Thursday 29 July 2010

Nestled in the Ribble Valley lies a beautiful garden...

So, to totally go off a tee to my normal bloggings, here's one for the green fingered (or cake lovers like myself!). For anyone wondering what to do with their Sunday afternoon, there's a lovely Open Garden Event in Lancashire which is raising money for Perennial, the Gardener's Royal Benevolent Society.

As well as a brilliant range of planted areas to wander around, it's a working garden so you'll get to see the ins and outs of life there, including the field turned into a Vegetable Garden! I had a peek there this week and the Veg has grown so much you'd think they were feeding the 5,000! There's also the yummiest of yummy scones, cakes and cups of tea (yes, I've sampled a few so can definitely vouch that they're droolable!), along with some gorgeous plant stalls to browse, and a Plant Wizard (aka. Peter Foley) there to answer any plant or gardening questions you may have! I'll also be setting up a little stall there with some of my takings going to Perennial, so plenty to keep you busy for the afternoon!

So treat yourself to a day out on Sunday, and spread a little Charity love...especially with those cream scones awaiting you! More details can be found on the Perennial website here.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Featured in the Sotheby's Staff Exhibition!

I'm very pleased to have been able to take part in this year's Staff Exhibition at Sotheby's - a lovely 2 week event where the public (and the employees!) get a glimpse at the talent hidden behind the scenes at this famous workplace. Luckily I moved back up North late enough to still take part in this, and was completely immersed in making my pieces for the last few months before the big move!

For my main piece, me and my trusty scalpel have stepped up a notch from card cutting and went for a delicate, multi-layered 3D Papercut. Quite different from the simplistic designs of my cards, I really enjoyed creating this piece, and am very happy with how it turned out.

The cut out daisies on the white card at the front are backed with a cheery yellow paper, and on the larger daisies I then cut through this on the petals to expose a darker yellow backing, and creating a double petal effect, to give it more depth. Looking at this now with the rain coming down really cheers me up - bring back Summer!

Let me know if you'd be interested seeing something like this appear on my shops - I can't decide if I should try something, perhaps a smaller version?

This fabulous Exhibition is free, and open for the next two weeks - so if you're in London, pop in! It's got sculptures, jewellery, amazing origami using lottery tickets, painting and photography - something for everyone!
I'll show you my second piece along with some great pictures from the Preview night, and the winning piece next week, so stay tuned!

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Super Duper Fair

Wow, what an event! So, on Sunday I packed up and took the Quite Contrary goodies for a day out in Blackpool, for my first ever Quite Contrary stall. And it was fab!

The Super Duper Itsy Bitsy Handmade Fair was organised by the Grundy Art Gallery, and despite the horrible wet weather, the marquee was packed; seems not even rain can deter handmade buyers, yey! It was my most successful stall yet, beating any of the shared ones I did at Greenwich, and I was over the moon when one lady bought my large pink rose papercut, one of my smaller papercuts, and 3 cards - what an amazing purchase!! Here's my stall for the day, with my brand new sign I made the day before.

I also decided to go all out and print little price labels this time, instead of using my handwritten ones. I think it gave it a more finished look - and each had a little butterfly in the corner :)

We were all in a very cute marquee, which created a lovely friendly atmosphere. It also had windows and a mat floor - I've never been in such a posh one before!

There were 35 stalls all together, each looking very lovely, and amongst that were 4 of us Folksy Folk that I could find, which was great! Was lovely to put some faces to names. I met Lynsey from Purple Schmurple, and Rachel from Element Images - who both also had fantastic sales on the day!

Jacqui from Print for Love of Wood had brought along a Letterpress for the day that the kids could use - it weighed an impressive 4 stone, phew!

So there you have it - a fantastic day for everyone, buyers and sellers alike; Blackpool Handmade won't be defeated, even in the rain that caused the band to cancel (not sure the electrified look is too hot at the min...). Thanks Kerry and everyone at the Grundy Gallery for such a fab organised event - here's to the next!

Monday 19 July 2010

And the Winner is...

Picked out at random by Dan from the lucky cup of Tea, the winner is....

Konnie Kapow!

Congrats - you win 2 I♥... cards, which will be your choice of I♥Wine and I♥Cowboys - I got some cowboy accessories to be a-doodling now!

Thank you to everyone who entered, had some awesome I♥... choices - buttons, hugs, geeks, knitting and baileys to name a few! I think some may be getting turned into cards soon...keep your eyes peeled. Who couldn't love an I♥hugs card!

Here's to the next 100 ;0) x

Monday 12 July 2010

First Ever Giveaway!

Last week I amazingly hit my 100th sale on Folksy - cue lots of happy dancing! I've been selling on there since October, so am very happy to have hit such a huge target.

So, to celebrate and say THANK YOU!! to all those lovely people who've bought from me, supported me and just generally been there to entertain and amuse (good ole' Folksy forums!), a Giveaway is most definitely called for!

Up for grabs are 2 of my 'I ♥...' hand cut cards - for any love you may wish for! At the moment, I've covered cake, tea, wine, cocktails, sewing, men and shoes, but I know there are plenty more out there (choccy for starters!). The lucky winner can decide which 2 they'd like, and choose their own colours too.

So, what do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning I hear you say? Well, it's very simple with these 3 little steps...

1. Follow my blog if you aren't already (don't worry if you haven't got a google account)
2. Follow me on Twitter if you are a Tweeter
And, most importantly:
3. Leave a comment on this post with your name, and what 2 loves you'd like (I'll contact you if you win for colours)

Competition lines will close on Friday at 12pm, with the winner to be chosen at random by the good ole' lucky hat dip, and announced on Monday morning (I feel like some sort of gameshow host!)

So, good luck, and looking forward to seeing what wierd and wonderful loves you come up with! :)

Sunday 11 July 2010

Come find me in Blackpool!

The Super Duper Itsy Bitsy Handmade Fair is in town, and I'll be there with all my lovely wares! It's this coming weekend, Sunday 18th, so if you fancy a nice day out in Blackpool mixed in with a good bit of handmade (can you ever get too much?!), pop in and say 'hello'! It's the first time I've done a stall by myself, so would be lovely to see some friendly faces!

Admission is free, and there's over 30 stalls in 2 marquees, all with a stunning array of gorgeous handmade items. It's 12-4pm, and is based in Stanley Park - which also has a boating lake!

I'll have my Folksy sign out on my table so you can spot me easily - I think all the Folksy folk attending this are going to have little signs, so come find us all!

You can find all the details on their website, including a list of all the stall holders:

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Featured on Folksy!

The lovely Folksy peeps have picked my 'I♥Tea!' mug to go on their featured items list this week - a selection of goodies suitable for end of term presents for those fab Teachers. Thank you!

You can find all the featured items here, and my mug listed here on my Folksy page. Coasters are also available for something a little cheaper (or to make it into the Tea lovers perfect set!)

Tuesday 6 July 2010

I ♥ Cake! - Exciting delivery!

After the brilliant popularity of my 'I♥Tea!' mug and coaster range, I decided to be brave and venture out with my other popular design, 'I ♥ Cake!' You just can't beat a good cake can you! I was a very happy bunny when they arrived all nicely packaged on my doorstep this weekend.

So, for all those cake-o-holics out there (myself totally included!), you can now bag yourself a fab bright Mug or Coaster, in red, blue or yellow! They're all listed on my Etsy shop, and if you click on the pictures below, it will take you to the page. What do you think?

Quite Contrary Crafts SHOP NAME 2
Quite Contrary 2 Quite Contrary 2
Quite Contrary Crafts QuiteContrary2

Now who fancies a cuppa and a piece of cake ;0)

One final bit of exciting news - my little Folksy shop is ONE sale off 100!! The lucky 100th customer will get some fab goodies in their package, and keep your eyes peeled here for a Giveaway when I hit the 100!

Friday 2 July 2010

Folksy Friday - Cool me down!

Now that our weather has finally clicked it's summer, and we're all getting a bit hot n bothered (especially last weekend standing in open fields at Glastonbury!) I thought I'd create a nice selection of things which would cool us all down. So, here's my refreshing little collection!

Lilley's - Ice cream magnets Polymer Clay Beads - looking for summer
Fresh n Funky - Splash The Owl & The Party Hat - Jolly Hollies Brooch
Cassia Beck - Ice cream Martha's Marvels - Brass Fan Necklace

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday 1 July 2010

Fun in a Field!

Quite Contrary HQ was put on holiday mode last week whilst I tootled off to revel in the delight that is Glastonbury! Our fellow Festival Revellers and partners in crime were my best bud Pippa, of The Owl & The Party Hat fame, and her fella. And what an awesome weekend it was - so so hot, so unlike Glasto!

So, amid the constant liberal lashings of Factor 50 Sunblock, manic hunts for anything like cool water, and trying to keep a check on my ever reddening poor little self, here are some of our favourite moments...

On Thursday, our first day at the festival, we came across the brilliant idea of a Piano-free for all, and this chap created a very rousing singalong of All The Saints v. Rule Britannia!

Opening the festival on the Pyramid stage was the legend that is Rolf Harris, complete with accordian and wibbly board!

This made me chuckle - all the way from London, we found a special Glasto Welliephant!

They had a huge Arts & Craft field, mainly with wood turners and jewellers where you can try and make your own bracelet, wooden stool or pot (I stayed away for fear of creating a clay lump!), and there was also this campsite with a difference. It reminded me of Mr Ben's world...

Now for the funniest picture of the weekend. We found a Village Fete (that may have been for kids but we wanted fun too!) - and Pip & Jonny went carrot bobbing. Hilarious!

There was one victim of the weekend though. We brought along sweetie supplies to keeps us going, but we forgot about a bag of Haribo, left unloved in the bottom of Dan's rucksack inside the very very hot tent...oops!

Not to be put off by my sugar supply melting into a set gooey mess, I did attempt to find some sort of 'cola bottle' or 'egg' amongst the mush - turns out this is what you should do if you fancy getting a Cubist take on the regular Haribo sweet!

All in all it was a fab weekend, Stevie Wonder rocked, Muse featuring The Edge was amazing, and the weather was just unbelievable! I'd definitely recommend it next year to anyone (especially if U2 end up doing next year instead of this one!)

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