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Nearly Advent…

It’s nearly that time of year again and this year I aim to be far more organised! We have the town Christmas lights switch on this Sunday 1st Dec so I shall be wrapping up warm and showing my dad the delights of town on a special event day. It’s always buzzing with lots to see and do regardless of your age. Check out ‘Love Somerton’ on FB.

There are lots of ChrIstmas gift ideas in the shop, ranging from a variety of ready to make kits including candle making, sewing, lino cutting and fimo through to serious buy-all-the-bits bits and bobs and make it from scratch. I have some great box packaging that you can decorate yourself with paint, pens or stamps to make an eco friendly reusable wrapping, or sew your own drawstring bags from fun Christmas fabrics. More of those ideas later as I vow to do a bit more on the bloggy website along with step by step instructions for those who might need them.
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Spring at last

It is lovely to feel that it is spring at last, mind you we have had the daffodils out for quite a while down in Somerset and they are well and truly over now.  The blossom has flowered early due to our mini heatwave and it’s gone cold again so i am back to 3 layers of clothing and my thermal vest in the shop.

The theme for April here at Mrs McGregors is animals, so all the workshops this month have an animal theme. I very carefully made loads of plans and dates and promptly left the notebook at the shop so i can’t populate the online calendar, what a muppet!!!

I do know some of the themes for workshops are making the felt bear from January’s edition of Mollie Makes magazine, felt chicks for Easter, decorated glittery and papery easter eggs and  3d felted bumble bees.  We do have a rogue felted fairy workshop with Steph on Sat. 27th April if you would like to join us do get in touch.

There is still some papercraft left in the shop from our March sale, so if you need 12×12 cardstock, promarkers, stamps, inks and die cut decoupage come on in and have a rummage.

Enjoy your spring and let’s hope for the weather to warm up just a bit.

Hope to see you soon.

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Customers!!

Customers are the blood of any business, it’s what keeps us going.  I  think mine are the best customers in the world.  Three years in, I now have regulars that know what I sell, a few that still say “I never knew you were here” and folks that just pop in to say hello.  Some want advice for projects, some just need a hug and some browse for ages.

We have had conversations aplenty ranging from tucking your vest into your pants (it really IS sooooo much warmer)! Debates about politics, religion, TV and family.  There is a lot of support from my customers  in my little corner in various guises.  The photo is from one customer who sent a pressie when I couldn’t stop crying when my eldest left for university. “Cheer up, chin up and flaming shut up” was the message.

I love my customers and I am thankful for all of them.

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Poppies!

Just at the moment, my life is full of poppies.  This Saturday, Steph Baker is coming to do her monthly crochet workshop and guess what? She is making poppies.  There are a few places left if you fancy coming along. The same afternoon and for most Saturdays in October, I will be outside the shop inviting passers by to make poppies from plastic bottles and give them an upcycle with a bit of paint.

I loved the poppy gates at the entrance to town which gave me the idea.  It took a bit of tracking down to find out that our Scout and Beaver groups had made them back in May for the Forces March that comes through town.   Our landlord Dean is happy for us to decorate the big gate that closes the precinct every night and we thought it would brighten up the place now the hanging baskets are all finished.

If you fancy making your own (with or without the kids), bring them to the shop and when there’s enough to make an impact, i will put them on the gate.

The last poppy related thing is that a beautiful bowl has been donated to raffle off to raise funds for the Royal British Legion. It’s currently in the shop window to view and tickets are available at £1.00 a strip so if you fancy donating or even winning, do pop in the shop and buy some tickets.  The draw will take place on Saturday 10th in the precinct.

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Warmth at last!

Warmth at last!! Although I am now finding it too hot after this little run of weather. I haven’t blog posted for so long as I have been super busy serving customers and running workshops.  Sometimes we get so busy as the weeks and months seem to slip by and we wonder if or what we have actually achieved.  If I wrote a list of what I did in a 24 hour period, it would reach the bottom of a page, however when it’s mundane stuff like getting the washing out on the line before going to work then we think it’s not worth anything.

There is a movement called “slow stitching” going on at present. It means exactly that: enjoy your stitching slowly. We are always in such a rush to get onto the next job, we forget to enjoy where we are right now.  I am going to try and enjoy right now a little more often.  I am sure it won’t help me achieve more, but at least I will be happy living ‘in the moment’ for a bit.

Slow down, do less, go deeper, be still.

Sue 🙂

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Workshops price fix!!

Just to let you all know that workshops for January and February 2018 are all fixed at £12 each.  A good time to have a go at all those crafts you have been desperate to learn over the years and never got round to!

 

Workshops are usually in the mornings, however if this does not suit, please contact me and arrange a better time (or day) and I will do my best to accommodate you.

Workshops are on the premises and will not be cancelled for small numbers, in the case of you being the only one you get more attention and access to more biscuits!  Why not bring along a friend and make a day out by visiting one of our fabulous local cafes and take a stoll around Somerton before going home.

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Sue x

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Happy New Year!

Well my New Year has started a day late due to flu hitting the McGregor household, but that really doesn’t bother me, as this year I have some extra thought time about making resolutions.  It has been quite some years since I consciously thought about New Year Resolutions, probably the last one being to do more coffee and cake with friends (yes it really was)!

This year, however, I have given serious thought to being thankful for what I have and my whole mantra for the year is going to be “Making the Most of What I have Got”  (MTMOWIG ??? maybe not..).  This might involve using up what’s in the cupboards for tea, upcyling my current wardrobe, using that stash in the shop, being thankful that friends encourage me to close the shop for 30 mins and steal me for coffee in the precinct, looking at what’s on my doorstep or in my town already rather than going elsewhere or shopping online. OK, I might have to concede there with teenage boys birthday presents, but hey I can give it a try for everything else can’t I?

I would also like to get the hang of social media this year and get to grips with the whole bloggy thing, so apologies if you really don’t want me droning on, just skip past your Facebook feed there and just keep your eye on the website for workshop details instead.  After a lovely catch up with Jo @adventuresandteaparties before Christmas, she also gave me a boost to go for some online sales, so those of you that live far away can access some lovely handmade Mrs McGregor’s goodies hopefully before the end of the year!  I may be asking some of you to test drive the products or the postal system for me as a bit of market research, so do let me know if you are interested.

Well, our belated New Years Day tea beckons, along with the Christmas crackers that I forgot for Boxing Day and the puddings that went unmade and uneaten due to the lurgy are still in their boxes.  It doesn’t matter, as I am making the most of what I have tonight, which is a slightly less germy bug free tea time with the people I love most, for which I am seriously thankful.

 

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New workshops online!

         

Well hi folks! I have spent today populating the What’s on Events calendar on the Mrs McGregor’s webpage here, and yes, Christmas workshops are on the agenda.  I am currently making too many typing mistakes so am giving it a rest for now, but i have gotten up to November and if you pop in the shop, the December dates are on the calendar.

I need to print out flyers, so that’s a job for another night I am afraid.  Enjoy your last hurrah’s with the children before sending them back to school this week!

Have a restful rest of your day.

Sue

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Tools of the Trade

Some of you may know that occasionally on a Saturday, I demonstrate for docrafts, an art supplies company and often sit in The Range stores making cards and showing customers how to use all the equipment and materials they sell.  If you have come into Mrs McGregor’s and met my glamorous, talkative, large teenager on a Saturday, this is why he is manning the shop.

Obviously, being a papercrafting professional, many tools are required to do a neat and tidy job and your bag should be packed and ready for all occasions.  Sadly, this week, I opened my bags to find my best toolkit missing AND I had completely neglected to pack utensils to eat my lunch with.     I considered ringing hubby to do an emergency leather-clad dash on his motorbike to bring me said toolkit, then found out it was Weston Air Show that day and considering all things, the shop was likely to be rather quiet, given the scorching day it was and that everyone would be down the beach.

So, not to be defeated, I had a serious rummage in my handbag and managed the following (see above).  I can’t say that cutting out intricate stamped shapes of crabs to adorn my cards was easy, nor cutting fine ribbon to make bows. However, the tiny fold up scissors were better than nothing and I said a silent thank you prayer to my mum who always had a pair in her handbag.  I am so glad to have followed in her footsteps by carting various items of oddness around with me in my own handbags these last 20 years!

Well, I ate my salad with the spoon (interesting), stirred my coffee with the pen (before finding the spoon..) and had a fairly quiet day to myself making cards whilst everyone in Somerset was out in the sunshine or down the beach.  It’s a good job nobody was seriously interested in the tools of the trade that day.  Needless to say, on arriving home I found said toolkit right on top of the cupboard where I keep my papercraft stash.

Until next time, have a great creative week, whatever you are up to.

Sue

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Confessions of a daisy hooker

Welcome to my first blog tutorial!

Instead of writing a Masters research proposal, i have spent the afternoon making and photographing daisy square crochet, which i have to say has been far more fun.  To combine with Granny square Mondays, i am producing my own patterns and leaflets to go in a crochet gift box (another story for another day beginning with ordering the wrong boxes….).

There are many daisy granny squares out on the interwebnet, not to mention the confusing USA v UK versions of stitches.  I am relatively new to crochet and can only do a few stitches, so can’t lay claim to copyright on any of this, however, this is me mashing a few of those patterns together making the most of a treble and half treble stitch!

Make a chain of 4 stitches, join with slip stitch to make a circle

Round 1: Chain 3 (this counts as your first treble stitch), then 11 more trebles into centre (12 stitches total) (Treble: Yarn over hook, down the hole, pull through, yarn over hook, through 2, yarn over hook through 2)  Finish with a slip stitch to join the round.

      

Round 2:  Change to new colour (white) chain 3 (counts as your first treble), then 2 more trebles into same space to form a cluster of 3.  Next comes the funky daisy part.

TAKE OUT your hook and insert into the top of the first treble (in this case your chain of 3 this very first time), then catch the loop at the top and pull through.  (This closes into a petal shape). Chain 2 and continue your next petal with 3 trebles, take out hook, insert into top stitch and pull through. Continue all the way round and finish with a slip stitch.  There should be 12 petals altogether.

Round 3: Change colour and chain 3 (this counts as your first treble), 2 more trebles into same chain space.  Chain 3 (this is your corner) then 3 more trebles into the same space.

Each time now you are working in sets of 3 with no chains between groups.  If you just continue with TREBLES you will have the photo underneath, can you see it’s going all curvy?

                                                                                                     

After your corner set of trebles, make a group of 3 HALF trebles in the next chain space (yarn over hook, down the hole, pull through, yarn over hook, pull through all 3 stitches). Then make another group of 3 half trebles into the next chain space.

You are now on the next corner, so 3 trebles into same chain space, chain 3, 3 trebles into same chain space.

Continue with 2 blocks of half trebles, next corner set of trebles, 2 blocks of half trebles until you join all the way round with a slip stitch.

        You can stop here with 1 round of background if you wish.  I have continued to do another round     

Round 4:

Chain 3 (this counts as a last stitch in a group of 3 – see photo on right hand side above).  Working in the next chain space, make a group of 3 trebles, chain 3, 3 trebles into same chain space (this is your first corner) then continue with 3 groups of 3 trebles into each chain space. Corner next: 3 trebles, chain 3, 3 trebles into same chain space, continue round with trebles in groups of 3 until end.  On the last group of trebles, you will only do 2 as you will catch up with the first chain of 3.

   If you only want to do trebles and not worry about taking your hook out, you will end up with the pink daisy square on the left of this pic.  Here i have just made groups of trebles with one chain between them.

So there you are!  Make as many squares as you like for a cushion, blanket, scarf and when i learn how to join them all together i will let you know and write another tutorial!!

Happy Sunday!

Sue

P.S. If you find any errors in instruction, do let me know so i can amend. Thanks 🙂