Friday, November 20

Etsy Treasury

Just popping in to post about a treasury I've been included in! Its always amazing to be featured amongst talented crafters. I always feel out of place when included in such things and this feature is particularly beautiful!

Thursday, November 5

Art on Coriandr

Art is an inspiring thing. It can spark your imagination, revive memories, evoke emotions and more. Here are a few pieces found on Coriandr.

Thursday, October 29

Autumn on Coriandr

After a hiatus, Coriandr features are back! Autumn is well and truly here now in the northern hemisphere and Coriandr is full of handmade items that are not only inspired by this season, but represent its beautiful colours too.

Orange Crush Button Charm Bracelet - MrsGibson

A perfect bracelet for button and autumn fans alike.

Bronze Oak Fallen Leaf Brooch - Mrs Toad Designs

As the owner of a custom made brooch from Katherine, I definitely recommend this one. Its a stunning piece of art that you can wear.

Handmade Notebook - Creativesque

A note book is an essential item for anyone, so why not fill this one with its 100% recycled pages full of ideas, pictures and sketches to inspire you?

Carnelian Silver Cuff Bracelet - alibalijewellery

This stunning bracelet looks good enough to eat, as the carnelian stones remind me of toffee!

Cute Red Felted Tub - Snowdrops And Daisies

This felted crocheted tub is perfect for keeping small, important items safe. The deep red makes a beautiful bold statement.

Thursday, October 22

A Yarnie Offer!

After some brainstorming and some advice from the ever wonderful Lottie, I've come up with an offer that knitters and crocheters will love.

Or at least I hope so!

TomatoTea Loyalty Offer

I've decided to reward loyal customers who buy yarn (hand spun or hand dyed - no samplers i'm afraid!) from TomatoTea with a 10% discount on their next yarn, if they take a picture of the finished project they have made with their previous purchase and allow me to blog their efforts!

So not only do you have an incentive to finish your projects with TomatoTea yarn to get a discount off of your next yarn, you get some exposure too!

So how does this work? Well, if you have already bought some yarn from me, all you need to do is send me a nice, clear picture of your finished item that you have made with the yarn and allow me permission to blog about it. Then next time you buy some yarn, either on Coriandr or Etsy, just pop the name of the yarn you used for your project in the 'message to seller' box. I'll cross check this and you'll be refunded 10% off of your yarn purchase through PayPal after full payment is received. (or i'll adjust the amount owed if paying by cheque).

For example, Lottie purchased 'Violent Violet' from Coriandr and has kindly sent in some pictures of her project and allow me to blog about them in an earlier post.

Now when she goes to order another skein, all she has to do is enter 'Violent Violet' in the 'Message to Seller' box on either Coriandr or Etsy to get a 10% refund through PayPal. If she sends me another picture of what she makes with the new yarn, she can do this again, quoting the new yarn she bought.

Please note that this is a 'yarn for yarn' offer, by which I mean, if you have bought one yarn and followed the directions above, you'll get 10% off of another single yarn. If you have bought two and sent a picture of each yarn in its finished state, you get 10% off of your next two yarns, and so on. This offer applies to all yarn available in my shops, hand dyed or hand spun with the exception of samplers. Be sure to use the same user name each time you purchase, otherwise I may not be able to match up what you have bought!

As for yarn sent as a gift to someone else, if the buyer wishes to get a discount, just be sure to get a picture from the recipient and permission for me to blog about their finished project.
If the recipient of the gifted yarn wishes to get a discount, they must ask the person who bought it for them to contact me, quote the yarn bought and the recipients user name for either Etsy or Coriandr. The recipient still needs to send me a picture of the finished project and again give me permission to blog about it!
Please note, the buyer and the recipient can not both receive a discount. Priority goes to the buyer first, so be sure to ask them if its okay!

I hope I haven't made this too confusing! Any questions feel free to ask!
Monday, October 12

Poll: Which Picture Makes The Best Listing Image?

I'm in need of your assistance everyone!

I can't decide which picture to use as the main listing image when listing my yarns on Etsy and Coriandr. It's hard to decide which is more likely to draw a potential customer in to have a closer look. I tend to photograph all my yarns in 5 set ways but choosing one as the main image is difficult! Any comments are appreciated too :) Thanks for voting!

Sunday, October 4

Violent Spinach

A while ago, I sold my very first hand spun yarns, two of which went to the lovely Lottie. She has very kindly sent pictures through of what she has created with the yarns and has allowed me to show everyone what TomatoTea hand spun looks like when knit up. Its a silly thing to say, but i felt so proud when she showed me!

Lottie bought Violent Violet and made a cabled panel for a blanket project.

At the time, she was slightly disappointed that someone had beaten her to Super Spinach, another hand spun skein she was interested in.

Super Spinach

Ironically, the other buyer was her good friend Frantasm who had actually bought the yarn for Lottie as a late birthday gift!

Lottie has knit the yarn in a lovely simple garter stitch square, which i think really shows off Super Spinach quite nicely.

Lottie has been brilliant and I hope to provide her with more hand spun in the future! Please check out Lotties Coriandr Shop for awesome recycled, knitted and woven goodness.
Friday, October 2

...and breathe....


As much as I love having a proper job again, it sure does eat away lots of time! Its been way to long since I last posted an update for TomatoTea. So here's a run down of whats been happening.

First of all, we had an amazing week down in Cornwall at the beginning of September. The weather behaved and we had some wonderful days out.

A Week in Cornwall

Secondly, as mentioned I have been working my socks off in the bookshop. I've been put in charge of the Arts section - which includes crafts! I'm hoping to stock that section to breaking point in time for Christmas and get more people crafting!

And finally, i've still found pieces of time to make! I took some knitting to Cornwall and made a colourful array of neck warmers, ready for autumn and winter. I love this design as it can be worn by guys or gals and its toasty warm but not bulky like a scarf. It keeps the wind out of the opening in your winter jackets!

Chunky Neckwarmers

I've also been carding, spinning and dyeing so look out for some new additions to Coriandr and Etsy.
Yes, thats right, i've reopened my Etsy shop in time for Autumn and Winter. I'm still keen on Coriandr, in that it will always be my first 'port of call', however I promised myself last year that I would make a real go of the colder period in 2009 and I'm hoping Etsy will help me do that :)

Thats it from me for now, i'll post some pictures of crafty progress during the week! Have a great weekend!
Saturday, September 5

Getting Away For A Week

Phew! It's been a busy one this week as I finally got back into work and did some lots of overtime Monday to Friday. I forgot how much it takes out of you.

But we're now off for a week to Watergate Bay, Cornwall for a much needed getaway. More so for my partner than me! He hasn't been away for at least a couple of years and this will do him lots of good :)

So first of all, no giveaway this month. I'll do a double whammy in December instead!

Secondly, no Coriandr features this Thursday the 10th.

And thirdly, of course any orders you place at my shop will not be posted until I return which will be Sunday the 13th!

I'll be back with lots of pictures and hopefully some tales to tell. Have a great week everyone!
Thursday, September 3

Bath Time on Coriandr

This week I was looking out for soapy items on Coriandr. Now, there are people out there who like getting soaps for Christmas, but I have to say I'm not one of them. I'd rather they just stuck with a card and not worried as commercially made soaps always make my skin feel horrid after using them. However, handmade soaps are a different story. I find these are a lot kinder to your skin, especially if they are made from the right ingredients! So here's what I found over on Coriandr:

Black Raspberry Vanilla Natural Soap - Saffronbarr

This soap looks good enough to eat. I bet it smells fantastic too.

Natural Handmade Goat's Milk Soap - Everything4Bathtime

A soap made from Goats milk which is extra mosturising with a scent of sweet oranges. Sounds wonderful!

Honey Almond & Lavender Handmade Soap - Indie Cafe Lounge

Another soap that looks good enough to eat! This one has a scent of Almond and Lavender.

Brown and Yellow Flower Soap Dish - Pennydog

This dish is the perfect place to keep your soap. Made in resin with a lovely piece of retro fabric embedded inside.

Natural Oak Impressed Ceramic Dish - CharlotteCeramics

And this soap dish has been impressed with a piece of bark for texture, which has then been highlighted using different glazes. Truly stunning!

Wednesday, September 2


Just a quick post before I pop off to work to show you guys Nicole and I's afternoon at the KUBE gallery in Poole last Saturday.

I was pleasantly surprised at filling up this table! Its nearly 2 meters long! Nicole came to the rescue though, and let me use some of her table space :)

Nicole's comic frames and mirrors look fantastic! They are mini works of art in their own right.
Saturday, August 29

Trades are Fantastic!

Last week, I blogged about my mishaps with Andean plying and showed you a picture of the lost fibres which I didn't know what to do with.

Well I'm really pleased to say they have been sent to Catherine, who will be making good use of the stuff :)

Of course, Catherine being the wonderful and lovely gal that she is, didn't want to receive them with out giving something in return. I felt extremely jammy in asking her for a custom brooch, but my goodness she did it!

Its so so cute and awesome! It arrived all packaged up nice and safely, in a neat little star bag. This is one lady who knows how to present and package her goods!

So, I can say with the upmost confidence that if you would like a custom brooch from Mrs Toad Designs, do it. You will not be disappointed!

And as a quick note, i'll be in Poole this morning at the KUBE gallery selling my wares! If you're in the area between 11am and 2pm, do pop by and say hi!

Thursday, August 27

In the Garden with Coriandr

As the last weeks of the Summer are upon us and Autumn begins to draw near, I thought I'd make this weeks theme be set around the garden.

Delicate Fuchsia Giclee Print - AlexandraAshby

I love Fuchsias. We have a few of these in our garden and I think Alexandra has captured this one beautifully. The other thing I love about Fuchsias is that they attract...

Amigurumi Bee - RainbowGrrrl

...these little guys! This sweet Amigurumi Bee has been hand crocheted by RainbowGrrrl and can be modified in to a key chain if you wish.

Mustard - Collaged Brooch - Zoeest

I love Zoe's brooches. They are such a unique design and its a really clever and stunning use of collage.

Butterfly Buttons - RedRobinDesigns

I have bought some of Robin's buttons and I can tell you, they are beautiful! This set of three would finish off a knitted garment or they could be used for scrap booking.

Whopper Giant Slug - LullabyLily

Who would have thought a slug could look so adorable and cute? This giant slug would love a friend to look after her.

Tuesday, August 25

Can't Find The Yarn? Dye Your Own!

Or more correctly, if you can't find the right yarn in your stash, dye some of your stock instead.

Recently inspired by Monty Knits who reminded me of the awesomeness of Double Knitting, I wanted to attempt to make my own scarf design and I wanted some grey or cream yarn and some blue, plus they needed to be long enough to make a scarf. However most of my stash consists of one ball of this and one ball of that or a packet of that colour but not of another... etc.

Anyway, in the end I remembered I stocked up on some undyed Blue Faced Leicester which fit the bill with one colour and so I dyed another ball in the blue I was after.... I may start doing this more often. Its definitely cheaper and this BFL feels really lovely too. So look out for future photos of that project!


In spinning news, Three more skeins up for grabs in the shape of two full skeins and one sampler, spun up from the dyed fibre I posted a few days ago. Still working through that stash!

Garden Zest
"Garden Zest" - English 56's Wool

"Peaches and Cream" - British Massam Wool

"Peaches and Cream Sampler" - British Massam Wool

These will be up on Coriandr in the next few days!
Saturday, August 22

A Tale of Andean Plying...

It sounds really sad, but i have only just got over this:

Total Bummer

This is some plying that went horribly, horribly wrong about 2 weeks ago. I've tried this technique of Andean plying before and although it was a little tricky, I did manage with tangles and things and made Violent Violet. I tried to be clever and made a makeshift Andean plying tool similar to this by using a book and a lolly stick. It's fine when its on the book, all tensioned nicely but when you slip it onto your wrist, all that tension disappears and so tangles and snarls appear.
Lesson learnt. Don't do it. Its more hassle than spinning two singles. And, the worst part of it is I hand carded all of the fibre. Merino, Soya bean and Angelina. And wasted it. Not only that, it seriously killed my crafting mojo for a few weeks. I was afraid of bodging something up again.

However there is a small happy ending to this story.

Mini Green Sparkle Sampler

I did manage to ply 25 meters of it. Its available in my shop as a sampler.

I also bit the bullet and got back into spinning a couple of days ago.

Olive Plum

I'm so glad I did. This has to be the BEST yarn I have spun yet. It is super squooshy and soft and pretty damn even too. 133 meters of worsted yumminess. Its up for grabs in my shop along with a 13m sampler.

Olive Plum Sampler
Friday, August 21

Dyeing Spree

Dyeing Spree

Just a quick post to show the fruits of my labor Wednesday morning. The red/orange fibres are Massam tops, the rest are English Superwash tops - i'll be testing the super wash element after they've been spun up!
Thursday, August 20

At the Beach with Coriandr

Its the summer holidays and the sun seems to have come out to play, so a summery beach five from Coriandr this week seemed appropriate!

Beach Huts Card - Charlotte Macey

This simple card has been hand drawn and painted - meaning each one is unique and a piece of art in it's own right.

Scented Sailboat - Leilalou

A sweet plush sail boat filled with lavender and rose for a refreshing scent.

Kids Crab Organic Tee - WEEclothing

An organic cotton t-shirt for your littluns with a felt crab sticthed on to the front.

Vanilla Ice Cream Cone Brooch - Mrs Toad Designs

This brooch is a cool feast for the eyes! Made with felt and with stitched details, will add interest to any bag, scarf or jacket!

Crest the Wave Whale - LullabyLily
What adventures would you take this little chap on? He can't wait to explore the world!

Sunday, August 16

And The Winner Of The August Giveaway Is...

...the author of comment number 7, Pickled Weasel! I'll contact you shortly for your address!

For those who weren't as lucky this time, don't worry! There's still more skeins to give away, so check back again in September for the next one :) Thanks for taking part!
Thursday, August 13

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle on Coriandr

This weeks five from Coriandr all have an eco theme as we are all trying to "make do and mend" or perhaps reuse old items to make them into something new so they can be loved again.

Gift Tags Made From Recycled Maps - milomade

Old, outdated road atlases become awesome looking, unique gift tags! A wonderful example of reusing and they can still be recycled after use too.

Recycled Denim Teddy - Ling Designs

These sweet bears have be made from unused denim in light and dark shades. Each one is stiched by had and they they all have such a lovely character.

Spiderman Comicbook Photoframe - Hearts and Skulls

Not only is the comic thats been used to decorate the frame recycled, but the so is the frame itself! Great gift for a bloke, especially those that like comics and Spiderman!

Inma - Katcha

A stylish bag made from old inner tubes and a car seat belt. Definitely a conversation piece!

Vintage Floral Hand Screenprinted Cards - LMoon

These beautifully detailed floral cards have been hand screen printed on to recycled card. One day I hope that all paper and card will be from recycled sources!


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