Full on making mode

We had a full and busy half term with Marvellous Machines, Anglo-Saxon horn-blowing and grisly tales, baby cousin munching, big cousin missing and cousin-to-be showering, much needed family time, the tentative start of de-cluttering, much leafleting for the Handmade fair, some weed-pulling, a wee bit of film-making, a couple of days of “proper” work, crisp packet shrinking, and I managed to cram a little bit of crafting in there too!

I was most excited about trying to do some projects that I had been keen to try for months, but never quite got round to, like re-igniting the resin obsession last experienced by my sister and me around 1989, almost knocked out by the fumes in the non-ventilated garage at our family home involving love heart sweets and lots of glitter. Roll on 25 years and there’s still plenty of glitter and candy based goodness to be encapsulated for posterity in clear plastic!

The smell was instantly recognisable and snapped me back to the days of the Wonderstuff and dressing in my granddad’s old PJs quicker than you can say “my bloody valentine!” My experiments can be viewed in the pics below and I look forward to trying a few more variables before next weekend’s Bearwood Handmade fair. Bloody love a bit of resin, me. Right naive, but happy.
resin sequin resin millefiori resin hundreds resin 4 resin 3 resin 2 resin 1

Then I moved on to the tape measure rosette – again, something I figured I would be born to do, given my obsession with measuring my figure and sewing. Not as straight forward as I had envisaged, but quite chuffed with the end result.

tape measure rosette

Then came the flexi purses. Ah, the flexi purses! Unswayed by the fact the tutorial referred to a purse frame wider than those I had procured, I ploughed ahead, wildly unmatched thread in top and bottom of the machine and, cheered by the fabulous snippets of fabric I was using, discovered upon thrusting the holding pin into the frame with a triumphant flourish that I hadn’t sewn across the bottom of the casing, so the frame was disappearing down into the purse. And it was a bit wide for the frame to boot.. So after some tweaks to the pattern (on the back of a piece of card from the Book People box – reduce, reuse, recycle!) I managed to turn out a slightly neater looking version (even if I still made the same mistake I made on the first one by sewing the wrong seam first….again). So I hacked into the initial frame and rehashed it and added a new frame. Head pounding and feeling very sick at 1.30am, I called it a night!

flex purses

My last good idea of the week came late Sunday afternoon and was inspired by the alphabet beads I was using in some of the resin hearts. I have long been an advocate for id bracelets with parents’ phone numbers on for the kids whenever we were at events or large spaces (like the Botanical Gardens, Picnic in the Park, Shuffle etc). Now they’re growing up, those reflective plastic bands are too small and too UNCOOL! So I threaded the requisite number beads and some lovely turquoise crystal beads from Bearwood’s own Bead Savvy onto stretch elastic and job’s a good un! Have sourced some slightly more boyish beads too for the male friendly variety. And relax and sip your cider at the festival…..just wait for the inevitable call!

bracelet 2 child bracelet

inspiration cup runneth over (or, do you know when to stop, Ceri?!)

So, anticipating a rainy week in deepest Pembrokeshire this summer (which actually only became one rainy day!), I took along a couple of my dirty secrets – craft magazines!

It was lovely leafing through all the thick paper, drinking in the sumptuous photography and imagining I was an expert at every craft they featured!  I was particularly taken with a couple of projects though, and couldn’t wait to get going.

So on my return I bought a whole heap of ricrac, and ran up a bouquet of ricrac roses as shown below.  The tutorial I followed was in Mollie Makes, but there are plenty out there all over t’internet – I have seen loads on Pinterest since.

x 4

I mounted the red one onto a vintage style brass ring base which is visible underneath the flower, but neglected to take a photo – I will remedy that soon!

As you can see in the photo, the metallic silver one stayed tightly furled, and could not be persuaded to bloom!  I have a stack of other colours in my basket, awaiting planting and watering – am thinking hairclips, embellishments and more rings!

Other loveliness prompted by perusing in my holiday flat include these rather darling retro looking pin cushions.

x 3

I love these – so practical and funky, and relatively easy to do, and take a small amount of fabric so can be a good way to showcase nice material.  This was featured in Making magazine in the summer, along with a case for stork sewing scissors – dying to give that one a go too! Have half a dozen or so pin cushions waiting for the final binding and tassel treatment – finished pile photo to follow!

Also in Mollie Makes were a series of bracelets, made from embroidered lace, crocheted wool onto metal chain and jersey threaded through curbed chains.  I haven’t got around to the lace yet (but have some lovely vintage looking stuff in red, black and cream lined up and ready to go!), but have had a go with some jersey and chain.  Really easy tutorial to follow in MM, but bit fiddly with gluing on the ends.

x 2 x 1

One went off to my best friend once she’d fancied it on facebook, so that was a bonus!  An old pair of littlest daughter’s leggings was sacrificed in the making of these fellas, as the girls even made their own wrist warmers out of the ankles!

I tried non jersey fabric and it frayed badly, so I created some tubes (ideal opportunity o try out my loop turner!!) and gently stuffed them with toy stuffing and then, as they didn’t bend properly, just threaded the tubes through the big old chains.  As the chains then fell down like Nora Batty’s stockings, I stitched a couple of holding stitches each end to secure them, and on they look really effective.

chain tube chain tube close up

Finally, in Mollie Makes there was also a darling tutorial about crocheting directly onto a chain bracelet and adding a bead – which of course I had to try (given the surfeit of beads I have acquired!).  Loving the outcome – and even lost my first attempt to CM Jayne at our last muthas’ meeting!  Big girl fancies the khaki green one…maybe for her birthday with a hat to match?! Hats and headgear next post topic!  Need to get my models warmed up!

crochet chain

ta da!


here are the finished tonal blooms, all gathered together.  Think I’ll just do some of the usual fave colours, like red, which are popular.  Maybe some smaller ones too….


May’s Tap was a slightly different event to usual, as we held a themed night!

It was a recipe swap, so people brought along samples of their favourite dishes (yum!) and recipes, for Tappers to sample and try at home.

An amazing feast was recreated on the bar, with tasty pizza pinwheels and spinach and onion bhajis, delicious dips and a plethora of scrumptious cakes, biscuits and sweet treats!

I have copies of all the recipes now, plus some additional ones from people who couldn’t make it on the night, and we will pull them all together into an easy e-book for downloading (when we get 5 minutes!)…

Yum yum, pig’s bum!jayne cake

blooming busy!



So, this is my first post on the lovely spanking new website the clever CM Erin has created for us!

Bear with, as I am learning as I go….

I have been busy of late, trying to get some serious crafting done ahead of our next Bearwood Handmade on 22 June at St Mary’s Church Hall.  I’ve been happily cutting, stitching, knitting, crocheting, gluing, beading, papercutting, and taking photos, all for works-in-progress (or thoughts-in-progress at times!).

I’ll post some more in coming days about specific projects, but this one is purely about the felt dahlias that have become a permanent fixture on my stall.

As I posted some years back, I came across a tutorial on craft gossip website about how to create a felt dahlia, with a cute little pocket on the back for a message or photo for Mother’s Day.  Once I’d started making them, I got a bit addicted, and soon they were blooming all over my house in lovely shades – bright one season, pastel for Easter, glittery for Christmas!  Here’s some previous ones:

rocking and rolling and what noti love bearwood

Then I joined pinterest a couple of weeks back, and I came across a picture of these felt dahlias with different coloured rounds of petals – often in toning shades. Holy felted inspiration Batman! So here’s my first attempt, in shades of orange and lemon.

Stage 1 – cut out the 3 different sized squares (large in dark orange, medium in pale orange and small in lemon). Then trim these to look a little like the taj mahal (I did take a photo of this, but it seems to have disappeared from instagram…will send again and update this post if it comes through! here it is now! below this one!)

dahlias 1

dahlias too

Next, glue the bases and fold over to make the petal shape.  I usually peg each base with a mini wooden peg, but couldn’t find my stash, so improvised with impaling them on a pin!  This worked well for keeping the different sizes together (sometimes it’s difficult to tell which is large or medium when they’re the same colour!), but left a mini hole as this felt is less fluffy than others.  Dry overnight.


dahlias 2

Then I covered a plastic circle with yellow felt, front and back, and hot glue gunned the outer larger petals onto the edge.  I made more than I needed, as there’s nothing worse than being one short and having a spartan bloom!

dahlias 3 

Then the second round of petals goes on, slightly offset against the row above.

dahlias 4 

And then the central round of petals, finished off with a length of yellow felt cut with pinking shears and rolled up.  Pop a brooch back on the reverse (and I like to add a hair clip as well as I love a statement hair adornment – see next post!) and away you go!

dahlias 5

Blooming gorgeous!  I have started cutting out blue shades now, and have pulled together some pinks, greens and bright neons – maybe a nice monochrome going from black through grey to white..hmmmmm……

New Website!!

it’s taken a weeks to sort out… but here we are! today is the fateful day that Posterous is shutting down for good… and with it, our virtual home since October 2009. so welcome to our new virtual home! update your links and we’ll try and get back into the habit of updating our blog. just after we dust off the cobwebs here and get comfortable.


Rolling rolling rolling

Rolling rolling rolling

So the christmas rush came and went and Ceri’s birthday was upon us. I had a voucher for Tk maxx and had bought myself a big heart made up with rolled paper which is lovely but i thought to myself i could have a bash at this and off i went. Man it is quite addictive i managed to make our Ceri the bowl in my picture. To be honest i was quite pleased with it and it has got me on a rolling mission. I am going to try and make some pictures for our spring fair me thinks. I am so rock and roll…Well more folk and roll these days Xx

2012 was a hoot

Yep, last year, once again, I spent rather a lot of time with my little owl friends. People are still loving owls it seems, along with lots of other woodland creatures, and that’s all good with me. If I’m honest, a stall without an owl on would feel a little strange. 

But for the last Bearwood Handmade fair I did ring the changes with my ‘owls on sticks’ by, wait for it…..not putting a ribbon on some of them. Radical, huh? I actually found a couple of lovely sticks while out trawling the beautiful Warley Woods and they lent themselves to standing up on their own, so I just left them as perfect little ornaments for a windowsill or shelf. Not everybody wants to hang stuff up! Can’t believe how many words I have just written about not putting a ribbon on a stick!
In other owl news, I made these two hardy little chaps into doorstops. Filled with crushed shells and grit for weight, and made from sturdy denim, and leather, I DID add a ribbon to these guys, so they would be easy to pick up and move around. 
Anyway, all of my owl makes flew off the stall and they are hopefully making happy little homes for themselves around Bearwood and beyond. Will I be making more in 2013? Of course!