Thursday, 11 November 2010

Following on from Handmade on the 2oth of November, I will be at the Community centre again (same place!) on the 27th of November for the Leigh on Sea Handmade and Vintage Fair, organsied by Anna Cooper. This is a brilliant and fun fair, with some fantastic handmade crafts, many in a vintage theme, as well as vintage clothing, cakes, jewellery, paintings and signs. There is also a tearoom on site run by all the Tea and China, serving tea in vintage china an cucumber sandwiches and delicious cakes.

A fun day and a very popular event! Pop in and say hello if you are there!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Tis the Season

Where has the year gone? Here we are - November and my busy period!

I have several craft events this season including the Westcliff on Sea Women's Institute Christmas Craft Evening held at the Cliffs Pavilion on the 11th of November! This group WOSWI - are the greatest bunch of ladies ever! Ranging in ages from 18 to 70 plus, every meeting is full of fun, laughter and friendship! I am looking forward to the evening!

Followng this event which is a group event and not a public event, I will be showing at several venues in the Southend on Sea area.

The season is Christmas and therefore a lot of my wares will be in that theme, and will include signs, shelf sitter block sets, ornaments, cards, and wreathes, and there will also be wares to purchase as gifts in different themes including cakes, vintage chic, and shabby chic roses.

The list of events is below - if you are in the area pop in and say hello! There will be many stalls selling a huge variety of special hand crafted items made with love!

Hopefully I will see you there!

Saturday, November 20th, 2010- Handmade.

This event is organised by Southend Adult Community College and will be held at the Leigh on Sea branch (Leigh Community Centre on Elm Road). This event is held upstairs and co-ordinates with the popular Farmer's Market which is held downstairs in the morning.

All wares will be handmade by various artists and craftspersons - many who were at some time, or still are, students at the college.

Expect to see a wide range of beautifully made by hand items ranging from fashion accessories, jewellery, mosaics, cards, painted art, collages, and more!

Entry is free and the hall will be open from 10 am to 3 pm. A lift is available and refreshements will be available.

A fantastic oppourtunity to grab some unique Christmas pressies!

Thursday, 16 September 2010


Who doesn't like a bit of cake? Even if you do not have a sweet tooth - the revival of the cupcake and cake decorating for eveyday is a welcome return to day of old! Cupcakes, either real or in the form of decoration has been a huge trend for sometime now and of course I had to put my two cents into the equation as well! I am not a domestic goddess however, so my cake stand may never hold the edible sort - but who can resist these lovely cake stands? Not me - that is for sure! I had a lot of people wanting to buy the stands - perhaps I ought to get some to sell!

A Mix of Seaside and Vintage Chic with a bit of Halloween and Christmas thrown in for fun!

A stand with something for everyone! I made sure I had a mix of styles on offer which included not only the seaside styles but also Vintage and Shabby Chic (two styles I am very fond of!) I also included some holiday signs as it before we know it - it will be that time of year once again!

Seaside Hanging Tags

Selling Signs

Below is a selection of some of the nautical signs I have been working on. I had a lot of fun putting colours and sayings together! I used jute string on these signs as opposed to the usual wire I use but I thought it would lend a beachy feel to them!

She Sells Sea Signs down by the Sea Shore!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Update on Annoying Posts

Just to say a big thank you to the moderators at Blogger! They have somehow magically fixed the annoying posts I have been receiving and a big thank you to you for doing so. No longer am I getting these comments and I am very happy about that! I had been considering closing my blog and now I do not have to so .....................Thank you so much!

I am happy now!
Who doesn't enjoy a day at the beach - sun, sand and lots of fun! All of Southend on Sea - from Leigh to Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness has beaches running along the coastline, and in the summer the beaches are packed when the tide is in or out, especially on a sunny day!

Many people travel in on the Fenchurch Street Line (rail)) to spend a day at the seaside, and although summer is the busy time, there are still people to be found near the sea on any given day.

In the winter months when the wind is wild and strong, it may not be easy to actually unwind on the Beach, but it can be very refreshing and my little pal Riley will happily have his walkies by the beach on any day - rain or shine! He may be a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - regal by breed name and nature, but he loves to get his paws muddy and run along the beach!

Leigh Regatta and craft sales!

This past weekend I had a craft stall at the Old Leigh Regatta in Leigh on Sea, Essex.

The annual regatta is held in Old Leigh - the original fishing village down the cliffs from the main town on the Thames Estuary. Old Leigh is charming with it's lovely little cottages, traditional fishing pubs , seafood vendors and restaurants and cafes.

Every summer the old town is packed with visitors - both local and from London who come down for a day by the sea.

This is the first year I have had a stand at the Regatta and I will defintely be back for more!

It was a great weekend, and despite a bit of rain on the Saturday, the town was buzzing and it was great fun!

I decided to take the nautical theme and run with it so I made signs with a seaside theme and painted up small boats, anchors and beach huts! Not wanting to leave anyone out, I also included vintage chic items, my speciality roses and a few Christmas and Halloween items just to get people ready for the seasons to come now that we are in September!

Thank You Carole at Prim N Raggedy!

A BIG, BIG THANK YOU to my lovely friend Carole over at Prim n Raggedy!

Carole has been so kind to feature me on her blog and thank you so much fro doign that Carole!

Carole makes the most wonderful Primitive candles, wax melts and room sprays! I have several of her room sprays and they fill my home with the most heavely scent and really, and truly they smell good enough to eat! She also has a line of the most wonderful Nappy Cakes - beautifully bundled packages of gifts for babies!

Carole also has a selling blog - The Primitive Crows Nest - where you can buy Prmitive fabrics, supplies, signs and other goodies!

Friday, 6 August 2010


Some time ago, I had two blog comments left on a post, and they were written in Oriental letters. Excited to see that I had a commnet from someone in a land far from me, I clicked on one and then had pop-ups of very distasteful piccies. I tried to see what I could do about this but there seemed no way to get help other than read forumn posts and on there I found that it is not just me who gets them and that the only thing i could do is to moderate all comments, which is what I have had to do now. Everytime I get one of these comments, I block them in my Junk Mail folder, but the symbols change everytime, and I still get them regularly.

I do not want to have to moderate comments, and if anyone wants to comment on anything please do not be scared off as I am not being choosy about who I welcome, but I do not want these particular distasteful comments.

If anyone reading this has had a similar problem and found a way to stop it, please do let me know - I don't know what else to do other than close my blog down and I don't want to do this.

Thanks to all my readers for any help you can give to me.

At the Beach

Summer days are here and with it the call of the sea!

We live on the mouth of the Thames Estuary in a town called Westcliff on Sea and we live just up from the beach where I head off most days with my pal Riley for walkies!

I am signed up for several events this September this year including the annual Leigh Regatta and have decided that it is about time I made some signs with a nautical flavour - so that is what I am doing and this is a sampler of some of the designs.
My hubby Dave sails a Tornado - which is a racing catamaran and his family are into boats in a big way. They own an old sailing yacht built in 1896 in Blackwall on the Thames. She is called Hypatia and is kept in Holland year round in a lovely ancient shipping town called Veere. We go there most summers to spend some time on the boat and in Holland which we love.
Dave approves of the nautical signs which is a break from flowery ones which I normally do!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Wanda The Witch by Just For You...designs by Lisa

Wanda the Witch flew into Essex from lovely Wales just for me last fall! She is the most adorable witch ever, and I love her to bits!

Made by the very talented Lisa oa Just For You.....designs by Lisa as a group swap. I am fortunate to be a part of the ebay groups Crows 'n Roses and honoured to be friends of the nicest and most talented ladies around!

Wanda is having a rest at the moment building up her energy for when summer is over an the seasons change for shorter days, cooler weather and time for mischief making!

Just For You - designs by Lisa

My friend Lisa makes the most gorgeous quilts, dolls and fabric ornaments and
she has just launched her first pattern for sale. I have been telling her for some time now she should do that and I am so glad that she has. the new launch is for her lovely kitty - I bought one of these that she had made, for my daughter - and it is the sweetest kitty ever! Trust me on this!

I am lucky enough too to own several items made by Lisa, both as gifts and as purchases and in some instances they were purchased by me as gifts but far too tempting and I have kept them (that is so bad of me - but her work is irresistable! )

Lisa is having a giveaway - a surpise package of her treasures and if you go over to her blog you can enter for it! I knwo you won't be disappointed - so don't delay as it is ending soon! Click on the link for Just For You ...designs by Lisa in my blog list and feast your eyes on Lisa's lovely blog!

Have Fun!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Roses on Everything

On the same day at the end of April when Lara set up her tea party photo shoot, I used her set up to take pictures of some of my latest paintings.
I have been painting a lot of distressed signs lately and love to sneak in a rose or two or three whenever I can and these little Vintage Chic signs with rosebuds are fun to do.
Given my way I probably would paint roses over anything and everything, but I do have to take a step back and not do that!
On this particular day, due to a long cold winter and spring no roses at all were in bloom in my garden so I had to use some fake roses, which although quite good for fake roses, are not like the real thing by a long shot. A month on from the date these were taken, with a few weeks of warm weather and my roses are once again out in the garden - a riot of colour, and scent with full blooms and lusciousness and now as I write, it is raining! Sigh!!
Maybe that is the reason I am always painting roses onto whatever I can?

Monday, 31 May 2010

Tea in the Garden

My daughter Lara recently set up a photoshoot to represent a teaparty for one of her photography tasks for college, and what fun to get out pretty china, silverware, a table cloth lovingly crocheted as a gift for our home and also the excuse to buy some decorated cupcakes! ( I admit - being a Domestic Goddess is not something that has happened to me - although I love cupcakes and often paint them which is a better option waistline wise too. I have no talent or patience to make edibles cakes! )

I love teacups too, and am having great fun finding pretty ones in the charity shops which sadly is getting harder to find now that Vintage Anythings are all the rage now!

I don't drink from teacups often, but again I do like to paint them - having been totally influenced by Connie Parkinson who is the Queen of painted teacups, cottages, roses, cakes and all things quintessentially English!

Connie is an American painter living in California and if anyone can be described as being the Queen of Tea - I would say it is Connie.

I came across Connie in 2004 in my internet search for book, dvd's, pattern packs and anything else I could find which would help me to learn how to paint roses.

When I chanced upon Connie's work - it was as though my quest had been answered - here was a lady who was doing all the things that I aspired too and I was hooked.

At this time - it seemed to me that most people in England had little interest in the tradition of tea and roses, and cottage gardens, and yet in America there was a whole community of women celebrating the traditional customs of tea, growing roses, tending cottage style gardens and decorating their homes in pink with distressed painted furniture covered in roses. Connie introduced me to many talented rose painters selling on ebay at the time, and I spent hours searching through pages and pages of US ebay listings of painted furniture and accessories being painted and presented for sale, and drooling over all the pretty pretty items.

I was hooked and have spent the years painting as often as I can and trying to learn as much as I could, never actually reachimg my goal, but helped along enormously by the encouragement of Connie, a very sharing painter.

Well now - now that teacups, roses and traditional pastimes like sewing, knitting, gardening and crafting are all back big time in this country, as well as the tradition of taking tea (see June 2010 issue of County Living for pages about it!), I have been pestering Connie to come over to teach a painting seminar in England sharing her knowledge and instructing us as to we can learn to paint all these wonderful traditional iconic symbols of days gone by!

Now won't that be the icing on the cake!

Have a look at her website which is on the page next to me to have a look at here art and see how wonderful her art is!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Riley and the Roses

Some guys just gotta be the centre of attention! This is my little pal Riley when he was a year old. Over the years our two children have taken so many photos of this dog that now- point a camera at him and he automatically rolls over on his back and poses like he is Burt Reynolds on a Cosmopolitan photo shoot!
We had a lovely cat called Sophie, sadly no longer with us, but she used to do the same and purr and look adorable. We used to joke about that, saying that when we would go out, she would teach the dog to do it, because he sure does look like her when he does it - even if he cannot purr like her!

Isaphan Damask Rose

Mme Alfred Carriere being elegant and demure!

Mme Alfred Carriere shows off her bountiful Spring Skirt!

Mme Alfred Carriere with pink noses from the cold!

A simple sign with a small bud and an open rose - the first of the season?
Actually - the first rose in my garden to bloom every year is an old beauty of a rambler called Mme Alfred Carriere- a most gorgeous rose with gorgeous scent and shaggy creamy white petals which tint to pink when the weather is colder. On warmer days it is soft white with touches of soft buttery yellow - not like this at all! It has three strong flushes of flower every year and is the first out and the last in,and it grows like a weed - but what a wonderful weed it is!
The second rose usually out every late spring, early summer is often one called Isaphan - a most lovely pink Damask rose with beautiful dainty flowers and sweet scent! I grow it along a fence and it is growing like a climber! Even though it only blooms once, it blooms for a long period and so lovely to behold! I will pop some photos of them on here for you to see!

Vintage Chic Signs and Such

Vintage Chic Anythings!!

I have been meaning to add new products to my shop front store - Nosy Rosie Designs -on the Not On the High Street site for ages, and have found that a challenge, but I am feeling smug now that I have finally managed to get some pictures which I could make square and that don't look really bad!

They have either been too dark, or there has been something in the background that doesn't work, or I have cut off a corner, or they are blurry or I haven't enough background to crop them to a square shape, but now that I have bought a new Pentax DSLR, and been taking Photoshop lessons at the college I teach at part time, and with a sunny day (finally!!!) I have managed a couple of shots which are usable!

Don't get me wrong here - I won't be winning any awards for my skills as a photographer by any means, but I am beginning to realise what an amazing tool this Photoshop really is. I can still only do the basics, but those basics have helped clean up the things that are not so good and that in itself is "oh-so good!"

So - new signs to add to the ones that are already there and these ones are in colours which have a fresh feeling - like a fresh spring day with a gentle breeze and wispy white clouds! (Well that's how I feel about them!)

I could not resist a lovely Heritage Sky Blue paint by Dulux the perfect shade of vintage duck egg blue which so Ooh La La!! On cream it is divine and with pink it is bright and uplifting!

You can tell I am a colour freak by my sheer joy of colour! More than anything - colours inspire me - I keep several folders of inspiring magazine cuttings not only for their content - but in most cases for their colour schemes!

I have several more photos to edit which will come as I figure out how to fix them! I took some shots of more vintage chic rose signs against a window with an uninteresting and distracting background view out the window and now I need to work on my layers skills, so I can cut out the bad view and insert a nice view! Cheating? Yeah but..........a gal's gotta do what a gals gotta do when I need a decent piccie!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Gather Ye Rosebuds!

Everything is Coming up Roses

Ok - here we are - already it is April and we seem to be no nearer to the lovely and inspiring season which is Spring in England. I love spring here! The beautiful bulbs with their bright and cheerful colours and heavenly scent!

I grew up in Northern Canada and the thing I most recall about spring there is slush!!! Walking through enormous puddles of slush - half melted snow and ice - wearing me knee high wellies (rubber boots)!

It is so different to be in England in the Spring!

However.............we are having such a cold spring here - very few bulbs are up now, there is a nip in the air unusual for this time of year and the past few days have seen parts of the UK where people are having to deal with more snow than we usually get in the winter.

I feel like we are missing out on Spring, so I have been painting roses lately - roll on summer if we are to be cheated out of spring!

All my signs lately have found roses sneaking into the white bits to brighten up my days!

I should be painting tulips and dafodils, but for the moment it is roses, roses, all the way!

Fingers crossed that we do get summer but if not, I will be painting more of them!