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A Bee Be Buzzing By

Updated: Dec 16, 2018

Cat's Punky Stuff in 2019

2017 Saturnalia card options

As the majority of the nation plummets into deeper debt and stress, mid December for most crafters has the added ordeal of making, panicking and posting delays. As my market is predominantly American my rush is now over and with not celebrating Christmas in any form, I am now looking towards Valentines, Easter and another heady Summer in the garden. The demand for my Saturnalia cards has been overwhelming, and everyone I have chatted with have been such amazing people, despite some serious postal issues beyond my control. I have had some incredible reviews, (it is humbling that people take time out to write about their experience), increased because of a new supplier I have found. I had a massive development this year when I found a stock card supplier who made extra thick card at the fraction of the cost of commercially supplied stock card. I also found some cello bags that again were a fraction of the usual price, but felt really thick and 'non-crinkly', adding to the overall quality of my cards. I have already made next years Etsy listing for 2019 Saturnalia cards, adding bits from lessons learnt this year. I find it much easier to deal with things as they happen so no time like the present whilst memories are fresh.

2018 Saturnalia card options

Certain ranges such as herb filled birdies have done really well, and so next year they will be developed further in colour format, size and purpose. I have a shed full of dried lavender ready for the birds, sourced locally from about 6 doors up, harvested this August. It was a really magical summer, pruning Lavender bushes at six in the morning to beat the heat, brown toes by May, read 3 excellent books, ate 3 meals a day in the garden and spent hours studying the colour and form of all my plants. Spectacular summer!

Next year my summer will be busier as I plan to prepare for December much earlier, so whilst picking Lavender at dawn I will also be making small 'gift' robins. The small robins were part of a colour study and too small to do much with them. Therefore I gave them away as a tree decoration to people who ordered birdies. They do take time to make, but cost virtually nothing, so I will make loads to give away as 'Thank You' gifts next year.

Very first 'non-lavender' birdies 2017

The birdies developed very quickly once I realised they could scent a room too! There was a lot of work done to improve them, by tightening the threads, making them a better shape, securing the lavender and using some really creative colour palettes. It has been great as a lot of people asked for specific colours which I love, as you know folks are getting something completely one off, never to be replicated. This goes back to the principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement when there was a genuine wonder around hand crafted items, which is currently lost in the current commercialism of contemporary crafts.

Lavender Herby Birdies

In the new year there will be blackbird sized light pull cord birdies, double the size of the already available sparrow sized birdies. I will also be making smaller ones, but as of yet I haven't spent time thinking about what I might do with them. I defiantly want to make a few wool wall hangings which will include small birdies.

So creatively the first half of next year is planned, with making fabric cards for the usual annual occasions and I have my board game to continue with until it is garden time again! Throughout the year there will be a series of ongoing jobs for example:

Harvesting my shed dried lavender for birdies, burning the dried stalks as kindling on the fire

Making 1 cm paper daisies for Easter bunnies

Tearing and ironing fabric squares

Bee busy on my Lavender

By August it will be Lavender pruning time again! It is quite punishing working in full heat (lavender likes full southern sun) so I will be out as soon as it gets light snipping away in various gardens of the village. I offer to prune bushes in exchange for the crop. In December I then give back gifts made from their herbs. I band the stalks as I go once I have a fist full, with a paper clip hooked on to the band. This is then used to hang bunches in my dark, cool shed for about 2-3 months. From picking to hanging is only about 4 hours and I never handle the plants by their flowers as this can bruise them. Lavender has so many uses and it is a shame most of it ends up on the compost heap! It has been used for 2,500 years for it's oil, healing properties and strong scent. It is native to the Mediterranean, India and the Middle East with the Romans discovering it's medical properties. The name comes from the Latin 'Lavare' meaning 'to wash'. Lavender oil can be used as:

Lavender close up from the purple colour study





It is really good to sooth headaches, migraines, motion sickness and aids sleep and relaxation. We have lavender hanging all around the bed for a good nights sleep!

I plan my garden to help the bees, planting for all year pollen, leaving daisy patches in the grass, supplying a bee drinking bowl, topped up daily, and never use chemicals. My lavender is always full of pollen collectors, and their needs are taken care of. I have a lot of native wildflowers, have early flowering fruit trees and only use a non-harmful bicarbonate of soda mix as an insecticide (and only through winter!). People comment on how lovely the garden looks, and I always say it is thanks to the bees! I am really proud of the lawn daisy patches I have made. For the last 3 years I have left small areas unmown allowing the daisies to spread. Certain areas are now a solid white and look fantastic!


So next year is all planned out already. I have been revisiting Pagan symbols ready for next years cards, have re-stocked the Wool Woom, had a massive tidy up of my craft bits, (a very necessary job as it turns out... I found 26 rolls of various tape around the house, so you can imagine what my ribbon box looks like!!) and made a note in next years journal of where all my suppliers are from; Ebay, Amazon, Wish or local for:

Card stock

Satin bows

Cello bags

Natural Calico fabric

Organza bags

Drawstring linen bags

Tibetan silver charms

Organza ribbons

Wooden door knobs

Decorative stickers

Various beads

Embroidery threads

Tissue paper

Cream A4 card

Rubber stamps

It has been a good productive year and has proceeded exactly as I had planned. A few ranges are gathering speed, the shop is full of a variety of goodies, and the old think tank is at flood level with a creative overflow of new ideas. Whilst the world is getting crazier by the day, and there is a feeling in the air that this is the start of a new beginning, I do wonder that the 2019 review will read like!

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