Friday, 18 December 2009

Lincoln Christmas Market

Lincoln Christmas Market 2009 is an event I've been looking forward to since I started university because this year was our turn to hold our own stall selling our own handmade work to raise money for our end of year exhibition 'Direction' next May.
This year's stall featured the work of students on the Furniture and Contemporary Decorative Crafts courses.

This is our stall being manned by Kayleigh and Tasha.

Here you can see porcelain wall panels by Lauren Hirst, glass paper weights by Tanya Beasley and glass necklaces by Emma Whitton.

Paper bowls by Natasha Reidie and myself, snowflake jewellery by me and glass pendants by Kayleigh Rose.

Embossed cotton linter wall panels by Natasha Reidie.

Porcelain wall panels by Lauren Hirst.

And these are the sterling silver sets I made, tassels above and domes below.

If you're interested in any of the items shown please ask me for the contact details of the maker who will be more than happy to make a similar item for you if the one pictured is no longer available.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, organising the stall, making my jewellery to sell and sitting at the stall seeing all these wonderful people who liked our work enough to buy it! It has made me excited about the thought of having a stand at a show, though I know it's on a completely different scale.
2010 just got even more exciting at the prospect of our Final Year Show 'Direction'!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Thank you to Benchpeg!

I've been a bit caught up with uni lately but I just wanted to post to say a big thank you to Benchpeg, I won a pair of tickets to Origin in London last week in one of their competitions. As well as being a great resource for jobs, exhibitions and seminars the newsletter also features giveaways!

Origin was great this year but there were two makers who really stood out to me, Saloukee and Moon. Saloukee is a maker whose work you've probably seen before and it never fails to impress me but her stand was what stood out from the others. She had searched for something to make her stand more relevant to her work and I believe it was Bloxes she turned to.

Moon had a selection of pairs of cacti rings in storage pots and shadow puppet rings featuring hands which cast shadows of animals when a light is shone on them. At Origin the latter were displayed in a tray with a poisable spotlight, it was a great stand, it really allowed you to interact with the jewellery and if I'd had the money I would've taken a 'Duck' ring home.

As I didn't get any pictures while I was there here are a few from a recent trip to the Trentham Estate.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Featured Item Joy!

I logged onto Folksy last night to find my Tree brooch on the 'Featured items' list on the homepage. After a rather stressful week of moving house and being poorly this was a nice little lift and has given me a bit more impetus to continue with some of the crafts projects that've been put on the backburner lately.

So watch this space for more items being added to my Folksy store soon!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Kew Gardens.

I haven't posted here in a while, I recently made some changes in my personal life and I haven't really felt like writing on the blog. However now the dust has settled a bit I have been able to concentrate more on my work and think more about what I'm going to be doing when I'm back at uni.

We recently went to Kew Gardens in London, to look round in general but we were really pleased to see the Princess Diana glasshouse and it's massive display of cacti and succulents. I want to use the shape of my favourite cacti as a basis for a jewellery collection, I've been considering both metal and cotton linter casting but we'll see what happens.

Here are a few pictures of the Lithorps and some other succulents and cacti, I love the clusters of shapes together and the subtle colours, especially with the stones.

I'll have a few more updates soon from more trips we've been on recently, possibly more cacti related posts too.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Little bundle of joy.

A card came through the post today, telling me I had a parcel held for me, it was a fabric order from the USA I had been waiting for, unfortuntely there was an £11 customs charge to pay!

Nevermind, the fabrics are lovely. The grey and yellow floral print is my favourite and I may have to buy more. The seller also included a extra piece of fabric as a freebie! I would like to reccommend Runner Girl Fabric or view the store on eBay.

I also explored a sewing shop in town and was very pleased to find an Aladin's Cave of fabrics and supplies, I left with a selection of grey, purple and green felt, thread and some purple cotton fabric. Then over the road to Boyes to find they had more felt in than usual and I bought a metre of mustard colour felt, squares of orange, turquoise and white, more thread, more purple cotton fabric and half a metre of heavier weight Vilene. The plan is to make a lobster and crab to follow up on the jellyfish I made last week (both suggestions by my mum, she's great for ideas).

Monday, 3 August 2009

Crafty finds.

I picked up a little something from a car boot whilst in Norfolk this weekend; a lovely vintage handmade tile with a glazed leaf design which looks very 'now'. Here it is in situ on the shelf above my bed with a selection of other things I've picked up from charity shops and car boot sales. The hand painted flower design vase/jar is vintage, as are the glass bottles, the smaller loch ness monster was a present and the bigger one was bought to go with it.
Above is a vintage domed mirror and below on the bed are a pair of cushions I bought recently with a great tree print, only £3 each in the sale at a factory shop.

I love a nice mix of old and new, however handmade will always win hands down when I can afford it.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Jellyfish and Ice cream.

My latest project was a present for blogger Tasha's birthday and is my first attempt at making a creature from my own design. So here is the Jellyfish in question-

He's made from an Erin McMorris fabric and felt. I'm going to make another and blanket stitch the legs so they won't fray as much but as a first go I'm quite proud!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Little bag of happiness.

We visited Ikea at the weekend, the list of things to buy from there had been getting out of control so we had to nip it in the bud. Aside from all the other wonderful things I came away with there was a stack of fabric, Tasha and I hogged the cutting table for about half an hour. I had to buy a mini blue bag just to get them home safely, now I don't want to get them out except to unfold and refold them, they look so snug!

I've stocking up on sewing supplies lately and got a few gems from a charity shop- 3 vintage patterns (to go on the To Do list) and some bias binding, all for £2!
I've been attempting more fabric related projects lately and as I'm temporarily back at home while I work the summer in my local Post Office I needed to set up some crafting space. My Mum had salvaged a Singer treadle table from a skip outside a sewing shop many years ago and converted it to a table, but it'd been in the garage for a few years so I got it out, cleaned it up and installed it in my bedroom. The treadle still works so smoothly despite being out of action for about 30 years.

On my table here you can see a pin board I bought because it was square, pinned to that is some felt stitching inspired by the beautiful Polygon throw by Mia Cullin at Habitat. On the board is also one of my Scribble necklaces, soon to be added to my Folksy shop. In front are a selection of postacards from New Designers a few weeks ago and also two felt cacti- Astrophytum Myriostigma inspired as my real one gave up the ghost just recently and it was my favourite. Felt cacti are dangerous- they keep you up until 2am making them!

And lastly these are some of my Scribbles units before trimming and shinking, I really loved the negative shapes created with the black background, I'll try to encorperate this into some future pattern design and maybe screen print it.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

All the leaves are green...

I've been working on more designs for shrink plastic necklaces. I wanted to try using paper punches so out came one of my leaf ones, I tried adding some colour too, bit unusual for me but my fabric obsession has spawned more of an interest in colour.

Leaves bracelet idea in green and black/white plus a pile of leaves in different colours.
I also made another scribbles necklace, this time in black. I like the impact black has without being garish. Plus it's an easy colour to wear, I often choose black necklaces. I'm going to play with the length next and the chains I use, the bright silver jumprings don't compliment the black as well as I'd like.

Scribbles necklaces in white and black.

And lastly for today's post a pic of the blanket box I recovered for my sister, finally got it completed the other night. As modelled again by Milo the box is covered in a heavy weight lilac/grey chenille I bought on eBay, the body of the box came out really well, the lid however was harder to tuck at the corners and was a bit bumpy underneath but as we didn't want to cover it over we just made it as neat as possible.

Blanket box being inspected by Milo, he's harsh but fair.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Yesterday we visited the 'New Designers' exhibition in London, hopefully next year we will be exhibiting our work. We walked 8 miles, mostly inside the Business Design Centre, and parked the whole day for a pound. Who said London has to be expensive?

The night before I was feeling crafty and wanted to make something to wear that was my own so I got cracking with the shrink plastic and worked on an idea I'd had in the back of my mind for a while. I'd originally wanted a drawn line on the front but decided it looked better plain white.

I'm quite pleased with the outcome and plan to make another in black, or colour the back of a white one in so you could wear it either way. I also want to play with the length and scale.

It's really satisfying to be able to make something yourself to wear, I really want to get my sewing skills up to scratch so I can make clothes and other things for my flat, it's addictive!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Four legged model.

I've been attempting to tick things off my crafts to do list, I'm nearly done with the blanket box I'm refurbishing. I finished recovering the top this evening, I attached new foam to the top with spray adhesive, trimmed it to size then covered first with a layer of white poplin before adding the Ikea pillowcase I was given for another project but was the perfect print for the box. I'm going to paint the wood, though I hate to do it, but it's only a plywood covering and it's really badly chipped.

Our Jack Russel Milo helped to model the completed top as I tried it on the base to see how it looked. He seems to think he matches it well and he's right.

Aside from my blanket box obsession I bought a small chest of drawers, shown in a previous post, and I've been stripping the paint off with Nitromors to show the lovely wood underneath. Nitromors is an old friend now after I spent several weeks stripping the paint off one of my Minis. I'm planning to glue fabric or wallpaper onto the front of the drawers to contrast with the wood. I keep buying fabric but the more I have the harder it is to choose!

Friday, 3 July 2009

A prickly pause.

Further to my cactus obsession I had a go at making a prickly pear in felt- more pear less prickle though!Needs some adjustment, the top pear ended up pointing the wrong way, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.
Yesterday I spent a lovely morning at my sister's babying sittign my nephew with my mum. While he was napping we were in the garden, I took the opportunity to make some quick sketches of the beautiful flowers my sisters grows. I want to build up a collection drawings to work from but I find I spend too much time deliberating about drawing and not enough time actually doing it so I'm trying to make an effort!

And finally on a lighter note I just wanted to share one of my most treasured charity shop purchases. I love finding a bargain, especially when it's vintage but this lion coat hook is easily my favourite; he's so handsome and his nose hides a secret compartment, or maybe not so secret now! I can claim I'm collecting things for my future children but everyone knows they're for me so why bother?

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

You can never have too many sketchbooks.

Another installment in a recent crafting spree saw us having a go at an idea I saw on Wise Craft. We used bondaweb to cover moleskin cahiers with fabric, very simple and effective! Will definitely be making more.

On the left the fabric is 'Martini Mustard' by Amy Butler, a fabric I've used in other projects like my door stop, on the right is 'Floral Swirl' by Erin McMorris, both were bought from Isabelle and Kate's Fabrics, a great shop on Folksy which offers a range of interesting fabrics, it's hard to choose which to buy!

On another note, we were lucky enough to bag some free tickets to the Lincolnshire Show, a great traditional show for our county, I think this year was the 125th. It's a mix of tractors, stunt motorcycle displays, food stalls and animals. We packed a picnic consisting of homemade potato salad, garlic chicken done in a chicken brick (would definitely recommend to anyone!), vegan brownies and fresh berries. We even took meringues! This year however we took a look at a part not visited before- the flower display tent and were completely blown away by some of the displays, mainly the alliums.

The zesty green against the deep plum is my current favourite colour combination of late, I'd wear it if I could but I'd look like a flower so I'm trying to use it in my designs.

A hard day's work!

Yesterday Tasha and I spent an afternoon requainting ourselves with our sewing machines and the fruits of our labours were a pair of sand filled door stops and a pair of big button cushions.
We laughed, we nearly cried (many stabs from needles) but we had a great time and were very happy with our slightly imperfect makes.

Here the table is set for our crafting, sewing machines fired up, wonky circles cut from the material for the cushion covers. Twenty minutes later we'd only just got sewing after a few machine malfunctions. Note the cactus pin cushion Tasha had made, it definitely got put to the test and was great!

Amid cries of 'it's got corners, why??!' we turned our covers the right way round and drew on our buttons and stuffed our cushions, I like to think the wonky lines just add to the handmade charm! The cactus got in on the photos again.

Next we attacked the door stops and stitched our inners out of a thick sack-like material. We realised afterwards that making a net for the pattern instead of individual panels would've been a lot less time consuming but the power of hindsight eh?! We both almost forgot to leave a hole to put the sand in, mine ended up down one side which wasn't very clever, then we both sat with dessert spoons stuffing the sand in.

Here is my inner sack ready to be covered next to Tasha's finished door stop, note the luxurious padded handle!

And here are the pair together, mine is on the left, covered in Amy Butler's "Martini Mustard" material from her Midwest Modern Line, bought from Isabelle and Kate's Fabrics on Folksy.

Tasha's door stop on the right is covered in a repurposed pillowcase from an Ikea duvet set, she used the duvet cover for her gigantic beanbag project. We're gradually working our way through our respective lists of things to make, I just hope we both remember to go back to uni in September!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Stool saga part 2.

Yesterday Tasha and I went bargain hunting, she got a very cheap table and I bought the foam I wanted to recover my very sorry looking blanket box, I also had to steel myself against buying a sewing box in a charity shop, good job I didn't have enough cash!

Anyway here's the pathetic blanket box-

The 'reupholstering' it had was not particularly nice, the staples were sticking out in places! So off it came and the frame needed a bit of tlc, I had to hammer some nails back in and one of the corners needed glueing as the joint had come apart. Here it is drying with a clamp on, my beloved car is unwittingly being used to lean it against!

Next to that in the garage is the frame from my first stool purchase which I'm just finishing sanding, then it will be oiled and reunited with the seat pad which I have covered, I'll save that until it's finished.

I've been having quite a textiles obsession lately since going to IKEA and buying some of the beautiful bird print Cecilia fabric for £1.99 p/m. I also splashed out on some Lena fabric too while I was there and recently snapped some more up on eBay, on the right in the pic, as I don't often get chance to go to IKEA and if I do it's always an expensive trip! Also in the pic is a pillow case Tasha gave me to amend to fit a small pillow, top left, and below that are two pieces of fabric I bought from Isabelle and Kate's Fabrics on Folksy. I've been planning to try covering some Moleskine Cahiers with fabric and I think the yellow and grey piece may end up involved.

Finally, for this post anyway, I have somewhat of a cactus obsession. I've been collecting a few cacti and succulents but a clear favourite has emerged, purely because it seems to have grown at least an inch every time I look at it. This is my prize prickly pear, which needs repotting as it had an accident in the car on the way home from the garden centre and fell out, as did most of it's soil, but despite that it has sprouted. I don't know a lot about them but I'm hoping it grows to be pretty big.

Spurred on by my cactus obsession and a search online I'd been wanting to make a cactus pincushion for some time and finally got round to it this week, infecting my friend Tasha with the bug too, you can see hers on her blog here. My next plan is to make a prickly pear one, but I need to get some purple felt first, then I'm thinking maybe a little bunch of cacti on a wrist band for mobile sewing and then ......

More on this and more shrinkle-ing later.

Fold and Stitch Shop

Fold and Stitch Shop
Come and look what's in my Folksy shop.