Welcome to my blog. I am 'The Bunny Maker' - aka Anna, confuzzled mother of three boys, maker of sock bunnies for Widget and Friends, owner of The Warren Bunny Boarding and artist behind Half an Acre. Come on in and join the madness!

Friday, 28 November 2008

We all need a Pink-bellied Yowl - trust me.....

I've been shopping for Christmas on Etsy! I promised myself I would and I'm finding some wonderful little things - and all from the comfort of my sofa and fuzzy blanket. I can shop with a glass of wine in one hand! So, for this week's Shopping List Saturday I'm featuring four things I've bought lately.
First we have a little colouring book from Chichiboulie - its stocking filler sized and that is exactly where it will be going! Second is the Pink-bellied Yowl from KarensMonsters - bought er..... for me *cough*.... had to have him! So cute... you need one too - trust me, you do!
The Santa Stop Here hanging sachet if from my first Sneak Attack victim Dainty Doris - I've bought loads to give as gifts - they are for hanging on coathangers to de-stink your wardrobe or, like this one, festive and small enough to hang on the tree. Last up are some gorgeous green fingerless gloves from Ginaminda.
That is not all I've bought but I don't want to face up to the rest of it so I'm not showing you anymore! I"ve also just realised that saying 'to de-stink your wardrobe' is not the best sales pitch for DaintyDoris! She makes little felt sachets full of lavender, you see ....... I'm just not poetic today! So -that's it for today! For other Shopping List Saturday features check out FancyPicnic's blog - she has the whole list in the sidebar!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Paper, paper everywhere .......

Goodness me! It's been one of those weeks indeed! I've made a stack of handmade paper - for christmas cards and for the boys' advent calendar - I'll show you pics of that later - I'm going to make 24 weeny paper bags with little bits and pieces in for each day. All the paper is ready and it just needs folding.

I've added some pics of all the paper making - the first looks like some wierd biscuit making thing going on but is actually me trying to be all clever with cookie cutters and paper pulp. Second is the papermache fish (previously torso, seal, whale, submarine) - I've decided that its final coating will be a bathymetric (hope that is the word!) map of the oceans i.e what lies under the water. I thought that might be suitably fishy for it instead of the Telegraph doom and gloom credit crunch stuff which forms his skin at the moment. Third picture is my kitchen table set up for a massive papermaking session and, fourth, the results of that session - enough paper for the 24 bags for the advent calendar.

I did a sale today - at a school - it was heaving with kids and parents - I sold some stuff, not a great deal, but enough - sold all my sock bunnies and pigs! I've been shopping since and bought loads of fantabulous stripey socks .... is Half an Acre going to do a bit of a swerve and become a multi-million pound sock bunny empire? Might be indeed!

I have also totally missed the Shopping List Saturday feature this week ... what can I do but grovel. As I said - I've been busy!!! UK Handmade launches soon! *claps wildly* But until it does you can have a nosey at the blog ... the latest feature (written by me .. teehee) is very interesting indeed especially if you are a knitter ..... linky dinky here.

I've also decided to update my facebook page. Which threw me into a state of confusion as I seem to have an 'Anna Hull' profile with a 'Half an Acre page' attached as well as a 'Half an Acre' profile page with nothing attached. Too confusing. I deactivated the H an A profile page and am in the midst of renovating the rest. All this was sparked by getting a message from an old school pal. *waves at Tilly* Now I'm seaching for any name of any person I've ever known - right old time waster - GAH! the internet can be so absorbing! Apparently this is the Half an Acre page (become a fan, go on, make me feel popular!) and this is my 'Me' profile - apparently.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Busy busy!

I've been a busy girlie today and completed my entry for the Folksy Angels competition. You know Folksy? The British answer to Etsy! It is still in Beta phase (ie not launched yet) and promises to be fantastic. Folksy are tying this competition in the WeMake Christmas on Saturday 6th December at The American Church, Tottenham Court Road. WeMake is a group of fabulous UK crafts people (including myself *beams at everyone*) who are trying to promote wonderful handmade British stuff. There are various sales around the country but the next one is this one above. Please come along if you can - there are 46 sellers attending and it will be a great, busy event. Don't forget you need to buy all your Christmas presents!!!! The winning entry will be given away at the event. The winner also receives a free Folksy shop and NO commission on sales for the whole of 2009 - WOOT WOOT! The Folksy Angels flickr group, where its all happening, is here click! This is my entry below. The brief was to make a Christmas decoration using only recycled or upcycled bits and pieces - in other words, you can't buy anything and you can't use any of your nicely pre-bought supplies! Ha ha!

So - I used these fabric scraps, which I've been keeping in a irritatingly-in-the-way plastic bag for the last year, and tied each little bit onto a piece of garden wire. I made a whole heap of paper over the weekend and used a bit of the pulp to make the heart in the middle. The string is from my stash of kept pieces that I rescue from presents we've all been given. So, there you have it - a fabric, credit crunch beating decoration!
Here's my Folksy shop www.folksy.com/shop/halfanacre - go see.... quick! the elves are coming with their spoons...

Friday, 14 November 2008

Drizzle, paper and pants.

Its been a funny old week. Gloomy, dank, drizzly and depressing. I have felt that way too. We are covered in oak leaves, rotting pumpkins and mud. So, on that grim note I shall introduce some retail therapy as it is indeed time for the Shopping List Saturday feature!

The lovely little brooches are from Seapod and are from amoebas and microbes seen under the microscope - how cute is that? The gorgeous books are by KreativeLink and are fantastic value for any UK shoppers - I am sorely tempted.

Today seems me separating all my waste paper into piles. Paper for shredding (to make new paper) - white paper (for making my advent calendar for the boys) - newspaper (for papermache) - magazines (for recycling at the dump) - junk mail (for the dump also). I feel virtuous. I have put several more layers onto the papermache fish and he has lost that seal/whale/torse look which creeped me somewhat.

Speaking of creepy - have any of you seen the film Pan's Labyrinth? Well, don't. Actually, do. Although it is a cert 15 I still thought it was a nice fantasy with cute gobliny things - instead the Hubby and I switched it off before the end because it was so graphic and horrific! Now I HAVE to know how it ends!!! Its been bothering me all night and morning - damn it! Just DO NOT SHOW IT TO YOUR KIDS. This is an ADULT film hiding behind nice words like 'Pan' which makes you think of Peter Pan (lovely) and Labyrinth (exciting attractive underground maze). Compelling? Yup. Gorey? Oh yes. Disturbing? Hugely. And I still haven't seen the ending. I don't want to but I need to. Verdict: Don't watch it. Actually, do.

Summary: Torture, fatal childbirth, blood, graphic beating, menace, faceless creatures, creepy creatures, driving rain, greyness, fairies, a big book, sadness, hopelessness, death, shooting, a little girl, horrific knife action ...... Ugh, it goes on ...... all wrapped up in a fantasy wrapping of the nasty kind.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Happy desk!

This is my desk - as of Sunday night - right now. I'm painting up an order for a bunch of fish for Not On The High Street and trying to make some wooden birds look festive! I'm also stocking up on some lizards as Lasso The Moon goes live soon and a load of my stuff is on the site. Lasso The Moon is a showcase of 26 of the best Uk handmade designers, crafters and artists - and I'm one of them! How I managed to be picked is a fantastic mystery - I'm keeping quiet in case I'm rumbled as not being 'best' in the UK!! That's it! a wee postette ....

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Half an Acre comes over all smug ...

I'm feeling smug. Those envelopes? Those are made with oak leaves out of my garden. Half an acre leaves - except it isn't - half an acre, that is. See? Smug! Smug because I'm feeling all craftsy and eco-friendly. They even have a strip on the back saying "handmade using Ifold oak leaves" just to drive the smug 'look what I made' thing home! I want to slap the grin off my own face! Actually its not 100% oak leaves but about 85% added to some paper shreddings (bank statements etc). The leaves need to be soaked and then boiled. The boiling is meant to break them down - but it doesn't really- so you have to whizz it all in the a blender for extra time. The plan is to make my own Christmas cards. So this weeks Shopping List Saturday post is going to be combined with my Christmas Quest - my search for simple and natural festive things.

I've found that paint stamps wonderfully onto handmade paper. This year is going to be all about simplicity and economy and this is going to be echoed in my cards. Handmade with simple stamped designs on them. So for my Shopping List Saturday feature I went off to Etsy and this what I found ...

I know that some of them aren't very festive but I got bored of the christmas ones and got diverted!

Also this week, I've been featured on two blogs Cinnamon and honey and Pennydog - Thank you ladies indeed! I'm thrilled when I'm featured anywhere - so important to get yourself 'out there'. I am totally addicted to Twitter now - I've made a few twitter pals who I see there most days - I love the easy chattiness of it - and the immediate responses you can get from your fellow tweeters. Tiny Fig 'tweeted' for opinions on her new website layout and immediately got a whole barrage of opinions for colour schemes - whether this has helped or just confused the hell out of her is out for debate!

The other exciting thing this week is the saga of my paper mache fish/whale/seal/dead baby. It came to me the other day that what the house needed was a large paper mache fish hanging over out kitchen table. Doesn't eveyone need one? So, armed with spiky chicken wire, I made the frame work. So far so good. Mixed up wallpaper paste - got newspapers out of the garage - and started to cover it. Half done - great - leave it to dry - turn off lights - go into living room for evening. La la la time passes. Thirsty. Go into the half-light of the kitchen "AHHHHHHHHHHHGH"!!!! Out of the corner of my eye there is a dead baby on my table!!! It's horrible! Be still, my imagination! In a desparate need to fix this abomination I quickly add some fins - only I put them on the side (what is up with me? perhaps a sketch first might have helped) and I now have a bloody seal! "Its a seal!" I wail to my husband and children. I then attacked it with scissors. Severing its nasty sealy flippers - Mwhahahhahahahahaahaaaaa. It is now a shark (apparently) - but that's because I haven't put the bottom fin on yet. Soon it will be a glorious fish - swooshing above my table. It's main colours, I think, will be black and white stripes. The jury's out.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Two new colours for you.....

Just a little, quick post to show you my two new house colours! Then I shall mention mass-produced items no more! No more tainting of my blog! I won't be able to get the red-roofed ones after my stock of it has gone so these two, pink and blue, are the replacements. What do you think?

Monday, 3 November 2008

Half an Acre 'fesses up, gets a bit festive and features herself AGAIN!

*Stands up and faces assembled crowd* - "My name is Half an Acre, and I sell some mass-produced products" - *sits down trembling* - moving swiftly along now .....

Today I woke up to two sales on Not on the high street - a UK based boutique website where I have a little shop set up. They have just started shipping internationally so all you lovely people can buy through them too. I have several things in my shop that is not handmade - purely because its nice to sell something is not time-consuming and these things seem to keep the wolves from the door - so to speak. So I'm going to feature myself today! *cracks up laughing* - my non-handmade stuff. I try and only stock things which I haven't seen anywhere else - for instance I am the only person in the UK stocking the two below:

Pretty adorable, huh? You can order all of these from Not on the high street but I'd rather you did it through my website Half an Acre because you like me and you'd like to be nice to me and save me from the commission!
I've just received my newest order for the houses in two new colour ways - haven't taken the pictures yet but I will do as soon as this dull, dreary weather lifts a bit.

These prams are adorable, I know! The top slides up and over to form the pram. Little girls LOVE them - actually everyone does - even the boys! I won't be continuing to stock there much longer as the company has changed the numbers I need to order and I can't finance such large numbers so get them whilst I've got them!
I have also just started stocking the below - I have seen them elsewhere BUT I love them sooooooo much that I don't care!Seriously, you know you know someone who would love one of those! I've had to hide the all here as my boys keep taking them!
What do you think? I feel such a traitor selling non-handmade stuff - but the painting is time-consuming - if I worked out the actual time each thing took and priced accordingly they'd be, like, £60 or something made like that! So - its nice to have somethings that are 'ready-made' and don't cost me any time at all. That's my justification and i'm sticking to it! So there!

Also today - thank you to Martha Hughes for featuring me on her blog The Dancing Monkey Jewellery Chronicles - I love being featured! And I also had a mail from Crafter...ooo saying they wanted to use my hag stone round picture in their advent calendar - thanks guys!

Here's the picture! I'd love people to see from it that you don't have to buy all those naff glittery decorations that the shops stock up on for Christmas - just look around you - use the natural object you find. These hag stones were found on the beach on the Isle of Wight - where we always holiday - they have naturally made holes in them. I strung them on wire with some beads which I already had and ended up with this wreath. Its one of many I've made over the course of the year - each one going to a new home somewhere in the world - which I love the idea of. I've also started featuring some sellers who are making natural and lovely decorative things for christmas as part of my Christmas Quest - one of those being Makalewakan - check out her Etsy shop - I featured her in an earlier post but I like to keep referring back to these great shops. I keep featuring these wreaths on my blog here - please excuse the repetition - i just really like some of my own stuff!! Hope you do too!