Happy Stats

Blogging | Saturday July 17 2010 | 2:27 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: |

A few blogs I read share their Happy Stats every week so I thought I’d give it a go too.  I don’t know if there is a format they use or if it’s a group or something that someone has started but I’ll happily credit you if someone lets me know.

So my Happy Stats will be about 5 things that made me smile or skip over the course of the last week, and I will try to share them every weekend.  Well, that’s the plan!

Here goes:

  • Being linked by Made for an angel jewels under ‘I could spend hours reading these…’
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett – brilliantly thought provoking, funny and really quite shocking
  • Aiming to do more housework and be tidier, and succeeding
  • Giving a presentation to over 60 people and not making a fool of myself
  • Speaking to Lisa (a committed knitter) about teaching her to crochet and planning a trip to Fibre and Clay.

From Manchester to Bucharest

Blogging,Craft | Monday June 7 2010 | 5:29 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , |

Some things just take a long time to come to fruition and for Anca there was a long, long wait for her pincushion swap, but she sent me a very excited email this afternoon saying ‘My pincushion is here!’.

The first pincushion I made for the Fox’s Lane Pincushion Swap aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages ago disappeared somewhere in the postal system and Anca, my swap partner and I were both really, really disappointed.  After exchanging several emails about where it could be I downloaded a claim / complaint form from the Royal Mail.  While it is possible to report it as missing, it is virtually impossible to claim for the lost contents.  They want receipts for everything: how is that possible for hand crafted items I made myself.  I’m not at all bothered about the money side of it, but the principle of that makes me more than a little gggrrrrrrrrrr!

Anyway, I couldn’t possibly leave Anca without a pincushion, so I made another one and I didn’t tell her I was sending it!  Sneaky huh??  I posted it ‘international signed for’ so it was receipted and tracked from door to door.  I wasn’t taking any chances this time!! 

I’ve already written up details of themaking the pincushion itself but now that I know the second pincushion has arrived safely in Bucharest I want to reveal all the details of my side of the swap.  I wrote up a post about 2 months ago in anticipation of the pincushion parcel arriving with details of all the little goodies I sent Anca and I still want to share those, despite them disappearing, so the rest of this post is from that original draft:

I was very excited when I first looked at Anca’s lovely website Happy hang around and started thinking of what I could make for her.  She has a coffee shop in Bucharest so I felt a donut pincushion was just perfect.  Coffee and donuts are a perfect combination in my opinion.

The other exciting thing about Anca is that she LOVES owls – more than I do I think.  Therefore, I just had to send her a few little owley things.  I found the pattern for lovely little owlets at Littlegreen and although this one I made has slightly squinty eyes I love its cute and homemade look.

I really enjoyed choosing and wrapping up the little parcels to send to Anca, a complete stranger apart from what I’d read on her website.  The knowledge that I was able to make and chose a few little bits and pieces as treats for a stranger was very exciting.

Anca also loves postcards and is part of a postcard exchange called Postcrossing.  I chose the best of a rather poor selection of postcards of Manchester to send.  Apart from Manchester United Football Club there aren’t really any particular landmarks that make Manchester instantly recognisable unless you already know the city, so I just chose one with pictures that seemed to be taken in this century.

To complete the package I got a few little owl stationery things to send too.  I love stationery so it was fun chosing them.

Many, many thanks to Kate at Fox’s Lane for organising this swap.  You can see some of the other gorgeous pincushions made for the swap in its Flickr group.  It’s been the first I’ve taken part in and I am sure it won’t be my last.  Maybe I’ll even organise one myself.  I have an idea of what I’d like to swap so let me know if you are interested and I’ll keep you posted.


The original whole swap package (sadly missing!):


Normal service has been resumed

Blogging | Wednesday May 26 2010 | 10:24 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , |

I can be excited about my website again, because it works again.  You may not have noticed at your end, but at my end I have been very, very restricted in use of my own website, behind the scenes and even the front end you’re looking at now.  I have spent about two months tinkering with bits and pieces on my laptop and netbook but nothing worked.  Other sites and functions were fine, but not frou-frou.  Only after about 20 minutes did anything eventually load so trying to write posts and upload pictures over that sort of timescale just wasn’t going to work.

Various friends were consulted and advice given, tried, tested and ruled out.  There was only one thing for it – practical hands on technical support!  And there was only one person for that job – Warren!

After lots of tea, a few cakes (well, it was hard work) and three hours, I present you with a fully working and fully restored frou-frou service.  And to go with it a re-invigorated blogging me!

‘What’s been the problem?’ I hear you ask! (OK you may not be but I’m going to tell you anyway.  Actually, I’m not going to tell you – these are Warren’s words below!)

‘Here’s pretty much a summary of what I did to fix it.  I think the firewall and winsock ones were the most likely to sort it, but here goes from the top:

Go to a Command Prompt (start / run / cmd) and then type:
* netsh winsock reset
* netsh interface ip reset
* netsh routingip  reset
* netsh firewall reset

Once all done, restart the PC and then check the site access.  I also enabled routing and remote access in Services (services.msc) but possibly that wasn’t necessary to do.’

It seems that this may be caused by an Orange mobile broadband dongle install that somehow corrupted the winsock interface or the firewall settings.  When we  then turned the Windows firewall off, as the settings were persisting and stopping certain items from downloading quickly, it seemed to be cured!

The most annoying thing in it all was that the site that it had the most impact on was the one I own and run.  I probably wouldn’t have been so wound up by it if any another site affected!

So now you can look forward to all the posts that I’ve had in draft in various forms awaiting pictures, editing and publishing.  I shall try not to splurge all at once, got a craft fair this weekend to get ready if nothing else. 

Oh, and see those green crochet coasters in the pic above… watch this space!

Until the next time, which I am already looking forward to, ta-ra!


What’s been going on?

Blogging,Craft | Sunday May 2 2010 | 11:33 am | No Comments | Tags: , , |

I’ve been having (and think I still am actually having) some very peculiar technical problems which have been preventing me posting much recently as every page is taking ages to load and trying to get images up is virtually impossible.  I think the live pages are fine for most people viewing my site, but behind the scenes it’s been grinding to a halt.

However, I’m persevering and now trying Firefox, which appears to be marginally quicker… so far!!

So what have you missed?

Lots and lots of making.  I’ve been doing lots of new things and some experimenting and looking forward to sharing details.

A craft fair which was very quiet in punter terms but still a great day as I just love the chit chat and meeting folk and hanging out with crafty types.

I’ve also been really inspired recently by a particular project I’ve been involved in which is going to include a whole new website.  This may sound mad given current techie issues but I’ll sort that out or use alterative services as necessary.  I’m not going to spill the beans yet as it needs a lot more work but I’ll give general details soon.

Lots of reading.  Since I’ve not been able to write much online I’ve been reading lots online and have found some great sites and great makes.  Lots of inspiration and ideas!

Here’s a taste of projects to come, now that I’m determined to battle the technical problems.  We’ll have coasters, necklaces, hair bands, flowers, bows, purses, lavender bags and bracelets.  I sure have been a busy bee!!  Oh, and there’s been a little owl twit twahoooooo!


Technical help please

Blogging | Sunday April 11 2010 | 8:16 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: |

Heeeeeelp! I’m having terrible trouble accessing my own website and admin pages! I can get on at work, Caveman’s house, everywhere else actually. However, on my own laptop and netbook I can’t access frou-frou, even with different internet access services. My netbook is virtually new and has hardly anything on it and I’ve tried to turn off anything that can be turned off. I’ve ruled out several things – it isn’t my ISP (BT), firewall, antivirus software etc.

I run Windows XP and use IE or Chrome. frou-frou is hosted on Freehostia and uses WordPress.

Something I run is clearly getting in the way and preventing me posting or viewing my site!

Anyone had any similar problems? Advice very much appreciated! Also let me know if you’ve had problems viewing or opening pages.

I’m now going to press ‘publish’ and see if this post loads. I’m not expecting miracles so me need to do it elsewhere!!


Happy Blogiversary to ME

Blogging | Wednesday March 31 2010 | 11:58 am | Comments (9) | Tags: |

frou-frou is 1 year old today! Yay!

It all started with a little whisper of a post saying ‘I’m here’! Then all went quiet for a while. It wasn’t until I had a period of illness over the summer of 2009 that I really got focussed on what frou-frou was all about and started realising how much I was going to enjoy ‘blogging’ (though I am still a bit in denial about having a blog!). 

I must say that I am very proud of my little website. It may be bigging myself up a bit, which I am not very good at,  but I love the colours, layout, content and overall look of it.  I love getting comments and emails from people, strangers even, saying they like it too.  Even my Dad, the most critical person I know (sorry Pops, but you know its true!) had good things to say and only one ‘constructive criticism’ – that’s why I now have page numbers at the bottom!  I do most of the techy stuff myself too which I am very proud of.

I only ever intended this to be about craft and craft related things, not my day to day life, family, work etc and while I have referred to those things in different ways from time to time, they aren’t central to what frou-frou is about.   I’m actually a very private person so putting myself  ‘out there’ is weird but I can cope fine when I’m hiding under my (crocheted) craft hat.

When I open the site (which I actually don’t do very often – I’m usually in the workings behind the scenes) I feel happy and proud. Like a mummy looking at her little baby. OK maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration as I didn’t give birth to the thing, but I did conceive it (not in the biblical sense clearly) and I did nurture and develop it and let it grow.

So today I am celebrating a little bit of me, with pride and happiness and a great sense of achievement. And to those of you who have popped in along the way, been with me all along or are yet to come I say hello, welcome and thank you!

Fi xx

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