Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Cosy Pebbles

I had a fantastic weekend, as I got to spend two days making things and still managed to spend a day with my fella. Perfect, I love bank holidays, if only I could have 3 days off every week.

I have been busy making more things for my Pebble collection, I have loads of ideas, so its been really easy to get stuck in and make.

My main problem at the weekend was running out of materials, I am now completely out of white felting fibres, wadding and organic cotton and could do with stocking up, again!

I am really pleased with what I have been making and have loads more ideas to develop. I think my main problem is my photo's, it always seems to be dull when I am ready to take photo's, so I think I need to re-take some of these.
In fact I have a big box of work that needs to be photographed and then listed on Folksy.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Favourite thing to make

I completed this new felt flower picture at the weekend. Its been a while since I made one of these in this size, (its a little bigger than normal) but as always I had a very nice time making it. I think they are my favourite things to make. I completed it on Saturday and took it straight down to Get Made (along with lots of other things).

Get made is Nottingham Craft Mafia's shop which is on St James Street. Its been closed for a few weeks while its been decorated and has opened again this week and it looks amazing and has loads new and exiting things in there. The opening hours have change and its now open 6 days a week. I believe its Monday - Saturday 11:30 - 4:30pm.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sew weekender

I had another fairly productive weekend, but they are just not long enough. I find I am just getting into a flow and its Sunday night again, would love to be able to spend more time making things, but that just not possible. (Sorry trying not to make this another rant about time.) For various reasons I am not really enjoying my proper job at the moment, so I don't think that helps, as I seem to spend the whole week day dreaming about doing other things. I am sure it will get better soon and I have been through similar moments before and I know I am lucky to have a job, so not really moaning, honest!
Anyway I did some more work on my Pebble Range. Didn't produce quite as much as I had hoped, but I completed another cushion. This is made from gorgeous hand woven organic fabric, I felt that kind of suited the organic nature of this range and I love the colour/ Really pleased with it, but the embroidery on the front took ages, but I think its worth it. Going to make some more incorporating handmade felt as I really like the pebble embroidery on the felt.

I also made pebble tea cosy mark two and I am really happy with it and think now I have worked out the best way of doing this will be able to make a few quite quickly. Again I want to make some using handmade felt.

I started to embroidery this piece, again using handmade felt, but this time with some colour added, but ran out of grey thread, doh! I really like it and I'm going to make some more like this, I am thinking I could also adapt slightly for cards.

I think this week I need to have a felting session after work, so I have lots of felt ready sewing at the weekend. I have recently been felting and then putting the felt into the washing machine to finish off. I really like the effect as it makes it more textured, it also makes the felt more sturdy, which when producing items like cushions and tea cosies is definitely a good thing. The negative side, is that its really hard to make large pieces using this method and I am getting through my felting fibres like there is no tomorrow. So roll on the weekend and another sewing session.

Sorry for the strange placing of the photo's, blogger seems to crash every time I move something, so I gave up.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Time for Tea

I made these tea cosies a couple of weeks ago now. I wanted to do something with the felt tree's I had made.
I kind of really like them, but to be honest they were a right pain to make and really time consuming, neither of these of good enough quality to sell either.

So I don't think I will be making any more, as the time spent making them, versus the how much I can charge for them just doesn't add up. But thought I would show them anyway as they are nice and bright and its a very grey day!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

More pebbles

I have been trying to find time to develop my Pebble range a bit more, I have loads of ideas and have been busy sketching and developing ideas on paper, but what I really need is a few days sat at my sewing machine.

I made this tea cosy sample at the weekend, fairly happy with it, but there is quite a bit I will be changing.

I have also been trying out my pebble design on various fabrics, including handmade felt which has then been put into the washing machine for extra textures and bobbly effect. Really please with this, but as this shrinks the felt it could be a very time consuming and expensive way of going about things.
I have also been trying out linen as I think it might be better to embroider pebbles directly onto a fabric rather than onto handmade felt and then attaching the felt to something. Today I have treated myself to some beautiful organic linen fabric in some very gorgeous mutted tones.

In my real job I was sent a sample of padding PCV, or 'Pleather' as we call if (Plastic leather), I really like the way this has turned out and really like the contrast of textures. But not sure if wipe clean fabrics (especially cushions) is the market I am going for!!

So the plan is to continue making some product samples over the next week or so and hopefully I will then have a small range, which I can continue to develop.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Craft Fair

I did my first craft fair of the year on Saturday, luckily I went with very low expectations. I knew due the location and time of year its wasn't going to be great, but as I haven't done one for so long I wanted something to ease me back into it. I had a nice day and met lots of lovely people and it was really useful setting up my stall again. But didn't even cover my stall fee!! oops!

My stall was next to Dave from The No Such Disco, check out his lovely Folksy shop. http://www.folksy.com/shops/thenosuchdisco , I did buy one of his books for my god daughter Molly, I am sure she will love it. I also got to meet some other lovely Folksy people.

There were some good stalls, but without meaning to sound nasty, some not what you would call contemporary crafts and were a bit more hobby craft. I also wouldn't describe some of them as handmade, but then some of these stalls seems to be doing much better than I was, so there you go. I perhaps just need to choose what I do more carefully next time.

My stall looked ok, but I need to do some work on it over the next few months as its looked a bit crowded & cluttered. I need a better was of displaying my cards, I also need more signs and prices. I am going to try and stick to 3 ranges or products, I think this might help make my stall look less random, and help display by products better.

So although not the best day as far as sales, lots of useful lessons learnt!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Felt Flowers

I have been making my Felt Flowers range for a while now. I love making these, I love that I get to combine lots of techniques, I especially like that I get to sit down in the evening and do hand embroidery (its very relaxing). I also like these pieces as I think they are fairly unique, I haven't seen too many things which are similar, they are also fairly organic and I never quite know how its going to turn out.

I have been thinking recently about how I can develop this style. At the moment I just make cards and pictures in this range. But for a while I have been thinking about what else I can make. The problem I am having is that they are fairly delicate, so am I am not sure how well they would transfer to usable items such tea cosies and cushions.

I think I need to do some experimenting and try and produce some sturdy versions, but I am worried that this could mean I loose some of the elements I like. I think I need to spend some time making samples. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Clear out

As part of my 'what am I doing' ness, I have been looking at old work, its funny how some pieces that I was really pleased with a year I ago, I now no longer like. Its good to look back, I can certainly see how I have developed and think my work has got loads better. That's kind of encouraging.

With this in mind I have been having a bit of a clear out. I am doing a a local craft fair on Saturday and think I may bring a bit of a sale box with me, it would be good to find homes for my older work and things that have been sitting around a while.

I am hoping that by having a clear out this will make way for lots of new and exciting pieces and also mean I have less of a random look at my Christmas Stalls.

The images are of some initial ideas for Christmas cards, what do you think?


I have been doing lots of thinking recently. I have loads of ideas a I want to develop further, but just don't have the time to do this. I would love to spend a week doing nothing but designing and making.

Recently I have been feeling that I have been producing work here and there but without any direction or focus. So I have decided to narrow down what I produce over the next few months, into 3 ranges; Felt Flowers, Pebbles and Stitch Burn. I hoping that by narrowing down what I make, it will give me a little more direction.

I am also not doing very well on sales. I know I need to spend some time, applying for some more craft fairs and getting my work in some more shops and galleries and may try some different online shops to. But I don't really want to approach anywhere until I have spent some more time developing my new work and ideas. Again this all falls down to time.

I have also been thinking about the time it takes to makes things and how much I charge. I was talking to a friend at the weekend, who is actually doing really and is starting to make a living from this. This was great news, as she is lovely and has worked really hard. But she also has a very good business brain. She has developed quite a commercial range, but she seems really good at producing lovely work, but also cuts out some of the details to save time, so she can charge her work at a competitive rate, but still allow for her time spent.

This is not something I am very good at, most of my pieces are one off's, but I probably don't charge one off prices, so I think I need to look as doing some pieces that I can make several of the same thing and maybe need to look at how to make things quicker.

So, basically I have lots going round in my head and still not much direction.... perhaps need to do more thinking..

Monday, 9 August 2010

Hucknall Craft Fair

Come and see me at Hucknall Craft Fair on Saturday 14th August.

Open 10:30 - 3:30pm, John Godber Community Centre, ogle Street, Hucknall, NG15 7FQ

Thursday, 5 August 2010


Recently I have been trying to buy less, partly to save money and partly because I have a lot of stuff already and do I really need more.

This certainly applies to my stash of craft supplies, I have several boxes and baskets full of fabric, wool, wool tops and fibres and general bits and bobs and I had been trying to have a bit of a use up before buying more. But I have genuinely ran out of some things and I have not been able to explore some ideas as I don't have the right stuff. So this week I am going to purchase some more commercial felt, some white wool tops, some plain fabric and small buttons. But I am going to try stick to this list. Hmmm we will see how this goes.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Lollipop Tree's

I was struggling with a project at the weekend, so decided to move onto something completely different. I also wanted to move away from my sewing machine for a bit. I love hand embroidery and find it very relaxing, its also good way to get my head together. So I made these felt embroidery lollipop tree's.

They are an idea I have had for a while now, so its nice to finally bring them to life. I haven't decided what I am going to do with them yet, I have several ideas floating round my head, but it nice to sit and sew for a few hours.

Here are the original designs from my sketch book.

Monday, 2 August 2010


I plan to do a few craft fairs leading up to Christmas, so in a bid to be organised I have started to put together a list of what I need to make. This has made me think about what I should and shouldn't be making and what new things I want to produce.

So this week I have been going through photographs of things I have made over the last year or so and I have created contact sheets, I have roughly put them into ranges eg: Felt, appliqué etc... I thought it might be helpful to see what I have made at a glance and compare how they sit with my other products. I am hoping this will help me decide what I should and should be making as well as helping me come up with some new ideas. We'll see how it goes, but its nice to see things together.


Its funny how you can work on an idea one day and everything falls into place, ideas spark other ideas and you are pleased with everything you do. You then pick up the same project a few days later and nothing goes right and its a real struggle and something that was really exciting two days ago has become difficult. Well that was me and my new pebble project on Friday.

For once I was very sensible, and decided to put it down and work on something else and then come back to it another day, in the end have produced another cushion cover, which although I am pleased, its nothing like the original design and was very hard work to get it to this stage.

I wanted to try and combine some patterned fabric with the pebble embroidery panel, but I could find anything to go with it, I think I am normally quite good a combining colours and patterns, but it just wasn't happening. Maybe it was just a rubbish idea, maybe its just wasn't right in this particular piece, maybe I should just stick to plain fabric?.....