Back to the Start

Haven’t been on for ages, just don’t seem to have time at the moment, but Jen has worked hard on the new blog so thought I would be the first to try it out and Richie has the kids in the bath so got 5.

 I can’t believe it is almost a year since I entered the world of craftiness how fast has that gone well they say time flies and don’t i just.

The first thing i ever made was a sock monster each for the kids. Things have improved slightly, and I love making things from scratch, it is soooo satisfying, especially when you hear your kids telling people “my mommy made this for me”…ooh if you could bottle that feeling you could make a fortune.

A good friend of mine is getting married on Saturday and with the help of fellow CM Rachel i have made their wedding cake (or am in the process of, photos to follow) My best friend Steph is going to come with me to the venue on Saturday to set the cake up so as a thank you i made her a sock monster as she loved the ones i did for the kids…she actually gave me the socks as one of my (8) birthday presents…think that was a subtle hint!! Hope she loves him, the kids have called him Fast Eddie…not sure why but i like it.

The T-shirt is for Jayne’s son Thomas, i did a patchwork letter for our banner and the other CM’s mentioned how many other things I could embelish with my new found skill of patchwork, so i tried it, I think it looks super cute, hope Thomas does too. 

I  don’t really get time to trawl through the Millions of amazing blogs and sites to get inspiration, but I don’t need too, i am lucky enough to live next door too and be surrounded by the most amazingly talented women i have ever met, not to mention funny and kind.  How lucky am i…extweamly!

The other things are some of my stock for our stall (how nervous) I love my little Skull keyrings, sort of a Mighty Boosh feel, a selection of a few of my button rings, spiral hair clips and my cards.  It is coming around so quickly I get butterflies when i think about it.  I can’t wait.

The Bearwood Tapestry continues to be a success and something i know we are all super proud of.  

Hope to see you at our stall on the 18th July. 

 Love Nat

 

secret heart cushion

secret heart cushion

 

another cushion. this one is very small and was a birthday present for my friend helen. the original cardigan was one of mine and i’ve used it a lot – i’m still amazed by just how much you can get from one jumper. i used a section with a pocket in it because i thought it would be quirky and cute and i know helen appreciates quirky and cute. she has a beautiful house and great taste and i hope she finds a place for this. i also made a tiny little card to go in the pocket by using a couple of paper flowers and making stems with pin holes.

secret heart cushion

green sleeves

green sleeves

 

i wanted to make some sock monsters/monkeys for the upcoming picnic in the park stall but then i realised that no-one outside of my immediate family would want anything made from one of our old socks.  i want to reuse as much as i can but with the line drawn at socks i needed to find a way to make fun creatures out of something else.  one thing is certain, in the craft world owls are everywhere.  i suppose they have a pretty unique look amongst the animal kingdom and so are recognisable even when distorted by crafting genius/incompetence.  i was totally inspired by lori nichols.  www.lorinichols.com.  like me she felts thrift shop jumpers and she has used them with acorns and bits of pumpkin skin as well as, (sigh), old maps (another total favourite of mine – i love this woman) to create some truly beautiful pieces and her owls are, i think, the best out there by far. definitely more art than craft.  i’m never going to collect enough acorns to use in my crafting so i’ve gone down the strictly stitched route and used lots of buttons and other fabric remnants.  the very best bit is that the owls’ bodies are made from jumper sleeves.  i have a lot of sleeves left over from my recent cushion frenzy (i use the trunk of the jumper for the cushions).  i’m so glad now that i took the lazy route and didn’t cut up the sleeve seam before felting my jumpers (it’s how to avoid a permanent crease in the finished felt).  i put some rice in the bottom of each owl to help them stand before stuffing them and to be honest i think they are at their very best when gathered in a little huddle on a mantlepiece.  my mantlepiece.  listening to nick drake sing sad songs as i finished the last one i swear i nearly welled up at the thought of parting with them.

green sleeves

i was so pleased with the owls that i went a little further up the sleeve.  the shape i cut out was a little lop-sided – we are in armpit territory here!  i thought maybe bunny ears but i made them very abstract…so abstract that my husband thought they were swans!  i stuffed a pipe cleaner in one of the ears so its bendable. they have a slightly sinister look to them and don’t please me as much as the owls.  so no more evil bunnies –  i’ve decided i want to do penguins next.  watch this space.

green sleeves

heads will rock and (pencil) roll…

..is the byline from Loz’s horror flick, but I have been in a much more blissful world than that this weekend.

With himself away, me and the girls entertained ourselves with swimming, fake noses, sewing and singing.  Had a fabbifun weekend, up crafting til gone midnight both nights.  As a consequence feeling the strain a little today…but not long til holibobs to recharge the old batteries so all’s good.

With said hols in mind, I finally put the buttons and holes on Lili’s clothkits dress (photo when she wears it!) and made the pair of them a pencil roll each for the journey.  I’d been intending to make some of these for ages (remember the jazzy star fabric and the scottie dogs?) so am chuffed they turned out so well, and maybe just maybe they will try to put the darned pencils back in their own little sleeping bags when they’ve finished…..

I also made myself a bag out of the lovely housie material Andrea kindly picked me up at Ikea, and lined it with ….. 2 tea towels!  Those fab retro patterned ones I used for the tote are lovely and strong and make a fun clashing lining for the dark bag.  It’s a courier style bag with a flap, so I made sure the houses were the right way up when you open the flap, and added some pockets and a button inside to keep things in order and safe.  Love the wide shoulder strap, and it only took me a couple of hours once I’d cut the pieces out.  Hopefully it fits with Ryanair’s strict size policy for hand luggage…!!!

The girls demanded some crafting goodness Saturday afternoon, so they designed some bunting each – haven’t taken a photo of Lili’s yet but here’s Tallulah’s “sprawbry, dod, sprawbry, dod” bunting – they put it up on the fence themselves.

Finally I have knocked together the wonderful individual squares each crafty mum has put her unique stamp on to create a truly communal piece of art!  A border of plain squares has gone on now too (that was the midnight – 1am job last night!) and although I had hoped to add some applique butterflies (also Rachel’s “thing”!) it was more important to hand it over to Erin for post-production!  I think we should all be rightly proud of it!

Finally here is a gorgeous pic of my beautiful Lilspil wearing one of my organza flowers.  I actually took 2 commissions this week (my first!) – thanks Nat!  And have handed one over to the lovely Steph…very proud, I am!

Lovely to see so many people and fun projects at the Bearwood Tapestry on Thursday night – ladies you inspire me!

 

 

The Bearwood Tapestry

Last Thursday was another meet up of the Bearwood Tapestry. It's so nice to see people returning again and again each month to be creative and have a few drinks. The projects that people are working on are beautiful and so inspiring. I was especially blown away by the granny square blanket that Kit brought with her. It is a piece of art! I broke my diet for that evening to have a slice of the raspberry bakewell cake… and let me say that it was worth every mouthful. I don't think there was a crumb left at the end of the night.

I hope everyone comes again next month… and please spread the word! We love to see new faces. We meet every third Thursday of the month at 8pm, upstairs in the Bear Tavern. Everybody is welcome!

The Cake-Crafter

Ok, it’s only taken me about 7 months to start blogging. Well, I guess I am the cake-making Crafty Mutha. Is cake making a craft? I reckon so….
I love cake. I love eating cake and making cake and decorating cake and giving cake to other people to make them fatter than me. I have always enjoyed cooking and this was encouraged by my parents when we were kids. My Mum always had some cake or sweet goody in the house at all times and she had a phenominal skill for victoria sponge! So that must be where I get it from. I started getting a bit more creative with my cakes a few years ago and since then I have made many birthday, anniversary, wedding cakes and cupcakes galore! I have a strong attraction to butterflies and so often bully people into having butterflies on their cakes, or sneak a cheeky butterfly in somewhere!
Well, as this is my first blog, I’ll keep it short and just pop in a few pictures of some of my favourite cakes. I am starting up a cakey website soon, but more on that next time…..
Rachel.

one careful owner

one careful owner

as the blossom was just appearing on the trees back in april i did a quick dash around my local high street charity shops on the look out for jumpers to felt. i came away with a few choice cashmere numbers (looks like asda cashmere isn’t the lifetime investment that a good cashmere jumper used to be!). with these and some old moth eaten and misshaped things from my wardrobe i then spent a beautiful fresh spring day washing and felting, pegging out and cutting up, all in preparation for making cushions a plenty.

one careful owner

 

cushions are my new crafty passion and i’ve given some as presents but plan to sell some. that’s right…sell! the exciting news is that crafty muthas plan to have a stall at the bearwood picnic in the park, held annually in warley woods. i think ceri’s mentioned it on this blog before but just so you know, this year’s picnic will be on sunday 18th july, 1pm-6pm and we’ll be selling jewellery and hair accessories, photos, cupcakes and cushions of course. and lots more. wow.

one careful owner

 

this week i finally got down to finishing a few so i actually have what i like to call a ‘collection’. ha ha. it sounds pretentious to me so it probably does to you but seriously i’m thinking of this as my ‘one careful owner’ collection because they are all made from recycled jumpers that had been looked after but weren’t quite making it as stylish garments anymore. just calling it that makes me think more professionally and stops me turning the tv on in the evening. i have work to do! crafty mutha nat was the tearful recipient of the ‘love’ cushion but that’s the last one i’m giving away. the rest are for sale!

one careful owner

 

i think they are pretty cute but the good people of bearwood and beyond will have to prove me right by splashing the cash. and if they don’t….these will be coming to my nearest and dearest in a christmas stocking come december!

one careful owner

busy like the bees

I finally freakin’ finished Lili’s spring greens cardi!  And doesn’t it look cute though?! Mind you, I am biased as I think the model is tops.. I was a bit gutted when I had to buy one extra ball of the lovely Sirdar Just Bamboo to finish it as that one ball cost me the same as the other 6 had together…!  Still, I thought having one sleeve just 3″ long and the other to the elbow might have been pushing it a tad…

She loves it though and has worn it. Loads.

Having got that “out of the way” (is that bad when crafting seems to feel solely a means to an end?) I could finally sew up the darling clothkits russian dolls dress I got last summer for Lula (www.clothkits.co.uk).  I LOVE it! I am pleased with the multicoloured buttons up the back too.  They rock!  I also did one for Lils the following night, also a clothkits sale number from last summer designed by the “people will always need plates” guys, called Trellick Tower.  Haven’t taken a photo yet as haven’t put the buttons on or hemmed it but I am still considering it “done”….

Also made a lace corsage for my hairdresser, who requested one especially – what do you think?  Not struck on lace but I liked the colours together…

Happy 40th Jim!  I made him some Man City themed bunting (thanks for having a 3-letter name too!) and look forward to celebrating the first England win with him and my favourite namesake on Saturday x

On this particularly productive night I also made a tea towel tote for the stall – not bad for first effort – think I will make some more!

I have been buying beads aplenty lately, after coming across a bee-yoo-tifull online shop called, of all things, www.beadsbylili.co.uk.  Must be fate, I thought, as I kept clicking and adding things to my basket…..  And another one called www.beadsite.co.uk…..  so I sat there the other night with all my wares laid out on the kids’ ikea table (just the right height for crafting while sitting on settee!) and I was gutted as I could find no inspiration to put anything together.  It was like sitting staring at a table of white elephants (except I imagine they would have looked quite spectacular…!) and I felt really down about it.  I managed to make something for CM Nat’s birthday which I am pleased with, but am hoping I don’t feel the need to buy loads more stuff to try and use up the beads I already have.  One thing I did make before this epiphany was a v cute bracelet for Helena’s birthday using the greek washer beads from the beadsite bead site (do you see what I did there?).  Photo here for general perusal and oohing.

On a more sombre note I’ve reflected that I’ve been letting other people get me down too much lately – people whose opinions don’t mean jack, and who have no right to make me feel introspective or to invade my thoughts, and so I have made a conscious decision to step away from all negativity and focus on the joy my family and creativity are bringing to me – and my lovely planned holiday in the foreign sun!!!  Begone bad vibes and do not darken my door again! (oh and can you please take with you my inability to say “no” to cava and chocolate?)

On an über-positive note, welcome to the world darling Tillie and long may you shine your golden light on us all!

Oh, and I made sun hats too! How could I forget those little beauts?!

Ceri
x