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!