Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Busy Busy Busy!

Hello there!

Well it's all been hectic in my world, Hubby and I have been doing way too much socialising!

I delivered the Union Jack baby quilt I made for my friend's baby Daughter - it looked amazing, they loved it, so all the nerves and hard work was worth it.

Also, as I previously mentioned I have started the Christmas Crafts, so I have been busy cutting templates for the things I want to make, making cards, priming the wooden Christmas decorations, buying paint and surprisingly taking orders for Christmas. So the 150 cards I have already made are effectively sold, which is amazing and really satisfying, but means I have to up my productivity - I forsee quite a few late nights ahead!

I have also been looking at purchasing a Sizzix Texture Boutique - I like the idea of embossing and like the look of the Cuttlebugs, but as I have a Slice, this seems an expensive purchase just for embossing. I am going to sleep on it and probably buy it tomorrow.

Hubby and I are on mini holibobs to Amsterdam this weekend, which will be fun as usual - today's pic was taken on our last trip, I hope to take a few more pics this weekend. It's tricky when you have been to a place quite a lot, you need to be careful not to take photos of the same old same old.

I am also happy that we are going back to Amsterdam, as I can visit my fave shop Hema, which stocks some amazing craft things, so I intend to make a few purchases to add to my stash. There is also a Monday morning textile market - which is really amazing. Not sure Hubby is down with the textile market, but I am sure I can deposit him somewhere with a book and coffee!

Following on from the Berkhamsted Craft Market, I have been working on my presentation for the Christmas Fair in Leicester. I have purchased a couple of stands to display my products better and I have also bought some really beautiful boxes for my brooches. I am also planning to take a mini Christmas tree + lights to display the Christmas decorations.

Anyway that's it from me for now, I will be back next week to show you my Amsterdam purchases.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gifts For Babies. A Tutorial.

I like making gifts for babies and one of my favourite things to make are babygrows.

Well it's a bit of a cheat really, as I don't actually make the babygrow, but I buy good quality ones in packs.

I have found that the parents love receiving personalised gifts, so I use the Slice (there are lots of fun tutorials on the Slice site) to cut the initial of the baby - as shown here in today's pic - B for Beatrice.

It's really easy to do -
  1. Choose your fabric (needs to be lightweight if you are using the Slice to cut)
  2. Iron on some fusible web (Making Memories do their own, but a decent lightweight fusible web will do), but leave the backing sheet on
  3. Choose your initial / shape and either draw onto the fabric and cut out, or use your Slice to do this
  4. Remove your initial / shape from the fabric and peel off the backing and iron onto the babygrow
  5. Then using a decorative stitch on your machine, sew around the shape
  6. Give the babygrow one last iron, iron on your nametab and the babygrow is complete.
Really easy to do - a good tip is to wash the babygrow and the fabric, so they don't shrink later. Also you can always embellish the design further - especially if you use a shape, I often sew a button or a ribbon bow, but becareful to make sure that these are affixed really well, we don't want babies pulling them off and swallowing them!

Have a good day.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Christmas Crafts!

1. Christmas Stocking
So it's a bit strange that in August I am starting to make things for Christmas, but I learnt a valuable lesson this time round. It's better to start making the things I want to sell sooner rather than later. It means my items are better quality - as I am not rushed, I also get more time to experiment with new techniques and ideas.

I've been looking around for ideas for Christmas, as I want to make things for the Leicester Craft fair, but also as Christmas gifts.

I have been giving boxes of cards, scarves, etc for awhile now and I will still be giving cards - but I think people would appreciate a different gift.

I also am trying to convince Hubby to let me have a Christmas Tree this year and so will be making Christmas Tree decorations for us and to sell.

Here are a few pics of the things I'm going to try and make.

2. Baubles
1.Christmas stockings
2. Baubles - using clear plastic balls, that I can either decorate the outside, put pretty things (ribbon, etc) inside or turn them into little stocking fillers, with a brooch, or some homemade sweets
3. Christmas decorations - this pic is of little wooden trees, that you can paint and embellish, I am going to try out other shapes - stars, balls, snowmen
4. Clutch bags
4. Clutch bags - these little bags are from lushlee, they are the cutest thing ever and have totally inspired me to give clutch bags another go (it was a disaster last time). I love the lushlee site and spend far too much time drooling over all the lovely things

 5. Table runners/napkins/coasters/placemats - I made some of these for a friend last year and I think they make great gifts, good use of oddments too for the coasters. The pic here is of a gorgeous set made out of white pebbles by Viva Terra - I love them, I will NOT be making out of stone - how much time do you think I have?!
6. Cushions

5. Table runners/placemats
6 - Cushions - I've made cushions for my home, my Mother and a friend, so think I'm ready to branch out. The pic is from CinnamonLime, I met the maker of all their products at the Craft Market on Saturday and I was inspired by her work.

Anyway, this should give you some ideas too and some lovely new sites to check out.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Cards are king!

Well, Saturday's craft market went well, it started really slow and I was a bit worried, but it came good in the end.

The best thing about the market was learning so much! I have a few things to work on  -
  • my display - needs to be a bit more professional, I need to buy racks for the cards and something to display the brooches and scarves better
  • my table covering - I think it needs to be a really beautiful piece of fabric or a really bold colour and I should have a Christmassy one
  • sewing - so I've mastered the brooches and scarves, now it's time to look at cushions and other soft furnishings
There are a few other things for me to consider, but those are the main ones.

Today's pic is of one of the cards I sold. On Saturday cards were the big sellers. I didn't expect that and I am really chuffed to bits. I think the 3 for £5 deal on the cards really works. Also, I got lots of compliments about my card designs and some great feedback on what people are looking for. This is really helpful, as I often work a bit 'blind' to what people might need, I mean I have a loose idea, but it's nice to have that cemented and to have new things to consider.

All in all, it was well worth it - I got to hang with my friends and their baby, met some cool people at the craft market, sold some of my stock, made some money and learnt some stuff.

Now, it's time to sit down and plan for the Leicester Christmas Market at the end of November.



Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yay! New Craft Table

Yes I am most excited  by my new craft table. On Saturday I went to the opening of the new HobbyCraft and there is was, the table of my dreams.

Hubby and I have been cracking up at the fact that it is called a Creation Station - it's a tad obvious.

Today's pic is of my updated craft space - complete with creation station. It tilts, it came with a stall and it has 6 drawers which are now full with my stamps, inks and pens. On the table you will see my Slice, a little stack of stuff for the Christening we went to and some brooches that were drying. It's a great space now and it's so much better for sewing.

It's absolutely joy and I am at a much better height now and Hubby put a new blind up for me, so if I keep facing forward I can ignore the fact that the rest of the room is full of wardrobes, shoes and laundry!!

Tonight will be my last night at home before the craft market on Saturday. I will be checking I haven't forgotten anything and trying not to be too nervous.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm so proud!

As you may have gathered it's all been a little bit busy in my world, but I am back (for now) I really need to find more hours in the day!

Anyway, I am totally made up right now, as I pinned the Union Jack quilt together and it looks amazing - today's pics are the ones I took before it was sewn together - I just need to add the bias tape and then voila! it is complete. I'll show you more pics when it is finished later in the week.

The apron's went down well at the Christening on Sunday and I was really pleased with how they came out - however my photos are pretty rubbish (boo!) and I'll have to wait for my friends to send me a pic to show you. I do however have pics of the babygrow that I made for Beatrice who was being Christened (tomorrow!).

It's now only 3 days to the craft market and I am packed and ready, can't stop making things though and so the craft table is full of extra bits and bobs that I considering taking - I wonder if I have too much stuff, but I think more is better than not enough!

So I'll see you tomorrow - enjoy the quilt - I've written out the steps and will scan it all in tomorrow, ready for posting with the final pic, so that you can make your own quilt.