The Crafties at The Birmingham Handmade Market

 Feel like a stranger on here it’s been that long since I have managed to do a blog.  Personal issues and just lack of time (can you believe its October on Friday?)Is what I am blaming for my lack of input, but back on it now.

As you can see in the snaps, half of The Crafty Muthas had a fabulous (but chilly) day on Sunday at The Birmingham Handmade Markets on Edgbaston Street..  The other 3 Muthas otherwise engaged much to their disappointment, so it was left to myself, Ceri and Jennie to man the front line, and fun was had by all…along with lashings of hot chocolate and plenty of banter.  The market is amazing, so many lovely things to buy and see, especially from our beautiful stall and very proud of it we were too.  Jen’s owls were a huge hit again, people love them owl’s man, and Ceri sold some of her lovely fabric baskets and corsages.  My rings were my best seller of the day, and didn’t our stall look pretty?

Now we have the Handmade Market done, we have to concentrate on our very own Handmade Christmas in Bearwood fair on 20th November.  This is very exciting for me and all of the other Muthas as we have had so much interest from people wanting to know if they can have their own stall and people just generally wanting to get there to buy our products, it is such a compliment.  My husband on the other hand is not so excited as he now has to help me peel 10 kilos of Shallots for me to start my pickling fest..yum.

The Christmas Fair is being held at St Mary’s Church in Bearwood starting at 9.30am and finishing around 2.00pm, there will be many gorgeous and lovingly made Christmas gifts and eats on sale.  I really hope you can pop in.  Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks Nat. x

pillow talk

pillow talk

 

as promised, here’s the sneak preview of the cushions for sunday’s handmade birmingham stall. they are all upcycled from jumpers, shirts and jeans, designed by me and hand sewn without glue or indeed the exploitation of small children. (although two 3 year olds did help stuff a couple of them, but they really enjoyed it!)

pillow talk

 

inky blues are the colour of the season i’m told so i’ve tried to keep on trend,

pillow talk

 

but i’m always drawn back to the classic neutrals

pillow talk

and these two sexy little numbers are just asking for a squeeze.

roll up roll up

so here is the gorgeous pin up girlie make up roll, and the new pencil rolls with kokeshi doll print and autumn leaves.  Cute, huh?

I am going to be selling the pencil rolls with pencils in, and the make up rolls empty for people to fill with their own handbag essentials.  Hope people like them.  I’ve just rediscovered the flames and skulls fabrics I got in the summer so I may knock up one of each of those if I get a chance…

Also pictured are the fabric baskets I made at the weekend.  I can just see them filled with cotton buds or cotton wool balls, or like ours is, collecting all the hair clips and bobbles that get pulled out and don’t make it back into the drawer upstairs….!  Other uses could be loose change or keys, phone cosy, pen/paperclip holders – the choices are endless.  I love them and I hope you do too.

and then there’s some of the organza corsages which I am still finishing off.  I do think they’re pretty darn cute, and will probably make some larger ones as well for the Christmas fair. 

And then there’s my old friends, the Julie Walters dahlias.  I named them for the Bearwood picnic in the park where Julie Walters is patron of the Warley Woods Trust, and each colour is named after a character she has played.  The feisty pink is Petula, after one of my all time favourites, Petula Gordino from dinnerladies, and I think I’m going to call the blue one Sheila after her character in My Beautiful Son.  The photo doesn’t do the pink one justice – it’s practically fluroescent!

Commissions taken if anyone has a favourite colour they’d like a dahlia in, or combination of fabrics for rolls or baskets! Come and see us on Sunday on Edgbaston Street! 

every day is like monday morning

the days are just disappearing in a blur of banana bread, p.e. kits, school runs, snatched conversations, cold coffee and bedtime stories. in between i’m desperately trying to make things for the weekend handmade birmingham (http://handmadebirmingham.com/) stall. i felted some wool jumpers a while back so i’ve been cutting and stitching like crazy. here’s a small taster of what i’ll be bringing to the crafty muthas’ stall on sunday.

 

every day is like monday morning

 

more owls from the wood and more corsages/ brooches.

every day is like monday morning

cushions are half finished and i’ll let you have a sneak peek tomorrow hopefully.

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it would be lovely to see lots of friendly faces at the stall on sunday. please tell your friends, colleagues and families to pop down, bring some spending money and make a start on the christmas presents. handmade birmingham is providing a home to some fantastic designer makers and they really need your support. we can all make birmingham a more interesting place to live and shop if we support the unique talents of local producers and give the big chains a miss every now and then. sorry, lesson over for today. a small person needs food so i’ll get back to my real job.

rocking and rolling and what not

well I have been hard at it this week, desperately crafting late into the night before Sunday’s next selling adventure!

I have made some more cute pencil rolls in a Kokeshi doll fabric, and little autumn leaves, to go with the cowboy one shown in the photo.  I just think they’d make a lovely little gift for children as my girls have used theirs non-stop since I made them for our holidays.  It’s so convenient to pop one into my handbag when we’re off to watch one of them swimming so the other can happily amuse herself at the side of the pool with a colouring book and all the pencils are together in one place!

Inspired by a conversation with my friends Gisella and Clare back in summer, I am attempting some make up rolls too, to keep your essentials together in your handbag – like a mascara, pencils, lippie and a brush perhaps.  Will keep you posted on how they turn out – have some delectable bathing beauties fabric to try out!

Next I have been making some more little teeny felt flowers to put on hairclips and bobbles. They are the easiest thing to do:  simply cut a piece of felt with pinking shears (so the three edges are straight and the top looks like a picket fence) – about 3cm tall and 10cm wide.  Then using straight scissors snip down each dip inthe picket fence about 2cm deep all the way along so you have what looks like grass!  cut another strip about 1cm by 6cm in a contrasting colour and then wind it up to form the centre of the flower.  Take the frondy piece and wind it aound the outside of the centre bud and secure with some stitches.  Fan out your petals and voila – a little flower in less than five minutes!  My girls loved making these and I sewed some onto elastics for bobbles, and glued some onto a barrette and individual ones onto clips.  Tres cute.

Also pictured are some of the jewellery pieces I’ve been trying out.  I made a whole bunch of more button and bead earrings and rings last night, plus a few more “lariat” style necklaces using chain, pandora-style beads and charms, but need to upload those pictures.

Really looking forward to the Handmade Market on Sunday down by Birmingham’s rag market.  We need to be there around 10 to set up, so early to bed on Saturday night methinks!  Come on down if you’re passing, or make a special visit if not, as there’ll be plenty of gorgeousness to be seen and come and see the crafty muthas stall.  If you tell us “I love Bearwood” there might even be a surprise gift in it for you……!

 

a flower by any other name

a flower by any other name

two flowers for my sister’s birthday. the silver organza was totally ripped off from cm ceri. just the ticket though.

a flower by any other name

this one was sort of inspired by the flower on my husbands recently acquired tattoo. it’s not the first thing you notice. that’d be the 6 inch colombian beauty that stretches almost from shoulder to elbow. but the flowers are nice.

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a month in cake

i can’t claim to be the best cake maker i know, we have cm rachel for that, and to be honest, round here there are a lot of talented bakers. but i am keen. i do believe that treats should be home-baked and so i make sure there are always bananas in the freezer for banana loaf and oats in the cupboard for flapjacks and the fixings for friday pancakes are always to be found on my shelves. but from the middle of july to the middle of august i was mostly making birthday cakes. far too many for one family.

a month in cake

 

my dad’s 60th. i was actually sick after this one, but think it was the seafood that preceded it.

a month in cake

sonny’s sandcastle cake for his birthday by the sea. throwing sugar at buttercream is just way too much fun.

a month in cake

sonny’s birthday cake no.2 for family tea. with added scooby doo characters because he seems to think every cake needs a whole theme.

a month in cake

my sis and bro share a birthday meal with a malteser cake finale. sparkler-tastic.

a month in cake

 

it’s not a birthday cake but the august bearwood tapestry cake sneaked in there too. i cheated because i was caked out and used bought sponge flan bases sandwiched together with chestnut puree. i did however make the ganache to cover it all with and toast the almonds! hey and it’s the tapestry tonight so if you’re in the area, pop along (hit the bearwood tapestry link for more info).

skunk love

i know a beautiful girl. she’s in love with skunks. she had a birthday coming up. i challenged myself to make her a skunk.

skunk love

i thought about it for a while. i looked at lots of photos of skunks. i learnt some things (i though they had a solid white stripe along their back, they don’t). i drew a pattern. found some material from my stash – an old top of mine from h&m that shrunk after the first wear. also some cream brushed cotton left over from the baby pillow. i made some pom poms from chunky wool. kept it very simple – this is a rare two legged variety!

skunk love

 

and hey presto. i was in love too. turns out loving skunks isn’t that hard. what with my owls and now this….i’m definitely growing soft in my old age.

skunk love

distraction

 

distraction

 

well i’ve just deposited my baby at nursery school for the first time and won’t be picking her up for another few hours….and i badly need to keep busy so that i don’t chew off all of my nails or run frantically back to school weeping ‘come home, come home’. i haven’t uploaded the photos of my latest makes yet, but i thought i’d just post some pics of inspiring things from our family hols in cornwall this year. we stayed with lovely friends in newlyn, near penzance. they’ve been hosting us for the last four years and summer wouldn’t be summer without a trip to see them. we take full advantage of the many wonderful things cornwall has to offer and as well as the famous tate in st ives we always visit the wonderful newlyn gallery http://www.newlynartgallery.co.ukthis year they had a brilliantly inspiring exhibition on. ‘the house of fairy tales exquisite trove – A travelling collection of mysterious objects from more than 100 artists, merged with extraordinary artefacts on loan from West Cornwall museums. ‘ i may well be trying to make a paper kite to hang from my ceiling in the future. it’d match the paper bunting ceri made for me beautifully.

distraction

 

i just loved the the obey of leave sign. i’m thinking of painting it above the entrance to my house. so children of bearwood be warned! adults too probably.

distraction

 

the silhouette wall is a must. so simple and ever changing. this was actually in the bit where kids get to make art…or they get to watch their mum furiously cutting, trying to make the perfect snowflake or row of little people. cutting up rocks! and kids love scissors. and sticking. so it’s a definite future project in my house.

distraction

where everyone obeys me! and now i’ve run out of pictures. i need to file a half chewed nail. and then i’m going to pace a little bit. make more coffee. distract myself with some form filling. and watch the clock. come on, it must be nearly 11.45.