David Tennant!

I decided this short aside needed it's own post, so here we go....

Just to warn you, my next post will more than likely be a review of Richard II starring David Tennant, the mere thought of which is already making my eyes water with sheer glee. Not only am I going to see David Tennant on stage, I'm also going to the birthplace of William Shakespeare on the same weekend. Mainly because my husband has an even bigger crush on him (David Tennant, not Will Shakespeare!) than I do and he bought the tickets. It's so nice that we have interests that we can enjoy together.

after net Saturday, I will be able to add David to the list of Doctor Who's that I have either spoken to in person, or seen live on stage. The other two are Colin Baker and Tom Baker, who signed my autograph book and gave me a jelly baby when I was 9!

And with that, please allow me to welcome Doctor Who season at Merryflowers! I'm am so excited for the 50th birthday celebrations.... Part of it is for my dad, who passed away 3 years ago, He was a massive Doctor Who fan and would have been so thrilled to have been part of it, so I will be enjoying it for both of us.

I will probably also post a review of the 50th anniversary episode, which my husband and I (it's fantastic being married to someone who is as much of a Doctor Who geek as I am....!) will be seeing at the cinema. Doctor Who in the cinema. Fucking love it...... I'm going dressed as Amy Pond.

Post Play Melancholy

I know it's been a while. I've been rather preoccupied over the last couple of months and now it's all over I feel the need to write about it, even if writing about it is just for myself and nobody else ever reads it.

I've just finished performing in a local play in my village. This play, in fact, which was directed by my husband. I played the female lead, in as much as there was a female lead as there were 4 prominent female characters, although I think I had the most lines and stage time (and no, contrary to popular belief, it had nothing to do with nobbing the director.... my husband was harder on me than on anybody else. Hang on, that came out wrong. I mean that I had to work harder than anybody else because he wanted me to prove that I was cast on my own merits rather than just because I begged for the role. I did beg for the role but was instructed to 'bring it' at the auditions. I hope I did... Ironically the best performance I gave was on the last night of the run when I corpsed and had to cover it up by pretending my character was having a fit of weeping for her lost love).

Well, now it's all over I am absolutely exhausted, and filled with a kind of relieved melancholy. I'm glad it's over because of the time I had to devote to it, especially over the last couple of weeks, what with preparing the stage and performing over 4 nights, and also the stress of performing such a large and complex role (a character in drag, who was pretending to be man, but kept coming out of her male character to speak to various members of the cast who knew her as a woman), and I'm sad, because I loved the role and the character so much, and this has probably been the peak of my 'am drams' career. I don't think I will be too willing to take on such a large role again, because it has been incredibly draining and demanding. Not only for itself, but also because I moved house, started my own business and got married in the early stages of rehearsal, so there was an awful lot on my plate on the same time. There's also the fear that if I give a poor performance, I would be letting the play down much more than I would be in a small character role.

This is the review: http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/REVIEW-Servant-Masters-Locko-Amateur-Dramatic/story-20027367-detail/story.html

It's a lovely and generous review, which mentions my filthily talented cousin by name as the titular character, and commends his excellent performance. Without his energy, and the fact that he totally embraced the play and the character, the rest of us would have just collapsed from collective exhaustion, so the boy needs an award in my opinion.

But, even out of the ashes rises the phoenix, and Mrs stupid here has volunteered to co-direct the next production of our group with my best friend from the amateur dramatics group, Claire..... the show will be.......

Count Dracula, to be performed in May 2014.


I will post more information as it comes. We are still in the very early planning stages of the play at the moment. I would love any bloggers who are in the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire area to help me promote the play if possible, so we can get as big an audience as we can. I am happy to be a guest blogger to write a few words about the play and hopefully try and get a bit of promotion.

New Folksy Shop

I have just opened a Folksy shop.

There is only one item there at the moment. I feel a little disheartened that I have only sold one item on Etsy so far so I thought I'd try something new.

Here is the link: http://folksy.com/shops/Merryflowers

Book Review - 100 Lace Flowers to Crochet

I'm going through a bit of a phase of buying new crochet books at the moment. I've mastered most of the patterns in the crochet flower and motif books I already have so I was looking for something new.

I've just ordered 75 Birds & Butterflies to Knit & Crochet and it is expected to arrive on Friday.

I also have 100 Lace Flowers To Crochet which I got last week. Quite a few of the patterns are similar to patterns I have seen on the internet, but this is helpful for me, since it demonstrates how patterns can be modified, even slightly, to create a totally different effect.

The sheer number of different flower patterns in this book fascinates and overwhelmes me all at once. I'm being really good and I'm actually starting at the beginning and working through each pattern because I know that the patterns I really want to try, like the tulip, which is a 3D flower and is ever to pretty, would be too difficult for me to do straight away. I'm still relatively new to crochet, having only started it around a year ago, so there are some patterns in all of my books that I haven't done yet because I'm not experienced enough with the more complicated stitches.

Overall, this is a really comprehensive collection of flowers, quite a few of which I haven't seen anything quite like before. The book encourages you to experiment and to use your flowers in different projects, such as layering a number of different flowers to make a corsage. It also includes a number of leaves that I haven't come across before, and it demonstrates different ways of crocheting leaves, as well as all the flower patterns.

I think it's going to take a while for me to work my way through this one....


I'm cold.

However, I do have a small cat curled up on my lap and a glass of wine, so life isn't all bad. 

I have to say, I like winter. I like the warm, gusty feel of the heating being on everywhere, it makes me kind of Christmassy (Yeah, I know it's September....). I like wrapping myself up in layers of clothes and scarves and gloves and woolly hats. I like putting on my 'granny' cardigans and huddling round a mug of tea to keep warm. 

I don't like standing in the cold waiting for a bus that's 25 minutes late. I don't like the fact that, now it's getting darker in the evenings and it's now colder, people seem to lose any ability to drive safety and arrive at places on time. For goodness sake, it isn't snowing (yet). I really don't like getting up out of my warm bed in the mornings and having he world assault me with icy temperatures so I have to scurry into the bathroom to get dressed huffing and puffing and rubbing my arms to keep warm. 

How does everyone else feel about the imminent coming of the dark times? Although, I did hear that here in the UK, we are due to get some more summery(ish) weather next week, so this must just be the pretend winter.

Hell's Reality Show

I have recently been introduced to Hell’s Kitchen. The husband and I been working our way through one of the old American series on Netflix, and I have become addicted to the dreadful thing. Now we are watching this years series.

What boggles me is how on earth so many of the so-called ‘trained chefs’ are so incompetently awful at cooking. I mean, these people are all professional chefs who earn a living from cooking food for others, and yet in one of the episodes, one of the hopefuls continuously burned fish, another continuously turned out raw pork. Then we have the joys of seeing them leave hair in the food, dropping lamb on the floor and serving 'medium well done' steak swimming in a sea of its own juice. Dear Lord...

I’m not a cook, in fact I absolutely loathe cooking with a passion (I think it’s partly a confidence issue) but even I can cook when I have to (or when I graciously decide to cook something when the husband isn’t well and it’s either that or fish and chips....). I’ve been told I make a very nice pan fried salmon.

So, if I can cook when I have to (generally around once or twice a year if I can get away with it) then why can’t professionals who are supposed to cook 40+ meals every night??

This programme makes me even angrier than Don't Tell the Bride and The Apprentice.

Venetian Lace

Venetian Lace. That may strike you as a bit of an odd subject, but I have always had a bit of a thing about lace. I crochet, and laceworking is only a few steps away from that, but the microscopic scale of the work would be a bit beyond me. It's one of those skills that infinitely fascinates me, but would frustrate the devil out of me should I ever try to do it. I'm happy to admire it from afar.

I recently had the good fortune to visit Burano (Venice):

Yes, there is a reason why the houses are all different colours. The different colours follow a strict system run by the government. If you buy a house on Burano and wish to paint it a different colour, you need to notify the government, who will tell you which colours you are allowed to use in that part of the island. The story behind this is that it supposedly helped fishermen find the island and their own house when they returned from a fishing trip at night.

Burano is the island which is famous for its beautiful handmade lace. I was also lucky enough to visit one of the lace workshops there, where an old lady gave a demonstration of how they make the lace. They had some beautiful designs, and I bought my lace fan from there.

The quality and detail is fantastic, and it really makes me want to make lace! The different ways of making lace overwhelmes me though, as well as how it takes so long to make such a tiny piece of work.

I could write more about Burano and the lace, and more about Venice in general, but if you want to learn more about needle lace, and Burano lace, this website may be helpful, provided the Youtube links still work...


Business Cards

My business cards arrived from Vistaprint on Tuesday.

I am absolutely chuffed to bits with them. Yes I know, they are Vistaprint's £9.99 cheap and cheerful business cards, but they're mine! I've never had business cards before and I'm looking forward to handing them out and leaving them in places.

In lieu of a picture, I have taken a picture of the design I picked right from the site:

I changed the large blue text on the card to purple. I felt a darker colour was more 'me' and also looked a bit more professional.

The only thing I would say is that I was a little bit disappointed with Vistaprints selection of crochet and alternative jewellery business cards. Everything with flowers on either looked as though I was advertising a funeral parlour or a florist. Then again, there aren't many people hat do what I do, I suppose....

Rewnewed Listings at Merryflowers

Well, it's been four months and 4 of my items have expired. I have decided to renew all of them with modified tags and titles and will shortly be uploading some new pictures as well.

Please have a look at my relisted items. I'd like to sell them this time round!

A couple of these are on sale, so please have a look. As with all my items I offer free postage if more than one item is bought at the same time.

Black Crochet Flower Brooch

Pink Crocheted Flower Brooch

White Rose Crochet Brooch

White Crochet Flower Brooch

Postal Service Rant

WARNING: This is a bit of rant. I don't want or expect any advise from anyone, I just want to vent some steam!

As an Etsy Seller, I have seen a few posts on the Etsy forums from people saying they have had customers complaining about high postal rates, and them saying there's nothing they can do about it, the postal rates are the postal rates. And that's true.

I completely sympathise with them. The Royal Mail has gone nuts just recently. The other week I sent out a ‘large letter’ for 90p, which was fine. This week I posted out a package that was only slightly bigger and only a few grams heavier. The only problem with the package was that it wouldn’t fit through the small letter slot – it was too tall by about half a cm, therefore I had to pay £3.00 postage for a small parcel! Insane.

What annoyed me was that I had already charged the young lady buying the item 90p for a small letter, and I didn’t have the heart to ask for the £2.10 back for the extra postage. I was worried I might lose the sale that way.

I have now had to go through all of my items and change the delivery cost on a couple of items because I can see the same thing happening again. My only other option to avoid losing money is to charge 90p postage for everything being posted around the UK, and put the item up for sale at £2 more than I would normally want to charge for the actual item. Either way, I might not sell the item either because it’s overpriced, or because people think the postage is too high.

I’m being stubborn and charging more for items I know will be parcels rather than letters. I’m not prepared to pay buyer’s postage just because Royal Mail are delusional and are overpricing small light items. I’d probably pay less postage on a lead brick if it fitted through the ‘large letter’ slot.... it’s not fair on anyone.

Royal mail are puddings!


The other evening I arrived home from a long, difficult day at work to find my husband skipping around the kitchen in chef's whites and an apron clearly pretending to be Gordon Ramsay....

He calls cooking 'therapy'. I call it torture. Which is why I never do any cooking if I can help it.

Yes, I am an incredibly lucky person in that I have a husband who can produce this (on a complete whim due to the fact that he'd gone and bought himself a new cookery book):

Spicy tomato soup and crusty bread. And that was just the starter.

This was the main course:

Shepherds pie!

We were meant to have sticky toffee pudding for pudding, but we were both too full to eat after all that so they will be for another day.

Etsy Seller Spotlight - Elements Inspired

Welcome to another post promoting one of my fellow Etsy sellers.

Today’s promotee is Elements Inspired, run by lovely Elizabeth Banks, who makes a variety of jewellery from a number of different mediums.

I completely fell in love with the necklace below, it’s something I may have to treat myself to sometime in the next few weeks..... I just love the pearls teamed with the rose pendant.

Elements Inspired carries a range of necklaces and earrings made with beads, precious stones, resin, some gorgeous metalwork, and even a felted/crocheted flower brooch or two.

There are a lot of different items spread across a number of pages so it’s well worth having a look at the shop and looking at everything she has to offer. I really do love the range of items that are available in this shop, the owner really is multi-talented. Elizabeth's love of metalsmithing comes through in her profile and in her items, such as this gorgeous ring:

Funny, I never really thought of metalsmithing as a hobby before.... then again, I recently fell in love with the idea of becoming a glass blower in Venice, but that is a whole other story.

Quick Update

There are some posts coming, it's just having the time to write them and then post them, which I won't until tomorrow or Wednesday. 

I have a couple of posts drafted to come soon, including the next installment of my Etsy Spotlight series.

A Little Help

Here is one of my latest creations:

Trouble is, I’m a bit stuck trying to decide what to do with it. It’s huge – almost 12 cm wide and it seems far too heavy and bulky for me to work it into a necklace or a brooch. It might work if it was sewn up a little tighter, maybe.

 Any ideas? It could perhaps be sewn onto a scarf, but I don’t really fancy crocheting a scarf just to sew this onto....

Merryflowers is Proud to Announce First Etsy Sale!

After nearly four months of being on Etsy I have finally made my first sale! It was a really nice surprise this morning when I was checking my emails on my phone.

 Here is the little dear that is going to it’s new home tomorrow:

I have just put it in the envelope ready to be sent first class to Penny in Wiltshire.

Here’s to many more sales, and I hope I don’t have to wait another four months for another one!!

Etsy Spotlight - Time Machine Jewelry

The second installment of my Etsy spotlight series focuses on a subject that is very close to my heart - Doctor Who.

Time Machine Jewelry makes a fantastic range of jewelry, of which the majority takes inspiration from Doctor Who (and if you don't know what Doctor Who is, shame on you!). There are some beaded necklaces in a straight Edwardian/Steampunk style, such as this beauty:

But a  lot of the jewellery is steampunk Doctor Who, which quite frankly makes me go wobbly at the knees. If I could justify the expense, I could buy so many things from this shop, such as:







Tribal Necklace

I think this necklace would be described as 'tribal'....?

This is yet another of the necklaces I listed on Etsy recently. It is in a slightly different vein to most of my work in that it is not based on a flower design - hurrah!

Don't get me wrong, I love the flower designs, which is why I make them, but it's nice to try something different now and again.....

Etsy Seller Spotlight - Digital Nails

This is the first of what I hope to be regular feature on this blog, in which I choose a fellow Etsy seller to promote. All that has to happen for me to like a sellers and convince me to consider promoting them on my blog is tat I have to like their products!

Today's Etsy spotlight is on Digital Nails run by Raphaelle.

Digital Nails has a mouth watering selection of glittery nail polish and nail polish in bold solid shades as well. Some of the glitter combinations I have never seen in regular shops, so next time I need nail polish (which won't be for a while as I have, like, 50 bottles already.... .

The main reason why I am promoting Digital Nails is because she names her polishes after fandoms, particularly Doctor Who, although there is some Harry Potter love (Harry <3's Ginny) and some Game of Thrones love (Red Wedding) among other fandoms. Some of my favourite names are Run You Clever Boy, Petrichor, I can Kill You With My Brain (From Firefly) and Wibbly Wobbly.

But this is the polish that made fall in love with the seller:

Named after the hypothetical love child of Amy Pond and Vincent Van Gogh (who has got to be Meryflowers's sponsor, as I use one of his pictures in my banner). I love Amy Pond and it's so cool that someone has named a nail varnish after her.... especially as she wears so much nail varnish herself.

So, if you need nail polish and you want something geeky and bit unusual, please visit Diginal Nails!

New Necklace On Etsy

I've just posted another new necklace to my Etsy page

here is the link: Flower Necklace on Etsy

I'm really quite proud of this one. It only took me a day to complete, which is quite impressive, given all the flowers that I had to create and then sew onto the chain.

Please have a look at my other items. I have uploaded quite a few new items recently, which I will probably blog about quite soon.....

I have just posted a listing for my first necklace on Etsy: 

I have made a number of necklaces recently, although this one is secretly one of my favourites....

There will be more posts to come with my new listings on, in the meantime, please drop by my Etsy shop and have a look! Thank you!


So, list of big scary things to do in 2013:

Move into my own house - check 
Get married - check 
Decorate an entire house - check
Start a business - check 
Be in a play - check (twice in fact...) 
Get a pet - watch this space. I already have two cats but I'm hoping to get a dog at some point over the next year or so....

In other news, I ordered my very first set of business cards today :)

Welcome to Merryflowers

Welcome to Merryflowers, the new sister blog to the Etsy Shop of the same name. This blog is intended to be a place where I can show you my work in progress and new items, before they are posted in my Etsy shop. I will also be reviewing other Etsy sellers and their products, as well as hopefully getting to know a few more people in the blogging community as well as the Etsy community. I will make announcements relating to my Etsy shop here, and I will post on anything else that I think might be relevant, as well as a few things that aren't....

New Items At Merryflowers

Here are the latest 2 items to be uploaded to my Etsy shop:

First up, here is an Irish Rose Brooch made with multicoloured wool. I got the wool for this piece from a craft shop in my local village. I don't know where they get it from but it gorgeous. It comes in several different colour choices and the different colours blend into one another very well.

The next item I have is a choker necklace, made from another kind of multicoloured wool from the same shop.

The flower brooch is removable so you can pin it anywhere you like on the choker chain, and also wear it on scarves or hats (or anything really....)

For more information please have a look at these items and the other items in my Etsy shop.

How to contact:

Please feel free to contact me with any queries about commissions, and about my products that are detailed for sale here or on Etsy.

By email: merryjxx(at)yahoo.co.uk

Via Twitter: @merryflowersUK

I will do my very best to respond to any query within 48 hours.