Friday, 28 September 2012

Christmas CRAFTfest is on the way!

Just a quick post to mention that the Christmas CRAFTfest will soon be with us. It's another week long online craft event, where you can browse and buy to your heart's content from the comfort of your Mac, laptop or PC (and probably any other Internet based device you care to mention!).

I'll be there as usual, together with a (growing) number of my online crafter friends. 

It's a great way to buy your Christmas presents and without fighting through the heaving crowds in overheated shops, something I always dread! I'll certainly be browsing for handmade things I can buy for the husband, not to mention my family and friends. If you want non mass produced, unique, unusual, beautiful, handmade, then it's a really good place to start.

If you are interested in getting a stall, the link to Creative Connections (the host site) is here. A stall for the whole week is priced at an excellently reasonable £5.00 and it's really good promotion for your Etsy. Folksy or any other online shop you have. 

The Creative Connections community is really nice too - so even if you don't want a stall it's worth joining and it's free too.  

And a bit more about what else I'm up to this week. I've been super busy with a new batch of freemotion felt tattoos and other freemotion embroidered designs. Which I've been making for The funky Aardvark shop, in Chester.

A couple of designs haven't worked out as well as I'd hoped, in fact I might have to scrap one piece altogether. But out of the 23 individual pieces I've been working on, I'm really pleased with most of them. 
I still have quite a bit of work to do 'colouring in' the designs and have been experimenting more with machine shading and also some more solid freemotion machine embroidery.  I don't have any pictures to share yet and I keep telling myself that I really should remember to take before and after photos - I like to see how I've progressed with a piece but I get so engrossed in sewing that I always forget.
I will remember to take photos of the finished pieces though. 

Have a good Friday everyone and happy crafting!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Another wet and grey Monday morning.

Yes it's raining... again! To be more accurate, it's hammering down.... again! So we're in for another really wet week, here in wet and soggy England. 
I don't really mind it raining (as long as I don't have to go out in it for very long) but it's the really low light that drives me potty. Anyone who handmakes really needs a lot of light to work with, craft lamps and daylight lamps never seem to work as well as actual daylight and low light conditions can be the bane of any crafter.
Just in time to cheer me up, comes Alison of Frutejuce - our current Craft Britannia shop of the week. I'm seriously in need of something summery and cheerful and her handmakes fit the bill nicely.

Here's a small selection of the items in her Etsy shop.

Freemotion camper van t-shirt

Sweeten your undies drawer or scare the moths off your socks with these!

OK, I'm sneaking in one more picture of Alison's lovely bunting, because I'm in love with this sweet blue and white shed.

Here's a link to Alison's Etsy shop and her Craft Britannia blog interview can be found here.

Onto some news I promised you last week. Well it's official Kipper Tie and Cake now has some retail space in Chester! 
A couple of weeks ago, I found a brand spanking new shop and art centre, called The funky Aardvark, had opened it's doors on the rows in Chester. I popped in to have a look around and got talking to the owner Bex Raven, who's a pretty amazing, creative person! Anyway, to cut a probably long and boring story short, she was looking for people to rent retail space in the shop and after looking at the info on her website, I decided this was just the type of place I had been trying to find for my handmakes. 

So as of last Saturday, I now have a selection of my handmakes, in the shop (including handsewn bears, freemotion felt tattoos and freemotion felt brooches). As you can imagine, I'm pretty excited about my news, and it's given me the extra boost I needed to get moving and make more things! 

Here's are the links to Bex' shop and the project. It's only 10 weeks into being open, but already it's becoming an amazing place to show and sell art and handmade. There are also workshops,  and photographic walks available, plus the creative hub will be opening soon, for anyone interested in computer graphics.

The Funky Aardvark 51 Bridge Street East, Chester 

Also, The Funky Aardvark Project 

Oh and here's a teeny selection of the things I have in The Aardvark at the moment.

  Some of my freemotion embroidered felt brooches.

Singing birds freemotion embroidered felt

Freemotion embroidered felt tattoo.

A current work in progress, I'm thinking of making a canvas out of this particular piece.

You can of course find me on Etsy still, I'm not giving up my online shop anytime soon.

Fingers crossed for my new adventures in a non virtual shop and I'll pop back again soon.

Monday, 17 September 2012

What do you mean it's Monday already?

Happy Monday everyone and oops apologies - I'm way behind with my Etsy shop of the week post (again!). So, I'll have to do a double post this week to make up for it. 
I do have my excuse slip all filled out though.... my excuse being that 'the husband' suddenly reminded me that it was the Beaulieu auto jumble weekend last week, so in a mad panic I tried to find somewhere for us to stay for an extended weekend. 
We had a lovely few days away (with amazing weather too!) but sadly it cut short my time to do CRAFTfest promotions and also put back last weeks review (apologies to Abigal). 

Last week, the Craft Britannia Etsy team featured 'Ministry of Shiny', run by Abigail Fulbrook, so here's a bit about Abigail and her shop.

Abigail hand makes silver and gemstone jewellery, which includes personalized initial silver clay necklaces, amongst other things.
Here's what she says about using silver clay " Silver metal clay, it’s absolutely magical stuff. You take a boring piece of grey clay, shape it and texture it. Leave it to dry and then fire it. When you come to polish it, suddenly the grey disappears and there is a piece of real silver in your hand. Fantastic. You also get to use a blow torch which is fun!"

So, what's new in the future for the Ministry of shiny? Sadly, Abigail's Etsy shop will be closing soon, as she's going to work in Japan but as she herself says, Japan is the home of metal clay, this is probably not the end of the Ministry! We wish you well in your new home Abigail and good luck for your future venture! There's only a short time left to buy from Abigail's Etsy shop, so I recommend you hop over there after you've read the rest of this post!

 Here's a small sample of what's in Abigail's Ministry of Shiny shop....

Lovely silver clay letter K necklace
Hematite necklace
This ring would go really well with the necklace shown above.

You can read the full Ministry of Shiny interview with Abagail here on the Craft Britannia blog

Onto our second shop of the week interview, called 'Cwtchbugs' which is run by Laura, ably assisted by her mum Kim (Cwtchbugs chief knitter & crochet person).

As you've probably read on an earlier post of mine, I'm not really one to "oooh" and "aaaahhh" over babies (or children), but Laura's handmade baby bandana bibs, Kim's hats and other goodies make me wish I had a little one in my family to spoil rotten with some of her gorgeous handmakes. 

Here are just a few of my favorites and I know you'll agree that her items are really really cute! 

     Oooh I wonder if Laura's mum makes this in big person size?
Babies can now look really stylish when eating out!
This also comes in a different colour way.

As you can probably tell, I have a bit of a thing about owls! 

To visit Laura's shop, please click here  and her full interview on the Craft Britannia team blog is here.

Oh and before I go, I've some news of my own in the pipeline - no spoilers yet, just a little hint that Kipper Tie and Cake will soon be selling outside of Etsy & the virtual world. I'm really excited about my news and promise (yes really!) that I'll post some more news very soon!


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Awww what a cute Fluffy duck!

Which, dear readers, is the name of our next Craft Britannia shop of the week! Yes it's the turn of Lucy Breeze's Etsy shop Fluffyduck cards. After a week's break from our team's shop of the week, I'm raring to go and write this weeks review, so here goes!

It's my first review of a card maker and as a fellow card maker, it's a pleasure to feature some of Lucy's cards this week.

 Lucy's been a busy crafter recently. For the last few months, she's been hard at work organising and making things for her wedding, which is in a couple of weeks time (congratulations Lucy!)
I know how handy it is to be able to make your own invitations and place settings, which I did for for our wedding, it's a lovely way to really personalize your wedding with handmade things.
In true crafter spirit, Lucy's made all her own invitations and place settings, with the help of her mom and sister she's made 100 meters of bunting (I can't even begin to imagine how long that took them to make!).
Lucy's also got the whole family crafting for her special day, as her various family members are doing things from baking cakes to making all the decorations and bouquets using foraged greenery and flowers.

Phew! I'm surprised Lucy has any spare time to make such lovely cards for her Etsy shop!

 I've picked 3 of my favorite cards from Lucy's Etsy shop, which can be found here.

Set of 5 Union Jack note cards.

Pink rabbit, baby girl card.

To read the full interview about Lucy and Fluffyduck cards, please click on this link to the Craft Britannia blog.

That's all for today, I'm hoping to pop back for another post later on this week - as it's CRAFTfest time again! We're already trending on Twitter for the past 2 days and I can't keep up with the huge amounts of tweets and re-tweets on there. It's all go in the crafting community this week!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Tatting around with Tatanis Rose

This week it's Etsy Craft Britannia team member, Heather Buckman and her shop Tatanis Rose.

Heather is the only person I know who tats, not in the 'messing around' sense, tatting is a form of lacemaking using a shuttle.

I found an explanation of tatting on an internet site called Ring of tatters, which says

"Tatting is a handmade knotted lace formed with thread, usually No. 20 or finer, and a small shuttle of 3" or less in length. The shuttle works as a thread-holder and, as with a weaving shuttle, it moves between the threads on the loom of the hand - but that is the only similarity with weaving. Many shuttles have an embedded hook which is used for joining elements together. If the shuttle has no hook a separate crochet hook is used."

An example of tatting with a hook

An image of tatting work using a shuttle, photo courtesy orange bloom

Tatting seems very different the the lacemaking I tried a few years ago, the technique I used, had threads pinned onto a cushion and wooden bobbins were used to weave the thread together into patterns (a bit like platting hair).

An example of threads and shuttles used for tatting 
                                                  Image courtesy of Ring of Tatters.

Some examples of Heather's beautiful and intricate lace work.
Beautiful lilac and white tatted earrings.

Variegated lilac pendant.

Grey tatted lace necklace

Another view of Heather's grey lace necklace, this shows more of the delicate detail.

Heather makes a range of tatted lace items, not just the jewellery I've featured here. She has a range of housewares, bookmarks, Christmas decorations and wedding pieces. Heather can also make custom orders in your choice of colour.
I do hope you'll visit her Etsy shop, she has lots of beautiful items to browse through.
You can find Heather through the links below:

On a more personal note, my shop is still undergoing some changes, I've yet to amend my CRAFTfest stall links and Google is being a '%$£@' (insert word of choice here!)
because my blog and old email are linked, so I can't add my new email address or identity to sign into Google. I'll figure it out eventually but it's been the hardest thing to get around so far. Oh and my banner has been tweaked but I'll be creating a better one when I have time.
I'm off to do some decorating now, it's nice to have a spot of cooler weather so I can get on with painting our hallway. 
See you next time! 
Katie x

Saturday, 18 August 2012

I'm in need of cake!

 Hello readers, crafters and anyone else popping in for a read of my latest wafflings. 

The reason for me popping in here on a Saturday, is that I thought I'd better let you know, that my Etsy shop, blog, Twitter and everything else associated with the name 'My Small World' is going to be changing very soon. 
This is because of an email I received yesterday, which in a nut shell told me I can't carry on using 'My Small World' as my shop and blog name, the reason being is because the name was registered as a Ltd company name back in 2010. 
I'd started using the name on Etsy in 2007, then as an Etsy seller in 2009, at that time it wasn't a problem as I hadn't come across anyone else on the Internet using the shop name I had chosen (although the business sharing my shop name have told me they set up in 2005).

It's a shame to see the old name go, but I think I've been ready for a change for some time and let's be honest, the name 'My Small World' is very common on the Internet - I can hardly find my own shop or blog in amongst all the other people who've also decided that it's a good name to use for their blogs, so it's definitely time for a new identity for me & my creations.

"Well what's the new name?" I hear you ask. 
It took a few hours of umm-ing and ahh-ing to decide on something that's quirky, personal and is well, me! So my Etsy shop and blog will soon be called 'Kipper Tie and Cake'. "What?" I hear you cry, "that makes no sense at all..."
 Well, let me explain a bit more about myself. I'm a Black Country girl, being born in the old county of Staffordshire, which later became the West Midlands. 
My accent is more than a bit 'West Midlands', and one thing I like to do with people on the Internet who've never met me, is to tell them how to 'speak Black Country', one saying that's always been my favorite is "kipper tie...... with two sugars please" (translated as cup of tea with two sugars please). 

So that combined with my love of cake, tea shops and my accent, has turned my shop name into 'Kipper Tie & Cake', which is quirky enough for my tastes and gave me & DH a good giggle when I told him what I'd decided. 
We've been coming up with ideas for my new blog banner and of course my Etsy banner too, which is my next big change, along with my shop name and twitter and Crafting Connections, CRAFTfest and.... oh dear I still have so much to do, so I think I'd better get on with it then.

And after all this frantic typing I think it's definitely time for a nice kipper tie now, shame I don't have any cake though ;)

Monday, 13 August 2012

The end of a great weekend and the start of another week...

I can't believe it's Monday morning again! We've had a crazy, busy, amazing weekend (me & DH that is), it seems more like a week full of doing things, rather than just two days, so this is a bit of a departure from my usual Craft Britannia shop of the week (which will come after my usual, but longer than usual ramblings).

On to what we've been up to at the weekend... We drove to Wolverhampton (and back home) twice over the weekend, visited the in-laws and then there's the main reason for our trip to and from Wolverhampton, the Marston Sunbeam Club and Register's, Sunbeam motorcycle centenary event! So my Etsy shop and crafting had to be put on hold over the weekend, while we were busy with other things.

My DH is the club magazine editor, so I get the title of 'unofficial official club photographer', personal assistant and any other job title you'd like to give me! 
Saturday morning we set off for the centenary event and I volunteered for the job of manning the magazines stall (in other words standing behind the corner of a small table handing out the latest magazine and ticking off the members who came to collect it). This turned into helping out with selling club merchandise and trying to answer questions if I could, amongst other things. On Sunday, I went back to my 'usual job' of taking as many photos of the event as I could, my DH only picks a few for the magazine, but it's good to get as many shots as I can because he can always use a bike photo or two for an article in a later edition.

It was pretty amazing to see all the old Sunbeams meeting up outside Sunbeamland (which is in the background and now owned by Urban Splash). I wonder how long it's been, since this many 'Beams were at the factory?

Thankfully the rain kept off for most of the weekend, although quite a few members came back on Sunday, looking very very soggy after a planned ride out into the countryside.

Here's a small photo taster of the event...

A sample of the bikes that visited Sunbeamland in Wolverhampton.

Portrait of John Marston from the archives, with possibly one of the earliest Sunbeams

And now, onto this weeks Craft Britannia shop of the week!
Which this week is Fem of The Feminine Touch. Which, you'll probably be glad to read, has absolutely nothing to do with motorcycles or motorcycle events and clubs,

Fem, another of our Craft Britannia teamies on Etsy, makes and sells all manner of hand knitted and felted items, from sachets to tea cozies, hand warmers to scarfs and also cushions, some of which are made from recycled sweaters, like the ones below.

After the long weekend I've just had, I'd really love find a quiet corner and sink down on a couple of these cushions and have a nice nap, they look so soft and cuddly.

Recycled cushion throw.

When deciding which of Fem's items I'd feature, I was automatically drawn to the more earthy colours. I'm not sure how long our brief summer will last, and autumn seems like it's around the corner lurking somewhere, so the autumnal colours seemed a more natural choice for today.

Orange tea cozy.
                    How about a quirky hand knit cozy to keep your tea nice and hot?

Autumnal handwarmers.

And these handwarmers are just the thing for cozy hands, especially when the weather turns colder. Personally, I think a pair of these are an essential item of clothing, especially when it's nippy and you have to work on your computer or laptop!

I hope you've enjoyed today's featured Etsy team member? Please leave a comment below if you can, it's nice to see what people think of the items I feature (along with my ramblings!)

Oh and not forgetting, Fem's Craft Britannia blog interview can be found here and her handmade goodies are in her Etsy shop is here. Fem also has a blog if you'd like to keep up with what she's up to.

Well, that's all for today, I have so many things to catch up on after our crazy but fun weekend, so I'd better get started on my very large to-do list. 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Nature in all it's glory.

Recently we (my husband and myself), have been taking different routes into our city centre. We're lucky enough to be able to walk there, mainly because we live about a mile outside Chester city center, which is where we live. The past few weekends, we've taken the old railway walkway, which we've never tried before and it's made a nice change not to have any traffic (other than bicycles) nearby. It's made me appreciate how green our surroundings are compared to quite a few towns and cities we've visited, and also given me an another place to forage for edible goodies, as we've found quite a few wild blackberry bushes along the walkway. I must remember to take a bag with me next time we go along there, an essential for any forager!

This has, as usual, led me on to this weeks Craft Britannia Etsy team, shop of the week. This week is the turn of Laura, of Lauras Jewellery. Laura's shop is crammed full of her handmade jewellery, from beautiful butterfly and nature inspired pieces, to quirky Alice in wonderland and Wizard of Oz jewellery. I've decided to feature her butterfly and bird jewellery, mainly because of my recent walks to, and around our lovely green walled city. 

One of Laura's beautiful butterfly themed pieces, I especially love the vivid blue colour of the butterfly against the backing paper.

Blue butterfly cameo necklace.

This necklace is another of my favorites, it reminds me of the butterflies I used to see in my parent's garden years ago. Sadly, their numbers seem to be declining and in Chester we're lucky to see a few each year now.
Wooden butterfly necklace.

This sweet necklace has to be my favorite, I love budgies and especially love vintage images of them.
Budgie necklace.
I hope you've enjoyed this weeks feature shop and please take time to
Click to visit Laura's Etsy shop. And click on the link to read her Craft Britannia interview on the team blog

That's all for now.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Something old, something new...

something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence for your shoe.

This week's Craft Britannia Etsy shop of the week is Steph of Six Skeins.
I had a leisurely wander around Steph's shop today and saw that amongst her other handmade goodies and yarn, she had made some items for weddings.
This immediately made me think of my eldest niece and her wedding, which is at the end of this year.

It's a really special to have something handmade for a wedding, it's more personal than something just 'bought' from a shopand is a lovely reminder of the person who gave it to you, as well as a reminder of the day itself.

On to reviewing Six Skeins, Steph's Etsy shop!
Steph's handmade blue beaded garter, would be a beautiful surprise gift for a bride,
It's been crochet with blue and white silk beaded yarn and has co-ordinating satin ribbon ties, with 4 small white organza rose decorations, and it would be just the thing for the something new and something blue off the bride's list!

Blue beaded wedding garter.

And if the bride already has something blue, how about this garter?
Steph made this one from beautiful fine ivory 100% silk yarn, and she incorporated over 140 tiny glass seed beads in a pink/amber colourway around the lower edge.
The garter is threaded with pretty pastel hand-dyed ribbon, which I think gives it a vintage feel.

Beautiful cream beaded wedding garter
Steph's garters are presented in a keepsake gift box, so they can be kept as a memory of the bride's special wedding day. All garters can be custom-made to fit, just contact Steph to arrange the details.

For wedding accessories, she also has these handmade items, the first is a lovely crochet and beaded necklace, which I could see being worn at a very boho style wedding.

Handmade crochet bead necklace.

This scarf would be gorgeous to wear at a wedding, or any special occasion and the cream yarn would go with so many colours. It's been crocheted using fine pure silk cream yarn with mother of pearl chip edging and threaded with cream silk ribbons.
Crochet scarf with mother of pearl edge.

Of course Steph's items aren't just for weddings, you could wear them for any occasion where you want to feel a bit special and her shop stocks so much more than wedding items!

I hope you've enjoyed this weeks post?
On a more personal note, the tax elves did pay a small visit last week, and they lent a hand with my accounts, so the dreaded paperwork is nearly all done now (phew!).

You can visit Steph's Etsy shop here.
And the full Craft Britannia interview is on the CB blog here.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Appreciate all the handmade love you're given.

This weeks Craft Britannia shop of the week has got me reminiscing, about how we don't always appreciate how much hard work and love goes into the handmade gifts and things we had made for us when we were younger (and when we're older too!)

My mom was an avid knitter, where she got the time to knit I have no idea, she always seemed to be 'on the go', working part time when I started school, keeping house, looking after me, my dad and brother. She must have squeezed in an hour or so each evening after we were in bed.
I still remember all the knitted jumpers, cardigans and toys she made me but it's only after I took up knitting myself that I realized how much hard work and love went into each stitch.

Which brings me onto this week's SOTW, which is Bebby Jumpers. 
I'm not usually one for oooh-iing and aaahhh-ing at babies or children, (well, OK I'm willing to admit I do coo over the occasional baby or child). So when I learned that this week I would be featuring a children's clothes shop, I thought, "well I'm not too sure where this post will end up". But on taking a closer look at Bebby's shop it made me think of my mom and all the lovely things she made me over the years. 
Bebby's babies and children's clothes look so beautifully made and her designs look like traditional vintage patterns that I remember from my childhood but they are still very much in fashion today, I think this is mainly because of her use of texture and colour. 

I especially like the designs I've featured here and wish I had nieces and nephews young enough to wear her beautiful handknits.

Beautiful yellow bunny cardigan.

Child's handknit aran sweater

Girl's handknit jacket with pixie hood.

A beautiful gift for a winter birthday or for Christmas.

Bebby Jumper's lovely shop can be found here on Etsy.

And to read more about Bebby and her beautiful handknit children's clothes and accessories, please visit the Craft Britannia blog

I hope you'll take the time to pay her a visit, especially if you have any little ones in the family and are looking for beautifully handknits for them.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

I need a break and this is just the excuse!

I've been busy the past few days, trying to de-clutter and sort out my accounts (and I haven't finished yet!). So I thought I'd take a break from it and do this weeks Craft Britannia Etsy team's 'shop of the week'.

This week's SOTW is the lovely Erica Price of Erika Price Designs. Reading her interview on the team blog made me realise how much energy some people have and give to their lives. Erika's daily life seems like a blur of activity and creativity.

Erika not only makes jewellery but is also a silversmith and makes her own really beautiful glass beads and I've only shown a small sample of her work here.

I've saved my favorite until last, these have to be the most beautiful handmade beads I've ever seen (and as I used to make a lot of earrings, I've seen quite a few!)

I love the delicate blossom patterns inside the glass beads and to get two beads made to match is quite amazing!

You can visit Erika's shop here and her Craft Britannia interview is here

That's all for today, I really hope you'll go and read Erika's interview and visit her shop, both are well worth a visit.

I suppose I'd better make another cuppa and get back to those accounts, sadly the accounts elves must be on holiday in our area, or I'd wake up and find them magically done for me!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Blue Monday

Yes it's grey skies and more grey skies here today and I'm feeling a tiny bit blue with lack of sun (although we did get a peep from it yesterday). The view out of the window from where I sit, is all grey sky but is also filled with the view of large green trees, the silver birch and pear tree at the bottom of our garden, along with the apple tree from next door and yet more trees at the bottom of the garden, that our garden joins with.
It's usually quiet and peaceful outside and I really love the view, but the builders from next door are using a pipe / brick cutting tool again, so I'm wishing I was somewhere else today - maybe by the sea, even on a grey miserable day like today a visit to the seaside can be really peaceful!

Since I'm having a bit of a blue (lack of sun and too much noise) day, and wishing I was somewhere else, I thought I'd do this weeks SOTW early. This weeks Craft Britannia Etsy team's shop of the week is Carrie from Phoenvix, her shop stocks her handmade jewellery and her handmade ACEO cards, which are both pretty and affordable.
I went to take a look at Carrie's jewellery, these pieces made me feel like I was by the sea, very peaceful and relaxed. So I've chosen to feature some of her lovely blue and green pieces today, rather than her other jewellery or ACEO cards.

Chunky green glass bead bracelet
This lovely chunky bracelet reminds me of the sea on a glorious sunny day.

Shell pendant with chain and bead necklace.
A more delicate piece, which also reminds me of the sea, beaches and little sailing boats.
Blue green stretch elastic bracelet

Another bracelet that reminds me of the seaside, looking at this , I can imagine myself poking about in rock pools like I did as a child, something I haven't done in a very long time.

I really hope you'll take the time to visit Carrie's shop and also pop over to the Craft Britannia blog to read her interview.

That's all for today and fingers crossed the builders next door go home early so I can get some peace and quiet! Meanwhile, I'll just sit and daydream about being on a quiet and secluded beach overlooking the sea.