Saturday, 28 April 2012

Beautiful Batik

A couple of months ago I ran a workshop for ART textiles so students to come along and try out skills before choosing their options.  The government has now brought in a three year KS4 programme so opting now takes place in Year 8.  
Seems rather young to me to have to think about it seeing as the students have only seen at secondary school for about 5 terms.
17 students came along and we decided to try techniques that they would not have done before.BATIK is a lot of fun and a bit unpredictable but that is a part of its charm.  We ran a similar workshop for Year 9 just after Christmas but these samples turned out better considering they are a year younger.
Due to the lack of time we used silk paints as they are very bright and move through the fabric faster.  Fabric paints are much thicker and harder to blend the colours directly on to the fabric if you are not used to it.
They had great fun and there were lots of "OHHH's" and Wows".  There course will be running with these students and their work has been put up on the wall for display.
I now need to write a new course and make up loads of samples and begin a working sketchbook.  So I shall be posting lots of things here and there on this blog over the coming months with ideas that you may like to try.  I am going to talk to the web site designer this weekend and I hope to stock some items linked to my posts in my shop.

You can view my shop but it is not open to orders yet.  I need to change some of the items and put the prices in pounds sterling as I have had a change of heart about that bit.

I also hope to have a Sample Sale section where I shall be selling my prototype items at very reduced prices and due to that it will be fore UK buyers only unless my arm can be twisted otherwise.
You might like to take a quick look.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Knitted chunky Bag

This is a bag that I completed not long back but forgot to blog about.  it is made with cream chunky wool and using a basket weave pattern.
I love making knitted bags and this one knitted up well.
The handle unscrews at one end enabling beads to be threaded on to add a particular colour or style.  I l love these handles and I wish that I had bought some more.
Knitted bags do need some kind of support to prevent them from stretching out of shape.  So a lining was added with a lovely 100%cotton fabric with a delicate light brown design on it.
This bag will be added to the new website soon, so I shall let you know when.
I have a crochet bag half made, just need to complete the handles.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Bead-dazzled Bracelets

I am taking part in another craft fair in a few weeks time and I wanted to add some new items.  I am not a jewellery maker but I will dabble for birthday presents etc.  
Therefore, I do have quite an extensive range of beads.  These are nice and I think that they look a little like small stones but they are plastic but quite heavy decent quality plastic....if that is possible!
So a couple of weekend's ago Sophie and I settled down to a bracelet making session.  She used her beads to make some for her friends.
Of course quality control is very important and Toffy is here just checking that I am getting it just right.  You can see that I am wearing a bracelet that I made.  I have been wearing it for over a week and it is excellent, easy to wear and most importantly not fallen apart.  So I am keeping this one!
It was surprising just how many bracelets that my box of beads was offering up.  I tried to make a range of colour schemes and thought carefully about the overall size.
The pile kept growing and growing.  At the last count there are 13 bracelets which I shall be taking to the craft fair and any left over will be added to my new website.  There are still some beads left so I think another 4 or so can still be made.
The new website is being powered by Type Pad so it is like learning to blog all over again so is not live yet   I also have a list of questions that I need to go through with the web designer.  Nothing major,,, you now the sort of thing.............complete confusion........should be easy to sort out.
Sophie and I had such great fun making these and choosing the colours.  We spent ages on these and hopefully they will all sell.
I need to make some space so that I can order some stock and I know have two tins of beads instead of four.  Progress I think.  

Final word from Toffy our quality control representative............

"Today is my birthday and I am two years old!"
He is a lovely cat who we thought we would lose to Cat flu a year ago but he pulled through.
He is such a character and definitely a part of the family.  We think he really missed Tiger when he passed in January and seemed "Lost" about the house for some time.  He loves being with us and will follow one of us to whichever room we are in and sit with you until you move on.  Loves being with Sophie and watching her play.  We bought him a Catnip toy for his birthday and he enjoys playing with that.  But his best toy is still his ping pong ball!  He whizzes round the kitchen at high speed for ages, like a pinball machine!  Last night he was bringing the ball back to hubby to throw for him.  Not sure that is normal for a cat but there you go.

Back tomorrow.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Embroidered Sewing Kit OPAM 2012

A few weeks back I posted about finding a marked out piece of fabric that I must have done years ago 
and decided to finish it.....
Well, after having to think what I could make the small panel into (as this bit was not really thought about until AFTER I had cut the edge fabric.  Why did I do that?
This is the front with added flap and fastening.  Then some random free machining to  add texture.
A little iron on flower that I found at the bottom of my sewing box.  I normally do not rate iron-ons very much.  However, this is a really good one!
Plus a "Sew a little Happiness" label too.
I made a little pouch to go on the inside back cover to hold small items such as crochet hooks, tape measure etc.  
I still need to add a few more things, such as a small pincushion, labels for different types if needles and possibly a scissors pocket.  However, I wanted a follow up post to the embroidery one as it did say that I had plans for it.
I am in the process of developing this to make some for the new website.  As you can see it is quite big as I want to be able to take it to my embroiderers guild classes without having to take half of my sewing room. with me.
I shall be back with pictures of the additions once they have been completed.
It has been a very long week and the weather has been soooo unpredictable. Sun? Rain? Boots? Shoes?   Basically, whatever I had on was not the right thing.
Heyho!  ballet run tomorrow as hubby is working away.  Then I think it is Mummy and Sophie time.
I love that time.
This is also one of this months OPAM 2012 finishes.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

New Website...... nearly there

The website is nearly done, now just need to move items around and to add some goodies to create your own ideas.
I have some other projects that have not been featured on this blog  and the supplies will assist in the completion of those projects.

The new site will be called:

My logo is there and a clean and easy layout.
Still some work to do but a prize for the comment left in January which helped me reach a decision on the name.
Back tomorrow with a post about my trip to the Tate Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

i Pad designing

Oh.....the fun that can be had with an ipad.  Just take a look at these designs that Sophie put together. 
Now Sophie is 9 years old and never used one before!
Using the kaleidoscope feature this started off as a spring tulip.  I love this feature the most.
This one was taken by Sophie pointing the i pad on to her top!!
It has a bit of an Indian look to it, I really like this one too.
One of the paint brush features.  Takes a bit of getting used to this but a lot of fun.
This one reminds me of a fleece top that I made Sophie when she was about three.
We ended up looking at this i-pad for over two hours.  We had such fun trying out all of the drawing functions, better than any video/computer game!
There are many more....but I need to get to bed and these pics were sent via email and it has taken ages to upload, save, download etc get the idea.
Nighty Nighty!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Etsy Treasury Feature UPDATED

UPDATED: In th end I took a photo of my laptop screen to show the Etsy treasury, honestly the things we do....
Note to self........ Learn how to do a print screen..... not easy on a Net book that only sees part of the screen at any one time.

There...can you see me?  Bottom row.

My first day back at work went by smoothly.  I did seem to spend quite a bit of one lesson having to unpick stitching mistakes but you get those occasions every now and then.
Two bits of good news, Cottage Designs over on Etsy added my blue sequin waste (punchinella) in a blue themed treasury, so thank you very much and we have added each other to our circles!

I also had another Etsy sale so my lovely bright pink make up bag has a lovely new owner.
I managed to get hold of my next reading book and I have also had some interest in a little book swap.  I wuld have to think about how to do this and as long as everyone involved understands that you get the book to try and may not like it then it could be one to try.  
So if you are interested call back tomorrow and I will do a mini book swap post.  I will consider postage issues as well.
Off to sor tout some stuff for tomorrow then tea, book and bed!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Birdie Book Cover OPAM 2012

Catching up with some items I made before I went away.  Gosh, is it really a week since we got back?  This is my latest Birdie Range felt book cover.  This time he has LEGS! (Or she if your prefer)
I wanted to add more hand stitched detail with this version.  This time chain stitch and running stitch.
A cheery little soul on a pink background. 
He would love a new home and will be added to the new website. 
Cheep! Cheep!

Latest Read

Well, I do not know where today has gone.  It has been quite busy here and typically just as it was the gardens turn next for some attention it started to rain, and I mean rain!  So hubby tidied the garage which is a never ending job, I scouted out more possible suppliers for the website and left my details with a few,took a risk and ordered some ribbon from Ebay which is soooooo cute and Sophie had her fill of watching Horrid Henry.
Then it was off to my in laws for a great homemade curry from a recipe linked to the Come Dine with Me series which has been getting really good feedback from others who have tried it.  It was gorgeous!!
So, full of  curry we then sat down and Sophie spent ages playing with their new i-pad.  I have to say that the drawing and photo apps are really good.  I shall try and upload some pics which we emailed to my phone.  I also feel a Plaroid Pogo moment coming along as well.

I am having trouble changing my current read picture in my side bar so I shall put it here instead.  Another in the series of  the Turnham Malpus village and this time it covers some darker topics such as drug dealing and gangs in cities.  A bit grittier this time but still keeping the village spirit going.  The roles of some of the key characters has changed too and I think that this may affect future books.  I now need to track down the next one.  "A Village Dilemma" by Rebecca Shaw.  I read it quite quickly with my new glasses, much easier.
  I did read another before this one and  it was set in the Tudor court of Henry V111 which I found very gripping.
A different type of book for me and I shall look to reading some more by this author.  It centres around the life of one girl  and how she and others are manipulated to the gain of others.  It put cross how unhappy lives might have been at this time and how lives could be so controlled and the outcomes fatal.  Excellent book.
 I have always loved anything to do with Kings and Queens right from when I was a child.  It was the main reason I took history, so you can imagine my disappointment when it was not on the study list at exam level!
What are you currently reading at the moment?
I wonder if a blog book swap is possible?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Holiday Snaps

Nearly half of the day had gone by before I realised that it was Friday 13th!  
It all started with an email finally deciding on the website name which was partly inspired by a comment left on my web naming post back in January so a prize will be issued soon to that person.  They have not commented since so I hope that I can track then down.

This was then followed by an Etsy order which I was able to pack and take to the Post office before the lunch time collection.
I then spent some time sorting out my supplies and handmade items for a craft fair that I have signed up for in May, only three weeks away plus a website opening, I hope I have enough items to go around!
Next came the sorting out and up loading of the last batch of Holiday Snaps at Seaford.  Thought you might like to see them.
My sister in law and her partner have an allotment in Seaford and grow some of the most fantastic home grown veg and fruit I have ever tasted.  I wish I had more time and better luck with this.  The first year of our vg patch was good but then I think that every slug in the neighbourhood heard about it and decided to take up residence in our garden!!
We are seriously looking at converting it to cut flowers (the bees and butterflies will love it) and try some veg in containers and stick to just a few bits and pieces.
It was a glorious sunny day when we visited it to collect some veg for dinner.
A walk along the beach at Seaford is always a must.  Even in bad weather it is enjoyable.  Here is where the Kittiwakes birds live, on the cliff face where they build their nests.
I have never seen the tide out so far before and many hidden items from the past could be seen.
I have always been able to get a good sunset picture in Seaford too and this only a couple of minutes after the first photo shown was taken.
Lobster pots and fishing boats are moored on the pebble beach and on this walk we saw a small boat go out and place some lobster pots and haul the boat back up the beach using a special  winch.  Sophie was fascinated by this.  It even managed to stop her looking for "special stones" on the beach.
Hubby is not feeling very well and has gone to work only to come home and literally collapse because he is so tired.  Not like him at all.  
We always finding visiting Seaford very relaxing and at a time when my life is still upside down and has been since last September  that it was a break that I really did not want to come home from.
However, it will still be there to go back to.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Messenger bag - Updated

I have just added the above to my Etsy shop this morning.  There are more pictures in my shop, I did not want to over load this post with bag pictures.  The handle is adjustable by moving the knot up or down which removes the need for a metal slider.  The knot does not get in the way, I use a bag which uses my method of adjusting the strap.
Free P&P for UK buyers and feel free to ask any questions.
I started a new style bag yesterday and I am going to try and convert it into a pattern or PDF instructions, depending on which method is easiest for someone to receive and use.  Printing off patterns is ok but printer ink is not getting any cheaper, buying a paper pattern adds to the postage but you can draw a simple pattern using brown parcel paper!
I have signed up for two more craft fairs, one in July and one in November.  I have also found another contact number which I shall try today for a different venue.
Are you a craft fair organiser?  If you are could you please leave a comment or email me as I would very much like to pursue other dates for this year.  You can see what I do and the standard of my work also I enjoy the atmosphere of the fellow sellers and the visitors who come to have a look.

I have some coursework to check today and then I am off to make some items for July plus draw up a plan for the classes I want to start running locally. Fun and easy to afford are my two main criteria!
It was our wedding anniversary yesterday, 14 years, so I shall be back with some pictures of our National Trust visit that you may also be interested in doing.

PS I have just arranged another craft fair and I shall now be adding the dates and times in the side bar in case any of you could pop along and say hello!  We do need to support handmade and local produce as much as we can.  There is nothing better than a birthday present that you can not find in the shops. 
If you need to know any postcodes for Satnavs then leave a comment and I will do my best to help.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Polaroid Pogo Printer

Whilst blog hopping a few weeks ago I visited The SometimesCrafter and the author was discussing about finding a small printer to take on holiday so that snaps could be printed on the go and that a journal or diary could be created at the time rather than waiting until you get home.  I read on....
I googled some of the items that were discussed and the Polaroid Pogo really took my eye.  It was released in 2008 so yet again I am several years behind but never mind!
I spent the rest of the evening finding reviews, feedback, specifications and outlets.  
It comes in black and pink!!! Yes! Pink.
You can also get a Polaroid Pogo combi camera but seeing as I have a perfectly good digital camera I decided to just go for the Pogo Printer itself.
 I took it away on holiday and used it several times but my real reason for buying one was to be able to put pictures in my smallest of sketchbooks and to make up my own labels and business cards.  The Poppy Seeds above feature in my Sketchbook Delight online classs I am doing but I shall say more on that another time.
Anyway, the Pogo does not need any print cartridges and the prints are self adhesive so I made a few up a few labels to use when I did my last craft fair.
The prints measure 3inches by 2 inches and even though this may not sound very big they are ideal for what I want and would be great for scrap booking and card making as well.
The front lifts up and you put a whole pack of 10 sheets in.  There is a blue bar code card at the bottom and this has to be fed through before any printing can be done, the Pogo does this automatically.  There is actually several You tube videos on this, just type in Polaroid Pogo.  They are worth watching to see the Pogo on action.  
My camera is then attached to the USB on the side of the Pogo and I then follow the instructions on my camera and clicking print out comes a picture of the poppy seeds.
You can get quite addicted to using it.  It can be used via bluetooth with a mobile phone and I have got it to print from my netbbok via bluetooth too.  Not bad considering most techie things seem to work against me!
Please do not consider this as a product review it is just how I have been using it and to pass on how pleased I am with it.  For once something that actually does what it says it will. 

I was lucky enough to have a hubby who visited a company where the owner had a Pogo and was happy for my hubby to try it with my camera because the write up does say that it needs Pictbridge to work.  My camera is just under two years old and it works fine with the Pogo and as far as I am aware it does not have Pictbridge.  This was my main concern and something that you would also need to check.

 If the original picture you took is good then I have found the quality of these minature pics to be good as well.  In fact one of a flower taken last summer is a perfect match in colour etc.
I bought this one from Amazon plus a promotion pack of 100 sheets and when printed they work out at abut 10pence each or less.   But no printer cartridge is needed.  It uses Zink photo paper and is done with heat transfer, Amazon explains it better!
All in all a nifty little gadget which Sophie has also had fun using and has been worth the £40  it cost!  It will also add a new dimension to my sketchbooks without having to trim off most of the picture to fit in my book.  It will also be a holiday must and a new case will now need to be made, so even more fun to be had.
Has anyone else tried one of these.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Cats with Character

I was sat in my room at my SIL house changing my shoes when I could hear snoring!!  I appeared to be on my own.  I looked around and decided that perhaps it was coming from another room.  Hubby has been very unwell whilst we have been away.
Then I saw an ear twitching............ have possibly read the book "Cat in the Hat" well I have a Cat in a Bag!! 
Everyone had to come and have a look then we left him to finish his snooze.
PS.  Do read the quote attached to the comment left by Toffeeapple, it is excellent!
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