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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Catching Up

Hi Everyone
I've got good and bad news to report re my current project lists ! I decided to rework my coin purse (read back for details earlier this week). I mentioned yesterday that my first try re attaching the purse frame was less than acceptable. The lighter coloured thread highlighted a rather unsightly row of stitches. I did spend some time undoing the lighter thread and did intend to redo the job using a similar type of thread but matching the colour to the main felt. However, I decided to use some matching wool yarn. Great decision and much more suitable for the job. The purse looks much more professional and it's finished. The bad news is ....... I didn't start the next felted purses - just ran out of time ! Hopefully, today's the day. 


My number 2 job is to develop some beaded bracelet samples for a few new workshops. I want these bracelets to be very simple aand suitable for beginners. I quite like the idea of using unusual 2 hole beads but I need to keep the costs down too - quite a challenge. The initial designs are looking good but the detail necessary for clasp ideas are not quite there. Hopefully, I can squeeze some time with this project into my day.

Just at the moment, I have so many projects 'on the go' and almost no chance of finishing them - without some management ! I'm resorting to my usual list making techniques to try and resolve my dilema. Everyday - I seem to be inspired by something new and just launch into a ne MAKING session without considering priorities !! There's something inside which doesn't want to kill my creative enthusiasm; so ......... I'm going with it !

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

My Coin Purse - update

Hi Everyone
Just a quick update re the felted coin purse (read back for more details on this story). I've embroidered a little motif, inspired by a card design and added a few beads. As mentioned yesterday, I did want a 'minimal' approach to embroidery on this piece. This is what I've come up with :


I'm reasonably happy with the decoration and it's what I intended. Here's the design inspiration :

 However, 'all is not well ', I used a lighter thread for attaching the frame to the purse and it's not good enough ! ( inside the frame). I didn't have an exact match with the main green/dark grey colour - an exact match would allow the thread to disappear inside the felted wool. So ....... I will acquire some appropriate thread today and redo the job.

I'm hopeful that I can get my next two purses underway, later today.

Thanks for calling by.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

More Felted Purses

Hi Everyone
I'm still on track to make more felted purses ! I did manage a little embroidery on my initial purse (see yesterday for details) but have a way to go ! As I mentioned yesterday , I want my current purse to be minimal. The surface pattern demands just the right embellishment and after a few attempts - I think I have the right design.
BUT ....... I need a chance to over indulge myself with beads and embroidery. More purses are needed. I spent some of yesterday thinking about what to make next and have decided to use a couple of handbags to inspire some new purses. I have a little photo story to show my thinking.


I want to combine a process of using some bubble wrap sheets to make a wet felted vessel and shape (after first felting stage) with a purse sized polystyrene ball. I will get some images to show how it works.
My bag inspirations are a tartan knitted clutch (1) and a wipe clean floral bag (2). The colours and surface patterns of both bags will guide me to the colours and final patterns.
Wish me luck.
Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Felted Purse Project

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing my little plan to embellish my felted coin purse today. Read back for more on this project. The actual body of the purse has been shaped and dried and I've collected a whole range of beads which will form part of the decoration. I will also add more wool fibres using dry felting techniques, guided by my inspirational art (see top image in my photo below).I'm keen to include a flower as per the art image and will probably go for an embroidered approach.

I want the purse decoration to be minimal rather than overloaded with beads and pattern, so - lots of decisions to be made re leaving stuff out ! I'm keen to keep this purse true to my inspiration image.

However, I now have a need to make more purses to indulge myself with beading and maximum embellishments ! I have the idea of a very bright and heavily embellished blue/green item !!! Ive also got a range of purse frames - varied shapes and sizes and will try out some different purse shapes to accommodate.
Thanks for calling by.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Hello Barney

Hi Everyone
Barney has arrived. He's sewn up and ready for his neckwear. I'm not sure which neckwear I'm  going for ? I had thought a bow would be good but I'm thinking something more dramatic is needed. I'm not sure what I mean by 'dramatic' but something will present itself to me - I will ponder all day.
Barney is a great little character already and I do like his 'look'.I've not given Barney a nose or mouth - maybe this could change ? 


The inspiration for Barney is this little guy -


I think Barney may need a friend ! I'm already thinking about making another little chap a little more like this one. 

Thanks for calling in. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Lucy and Barney

Hi Everyone
I have a quick update of the crochet doll project. 
Lucy has a new friend called Barney. Barney is almost done and I'm sharing the inspiration in the photo story (below).  Barney has been made in a cotton yarn so is a little different in texture from the dog in the picture, he's also a bit brighter (in colour). His ears are different and it's amazing how this changes his character. I'm developing a little dog lead and something for his neck - possibly a bow ? 

You may notice Lucy has a couple of hand crafted buttons on her dress (yet to be sewn on) and she will get a new bag, based on the school satchel idea. I'm not sure how the bag will turn out ? - I'm not going for a school bag 'look' as such but I like the 'lined' feature and the fastenings. 


Lucy needs some shoes too, hopefully I can get those sorted today - I'm going for ballet pumps.
I think, after these few little jobs, Lucy will be finished. I'll share any developments tomorrow.

Thanks for calling in.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Wet Felted Purses

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing photos from our Making Workshop (yesterday). The whole experience was lovely. Lots of chat, coffee and messing about with water !
Everyone made the initial part of their coin purse and we had lot of amazing designs and colour combinations. Well done all our Makers ! 

The purses  are waiting to dry and next time we will add to the shaped felt with needle felting techniques as well as beading options for decoration. We will also attach the coin purse frame to turn our little felted balls into the purse.


My little design idea (note image below) was a partial success. I wanted to give a suggestion of the design using colour and a defined flower.

 The wet felting techniques could have worked better with my colour block but I'm more than happy with the final result. The colours are good for me and Im already seeing ways of using the flower idea and the lines. I'm going to try out another wet felted ball - having learned from my first approach. This time, I will define the blocks in the felt. 
I'm hoping to further define the colour blocks (on my initial ball) with dry felting and the flower with arrive with embroidery. I need to get some beads into the design too - just because I like the idea.

Thanks for calling in - we will follow the felted purse over the next few sessions and I will share a few updates as my purse develops.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Making Workshop

Hi Everyone
It's our regular Making Workshop session today and we have a great new project - a Wet Felted Coin Purse. 


 I'm super excited about making this little coin purse and have a pattern for the surface design in my head - wet felting is always a little tricky in terms of precise  patterns but I'm keen to have a go with my idea. I'd like to go for something inspired by this image - 


Let's see what turn out - will share tomorrow.

Thanks for calling by.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Button Flowers

Hi Everyone
Today is the second of my 'what to do with buttons' project. I've got four projects in total, the first was a button heart (read back for more on this one). I made lots of buttons a few weeks ago from polymer clay and am trying out a range of ideas for simple 'makes'.
I especially like the flowers project - I'm not completely finished yet but here it is at the moment 

I want to make some more 'grass seeds' and add more beads to the flower stems. I like how the flowers have turned out and the holes in the salt seller lid work very well to place and separate the flowers stems. I've used thin florist wire to thread the beads and did think it maybe too light for the job. However, it's good and gives a very fine structural support for the button flowers. The little salt seller is not the antique version I was hoping for but its fine - I will keep looking for something a little more ornate. 

Thanks for calling in.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Freya's New Dress and other things ................

Hi Everyone
My work list this week has been hijacked by a few projects - mostly to do with yarn !! My crochet dolls and a knitted cardigan have taken over ! I'm sharing a new dress for Freya today (read back for more on my crochet dolls).


This dress has been partially knitted and partially croched. I'm hoping to add some little buttons to the front and possibly some beads to the skirt. Freya also needs some extra accessories - Ive got ideas about a bag and possibly a little dog ? I'm happy to see her developing character coming together.
The knitted cardigan project has also taken up more time than I had to give ! I've been making this item for a few weeks and have treated it as an evening 'hobby' type project and really enjoyed making it. This week, however, I've been rather impatient and wanted to get it finished, as a result I made a few mistakes on the sleeve. The sleeves in the printed pattern image are short, almost cap sleeves. My version will have 3/4 length sleeves as well as a longer body part. More photos when it's complete. I made an error in an obvious place (note the blue yarn point in the image) and decided to undo the whole of a finished sleeve and redo. I don't mind doing this to get a good finish ! - I did, however, take a deep breadth and made a coffee first !

This Carol Fuller pattern is beautiful and I can't wait to wear it. The yarn has been waiting in my stash for quite some time - I'm not sure where it came from ? It's a merino wool and cashmere in this lovely pistachio colour. The cardigan is so soft and drapes so well. Hopefully, I can finish the cardigan this weekend. I'm not going to rush things - no more mistakes allowed !

Thanks for calling in. 
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Bracelet Ideas

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing a few little beaded bracelet designs for a couple of Holiday Making Workshops which are planned for August. These sessions are very informal and hosted by members of our regular Making group. We have a series of kit with instructions and simply turn up at someone's house (a volunteer) for our session. These workshops are small but keep our group going over the Summer break. Members relatives and friends are welcome too, so there is a different relaxed feel to each event. Invites will be posted on here, nearer the time.
Last year, we made simple beaded flower bracelets and this time I'm keeping with the bracelet idea. I've been playing around with various combinations of beads - the idea is to keep the patterns and techniques simple so makers can finish off themselves after the session (if we have too much chat and coffee). Here are my first ideas - colours options will be available.


I'm working on a couple of options for closures, possible silver clasp or magnetic clasp or a beaded loop ? - will probably offer all three. When I get the kits organised, I will present some detailed, quality photos to share.

Thanks for calling in.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Simply Metal -poly gems

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing a second piece of the new Simply Metal Collection today. 
I've made a pair of post earrings using the poly gem bezel idea (still no clay in the bezel !). The little bezel components need their clay gems (clay not been delivered yet) and some cleaning after soldering but I like the shape. Each earring is slightly different from the other - the bezel is higher up the post on one earring. I'm hoping to develop this idea in a second pair of hoop earrings ie placing the bezel in a different position on the piece.


I haven't come up with a name for the collection yet - will work on that today.
Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

New Inspirations

Hi Everyone
I'm very excited this morning about a new find via Pinterest. I've been working away making crochet dolls for a few weeks now (read back for more on this) and get new ideas most days !
 I've been a bit stuck on a dress for my Lucy doll (read back a few days for more on this). I have the vision in my head but I'm trying to get the right shape for the dress as well as mix up knit and crochet sections - there's no good reason for this other than, I think the knit and crochet stitches give a pleasing contrast in texture. This is part of my vision. Amazingly, I made a breakthrough last night and I think we are there ! However, browsing Pinterest, which takes up loads of my time, I came across this :

I know TILDA fabric dolls very well and have dabbled there (a few years ago). Imagine my thrill when I spotted this crochet version. I could hardly contain myself. There's a free pattern too - thank you to Olde. I love the green version but I also love the stripey legs. What a dilemma !! Perhaps, I need to make two ? 
My other news today - the start of a new jewellery Collection in the Simply Metal range. I need a name but the idea has been brewing for a while. I'm using some tiny flat silver discs and turning them into bezel components and adding to simple jewellery designs. I've started with a ring but will develop my usual five pieces. Most pieces will have two tiny disc bezels. Here is apeek of the first part. 


I'm going to add some coloured clay to the bezels, I'm calling the clay additions  'poly gems'. I'm slightly delayed because I've ordered some bright, sparkly clay for the job. The poly gems will be very small so I thought the sparkle idea would make them 'zing'.

Thanks for calling by.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Button Flowers

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing the second of the polymer buttons project today. This time it's making some pretty Button Flowers using the polymer buttons I made last week and some additional beads. The flowers will be presented in a little glass salt seller. My salt seller is a new item which is not quite what I was looking for but it will serve the purpose. I'm going to continue looking for a vintage salt seller over the next few weeks but my version will be a good start. I would also like to find some crushed glass to help keep the flowers in the right position in the salt seller and am wondering about the best colour to go for ?
Here is a vision of what I'm going for :


I will play around with these ideas today and see what I can come up with - results will be shared later in the week.

Thanks for calling in.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Hello Lucy

Hi Everyone
A quick update on my crochet dolls. Welcome to Lucy - she looks more like a character with her hair done ! I was going to wait for a pink/purple yarn for her dress and her winter lingerie but was too impatient ! So ......... Lucy has ended up with the green/blue that Miss Mitchell will also wear (read back for more on Miss Mitchell). 
Lucy's dress is a bit of a off the shoulder vest at the moment ! - not sure what will happen next ? I do like Lucy, she has an engaging look which I think I can develop into a character.


Lucy's hair offers lots of different hair style opportunities and I can  have fun with a few outfits and accessories. In the meantime (on the doll development front)- I will finish Lucy's dress, give her some shoes and then make Miss Mitchell.

Thanks for reading.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Where is Miss Mitchell ?

Hi Everyone
We have another doll (almost), I was expecting Miss Mitchell but having worked on her for a few days - this doll does not have the right facial features !
I've decided the doll is Miss Mitchell's sister - Lucy. My plan is to work on some new 'button like' facial features using the safety eyes approach for Miss Mitchell.  I will make the eyes, nose and mouth with a little post which will allow a safety cap to be applied in the same way safety eyes are secured.
In the meantime, Lucy will get a pretty knitted dress and some knitted knickers (winter lingerie style !) I'm also thinking I will add some beading to the outfit - very Lucy ! Here she is with Freya :


I'm not sure exactly which colour I will use for Lucy's dress ? - will spend the day pondering this one.
I tried to crochet Lucy in one piece and almost made it, her head is separate but actually croched in place - does that count ? Not sure why this is important ?
Miss Mitchell (Bella) will be somethwhere between the two dolls in terms of size - I like the larger doll. I'm not sure I will change anything else other than the facial features - these 'feature buttons' will take some time to develop, they need to be right. I like the hair colour and want the hair to be versatile for styling with different outfits. I will use the photo of Bella as a constant review - hopefully I can make a good job. Keep calling in for updates.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Making Buttons

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing a selection of our 'button makes' today. These buttons are the results of yesterday's workshop. Most of the buttons were created using our moulds but we also experimented with some free form fish buttons. I've circled my favourite from each board but all the buttons are lovely and are so pretty as a collection. Well done to everyone.



We spent a lovely 2/3 hours playing with polymer clay and chatting with coffee/biscuits. Lots of laughs and little stories.

The buttons will be baked/cured today and will be ready to be finished with a little sanding and possibly highlighted with some paint/wax in another session.The idea is to keep the buttons to embellish a number of projects in the future and I'm already thinking about making some pretty boxes to keep the buttons safe. I like the idea of 'tins' - not sure why ? but will do a bit of research later today.

Thanks for calling in.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Making Framework Workshop

Hi Everyone
It's a Making Framework Worshop day today. This time we are making BUTTONS from polymer clay. The idea is to make a batch of different interesting buttons which we will use for a variety of planned projects in the future. However, I'm also developing a number of small projects which are made from buttons to illustrate other ways of using buttons for decorative purposes. I'm going to make a new button project each week for the next three or four weeks and will feature each make as it happens. This week, it's a pretty heart hanging decoration. I've been experimenting with different ways of constructing the heart shape with wire and string or yarn. As I made the shape, lots of different construction ideas came into my mind which has inspired more 'hearts to be'. I've decided the key to successful construction is the thickness of the wire - too thin and the heart shapes will not hold but too thick and there are difficulties with threading (neatly) through the buttons.


I also found that the individual buttons needed to be 'threaded' to give a good look - I picked out the mustard colour with a knitting yarn to add a bit of texture to the centre of the button as well as hide the wire. I wasn't too keen on the construction wire showing so it was wrapped with blue coloured jute. For this heart, I've used a limited colour range for my hanger but any colour combinations would work. I'm now keen to try out different size heart hangers and different button colours. I think a collection of hangers would be great for shop display purposes.

I like the heart hanger and at the moment, it's a pretty burst of colour on my kitchen wall. The back is neat so it could 'dangle' in an appropriate place.

Our workshop today will create initial batches of buttons but Makers could consider making a hanger for themselves. I will take some photos of the creations to share.
Thanks for calling in.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Paper Flowers

Hi Everyone
Today, I'm sharing the results of a little MAKING activity from last week - paper flowers.


I made the flower at an evening 'make and take' workshop in the retail shop - Seasalt. The flower is attached to a cotton band and can be used as a hair accessory - not sure it's my thing but the cotton band also allows the flowers to hang around the place and it's quite pretty. I like the crisp look of the flowers  and will definitely make a few more for dressing up my craft sales displays. I will probably use some different coloured/textured papers next time.
 I enjoyed the make and take event - hope they do some more.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Holiday 5

Hi Everyone
It's the last day of my little holiday week  - it's been great with lots of little making projects, family meals and watching tennis ! All things come to an end but I've got one more day to play. I've been making little buttons for some workshops next week but am playing with ideas of what to do with them. Here is my idea for today :

I'm going to add some ribbons or string ? - can't decide !

I will make some links and a clasp from silver wire after a little button polishing.

Thanks for calling in. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Holiday 4

Hi Everyone
I've got a very simple photo story today. I've made some buttons for Freya's new kit and as you can see she is almost done. I need to sew the buttons onto the items and she will be ready for a photo shoot.


Thanks for calling in.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Holiday 3

Hi Everyone
It's the middle of our weeks holiday and flying by ! The weather is dreadful but I'm happy doing little bits of ' making' each day. My plan yesterday was to make some buttons from polymer clay. I did manage 39 buttons ! - all made while watching tennis on TV. I didn't have any colour idea other than buttons for the Freya doll (little pink buttons). The colours just presented themselves from my clay box.
I wanted to develop a variety of different making techniques - moulding buttons, using cutters and freestyle combinations. I did manage to make samples using the range of techniques but mainly stuck with moulds. Here they are - ready for sanding and polishing :

Now - what am I going to do with all these buttons ? Always a problem for me. I love buttons and have lots of them. I also have a book of making things with buttons but it's not quite there for me. I'm not hugely impressed with the jewellery ideas, although Im not ruling anything in or out yet. More news on that one, tomorrow (after more research).
Today, I plan to make a few more buttons in some different clay combinations. Will share my results tomorrow.

Thanks for calling in.