I think it’s a snicker doodle kind of day…

Through The Looking Glass

These are my favourite cookie. I could eat the whole batch, so I rarely make them. However…. Son’s school has a cookbook fundraiser and they’ve asked for 1 from each family. This will be ours.

They are a plain cookie, but that’s an understatement. They are soft in the middle, and rolled in cinnamon sugar,so they are crisp on the outside, and should be a little wrinkled.

Ready to eat

1 cup butter
1.5 cups caster sugar
2 eggs
2.75 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Method: Preheat oven to 160’C. Cream butter and sugar together, then add in eggs one at a time. Add in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, and mix until it all comes together. Roll into walnut-sized (1″) balls and chill for 5- 10 minutes. I…

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Ebay, Ebay, Ebay

I’ve been selling on Ebay for almost 15 years now – both as a private seller and as a business. I’ve had great transactions and bad ones. I’ve left glowing feedback and not-so-glowing feedback.

But I can only leave FB as a seller if my items on my business account are being seen and ordered. I had a ‘basic shop’ as a free 2 month promotion for July & August. I ended up in the hospital on Aug 27 so I shut my shop on Ebay so I didn’t get orders I couldn’t fulfill. I had no idea that this would cause a lot of wasted time and grief for me because the shop shut on Aug 31, there was no way to turn the listings back ‘on’.

Basketweave Cowl

I thought that as the shop has shut that the listings had been active on Ebay and I was just lucky not to get any orders. I was wrong. The listings were still invisible – and I didn’t realise for almost 2 weeks when I couldn’t find one of my listings in search, I can’t remember what I was doing at the time. Even brand new listings weren’t being seen! I then got on ebay webchat and was told that she had ‘blank revised’ all my listings and give it up to 24 hours to ‘re-index’ the listings. I know when I edit a listing the listing changes immediately and I’ve never had one disappear for 24 hours. But I waited.

Nothing happened. I webchatted again & was told the same thing. On day 4 I got Ebay to call me. The Rep (Rep 1) on the phone decided to pass the issue onto Tech support and it would be 48-72 hours but she would call me back. She didn’t. I got them to call me again 72 hours later.

Oval Scrubbies

That rep said that she couldn’t see what Tech told Rep 1 and that the other rep must be on a day off and that she would have Rep 1 call me the next day and if that didn’t happen, Rep 2 would. Neither did. Another call the day after that and again, no Rep 1. Rep 3 told me he could send in another ticket but it would be another 48-72 hour wait. Lovely.

Rectangular Jute Scrubber
Rectangular Jute Scrubber

Yesterday Rep 1 emailed me a form email. Even lovelier. But it turns out that she was sick, Ebay customer support have no way of passing on issues with accounts if the rep dealing with it is sick for a week, and there was a very simple way to sort out my account – open a basic shop again. Why this wasn’t done behind the scenes and sorted last week, I don’t know. It’s not as if they actually gave me the free shop for another month as they removed it off my account as soon as the shop was taken out of holiday mode by the webchat rep. BTW, never use ‘as a courtesy, we won’t charge you £30 to fix XXX’ when XXX isn’t the customer’s fault…

Peach Scarf Strap
Mustard & Black Drawstring Bag

So, my ebay listings are now available to buy and I’ve put as many as I can on sale for 1 week, do take a look! All the items in the photos are on sale!

More Little Zipped Bags

Yup, here you go, more zipped bags. I have 24 made now made and 13 more to go… I said before I had a lot! lol

Each one will be listed on Etsy, Amazon & Ebay so you can use whichever platform you prefer if you want one – I’d love it if you did! Even after almost 8 years in business I still give a little excited ‘ooh’ when I get an order notification on my phone. At least when my phone decides to give a notification; it’s rather temperamental… (As an update, although these bags have all been listed on Ebay, there is a glitch of some kind and none of my ebay listings can be seen right now. I’m on ‘webchat’ with them daily to try to sort it… with no luck.)

Some are in new fabrics, and others aren’t. Because I have resewn these from some I purchased from a business that was shutting down for health reasons, but that weren’t made to my exacting standards, I decided to remake them – they were and are – different sizes. All are now lined with white polycotton or polyester fabrics, and some have a keyring attached (some I forgot to add it, oops!).

I’ll add links as they get listed – yes, there are lots of bags! Even if there are 2 of the same fabric, they will be different sizes and most likely have a different colour zip – the last ones will all have white zips. Which is your favourite?

Pink Stars Bags available here – Amazon & Etsy

Cupcakes Bags available here – Amazon and Etsy

Christmas Bags are available here –Amazon and Etsy

Scottie Dog Bag is available here – Amazon & Etsy

Yellow Dotty Bags are here – Amazon & Etsy

Animal Print Bags are here – amazon & Etsy

Dachshunds Bags are here – Amazon & Etsy

Orange Dotty Bags are available here – Amazon and Etsy

This Summer…

You know when you’d go back to school & get the teacher asking you “What did you do last summer?” Here’s my answer.

Well. It’s been ‘fun’. As always Looking Glass gets slower over the summer and I expect that. When my son was younger I would use the time to do things with him and go places, have playdates etc and not worry too much about sales.

This summer, I thought it would be different – son was away for 3 weeks (eek!) and I had PLANS. Yes, PLANS all in capitals in my head with a to-do list as long as my arm. Then reality kicked in. We needed a new fence and finally were able to get one. I decided that I could take the old one down myself and asked a neighbour to help and we got it down in about 3 days. This isn’t a big fence, but this was in the first week of July in a heat wave and the £($(£*$£f72y posts had to be dug out – and boy, did that take forever. We had a shovel, crowbar, breaking bar and a sledgehammer and there were a few we’d have cheerfully used dynamite on because the concrete was so stubborn.

The skip – a large one – was parked on my neighbour’s drive for a few days longer than I’d have liked (them too, I’m sure) but it eventually went. The company I hired to put up the new fence also went and even faster. I fired them after 1 day because the work they did was so shoddy. The fence posts they put up came out again in less than 10 minutes each – the concrete they made up was like fruit crumble topping and the posts just lifted out.

wobbly fence
cracked concrete
post hole after post lifted out

To get the fence up before Sept. meant that I had to do it. In the heat, with my neighbour who helped take it down (he’s not the one living on the other side of the fence). We are both perfectionists (he used to make medieval armour)and both of us slightly decrepit so there was lots of “don’t fuss!”, “watch your knee!” & “watch your back!”.

Then… the neighbour who is on the other side of that property boundary & who had been consulted about the fence got shirty about it even though he had been consulted about when/the height/how it was going to be put up etc.
Hence more trips to the fencing place to get more materials and gravel boards to raise up the height. One Saturday, this neighbour decided to pull off one of the panels at the front & damaged 2. This is criminal damage, he was seen and then subsequently denied it – there is no corroboration so that’s that, the police can’t do anything. He’s refusing to allow us onto the property to finish or paint the fence after we told them they were no longer allowed to paint their side — but waited a week to kick us off the property so we could get most of the fence up (and start to paint) & we were still on their rented property to do so. Yes, we had permission to be there up til then.

So I have a 90% done fence with 3 panels missing; it’s half-painted on the other side from my garden. And that’s how it’s going to stay as they are refusing mediation via either the police or the housing association they rent from. I have PLANS to sort this that will not involve going on the property. So endeth July.

redone fence
redone fence 2
redone fence 3

In August the fence painting started. Because of my back I can’t paint all day, and the weather wasn’t fully co-operative anyway (rain) so it was sort of ‘how many panels can I repaint, and can I manage to do a first coat on another before I need to stop?’ kind of painting. We’ve got most of our side done in a moss green which I like more than I thought I would. My hands began to really ache though so the last day we painted it was just son and hubby to give me a rest. And I got more of a rest than I bargained for.

We also bought IKEA furniture – we desperately needed more storage and son needed a dresser that could hold his clothes, he’s been using the same one since he was 5 and it was tiny. They came, all 18 boxes… and we started to put that together when we weren’t painting the fence. Son really has enjoyed it. Hubby hates it. None of it is finished after 3 weeks as I ended up in hospital with pancreatitis. I do not recommend! I was in the hospital for 6 days and self-discharged as the air beds were killing my back – I spent the last night there on the chair by the bed with a heat pad or TENS machine on.

I’m still recovering, had to shut my shops for 2 weeks, and have no idea when I will start to get orders again. I’m taking it easy and am not pushing myself this week. If I had to grade this summer it would get a “D”.

Did you have anything ‘interesting’ happen this summer? Did you enjoy yourself, or did you have a disastrous summer like we did?

More Jute Scrubbies!

This time these jute scrubbies are…. coloured! I have 4 colours to choose from – red, green, blue and a sage green (I think that’s my favourite!)

Rectangular Scrubbies
Oval Scrubbies

I have had all the jute scrubbies tested – some liked them more than others but it was down more to what they were used to rather than any issues with how well they worked. Men seemed to find them a little small, so I will sort out a large option too.

Red Scrubbies
Green Scrubbies

They were tested on dishes, floors, baths, countertops, painting easels, tiles, pots and pans… you get the idea. They worked well, washed up easily (I sometimes put mine in the dishwasher if there isn’t going to be a towel load that day) – the first one I ever made is still in use almost 5 months later.

Blue Scrubbies

One of my testers also found that they were great for exfoliating her legs before she shaved them too! I’ll be adding a round shape for those, but I have the oval and rectangular ones in that Etsy listing right now.

Sage Green Scrubbies

They are gentle on non-stick pans – one tester commented that she loved hers as the cheese that was baked onto her pan came off but didn’t get stuck on the jute like it would on a plastic scrubbie. Like the natural jute scrubbies, these are also compostable, washable, and recycleable – the perfect eco-friendly product!

Hello again!

I know, I know, I’ve been really bad about posting in here again. It gets hard coming up with new things to post that aren’t only ‘Hey, I have a new item here, buy it!’ type posts.

I’m hoping to start posting more. Life hasn’t been fun the past year; I have struggled with old injuries – my back and right ankle keep acting up. If it’s not one, it’s the other so I haven’t been able to do much yoga, which helps with both – but I can’t do it if I can’t either bend or flex my ankle!

This has also affected my productivity – I can’t sew when my ankle is bothering me as that’s my pedal foot. I am very frustrated that I haven’t made the items I want to for my new Etsy shop, Green Living Co. I have piles of fabrics to recycle into wipes, bags and heat packs – and I need to add in a care/instruction card to those too.

And onto the “Hey, here’s a new product” part to this post… lol

Jute Scrubbies
Both shapes of scrubby

These jute scrubbies have sold fairly well (just not on Etsy!). I plan on a larger ‘mens’ size that hubby has asked for and coloured ones too. I’m hoping the other upcycled, recyclable items do as well!

Oval Jute Scrubber
Oval Jute Scrubber

Once these scrubbies have done their job – they make great alternatives to sponges – you just cut them up and recycle or compost them. Before that, you can pop them in the wash with your towels, or in the dishwasher too, when they get dirty. I’ve been using a pair of these scrubbies for months now.

They are made from Jute twine, which is compostable and recyclable (if you don’t compost) and the plants it’s made from take in more CO2 than trees do and is a quick-growing and sustainable crop.

Rectangular Jute Scrubber
Rectangular Jute Scrubber

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled waffle! I’m glad for all the readers of this blog, and hoped that you have enjoyed reading my posts and possibly have tried out a recipe or 2?

Cute Little Notions Bags…

I have finally listed these cute notions bags on Etsy and Amazon… and Ebay. (Never have all your eggs in 1 basket!) I have a fair few more to get finished off and listed but they will get done eventually.

They make perfect notions bags for knitters or crocheters with the keyring on the side to clip to a clasp in a larger bag, but could also hold small projects too – like a dishcloth, maybe. I haven’t decided yet which is my favourite, which is yours?

Each one is fully lined too. Of course they would also make great make-up bags too, but that wasn’t the first use I thought of (I don’t wear makeup) – what else would you use them for? Comment below!

You can find this cute pug dog notions bag on Etsy, on Amazon as well as on Ebay.

Pug Bag

Then these blue anchor bags are here on Etsy and here and here on Amazon (they have their own listings) – plus Ebay.

Blue Anchors bag 1
Blue Anchors Bag 2

Do you prefer something brighter to catch your eye? This bright orange dotty notion bag is perfect!

Orange Dotty Bag

Check it out here on Etsy, and on Amazon as well as on Ebay (there are 3 bags available in this listing).

If pugs don’t take your fancy, do bull terriers?

Bull Terrier Bag

Here’s the Etsy link, on Amazon as well as on Ebay.

Lastly, check out this cute animal print bag!

Animal Print Bag

Find it on Etsy, and on Amazon as well as on Ebay.

While some of the bags I haven’t finished yet use the same fabric as these ones, I still have others to show you!

Yup, more Camera Scarf Straps…

I have no idea if anyone’s out there anymore reading this blog, so I guess I’ll just post these camera scarf straps and if you’ve read this, let me know!

I made these 3 new (well, 4 actually, as there are 2 of 1 scarf) scarf camera straps last week. One is a pink scarf,the 2nd a peach and the other 2 are from a turquoise pashmina scarf that’s great for winter outside photo shoots as it’s quite a thick scarf!

Here’s the Pink Scarf Camera Strap – it’s made from a viscose scarf in a pretty baby pink.

Pink Scarf Strap
Attachment for the pink scarf strap

And then the Turquoise Scarf Strap . This one (there are actually 2) I made from a pashmina scarf – a real one, in a goat and silk blend wool. The colour is fabulous!

Turquoise Pashmina Strap
Attachment for Turquoise Strap

This Peach Scarf Camera Strap and the colour is more peach than in the photos.

Peach Scarf Strap
Over 1 shoulder

Which one do you prefer? And if you prefer to buy off Amazon, you can find all these scarf straps here .

Teacher Gifts Tutorial – Decoupage Plant Pots

Is it time to think of teacher’s gifts?

Through The Looking Glass

I’ve neglected you all lately…. I’m going to try to get a bit more active on here for you all.

We give son’s teachers gifts at Christmas and Year-end. This year we decided on decorating a plant pot and picking out a pretty plant for his teacher and the teacher’s assistant. I try to pick something that he can make or do most of and he likes making gifts and really tries to get them perfect.

It’s an easy and cheap craft that looks wonderful and you can put a lot of thought into the kind of plant and the style of decoupage you want to do when you choose the tissue paper.

The plant pots were 89P each, the saucers were 99p. The pack of tissue paper was £2.20 and a bottle of PVA glue was £1.50. I know we had some around here somewhere but I couldn’t find…

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Green Living Co. is Live!

My newest Etsy shop, Green Living Co. is finally live! I opened it about a week ago and have managed to get a few things listed. My timing wasn’t great as it’s Easter Holidays now, but I knew if I didn’t start listing, it would be another month before I got it going.

I have some more items almost ready to list – the weather here’s been alternately too windy to shoot outside or too dark to shoot inside. I gave up on taking photos on a few days as it just wasn’t working. I have Organic Buckwheat Hulls for sale as well as a couple of finished buckwheat hull heat packs – more to come for those, I think!

I need to adjust the logo a little, I decided I want the writing darker so I’m going to sort that out in the next day or 2.

I have the other 2 Etsy shops still up and running, so need to figure out how to juggle all 3; the Anatomical Knits by LGD shop ticks over and I don’t have any plans on updating items in that one. I have added other body parts in the past but they don’t sell so I’m leaving it as mostly ante-natal teaching aids.

Looking Glass Designs is still going to get new items, product lines and ideas – more high-end accessories and more items knit on my knitting machine as well as knitting bags and hopefully other knitting accessories. I will need to market it differently, so I think I’ll be researching more about that soon.

My Amazon shop will still carry a selection of products from all 3 Etsy shops so not much change there…

Here are a couple of listings from Green Living Co. on Etsy…

Buckwheat Hulls
Bowl of Buckwheat Hulls

You can get the buckwheat hulls in 500g packs here – Buckwheat Hulls These will come in plastic grip seal bags, wrapped in brown paper with recyclable tape.

Buckwheat Heat Pack
Sewn end of Heat Pack

And the Buckwheat Heat Packs here. All heat packs/wraps will be sent tied with twine, in brown paper, and taped with brown paper tape – all packaging is completely recyclable! I plan on moving as much of the packaging for all my items to be as reusable and recyclable as possible.