Friday, 31 August 2012

Folksy Friday - Garden

Can't believe it's Friday again! Where does the time go? For this weeks Folksy Friday I chose Garden as my search term. The Autumn is fast approaching and there will be less time to enjoy being in the garden - not that there's been an abundance of good weather this Summer. My garden has been sadly neglected this year. The weather was so bad that I just didn't bother with hanging baskets and bedding plants, hopefully next year will be better.
Anyway here are my selections for this week:

Firstly, we have a stunning Cottage Garden bowl from  chocolatefrog

I love this set of metal garden stakes by Down To Earth

How about this cute children's gardening set, it's by  Creative Cotton Bags

This is a lovely and unique planter from  Sandra June Originals

Loves these garden plant markers from  Cat's ceramics Handmade Ceramics By Cat Brown

A beautiful apple tree print by  Andi Lucas Art

The Garden Lady doll is by  Country Crafts

Wow! This quilt is from  Happy Stitches

A magical Fairytale print by  Drawlikeme

And lastly, some garden bunting from me  Wild Rose Designs

I hope you enjoyed my selection, thanks for looking,


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My new toy

My trusty Janome sewing machine finally bit the dust. I was in the middle of making a new bag when I noticed smoke and the unmistakable smell of electrical burning! I switched it off at the socket and unplugged the machine only to find that part of the lead had burnt off and was melted into the machine!! I know I'd had it for the best part of twenty years and had thought that when sales picked up that I might possibly upgrade, but I wasn't thinking it would be so soon.

My poor defunct Janome machine

So I had no choice - it was time to go shopping!    :-)  :-)  :-)

I posted on the forum at Folksy to ask the lovely people over there for some suggestions as to what machine to get, and as usual they were all very helpful. I eventually decided on a Silver 9000E. It is computerised with over 200 stitches including embroidery and 3 Alphabet fonts. It also comes supplied with practically every sewing foot you can think of including a walking foot, and it sews through thick layers. The deal clincher was the price, £299 which is about £100 cheaper than comparable machines. I bought it online and got free next day delivery and a free gift! What more can a girl ask for?

So far it's working like a dream and I love the 'needle down' option.

My shiny new Silver 9000E !


Friday, 17 August 2012

Folksy Friday - Oh I do like to be beside the Seaside..

This Folksy Friday blog post has a seaside theme, appropriate as I live in Brighton on the South coast. Now I must confess that although I live in fairly close proximity to the sea, ( Rottingdean beach is about 3 miles down the road, and on a clear day I can glimpse the sea from upstairs), I don't often take the trouble to go to the beach. I think a lot of us are guilty of ignoring the beauty on our doorsteps, we should all take more time out  to just enjoy our surroundings.

Here's this week's selection:

First we have a seaside themed memo board from  Honeysuckle Rose crafts

Next, some seaside themed Lavender bags from  The Crafty Little Cottage

Love this photographic print by  Spotty Dotty

A pair of cute hand painted egg cups by  Glassmagyck

A colourful Punch and Judy print by Eddie Saul Art

Next an unusual yacht design Solar powered  lantern from  Glow box Solar Lanterns

A great beach hut cushion from  Love Lottie textiles

A seahorse and starfish pendant by  Wishes onthe Wind

A child's seaside sundress from  Chick Pea Clothing

A pretty seaside pearl bracelet by  Jayfa Jewellery

Another bracelet, this time a pretty resin bangle from  Lillyangel Jewellery

A coastal cafetiere cosy by  seagullssouthwest

And the nearest thing to a seaside theme in my shop, a deckchair stripe iPad sleeve  Wild Rose Designs

Hope you enjoyed my selection,


Monday, 13 August 2012

Finally booked a stall

Well I've finally done it ........... booked a stall at a craft fair, after months and months of thinking about it. It's a monthly event and I finally got around to popping along to suss it all out. It's in a beautiful venue, there is a cafe- bonus!- and the people who run it are lovely. Considering it was a beautiful sunny August Saturday there was quite a lot of footfall too, so I am quite hopeful for even more potential customers when I make my first appearance there in October. I've also provisionally booked for November and December. This will be my very first craft fair, so I'm both excited and a little nervous, but even if I only make one sale I will be a happy bunny, though of course I'm hoping for many more than that!

I'm now thinking about what I need to do in preparation:

Make more stock including lots of things for Christmas.

Order Carrier bags.

Order some Labels.

Buy price tags.

Make sure I have enough business cards.

Accumulate some display items.

Make a table cloth.......

I'm sure I've forgotten!............


Friday, 10 August 2012

Folksy Friday - Gothic

With the enormous popularity of the Twilight books and films and all things 'other worldly' I thought that a Gothic theme would be in order, the romance, mystery and danger are all quite seductive themes. I've long been a fan of what I call 'grown-up fairy tales' and in this genre I also include Science fantasy - my all time favourite. I've been hooked since my early teens... ummm quite a long time ago.

Anyway back to my search.... here are my choices for this week, I hope you like them.

First up is a stunning illustration from  Dastardly Daphne

Oooh! I like these, purple Swarovski crystal earrings ... they're by  Nevar

This amazing wedding guestbook is from  youruniquescrapbook

This lovely Victorian Gothic evening bag is by  Picketywitch

Some gorgeous cobweb tealight holders from  SarahDesigns

An unusual Gothic door card by  cariadcrafts

A 'Future Gothic'  notebook from  Ritzy Swish

A Stunning pendant from  DecadeDesign

A fabulous black lace collar from  Talulablue

 A black leather and button bouquet by  RubyDoodles Jewellery

And finally from me a black makeup purse  Wild Rose Designs

Thanks for looking,


Friday, 3 August 2012

Folksy Friday - Red, White and Blue

With the Olympics in full swing and feeling patriotic and proud of our athletes, I thought I would choose our national colours  as this weeks theme.

First up and continuing the 'sporty' theme, is a yoga mat from  sewjojo

Next is a cute heart shaped keyring by  Lisa's Jewellery & Gifts

How about this ''Cool' Britannia' iPad case from   Crabtree Lane

An unusual shaped purse by  Beaky

A lovely A6 notebook from  Purple Porcupine

A nautical baby cot quilt by  Accidental Vix

A beautiful embroidered bracelet from  Lynwoodcrafts

Love this tee shirt by  Monkeys from Heaven

Wow! what a statement this dining table would make! It's from  jill & jon

And finally a bundle of Great Britain fat quarters from  Make and Do

Thanks for looking,

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The 7 stages of bag making

Haven't blogged for a week or so, I've been a bit distracted. I didn't want to neglect my blog for too long so I thought I'd dig out this old post from my previous blog, it's still relevant and gives an insight into the different processes involved in creating a handmade bag.

Stage 1: Design

This stage involves me, usually with a cup of tea in hand,  sitting with a pencil and sketch book doodling until I hit upon a design that I like and think will work. Then, I will spend some time refining the design, changing some details and adding others until I'm completely happy. This stage usually only takes a few minutes.

Stage 2: Making the pattern

I use a good quality lining paper to make my pattern pieces. Knowing in my head the shape that the pieces meed to be, I them decide how big they should be and draw them on to the paper. I will often need to adjust them, rubbing out and re-drawing until they're right. I then have to cut them out and label them, so I know what bag thy are for and whether they are for the main fabric or the lining (they can be a slightly different shape and size). This stage can take up to half an hour.

Stage 3:  Cutting out

The bags are usually made up of 4 different layers;
The main or outer fabric.
Interlining, to reinforce and give body to the fabric.
Lining - this is the fabric that you see on the inside of the bag.
Fusible fleece/wadding, this gives the bag that luxurious plumpness.

So the pattern pieces will need to be pinned to these various materials and then cut out. Most of the pattern pieces will need to be used several times.This stage can take between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on the complexity of the bag - some bags have more components than others.

Stage 4:  Making up

This is the most time consuming element of bag making. It involves attaching the interlining and fleece to the relevant pieces, making any pockets and attaching them. Making and attaching any handles, applying labels and fastenings, and assembling the bag and sewing together with matching thread. This stage can take anything up to 4 hours or so, though if it's the first time I've made a particular design it can take much longer. Especially if I suddenly realise that it would be better to do things in a slightly different order or using a slightly different method. But it's all part of the process.

Stage 5:   Embellishments.

This is the fun part, making and applying any flower trims, brooches, hand sewing any beads and glueing on any diamantes. This can take up to half an hour, longer if the trim is very elaborate.

Stage 6: Photographs

Once the bag is complete I need to photograph it for my records and so that I can list it in my shops.  This  takes about 15mins or so. I then need to upload them onto my computer, I normally edit them in Picassa and tag them. I've also started adding a watermark to my images.

Stage 7:   Listing

For this I need to upload the images to my shop, write a description and decide on the all important price. this usually takes me 15 minutes or so.

So you can see that there is quite a lot of work involved in the creation of one of my handmade bags! wonder I feel that I'm not paying myself enough!!!!!