Search This Blog


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.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

With a Heavy Heart and .....

With a heavy heart and a thickening waistline I have to admit I am longer a size 12.

Very slowly over the years I have ‘grown’ from a size 8, to a 10, and then to a 12 and I don't remember being the slightest bit concerned.

The actual numbers are not important, it is the 'extra' bits that have arrived without an invitation. They have been coming for years but I have been ignoring them. At only 5' 2" these extra bits are now quite noticeable, especially to me.

I admit to having been extremely lucky, I have eaten whatever I wanted all my life. I eat chocolate like there is no tomorrow and still have 2 sugars in all my drinks.

When I stand on the scales I discover that I weigh less than the 'average' for my height, and yet my stomach is too big, my waistline has vanished and my bottom- that I have never really noticed before, has suddenly become quite noticeable!

I am not the shape I want to be!

 As I said the actual numbers are not important, it is the lumps and bumps that are important and all in the most ridiculous places, I mean who knew you could get ‘back fat’? I certainly didn't and what is more I don't want fat there or anywhere else either.

Can you remember that advert that said "If you can pinch more than an inch..."?

Well I can pinch far more than an inch!

I blame Joe Brown for all this.

I do love Joe Browns clothes, they are different and quirky and I just love them. I don't own many of them because they are not all suitable for someone of my age! However I spotted a couple of lovely tops in their Autumn collection but I thought they were too expensive so I waited and waited until their sale and just before Christmas the tops were reduced and I bought them. Naturally I ordered my normal size 12. When they arrived I was bitterly disappointed to find that they were far too tight for me!

I am going to have to do something about my ‘shape’ as I cannot afford to replace my entire wardrobe.

However in the meantime I have decided that I am going to 'alter' my tops  and I have found a lovely dress in the local charity shop which I am going to chop up and use to enlarge one of them. It may take me quite some time.....but I will post an image when it’s done!

Joe Browns have now sent me their Spring catalogue and once again I have found some lovely tops which I couldn't resist. This time I have bought them in a size 14 and they fit me! Soon they will be too big.........I hope!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

First time for Gel nail varnish.

I bought some gel nail varnishes and an LED lamp for both of my daughters and my daughter-in-law for Christmas, so naturally I had to buy one for myself.

I had spent quite some time researching the best buys for the lamps (we all had different ones so that we can compare) and the varnishes and was very proud of myself for selecting 'soak off' varnish. Ideal for one of my daughters who has very sensitive skin on her hands and fingers, my only concern was - if the varnish soaks off, then surely it will soak off in the shower and whilst washing dishes etc.
However we discovered that it doesn't 'soak off' in water, it requires nail varnish remover to soak it off!
We tried them out on Boxing Day. It did take quite some time to cure our nails this was because the lamps were 12 watt and all the instructions I could find on the internet were for 36 watt lamps, so we just tripled the times required for all the various layers. I think we probably over did the times and in future we will experiment with shorter times.
18 days later and my nails are still looking brilliant.
Can you spot the nail that I broke on Christmas Eve?
I never managed to get 10 perfect nails at once.

You can even see how much my nails have grown over the last 18 days. I have never had 'gel' nails before and I am so impressed with them, no cracks or chipping, still intact all around the tips and still so shiny.
Today I decided to attempt to remove the varnish.
I had read somewhere that you should soak the cotton wool pad in acetone, wrap it around your nail and then wrap it in foil.
However they kept falling off, so I wrapped them in cling film as well.
They stayed on slightly better but all my fingers kept sticking together!
Reminds me of the time I tied to glue a broken finger nail back together, don't actually remember exactly how I did it, but I managed to glue my finger to my lip!
I removed the first foil and as the varnish was still there I began to scrape it off with a metal cuticle scraper. By the time I got up to about the seventh nail I realised that if I had just waited longer the varnish was now quite soft and bubbly and came off easily!
Scrapping off the varnish was not a good thing to do
I have now rubbed a cuticle/nail oil all over my nails and they look a little better.

I am going to invest in those plastic peg like structures that clip the cotton wool pads onto the ends of your fingers and in future let them 'soak off' for longer.
Despite my problems removing the varnish I absolutely loved my beautiful, long lasting, shiny nails and I will soak them for longer next time to avoid scrapping and damaging their surface.
We each had 6 different colours of varnish, so I have another 5 colours to choose from and I can't wait to try my next colour.