of them), either because a) the things I am giving away aren't exciting enough, or b) not many people read my blog. I am thinking it is a sad combination of the two.

So I will draw a winner on Sunday the 17th, which happens to be my birthday, in the hope that my popularity has suddenly risen dramatically :) You can enter by leaving a comment on this post. In the mean time please enjoy these photos of Munchkin making some new Kentish friends.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Giveaway in a bits and bobs de-stash celebratory past halfway neverending loft conversion styley!

I know, it' such a snappy title :)

So, I've listed a tiny percentage half my fabric stash on eBay, and should you wish to get your grubby little mitts on it, you can look at it here. I was going to put it on Etsy, but I had no idea what price to put on things, so instead everything's starting at 99p and it'll all get sold. All profits go to the Pickled Weasel New Bedroom Furniture Fund.

But if you haven't got any pennies, and you want some of the loveliness that's listed, read on. You can win all the pretty things pictured in this post. The fabric is just bits and bobs, things that wouldn't really sell on eBay but that people with crafty skillz could use, and then there's a few other random things thrown in for good measure. I hope you like them :)

All you need to do is leave a comment telling me about your favourite tutorial on the interwebs, and a link to it if you can work out how to in the comments box (I often can't, being a bear of little brain, so I don't expect you to).

We're cracking on with all the painting (mr pickledweasel even has roller-related blisters), and I can see light at the end of the loft conversion tunnel, so I'm starting to think about all the craftings I can do when I no longer have a paintbrush surgically attached to my hand. I need new things to covet and drool over and stick on my never ending to-do list.

International bods are more than welcome to enter, and I will draw a winner at random on Friday the 15th of October. As an added weaselly bonus, if you enter the giveaway and happen to win one of the things listed on eBay, I'll give you first class postage for the price of second class. Not much, I know, but better than nowt. Good luck!