Handmade Monday 60

Welcome to another Handmade Monday!


hand-stitched heart and button

What a week it’s been!  The highlight for me, which you’ll know about if you’ve been following this blog, was of course meeting Theo Paphitis of Dragons’ Den fame.  I won’t bore you yet again (if you’ve not read it yet and want to see what all the fuss is about I talked about it here and here – there’s lots of photos on the second link).  I’m still buzzing though!

I’ve been asked for shots of the dress I wore as I ended up covering it up with a cardi on the day when the weather turned a bit cooler.  Here it is – and it really did only just fit!  I’m still losing weight and it is a very slow process!

back home and down to earth

back home and down to earth with the chickens!

The dress was an ankle-length one belonging to my mum way back in the 1960′s and I chopped it down.  I used some of the offcuts to line a handbag, which I made in true scavenger style from an old skirt of my sister’s.  Are you getting the impression my family offloads all their old stuff onto me?  You could be right ;-)

handbag lining

inside of the bag matched my dress

The lining incorporates a few pockets too for business cards and phone, with room for a coin purse and my camera.

my handmade handbag

my handmade handbag

I’m going to get the pattern for the bag together as a downloadable file – do you think other people might be interested in making one?

Meanwhile, leave your craft blog link and we can all do some well-earned blog-hopping with a cup of tea (or maybe something stronger!)


As if I Haven’t Bored You Enough…

… but there’s more than one reason why I’m so enthusiastic about the #sbs winners’ event and I believe there are reasons you should be too, even if you weren’t lucky enough to attend this time.

#sbs logo

#sbs logo

I’ll start with a link to the brand new #sbs website because there are tips on there for people who want to tweet Theo Paphitis about their business and become an #sbs winner themselves.

With the new website – not to mention the event – this whole thing has become much more than “just” being retweeted by Theo Paphitis (although that in itself is a huge boost to any small business).  It’s now become about being part of a community, getting further help in the form of web links (coming from someone who is googled 30,000 times a month!), advice pages just for #sbs winners, community pages just for #sbs winners and more.

This exciting event was just the start of something potentially quite big.  How big?  I don’t think anyone can know that yet but I feel it’s quite a privilege to be part of it.

I wanted to try and give you a flavour of the day, and I’ve got a few images to share.  Some are from a camera phone, some are official photos – you’ll probably be able to spot the difference quite easily ;-)

signing in

signing in

Everything ran very smoothly from the start, and was superbly and expertly organised.

cameras were everwhere

cameras were everwhere

There were cameras just about everywhere – clicking away and filming.

#sbs event

I'm on the right, my lovely OH and chauffeur for the day in the middle and Candoo Concierge on the left

Early on, we met the lovely Canny from Candoo Concierge – this photo was taken by Red shift Radio and tweeted at the time.

#sbs event

getting crowded

The room we were in filled up quite quickly


seating - just waiting for us allWe were

Then we were shown into another room


twitterfeed on big screen

and as we found our seats and got settled, there was a live Twitter feed on the large screen.  If you were following the day via the #sbs hashtag, this is possibly when it all went a bit mental.

my tweet on the big screen

my tweet on the big screen

A big thanks to Claire of Zest Health and Fitness and Susan of Dottie Designs for getting the above photo to me!

We were all tweeting, just to see it come up in front of the audience!

Theo on stage

Theo on stage

Theo gave a talk, which was inspiring, fascinating, motivational and entertaining.  He’s funny, down-to-earth, swears a bit, and says it as it is.  He’s honest without being rude (not something many people can manage effectively, especially on stage, but he seemed a master at it).

Theo Paphitis

Theo on stage

He was encouraging and supportive too.  A champion of small businesses.

The day was sponsored by Ryman, and it was a generous day.  Free drinks, food and a reduced parking fee.  Generous goody bags to take home.  And a £50 voucher offered to all #sbs winners when opening a Ryman business account.


the audience were kept entertained

The audience were kept entertained throughout and there was possibly a little less tweeting going on at this point!

Chris from Metalfrog Studios with Theo

Chris from Metalfrog Studios with Theo

Chris from Metal Frog Studios is an #sbs winner and was chosen to design the fabulous new #sbs website – check it out!  It is still in its infancy but will be filling up in the next days and weeks. There’s valuable information and tips on there for people who want to win, as well as for the winners.

The audience were asked for ideas – and provided them in abundance!

introducing official #sbs logos

introducing official #sbs logos

The new official logo for #sbs was introduced – in its various shape formats.

Theo got a well-deserved standing ovation

standing ovation

standing ovation

It was great to meet some other small business owners, like Sarah from Silver Birch crafts who makes lovely textile goodies.


I'm on the right and Sarah is in the middle

and Becky from Dots and Spots  – I so admire what Becky has done with her design business – she’s so inspiring! if you don’t know it already, check out her blog on that link!

dots and spots

This is me on the left with Becky from Dots and Spots on the right

and the lovely Charlotte from Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics whose ceramic work is just gorgeous.

charlotte hupfield ceramics

I'm with Charlotte from Charlotte Hupfield ceramics here

I met some others too – I had a lovely chat with Sparrow Primitives and found we had a lot in common, not least our collection of creative clutter! :-)

It was a lovely surprise to be presented with a winners’ certificate.  Not only were they individually named, each one was individually signed by Theo Paphitis himself.

Theo Paphitis signing certificates

Theo signing certificates

And each business had the opportunity of an individual official photo with Mr Paphitis!

It was incredibly good of him to take the time to pose for around 300 photos – and speak to each person as he did so.  A thoroughly nice and decent chap!

the official photo

the official photo

It was incredibly generous of Theo to give up his time for this.  With all his business interests, he must be one very busy man, which makes his generosity pretty amazing.

I was inspired and enthused by the day (not to mention slightly exhausted!) and enjoyed it immensely.  I would urge anyone who gets an opportunity to listen to Theo Paphitis talk to grab it with both hands.

I would also urge anyone who tweets for a small business to tweet Theo on Sunday evenings – and check out the new website for more information about #sbs: TheoPaphitisSBS





Theo Paphitis and Twitter

We all hear a fair bit about the power of social networking these days.  Twitter is one such site, and today I definitely witnessed its power!

Theo's retweet

Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis (and yes, he’s my favourite dragon, and not just since this morning!!) has a regular Twitter feature, where he invites small businesses to send him a tweet (a short message) on a Sunday evening, tagged with #sbs (Small Business Sunday).  He then chooses six winners, whose message he then retweets to his followers on the following Monday morning.

Sounds simple? Like all good ideas, it is. But heck, if you get chosen, it’s effective!

This morning, I was one of the lucky ones.  My inbox has gone mad with new Twitter followers, my visitor stats on both website and blog are way up, and I’ve had endless (but lovely) Twitter messages of congratulations.  Wow!

The screen capture above was kindly saved by Shelly of www.shellybobbins.blogspot.com – thank you Shelly, it was really good of you to do that!