Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Craft Room Reshuffle

We got some "new" furniture yesterday thanks to some neighbours who are moving house.

Our new oh-so-practical sofa bed is positively crying out for some new handmade cushions...
Did someone say "summer project"? I think they did. (Note the curtainless window on the right, the curtain rail fell down yesterday! oops)

Most exciting of all our new bits of kit: some new shelves for my crafty gubbins! My old shelves looked like this, though they were starting to overflow a little with recent acquisitions so it will be awesome to have all this space...

Lovely deep wooden shelves that *just* squeezed into the room:And a little white shelf unit which technically is supposed to be being used for utility room stuff - washing powder, vases, that sort of thing - but which is totally getting co-opted to the crafty cause:A mountain of homeless crafting supplies has appeared on the kitchen table:
All other tidying and chores have now been put on hold while I sort out my lovely shelves!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Scrapbooks

A very lazy weekend, with hot cross buns for tea and hours spent sticking hoarded clippings into assorted scrapbooks.

I've been keeping them since I was at school, they're such a great way to keep images I can't bear to throw away and I love looking back through the old ones at shapes and colours and little details that continue to haunt my visual imagination:

Friday, 27 March 2009

Postal Ups and Downs

Please, everyone, remind me not to go to the Post Office on Fridays! Ugh.

The postie did bring me buttony goodness today though, so I guess they balance each other out (sort of).Cameo buttons! So lovely! Can't wait to sew things with these.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

News from the Supplies Department

I've been meaning to mention this for ages but have been distracted by so many other things... I've added a couple of new products over in my online shop, hurrah!

Adorable needle baskets - printed card in a retro design, full of sewing needles & a needle threader:And a bright and colourful new bundle of felt squares:One square each of violet, golden yellow, turquoise, pink, bright green, orange, magenta, ruby red, teal and deep pink... all tied up with ribbon. Yum yum.
I've also added a felt squares section over in my Etsy shop for those of you who prefer to shop the Etsy way!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A Nice Cup of Tea and a Good Blog

Are you running a creative business? Or dreaming of running one? Then check out the great new project from Jena of Modish: the Modish Biz Tips blog.

I've already lost count of the amount of times things mentioned on this blog have rung bells with me, and it seems I'm not alone: the comments are filled with crafters and other creative types sharing their experiences, all of which make for a great extra read and suggests this might turn into an amazing community space as well as a useful resource of articles and interviews.

Highly recommended reading for your teabreak!
PS It's official: tea tastes better drunk from your favourite mug!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Everyday Colour

In our house, even the dusters are nice colours (originally from Wilko or Woolies I think)I like to pretend that this makes me more likely to do housework (ha!) but really I just love how the ordinary can be transformed by a splash of unexpected colour.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Potted Pleasures

More sunshine today, and a lovely afternoon spent making a big compost-y mess out on the balcony re-potting some pot plants and sorting out some cuttings...

Pink 'Flaming Katy':

Vintage pots in lush bold colours:Another vintage pot (love that blue) plus some slightly battered crockery put to good use for growing cuttings - a set of Hornsea storage jars and a blue&white china trio:Another trio in the bathroom, accompanied by a giant mama Christmas Cactus & her strangely purple offspring:I love using those old chipped teacups for growing plants - it's so nice having them be "useful" instead of sitting neglected in the back of a cupboard. I first used one last year to grow a tiny jade cutting that's now grown up to be this fellow:I'm so proud! :)

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Spring: Sprung

I have done no sewing the past couple of days - instead I've been sitting outside in the sunshine, tending to my balcony "garden", and generally lazing about a bit. Our daffs have started to flower...... and lots of springtime treasures have started popping up in all sorts of small corners:It was so warm and sunny this morning that we even had breakfast (well, okay, it was more like brunch) sitting outside on a blanket, with this little fellow for company:

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Thinking about Packaging

I'm working on a few simple bits of packaging for my products - long overdue, I think! Nothing too fancy, just something simple to give me space for pricing & product info, my website address etc, & hopefully make my pieces look a bit smarter in the process.

I'm thinking about using white or brown strung tags in assorted sizes, some smaller ones to tie to masks and ornaments, and larger ones to pin my brooches to like so:
(And yes, I know those aren't white or brown- they're just the only tags I had in the house to test this out, shh)

I like how this can accommodate brooches of lots of different shapes and sizes, unlike plastic bags which I've found either end up too tiny and squished or a bit empty and disappointing looking, and the back has plenty of room for a printed label.

I rather like the look of the handwritten descriptions at the bottom, too, but I'm a bit worried my scribblings might be a bit too illegible! Perhaps if I use my very best handwriting? Hmm...

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Best Buttons Ever

I love buttons and I LOVE tea, so you can probably guess how I feel about the latest addition to my crafty stash:Teapot buttons! Eeee! How awesome are they?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Finished Batches

Oh my gosh it is so deliciously sunny today! What a difference a bit of extra light makes.

I had a lovely productive day yesterday, finishing a whole heap of felty things. First up I finished all those lilac and turquoise flowers...... and turned some of them into brooches ...... and some into headbands:Then I dug out some half-finished rosette brooches (all cut out and ready to sew but languishing in my workbox since before Christmas) and sewed them all together whilst drinking a nice cup of tea and watching some documentaries about Darwin (v. interesting). They are so bright and cheerful!The heart rosettes can already be found here ... and the rest will be added to my website and Etsy shop this afternoon during my teabreak :)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Colourful new supplies for my stash

I got a few new treats in the post this week - inspirational, colourful things to get my brain thinking about new ideas!

Two big bags of soft fluffy pompoms...... and some lovely machine-embroidered butterfly motifs which have already inspired some sketches for new brooches :)

Friday, 13 March 2009

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Accessorize like it's 1989

Still in the 80s groove, and still totally loving my hair bows I've decided to try them out in a few more colours...

Sunny yellow:Soft grey (my current favourite):And classic black for some full on 80s power-dressing:
What a pain photographing that black one is proving to be! Of course it helps if you remember to charge your camera batteries so you get longer than 2 minutes to try (oops).

These will be added to my website etc in the next few days once I've had a chance to take a few more snaps :)

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Floral Prototypes

Quite often, I get an idea in my head and sketch a few things out but can't make much progress with the designs until I "try things out in felt" - see how the shapes actually fit together, and test out the colour combinations for real by making a prototype or two.

At the moment I'm working on ideas for flower brooches:The combination of soft lilac felt petals, pretty turquoise felt button and lovely embroidery thread is making me swoon slightly! I'll be tweaking this design a little and working out some other colour combinations (oh, what fun it is to sit around playing with colour!) and *fingers crossed* this should be in my shops soon as a brooch and maybe a hairband too.

The pink flower is still very much an idea in progress - revisiting the layered flowers I made last year. It's taking me a while to recreate the 'perfect' flower I can see in my head, but I'll get there eventually...

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Strange Obsession

I continue to sort through boxes of my stuff, clearing things out and tidying and having a bit of a rearrange as we spring clean the house ... and in the back of one cupboard I found my stash of weirdly-shaped cardboard packaging:I am totally obsessed with them, and I don't know why! There's just something about those peculiar moulded shapes ... despite being designed to be purely functional and support an assortment of electrical equipment etc in their boxes, I think some of them look pretty fab and just cannot bear to send them for recycling.Instead, I very much want to paint them and display them properly somewhere. These two are my favourites - I've carted them round with me for years, and they were spray painted at one point by a flat mate who objected to just having cardboard on the wall:We are rapidly running out of wall space, but I'm sure I'll find room for them somewhere...

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Fairy Cakes

Here are the cakes I baked yesterday, with help from Nigella:Very tasty, but a bit of a sugar overload!

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