Thursday, 26 February 2009

Well swap my button!

I have now heard that my swap partner has received the parcel I sent for the Phat sheep button swap so I can show you what I sent;




This swap was a real challenge for me as I have never made buttons before but I signed up because it's good to do something a bit scary once in a while. When I was told who my swap partner I was even more nervous. Namolio has an amazing Flickr album and Etsy shop and I tried to make things that I thought suited her style.


Firstly I ordered some Fimo in a pearl effect, Anna then 'helped' me make some rounds to push some natural items into, shells, wood, wicker all leaving different impressions. Then I went on to make some little leaf shapes, perhaps not such practical buttons but I was pleased with them none the less.


Next up I decided some knitted flowers were in order-they are my signature after all. It doesn't show in the picture but this wool is very gently variegated so these poppies are all slightly different. I then tried my hand at making fabric covered buttons- I like it! These were done with black velvet but I'm sure soon I will have made dozens of silly ones. Finally I made a brooch-it's what I do-I tried to keep it subtle, relying on shape and texture rather than colour. I threw in some colour co-ordinated treasure and a packet of chocolate buttons, naturally, and posted it all off. Thanks Phat sheep. I really enjoyed the challenge of this swap and as soon as my parcel arrives I will show you what I received. Next time I will post another giveaway book as obviously you guys like the Richard Box one about as much as I did!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Book giveaway, needle felting and lent

Right, well I think that title just about covers it! Here is the second look at the current 'up for grabs in the U.K in exchange for stamps' book. My last post was quite full and this was tucked at the end so I'm hoping if I put it up front someone might take it off my hands!

Saturday was the embroiderers guild again and this time it was 'corners' code for 'have a go yourself'. Lovely Sam was showing us how to make a needle felted flower brooch. Needle felting, if you haven't had a go, is a really nice technique and incredibly versatile. The flower was made by laying a card template on top of a stack of fleece fibres, this is then repeatedly stabbed with a barbed needle. (If you stab your finger by mistake it really b***dy hurts) The more you stab the firmer your shape and it is possible to make frames with pipe cleaners to create 3D objects. The star and hearts were made inside a pastry cutter and I have now been through my cutter collection and found all manner of Easter shapes. It is not clear in the picture but the star has a sprinkling of Angelina meshed into it which is lovely. I can think of so many uses for these shapes and think I have found a new direction to explore.
I am a fickle little crafter and do get my head turned very easily. Mum and Dad will be sleeping in our Dining/craft room this weekend and I do feel sorry for them. They may be buried under a landslide of ribbons! Anyway today being shrove Tuesday, (tummy full of pancakes-yummmm!) I have decided to give up buying materials for Lent. There I have committed. I wonder if anyone else fancies joining me? Perhaps we could have a button and allow swapping amongst 'lent lend' bloggers. We could also perhaps each use our stash to make a little Easter treat for each other? Let me know if you fancy it.
For all you mug swappers don't forget the end of the week sees our posting deadline. I have seen some gorgeous parcels arriving on other blogs. Thanks again for taking part.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

New ventures


I think this year is going to be really exciting. The main event will definitely be A Makey 'do' and yesterday saw the fist interview with someone who will be selling their wares. Niftyknits makes the most amazing knitted and crocheted creations and has a strong presence on Folky and Etsy. I'm really pleased with the way the event is shaping up, and am looking forward to doing the next interview.
My other new venture is to dip my toe in the water of workshops. I had three lovely ladies 'round last night to see how an evening of brooch making might work. My idea is that I would do this as a kind of home selling party. Instead of going to a friends house and drinking too much wine and buying things that then arrive two weeks later and you having to smuggle them home and hide them because you said you weren't going to but anything........(just me?) guests would pay £5 each up front for a kit and instructions and could then relax and create. Again I don't want to make money from this as I am not a registered business it is just a jolly thing to do.
I found it really easy to share my stash and didn't fret at all about what people used, I thought I might so that's good. What I found hardest? The fact these lovely three made brooches on their first attempt that I would be really proud of myself.......ahhhhhh.....the student out-brooches the master!












Friday, 20 February 2009

Postmans knock

Well, aren't I lucky? The postman has been again and on valentines day I received this amazing package which was a valentines giveaway from WildCat designs. I peeked into the jiffy bag to spy lots of tissue paper wrapped parcels. All beautifully themed in romantic colours. The little organza bag held a cute felt butterfly and some chocolate balls...yum. There was a lovely felt heart greeting card. Next I spied the tiny and gorgeous wool heart brooch. The tissue parcel was next and one of Wildcats trade mark skinny, stripey, lambswool scarf! It is just gorgeous; half jewelry half scarf.















So a massive thanks WildCat, my other valentines gift was a can of WD40, in case you were wondering, so this lovely parcel was even more appreciated!


I had another lovely surprise with an award from a new blog; Primrose corner gave me this;

Thank you, very much. It is really nice to get awards and know that someone likes visiting here. I have had this award before but I too have picked up a few new Blogs to my feed roll so I'm passing it on to;
For what is Chatteris? Exquisite cutting and printing, with humour
Aunt Pitty Pats. If you need t laugh out loud and read jokes out to your family.
Art4Sol. For 'real' embroidery and genius design.
It's also well worth having a mooch around the blogs of the mug swappers. These are all really nice people and I've made some ace new friends through this swap.

Finally a big thanks to Jude's son Gareth for sending the stamps for the books I posted. (He has the nicest writing, I suspect he may be a hottie!) This has meant it's time to post the next book. This is a good step-by-step book from a well known artist. All I would say is that it's a bit 'one trick' and depends on the user having a good deal of skill in draughtsmanship. If you would like it, it's yours-you just need to be; first to ask for it, in the U.K, and be prepared to post me back in stamps whatever the postage cost has been to me so I can continue to clear my book stash.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Thanks.

I've had some lovely post this week and there's more to come....Hooray! Firstly I received an envelope from Marmaladekiss stuffed full of old bible pages. I have been thinking lots about the Bush fires and have decided my first project will be some cranes from this paper, a kind of memorial. I had been thinking this week a lot about how to do something positive for those affected by the fires and was very worried about one particular new blog friend who, thank goodness, is fine. If, like me you feel so moved to do something you can go here to take part in a raffle or here to make some quilt blocks. There is loads more going on in Blog land, lots of ways to show solidarity and help out.

I also received a package yesterday from SaraEden who has been clearing out her wool stash. I was lucky enough to receive these gems which will be brooches and hair clips before you can say 'thankyousara'
On the giveaway front I have posted out the book I featured last time and once I get the stamps back a new title will be featured here for the next taker. I hope this continues to work well as I am constantly tripping over the box on the dining room floor!
I have been very excited to see that the first mug swap has arrived-don't worry guys you don't NEED to send until the end of the month- Tiny White Daisies has received her lovely parcel and pics are up on the Flickr group. I know there are more parcels out there in the hands of our valiant post men and women so lets hope more people get some lovely post this weekend!
So HAPPY VALENTINES one and all, here's sending you lots of love and kisses and hoping that you are feeling the love, through your letter box (not a euphemism!) or otherwise!
XXXXXXXXXXX

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Wassup

Thanks so much for all your encouragement on Simons career change. I am certainly breathing a little easier now!
Aren't these flowers gorgeous? This is a tiny snapshot of a massive bouquet given to me as I finished work yesterday,I am moving to a store in my own town so much more convenient for the family. I love when people give me something that is so 'right'; bright and exuberant. So after managing to get my flowers home there was another lovely package waiting for me. I love the work of Dogdaisy and Simon bought his sisters Christmas present from her. I saw she was making hearts on her blog and really wanted to get one for Simon for valentines day so I did......Dog daisy was so helpful with colours and putting a loop rather than a brooch back on (we are hanging it in a picture frame). I was totally thrilled with the heart and even pleased-er (yes that's a word!) when I found an extra treat in the envelope. I am currently wearing that gorgeous brooch as orange and green is one of my favourite colour combos.
I allowed myself a little retail therapy before work as Ramsgate has the most amazing haberdashery shop. Literally floor to ceiling buttons, ribbons etc etc etc. This little pile of felt is for a brooch making evening I am hosting here on the 20th, the edging for some cuffs for Tamarisk and the thread well, that was bought because it was only 25p a skein- I'm going back soon for more. The DMC tapestry cotton is brilliant stuff I bought some on holiday in Bruges over 6 years ago and have just been able to bring myself to use it so I was particularly glad to see that in the clearance shop.
Sorry this post is such a mish-mash but finally I wanted to tell you about my big plan for the summer. I have booked the Sandwich Guildhall for A Makey 'do', I have set up a blog for this event which I am organising not for profit but for the opportunity for a crafty type get together and community event. Tables are available for traders if you are near East Kent and fancy a day out on July 11th. Meanwhile if you have any advice or ideas on how I can make this event a success I would be very very grateful.








Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Book a place in my heart

Things are a bit 'exciting' around here at the moment. On Monday Simon heard that he had got the voluntary redundancy that he had asked for. This might seem totally crazy to many, with the current economic climate and un-employment soaring, and to be honest when I type that I find that I can't really breathe. But we thought Simon might be made redundant a few weeks back and when his name wasn't on the list we were both a little disappointed, sometimes it takes something like that to shove you into action! S has been in the same job for 11 year now and although it has served him and our family well he is frankly bored he's a very clever chap and boredom doesn't sit easy on him so the big plan is for him to re-train as a teacher, no danger of boredom there! It's a pretty exciting time for us as I say, but that breathing thing?- sometimes I just can't seem to do it.

I need to DO something when change is afoot, something positive and physical and this is really where the big book clear out has come from. I need to clear some space for all the files etc that are going to come with Simons course. I cleared 60 books from my shelves over the last few days- quite ridiculous. I can't keep posting them out one by one, apart from anything else it would cost a bomb! So there's a new deal on the table; If you would like this book I will post it to you, all I ask is that when you receive it you post me back stamps to the value of the postage cost shown on the package. Therefore this book would cost you whatever it costs me to post it plus a stamp. This would obviously not work for oversea visitors, sorry. If you see something you'd really LOVE perhaps we could come to some other arrangement.



Finally, and I'm sorry-that really was a silly-long post here is another bit of valentine adornment. These hair ties are in my Folksy shop, but if they don't sell I shall really enjoy wearing them myself on the big day.

Hope you are all well and happy and breathing! xx