Sunday, 14 September 2014

My Big News and Early Halloween Jars

I know it's not even October yet but I saw some of these decorated candle jam jars on Pinterest and remembered I had made some of these a couple of years ago which comes out every year on Halloween - I can't remember if I ever posted them so I'm showing them now.
They are really easy to make just red or orange tissue paper PVA'd onto clean jam- jars, when dry  black  die cuts were PVA'd on the top.  (The cat and the crow are Tim Holtz Dies and the face is one I cut out).  I twisted some old metal wire around the handles and they're done. 
Very effective in the dark.
My other news is I have been accepted for University and I'm off to the University of Central Lancashire in Preston to do a BA Arts & Designs Foundation course.  This is for 12 months and hopefully if my grades are good enough I will be able to go on and do a BA in Textiles.  When I was made redundant 18 months ago it soon became clear that I was going to struggle to get employment.  I decided to make the best use of my time and energy and do something I wanted to. 
 I didn't have the chance of going to University when I was at school so I started looking to combine my love of crafting with this goal and came up with a BA in Textiles - I applied with a digital portfolio made up of a mixture of all my work and to my absolute amazement I received an offer.  As I have no formal qualifications I  have to complete a 12 month foundation course and I'm really looking forward to getting started  - which is tomorrow!!!!
To say I a little nervous is the understatement of the year - so wish me luck I'll be the oldest Fresher on campus but what the hell.  I'll give it my best shot and let you know how its going.
Fingers crossed

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Applique Cat Cushion

Been a busy little bee since I last posted and have been trying some new ideas.  Here is the first one - well it is actually the 2nd cushion as the first one was a bit of a disaster.  I struggled to get the eyes to look feline-like on No 1 - in fact they looked really evil and I confined it to the scrap pile.  As I was making it as a present for a friend's birthday I felt an evil eyed cat didn't give the right impression!
Here is the back with the button fastening

Well the cushion was well received and has gone to a good home.  I'm wondering how \I can rescue cushion No 1 - any suggestions on a postcard please. LOL
I have an order for 2 Christmas Stockings and I've just cut them out  ready for constructing - they are going to have names and some festive characters appliqued as decoration but I need to get cracking  so I'm off to my craft room to get on with the sewing.
I have some exciting news to post later this week and I can't wait to tell you all about it don't forget to pop back.
Have a good day

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Great Day Out

Been another busy week this week although my temporary job at the Brewery came to an end on Friday and I'm back signing on the unemployment list come Monday.  I really enjoyed my time at Mitchells and met some lovely people while I was there.  I was given a lovely bunch of flowers, a gift voucher for the local craft shop and a large bar of chocolate which was a lovely surprise - as I was only there as a temp I was so touched by their kindness.  (More than my last employers  DRI - I was there 16 years, made redundant and didn't even get a handshake off my former managers!!!!!!!!!) but I'm not bitter - Ha!

On to happy things:

We had a great day out today at the Cumbria Steam Gathering at Cark.  The weather was good and the sun shone until about 2.30 when it clouded over a little - but it didn't spoil our day.  There were hundreds of vintage vehicles, Commercial vans, motorbikes, cars, steam traction engine, tractors, ex army vehicles - the list goes on and on.  There were two craft tents where we bought some lovely Home-made Sweet Chilli Jam that is hot but not too hot and some fabulous Coconut Macaroons that were scrummy.  I walked my legs off and I'm feeling worn out this evening but it was a great day and I had forgotton how much fun Country Fairs are.  

Unfortunately I forgot my to take my camera so I have no photos to show so I will post a couple more of my recent craft obsession Felt Badges (at the moment I'm in the middle of  working on some Halloween designs to be unveiled soon!).

Another Felt Heart in white and pink with felt flowers and pink seed beads:-

And an owl which was a commission order by a friend who requested it in blue:-

I have also got a commission for two Christmas Christmas stockings for a friends' two baby granddaughters.  I'm going to start these this week as the is a bit of applique work to do on each of them.

Thanks for looking.


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunday Evening - More Felt Brooches

Another week has just flown past and it's Sunday Evening again - I'm getting ready for my last week in the temporary job at the brewery - I went for a couple of weeks which was extended to 3 months.  It's been an interesting 3 months and I have missed emotions about leaving.  I have enjoyed the company and will miss the crowd in the office but it means I can get my crafts organised and get some Christmas things made ready for the next craft fair.
Here are a couple more of the felt badges I have been making:-

Autumn Leaf 2

Hearts & Beaded Flower

Hope you like them

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Universal Woman Felt Brooch


I know I have been absent for some time but honest life has been so busy - I got a temporary job in an office in a local brewery and after nearly 12 months off work I found it a bit hard to get back into the rhythm of office work.  I found it tiring and at the end of the day I thought my head would explode with all the new things I had to learn.  Anyway it is about to come to an end and so I will have more time for myself and crafting.  Hurrah!!

I have been making (and selling) some small felt brooches and pins over the last few weeks and I'm thinking about opening a Etsy Shop  - I'm not sure that the local craft fairs are the right place to try and sell my things round here.  I did one the other weekend and although the response to all my badges was really positive there were not too many sales - I did sell a couple and at least made my table money back and a bit more.  I'm not really sure what to do!!   Perhaps I will do another craft fair in the run up to Christmas and see if it would go better.

I will be posting some pictures of my current work over the next few weeks I would love to hear your feedback it would be much appreciated.  Just a quick note in comments - please.

Anyway here a  couple of the felt brooches I have made recently:-

Universal Woman
This is made from turquoise coloured felt onto which I machine stitched a wiggly line (although it doesn't show very clearly in the photo!) then I added three star sequins held in place with seed beads.  I added random seed beads in the background. Finally I made the face from air-dried clay using a push mold - when it was dry I rubbed a gold waxing paste and used Dazzle-Tac Jewellery Glue to adhere it to the brooch. There is a safety brooch bar on the back.

 Autumn Leaf

The leaf was cut out of felt and a slightly smaller version cut out of a printed cotton, over the left half of the leaf is a net layer and all layers were appliqued to the front with a machine free motion stitched.   Again a brooch bar was attached to the back.
I hope you will leave me some feedback and let me know what you think of them.
Thanks for looking


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Pumpkin Pincushions

I love Pinterest and spend many a happy hour browsing online - there is just so much inspiration out there and so many talented people sharing ideas and patterns. 
Here are a couple of really cute  Pumpkin Pincushions I have made over the weekend from a pin I found on the Fiskars Board - Its really easy to make as the instructions are in a picture format.  I have added a link.  I used a small bowl as a template and by varying the circle size you can make the pumpkins bigger or smaller.
 I made two different leaves as I couldn't make my mind up which to use and I'm still not sure.  The first leaf  is made from a piece of green batik cotton.

The second leaf is made from green felt and a little hand topstitching.  The original pattern has a piece of curled ribbon but I haven't added it as I didn't have any grosgrain ribbon in the right colour!
I have two more pincushions to finish and will add them to my pumpkin patch in the autum!
Thanks for looking

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Wray Scarecrow Festival 2014

 We had a super day on the Bank Holiday Monday - we went to the Wray Scarecrow Festival and spent an hour or two wandering around the village admiring the wonderful scarecrows on display. 

This years' theme was heroes and villains and the villagers worked their usual magic and produced some amazing  figures.  I loved the first photo of the Sacked Scarecrow  his expression was just so funny.
Barry made a new friend  - a pair of jokers together!!!

Stick Turpin reminded me of the 'Wicker Man' but I thought it was a very clever design.

Finally the winning figure - Captain Jack Sparrow  - I just loved this - its an amazing figure a worthy winner.

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon among the Scarecrows and look forward to doing it again next year.