Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Struck by Cindy

Hello everyone.

I hope those reading this on the east coast are all well.

We lost power here on Sunday night around 7pm so there will be no posts until I get power back (this is too tricky doing this on a phone).....we were told it could take up to 28 days......don't loose faith readers.....

To quote a famous Austrian
"I'll be back"


Monday, October 29, 2012

Rain, rain go away....

Greetings all.  I am back from my whirlwind trip around the U.K.  What an adventure!  Talk about non-stop!

And from hurricane!  Yes we are in a 'state of emergency' as declared by our Governor yesterday.  What does that mean?  Well it means that most of us are to stay off the roads which means a lovely day at home!  Thanks Sandy!

It's not too bad outside at the moment.  There's a lot of wind but nothing atrocious yet and it just started to rain.

Anyway, I thought I would download my pics from the U.K. while I still have power and thought I'd share a few here seeing as though it's taking me a little time to get back into the swing of blogging again.

So here's just a sample from North Yorkshire, Edinburgh and London.

There was an awful lot of these size roads.  One day we almost had a bump with a Bentley!
Bolten Abbey
Seats carved out of old trees in a church graveyard in Hubberholme
A rainbow from my (old) bedroom window
Eton Mess  YUM!  Meringue, raspberries, strawberries, cream and raspberry sauce
Edinburgh Castle at night
The coffee truck we so badly needed.  This one is at Carlisle Train station.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Well it has been an incredibly busy week.  Since registering Textile Trolley as an LLC I have had many ends to tie up.  This morning I packaged my first box of handmade goodies and shipped them off to The Woman's Exchange in Little Silver, N.J. they will be the first place to sell my goods.  Very exciting!

It's a wonderful place that gives crafters a venue to sell their goods.  It's a consignment shop so I get 70% of what they sell my goods for, the other 30% goes to run the shop and pay the bills (most of the women working there are volunteers) and if there is anything left it is donated to local charities.  It's a win win situation, I can feel good about helping others as I help that wrong?

Anyway this morning I mailed off....
39 greetings cards
36 bibs
3 patchwork blankets
and 1 length of bunting

Here's a few pics I took as I was packing them up...


Handmade hang tag

Stack of small bibs

My woven label

Anyhow.......with me working so hard lately I'm taking a break.....Textile Trolley Blogspot will be off the air next week.
Don't miss me too much  LOL

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's offical, I'm the proud mother of a LLC

So last week was a pretty exciting week for me.  I formed a LLC. 
Textile Trolley is now officially a small business in the state of New Jersey. 

I will be making and selling babies and children's accessories, some are what you may have seen on this blog or the link to my Flickr account (in the column to the right).  I have a friend who works in a gift shop who will be taking my items to sell.  I also plan on opening the Etsy shop by the end of the year and I have plenty of  ideas after that, but for now the gift shop and Etsy will help me get started.

I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do at first.  I always knew I wanted my own business on some level, my father was a huge influence in that and come to think of it my Grandfather and his father (they all had their own shops)!!!  A few years ago I started a custom made invitation business and it did pretty well but I was still working full time and I didn't have enough courage to take the leap from being a full time nanny, with a nice salary and health insurance.  So I dropped the invitations (I couldn't do both I was getting burned out) figuring the timing wasn't right.

Textile Trolley kind of just fell into place.....I knew I wanted something, I love sewing, I could throw in all my knowledge of children and lets see what happens.  I had been made part time due to there only being one child and she was now attending full time school, so I had the mornings free to work on the business and I still had the steady income from the nannying in the afternoon.  It seemed like the best of both worlds and the perfect timing.

The sewing and craft side of the business was always what appealed to me mostly, the mechanics behind it, the accounting, the taxation, the business entity etc etc is what made me nervous and probably why it took me so long to file.  I did a lot of background reading which I have to say was informative at times and then just plain confusing, so I decided to hire an accountant to take care of it all.  I could have done the filing myself online but it was very reassuring  for me to have someone to talk things through with, and who knew how to fill out the forms and which forms to fill out in order to complete everything!  I have to tell you, it was well worth the money for the peace of mind.  (If you are in the process of looking for an accountant, I recommend calling around, one company I found was three times the amount of the one I went with).

Anyhoooo, I'm very excited and a little nervous to be where I am right now, but couldn't think of a better place to be, it's a new adventure!
If anyone is in a similar situation or has any questions feel free to reach out and I'll do my best to answer!

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Easy sewing project: bunting

 Bunting is a collection of flags, usually triangular, sewn on a piece of ribbon or tape to create decoration.

Bunting in recent years has made quite a comeback.

My first attempt at bunting was for a birthday party I threw last year.  Pink and orange bunting helped decorate the tent

Me and Mum and bunting

I had some fabric left over after making a patchwork baby blanket so I thought it would be a lovely opportunity to make some bunting to match it.

The blanket the bunting will match

Here's what you'll need

6 different fabrics about 24" x 9"
scissors or rotary cutter
a piece of card to cut a triangle out of
cutting mat
1 package of double sided extra wide bias binding
 sewing machine

Choose fabrics that coordinate well

Make a template by folding in half a piece of paper and using a ruler and pen draw the appropriate size, then cut.  Mine measured 5 1/2" on the short side and 8 1/2" on the 2 long sides.  I then made a version out of card so that I could easily draw around it.  You can also use a cutting mat and rotary cutter if you are more adapt at cutting.

Draw around the triangle and then cut 4 triangles of each fabric.  It's easier to fold the fabric in half right sides facing and cut 2 at a time.

Place 2 triangles of the same fabric right sides together and put 3 pins in to hold while you stitch

Sew down one long side to the point, swivel and sew back up the other long side.  Reinforce stitching at beginning and end by back stitching a few stitches.  In retrospect I would have left a skinnier seam.

Trim point off

And trim down the sides of the point so there is less bulk when you turn it the right side out

Turn the triangles right side out

Gently push the point out

Iron smooth

Trim off the top where the seams stick up

Lay out your triangles to get the right look

Open out the bias binding, centre and pin it over your bunting.  Make sure you have extra binding at each end in order to tie the bunting.  I left approx. 15" at each end.

Starting at the very end of the bias tape sew it together closing the opening.  Eventually you will arrive at the first triangle keep sewing until all the triangles are attached to the tape and you reach the end where again you will have sewn the tape closed.  I decided to leave 1 1/2" gap in between each triangle just because I like the way it looks.  You can leave bigger, smaller or no gap at's all personal taste.

For some reason I had a really hard time taking a good picture of the bunting hanging, I think I need to put up that party tent again

Monday, October 1, 2012

Making a miniature garden

When I was younger one of my favourite things to do was to make a miniature garden.

Now if you don't know what that is pay close attention......we made one at the end of last's the how to.

Get a pie dish or pan and fill it with soil

We added some water to ours to try and preserve the life of the flowers we were putting in it.

Next we took a basket and collected small flowers, shrubs, stones, ferns, acorns, pine cones etc etc

Then we began to place the small items in the tray to form a miniature garden

Small stones create a path and an upside down acorn shell becomes a bird bath

Let the child decorate it however they want

Our beautiful miniature garden

This was so easy to make and provided entertainment for a 6 year old for an hour.  Walking around the garden is also a good time to talk about the changing of the seasons, which plants do well in winter, which ones are still thriving and which ones are dying.  There's education to be found everywhere.
Enjoy the last few weeks of your garden.