Monday, 20 June 2011

Slow progress

Still beavering away on bits and pieces for the craft fair, but it feels a little slow going at the moment. Illness, teething and a busy weekend also put paid to starting anything new. We are also trying to finish painting/tidying/finishing our house up so we can get it on the market, so by the time I sit down at night after toddler bedtime, chores and DIY...I can manage a little bit of hand sewing but not much else! I long for a bigger house so we can stretch out a bit (and hoping for a little bit of sewing space too!), but it all seems so far away at the moment (I will not talk about the house we have seen and want, because our chances of getting it are small and I'm trying not to think about it too much...and failing...darn...).

Still, a few things have moved on. Another notebook cover is complete, and I have two more in the works. Squint photo for this one I'm afraid!
Different fabric for this one
I've also worked up one of the little Mogs I first posted about here. The fish button was a cute addition, and although the ribbon hanger is squint, I still quite like it. One to work from anyway!
I'm also going to work up some scraps into more hearts like the one I made for our friends baby here, but without the text, and just with some décor. 
You can't go wrong with red and white!
Even with my non-existant craft fair knowledge I'm thinking some smaller items might be a good idea yes? Anyway, I'll hopefully have more to report next week. I'm taking tonight off sewing to get some well-earned sleep, and hoping we get some good weather tomorrow so my toddler can burn off energy outside for once!

Oh and thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post, I will reply to you all!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Notebooks, notebooks and notebooks

I have decided, hopefully not foolishy, to do a small craft fair in August. But "Julie" you say, "you haven't even got your Folksy shop up yet, do you have enough stock for either?" I don't! Hence the start of a very frantic few weeks! To start with I've decided to do some more notebook covers, like the first one I made for myself here. I made a few improvements to the design, added a new 'Furtive Fox' silhouette and I have already hand embroidered three this week. I thought I was doing well with two, but a rainy day yesterday and a very long and delayed Montreal F1 Grand Prix on the telly tonight gave me a little more stitching time! Here is what I've finished so far...though please excuse the photography. I should have taken these photos during the day when we had some nice sunshine, but instead I spent the day playing in sand and water with my little girl, oh and catching her by the feet before she disappeared head-first into a wildlife pond - I kid you not - today has been a little too exciting for me, so tonight's sewing was rather therapeutic!
Freeform stitching, similar idea to the original
New fabric, so plumped for circular stitching. See next for details!
You can just see the detail of the peach stitches. It really gives the piece some nice texture
Farbric combo here, and again with the concentric circles
It feels really satisfying to have done quite a lot this week! Of course, now I need to actually turn these pieces of fabric into ACTUAL book covers, but that's for next week. I also plan to turn my fossil fish design into a pillow, which I also want to start next week. Time to stuff my handbag full of fabric for the train!  I have to say, I am REALLY motivated by deadlines. It really helps for me to have them, but setting then myself doesn't actually work, they need to relate to something external, like a craft fair...and an empty table...and hopefully lots of people coming in looking for lovely handmade things! I had better get cracking!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Scraps, scraps scraps

I've had a bit of a bounty of scraps this week!

First of all, there was my scrap swap with Rachael. It's our second scrap swap, and its such a simple but exciting thing to do. It's a great way of getting new fabrics, but in small manageable chunks that you can try out. I love getting little bits of things I've never seen, and discovering that I love them, or that they work really well with a fabric I already have or a project I'm working on. Gathering together bits and pieces of my own fabric and ribbon scraps, and wondering what Rachael will make with them is also fun! I love seeing the end product and spotting one of my scraps in there. 

So last week I received the following gorgeous drawstring bag from Rachael, filled to the brim with a wonderful stack of fabric. So many scraps and colours, and ribbon too! I still have the pile in its little bag. I haven't explored it all yet and in some ways I'm almost loathe to take it apart and mix it in with my own scrap pile. I like looking at it sitting there, tied by a lovely piece of brown spotty ribbon, just waiting to be used!
What a wonderful way to receive some scraps!
Wow...where to start?
More scraps came my way on Saturday while I was working doing tours at the museum where I work. I had a chance to visit a little shop in town where I'd noticed a small selection of craft supplies before. I felt like treating myself and I came away with some lovely bits and bobs. As well as some cute little embroidery scissors to use on the train I also picked up a lovely twisted set of recycled sari silk ribbon. What a great idea and great way to make use of scraps of such beautiful fabric! The bundle is about 24cm long and you get 100g of scraps for £3.99  which I think is quite a good deal!
There were different colour combinations to chose was so hard to choose!
So pretty!
I just couldn't resist these
So now my scrap basket is full, it's time to start some little scrappy projects! 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Welcome to the world...

So this week I wanted to make a little something for friends of ours who had a baby girl last month. We're hoping to swing by and meet the new member of the family soon so I was sparked into creative action. I didn't want to try and do anything too big, because I knew if I set out to make a quilt or something she'd be lucky to get it for her 18th birthday! What I wanted was something small, but handmade and very cute. When our daughter was born I found the time (somehow!) to make a small stuffed heart Christmas decoration, embroidered with her name and date of birth. I love having special decorations on the tree, and over the years as a family I hope to replace the rest of our cheap, standard ones with nice, meaningful pieces (and no doubt lots of decorations made by small hands!) This seemed like the perfect thing to make; hand sewing I can cope with on the train, and not much machine sewing is required so I even managed to make it in one day! I am quite proud of my determination to get this done!
The flowers and leaves of the fabric work so well as a backdrop!
I must admit that in my haste I drew the lettering on in biro and stitched over it. Biro! BIRO! Sometimes I am so lazy and unwilling to wait until I have the right tools to hand! Luckily this time it paid off and I made no mistakes. 

Also in progress this week...
I've finally started working on pulling together my bear embroidery, and my 'ANIMALS' lettering to make a drawstring bag for my daughters farm animals. It's getting there, this picture shows the front of the bag. Hopefully I can get this finished over the weekend.
Feels good to finally use some embroidery from the growing pile
I've also started to develop on the little mouse I made last week, and on the train I've embroidered some little cat faces. Not sure what form they will eventually take (little key hangers maybe? Or decorations?) but I can't wait to find out!
Original animal sketches
Developing those ideas a bit more...
The first cat to emerge
Here's another one!
I'm also working on getting enough bits and pieces together to open a little Folksy shop. I'm very excited and quite nervous! I'm struggling a little over pricing but I hope to be there soon. Hopefully some of my little stash of spare homemade things might find new homes! I do tend to make some extra things that I don't need for my family or for gifts - just because I wanted to make it, or I loved the idea or pattern. So if I make any extra money to help feed the fabric habit, hurrah! More pretty fabrics for me!

Speaking of pretty fabrics...the machine is calling! See you all next time!