Monday, 28 November 2011

Copying Craft Work - How do you feel?

I have just read a blog whereby the post writer has admitted to seeing an idea at a craft fair and then going home, copying it and then posting how to do it on the Internet! 
Now, if the crafter had put it on Youtube or any other medium then I suppose that it goes with the territory, whether it is moral or not.  However, I do not think it is fair to copy an idea and then without consent,  post how to make the item on a craft blog.
What do you think?
As you know, I do the odd craft fair and I bet someone is copying my ideas somewhere, but to actually post it on a craft blog where other crafters may have probably had their work copied at some time or other are viewing the post seems to make it worse.
I do not think that it is setting a very good example.  I am not a saint, but I acknowledge credit if I am using an inspiration from elsewhere and I certainly do not copy  (see work inspired by Romero Britto recently) as I think it would show what a BAD crafter I would be if all I could do was copy.
I am not so naive not to realise that items I put here could be viewed by someone somewhere in the world who is copying them, although I did track down the Turkish blog that took chunks of my blog and emailed the editor about it.  Tracking back your visitors enables you to monitor this.   But really, we should be supporting handmade and setting an example, not contributing to the problem of copying

Use work to inspire - credit/ask permission/ produce your OWN angle on the idea -  then share if you wish.
Am I just on my soapbox?  I have had a good day at work so it is not that, but this particular post did niggle me a bit.
I was going to leave a comment on said blog, but hubby thought I might be on the receiving end of some backlash so I have used my own blog and not mentioned any names.
Craft fairs are a showcase for individual work, (often little or no profit is made) not for pinching ideas.  The main fun is finding out how you could make it differently, using different materials etc.
Ok, time to get grumpy off said soap box, and yes I am doing another craft fair in 2012.
Take care and keep crafting.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

I've WON, Yippeee

I recently entered a giveaway over at Clare's Craftroom and I was lucky enough to be a winner.
I have won a copy of  the pattern needed to make the fun little chap shown in the picture.
Sophie and I are going to have so much fun making up this little chap.
It has been a lovely surprise which has brought a smile to my face at a time when I may not have found too much to smile about.
Many thanks Clare! xx
I shall let you now when it arrives and a picture of our efforts to make him up.  By the way his name is squiddley.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Another Etsy Sale Item

I have been continuing with my Etsy shop sort out and planning for another craft fair in the New Year.  So here is another lovely knitted bag which has had a lot of interest in my shop but is still there.  so I have reduced it and hopefully it will find a new happy owner.
This bag has been knitted using wool which feels like velvet and it has a luxurious feel to it.  Would be very eye catching at any Christmas party with plenty of room for everything and more!  Will not go out of fashion and could be used every day to work.
Fully lined with strong acrylic handles.
The bag has been created using Moss Stitch, which is one of my favourite stitches.  Attractive and strong but still soft and flexible.
Would make a lovely gift.
Pop over and take a quick look.
Free P&P in the UK.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Relaxing Read...........

I do not get the chance to read as much as I would like. Certainly not during the day but I do try and make a point of having a cup of tea in bed at night with a few pages.
I am looking for the next Rebecca Shaw book in a series that I am reading so in the mean time I picked up the book shown above.
It has been good and some nights I have forgotten about the time and maybe put the light out later than I should.  I follows the life of a young courtier, Mary, in the reign of Henry the VIII and all of the plotting and beheadings that happened during that part of history.
It starts when she is about 11 years old and traces her life, loves, tragedies and horrors of the time.
How factual it is in certain places I do not know although the author does have a history major.  But to be honest I am not bothered, I really enjoyed it and did find it hard to put down.
If you like Philippa Gregory then you will probably like this too.
I am in-betweeen books now as I have a magazine article to do before I get distracted with another "Relaxing Read".

Monday, 21 November 2011

Doodle Doodle Away..............

I have finally finished my pages in my Art sketch book that I use for my Year 8 class.  It is approx A3 in size and took me several evenings by snatching a few minutes here and there. It is definately a pick it up and put it down kind of activity. 
I found it very therapeutic.  Does anyone remember the large doodle art pictures you used to be able to get?  My Mum did several of them, they were quite popular birthday presents in our house for a while.  We had a really impressive wall hanging of a stone urn with loads of flowers in it.  Mum spent hours adding colour and it was really effective.  Whatever happended to them?
I have found that using a permanent black pen first to outline your pattern works well.  Then when you add your felt tips the black lines do not smudge into the colour areas.
Where do I get my ideas from?  Nowhere really I just start doodling in one corner and keep going.  I put it down (usually to do something really fun like the washing!) and then pick it up again and carry on.  Having an inspiration helps I suppose,but I was having a go at Zentangles before I discovered Romero Britto as part of the Art project.
I really do want to do something else with this but it will have to wait as I have a lesson observation this week plus other deadlines to meet.  I have completed a Christmas swap but want to wait until my partner receives my parcel before I post it. 
Go on, dig out those felt tips or borrow some.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Etsy Sale Price - Crochet Bag

After my surprise success at a craft fayre last weekend, I have been sorting out my Etsy shop a bit and decided to reduce the prices on some items for Christmas.  The bag above was $35.00 and it is now at $30.00.
More details can be seen HERE

More to add including some new designs which will be loaded up over the coming week.  So do pop over and take a quick peek.  Hubby and I are going to make more of handmade Internet shopping this year as parking, petrol and just the queueing is enough to make gift giving a chore not a pleasure.  
Happy Sunday.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Eden Project - Children in Need

We like to support Children in Need every year in some way and this year we managed to do more than normal.
Above is a kit from ASDA created by LEGO of Pudsey Bear.  There were lots of pieces inside and Sophie was thrilled that she was able to follow the instructions on her own to make him.  The money went to the charity.
Children in Need is on the BBC nationally but our regional programme Spotlight was at the Eden Project so this year we decided to pop down and see what was happening.
As we walked down to the biomes all of the Christmas lights were on.  Above is a picture of a tree which is made from plastic carrier bags but the blue lights and tinsel made a lovely tree.  The picture does not really do it justice.  
Lots of greenery and little white twinkling lights.
 This bandstand was near one of the stages.
I turned round to find...........
Pudsey Bear with .....Captain Jack Sparrow?.......Calm down ladies, it is not "THE" Captain Jack Sparrow, but not a bad look alike I have to say and the children loved it.  Pudsey was completely surrounded by little children all wanting a hug from this special bear.  It never ceases to amaze me just how much money they manage to raise every year despite the economical situation.
The Eden Project has an ice rink every winter and Sophie has been on and on about having a go.  Well hubby did his father bit and donned a pair of ice skates to take Sophie out on the rink.  The picture above is of part of the decorations which really do make the rink look all christmassy.
I struggled to get a picture of Sophie and hubby but you can see how nice the rink looked.
Some of our school choir took part in the massive choir singing special on the Children in Need programme and they sounded really good in the Mediterranean biome.  Over 3,000 children and students look part in a video linked song for Children in Need.  A lovely idea and a great evening out.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Quilted Christmas Table Mat

Here is one of my makes this month.  It is a Christmas block made from some scraps left over from taking part in the Around the World Quilting Bee last year.  I decided to make something really simple so I quilt the front onto come wadding.
I used gold embroidery thread and free machined at random all over the outer boarder of the block.
A bit of red for the seasonal touch.
I backed the mat with this lovely fabric and the colours went well with those on the front.
Finally, I added some bright red binding around the edge to neaten and to help keep the shape even.
Voila!  First make for Christmas, it will probably go one the coffee table in the living room.
Next on the sewing table is a table runner.
More on that next time.
Tomorrow we are going to the Eden Project in the evening for Children in Need.  Some of the youngsters from our school are going to be singing as part of a massive choir from around the UK.  So watch the One Show from between 7-7.30pm to hopefully catch and then I am sure it will feature here and there during the programme on BBC 1.
If you live abroad, you may be able to find it via the Internet.
Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

3D Structures

As part of my new venture into teaching Art I have been trying some new things.  Making 3D sturctures using card and slotting together.  This is my second attempt using ovals and it grew from the base upwards.  The first model I tried using different sized  triangles......well..... it looked awful,  but the youngsters got the idea and theirs were much better!  Trying to make something in just a few minutes did not help.  With the one above I started it as a demo but then sat down with the class and made mine at the same time.
Some came to have a look and then went back to work on theirs.  Worked out much better.
I have another model linked to a different group and project but it needs painting etc.

I am finally back in the saddle and went to my little sewing group tonight.  First time since the end of August.  I finished my first Christmas item but no picture yet.  You may remember a table runner which has been sitting waiting for some TLC, that is next.  So my sewing mojo is coming back gradually and I promise not to go on forever about models and colouring with felt tip pens but it has really helped lately and I have found a new interest too.

Next week my TA and I are starting up our after school club again.  Just could not do it before now, got some ideas too which will involve knitting but we are going to expand into other crafts too.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Birthday Fun

Due to Sophie's birthday being in the middle of the week this year we decided to have friends party today.
The food was discussed and purchased, games thought of and the house decorated (including some bunting on the outside of the house!!)
Our first job was to create a little work of art using felt tip pens.  Could have used the paint which came with the little pictures, but I did not want any accidents with clothes, floor etc.
These a little canvases which I found in The Range.  Sophie has used these on several occasions and she thought that here friends would also enjoy colouring them.
Sorry about the picture, but blogger again has other ideas.  Fun pictures though.
We also tried a pinatas ( I think that is spelt right) took a time to open and due to not instructions and thinking there was something inside already, it fell apart and we discovered that it was full of paper!!  We have never bought one of these before and we did shake it and as it was so heavy we thought some sweets were already in there.  So a "Doh" moment for mummy and daddy and we felt awful about it.  In the scheme of things recently perhaps we should not worry about it but it was our mistake and we felt awful.  So a bag of maltesers was produced and we tried to save the moment.  Sophie did say about trying it again another time.  Our new take on pass the parcel by having a lucky dip proved to be ok by having a large bin bag filled with 6 presents and 6 "duds" and each person took it in turns to dip until everyone found something.  One person pulled out two and tried to keep two but there you go.  Basically said put one back.................
Moving on swiftly.................
As in previous years Sophie asked for cupcakes and I tried to make them look a little different to last year.  So plain cupcakes with vanilla or chocolate butter icing.  Decorated with a few maltesers and rive paper flowers.  All from good old ASDA.
The rice paper flowers are lovely and are not too thick, melt a little on the tongue.  I just popped them on top of the butter icing.
Cupcake anyone?
Each girl was to go home with a cupcake, but the next questions was how to do this easily.
.............back to ASDA which is where I found these individual cupcake boxes in the party section.  They come flat packed and has a separate inner base with a hole to slot in your cupcake so that it does not move around. 
All safe and secure.
There is even a little window so that you can see that cupcake loveliness!
Well.......all over for another year and it will be double figures nest time.  So maybe a different approach which  involves taking a couple of friends to the panto.
I have an idea to get some more of these and make some Christmas themed cupcakes for colleagues at work this year.  Will be a little different I hope.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

At Long last..............

......after many attempts I have finally taken part in a Craft Fayre that was actually successful!
It was at a venue that I have been to before but not for at least a year.  Maybe they missed me!
I had a constant stream of people buying such a variety of items that I could not give a best seller for the day.  I do think that I have come to a conclusion though.
I will take part on some of these craft Fayre's but only a couple of times a year, at major holidays for example.  I will take only small items and leave the bigger items for Etsy.  I do need to look at my Folksy shop and decide whether to keep it or shut it down. 
I sold quite a bit today and i have updated my Etsy shop as a result. I also have some items to list which I made during the Summer and put to one side.
I think that the next one for me will be Easter 2012 so plenty of time to sort myself out.
If you have a few mins do pop over to my Etsy shop and see what is there over the next few weeks.  Some postage costs have been removed for UK buyers.  For overseas buyers if multiple purchases are made postage will be adjusted.
Tomorrow is Sophie's party for 5 of her friends.  I have made the cakes tonight and need to decorate them tomorrow.
I shall let you know how it goes.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Inspired Splash of Colour

Following on from the other posts this week is a little look in my sketchbook.  Using basic felt tip pens and a cartridge sketchbook I used Romero Britto as my starting point and created this brightly coloured doodle.
Thick black lines enhance the colours which you can make up as you go along!
The colour and shapes evolve as you go along and basically anything goes.  I did start in pencil and then colour it in, but as the drawing above went on I swapped straight to black pen and then added the colour. 
The result is an explosion of colour, time well spent and a feeling of calm and satisfaction.
I created this in my sketchbook during half term when I actually had the time to sit and produce something for me, by me, some me time. 
I am really pleased with this outcome and I think that in the future I shall be using this style again, maybe paints, but at the moment the good old felt tip pen is my new best friend.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Happy Birthday my Lovely Sophie

I can not believe that it was 9 years ago that the two of us became three.  12.07pm at 8lb 4oz at Treliske Hospital in Truro.  Due to not knowing what was going to happen these coming months with my Dad we had not formally booked anything for Sophie so we decided to have a tea with my in-laws and family presents.
Sophie again requested cupcakes which I made last night and then rushed home to pipe after work.  They have sugar flowers and then little white chocolate stars.
Sophie chose the flower shaped candles and whilst on holiday in the Lewes area we found a number 9 sparkler which yo can see in the picture.
Sophie went swimming first and gained her 200m badge and a very large certificate which was great on her birthday. 
Due to signing up for a craft fayre many months ago for Saturday,  Sophie is going to have a little party for her friends at our house on Sunday for a few hours.  So I have some activities and bits and bobs for them to do.
I just hope that the weather holds up.
Take care

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Romero Britto - Inspiration

This year I have been teaching two Year 8 groups ART.  I have been following a set of lessons and I have really enjoyed it.  The theme is PopArt and I have done this theme before on my degree course and knew several of the artists being looked at but not Romero Britto.  When I carried out some research and looked at other examples of his work I thought QUILTS and STITCHING!!!
The picture above is one example of his work.
He was born in Brazil in 1963 and showed a talent for art from an early age.  He is influenced by PopArt to reproduce Neo Pop.  His work has clean, bold, colourful and patterned images.
I can see the above picture as a wall hanging using applique and quilting.  I have seen some work where this has been done.
Lots of lovely bright colours to cheer up these dark wintry days.
Lots of fun images which are fun and easy to relate to and to have a go at drawing.
Thick black lines separate the areas of colour, and bit like a stained glass window or thick applique binding.
Very graphical images.
I like this apple painting, I could imagine other fruit and vegetables being used to create other ideas.
So, tomorrow I shall show you some of my own pages using this artist as inspiration.  So get your felt tips out and have a go as well.
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