Saturday, 21 February 2009

Cora Paige Monkey

This monkey is being sold in aid of The Cora Paige Project. The money will be used to build a playground in memory of baby Cora. For more details, visit the Cora Paige blog or read the Etsy Storque article. Please buy him to do a little bit to help. 100% of the price will be donated.

UPDATE: The Cora Monkey has now sold but you can click the pink link on the right to find lots more handmade Etsy items, being sold in aid of the Cora Paige Project. So far, over $9000 has been raised. There is also an Etsy shop set up by Cora's family; called Coras selling lovely clothes for little ones. They had completely sold out when I looked but do keep an eye out for more stock soon!


I realised when I wrote my post yesterday that Seb my 17 year old chichilla hasn't had a mention before on my blog (I don't think). He really is 17 human years old! I was only 10 years old when my Dad's work colleague, Phil, gave him to me. The story is that I wanted a chinchilla for a long time and was finally allowed to get one for my birthday. We went to a chinchilla breeder with lots of them all in a shed and I picked one and called him Jake. He was £60 and we had to buy a big cage for him. It was all very exciting. Sadly, poor Jake only lasted 6 months as he choked on his food. We rushed him to the vet but he didn't come home with us. That is where Phil came in. His pet chinchillas had just had a little 'chilla and they donated him to me. That was in 1991 and Seb is still going strong!

I was warned back then that chinchillas had a long life expectancy of 8-10 years. Seb has doubled the lower estimate! He is still running around the house and causing chaos. He chews anything including wires, newly-papered wallpaper, the buttons from the television remote control in my old flat, the plastic nose protector things from Dave's glasses. The list goes on. He can be annoying (like the new wallpaper incident) but he is also very cute.

I am a quite aware that he probably doesn't have long left now (I'm always relived when he's still jumping around his cage in the morning for his raisin) and he has definitely got grumpier in his old age but he is fab. My favourite ever thing that he does is his whisker-washing routine. His whiskers are really long so he cleans his face with his paws but then pulls both paws right down both sides of his whiskers and has to stretch his head right back to reach the ends of the whiskers with his little paws. I'll have to try and film it one day.

This may be up there with my longest ever blog posts but I suppose Seb does have quite a history. He has lived in 2 houses in Sussex, 1 house in Bath, 2 flats in London and now our little pad in Northumberland!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Happy Birthday Niamh!

Today is a big Happy 8th Birthday to my neice, Niamh. She's a few hundred miles away in East Sussex but we are looking forward to a trip down to see all the family in early March. Happy Birthday Niamh from me, Dave and Seb the 17 year old chinchilla. Hi Freya and Harvey too!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Storeyshop Slippers!

I've been meaning to add these beauties to my blog for a while but kept forgetting. These are the Storeyshop personalised slippers Dave's lucky parents got for Christmas from us. His folks are quite hard to buy for so making them something always seems to go down well. I am thinking of adding these to my shop too. The only problem would be availablity of slippers. I think I'd have to find out what slippers sizes customers wanted and their top 3 choices of colours and then hit M&S and BHS to see if I could get the right thing. If anyone is interested do let me know! They are great wedding presents for newly weds, especially for the lady who gets her new initials sewn on them!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Knitting For A Good Cause

I can't knit very well but I am going to learn. I found this forum post on my weekly Money Saving Expert email and it has some great ideas for knitting cardies, hats and blankets for premature babies and old people and for children in war-torn countries and disaster areas. Some of the sites feature easy-to-follow knitting patterns, tips and even photos of the knitted offerings being worn and used. How fab is that? My plan is to do a spot of knitting in front of the tv in the evenings and then send it off to a good home to keep a small person warm and cosy.

There is also the Innocent drinks Big Knit campaign where you can make little hats for Innocent. The drinks with the little woolly hats go on sale in November I think, so a little way off, but I might be really good at knitting by then! This Big Knit video is fab. Knitting and banter with Beryl and Jean.

Get knitting and I'd love to see what other people have made for charities. I will post my offerings here once I have bought some wool and nicked some knitting needles from my Mum. Actually I must remember to tell my Mum about knitting for causes. She has recently retired and is loving getting back into her crafts. She has had a big embroidery set to do since before I was born and I think she has just started it! She had lost the instructions and the colour guide so I Googled it and found her a photo of someone else's completed one to work from. Progress is slow according to my Dad but at least it will be the right colours now.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Storeyshop Has A New Look

I have been designing new branding for Storeyshop so have added a new banner here and on my Etsy shop. Well, I say designing but I decided the branding should be created by hand really seeing as I love handmade and everything Storeyshop sells is lovingly hand crafted. I am still playing around with ideas but let me know what you think!

Here is a sneak preview of some of the new Storeyshop items which will be available soon. This is a little wooden jewellery box covered with magazine type. The plan is to design my own coverings but this was my first attempt to see how it might work and how long each would take. I like how it turned out. Think this one might be a birthday present (must not keep it, must not keep it) but there is a new crossword version in the pipeline too inspired by my love of puzzles and the giant suduko canvas in our bathroom!

Monday, 16 February 2009

I Got One!

Yay. After all those hand-cut Storeyshop Valentine's cards made and posted out since the beginning of January, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a hand-cut 'I love you more than' card on my own doormat on the big day! My boyfriend has a new admiration for my mass card scalpelling after cutting his own version!

Not only that but I got another hand crafted present too. The evening of the day of love was spent enjoying a fantastic meal at the Crown Inn restaurant in Catton, Northumberland. I highly recommend it for anyone who happens to live nearby. Gorgeous food and a really nice atmosphere (and free bubbly with strawberries in!)

Post February 14th, I'm pleased to say the card orders are still coming in. I am looking forward to getting some new items finished and into Storeyshop over the next month or so too. New monkeys will also be popping up soon (there are only 8 left for sale!) along with some sparkly, new Storeyshop branding.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Storeyshop Cards: Mission Complete

Finished! Over 250 hand-cut Valentine's cards made and posted off around the world. My arms and hands are aching now so I am looking forward to a whole weekend off! I have been getting some great feedback from happy customers too which is always fab! Here are some more highlights from the card rush...

Monday, 9 February 2009

Storeyshop Weekend

Another solid weekend of card cutting! I have just taken the latest batch of 24 down to the post office. I must be helping to keep the local post office in business.

I am just having a quick tea, chocolate Buttons and blog break so I will add a couple of my recent card offerings before getting back to my scalpelling. Sorry to those people I have had to turn down for Valentine's orders but I don't want to promise to get cards to you in time when it may not be possible. I am hoping to get all the Valentine's orders posted by Wednesday afternoon to allow an extra day or two of postage time. A few first class cards have been turning up a day or two late lately, maybe because of the snow. I hope they all arrive in time for the day of love and go down very well with their intended!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Card Rush II

The card rush is most definitely back on! The 'Look' readers and other buyers are placing lots of orders for cards and monkeys. I have over 60 current personalised Valentine's card orders on the 'to do' list so I had better get back to it!

Here are some of my recent favourite orders..

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Storeyshop In Look!

Woohoo! Storeyshop is featured in the latest issue of Look magazine (February 9th issue, page 100). I had a few buyers mention where they had found my cards so have just nipped down to buy a copy.

My card rush is calming down a bit now. I have made over 160 cards now in the last 3 weeks! I actually had the weekend off though which made a nice change. I had a good winter clean on Saturday and we went for lunch and a nice walk on Sunday. Working from home meant Dave and I didn't get to have a snow day yesterday unfortunately (all my friends in London and Sussex seemed to) although we did go on a drive over the hills to take some photos..