Tuesday, 21 June 2011


I'm going to start with a disclaimer. Normally I think about my blog posts in advance (believe it or not) and have a vague idea of what I'm going to write. This is a bit of a spur of the moment job, so bear with while words fall out of my head and through my clumsy fingers and onto the screen.

I've been having one of those evaluating things moments when you stop and take stock of what you're up to and where you're going and how you're getting there and all that. This was precipitated (is that the right word? Isn't that to do with rain? See what happens when you write all spur of the moment, like), by the fact that I was doing my Lemur Lady accounts this evening and it would appear that, without really noticing, I seem to have started a Proper Little Business. I've gone into healthy triple figures in the 3 months I've been selling stuff, and whilst the actual profit is not enough to feed a church mouse with a cheese allergy, my hobby is at least not costing me anything and is making a little bit of pocket money. Looking across the room, I can see that the tiny carrier bag of sewing stuff that I had only a few short months ago has grown into three huge storage boxes, one of which is so full I just broke the handle on it and had to spend a good five minutes swearingly picking everything up off the floor.

This is All Good. Very good in fact. Problem is, it's too good. I'm now at the point where I have more stuff waiting to be made than I have time for, around my Real Work. Sitting in the broken-handled box are, variously, Superman, Batman, Alice in Wonderland, 1950's housewives, owls, skulls, dinosaurs and more. All in fabric form, I might add. Otherwise it would be no wonder at all that the box broke. Plus I reckon Batman and the dinosaurs would have had an awesome fight. Superman wouldn't have got involved though because he'd be all 'ooh, no, don't touch the stegosaurus, it's endangered', and Alice would be sharing pineapple upside-down cake recipes with the housewives and the owls would be standing in the corner with the skulls talking about how Superman is such a girl scout.

Where was I?

Oh yes, rambling, that's right. Aaaanyway, my point is, now I'm all discontented-like. And devising Life Plans. My life plans mostly involve the SO win the lottery so that I can stay at home all day making Stuff out of Things. Even though I actually quite like my job - I work for an ace company and all, but here's the thing:

There is so much Stuff in the world and so many Things I want to make out of it. Not just sewing - rediscovering my crafty side has made me want to take up drawing and painting again for the first time since school, and learn how to bind books, and finally find out what scrapbooking is all about. But I have no time to do all these lovely things in because I have to earn stupid old money to buy stupid food and pay stupid rent. *kicks imaginary stones with trainers in stroppy manner*

Sigh. Ah well, one step at a time. Maybe one day I will be big and brave and clever enough to be able to make a few more pennies from my makings and Lemur Lady will be known around the world as a purveyor of awesomeness and I will only be able to go out in dark glasses and that will not just be because I am always hungover like it is now but also because I am so very very rich and famous and followed everywhere by paperazzi from the Crafting Times and suchlike.

But since that hasn't happened yet, I guess I'd best go to bed. Work in the morning, see.


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

But seriously: in praise of handmade

Even cooler in real life.
I have just got back from work to find an exciting looking padded envelope on the doormat with my name on. Seriously, is there any more glorious feeling in the world than that of the padded envelope discovery? Unless you work at a postal depot, I suppose, and it smells faintly of anthrax. But I don't, and it didn't. What my envelope of joy contained was a lovely new necklace that I had bought myself from Flame Haired Jewellery Designs on Folksy. Isn't it awesome?

This got me to thinking. When I started selling my wares on Folksy, I got varied reactions. One of these was a skepticism that my particular brand of gothy/kitschy/irreverent oddness would have any sort of market on there. The name 'Folksy', to the uninitiated, often seems to conjure up images of beardy folk art, hippies selling crocheted lentil-warmers, or at best piles of chintz and gingham. 

Not that there's anything wrong with chintz and gingham - it's just not my thing. And not the 'thing' of a lot of people I know. If you want flowers, patchwork, quilts and teacosies Folksy has them in abundance and hurrah for that, but here's the thing - that's really not the be-all and end-all of handmade. 

Handmade can (and often is) cool, funky and trendsetting (ugh, what a horrible word). The only old-fashioned thing that is pretty much guaranteed to come with a purchase from a crafter is the nice glow of knowing that you've given your hard-earned cash to someone who deserves it, in return for a one-off item that is more often than not better than anything you could get in the shops. Take my necklace - I messaged the seller (Hazel, by the way - how often do you know the first name of the person you buy your jewellery from?) on Thursday asking whether she could perhaps shorten the necklace for me. She did this on Saturday, posted it on Monday, and I got in on Tuesday. All that for less than fifteen quid including postage. Try and get that sort of service and quality on the high street.

I'll climb down from my soapbox now and leave you with just some of the other items I've bought from Folksy in the last few months. Proof that handmade isn't all for yoghurt knitters and tree huggers:

 Godzilla greetings card from Little Black Heart
 Straightjacketed zombie embroidered notebook from FionaT (sister of Little Black Heart - too much talent in one family if you ask me).

Oatmeal, honey and milk soap from Scrub Up Lovely. I've become a bit addicted to handmade soap recently. There is a Soap Mountain building in my bathroom. But that's another story.
 Plantable birthday card from Arbee Cards. It has seeds embedded in the paper. I know, right?!
 Marmite and Toast Necklace from Little Red Star. Bought for a Marmite loving friend of mine. Vera, you know who you are...

And you can even buy presents for your furry friends! This splendid tigerprint breakaway cat collar came from Mogs Togs.