Thursday, 27 January 2011

my creative space . . .

I didn't think I'd get round to posting today, but I took this pic of various rocks, pebbles, etc which had got covered in dust on a windowsill (they're drying off on an old towel). I thought they looked quite pretty after being rinsed in water, well they would, wouldn't they, hehe :) So far that's as creative as I've been today, but I like the photo and it inspired me to write up a blog post, so that's a plus!

The weather here is absolutely glorious today, I can hardly believe it - clear blue skies, not a breath of wind and you can see the mainland hills really clearly. Hence no urgency to go rushing off to sew, but perhaps a relaxed plod out the moor will be more in order.

I squidged (is that a word??!) a little bit of crafting in on Tuesday and sewed up this patchwork cushion - I'd cut the squares up sometime last year but never got round to finishing it. The colours of the tweed tied in nicely with the lovely Kaffee Fassett fabric I've been using lately (from a very kind blog-pal) so I think that's what prompted me to make it up and to add a fabric yo-yo for a bit of fab and funky detail. I do love the colours.

Hope you're having a fab and funky day, whatever you're up to - check out some lovely creative spaces over at Kirsty's place :)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Ticking Off the List

That January 'To Do' list seems to be getting a little shorter thankfully - here's a few of the tasks/projects I'm working on in between trying to be a really good, tidy girl (very difficult!) and keeping to my New Year resolutions of keeping my crafting under control (even more difficult!!!)

Sorting through some crafty stuff . . .

making more pouches . . .

This second one is in the shop . . .

. . . and playing around with another little 'crafty/art doll' just for a bit of creative fun, but I will finish her and put her in the shop eventually!

Off to do something in a tidy and organised fashion now - Bye for Now :)!

Sorry, poor light quality in pics - Spring is just around the corner!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

my creative space . . .

I finally got round to putting my lovely Singer sewing machine (originally owned by my late mother) on display, I've only had it for about a year and it's taken me that long to find a special space for it. It seemed too pretty to be hidden away and I couldn't find anywhere to put it, but it now holds pride of place here, surrounded by a few of my personal belongings: a teddy bear from 'who knows where' which I unearthed during a clearout last week; my two art dolls standing sentry (I decided to keep them for myself as 'inspirational 'pieces'!); and a lovely black and white photo of 'teenage son' when he was about 3 years old I think.

This is part of me 'reclaiming my personal space' - my craft supplies had somehow and mysteriously overtaken my home - hmmmmmm, strange how that happens!!! :D (Please ignore all the files and bumff in the background - goodness only knows what's in them, hehe!)

'Little S' is off with a 'winter bug' today so all I've managed to do is take some pics of some packaging details for my 'tweedie clutches' (I made another one this week, but I'll leave it for the weekend to list it probably).

I've had quite a productive week so far though, even with sickly kids about! All my 'tweedie' paperwork is now sorted - it kinda got abandoned sometime last year! This leaves me in a nice position of almost starting 'crafty' proceedings from scratch which actually feels quite nice. More importantly, at the moment, this lovely mag was delivered by the 'postie' just an hour or so ago - my FIRST copy of Selvedge ever (a lovely family friend has been sending me her copies - too kind, Karin!!!) of my own subscription for this year. Guess what I'll be browsing through with my cuppa later today :)

I should probably have invested in a new Winter coat or some other sensible purchase with my Xmas cash, but I think I'll get more intellectual enjoyment from my Selvedge magazines - got to feed the creative mind you know :D Anyhow, it'll soon be Summer!!

More lovely spaces over at Kirsty's and thanks to Gretchen for reminding me when I saw her blog post earlier today!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

New Beginnings

In between my tidying frenzy this week I've managed to make a few more 'tweedie' clutches - they've given me such enjoyment to make. All my favourite things - tweed, kawaii/japanese fabric, buttons and lots of fun with fabric yoyos - I've been having a ball! The first one I made this week went to a crafty friend who has been sending me her back-copies of Selvedge for some time now (I'm treating myself to my own subscription this year - yippee!). I was really pleased how this clutch turned out, I wanted to try a semi-circular shape and I used a lovely Kaffe Fassett fabric which Gretchen may recognise!

My crafty friend loved the clutch, so I was delighted to get her feedback. In between spells of intensive decluttering I went on to try another semi-circular clutch in one of my favourite tweeds - this mustard yellow one which is quite heavy-weight and a little tricky to handle but I love the colour so much, I couldn't resist trying it out. Here's the result:

Lastly I decided to have a go at making a little coin purse, which is the reason I made the semi-circular clutches in the first place, I just didn't have short enough zips at the time so decided to make semi-circular clutches in the meantime! One of these funny creative things, you try one thing as an experiment and it turns out to become a new design in its own right - artistic accidents or whatever you call them! Here's the little coin purse:

This may seem like a lot of work from the person who was going to start off slowly this year, but I've been so inspired by making them they were just a joy to do! They provided a pleasant escape from all that sorting, clearing and 'gutting out' I've been doing. I've had to squeeze my crafting space into a little corner (it had gone a bit mad over the last few months) - I couldn't see where my crafting area stopped and my domestic space began!!!! Sometimes it's not a bad thing having a small space - necessity is the mother of invention, and all that, and it turns out that these little clutches/purses, are the perfect thing for me to make right now in my limited space.

P.S. I've added the last clutch and purse to my Etsy shop :)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Making Fabric Yoyos

At last, a crafty post! My crafty brain must be slowly coming to life :)

I've been thinking for a little while of ways to embellish my zipper pouches, and yesterday morning I got up and thought - hmmmmm, fabric yoyos - it took me a while to remember the name of these funny little round things! I think I've picked up on their use from some of my American bloggie pals and they certainly seem to originate from the USA, seemingly used to decorate patchwork quilts and cushions, etc in the first half of the twentieth century. Yes, I have done a little homework because I always like to know where things originate from, particularly where crafts are concerned.

There are lots of tutorials on the internet on how to make them - they're very simple and I didn't buy a special template or yoyo-maker, I just cut out a circle of fabric using the lid of a container, turned in the edges of the circle and sewed all the way round. Once you pull the stitches tight you're left with a little puff ball, which when flattened leaves you with your yoyo or 'Suffolk Puff' as they also seem to be known as - Voila!

I added a little pearl button in the centre of this one as I was left with a little hole (rightly or wrongly!). I believe you can alter the length of the stitches to alter the gathering, and size of hole - well, I suppose that would be obvious if you think about it!! I think they have a very 'retro' look and reminded me very much of 50s or 60s styling - a bit like the crochet revolution they seem to have come back into fashion recently. I'm liking them, they're quick and easy to make - Yoyos a go-go!!

Here's some (not very good!!) images of how I made mine - it was a little early in the day, with poor lighting, but you'll get the gist!:

Following a tip on one internet tutorial, I knotted my thread but left a tail at the end so that you could tie the two threads together when you finish stitching right round - knot the two threads together a few times and tuck inside the yoyo (tucking the seam inside too). I used quite a small seam allowance as you can see in the pics.

Happy Yoyo-making :)

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy New Year (and a little bit of crafty chaos!)

Well, my blog posts now seem to be on a monthly basis - that's shocking! Hope everyone had a lovely festive season - my laptop decided to become 'ill' in the last couple of weeks leading up to Christmas so I decided it was best to 'back away' from it before it exploded in a dramatic finale!

Still trying to find my 'crafty feet' and swaying from a very positive statement of "yes, that's it - I'm all done with this 'tweedie' nonsense" to a little tentative "well, maybe just a little bit, when I have time . . . now and again!!". On the practical front, my lack of crafting space has to dictate that whatever I continue to make will have to be on a much reduced basis. 'Teenage Son' managed to knock over my er, less than tidy, crafting corner - he appears to have been trying out some new climbing gear he acquired over the festive period - as if my little Hebridean Home isn't TINY enough as it is, I now have a teenager attempting to climb the walls - sheeesh!!! (He did have the grace to tell me - "Er, Mum, I knocked over 'some' of your crafting stuff" - understatement of the year!!!)

(Personally, I will probably not need the aid of climbing equipment myself, as I will most likely take quite naturally to climbing the walls without any assistance, over the period of a long, dark, Hebridean Winter indoors - aaaaaaargh!!)

Anyhow, I happened to glance at the ensuing mess of fabric, notions and 'such like' and thought what a shame it would be not to see that again! I do however need to completely cut back on the amount and range of crafting I will be doing - no more custom orders or 'made-to-order' items for the time being, just the fun stuff!! And on that note, I now have to tackle my 'tax return' over the next couple of weeks, and tidy my crafting area of all the unecessary junk! - declutter, declutter, declutter - this will be my new 'mantra' for January!

Cheerio an Drasda and Happy New Year! (or Bliadhna Mhath Ur as we say here!)