Monday 28 February 2011

Special Offer - Today Only!

Just because I love you, here's a very special offer:

Order anything from my Etsy shop TODAY (28th February) and get one SALE item worth up to £5 free with your purchase.

My SALE items can be seen HERE or by searching my shop for "sale".

Please leave me a message in the "notes to seller" during Etsy or Paypal checkout letting me know which free item you would like (if the item you want has already sold I'll ask you to choose another)... or add the sale item to your shopping cart along with your other purchases and I'll refund up to £5 via Paypal after your payment has cleared.

This offer only applies to my Etsy shop, and only items marked as on sale and priced at £5 or less will be given as free gifts.

UPDATE: this offer has now ended.

Saturday 26 February 2011

Custom Flowers

Today has been one of those "bits and pieces" days: tinkering with this, updating that, re-organising here, re-writing there...

I've also been busy making plans!

One of the things I'm working on at the moment is expanding the range of designs I offer in custom colours. First up, pretty layered felt flower brooches - now available from my Etsy shop or my Folksy shop.

These brooches are made up of six layers of soft wool blend felt, with a cluster of sparkly silver seed beads in the centre. As with all my designs, each shape is lovingly cut by hand with scissors from my own hand-drawn pattern piece.

Choose from 65 colours to match your favourite outfit, or order a batch in your chosen colour scheme for the members of your wedding party.

Psst - if you want any of the flowers shown, they're currently available in my Etsy shop, and you can see other customisable designs HERE.

Friday 25 February 2011

Cloudy Skies

Thanks to a mix-up when ordering some felt recently, I've ended up with some felt squares in shades of grey that aren't usually available in my shops.

So... there's now a new felt bundle available in my Etsy shop, Cloudy Skies!

Each pack contains 12 grey felt squares (12 for the price of 10!), two each of the 4 new greys (graphite, slate, cloud grey and dolphin), and one each of the 4 grey shades included in my felt range (mist, silver, stone and dark grey).

This is a limited edition pack, with only 10 bundles available, and the new shades of grey will not be added to my regular range - so if you want to add them to your stash, now's your chance!

You can find the cloudy skies pack HERE.

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Birds in Progress

Thanks for all your bird suggestions guys, I really appreciate it! (please do keep them coming!)

I've had lots of fun looking up the birds you've mentioned and I'm very much looking forward to sitting down with a pencil and some paper and starting lots of birdie sketches in preparation for some new designs :)

This week, in between emails and admin and parcel-packing and all that other stuff, I've been gradually cutting out lots and lots of pieces in preparation for restocking my current range of bird brooches... there are teeny felt shapes everywhere:

It will take me a long while to actually sew all those birds together, but I'm trying to be extra organised this year and cut pieces out in batches so I've always got some ready for when I fancy doing some sewing. Well, that's the plan, anyway!

UPDATE: I'm gradually turning my bird designs into sewing patterns! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns:

Monday 21 February 2011

Calling all bird lovers!

I need your help today, lovely readers.

I'm working on some sketches for new bird brooch designs, and I'd love to know if you have a favourite kind of bird.

I've already made bullfinches...

... goldfinches....
... bluetits...

... robins...

... greenfinches....
... chaffinches...
... cardinals...
... coaltits...
...and snowy owls...

... but what should I make next?

UPDATE: My bird designs are beginning new lives as sewing patterns! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns

Saturday 19 February 2011

February giveaway winner

The winner of the embroidery starter pack is Jemima who said... "How wonderful, just think of all the stitching I could do with this beautiful pack"

Thanks to everyone who entered, great to see so many people excited about embroidering things :)

Friday 18 February 2011

Butterflies in progress

I'm doing lots of sewing this week, which is always nice!

One of the projects in my workbox at the moment...

... sewing lots of embroidered butterfly motifs to layered felt flowers to make brooches like these...

... and matching hairbands too.

I always enjoy making these, the vibrant colours always make me very happy even on the most gloomy and rainy of days.

Unfortunately I think I'm going to have to discontinue them when my current stock of butterfly motifs runs out. I must remember to keep a couple for myself! The pink & turquoise and yellow & lilac ones are my favourite. Which are yours?

Thursday 17 February 2011

Spring Flowers

Oh how I love spring! It's so wonderful seeing all the early spring flowers appearing everywhere...

Over in my shops, one of my favourite flower designs is now back in stock: white cherry blossoms, available as brooches and as elastic headbands:

I've also added a couple of my older flower designs to my £5 sale: bluebell brooches and lily of the valley brooches:

I've only got 2 or 3 of each of these left in stock, and once they've sold out they'll be discontinued to make room for new things.

All the flowers are currently available from my Etsy shop, my Folksy shop, my DaWanda shop and my website. I've been having a few problems updating my website this week, so if the bluebells and lily of the valley haven't yet been marked on sale don't worry I'll refund the difference to you after you've paid :)

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Corgi Love

I have to admit that don't really care very much about the royal family, or about the upcoming royal wedding (being self-employed, I won't even get a day off work!)... but I simply had to buy one of these teatowels designed by Gemma Correll:

Cutest corgi ever!

Gemma's royal wedding teatowels are available from fab teatowel shop To Dry For (photo from their website).

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Felt Colour Trends

I've added a couple of new felt packs to my Etsy shop this week, two collections inspired by current colour trends!

There's a pack of 10 warm tones - bright tropical colours, including pinks, yellows and coral:

And a pack of 10 cool tones - cool blues and greens and pale neutrals:

You can also buy both packs together and save! Hurrah.

I'll be updating these packs so they stay "on trend" as the seasons change.

These packs are currently only available from my Etsy shop but I should be adding them to my other shops sometime soon.

Monday 14 February 2011

Weekend Project

This weekend I started work on something button-y:

I can't show you the whole thing yet, but I thought you'd enjoy those buttons as much as I am - I'm loving those bright spring colours!

Saturday 12 February 2011

Mini Hoops and Zips

Packs of mini 3 inch embroidery hoops are now back in my Etsy shop after several months absence!

These tiny wooden hoops are super cute and perfect for framing small embroidery or cross stitch projects.

I've also added a pack of mini 4 inch zips to the shop:

The zip selection pack includes one of each of the 9 colours pictured. The zips are ideal for making small coin purses or for adding zipped pockets to bags, etc.

You can also buy the hoops and zips from the craft supplies section of my website, where you'll also find an assortment of buttons and ribbons and other crafty bits and pieces on SALE as I've got lots of things that are almost out of stock and I want to clear some space for shiny new things :)

Friday 11 February 2011

Not quite a Black Swan...

... but a grey one!

I made this custom version of my swan mask design as a special order for a customer this week.

If you ever want one of my designs in a custom colour, do get in touch! :)

Thursday 10 February 2011

Giveaway: Embroidery Starter Pack

It's time for this month's giveaway! Hurrah!

This month I'm giving away a fab bundle of supplies: 36 skeins of stranded cotton embroidery thread, a sheet of Aida fabric for sewing crossstitch designs, and three mini embroidery hoops.

The hoops are flexible plastic with a woodgrain design and are designed so you can use them as picture frames for your finished work. To give you an idea of the size of the hoops, the oval hoop is about 2.5 inches wide x 3.5 inches high.

As always, I'm happy to ship internationally, so anyone can enter. Just leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win! (If you're reading this on my Facebook page please click through to the original blog post to leave your comment).

Leave your comment before 10pm on Friday 18th February and
I'll pick a winner at random on Saturday 19th February.

Please make sure you leave a name or pseudonym (no anonymous comments please!) and leave a link or email address so I can contact you, or make sure to come back to see if you got picked.

P.S. I no longer sell the woodgrain embroidery hoops in my shops, but packs of mini 3inch wooden hoops will be back very soon! Packs of embroidery thread are available from my website, my Etsy shop or my Folksy shop.

UPDATE: this giveaway is now closed

Wednesday 9 February 2011

A Ring-Bearing Owl

Have you been watching Big Fat Gypsy Weddings on Channel 4?

I've not seen it, but apparently on this week's episode one of the super over-the-top weddings included (wait for it) a real live ring-bearing owl.

An owl! Carrying the wedding rings! So nuts, and also so, so, awesome.

Of course, I had to make a felt version immediately and spent a happy evening last night making this fella and refused to go to bed until I'd finished him:

The owl is carrying a little felt envelope which opens up so you can put rings (or other important things that need delivering via owl) inside it.

This is one of those projects that makes the boyfriend think I've gone completely insane ("you're staying up late to sew a what???"), but I'm pretty chuffed with how it turned out!

I think the design & colours could use some tweaking though (I was in such a rush to sew him together I just grabbed the nearest felt to hand!) ... and it definitely needs the addition of a loop of ribbon at the top so he could be carried by a flower girl down the aisle & hung up for display later... hmm...

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Big Bows, Little Bows

This lovely lot went in the post today - a custom order of lots of felt bows:

The big ones are headbands and the mini ones are super cute hair ties.

I especially adore that bright neon pink... but my goodness it's a pig to photograph!

If you fancy a bow of your own, the headbands are available in turquoise and yellow from my shops and there's one turquoise and one neon pink bow brooch left in the clearance section of my Etsy shop.

Monday 7 February 2011

Bits and Pieces

A few things I'm making at the moment...

... cutting out pieces for white & peach cherry blossoms, and some bullfinches... sewing together some coal tits ... and embroidering some oak leaves.

Sunday 6 February 2011

Buttony Bargains

If you're in the UK and love buttons, ribbons, felt balls and other yummy things you'll be excited to hear that the fab supplies shop Big Fish on Etsy is having a special sale, with free postage for UK customers from 8am-8pm on Tuesday 8th February.

Shop as normal and your postage will be refunded within 24hours. Click here for more info and to check out Kirsty's crafty blog.

I've got lots of goodies from Big Fish in my stash, and will hopefully be snapping up some of these amazing tiny polkadot buttons along with a few other bits and pieces... and I thought it was only fair to let you lovely folks know about the sale too :)

Once you've been shopping, I've got lots of tutorials you can get crafty with - all the photos in this post are of projects I've made with felt balls, buttons and ribbon from Big Fish (click on the photos for the full tutorial).

Friday 4 February 2011

Book Review: Papercrafting In No Time

In the run up to Christmas I was sent a selection of craft books to review, and was just too busy to share any of them with you! Tsk tsk, what a bad blogger I am, etc etc. There may be a few book reviews popping up on the blog over the next few weeks while I catch up :)

First up: Papercrafting in no time by Clare Youngs (published by Cico Books). Clare wrote Scandinavian Needlecraft, which I fell head over heels in love with last year so I was quite excited to see the projects in this book...

.... they didn't disappoint: this book is lovely!

It's a pretty large book, with over 170 pages and a massive 50 paper projects. Lots of them are decorative (mobiles, pictures, garlands, and lots of quirky ornamental bits and bobs to add charm to your decor) but there are also some "functional" projects (for example, gift boxes, a cake stand, paper bowls, and a gorgeous photo album) and a whole section full of cards.

All the projects feel fresh and modern, with lots of popular motifs sprinkled through the book (owls, russian dolls, birds, union jacks).

There's only a small guide to materials and tips on various paper cutting techniques at the back of the book, but each project contains detailed step-by-step instructions, with a photo illustrating each step.

You may need to buy a few bits of equipment before tackling most of the projects (like a craft knife and a cutting mat) but the shopping list isn't too long - and I'd want to buy those supplies just to be able to make the gorgeous woodland papercut. Almost all the templates need enlarging, even the smaller ones, but there's so much crammed into this book it's only to be expected, really.

I have to admit that I've seen similar projects to some of the simpler ideas in this book available elsewhere for free on various blogs (e.g. this leaf wreath is similar to one included in the book, ditto this bunting card, and the book also includes a snowflake curtain). Mentioning those links I in no way mean to imply there's been any copying going on anywhere, it's just interesting seeing the overlap between the worlds of craft publishing and blogging when dealing with similar themes and materials... and I think that stylistic overlap is actually a sign of how up to date this book is.

Often I see craft books that feel a bit old fashioned or a bit unsatisfying compared with the always fresh and exciting world of the online craft world, but I got really excited about this book and found myself ooohing over most of the projects. All the ladies at my knitting club did the same (and most of them have never read a craft blog in their lives!)

Papercrafting in no time is available from Cico Books, Amazon USAAmazon UK, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

[Disclaimer: Cico Books sent me a free review copy of this book, and the Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]

Thursday 3 February 2011

Felted Sweater Shopping

The postie delivered a great parcel last week - a big box full of felted woollen sweater pieces. Yum.

I've felted a few wool sweaters myself in the past but wanted to add a selection of bright colours to my stash without having to bother buying and shrinking and storing a gazillion bulky thrift store garments.

So I searched on Etsy instead and found Do Dad Chick who was selling just what I wanted: selection packs of small sweater pieces, in all sorts of lovely colours.

I'm really excited to have all these fab colours to play with, the texture of recycled sweater felt is so different to the felt I usually work with, all sorts of new crafty possibilities are opened up!

(All photos are from Do Dad Chick's Etsy shop)