Saturday, 30 January 2010

First felt of the year

I've been busy making felt for some custom orders . It been a while since I have done any felt making so I have been really enjoying myself. I have discovered that its much easier to do it in the kitchen as I can stand up, which seems to help things felt quicker and stops the back ache.

The felt shown is for a hot water bottle cover. I'll show you some pictures when its finished.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Cabbage - part two

Last night I finally got round to drawing the great cabbage I received in my veggie box this week. It has been years since I have done a drawing like this, and I must say I really enjoyed the experience. I'm fairly pleased with the result and its certainly encouraged me to do more pencil drawings.

Last week I also did a few quick sketches whilst working in Nottingham Craft Mafia Shop. Again very enjoyable. This is more the style of drawing I have been doing of the past few years. I love drawing in pen, it makes you be more certain with the marks you are making and you can make some really interesting marks and textures. Whilst at college I went through a stage of drawing with a stick and ink, I think I may try this again soon.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


Maybe there are some things you shouldn't blog about and maybe writing a whole posting about cabbage is one of them, but here goes....

I get a veggie box and its sitting on the floor, next to my desk at work. On the top is the most beautiful savoy cabbage. It looks lovely and I really just want to sit and draw it. It would be a close up drawing I think, showing the veins and texture, it would be a pencil drawing with lots of deep shading. Its such a shame I am at work, might have to try and draw it tonight seeing as I have the urge.

On Christmas day I took some photo's of my beautiful red cabbage, not done anything with them yet, but was really loving the colours and patterns when it was chopped in half.

Valentines Shopping Evening

Just wanted to let you know about the next shopping evening at Get Made, Nottingham on Monday 1st February and show you Jo Want's latest shopping evening poster. (I think this is one of my favourites).

Monday, 25 January 2010

Little Miss Messy

Well so much for making some felt as starting ideas for new projects yesterday. By the time I finished cleaning the house and then giving my work space a well needed sort out I had ran out of time.

I'm a tidy and organised person who seems to be really messy too!! Not sure how I manage it. I love things being organised and planned and live in quite a tidy house. But I just don't have the ability to work in a tidy way. So I often find myself having to have a big tidy up and sort out (normally when I run out of space on the table). I think it would be much better if I could do this as I go along, but I just never seem to manage it. When I was really busy before Christmas things were in such a mess that I started using the ironing board!

According to Jon I'm a very messy cook too! I must try harder!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Commissions and Sales

So far January has been a pretty good month. I was expecting things to be really slow, but I have had several sales in my Folksy and Etsy shops. I have also had a commission from someone I work with for two felt hot water bottle covers. And yesterday whilst working in the Nottingham Craft Mafia shop I got a commission for a felt lampshade. So its been a great start to the year.
I was going spend the day working on some ideas for a new project, which hopefully is going to lead to something to show at Sherwood Art week. But I think I better do some felt making first.

The top photo is of some unfinished heart brooches. These are made from layering fabric and then cutting back to reveal the layers below, machine embroidery is then added. I hope to add them to my shop this week.

This lampshade is for sale in The Nottingham Craft Mafia shop, I have been asked to make a purple one.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Nottingham Craft Mafia Giveaway

Sorry, almost forgot to tell you....

Nottingham Craft Mafia does a monthly blog giveaway, and this month you have a chance to win one of my felt poppy pictures. Just follow this link for details and to enter you just need to leave a comment on the NCM site. http//

Each month a different maker donates something for the giveaway, so its a good thing to keep an eye on, as there has been some great prizes so far.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Its looking being a busy year. My proper job is starting to get busy after a very quiet few months, and there are lots of exciting things on the crafty horizon that I should be able to tell you more about in the next few weeks.

One of these things is Sherwood Art Week. They are currently taking applications for artists, so I am in the process of filling out my form. I hate filling out application forms, even for something like this. I get really nervous and scared of rejection. This was especially hard as I am writing about something I haven't made yet or really thought about.

But its good in a way as it does start you thinking and gets you to make a few decisions about what you are going to make. Last year I made several large scale pieces, which although I really enjoyed making, they were a nightmare to frame and store, so I think I need to think smaller this year, especially as it looks like I am going to have lots on. But I am quiet excited and can't wait to get started.

The photo's are from last years event.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Cold Feet...

..... not anymore. I had such cold at work the other week, that I did some searching on Folksy for hand knitted socks and decided to treat myself. They arrived on Friday and they are lovely. Sorry about the strange photo, but I was home alone and its difficult taking pictures of your own socks.
Here is a link to Legyviel in Rivendell where I brought them from.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Many years ago

I've not been at home this weekend, so haven't managed to do any new work (apart from an hour doing some bits in my sketch book, I'll tell you more about that another time). So due to the lack of any new work to show you, the photo's are of a piece I did about 15 years ago. Its about the only thing from my degree that has survived, I think have chucked everything else out, although there maybe some bits in the garage. This piece even takes pride of place in my living room and I have become very fond of it over the years.

Its made from ink drawing on paper, which have been sewn and stuck together, I have molded and sewn some of the paper to create a slightly 3D effect. I used to base alot of my work on architecture, so perhaps this is something I should revisit.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Everyday Inspiration

I follow several blogs. At the moment two of my favourites are both trying to produce a piece of work a day. I love this idea and think it could lead to some really exciting things. I am really enjoying reading both of them and seeing what wonderful things they are producing.

I would love to do something like this, but just don't have the time, perhaps I would manage one a week!!

Lu Summers from is trying to produce a piece of mixed media work every day for year. So far she has produced some wonderful pieces and I am really looking forward to seeing what else she produces this year.

Sue from is aiming to produce a sketch a day. As a lapsed drawer myself, I think this is such a great idea. I always struggle to know what to draw and never get enough practice to get to the stage I was at when at college, so find it all really disheartening. So I think Sue's idea is brilliant, as its a great way of practicing and developing her drawing skills (which are fab!), again I am really looking forward to seeing what else she produces. I think you can already see loads of progress and its only the 2nd week in January.

I'm sure you'll agree its really inspiring stuff!

Wooo hooo!

Just had my first ever Etsy sale. It was only a handmade felt heart, but you have to start somewhere. Feeling very pleased.

I have been on Etsy a while, but with no success and had let most of my listings expire, but a friend of mine has recently started selling on there and has been doing ok, so I thought it might be worth giving it another try. So last week I spent some time list some new items and having a sort out. I decided to go on the Etsy forum and see if I could get some feedback about my shop as this can be really useful. Not only did I get some really positive as well as useful feedback, one of the people looking also brought something. Yey!

So this as well as a really nice hot chocolate at lunch has cheered me up. I am not very good in January and the grey weather doesn't help, roll on spring time and lots more sales!!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Grey Day

Not feeling very inspired today. I felt quite positive yesterday after finishing my Valentines Heart Brooches. Have started to list them today.

But now I am struggling to think what to make next. This isn't really like me, as I normally have a big long list of things I want to make. I think part of the problem is that I feel like a should work on some more new things, but the trouble with this is having the time to develop my ideas properly. Rather than' I have two hours spare lets making something.'

I was lying in bed last night thinking what to do next and my mind was blank. I think maybe I am thinking too much about a change in direction or brand new items and maybe work just naturally develops with time and it doesn't need to be such a big thing.

I don't think January, diets and greyness help much either.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Love is in the air....

I was meant to be going to Yorkshire for a friends party this weekend. But we decided it was a bit daft to drive in this weather, so I had an unexpected weekend at home.

So I put this additional time to good use by making some Valentines Heart brooches / Cards. I'll be putting them in my Folksy and Etsy shop this week, but thought I would give you a sneeky preview. I am really pleased with them, especially the pink ones.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


I am a big fan of colour. I always find my self attracted to brightly colour things and normally use alot of colour in my work. I just can't seem to help myself. But I do go through phases where I use loads of one colour for a while. In the summer everything I was doing, was pink, purple and green, then in the last few month I have making lots of red things. Not sure what I will be moving onto next, although last night I was using pink, purple and brown!

I always think that maybe I should try using more muted colours and some plain fabric. When I went to the knit and stitch show in November, most of the things I liked seems to be neutral and muted, which was quite strange for me. But I still ended up buying lots of bright and patterned things.

But maybe its time to give the muted neutrals ago, but obviously with some hints of colour and pattern added. I just need to find some nice fabric now.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


Yey, at last we final have a decent amount of snow in Nottingham. Somehow it always seems to pass us by. A snow day would have been lovely today, a bit of crafting followed by some fun in the snow, but unfortunately it wasn't that bad and I live and work by main roads so don't really have an excuse for not being able to get in.

Coming back to work hasn't been as bad as expected, although we are still very quiet, so I am not doing much, but I don't think this will last long as its looking like being a busy year.

But I am really missing being at home during the day. I really enjoyed having time to potter about. To be honest I probably didn't make the most of it. So I am now back to trying to motivate myself to make things inbetween working full time. I have written a small list of things I wanted to make this week, but haven't started yet. I think maybe this week just needs to be about finding my feet. I have brought some things into work so I can make cards at lunch, but I think I may go sledging instead!!

Having said all of that I have been busy listing things in my Etsy and Folksy shops, still have a few more things to list, but they are starting to look a bit better.

Monday, 4 January 2010

A Good Start

Well the new year started has well, as I have already had my first Folksy sale of the year. This is very exciting as this shop has been very slow. So I have my fingers crossed that its the start of things to come.

I spent yesterday sorting my stock box and getting organised. I also took lots of photo's of items I want to list over the next few days (I have a lot of listing to do). I can't wait till the spring as my winter photo's are so rubbish, even yesterday when it was fairly sunny everything looks dark, but they will have to do for now.

As well as new listings and having a sort out of my Folksy shop and I am also planning on having a bit of a relaunch in my Etsy Shop. I haven't had any sales through Etsy yet. I find Etsy so huge and competitive, but I know some people who do really well through it, so I think as I do have quite a bit of stock at the moment (and no fairs planned) I may as well try putting some new items on Etsy, I certainly have nothing to loose.

I have also been looking at some of my prices. I know I have written about pricing lots of times. Its something I find quite hard. I know how you are meant to do it, but I think if I really charge my time at a decent rate I would never sell anything. Having said that I have been looking at some of my items particularly my textiles art pieces and I think maybe I am selling them too cheaply. So I have increased some of my prices slightly. I have been thinking about this for a while and have come to the conclusion that I really need to charge a bit more for some items. But I hope the prices still seem reasonable and affordable.

So all in all yesterday was a good and productive day. Here's to many more this year.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The Plan

Following yesterdays post about the new year and setting myself some goals, I have decided to call them aspirations and keep them quite loose, so they are more things I would like to do, rather than some thing that could become a big stress.

So my 2010 aspirations are:
(for Petal Textiles, I do have some personal ones too, but won't bore you with them!)
  • Do some more printing
  • Develop a new range of items (including some things under a fiver)

  • Do some more large scale textiles art pieces

  • Move away from everything being floral

  • Develop ideas more / more sketch book work

  • Develop my sewing skills (maybe do a course)

  • Teach my first felt workshop.

  • Sell more things

  • Get work in some more shops & galleries

  • Re-launch my Etsy site & improve my Folksy site
  • Do some more craft fairs

  • Take part in Sherwood art week again (could be hard as it clashes with a big event at work)
  • Continue blogging.

  • Enjoy myself!

Oooh that's quite scary seeing it there is words, but at the same time I think it will be good to have something to look back at and hopefully many of these aspirations will actually happen. Feel like I need to go and make some things now!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

My new year plan .... coming soon...maybe

I suppose you are meant to reflect and review your year before the start of the new year, so you are raring to go on new years day, but I am a little behind and have been too busy chilling out to think too deeply about life.

2009 has been a good year and actually when I think about it I have achieved alot. This time last year I was just making for friends and was just crafting for fun, so its been a big step to start start selling, and considering I have only really been doing this for a few months I have done quite well.

Its been a lot harder than I thought, not just the finding time to make things ( Hard when you work full time), but the business and promotion side is difficult and has taken more time than I thought it would. If I look at the really successful crafters they probably spend as much time promoting as they do making.

I think I some times forget that this is a new venture and that things take time (I am not the most patient person in the world), I am not sure what I was expecting, but I suppose I was hoping that selling would be easier, especially online.

At the same time as wanting Petal Textiles to be a success and trying to move this forward I have also be trying to remember that I do this before its fun, its what I enjoy and what I do to relax. Some times when you have loads to do and have a big deadline its really easy to forget this and I really don't want this to feel like another job.

I have been thinking about setting myself some goals for 2010, but I am not sure this is a good idea, as it makes everything sound a bit too serious and do I really want to be stressing out as I haven't met these goals or targets? Maybe I just need to call it something else! I suppose first I need to decide what they are, but I think for now its time to do some more chilling out.
So I am going into 2010, happy, chilled out, but completely directionless. Time for a sherry!

(The photo's are of my new living room cushions, want to make a few more too!)