Monday, 29 June 2009

Super Organised Craft Room

I have been trying to organise my craft supplies and craft room in general for a while now. It is difficult because my craft room is also the dining room. Trying to balance the two so we can actually use the dining room is difficult, especially as I have a habit of leaving things on the table and I am not very tidy. 

I had most materials in boxes of similar items, such as threads, buttons, lace and ribbon etc. I found this kept getting very messy and it was difficult to find exactly what I wanted, when I wanted it. A new plan was needed.

I tend to work by colour when I am making things and particularly when I am starting a new project. I was inspired by seeing the workspace of designers in Sew Hip and decided to try storing my supplies by colour rather than purpose. If I was going to do this I reasoned that I should really use storage that was clear so I could see all the lovely colours. I tested this out with some glass pasta jars, they looked lovely, but the jars were a little small and heavy. I then had a thought, there is an old fashioned sweet shop in town with big plastic jars to hold the sweets, perhaps they might have some old jars they no longer wanted. I asked and they were really helpful saying they would save them for me until I had as many as I wanted. So far I have used 10 jars.

I now have all my supplies, excluding fabric and yarn, in these jars. It hasn't cost me anything and I have been able to reuse something that would have been thrown away. I am really pleased with the finished result, being able to see these jars full of lovely colours is a bit like being in a sweet shop, but better for your teeth!

I am getting another bookcase soon, one my parents no longer need (recycling again), then I will be able to spread these jars across the two top shelves, making it easy to get at them. This has really set a standard for my storage now and I will have to make sure my fabric, felt and yarn is also stored in such a pretty and useful way. 

It was not possible to get the labels off all the jars so at some point when I have some free time I will cover the labels with some pretty paper in the relevant colours. I may also do something with the lids to make them look more interesting, perhaps covering them with some fabric. 

The other things I like most about my craft room are my craft books. I have filled a whole shelf now, it is great having them all in one place. I have a collection of modern craft books as well as older ones going back as far as the 1950s, I can always find something to inspire me.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Yellow Elephant

I have made and elephant today. I used my favourite fabric, a 1970s pillow case in yellows, which as you would expect from me, came from a charity shop. There was a false start with this two legged version.

The next attempt is much better and has four legs making it look more like an elephant and allowing it to stand up. 

I need to work on the legs to make the underside better but this is just the prototype.

I am glad this second elephant wasn't quite right as I get to keep it! I will work on a third version now which will hopefully be good enought to put on folksy.


Here is a third elephant to list on folksy, I have sorted the legs out better and made the eyes and ears more interesting. 

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Boot Fair Bargains

It was nice when I woke up on Sunday morning so I decided to go to the local boot fair again after my success last week. I didn't do as well this week but I did get some interesting things. A DMC Bunnykins cross stitch kit for £2.50, it is of a bath time scene. I enjoy doing cross stitch when I don't have the inspiration to design something myself. I started on this kit on Sunday afternoon and shall pick it up in the evenings when I don't have the energy for anything more complicated.

I spent £1 on three embroidery books, they tell you about the different stitches and include lots of charts for small designs. Might be useful.

I also got a bag full of tapestry wool for 50p, I didn't have any tapestry wool before. I will get some canvas soon and try to make up my own design, I am not sure what to use it for yet, perhaps a cushion.

I visited the regular stall that has vintage linens and sewing items. I bought some buttons from the rummage box. I only spent 60p this week, my favourites were some cute pale blue flower buttons, on the right of the photo.

The only other thing I bought was a tiny Upcott teddy bear for my collection. It was only 10p and I like to give them a good home.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Craft Weekend

Mum and I managed to make lots of things this weekend, we had fun shopping for supplies in charity shops and at a boot fair. This picture shows all of our creations.

We had a small embroidery frame each for some creative embroidery, this is what I came up with.

I had my first go at machine quilting with my new sewing machine foot. It was really good fun. I have made a small patchwork mat with a quilted wiggly pattern to stand my sewing machine on.

I made us a tiny doll each, our first project of the weekend was to given them hair, faces and to dress them. This is mine, she is called Strawberry. I am hoping to work on this idea for my Folksy shop. I need to find a better way of doing the hair and slightly alter the body shape to make them easier to dress.

We each had a piece of 100% recycled wrapping paper that we found when we went for lunch at Ryton Organic Gardens. Mum covered a box to make a pretty seed packet storage box. I raided the recycling for cardboard to make a photo frame. I am really pleased with the results.

We had a wonderful weekend and really enjoyed all the things we got up to.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Craft Weekend

My mum is coming to visit today for three days. We are going to have a crafty weekend. We have no plans yet of what we are going to do, I have lots of crafts books and magazines to provide some inspiration, plenty of materials, and a tidy craft room. I thought we could visit the local charity shops looking for things we can use. I would like to find some more buttons and some wools jumpers we can felt.

I have made two small dolls, an idea I have been working on for my Folksy shop, we can have one each and dress them over the weekend, they also need hair and faces.  They are about 4 inches tall and will hopefully look very cute when we have finished.

Knitted Necklace

My attempt to make a necklace out of knitted beads has worked very well. I have used up all of my Panda Cotton yarn now, luckily there was enough to make a decent length necklace.

The multi-coloured yarn makes interesting beads, but I think I am going to try some plain yarn next. 

I am not sure if this necklace is good enough to put in my Folksy shop. I will try using some other yarns before I decide whether to try and sell them.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Latest Brooches

I have just listed some more brooches on Folksy. They are the last of my completed ones, I don't have anything else that I have even started for my shop so I need to get some new inspiration. I am very pleased with the brooches I have, though I should make some more to broaden the range of colours I have.

I have started experimenting with making a knitted necklace by making small knitted beads, it is going well, but a long way off being finished. I am trying to find the best size for a necklace, but also a size that it isn't too hard to make, the knitting is fine, trying to get the suffing in is quite hard.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Denim Bag

I have made a denim bag out of some old clothes. I had the bottoms of a pair of jeans, the pocket from some pyjamas, a piece of ribbon, a scrap of fabric, a handful of buttons, and a shirt.

Here are some picture of the finished bag, each side is different. One side has a pocket that I have decorated with some red buttons. The other side has a piece of polka dot fabric and some pretty ribbon.

The bag is lined with stripy pink fabric from a shirt, the popper fastening from the shirt front has been used as the fastening for the bag. The strap is also made from the shirt, there are popper fastenings on each end so it can be attached/removed from the bag as wanted.

I made this brooch to compliement the bag, using two different coloured blue yarns to give the knitting a denim feel.

I made the strap far too long which left me with plenty to make a fabric bracelet like those in this months Sew Hip magainze. 

More brooches

I have just listed some more brooches in my Folksy shop, there are a couple more to list, but I need to take better photos so will do those tomorrow.

This brooch has an interesting combination of fabrics and a cute flower button, and it is purple which is always good.

I really like this combination, although it isn't colourful it looks great and would work well on a dark jacket or bag. Almost want to keep this one myself.

Another purple one!

First Folksy Sale!

I have had my first sale on Folksy! It was such a wonderful thing to wake up to on a Saturday morning. This is the brooch that has sold.

I have been making more of an effort this week in the Folksy forums, on my blog, I have even join twitter! I dont have much spare time each day but having made a sale it feels that it is worth the effort to promote my shop. 

Now I must go to the post office, shame it picked today to rain!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


I have been inspired to put more effort into making my brooches and filling my Folksy shop with pretty things. I have been rummaging in my fabric drawers and button boxes to find interesting and coordinating bits to decorate the knitted flowers I had already made. Here are some pictures of my favourites.

The fabric on this orange brooch is from a favourite old shirt.

I love this cute flower button.

I have found some lovely bits of fabric I would like to use, now I need to knit some flowers in matching colours. I hope this extra effort will help me to get my first sale.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Baby Doll

I have always loved Jean Greenhowe's knitted dolls, I attempted my first one (a baby scarecrow) when I was at primary school. I love how quick and easy her toys are and think they make great gifts, I hope the recipients agree! I have just finished this baby doll toy for a friends baby, I hope they like it and the two baby jumpers I have also knitted.

Chair Cushion

After reading an article in Sew Hip magazine I fell in love with Anna Maria Horner's wonderful fabric. I particularly liked seeing the different patterns together. Take a look at her website for more inspiration

I bought a bag of scraps from her online shop, to begin with I was reluctant to use them in fear of wasting them. However, I read an article in Elle Decoration about patchwork as a fashion trend in clothing and interiors, the photos inspired me to make a patchwork cushion for one of my Series 7 chairs.

I used my Anna Maria Horner fabric in two different width strips to make an intesting patchwork and to combine the different patterns.

I am really impressed with the results and still have plenty of pieces left over for another project.