Monday, 31 August 2009

Bunting, cake and craft centres

Just thought you would like to see the personalised bunting I made for my friends wedding this weekend. I was really pleased with it and thought it worked really well. I just wish I had been able to make more! It was a great day and I think we all had a fantastic time.

Our friend Sarah made the cake. I am sure you will agree it's the most beautiful cake ever. Here is a link to her website -, where you can see many more wonderful cakes. They taste fab as well, although sadly I got a bit drunk and forgot to have any, too busy talking and dancing!

The field we were staying in was opposite Cedar Farm Craft Centre, which if you are ever in the area is well worth a look and has a gorgeous cafe.

Thursday, 27 August 2009


I'm feeling a little directionless today. Part of the problem is having so many ideas and things I want to do in my head and then just not having enough time to explore and develop any of them.

Because I work full time, its really hard to find time to make and design things. At the moment I seem to be making a really wide range of items and I am thinking perhaps I need to concentrate on one area. But then I kind of feel like its a bit scary to commit.

I suppose part of the problem is that sales are quiet at the moment, so its not like something is selling really well and its obvious which area to concentrate on.

I am a member of Nottingham Craft Mafia and I had my little review last night, which I suppose is why I have really started thinking about it (although to be honest its been at the back of my mind a while). It was good to get some well needed advice and opinions. But the advice seemed to be to concentrate more on the textile pictures and wall hangings.

Now in a way this is what I want to hear, as this is what I enjoy doing most and I personally think I am best at. But artworks seem really hard to sell, as its a more personal thing and people seem to consider a picture as more of a commitment. I think it just seems a much harder market to crack, which I think is why I have been making lots of other things.

I think perhaps that maybe I should just stop thinking about things too much and just get on with it, and make what I enjoy and hopefully by doing that sales will follow. Its just a bit hard sometimes! ...... sorry I have gone on a bit today!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Mondays are nicer when you are at home!

Had the day off from the proper job, which has been lovely and fairly productive. I have finished my first Christmas decoration and made two and half cushions covers. So thought I would show you some of what I have done. Hope you like them? They will be added to folksy soon.


I have just got back from the wonderful Greenman festival held in the Brecon Beacons in wales. We had such a fantastic time. The weather mostly held out for us and was even lovely at times. But I can't quite believe how cold it was on Friday night, I was wearing everything I had!

It's a really relaxed and friendly festival, which is set in a really beautiful location. Saw some great bands, my highlights were Bon Iver, British sea power, Grizzly Bear, Noah and the whale and the Aliens. So we had a fantastic weekend, feeling a bit dazed this morning, but going to try and make some new things, so I have some work new work to write about.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Here are a few of my favourite things....

So far my blog has really just shown my own work, I thought it might be nice to show you a few of my favourites things. Now I really enjoyed thinking about this, and as the list grew, I decided to limit it to things I actually owned! Even with this limitation its so going to be several parts.

So here is part one....

Orla Kiely stem wall paper - This wall paper is in what used to be our dinning room and is increasingly becoming my studio. I really love her prints, and this wall paper never fails to cheer me up.

Fox lampshade - This is also in my studio / dinning room, again I really like the pattern. I brought it from a lovely lighting shop in Hebden Bridge a couple of years, but have since seen they have a website and do lots of other gorgeous designs.

Collection of orange and yellow vases - These are by the fire place in the living room, and I think they look lovely together, and sit well with the dark wood we have in their. I would like to expand this collection, but Jon thinks we may have enough! Booo!

Monday, 17 August 2009

I need a time machine

Well I didn't have the most productive weekend. I wrote myself a big list of things I wanted to get done and didn't really tick anything off the list. I almost finished the bunting I am making for a friends wedding and made a couple felt Christmas decorations, so that was good....

But I never quite got round to the monster felt and sewing session I had planned. I didn't join and get my head round twitter (apparently its a really good way of promoting your shop). I didn't list any new items in my shops. I did take any new photo's for this blog.

I know I am not alone in all this, but I could really do with some more time!!

So as I have been so unorganised the photo's today are of some cards I have been making. They are really sketches and designs for my felt pieces, but I quite like them as cards.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Cafetiere Cosies

I have just put these cafetiere cosies in my folksy shop

They are made from handmade felt which I have made using a 3D felt method. So basically its one peice of felt with no sticthing round the sides. Unfortunatley this does mean you get a slightly organic shape, but hopefully this adds to the piece.

To felt in this way you create a plastic template (I normally use a thick platsic bags) and you put layers of fibres either side of the template and wrap them round. You then start felting, once everything is slightly fleted you can cut out the template and continue to felt, but you need to be careful not to felt the two sides together.

I really like felt making using this method, and I am currently working on some bags and purses (hopefully some pictures next week). But as with all felt making you are not really sure how its going to turn out, and once it has shrunk you are often left with something a completey to different size to what you had planned. But I suppose at least with this method, you still have your template so its easier to judge what size you need to try next time!

Monday, 10 August 2009

more neddle felting..

And here is the cake tea cosy

neddle felting

I've been doing quite a lot of needle felting again. Its something I really enjoy doing, I like the fact you can be quite detailed and almost draw with the fibres. I like the colours and textures and its a great way of decorating my hand made felt in a more controlled way. But what I like most is sitting there and taking all my frustrations and anger, by stabbing away at the piece I am working on.

For those who are not familiar with needle felting, you basically have a large barbed needle that you use to stab/ poke fibres into a piece of fabric, felt and organza work well. Its very therapeutic and quite addictive. (you also need a thick piece of foam, and if doing if on your lap a cushion is a good idea)

Jon gets slightly annoyed as I often sit and do this on the sofa at night and I suppose for him having someone sitting next to him stabbing away probably isn't that relaxing. But it works for me.

I made a cake tea cosy, while working at Get Made (Nottingham Craft Mafia Shop) on Saturday morning, but not had chance to take a photo of it yet. Maybe I'll add this later in the week

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Stitch and burn

Last week I finally got round to treating myself to a soldering iron, so I can do some more stitch and burn pieces.

I now just need to improve my stash of man made shiny fabric, (which is not something I normally buy), so I have a better and wider choice of colours.

My first attempt wasn’t great as the fabric I tried to burn just turned to tar, so was left black lumps everywhere. But recent attempts have been a bit more successful.

I really like the effect, although apart from pictures I haven’t thought of a use yet. You are normally left with a spiky and slightly delicate piece. A friend of mine has just used this method to make some beautiful cushions. They look great, but are very sharp.

I think I may try making some cards.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

A good couple of days until

Well I had quiet a successful couple of days. It was nice to have some time off from the proper job. I probably didn't make quite as many things as I would have hoped, but then I find that's normally the the case. I also did a bit of tidying and finishing off, so that made me feel better. Here is a picture of a new peg bag. I think I am really pleased with it. I will add some more pictures are new things later in the week.

So I was feeling quite jolly until last night, when I decided to try and make myself a wrap skirt. On the packet it said easy and 2 hours!! I think I just don't have the ability to read and follow instructions. I made so many silly & stupid mistakes. I think its almost beyond saving and that I will never finish it anyway. So again another attempt at dress making goes wrong. I won't try again for another 5 years and when I do will probably repeat this cycle yet again! Oh well.