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Saturday 23 February 2013


Changes are afoot!  I've been quite ill lately, my offline life has become busier and fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue have flared up to limit how much I can do.  So I've decided to limit my online work a little - well quite a lot.

I've closed all my shops except the Etsy shop, although I've kept my website. I'll try to update the photo gallery there more often now I've only one shop to keep stocked.

I've been making buttons, and for the Christmas period I made hanging ornaments as well as some acorns, made using real acorn cups.  I'm making a lot less jewellery as a result.  
My buttons are selling well in Purely Wool, 56 Market Street, Lancaster and after my next trip to the USA I hope to find at least one more wool shop to stock them.
I also have jewellery as well as some bags and scarves etc at the Handel's Court Gallery in Chester.
I'm happy to make buttons to order, though many of the designs can't be exactly replicated.  I have lots of moulds that I've made from vintage buttons and these can be made in any colour and with various embellishments. The last two photos here are buttons made from moulds.

Monday 16 July 2012

Cards - A New Line for Averilpam

I haven't been near this blog for a long time.  I thought I was going to give up on it but I've decided to try and get started again.  
I recently bought a new camera which has filled me with new enthusiasm for photography.  I took lots of flower photos (with my old camera) while I was in the USA, on a trip to the Botanical Gardens in Washington DC.
A long time ago I made and sold (well tried to sell) cards, creating patterns on my computer based on some of my photos.   I've been making cards for my own use with some of my photos and a friend suggested I should start to sell them again.
So here are a few of my new card designs, and a couple of the photos I'll be putting on new cards.


Friday 9 March 2012

Craft Britannia Shop of the Week - week 2

This week the featured Etsy shop is Shalotte, which is run by Naomi and her sister Abigail who between them make lovely knitwear, jewellery and accessories. 
You can find a great interview with Naomi on the Craft Britannia Blog.
Here are some examples of her gorgeous work

Do pop over to Etsy and check out this lovely shop :)


Friday 2 March 2012

Etsy Shop Feature

It's been so long since I blogged - so many good intentions that I don't keep up with.  
I've recently re-opened my Etsy shop.  I opened on there in 2009 and closed after selling  only one item in around a year.  It was mainly my own fault as I wasn't doing anything much to let people know I was there!
This time round I've joined some teams, where sellers promote one another to help raise the profile of our shops.
One of the teams, CraftBritannia - one of the UK sellers teams,  has started a weekly shop feature.  We all help to promote that shop for a week and one week, eventually it will be the turn of my shop to be featured.
This week the first shop is featured.  It is Dayzee Love Designs.  Dayz does brilliant graphic design and sells all sorts of supplies and services for other shops such as bags, labels and logos.
There's more!  Dayz also has a shop called Dayzee Love where she sells gorgeous jewellery, buttons and magnets.
So pop over and take a look, whether you have a shop or want a gift Dayzee Love will have something you'll love!

Friday 25 November 2011

Craft Fair - 'Post Mortem'

I had a stall last Saturday at the Green Party's Christmas fair in Lancaster.  I have done several and always do reasonably well.   I don't ever sell my more expensive items but this year I had lots of older jewellery reduced to rock bottom prices and sold a lot of it.  I was very pleased to do this though it would have been nice to sell a little more of my full price items. 
However when I looked at two photos a friend took of the stall when I had just set it up I was horrified.  
This is the result of setting up a jewellery stall when you are in a state of total fatigue and with very few functioning brain cells (That's me behind the stall trying not to be in the photo!):

It looks like a jumble sale!  A huge redesign is needed for any future fairs I may do.   Next year I'm planning to go to my daughter's in the USA in the spring instead of the autumn which means I won't be jetlagged and exhausted  when I do this fair.  I'm hoping to be better organised and get a couple of other fairs booked for next year too.  

Saturday 29 October 2011

A Few Photos

I promised I would keep blogging whilst here in the USA but I've not so far kept that promise. I've not really done much of the sort of thing that's interesting for people who don't actually know my family - mostly day to day stuff like laundry and shopping.  We've been to one child's birthday party and hosted another, taken the dog for walks and I've been fishing with my granddaughter.  Tonight we are going to a Halloween party with friends I've not seen since I was here last year so I'm looking forward to that and may have photos to share later.
I also have a jewellery party booked next Friday and hopefully a trip to some botanical gardens nearby.  I hope the weather improves at the moment it's pouring with rain and snow is forecast...  though 'they' say it will be sunny again next week.
So for now here are a few photos, mostly taken in the park behind the house.
Common Buckeye butterfly, wonderfully co-operative, it stayed on this flower long enough for me to get several photos

Vapour trails - we are fairly close to the airport.  Some of the planes are low enough to see the logos on their tails!

Emily fishing in the lake. The autumn colours are really beautiful at the moment

Sunlight through a maple tree.  

I realised when uploading these that most of my photos have been saved as tiffs which won't upload so I need to do jpeg versions of some more.  Hopefully I'll manage another blog post before I go home.  
Time is now speeding up alarmingly and I have just 12 days left here. As always I don't want to leave my lovely family though I do miss Monty and my friends at home.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Little Big Shot Close Up Camera Lens

I recently bought an amazing little lens from an Artfire seller, David, called the Little Big Shot.
This is what arrived
I had told David which camera I have and the measurement of the lens area.   Two lenses are in the case but the smaller one fits best onto my camera.  It's very easy to set up, there are precise instructions via videos on David's blog.
The lens goes onto the camera using a piece of click lock tape (a bit like velcro but it snaps together rather than having hooks and loops).  You get a good sized piece so if you need to replace it you have plenty.
I watched the videos on the blog and went out to try it out.  The first attempt was a dismal failure. I couldn't get the camera to focus at all.  I've no idea what I did wrong, I thought I'd made the alterations to my camera settings that are recommended but in the process I must have done something wrong.
I was feeling very unwell at the time (regular readers or FB likers will know I had a wisdom tooth removed) so decided to put it all away for a while and try again another day.

In the meantime a friend took me to Southport flower show (see the earlier blog entry) where all my photos came out with a dreadful red cast.  I reset the white balance (don't remember setting it wrongly but I must have!) and my camera now functions normally again.

I duly watched the video with the operating instructions again.  David recommends using the 'P' setting on the camera which I'm familiar with from my previous Canon camera.  My Ricoh doesn't have this setting but on reading through the camera manual I found I can indeed change the ISO.  
so having got the settings right - it's really simple, right, so how did I manage to mess up the white balance and render the camera unable to focus???
My problem now was purely physical.  The camera needs to be held really steady, more so than in my usual macro mode, which is challenging for me.  I don't have a tripod and it isn't always practical to use one to get to what I want to photograph anyway.
My next set of photos were all blurred.
Third time lucky, I have some rather fuzzy and some reasonably in focus shots so I've decided to share them.
Red lobelia, not perfectly focused but I like it, the colour is amazing and shows better in the next photo
This was the best of the lobelia photos, all the rest were very blurred, but as I had to hold the camera quite high (they are really tall) I'm pleased I got this one.
The first of the alchemilla (ladies mantle) photos.  This is a very old scruffy leaf but the idea was to get the water droplets. I've had fairly good macro shots of alchemilla before but was hoping for something better.
Here I've got in closer using the zoom with the lens, a bit fuzzy though.
This is looking more like it but still not good enough, I'm still not holding the camera steadily enough to hold the point of focus as I click the shutter.

Finally this is the sort of shot I've been hoping for, getting the little hairs at the edge of the leaf and the reflections in the water droplets. 
Well 'they' say practice makes perfect, so I know I've a lot of practicing to do, but I will enjoy it and am confident I'll get better.  My wrists aren't going to get any stronger but I'll find ways to keep the camera steady and just keep clicking away until I get what I want.  Fortunately plants don't move much if it isn't too windy, getting insects etc will be more challenging as they don't tend to keep still and pose for the camera!

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