Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas Scraps

Remember that lovely Christmas fabric I blogged about earlier this month?

Well, I've made a start on my project! Yay! I can't blog about it yet as it's going to be a gift (shhhh...), so here are some pics of the scraps I had left over after cutting out all the pieces.

I'd been planning on breaking out my much-neglected sewing machine for this project as it's going to involve lots of stitching, but I've changed my mind and decided to hand stitch it instead - partly because I'm not super confident with a machine as I'm so out of practice. (Note to self: practise using your sewing machine in 2015!)

I find working on a new, fun project can be a bit addictive - all I want to do is work on it, and I end up staying up waaaay past my bedtime because I think "I'll just get this bit finished..." and then look up and realise it's 1am. Oops.

But apart from some bad "it is definitely a good idea for me to stay up sewing this instead of going to bed, who needs sleep??" decision making, things are going well! It is an absolute pleasure to be working on a relaxing personal project after weeks of focusing on work deadlines.

Plus, I'm loving being able to sit and sew with festive fabric while binge-watching made-for-TV Christmas movies, which I adore and cannot get enough of at this time of year :)

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving! xxx

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Just A Card

I don't know about you guys, but when I go to craft fairs and just buy a couple of small things like cards I sometimes feel a bit cheap, and terribly unsupportive of the designer/maker community. All these talented people trying to make a living selling their amazing wares and I ooh over their work and then just buy a £2 greetings card.

This is nonsense, of course! As a designer/maker myself I know very well how the small purchases people make from my shop are just as important to my business as the big ones, that every single purchase is a wonderful, much-valued gesture that says "I appreciate your work, I am supporting you"... and that those small sales add up to help pay for all the big important stuff like rent and bills and food.

The fact that small purchases can make a big difference is the idea behind the new JUST A CARD campaign.

As campaign founder Sarah Hamilton puts it...

"If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card we’d still be open.”

When I read this quote by shop keepers who’d recently closed their gallery I thought - enough is enough - we need to fight back! As an artist and designer, who also makes cards, I know just how valuable each and every sale is, not only to independent shops and galleries which make our High Streets unique, but to their artists and designer suppliers. Regrettably it’s too late for that gallery, but others need our valuable support, and this is why we started our campaign JUST A CARD - to encourage people to appreciate just how invaluable every single purchase is.

I love the idea of this campaign. It's a great reminder that you don't have to suddenly start spending all your money on handmade stuff or swap your supermarket shop for local/organic everything to make mindful spending choices. Just remember that whatever small purchases you can make from designer/makers and from the independent shops on your local high street are important, and valued.

I'm lucky to have a local sewing shop that I can pop into in haberdashery emergencies, and a fantastic local art supplies shop too, and several arts groups in my local area organise awesome pop up shops and markets for artists and designer/makers.... but without customers, these things will vanish!

Buying a reel of thread or a tube of paint or just a card might not be much, but it's something... and it's something that I will be trying to do a bit more of from now on. 

Visit the JUST A CARD website for more info, to grab a button to share on your blog or to download flyers and posters.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

How To: Embroidered Felt Snowflake Baubles

Wanna see the second Christmas project I designed for Tesco Living?

I stitched a set of felt snowflake baubles. Each bauble is embroidered with a white snowflake, then embellished with sparkly seed beads and a silver sequin.

The embroidery is very simple to do , so it's perfect for beginners. You'll have a batch of baubles stitched up in no time!

To make your own embroidered felt snowflake baubles, click here for the step by step tutorial.

P.S. Click here for the Christmas candle ornament tutorial

Monday, 24 November 2014

How To: Felt Christmas Candle Ornaments

One of the projects I've been working on lately is some felt Christmas ornament tutorials for Tesco Living.

First up, a tutorial for making Christmas candle decorations...

... complete with faux dripping wax! :)

Click here to view the step by step tutorial over at Tesco Living.


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