Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Business Chit Chat

This morning I went for coffee with a lovely lady from ArtsMatrix - "the skills and enterprise development agency for creative professionals in the South West" - to chat about Etsy and my website and blogging and Twitter and all sorts of other stuff that I can waffle on about for hours.

I don't know that I have much business wisdom to impart, though! haha :)

(I think the image above is from an old advert for BT's business services, maybe? It's been in one of my scrapbooks for so long I have quite forgotten where it came from, but it seemed quite appropriate for today's post)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Shiny New Supplies!

I've been busy updating my website this weekend... I've moved my felt squares to a dedicated section and added lots of yummy new goodies to the Craft Supplies section.

Wooden buttons:Pairs of giant wooden buttons - 5cms wide! Black plastic buttons - these look like they've been embellished with jewels. So deliciously detailed.
Yummy white plastic bubble buttons:Cute duck buttons (only 3 packs available) Plus seriously sparkly, elasticated sequin trim in purple, gold, black and turquoise. I can't wait to make headbands from this!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Celebrating Lots of Parcels

I just noticed this morning that I've now had 1,500 orders on Etsy...... so that's 1,500 parcels I've posted to my Etsy customers! Wow.

To celebrate this (I do love a nice round number) I'm having a special sale for my blog readers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers for today only.

EDIT: the secret sale has now ended!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Felt Feathers

Last night was one of those lovely relaxing crafty evenings - chitchat, a warm blanket, good stuff on the telly and a nice easy task to keep my fingers busy: cutting out lots and lots and lots of felt feather shapes for some tropical bird masks.Each bird mask has six feathers sewn onto it, so making a batch of masks means cutting out lots of feathers.

Hopefully I'll get them all sewn on before I bump into the table and knock all those tiny pieces onto the floor...

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Hello Tiger!

Thanks to the sheer awesomeness that is Tiger-print felt, you can now buy Tiger masks in my shop:Also, thanks to a mistake I made while sewing - forgetting to sew on the ear details - you can grab a bargain tiger mask HERE.

I haven't had a chance to model this design yet, but it's similar to the leopard.... GRR!Ah, the ridiculous faces I pull in the name of crafting!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Lovely Post

More great post yesterday - two fantastic posters from lovelydesign:
I fell in love with these after the first edition had already sold out, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw a second edition is now available.

The attention to detail in them is lovely, and those colours! Yum. I can't wait to get these framed and to find space for them on our walls...

Sunday, 20 September 2009

How To: Quick and Easy Felt Bunting

It's deliciously sunny today... perfect weather for blogging about a rather summery project: felt bunting.


You just can't beat bunting for instant English cheerfulness - perfect for parties, or for adding a fun bit of extra colour to your everyday decor. The felt bunting is obviously not as long lasting or hard wearing as the lovely fabric designs that are really popular at the moment, but it's great for hanging along a wall, doorway, window or mantelpiece indoors and it's super-easy and quick to make.

 

To make your bunting you'll need:
A long piece of ric rac (or ribbon)
Matching sewing thread
Assorted sheets of felt in whatever colours you fancy
A triangle template (I've provided one, below)
Plus general sewing supplies - a needle, pins, scissors, etc.


1. Using your template, pins and scissors cut out lots of felt triangles - I chose bright shades, and deliberately avoided using red so the red ric rac would stand out clearly on each one.

 

2. One by one, pin the triangles onto your ric rac and sew them together with a simple line of sitches. I left a very small gap between the triangles, leave bigger gaps to make longer bunting. Make sure you leave an "empty" length of ric rac at each end of your triangles, to serve as ties (or sew the ends into loops if you prefer).

 
 

3. That's it, really! Told you it was easy...

 

... but if you're making the bunting for a special occasion (eg a birthday party), you can add some felt letters to make a fun banner. Cut out the letters you need (you may want to draw these on paper first to get the shapes right), taking care to use contrasting colours to the triangles the letters will appear on so they'll all stand out clearly.

 

Then stitch them onto the triangles, leaving a spare triangle between words - hearts make quite a cute addition as spacers, eg -heart-H-A-P-P-Y-heart-B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y-h-e-a-r-t. Obviously, make sure your banner has enough triangles sewn on it for all the letters you want to add! :)


 
 

Double click the template below to to view it full size and print out.

If you print at 100% your triangles will be the same as mine (and the right size for using with my 60 mini squares packs) - just change the % to make it smaller or larger.

Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Happiness in a Parcel

Great post today! A parcel of supplies from my fellow felt-obsessive KirstyFish...... plus the cutest little doll stuffed with lavender:I'm having a very lazy weekend (snoozing in front of Doctor Who DVDs) but I'm looking forward to playing with all those yummy colours in the coming weeks.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Knitting Season

It's starting to get pretty darn chilly round here lately, and a drop in temperature always makes me dig out some knitting!
I've blogged before about what a sporadic and lazy knitter I am, but it's always a pleasure to do a bit of easy knitting in the colder months especially when it's for a very good cause.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

How To: Appliqued Succulent Sachet

I'd totally meant to space these tutorials out over the coming weeks, but I'm feeling impatient! So, this week is tutorial week :)

My little sister has just moved into her first non-student flat and I was thinking about housewarming gifts to buy her... and how potted plants are a really common gift... and somehow this ended up with me making a lavender sachet decorated with a felt succulent! There's logic in there somewhere, I'm sure.Lavender seems to be having a bit of a revival at the moment - it's an attractively old fashioned, organic way to keep your clothes fresh and keep the moths away from all the treasures in your wardrobe. Don't like lavender or can't get hold of any? Stuffed with fabric scraps this design would also make a great pincushion, or make a great decorative detail on a cushion / throw pillow. To make this design you will need...

Dried lavender (or fabric scraps)
A teaspoon
Green felt to make your succulent's leaves (I used a soft sage green)
Felt for the plant pot - I used terracotta, but your pot could be any colour you fancy
A third shade of felt to use as the main shape for your sachet (I used a soft pink)
Matching threads, needle, pins, scissors

I've not drawn templates/patterns for this project, as I think a lot of the fun is cutting your own leafy shapes and building up a unique and organic design from them... but I have done a few sketches (not to scale!) which I hope will be some help.

1. First, cut out two rectangles of felt to make your sachet - mine measures approx 5 inches by 3 and 3/4 inches. Then cut out the two shapes to make up your plant pot. You can cut these freehand or draw a paper pattern first.2. Stitch the two plant pot pieces to the lower half of one felt rectangle, so they overlap (making the 'lip' of the plant pot seem to overhang slightly).

3. Cut out an assortment of leaf shapes. Depending on your favourite kind of succulent, these may vary but to make one like mine you need squashed teardrop shapes with extra 'stems' like this:4. Gradually layer your leaves on top of each other on your felt rectangle, so they seem to be growing out from your plant pot. When you're happy with the arrangement, secure each leaf with one stitch to keep them all in place.5. Stitch along the centre of each leaf, sewing them onto the felt backing. This stitching is practical - keeping the leaves in place - but also adds great extra detail and gives your plant a great 3-D look.

6. Pin both of your felt rectangles together, with your felt applique facing outwards. Sew both pieces together by sewing round the edges, a few millimetres in. Leave a gap for stuffing your sachet (make sure your teaspoon can fit through this gap!) and stitch back again filling in the spaces so you make a neat line of secure stitching.
7. Now remove the pins and stuff your sachet with lavender. Spoon the buds in through the gap one teaspoonful at a time, using the handle to make sure they go right into the corners. Once your sachet is nice and full, sew along the gap and back again to close it up neatly.
This tutorial is for non commercial use only
: you can use it for as many succulent sachets as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

Monday, 14 September 2009

How To: Button Bib Necklace

You know when you get that sudden urge to make something? Well, I got that urge this weekend and made LOTs of things... all destined to be fun tutorials, coming to this here blog very soon. Woop!

First up: a key accessory in fashion this autumn, the statement bib (or collar) necklace. I am becoming increasingly obsessed with these - they seem like such a bold fun way to jazz up the most simple outfit. A plain dress (or jeans & a tshirt) plus a bib necklace equals POW!



To make your own necklace you will need:
A paper template (see the bottom of this post), or you could draw your own shape
Thick felt (because of the weight of the buttons). Quality wool felt, or that thick (and wonderfully cheap!) synthetic stuff you get in sheets in stores like Hobbycraft. I used black to make the other colours really pop.
Matching thread, sewing needle, scissors, and pins.
Matching wide ribbon to make the ties
Buttons - I used a mix of bright colours for mine, but you could use any colour palette you fancy, perhaps an assortment of shapes in one colour? All black buttons on a grey background would look particularly chic. For some extra bling, you could add sequins, beads, and any other shiny doodads you can lay your hands on.


1. Pin the paper template to your felt, and cut around it. Do this twice, so you have a pair of matching felt shapes. One of these will be the decorated front of your necklace and the other the back.

2. Lay out your buttons on one of the felt pieces and play around with them until you get an arrangement you're happy with. This piece will become the back of your necklace.

3. With the back piece (covered in buttons) on the table in front of you serving as a guide to where to place them, gradually sew the buttons one by one onto the other (front) piece of felt. Make sure you stitch the buttons on securely, using a double thickness of thread and several stitches per button.

 

4. Cut two lengths of ribbon, long enough so you can easily tie a bow to fasten your necklace (I cut mine to each be 14 inches long so I can wear the necklace low or high). Cut the ends at an angle to help prevent fraying.

5. Place one piece of ribbon at the top left of the back felt piece, so half an inch or an inch of the ribbon overlaps the felt. If your ribbon has a "right" and a "wrong" side, make sure that the "right" side is face up on the felt so it will be visible when you wear the necklace. Sew the ribbon in place securely. Repeat this for the other piece of ribbon on the other side of the necklace.


6. Now place the front and back pieces of your necklace together, so that the buttons are facing outwards and the stitched ends of your ribbon are sandwiched between the felt pieces. Pin the felt pieces together carefully. Finally, use a whip stitch to sew all around the edges and finish your stitches at the back of the necklace where they won't be visible.

7. Wear your necklace immediately and feel fabulous!


Double click the template below to to view it full size and print out.
If you print at 100% your necklace will be the same as mine, just change the % to make it smaller or larger.

This tutorial is for non commercial use only
: you can use it for as many necklaces as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Sleepy Sunday

Oh, I have so many things to blog about! I've also got a whole handful of fun tutorials on my to do list that I'm itching to share with you guys.

But I'm afraid they'll have to wait for the moment because today is turning into one long nap. Sooo... sleeeepy...

I have managed a teeny bit of sewing, finishing a custom large poppy brooch with lots of extra beads:But apart from that... well... *yawn*.... zzzz....

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Flowers for my wall

It's been lovely and sunny all this week, perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll round the local charity shops. Yesterday's find: this lovely vintage print, for a bargainous £1.25.
No idea where I'm going to put it, but I just couldn't resist!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Follow Me on Facebook...

For those of you on Facebook, you can now be a fan of Lupin Handmade! :)
The page is very new, but I'll be keeping it regularly updated with news, photos, details of special sales etc... and you can even add 'fan photos' of your own. I'd love to see pics of you with your purchases, or things you've made from my supplies!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

White and Peach

I've been making some more cherry blossoms... in white and peach this time!All those will become brooches and - newly listed - hairbands like this one:I have dropped so many of those little beads down the sofa this week - it's a sofa bed and I expect when we open it up for guests a shower of little beads will rain down :)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Paper Poms

I've been meaning to try making some Martha Stewart style paper pompoms for simply ages, and after wrapping up lots of packs of mini felt squares in tissue paper this week I found myself with a bit of spare time and some spare tissue paper and gave it a go!I made a pompom half the size of Martha's, and though it turned out a bit wonky and I didn't cut the ends nearly enough (giving less of a 'petal' effect than I'd hoped for) it's still rather fun...
.. and for 5 minutes effort, it makes a lot of impact!Full instructions for making your own can be found here (I just used yarn tied with a knot instead of twisting some wire, and it seemed to work fine)

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