Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kitchen table enterprise

Some photos of work in progress - myfuroshiki cherry blossom design being hand screen printed in pink onto a lovely french grey fabric.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy birthday

A pretty chiffon furoshiki, ideal for wrapping soft, light things like a scarf and gloves.

 And with the flap brought back and over the knot, then tucked in to form, what Oli (my sister) in Australia calls, a kangaroo wrap to hold a card.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Make your child's birthday party eco-friendly

On the subject of birthdays, here are some great tips from Alan of Green Pepper on how to

Make your child's birthday party eco-friendly

Please take a moment and think back to the last child’s birthday party you attended, fast forward to after the fun and games were over and think about how much cardboard, plastic and paper was strewn around. There was probably enough to fill at least 2 bin liners, and that’s just from the packaging and the wrapping.  What many don’t realise is that the laminates, dyes and glitters in the packaging make it unsuitable for recycling.

Add to this the fact that batteries and plastic toys can take over 5 centuries to break down and also the 275,000 tonnes of plastic we send every year to landfill sites, is there any reason why we should send even more?

An innovative new website, has recently been launched, and one of its main aims is to help parents to buy eco-friendly products for their kids. Parents who are eco-conscious can browse around the 7000+ products on the site, read the story behind each item and buy them directly from the eco-sellers who made them.

It is quite amazing what a difference parents can make just by making a few subtle changes to thing that they do on a daily basis. This can have an enormous impact in the environment yet no compromise is made on fun, and you can more often than not save money too.

1. Switch from disposable to reusable. Use ceramic plates, bowls and cutlery over their paper disposable alternatives, as a one-off dishwasher load is certainly easier to manage than scraping paper plates clean enough to recycle. If you are looking to treat yourself then ‘Eko Earth’ Products , one of many eco sellers found on, have just released a stylish range of tableware made from the by-product of bamboo and is the first ever fully biodegradable tableware to hit the UK market. Don’t be fooled however, as Biodegradable in this case doesn’t mean disposable but instead means that the collection is reusable and durable.

2. Ditch the “Goodie Bags!”. From one parent to another does any child really need another paper hat or tub of bubbles? Experience based parties such as a trip to the zoo or pottery making leave a lasting memory, which doesn’t get lost at the bottom of the toy box. If you are a traditionalist and are determined to give out goodie bags then why not consider switching to a re-usable gift bag and filling it with sustainable and natural goodies.

3. Loose the wrapping. Spending money on wrapping paper which is only going to be torn up and thrown away is a bit of a waste, instead why not make the wrapping part of the gift itself by wrapping it in Myfuroshiki fabric gift wrap which is a fun and affordable take on the Japanese art of “Furoshiki” (cloth wrapping). With just one of these any shape of object can be easily wrapped with no sticky tape, no scissors and no waste!
 4. Get Baking. Mum’s cooking is always best, so bake the birthday cake yourself using local Organic and Fairtrade ingredients and avoid all the unnecessary packaging and cost that comes with shop-bought food.

5. Use eco-friendly candles. Candles made with beeswax are naturally fragrant, nontoxic, soot-free, and non-allergenic. They’re completely renewable and require little, if any, additives which makes them a great alternative to Paraffin wax candles.

Many thanks to Green Pepper for allowing me to reproduce this article.  For more of their eco-friendly tips and information, follow them here.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The birthday season

One of the things I love about this time of year is that it's the birthday season!  Not just mine but those of many relatives and friends. Obviously (!) I''ve lots of lovely furoshiki for wrapping all those presents - here's one I did earlier this week, a simple blue wrap for a 15 year old boy.

As well as enjoying experimenting to find the right wrap for a gift, I'm always on the look out for eco friendly and original cards to add to my stock.  I have some great re-usable Cloth & Card cards like these made by my sister, Oli;
Dig the Earth is another favourite for his bright, zingy designs;

Aleximo Croissant's alien is a big hit with my nephews;

and I was really pleased when I finally got round to visiting The Gift Tag, a gem of a shop in our village, to find a great selection of handmade cards and photo cards with local views.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wrap in rap

Just spotted the myfuroshiki wraps featured in this great 'Please, think about the planet' rap from Ethical Community!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

1000 birds project - every little helps

This project has been set up by Makiko Hastings, a Japanese ceramicist who currently lives in North Yorkshire, with the aim of raising money to help Japan recover from the devastating earthquake / tsunami on 11th March 2011. Makiko has family and friends in Japan, where many others are affected by the earthquake. As you can imagine, Japan’s recovery will take a long time, it could take decades for people to get their lives back. They need help more than ever. Makiko believes every little helps and can make a difference, which led her to the idea of selling 1000 handmade ceramic birds. All sales of the birds will go to Japan Earthquake appeal. 

Makiko explains more about the project in her blog here.

The birds are available to buy at CAKEWALK in Ilkley or at Makiko's stall at Knaresborough Easter Fayre on Saturday 23rd April.

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's a wrap!

So pleased to see one of the myfuroshiki silk dupion furoshiki featured in this great, 'It's a wrap', Etsy treasury selected by DG Designs.  Thank you, Debbie!

Lampwork Turquoise Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Bracelet

by DG Designs

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Auction for Japan

Whilst the awful images of the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami on Japan are no longer dominating the front pages, the suffering continues with over 10,000 people confirmed dead, over 16,000 still missing and many living in evacuation centres.  The scale of destruction and upheaval is so immense that it's hard to comprehend. It's heartening nonetheless to see how people around the world have responded with so many gestures of support. 

One of these is a fabulous auction of bespoke jewellery and handmade textiles being held by The Collective to raise money for the Japan relief fund via  OXFAM.  The auction will run from Monday 28th March 2PM GMT until Monday 4th April 8:30pm GMT. All of the money raised will be paid into a PayPal account which will then be paid onto the Japan fund via the OXFAM site.

Items on offer include Bespoke Jewellery kindly donated by:
and beautiful handmade Textile donations from:

Please pop over to the auction page and have a look. It is easy to bid, just follow the e-mail link and state your name, auction lot number that you are bidding on and your bid amount in £ sterling please.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bunny wraps

Just been practising my bunny wraps, ideal for all those easter eggs and other gifts. 

These cheerful checked furoshiki are now in our Folksy and Etsy stores, and also available in blue and green.

Happy wrapping!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In like a lion

I love our house - it's part of a much larger mill owner's house which was added to over the years to create a marvellous Georgian / Victorian hodgepodge. Our bit is the oddest shaped (very tall and narrow) and quirky with a tower room which, the estate agent told us, was built so the owner could look across the village to the churchyard where his young wife was buried.  Nothing like a story of doomed romance to entrance a buyer. Rather more prosaically (and probably), it also has an excellent view of the entrance to the mill yard and any dilatory workers!

There is a price to pay for character though and the blocked up doorways and rickety floor boards all make for quite a draughty home.  Our living room door, in particular, would never stay shut so I had a play and now we have a furoshiki doorstop!

The wraps shown here are the basic furoshiki gift wrap - which has the advantage of creating a handle for when you want to move the doorstop - and a more dramatic looking wrap created by putting all the corners up above the centre, then knotting one around the others to hold them in place. The furoshiki themselves are about 1 metre square and made from remnants so tying them in different ways creates different patterns.

The inside is a calico bag with a velcro fastening which can be filled with sand or rice or beans or whatever you have to hand.

And there you have it - a quick, easy and flexible solution to doors with a mind of their own!  Available soon from the myfuroshiki folksy and etsy shops.

Just contemplating all the things I'm going to / have to do today.  It's always important to include a few treats I think and one of mine will definitely be taking five minutes or so to browse the new UK Handmade magazine - over ninety pages of inspirational articles, 'meets' and 'makes' - including an interview I was lucky enough to be able to do with the amazing Suzanne Stallard of Jelly.  Read all about it!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ethical community

In essence selling online is easy; all you need is a computer and a camera and you're away.  But how best to reach the people who'd be mostly likely to appreciate your particular product? Setting aside the tricky subject of online marketing and social networking, one of the most important things it seems to me is to find an online market place which caters for like minded folk.  That is why I was so pleased to find Ethical Community, a site which combines interesting and wide ranging articles, interviews and news with a marketplace for eco products.  Perfect for myfuroshiki and we're even featured in a seller's interview! I can see this is somewhere I'll be spending a lot more time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rays of sunshine

We've not had the best start to the new year and as a result myfuroshiki has been sadly neglected.  Catching up, it really brightened my day to see that myfuroshiki has been featured in two etsy treasuries recently - such a lovely surprise, especially when they are such charming and colourful selections as these - thank you Gemeaux Designs and smora79

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Out and about

Just starting to book the myfuroshiki markets for 2011 (carefully arranged around my son's sporting calendar!). Here's where to find us so far. Put a note in your diary to come by and say hello.

  • Saturday 30, 10am-4pm, Handmade at Haworth  Jo from the Arts Factory has been busy arranging lots of great events for 2011.  This one's at the The Old School Room where Charlotte Bronte taught, just across from The Parsonage. Lots of handmade loveliness including jewellery, textiles, photography, arts and crafts, with tea and cakes from Trufood Catering (worth a visit in themselves!). Free entry.
  • Saturday 2, 10am-4pm - Made-it craft fair, St Margaret's Hall, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 5LQ Come along for a wonderful selection of hand made crafts, all sold by the maker, a cafe serving delicious home baked cakes and free children's craft activities allowing you to browse at your leisure. Free admission.
  • Saturday 15, 10am-4pm, Handmade at Haworth in The Old School Room Back again for lots of handmade loveliness including jewellery, textiles, photography, arts and crafts, with tea and cakes from Trufood Catering (worth a visit in themselves!). Free entry.
  • Saturday 3, 10am-4pm, Arts Market, Riddings Hall, Christchurch, Riddings Road, Ilkley, LS29 9LW Gorgeous handmade gifts and goodies - nothing bought in or mass produced - and catering from the ever scrumptious Trufood. Free admission.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Favourite finds - Jemma Louise Murphy

Jemma Louise Murphy applies kanzashi techniques to paper to create stunning artwork and brooches, which are available through Folksy. She also creates gorgeous ACEOs and digital artwork and then creates 3D versions of her illustrations, combining her love of origami with her little luvlee drawings. See more of her wonderful work here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy New Year!

A cute, maneki neko cat, a present from my son, with his paw raised to beckon in prosperity - let's hope he has a busy year!

A little belated, I know, but after a rather frantic end to 2010 and then a couple of weeks rushing around tidying up after it, I feel that the new year's begun!  The boiler's mended (heating + hot water = bliss); lots of little things around the house that needed fixing have finally been done; the local Scope shop has benefited from several bags of donations; the spare bedroom, aka the myfuroshiki creation centre, is beautifully ordered and ready to replenish stocks and my diary is filling up with plans and ideas.  Welcome to 2011!