Sunday, 27 December 2009

And a Happy New Year

My poor neglected little blog.
I am pleased to say that Christmas was a big success. Having a well earned break just now and back to business on 4th January 2010.
Hope everyone out there had a super Christmas and wishing you all the best for the New Year.
Fiona x

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Christmas Window

I think I mentioned before that we have a Christmas window competition here in Alyth. We also have an Easter Window competition, sometimes a Valentine's Day Window competition, and a Teddy Bear Trail in the summer. It's a fun way to encourage people to take the time to have a walk around our little town and hopefully get to know more about what is available locally.

Then of course if you are lucky enough to be in the top three your shop or business will get the equivalent of a free advert in the Blairgowrie Advertiser when photos of the winners are published.

I think I may have got a bit carried away this year. I had great fun knitting Santas, Snow families and Sledging Penguins. The kids passing by love them and the parents keep coming in and asking if they are for sale.

Maybe knitting baubles for my little tree was a step too far but think they are rather sweet.
Two postings in one day !!! Think I have been catching up for missing a whole week.
Fiona x

Driftwood Mirrors

A couple of weeks ago at our fair in Perth Concert Hall a fellow stallholder came over and asked my husband and I if we were Rhona's mum and dad. Now Rhona is my youngest daughter and since she wasn't with us at the time we were a little bit confused. It turned out that we were talking to her art teacher at Blairgowrie High School, Mr Maxwell.

It was a lucky meeting for Buy Design as Mr Maxwell makes lovely Driftwood Mirrors and we now have a selection in the shop.
We currently have three sizes and each one is totally individual with lots of interesting little bits and pieces which have been washed up on beaches around Perthshire.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Relaxing in to Christmas

Just realised it's been over a week since I last blogged. I think I am getting into holiday mode a bit too early. Mind you after the madness of the last six weeks I might just deserve a break. I was working in the shop today and really enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to make any jewellery today. Now, I do love making jewellery, don't get me wrong, but keeping up enough stock for Buy Design and weekend craft fairs has been pretty intense. Have done my last fair now so I just need to concentrate on the shop for now.
We had a lovely open evening yesterday. Christmas CD playing, mulled wine, ginger wine, mincemeat pies.... Oh the lovely sounds and smells. Our local crafters popped in, along with some browsers and some shoppers. It was a very nice sociable evening and a good chance to chill out while still officially working.
We have a couple of new ranges in and my project for tomorrow will be to catch up on some photos for showing.
Fiona x

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Rural Demonstration.

Well, it's that time again. I'm off tonight to do a jewellery making demonstration and I am having those last minute nerves again. Actually this should be quite a good one as it is a small group and it will be much easier to get everyone involved. It's in a place called Tannadice that I haven't been to before so I will be relying on my trusty sat-nav to get me there on time.
Last night we had our first flurry of snow but thankfully it didn't settle.
Just got to pack up supplies and load the car up now.
Wish me luck. Fiona

Sunday, 29 November 2009

A winner at Buy Design

Yesterday's pictures went a bit wonky due to the fact I had so many I wanted to show and wanted to give a mention to everyone as much as possible. Anyhow I hope is wasn't too untidy.
Another great bit about yesterday was that we chose the winner of our Christmas Hamper. An innocent passer-by was asked to pick the name out of the basket to make sure it was completely fair. I am delighted that Pat Johnson is the winner. It's a funny thing when you set a competition to encourage new customers that you secretly hope one of your regulars will be the winner. That is just what happened, so well done to Pat.
Another great part of the day was the switching on of the Christmas lights which are possibly the best in Perthshire, or I may be a little bit biased.
I wasn't able to record the parade and photos of lights in the dark are a bit tricky but I shall see what I can do in the next few days and share what I can.
Fiona x

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Victorian Day in Alyth

What can I say about Victorian Day !!! We had such a lovely day in Buy Design. Here is my lovely Megan looking like a shop assistant in a novel by Jane Austen. Don't know if there are any Jane Austen shop assistants but if there were they would look like this.
There is a competition amongst all businesses for the best or most original costumes and we are really chuffed to have been awarded third place today.

We spent the day having photos by complete strangers and smiling madly. The last time a spent a whole day smiling for photos was my wedding day 20 years ago.

This lovely couple work in Costcutter and were given second place.

The ladies in the chemist reliving their school days.

Andy Pandy and Teddy in the Post Office.

Michael Kay, the demon barber of Airlie Street. Michael is a very active member of the Alyth Business Association and did loads of work to make the day a great success.

This lady doesn't actually have a shop but she and her little grandaughter dressed in Victorian style and visited all the shops.

A lovely snowlady in the hairdressers. I think this is a great costume as she was able to work as normal while looking fab.

David here, was standing on the corner watching life go by and took photos of everyone as they passed. He has a really good pic of me which I didn't know he had taken. He is doing a photography course and I think Victorian Day is a bit of a project for him.

The Toy Soldier was serving in the newsagents today. She has also decorated a fantastic Christmas Window. That's another competition here and our windows will be judged in two weeks time.
Most of the windows were done for today and are looking great, especially as the Christmas lights have now been switched on.

The Co op staff turned out as the cast of a Spaghetti Western

Dorothy and the wicked witch at The Dirliebane coffee shop.

The Spar just did their own thing really. Paul had a bit of a problem with his parrot which did not want to sit on his shoulder,but all was resolved in time for a photo.

Now, Margaret at Meg's Mini Market has taken recycling to a whole new level with her bin bag dress and litter accessories. Will it become the fashion of the future? Mmm just have to wait and see on that one.

This cowboy and his squaw were helpers at the scout coffee morning in Airlie Street Hall. Here they are outside Buy Design.

Sadly I don't have a photo of the winners today. The Alyth Hotel had dressed as the cast of Allo Allo. By the time I got round there to visit they had changed into normal clothes since the costumes weren't suitable for working in the kitchen and for handling food. Hopefully I will get a pic e-mailed to me and I will post it later.
All round it has been a super day. Hope you enjoy the pics.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Victorian Day

Just A quick note to remind everyone local that this Saturday is Victorian Day here in Alyth. Megan and I were off this evening to collect our costumes and can't wait to wear them on Saturday.
Christmas window is just about finished, though I think I will be adding a few more bits along the way. I really want to have it all done by Saturday since there will be a lot of visitors in town and we want to be looking our best.
I will be taking lots of pics on the day and will share them as soon as I can.
Just a bit more knitting to do tonight, so bye for now.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Perth Concert Hall Craft Fair

This Sunday we will be heading to Perth for a Craft Fair organised by the Angus Craft Association. I love the concert hall and of course the added bonus of an indoor event at this time of year is always good. Cathy Arnott and Jacquie Bell who have work in Buy Design will also be there which should make for an interesting day. If we are neighbours we talk all day and if not we have been known to text each other across a crowded room.
There are a lot of things going on in Perth on Sunday, leading up to the Switch on of the Christmas lights so it should be a good day all round.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Christmas Shopping Evening

I have just set the date for our Christmas Shopping evening which will be on Wednesday 9th December. We will be open from 6.30 till 9ish. Last year I made mulled wine for the first and since I wasn't entirely sure what it should taste like, I wasn't entirely sure if it was any good. Apparently it was, so I will try to do the same again. There will be seasonal nibbles too, so you can always pop in on your way home from work instead of rushing home to cook.
Not sure if I mentioned before that 28th November is Victorian Day here in Alyth. Coffee morning in Airlie Street hall in the morning, Charity Stalls there in the afternoon, and Christmas Lights switch on at 6pm.
We will be open till 7pm. Not giving too much away, but along with the other shops in the town, we will be in Fancy Dress on the day. Megan, my Saturday girl (and daughter) and I were off trying on our costumes last week and can't wait to wear them for real.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Nappy Cakes and Sock Babies.

These little sock babies come from my friend Elaine who is a very talented artist. She is also very creative in her own quirky way. Why, or how she thought up sock babies, I don't know, but they are lovely little things. Each baby is made from one childs' sock. Little features are stitched in place so they are totally child friendly. So cute!!

Now, having promised photos of Nappy Cakes, I'm not sure if you will be able to make out the details very well. These are a couple of examples. They come on a cake board (perfect for the Christening Cake) with a cake tin filled with a variety of baby goods - anything from toiletries to frilly pants to spoons and bowls. Nappies, muslin cloths and a cuddly toy finish it off.

I wish I knew someone having a baby because I really want to buy one.

Craft Fairs.

For the first time ever I remembered to take my camera out at a craft fair. Only briefly mind you but it's a start. Here is my friend Cathy Arnott who had her stall just opposite mine. She does etching on glass and has produced some lovely work this year. I have a selection in Buy Design which she changes regularly. I picked out a few pieces on Saturday which I would love for the shop. She still has a few more fairs this month then we will really stock up in the shop for Christmas.
This is my stall. My friend Mark Baker who makes wonderful stained glass made the display boards for me. I really like being able to set things up like a little shop with my counter in the middle. The next step will be to get some lighting for it. We had a mixed weekend,really good sales on Saturday but mostly browsers out for a country walk on Sunday. It's always nice catching up with fellow crafters and meeting new ones.
Next outing is at Perth Concert Hall on Sunday 22nd Nov. The Perth Christmas lights are being switched on and Radio Tay will be outside doing a live broadcast. Hopefully they will be encouraging people to visit the fair.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Dear Santa

Santa knows by now that a new lap top is top of my Christmas List. Have spent the last hour trying to get my photos to move on to my computer and they just won't go. Well apart from this lovely little cushion which is quite appropriate as it happens. Seems that my Bluetooth has tooth ache and just can't be bothered.
Hopefully I will be back soon with a proper update. By the way, this little cushion came from Maureen and would love a new home for Christmas.
Fiona x

Friday, 13 November 2009

No Pictures!!

So for the last week I have been running around, doing lots but seemingly, getting nowhere. This weekend I am off to Forbes of Kingennie for a Christmas Craft Fair so I have been seriously busy getting all my stock ready. Why I didn't do this well in advance is a question that only a truely disorganised crafter can answer.
Anyway its all done now and I will definately get some pictures on here soon.
We have lots of lovely new stock in Buy Design and I promise to show it all soon. Mary has brought her Christmas collection of decorated pine cones, mini wreaths, walnuts, ribbons and all sorts.
Also added Nappy Cakes last week, thanks to a lucky meeting when I was out demonstrating. I just happened to meet the sister of the lady I had seen at a show over a year ago. They are gorgeous gifts for anyone with a new baby and I will take photos asap.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Keeping Busy

It's that time of year again when I seem to spend my time trying to catch up. I did a craft fair at Meigle, Perthshire on Saturday and got off to a very dodgy start. Luckily Meigle is only a couple of miles from home or it could have been a bit of a disaster. Firstly, the temperature really dropped overnight and my car needed to be de-iced before I could go anywhere. This must have thrown my packing routine because when I arrived at Meigle, having noted the temp as -1 degrees along the way, I discovered that I had left some of my display stands in the shop. Not a total disaster but I did have to fly home to collect them before setting up.
It was a lovely little fair and since it was only for the morning I was home by lunchtime and my husband cooked for me. Very nice.
I am now creating like mad for a two day fair next weekend 14th 15th November at Kingenny. I will be needing the sat nav for that as apart from being near Monifieth I really don't know where it is.
So between now and then I will be knitting lots of bracelets, making key rings and beaded angels. I think the rest of can take care of itself.
Will have to post some photos tomorrow of our latest arrival at Buy Design. It's too dark to take good photos tonight and I want to get it right.
Time for a cuppa I think.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Panic Over

After all my worrying my demo last night went really well. Have had a few visitors to the shop today who were there last night. It's always nice to meet new customers, and they seemed to have had a good time.
Will I still get into a panic before the next demo?
Oh yes!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Public Speaking

Tonight I am off to do a demo at the Alyth over 50's club and I am still hoping for inspiration to strike. I have done a couple of these things before, and despite days of panic beforehand, they have turned out just fine. The problem here is that I am not sure how many people I will be talking to. There could be between 40 to 50, male and female, and a whole range of ages and interests. However, The Choral Union is having a fashion show tonight, there is a lot of flu about, and the weather has been terrible this week, so there may only be a dozen or so hardy members around. Then again, I did a talk for the guild earlier this year and I might have used up all my good stories.
Well this is getting me nowhere so I am off to organise my display for tonight and to put some tools and supplies together.
Wish me luck

Monday, 2 November 2009

Buy Design Hamper

November is the perfect time to visit Buy Design
Today I started making up a special hamper of handcrafted goodies which will be won by one of our lucky customers. Throughout November, everyone who makes a purchase in the shop will be entered into the draw to win our hamper full of lovely gifts in time for Christmas. So far we have Santa, obvious really since he is so big, but no Christmas would be the same without him. There is a selection of my jewellery, engraved glass , stained glass, lavender heart, pyjama bag, a selection of hand made Christmas cards, a storage jar with a handturned wooden lid and a Dippy Bear.
Mary is coming down later in the week to add her festive cones and ribbons, and will also be bringing a whole new range of her flower arrangments.
There is no minimum spend but we are sure that if you are visiting for the first time you will be charmed by the range of goods we have on offer.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Dippy Bears are here

The clocks went back at the weekend and it is starting to get dark about five o'clock. In some ways it's a bit depressing,but it means that Christmas is getting closer and since I love Christmas I am actually quite enjoying the change. In a couple of weeks I will be decorating my Christmas window, switching on lots of unnecessary, yet very pretty, lights and looking each day for signs of snow. Lots of new stock will be arriving in the next few weeks and I will do my best to keep everyone up to date with what is new.

Just realised this afternoon that I hadn't done a post about this new arrival in Buy Design. Dippy Bears are basically soft toys dipped in scented wax. They look and smell absolutely gorgeous and the scent lasts for ages. Much more attractive than the usual plastic air fresheners and safer than a scented candle. We currently have five scents. Fresh Cotton, Baby Powder, Lemon Peel, Freesia, and Chanel no.5

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Wedding Request

I am pretty excited at the moment as I have been asked if I can do a full set of jewellery for a wedding next May. I have had commissions in the past for the mother of the bride, and the grannie of the bride, but this is my first for the main wedding group. Bride, bridesmaids, and flower girls. Today I was out choosing a selection of brown and cream pearls and will be putting together a few ideas this week. It's a lovely thought that my creations will be going to such a special event.
Of course this meant another trip to my favourite bead shop and I was so tempted by all the lovely new beads. I was reasonably sensible bearing in mind that Christmas is on the way, but really, you can never have too many beads.
The weekend was really busy. The craft fair at Abernethy was really good fun. Jacqui Bell was there with her bags and we had a good catch up and a giggle. My neighbour was a lovely girl called Catherine, who is a dressmaker and designer. She recycles and customises clothes and accessories. Very talented girl. Her website is still in the early stages but she hopes to launch in the near future at
And now, back to work.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Autumn Leaves.

Me and my wee dog went for a lovely walk in the woods yesterday. I haven't been there for a couple of weeks and was amazed at the speed of the autumnal changes. Seems tha we changed seasons last weekend and I missed it. There are still leaves on the trees but the ground is now coverered with copper and gold leaves. Just perfect for kicking aroung and pretending to be a child again. Only embarassing if someone sees you !!!
And back in the shop today, I found some lovely leaf shaped beads in my box and decided to develop an autumn theme. I have a lot of nice copper, brown and gold beads so I think that will be tomorrow's challenge.

Now, this little angel is the first of many who will grace my display this Christmas. I learned to make them a few years ago and still think they are lovely.The first few are always fun to make but you do tend to get a bit cross eyed after a while.
Time for tea now .

Sunday, 18 October 2009

I'm A Winner

Sometimes a little boasting is okay. So long as you don't overdo it. Well that's what I think anyway. For anyone not living in rural Scotland I shall explain a little bit first. I am a member of The Rural. For any one living in Scotland who has just raised their eyebrows, that does not make me as old as your granny.
The Rural does have a bit of a reputation for being full of old ladies and I did think that myself until my friend Cathy Arnott asked me to go along a couple of years ago. It's kind of social, fun, and it's a night out. There are a couple of competitions each month. One food and one craft. So, to the point of todays blog. This month's craft was a knitted corsage and I won with my bunch of Lavender. Am pretty chuffed and now I can tell customers that I sell prize winning corsages!!!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Santa Claus is coming to town.

Here he is then. All stitched and stuffed and looking gorgeous. Think he could do with a little bit of blusher on his cheeks but apart from that I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Can you tell what it is yet? Part 2

This is getting really cute and I can't wait to see it finished. I'm not so sure that I will want to give it away but it won't be long before the Christmas window has to be done. Off to spend some more time with my knitting needles.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Can you tell what it is yet?

What do you think I am making? When I was a little girl I loved watching Rolf Harris painting huge murals and telling stories along the way. Half way through he would always ask "can you tell what it is yet?" No prizes for guessing but stay tuned for the final article. I hope it's going to be wonderful.

Only ten weeks till Christmas. Does that worry anyone else?

Saturday, 10 October 2009


I have just added a Buy Design page on Facebook. I really am moving on in this high tech world. I thought it would be nice to have some fans so my daughter has forwarded a link to all of her 300 closest friends on facebook. I just hope they don't laugh.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Beads Beads Beads

I went to my favourite bead shop again this week. I wrote a list but it was useless. As usual I got distracted by all the lovely beads but I did get everything on my list. Okay there were a few extras by the time I came to pay but I was a lot better than normal. What I really need to do is get to the bottom of all my bead boxes and use all the bits in there before I go back to Bead Crazy. The problem is that there is always something small that I run out of and so off I go again. On the plus side Christmas is coming and I have a lot of events to sell at.
Maxine, the owner of Bead Crazy was telling me about the soon to be active Bead Crazy web site. It goes live for sales mid October but still worth a look just now.
Anne who works in the shop has recently launched her own website. She makes lots of lovely things but specialises in Tiaras. They are gorgeous so take a look whether you need one or not.

Now today I finished off some knitted corsages that I was working on. I am pretty pleased with all of them, though my favourites are the sunflower and the lavender tied up with tartan ribbon (very Scottish)

Not quite sure where I was going with this layout but it makes a change from straight up and down.
The kettle is calling. It's time for coffee. So Bye for now.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Burpers, Bibs and Boottees

So, the last time I blogged I told you I had been too busy to blog and it is now two weeks later. I have been busy but I think it was all worth while. We have a free monthly newsletter here in Alyth called the Alyth Voice. It's a bit like a local directory for businesses with a little bit of local news and gossip thrown in. If you fancy a look it is on line at
Well ,the deadline for articles is 17th of each month so I submitted an article about our new arrival 'Burpers, Bibs and Bootees' and then panicked. One of our ladies who does wonderful needle work has been having a lot of trouble with her eyes and has had to put it aside till she has an op. This meant a lot more sewing for me and my poor old 25 year old sewing machine really felt the strain. I'm going to treat it to a service now in appreciation of all its hard work. Somebody told me you should do this every year so I guess I have done well to keep it going this long without a single service.

Thursday 1st October came along a lot sooner than expected but thankfully everything came together and the new range has been launched. Previously we had only cards for new babies and now we have a really nice range of gorgeous things that nearly makes me broody. We have little hats and mits and bootees, all knitted by myself and Maureen.
We have tiny little silver bangles which I think are wonderful even if it does sound like boasting. Often you get lovely little baby bangles and by the time your baby is old enough to wear one, it is too small for them. I have made these ones open in style and whilst they are very easy to wear as they are , they come with offer to reshape them as your child grows. Pretty good eh?

That's my daughter holding one. Her hand looks really big by comparison, but I can still remember a time when it would have fitted her perfectly. Do you like the little freckle on her finger? It was one of the first things I noticed when she was born. My other daughter has a ruby birth mark at the bottom of her back shaped like a map of New Zealand. When she was little, and even now really, it has changed colour when she has a temperature. Like a built in thermometer!!! Very useful.

Here are some of Sylvia's new baby cards. We have a full range of cards for all occasions but thought the baby ones deserved a stand of their own right beside the rest of the baby goods.
A lot of people are reluctant to buy clothes for new babies as they tend to get so many that they never get to wear them all. Another option here is a nice little cross stitch picture for baby's room.

And here is a look at the full range. There are some lovely towels, some matching bibs and burper cloths, knitted wash mits with baby soaps all tied up with a bow and some little terry towelling pillows trimmed with silky ribbon.

And that concludes our tour of Burpers, Bibs and Boottees at Buy Design. Hope you enjoyed it.