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Welcome to the Toadstool Cottage Crafts blog.

Hi I'm Pip and this is my blog about the behind the scenes goings on of my business - Toadstool Cottage Crafts. I've always loved craft and sewing but last year I thought I'd see if I could make it into a business.

This blog is a way of sharing my journey with you the ups and downs the successes and disasters (and there have been a few!). I know it will at least give you something to laugh at, but hope it will provide you with tips and inspiration for your own craft endeavours! If you have a question or something to say just leave me a comment.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Owl and the P̶u̶s̶s̶y̶c̶a̶t̶ Elephant.

I have just completed my first commission - how exciting is that?

I'm not sure how excited you are, but I am very excited, it makes me feel really special and I am very proud.

Apparently in Brazil there is a tradition of giving small presents to friends and family when they come to visit your new-born. Fancy having to think about this as well as having to think about giving birth! So glad I am not from Brazil.

I was asked to make some fragrant pouches themed on animals or birds

The one thing that I can't do - well actually there are hundreds of things that I can't do, but the one that is relevant here - is draw. I can copy but I have absolutely no ability to draw. So I trawled through the internet, searched through various books, took inspiration from here and there and mushed (that's a good word) it all up and came up with some ideas and lots of sketches.

I tweaked a bit here and there and changed the sizes and finished off with some chubby little baby owls with sleeping eyes. I then traced out all the different areas for the different fabrics, body, tummy, eyes and beak. I do think they are rather gorgeous.


I really enjoyed mixing and matching the fabrics and the ribbons and coordinating the embroidery floss for the eyes - I know, simple things - but it was fun!

The original order was for around 15 to 20, so I made 21. Why? I don't know, but I did.

These are the chosen 15.


I had to resort to buying the 'aromatic dried lavender buds'  from the internet, I searched and searched locally but no one stocked it, not even the garden centres! The lavender I choose was being sold by weight - who knows the weight of lavender required to stuff an owl's tummy?

Obviously I don't because I do have quite a considerable amount left over!

Fast forward several days and I went into town, probably just for a coffee, but I'm really glad I went because the Elephant Parade was in the shopping precincts. Check out the website to see the beautiful elephants and for all sorts of information. I think I have a bit of a soft spot for elephants, I have always wanted a baby elephant in the back garden - but my husband won't let me have one! How mean is that?

The elephants were gorgeous, they were so colourful and vibrant and then I had a flash of inspiration, I rarely get these flashes, but I decided to make some elephants to use up my remaining lavender - who knows the weight of  lavender required to stuff an elephant's tummy????


I still seem to have a considerable amount of lavender left over so next time I really think I need a bigger animal. I may try some woolly mammoths ....

If you pop along to my new Etsy shop you will see a few of the Owls and Elephants.

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