Monday, 28 June 2010

ffflowers Giveaway!

Life has been pretty hectic here lately.  But at last things are starting to settle down a bit and I am not waking up each morning wondering how on earth I am going to be in 2 (or more!) places at once during the day...  So I thought I would celebrate by running my first ever giveaway.

The lucky winner will receive a bouquet of 5 flowers of their choice (subject to availability*).  All you need to do to enter the giveaway is visit my ffflowers shop, choose your combination of 5 flowers, then leave me a comment here telling me which 5 flowers you would like in your bouquet.  You can choose 5 all the same, 5 all different or any other combination you like.  I'm sorry I can't include the eco daisies in the giveaway because quantities of these are limited, and please don't choose 5 vanilla flowers because I only have one left - but apart from that, anything goes! 

The giveaway is open to everyone - no matter where you live!  But do please make sure you leave me some way of contacting you, whether it's through blogger or etsy or folksy or flickr or facebook.

If you would like a second entry into the giveaway, then visit my ffflowers facebook page, become a fan and leave me a message on the wall.

The giveaway is open until 9am (BST) on Wednesday 7th July.  I will be announcing the winner here on the blog after that date so make sure you are following me so you can check back.  Good luck!

*Subject to availability - in the unlikely event I have a sudden rush on the store between now and next week and I run out of the particular colour flowers the winner has chosen, I will ask the winner to choose alternatives.
Update: The giveaway is now closed!  The winner will be anounced shortly here on my blog.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Labelling part 2

Well, this is just an excuse really to show off my lovely new stamp from etsy seller littlegreyclouds - I am so pleased with it!  I have been stamping all my packages and have also stamped a load of these parcel tags...

I am using these stamped tags for my new range of bobby pins

and for my new range of ribbon flower embellishments - lots more colours to come!

The bobby pins are available in both my etsy and folksy shops; I will be listing the embellishments in both shops over the next few days.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


I have a very good friend and mentor who insists I should sign every piece of art I make - even if it is just a tiny thing stuck on the front of a greetings card.  And so I do - at least, I initial them and make sure I attach a sticker with my details on the back somewhere. 

But my ffflowers have been going out into the world unlabelled, so this article in the etsy storque blog really got me thinking.  Since individual ffflowers are not high-priced items, any labels would have to be inexpensive and easy to attach without extra work.  And they would have to be unobtrusive too - if the first thing you notice when you look at the flowers in a vase is the label, you are probably going to cut it off pretty quickly!  I fiddled around with different sized bits of fabric, trying them in between the flower and stem, but if they were big enough to be readable then they really stuck out.  I finally discovered that - with a bit of practice - I could trap a narrow ribbon label securely in the wrapping at the base of the stem - no extra sewing - yay!

I made my labels myself using narrow cotton tape and printable t-shirt transfer paper, with the help of this great tutorial.  One little tip - you have to print a mirror image of your text - I spent some time trying to work out how to flip the text in a document and then found I had a 'print mirror image' setting in my printer options... doh!  So much easier!  The transfer paper is a bit fiddly to iron on to the tape but for me it's really worth the effort.  Actually, the hardest part was the shopping - finding the right width tape - I would have preferred a cream colour - I'll have to keep looking.

So from now on I'll be sending my ffflowers out into the world properly labelled!

Sunday, 20 June 2010


I went to visit my Mum recently - bit of a flying visit, not the best timing, long story...  But I came away with some old curtain linings which will be great for dying, and this...

with such treasure inside...

The button box originally belonged to my Grandma, who was born over a hundred years ago at the end of the 19th century.  So some of these buttons are likely to be not just vintage but antique!  I am torn now between wanting to use the buttons and just keeping them to look at...

As a child of course I played with the buttons and these ones were always my favourite:

I can't imagine what they were from but I love the unusual shape - very 1930's I have always thought, but Mum doesn't remember them on anything so I guess I'll never know.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Glyndwr Degree Show

Next September I am off to Glyndwr University in Wrexham to study Applied Arts – mature student, 3 years, full time, not sure if I am mad or not… Applied Arts covers jewellery, ceramics, glass and wood; try everything out first and then decide where to specialise.

So today I went off to visit the degree show to get some idea of what I was letting myself in for – and now I’m really looking forward to it! There was lots of fabulous work in the applied arts room; my favourites were 2 jewellers.

First was Roz Mellor, whose delicate work is inspired by nature and is full of the most beautiful textures. It really has to be seen in person to appreciate the delicacy - I absolutely loved it.

(photographs by the artist)

You can see some more of Roz's work here.

Next was Ruth Baxter who has made beautiful sculptural forms and jewellery from masses of tiny coils of recycled paper – the effect was stunning.

(photographs by the artist)

You can see more of Ruth's work here and here.

Having spent some time in the applied arts room I wandered off around the rest of the exhibition. Tucked away in a corner of the illustration degree exhibition I found these wonderful paper birds by Rae Welch.

(photographs by the artist)

Rae’s birds are available in her folksy shop – I had seen them online and it was such a lovely surprise to see them for real!

Roll on September!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

New Blue Eco Daisies

During my grand clear out the other day I found a couple of pretty blue plastic carrier bags, so of course those have been turned into flowers too... 1 carrier bag = 3 flowers so these are definitely a limited edition!

upcycled plastic bag flowers by ffflowers

blue eco daisies by ffflowers

I'll be listing them in my etsy ffflowers shop later, probably as 2 separate bunches, but then I do think they look lovely mixed together so I'm a bit undecided about that - what do you think?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

I have come to the end...

... of my one year foundation diploma in art and design. Even though I am completely exhausted after the frantic trying-to-get-everything-done of the last few days I am sad to have finished it - it was a great experience. Most of the time!

For my final project I have been experimenting with making 'paper' from vegetables. This is surprisingly easy when you are making flat sheets of paper, but much more difficult if you try to mould them into other shapes - so what did I decide to do?

I will write about the process, but I hope you will forgive me if I put that off for another time and just show you some pictures of my little corner of our exhibition - finished with 15 minutes to spare!

vegetable paper forms

courgette - carrot - red cabbage

If anyone will be in Birkenhead at the end of June and would like to visit the exhibition, let me know and I will send you details.

Friday, 4 June 2010

A Good Clear Out... a wonderful thing! I have made a resolution to clear out my 'studio space' (aka the loft, complete with ladder) over the summer holidays, before I start my university course next year. Even though the summer holidays haven't started yet I have been turning out a few things and wading through some of the boxes of stuff I have squirreled away... In one of the boxes I found this reel of black soft tulle ribbon I was saving for something or other…

…and I thought… that would make lovely flowers… And I was right, it did!

handmade black tulle flowers by ffflowers

handmade black tulle corsage by ffflowers

Coming soon to my etsy and folksy shops!


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