confessions of a fabric obsessive

Monthly Archives: August 2011

favourite blogs – Bugs and Fishes by Lupin

One of my favourite blogs is Bugs and Fishes by Laura from Lupin Handmade.

Not only does Laura blog, but she makes all kinds of cute felty goodness in her shop,


writes easy to follow tutorials for stuff like this 

and sells all kindsa different types and sizes of felt in her shop too .

I love the brooches and ornaments that she has in her shop and lots of her tutorials are on my to-do list.

Today’s tute is to make this owl

go on, fly over and say hi, tell her Claire from Handmade by Claire Bear sent you.

Organising (again)

I subscribe to William Morris’s philosophy “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. Useful OR beautiful isn’t enough, it has to be both or it’s out. In theory, my home should only contain beautiful items that are all useful to my life as it is right now, AND NOTHING ELSE! (ha!)

I’m getting there I promise.

On the other hand I can be lazy when I’m stressed and then things don’t get put away and I then spend forever trying to find them, which leaves me even less time to put things away so that I can find them. That’s one really vicious circle.

I’ve found a very nice Australian lady, Lissanne, who blogs about organising and decluttering yourself, take a wander over to her blog SORTED organising and decluttering.

(BTW, I almost freaked the first time I saw her blog. Lissanne used the same theme, font styles and colours as me, but the words are different. It’s like looking in a mirror and seeing someone else wearing my clothes! I’ve changed the look of mine since and so has she, so unless you’ve been with me since the first word… )

I’ve added her to my bookmarks and blogroll in the hope that associating with her will keep me in good habits.

It doesn’t help that I’ve got two older teenagers and have spent the last decade fighting the tide of garbage from their rooms. My youngest went off to Uni last autumn and I bit the bullet and cleared 2 and a 1/2 dustbin bags of actual rubbish (empty drinks cans, crisp packets, etc) out of his room, without even started on the stuff that he might not want to keep any longer.

The same happen when my oldest went to India for a six-week holiday. After three solid days of picking up rubbish, I could actually see enough floor in her room to start vacuuming. I got together a whole boxful of stuff that she had “borrowed” from me and forgotten to give back, too. Result!

There is something very satisfying about seeing lines of full rubbish bags out for the binmen, or bags stuffed in the back of my car to go the charity shop or recycling depot.

I’ve got to make decisions about things I don’t need anymore now, and how to arrange what’s left so I can find it quickly.  That’s what I find hard.

I’ll be moving to a smaller place this autumn when I’ve bundled both my children off to University, finally moving in with my very patient fiancée is great, but having to work out what of the children’s stuff-in-the-loft that I’ve kept from when they were little is going to be difficult challenging.

Working out where I’m going to start looking for the things I decide to keep is going to be challenging as well, as I’ll be doing it twice in two homes in a short timescale (first in my current home, then trying to relocate and reorganise again in my new home in the autumn). I worked out a long time ago that if I put things away in the first place I usually start looking for them, then I spend almost no time looking for things. This qualifies as organised.

I also have to label things, as I have a very bad memory. I don’t just forget where I’ve put things down, I look for things I’m still holding in my hand! This dyslexia lark has got a lot to answer for. Running a business from home, doing a part-time college course as well as job hunting for next year’s teaching gig creates a lot of mess generates a fairly big challenge as well.

Oh sod it, I’m signing up for her newsletter. I need all the help I can get!

I have my priority list.

1) Finish portfolio for college

2) On to the mess challenge.

UPDATE:  I wrote this ages ago, storing it up for a time when I wanted to post something but couldn’t think of anything , or had not time to write one (I’m dyslexic, which means although I am driven to write, it does take a while, and no, spell-checker doesn’t help much)

Since I first wrote this

  1.  son has come home from Uni
  2. my portfolio has been completed, submitted and verified and I now have an associate teacher’s qualification (UK further education teaching qualifications ~ 3 “improvements” of qualification structure in about 6 years ~ don’t get me started!) certificate should arrive in a few weeks has now arrived, Yippee!
  3. I can hunt down and apply for a Cert. Ed.course that will take me without a university degree
  4. and a job
  5. I’ve seen a ground floor flat (have I mentioned I  have arthritis in both knees?  I’m 42 for heaven’s sake!) walking distance from my future MIL’s (who will hopefully be babysitting the plants I can’t bear to part with. Moving is hard enough without having to say goodbye forever to some of my plants) at a rent I can probably afford.
  6. I’ve got a living room that we can’t walk into because of the boxes and boxes of stuff ready to sell on ebay, or at the next car boot sale
  7. I’ve actually started getting rid of stuff
  8. my daughter has started actually getting rid of stuff!

I am genius!

Ta-da! With absolutely no training at all, just copying and messing with the code for other people’s  buttons  until it does what I want: I present to you, the Claire Bear Button for your delight and delectation and more than anything, for your blog!!!


There’s the button, down on the left, make sure you get all of the code.

If anyone wants to let me know how to make this more viewable in wordpress, please tell me.

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