Thursday, October 28, 2010

Button Bargains On Ebay!

I've just listed over thirty lots of buttons on my newest satellite shop, LoveButtonsHQ at Ebay - most starting at just 99p - a couple even lower. Grab yourself a bargain. Postage is just 66p for any item, and free for any subsequent items paid for on the same invoice.





Auctions end on Sunday 7 November at around 7 pm and 9 pm.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

EtsyVeg Spooktacular

Come Haunting with the Etsyveg Team October 27th-November 2nd, 2010! EtsyVeg kicks off the EtsyVeg Spooktacular today, with creepy savings and a frightfully fantastic shopper giveaway!

EtsyVeg's vegan and vegetarian artisans are celebrating Halloween with special treats abound, from discounts to free shipping to free gifts! Shop the participating shops listed below to save big!

* 3 AM Art Productions- BOGO on all art prints/photography

* Au clair de la lune

* Blackbird and Peacock

* Crickets Creations Handknit Scarves- $5 off anything tagged "Halloween"

* Gardenia's Garb- 10% off any item tagged "Halloween"

* Jen O'Connell Paintings and Original Artwork- free shipping

* JFIllustrations- free shipping

* Kimbas Critters

* Lalu Jewelry- 15% off

* Maple Ash and Oak- 15% off

* M's Knits and Things- 15% off all scarves

* Mumbot Shop

* Palafox Studio 23- free shipping

* SilentLotus Creations- 15% off entire shop, plus free shipping over $25 and free gift over $40

* Starfirewire- Free Shipping and Free gift


As part of our ghostly event, EtsyVeg is hosting a giveaway in which lucky shoppers will receive scarily fabulous handmade prizes from our ghostly talented artisans! All shoppers who make purchases from EtsyVeg member shops participating in the Spooktacular (see list above) are invited to comment on the EtsyVeg Blog. Include the link to the item(s) you purchased and your Etsy shop name or email address so we can contact you if you're name is drawn, and you will be entered to win an
incredible prizes ( a random number generator will be used to choose winners). Winners will be announced on November 3rd!

Extra Entries: Earn one entry for every shop from the list above that you purchase from (please comment separately for each shop)!
Throughout the Spooktacular, check the blog daily for updates, featured artisans and their screamingly awesome handmade creations, and more! Please email us with questions at . And Happy Halloween!

The Alnwick Garden

Rob and I visited Alnwick Garden on Monday 25 October. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we stopped to walk Henry next to Hadrian's Wall at Birdoswald in Northumbria.

The car park for the gardens and Alnwick Castle is quite a walk from the attractions, and costs £2. We had forgotten that it was half-term school holidays in England, but we were soon reminded when we had to queue for over half an hour to get tickets for entry to the garden! Adult tickets cost £9.50 each, and you can pay an extra £1 towards The Alnwick Garden Trust, which carries out charitable projects and programmes.

You pass this huge tree house on the way to the main entrance...

Inside the Garden, we went straight to the terrace cafe for lunch. We ate quiche and salad followed by a nut/fruit cake (rather like a Florentine without the chocolate), with tea and a mineral water. The cost was £15.15. The food was tasteless: cold, claggy quiche and undressed lettuce, tomato and cucumber with coleslaw. The cakes tasted mainly of sweet, chopped fruit peel and didn't go down too well, either.
The cafe was in a scenic position, overlooking "The Grand Cascade" (a section of which is shown in the photo below). There is a clear roof over the terrace which lets the sun shine in, and lots of bamboo plants in pots give some privacy, but it was busy and noisy, being bi-sected by the main walk way to the Garden.

The Garden was a lot smaller than we had imagined. It was divided into areas, such as The Serpent Garden - a sort of maze with water features; The Rose Garden; The Ornamental Garden (bordered throughout with huge, trained crab apple trees, which looked very impressive with masses of red fruits at this time of year.) Training trees over structures seems to be the Head Gardener's speciality. Here is an example of a covered walkway below.

You can visit the market town of Alnwick easily, with a ten minute walk. We did that, stopping off at the 'Roots and Shoots Garden', which is situated separately from the main area. It is a small vegetable garden, still with an impressive quantity of herbs and vegetables for this time of year. In the centre is a pyramidal structure planted with rows of herbs going up the sides. There were flat beds and raised beds - still with chard, sorrel, beetroots, kale, Brussel spouts etc, all looking very healthy and tempting. Local schools have beds of seedlings, each with the sort of scarecrow that you would not like to come across alone at night.

After a look round the town, we made our way back to the Alnwick Garden gift shop and plant centre. There were lots of plants on offer at the end of the season, and 90 rose varieties available.

The tree house is the grand finale. Again it was very busy, and the cafe and restaurant situated inside the main building would probably need to be booked in advance to be sure of a seat. There is a short tree top walk including two wood and rope bridges. The children were having a high old time jumping up and down and getting the whole structure to sway like a giant swing, so we staggered around the walk like drunken sailors.

I think Alnwick garden would certainly appeal to families with young children (who may also like to visit nearby Alnwick Castle - where part of the Harry Potter films was shot). I enjoyed seeing the vegetable garden and the tree house, but would have liked to see a greater variety of plants, and styles of planting. My main tips would be to avoid busy times of year and to take a packed lunch!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wooden Buttons

I imported some wooden buttons from India - a complicated process with money transfers through 3 banks - 35 emails and a wait of 8 weeks - but here they are and I'm really pleased with them.

The buttons pictured above, together with coconut buttons and painted wood buttons are priced at £0.45 - £1.40 each and can be found on Love Buttons HQ.

These would make perfect bag closures, or decorative accents for quilts, wall hangings or chunky knitwear.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Autumn Colours Treasury On Etsy

I made a treasury for the EtsyVeg Team on Etsy. Hope you like it! Click here to find out more about the featured artists and makers.


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