It has been awhile since I have posted. I’ve been busy making, but just haven’t been posting, so here is my latest make. 1st page of my new material book. My material book is for recording my photograph experiences. There is lots to do, since starting with Burghley House, I have been taking photos at Fineshade, South Luffenham, Bedford Purlieus and Castor Hanglands.
I have joined the local Embroidery Guild.
We have books that we swap each month and someone else adds a page for you each month. This is the book cover I made with a dragon for my book and the first page that I added, embroidery flowers. In March I did my first page for someone else’s book, did the butterfly and added the piece about wanting to fly.
Well it has been a very busy time. I am now selling in two shops, one in Kettering ‘The Faery Realm’ and one in Oakham ‘Ever Lasting Now’, as well as selling online. This has been keeping me very busy. Also I made loads of Christmas presents. Some of the photos aren’t as good as I would have liked them to be and I didn’t photograph everything that I was selling as I couldn’t keep up. Some of the present were quickly photographed on Christmas Eve before they were packed.
This pink quilt is a Quillow, it folds into a cushion or pillow when not in use. They are lovely on the settee, or chair for when it is a cold night and you unwrap the pillow and have the blanket to keep you warm. The pillow cover is attached to the back of the quilt and often people put their feet into the cushion case for extra coziness. More Quillows below:
You can tell how rush I was with the photos, the green, orange and turquoise pillow photo is really out of focus. For Christmas I was given a portable light studio so fingers crossed by photos might get better.
I did a lot of iPad, iPhone, kindle and tablet covers.
The dragon on the iPad cover was freehand embroidery, I cut the material out on the Brother Scan and Cut. The 4 x 4 landrover on the red background was painted with fabric paint and then free hand embroidered.
In the Guardian Perri Lewis tells us why being crafty is great for all of us and I have to agree.
Monday 8 December 2014
and 5 unique ways to get creative juices flowing
Good news, it is so exciting. It feels like the beginning. I know it is not quite the beginning as I have been doing craft as therapy for my hand for a few years now and the art workshops starting running this summer, but it is the beginning of selling my crafts. I have had such pleasure making the gifts, everything is handmade.
I now have space to sell my crafts at:
The Faery Realm Shop 26 Montagu Street, Kettering.
It would be great if you can visit, it is a lovely, welcoming, friendly shop and you will see such lovely gifts and crafts, not just the ones I’m selling but others too. I am selling lots of lovely individual, unique handmade cards and the tea light lanterns, which have always been very popular. Lots of other special items as you can see from the photos. The shop is open Sunday 11am to 3pm and Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 5pm.
Finally finish my material dolls house. I started it 8 months ago. The reason it took so long to make was a combination of things. I made it from scratch making my own pattern and stencils, designed it as I went along, started and completed other projects during this time and finally just after it was sewn together and I was ready to do the interesting decorating part I broke my other arm.
On Sewing Bee, I think it was a Christmas version, I saw one of the contestants had made a material dolls house and I thought I would like to try to make one.
Through the process of making the house I learnt a lot about how I could have made it a lot easier. If you are thinking of making a material dolls house, please read the ‘If I did it again’ section at the end of this post.
I started by buying plastic cross stitch canvas, cutting it to the size I needed 2 x roof sections, 2 x end wall sections, 2 x wall sections and one base. I covered all sections with wadding, sewing the wadding onto the canvas.
I then printed the outer cotton material and with a ‘Clarity’ wall stencil using brown material dye.
I printed the roof with red material dye. For the roof I designed a stencil and cut acetate on the ‘Scanncut’.
After covering and sewing most of the house sections individually I made the bottom of the house and the front wall as one section, sewing the material together before sewing it onto the wadded section. I then sewed the material covered wadded sections together. Holding it together was difficult so I used a cake container as scaffolding.
By the time I had the house sewn together it felt like I was making progress, but then I broke my other arm. So all I could do was look at the half finished house.
Next I cut the windows, window frames and door in felt on the ‘Scanncut’. I had decided to use the ‘Scanncut’ as it easily and quickly achieved accurate repetition of shape and size. The garden fence was a ribbon that came on a birthday cake. I save everything that I think I can reuse such as birthday paper and ribbon. I usually find a good use for everything, but sometimes storing recycled material can be tricky as it can take up so much room and can sit for a very long time. If in a fit of tidiness I throw something away I usually regret it in a very short time, amazing how you always want something you have just thrown out.
Anyway I digress back to the process. I made small flowers with the ‘Sweetheart Rose Maker’ using some black and red cotton material that I bought at Leicester market a long time ago. This material has come in useful for so many things the appliqué on the cushion for my mother, draught excluder for the door and now the flowers. I found it confusing at first, sewing it with the right side showing seemed wrong, but they worked out. I also had to be careful not to gather the flower too tight, I thought this would make it a smaller flower, but in fact the effect it had was to make it too deep and stuck out to far out from the house. Loose flowers were less 3D.
For the climber growing up on the corner of the house I cut individual leaves in felt and then sewed them on individuals to form the climber.
A white button was sewn onto the door. The loop on the roof was sewn onto the inside of the roof. I made a tube like a bag handle and then folded it over sewing it again to make it stronger and narrower. A red button was sewn onto the outside of the corresponding roof.
Laying the turf for the garden. It felt like I was doing this for my husband. He is a landscaper and always laughs that over all the years I have known him I have only laid one roll of turf as I found it heavy and uninteresting.
I printed with green and brown material dye, using leaves from the garden as stencils. To make the garden path I used the red squares cut from the window frames. The garden was sewn onto the inside of the house over the roof and front wall, this covered and tided where the loop had been sewn to the house.
Finally sewed on the little dog button bought from Dandelion Designs’. This I sewed slightly up the wall as when you look at it on the level, the walls of the house bulge slightly, so the dog looks like he is on the ground.
The dolls house is finished.
I was working out how to make the material dolls house as I went along so I learnt a lot on the way.
If I did it again
1. I would make the roof, front, bottom and back of the house as one piece so that I didn’t have to sew them together. The difficulty there is making sure, when printing the material as one piece, that you get the right size and the right bits in the right place. I wasn’t confident to do that, but now feel I have worked it out and it would be easier than sewing all the material covered wadded sections together. The one piece needs to have one side of the red roof, followed by the back wall, the bottom of the house, the front of the house and finally the second side of the roof. So the material goes, red roof, brown wall, brown bottom, brown wall, red roof.
2. Once I had printed the material I would sew on the door, windows, flowers, fence and the loop for the button before putting onto the wadded walls and before sewing the house together. The buttons and the climber would not be sewn on at this time, they would need to be sewn on after the house had been formed.
Good luck if you are thinking of having a go at making a material dolls house. Let me know how it goes? Any questions you have I will be pleased to try and help.
June was blighted by my broken arm, so some friends and family didn’t get cards. Luckily there were few birthdays in July. I am now hopefully back on track for August as there are quite a few birthdays this month.
Click above on the title ‘June Birthdays’ to see all this month’s cards. June starts with a very special birthday, it is my mother’s 80th Birthday xx. Then it is my nephew’s birthday a special one for him too. Well it feels like rain stopped play. Things have certainly stopped. Fell over at work and broke my arm, now both hands not working properly so no creativity happening at the moment. I have to say sorry to those people I would be sending cards to who won’t receive anything. Well 2015 has been a better year and I’m making cards again.
Click above on the title ‘April Birthdays’ to see all this month’s cards. A few birthdays this month starting with my sisters. I used the Inkadinkado round stamping cog with the leaf, stamped in Archival Brilliance Peacock ink. In the centre I printed the Jayne Nestorenko ‘Apple of my eye collection’ children stamp, coloured with Letraset Aquamarkers.
Card for a friend. Scallop pattern cut on scanncut. Clarity stamp ‘Forever Friendship’. Flowers and leaves both craft presents. Made envelope to match with the wrapped present.
A Wedding Anniversary Card for a friend to give to her neighbour. Then there was Dave and Helen, we went to the evening do, a lovely open mic night. It was a great wedding, everyone seemed to have a good time and the couple seemed so happy x.
Bridget and Jim’s card was made for for son, he was going to a wedding of a friend from University days.
Helped Karen make this pretty card for her friend.
Jan and Brian 2015
Click above on the title ‘February Birthdays’ to see all this month’s cards. There are quite a few February birthdays, the month starts with my sons birthday, he needed lots of candles. Happy Birthday. Then there is my niece’s birthday she is 8 yrs old and my brother in law. The month finishes with two cards for two good friends that I haven’t managed to meet up with recently, hopefully we will be able to catch up soon.
Click above on the title ‘Gifts 2013’ to see the post. Here is a collection of Christmas Gifts that I gave in 2013. Firstly napkins, I made 8 altogether have to admit I was still sewing them after Christmas and had some help with the sewing from my mum. I managed to get them finished just in time, before my son and his girlfriend went back to London. I made a mini iPad case for Rob and for my husband I gave a picture, not sure he was that keen on it, but it is now up on the wall. make up bag for my mum, she said that she thought I had bought it, high praise, she hadn’t believed I made it. the candles were presents for friends.
Click above on the title ‘Christmas 2013’ to see all the cards. Christmas 2013 was very busy. I didn’t make such a variety of cards as I managed last year. In fact I didn’t give as many cards as last year, which was good because the card making took second place to the printing of material and sewing projects.
Click above on the title ‘First explorations in the material world’ to see all of this post. First batch of material printed and ready to go. Never printed my own material before, made it into a pencil case, with lining and zip. I think I need a bigger gelli plate, as attaching two pieces of material together makes it look odd and I had to line it to hide the join. First time I’ve ever sewn in a zip, I don’t think I ever got that far in school sewing, cookery apron was my limit.
Very simple Lavender pillow, made it with the lavender we bought in Hunstanton in 2012.
Tried the larger Gelli plate, as you can see below, some of the results are ok, but I think I need more practice. The oranges ones are just too much. Gelli plate book cover and lap top sleeve. Quite pleased with the yellow bag, printed material on gelli plate with leaves from the garden.
Click above on the title ‘October Birthdays’ to see all this month’s cards. My niece’s birthday, now she is into double figure, pink no longer seems right so went for purple for a preteen. First time that I have coloured myself the ribbon so that it matches the colour scheme of the card.
The little square card was for my friend’s mother. It has a background printed using a ‘magicstamp’ and a pile of buttons. The foam block is heat-moldable, the surface of the foam was warmed with a heat gun and then I quickly pressed the block into the pile of buttons. When cool this made a stamp, which I covered with ink and stamped on the background. Then I added the printed picture and words.
Click above on the title ‘September Birthdays’ to see all this month’s cards. This card I made for a dear friend with whom I work. Gelli plate print with stamp design added. The second card I made for my nephew who is a student. The third card was for a colleague at work. The final card for this month was for my youngest son.
Click above on the title ‘Gelli plate art’ to see all the cards. Handmade stamps made from foam sheets make idea printing equipment for the Gelli plate.
Click above on the title ‘August Birthdays’ to see all this month’s cards. Rob’s birthday this month, felt the bright and beautiful was the way to go. My nephew is an archeologist, so thought the idea of buried treasure might be ok, however I am a bit worried it looks a bit childish and more like a pirate card.
Then Steve’s pheasant card. It is meant to be a golden pheasant, but my husband thinks it is a cross between a ring neck and a golden.
My friends birthday meant a pink butterfly card, beautiful like my friend.
Pam and Diane are raising money for Dementia Adventure by climbing the Three Peaks whilst Mike and his friends are doing the yacht / running race. Pam and Diane are climbing Snowden, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, I am exhausted at the thought, but wish them luck and hope they raise loads for Dementia Adventure.
Click above on the title ‘Congratulations’ to see the cards. What a star, Rob was brilliant in his recent performance and definitely deserved the card. The ‘something to crow about’ card was for my sister who ran the London Marathon, first time she has ran this far, very proud. Congratulations also go to my son on getting a new job. Congratulations to dear friends who have just become grandparents for the first time. Congratulations to a work colleague who was promoted. So proud of my son who got his first paid Directors role, well done. Karen got a new job. The black card with the red bow was made especially for Karen. Congratulations to my son on the success of the production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and finally the Children’s Centre did well. Congratulations Peter on completing the 100km walk, the 500 feet abseil down Bradgate Tower and for getting a new job. Congratulations on the birth of a baby girl.
My son moved recently in London so I sent this card hoping he had settled in. The landscape at the back is of London, it was a present and I used it before embossing which made it look more like it belonged as part of the card.
Used the Gelli plate for the frame of Karen’s card. Then Clarity stamps for letters and houses.
Click above on the title ‘Get well soon cards’ to see all the cards. Had to change the ‘Teddy nurse’ card and take off the mask and hat as it looked too scary. Also added to the ‘Teddy nurse’ card the back page of ‘Laughter is the best medicine’.
The background of the red Get Well card was printed on the Gelli plate, words were cut on the Scanncut. The little pink Get well card below I gave my friend last year when she had her right hand operated on. When she went in for the same operation on her left hand she seemed much more confident so thought I could do a more jokey card, but maybe the card above did look a bit evil even with the mask and hat removed. My friend broke her leg and so I made her a card using the background that she had previously printed on the gelli plate at one of my workshops.
I made this card and it was getting quite difficult to get the balance right with the layering and embellishments. Finally I cut velum butterflies with the Cricut Picturesque Cartridge. Then as I needed to post it and didn’t want to flatten the butterflies I made a box with the Sweet Tooth Boxes Cartridge. Then wrapped it in a bubble wrap envelope. I think maybe I went over the top with all the packaging, my sister in law will think she has a present and when she opens it she will find it is just a little card, could be a disappointment.
I was given for my Birthday the Cricut cartridge ‘Sweet Tooth Boxes’. I made one of the cake boxes for my sister’s birthday and that turned out to be really simple. Then I tried to make two little milk cartoon style ‘house’ boxes for my great niece and nephew. They took a long time to cut out. In the end as I was running out of time as I need to go and visit them, I left the cut outs till later and decided to make the simpler boxes for my great niece and nephew. I had to decorate them in a hurry, but they were ok in the end. Filled them with sweets and for my sister dried fruit as she has a gluten allergy and I wasn’t sure that the ingredients in the sweets would be ok.
The card I made for my Mother in 2013, unfortunately I had bought a new glue which really couldn’t cope with her hot room. I glued it all back together with a stronger glue the next time I visited. 2014 Mother’s Day card had the single flower clarity stamp print, and all the papers were cut with the Scanncut.
I made this card in a hurry for our new Neighbour. Unfortunately even though I tried to make it very quickly, the neighbours had only visited their new house for the morning and had gone before it was finished. Never mind perhaps they will visit next weekend, or the card will just have to wait until they move in properly in August. Well finally met the neighbours and passed the card to them with a cake to welcome them to the area. They seemed to be a lovely family.