Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas Corner.

I have finally managed to create ONE exciting Christmassy corner in my house and I am very happy! Oh I do have a tree, before you ponder. But I am particularly proud of my festive shelves! SAD!?

 I actually didn't think I would make it this far. I've had endless craft fairs, hence no blogging, and my shops have been nice and busy. Most of my items in these photographs have joined me at my events so they have lived in the boot of my car for two-ish months. Now they have a new life for a short while- until it all starts again.
My pictures might be a little crude and this blog post is probably a bit sad but you see this is a milestone for me. At the start of my craft fair adventure in October I couldn't envisage it ever coming to an end, and boy did I get stressy. I don't find it all easy trying to run a business and a family, something usually suffers! So I think this post is to simply congratulate myself. TEE! HEE!

Now I will start on the rest of the house- it's the house that has suffered me thinks!

New THINGS FOR NEXT YEAR-  I am planning on setting up a website because I like the idea of everything being under one roof. I've actually started creating it so please keep watching for updates.


Friday, 28 October 2011

Look.....I've been published!

 I'm in this issue of Handmade Living.

I have created this pattern especially for the Handmade Living reader.

Yippee!!!! I'm soooooo excited......now off you go lovely crafters and create this lovely bag.

This bag is a variation of my Apple bag- seen here fashioned by Lil.




Craft Fair Pics......WOWEE!

I only have a few images to show you from the Vintage Revival Fair in Kendal that I took part in last Sunday. Thankfully this is down to being super busy and rushed off my feet and basically not having any time to take pictures or even sit down!!!!



Pic Number 1.......I have suddenly found my white shelves to be extremely useful at these events. They add so much height to my display and many of my items are at eye level, they also don't take up much room in my car.


Pic Number 2......Cushions. I apologize for the angle of this photograph, I have no idea if this even the correct way round.


Pic Number 3..... A close up. I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is planning to take part in a craft fair over this festive period to invest in a small set of shelves. I make fairly large items and sometimes there isn't enough space to display my handmade lovely things, or the space is different to what I imagined and I usually have a mini meltdown when this happens. At least with my shelves I was able to have a play and arrange my items at home before the big event. Also using my shelves means I have extra table space for the Christmas decorations and stocking fillers- which are items I don't sell all year round and something else to think about.

Pic Number 4......my daughter. Meet Lily! My daughter got so much of a buzz from selling one item last week and was excited by the experience of earning money that she has now announced she works for me. EEK! I'm not sure how long this will last but for now I'm keeping her to her word!!!!


Saturday, 22 October 2011

See Me Here On Sunday





Don't miss this Vintage event.

I shall be exhibiting here and selling my handcrafted lovely things and some supplies.



Monday, 17 October 2011

HEADS UP! There's a FESTIVE BUNTING Workshop taking place. WOOOOO!


It's happening tomorrow evening at The Fusion Cafe (twitter- @Allfusedglass). In the historic grounds of Brougham Hall, Penrith
Festive Bunting
COST - £35.00
This workshop will run every Tuesday starting 18th October for 3 weeks, 7pm-10pm
 
We believe that it takes time and practise to make the perfect double sided bunting! 
 Therefore this is a three week festive bunting workshop.
 
With a combination of beautiful contrasting fabrics, embellished with pom-poms and bells, we will make and create fabulous bunting.
 
Machine sewing and hand sewing will be used,  so it would be lovely if you could bring your own sewing machine.
 
Please bring your own fabrics, preferably cotton and with a festive feel. Or old clothes, off cuts or fat quarters (I only ask this so that we don’t all end up with the same looking bunting, however I will bring along some fabric). I will provide Christmassy bias binding, pom-poms and bells. 
 
 
Refreshments included! Oh and it should be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

From Now On It's Only BIG Decorations For Me

Last week I simply despaired. Nothing seemed to go right.......please tell me why does this happen? First in the series of terrible events was that our boiler broke in a spectacular fashion. Thankfully last week was a scorcher of a week so we were OK for warmth. However there was no end to the boiling of pans so that we could keep ourselves clean. Our boiler did eventually get fixed but only for it to break down again three days later. UMPH!

Amongst this mayhem my daughter was off school, I scratched my car and I've messed up my tax returns. These things cause me no end of worry.

But then in my mental state I created these

WEEEEEEEE! Big TREES.


 BIG

Big buttons, tactile felt. Big colour!

Big trees, I love them! They were fun to make, they helped me exercise some demons. I think they are like 'In your face' Christmas trees. I did become very giddy with excitement when I hung on them on my door to take these pictures. Creative fun at it's best.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

You can never have too many pom-poms!

I've spent the day gathering all my newly handmade textiles, in order to have a grand photo sesh and then start listing my creations in my Etsy shop.......I'm still on a bit of a drive although I am close to burn out. Any way as I was in the process of doing this one thing was made very clear to me- I have made many things with pom-poms recently.

Oh well!









I think these big pom-poms add a magical Christmassy/snowball touch. I think you should try it for yourself, they're very easy to attach!


I have also made some beautiful festive table runners- but I'm having a little difficulty taking good quality pictures. So you will have to wait to see them.

My bunting is now listed in my Etsy shop along with many other Christmassy items.


Oh I do love a big wad of pom-poms!!!!! Check these out here- http://www.etsy.com/shop/onceinthenorth2



Pom-poms, pom-poms, bunting, bunting- say them really fast!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Finished Lavender Lovelies.

I have finally finished my scented cushions. They've had a good stuffing with lavender and hops and all loose threads have been snipped and tidied...........


I am so much in love with this pretty Scandinavian Folk print. I know it isn't particulary Christmassy but against  he right fabrics and trims it could.....you will be seeing it frequently!!!



It is a personal acheivement to create something so simple and I am very happy with my new cushions.








My beautiful Liberty stash.......and pom-poms!












Simple and satisfying, my scented cushions have been a pleasure to sew. I was concerned that the pom-pom trims might be too fussy but actually they're not- which is good because I can't wait to use them in everything. Er! Maybe not?

Yippie! I am excited. I am a fabric, pom-pom, sewing addict.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Scented Cushions- nearly finished!!!

OK so these pictures may be slightly crude because I haven't quite finished off my scented cushions but I am so excited with the way they have turned out, I just had to take a few snaps to show you.

I think my theme for winter is definitely comfort and therefore 'cute houses'- hopefully you might be able to make out the cute house appliqued on the top cushion?






I have been busy- yes? Christmas is upon us and this year I have decided to get ahead of the game. Or at least I'm going to have a go. I am determined to be more organised and right now I do feel positive and driven, which actually makes me feel good! One thing I am sure of is that my house smells great!






Here we go....'cute houses and adorable Russian Dolls'. Fun....fun....fun!





I think I'm obsessed- I cannot get enough of these dinky colourful pom-pom trims.

I will add the finishing touches tomorrow. Whoopee!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Heart Buttons- a welcome surprise.....

Can you imagine my surprise and my giddiness when I received these from my wholesaler the other day. Only because I didn't actually order them but they replaced a bag of buttons that were out of stock.  I'm telling you button lovers these buttons are a beautiful variety of pink and red shades.


More to the point they sit beautiful next to my new "love" ribbon/sewing tape. Which I did order.


I think some body may have been having a little bit of design enjoyment. Thank you Mr. wholesaler!

This is prettiness at it's most perfect!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

When to use a needle and thread!

Ha! Ha! Here is something I didn't think I would find myself doing this week.......a little bit of hand sewing. Well a little bit of tacking to be precise.

Just to echo words from my last blog post- there is a time and a place to tack your work together. As I also said in my last blog post- I am a very confident with my sewing skills so I never feel a need to tack my work before sitting down at my sewing machine. Well today I am eating my words, today I have been sewing chunky wadding and pom-poms together. If ever there was a time and a place to get my needle and thread out it has to be today.



I am so excited about my new lavender cushions and I cannot afford to make any mistakes. I have spent a good few hours cutting out teeny pieces of bunting, teeny pieces of vylene, ironing it all together and then carefully arranging it all. But end results are important so tacking on the pom-poms by hand it had to be. Not only that they are quite expensive so I just want to get everything right and lovely the first time. Also let's not forget that hand sewing is a valuable skill and should be encouraged more!!!!!



Once I have finished these little lovelies I will up load many pics of the end results. I already have them in mind as Christmas presents for certain bunting obsessed members of my family!

I hope you like?

Monday, 12 September 2011

MY top 5 crafty sewing tools. Before the initial sewing stage that is....

This is my list of crafty tools. I must emphasize the MY as you might read this and think 'Oh no....she has it all wrong'. Well that is fine by me as we are all unique and individual.

I did think about listing ALL of the tools I use within a day of crafting and sewing activities. But where do you end? So MY list comprises of the tools I use the most.......before I get down to sewing and assembling- as simple as that!

Here are my 5 things I cannot live without, the tools I actually keep by my side and sometimes travel with them!!! They are in no order by the way.

SCISSORS  

Of course! A bit obvious really! This is my trusted army of scissors. The red handled pair are my paper scissors- for cutting out patterns, labels, trimming gift wrap. I cannot live without my lovely big pair of Fiskars, I have had these for years and they have never let me down. They cut fine fabric beautifully and are great for chomping through a huge wedge of fabric. I do look after these and I keep them sharp. My other black handled pair are my spare pair but I do like to use these for cutting through felt and for trimming seams. My little pair are used for trimming loose threads, snipping off buttons and occasionally ripping through mistakes. It is important to keep your fabric scissors sharp and never use them to cut paper!!!! GRRR!

Next.....an  IRON

YEP! An iron. I cannot live without an iron during a days sewing. Can you? How can we cut out accurate patterns with creases and ripples in our fabric? I also use an iron on vylene for many of my patchwork projects. I always iron my cut fabric in half and use the crease to achieve symmetry, this line creates the Centre Front and Centre Back when making my bags and big cushions. They just make everything easier and are an imperative guide. I also use the iron for ironing out my seams- my mum drummed this into me.

 TAPE MEASURES and similar.

I have acquired many tape measures because I am always losing them. I actually only own one of these measuring aids from this motley collection! Tut! Tut! In fact when I was gathering this lot together I realized that I have lost my metal ruler. Please go and invest in a metal ruler- you will achieve the most perfect straight lines and I did use it for making my patterns. The green measuring mat, which my mum give me, also does this job very well. I always use this mat when I am drawing free- hand curves onto my bag patterns. The one tape measure I use the most of is MY white one (when I can find it), the only measure here that is mine, everything else here belongs to my family. But it just goes to show you how much a crafter relies on this tool to enable you to measure and therefore cut out your fabric accurately, there is something to be said for the motto 'measure twice, cut once'. I also occasionally use a protractor for measuring degrees when I am adding darts to my bag patterns.

Next we have- PINS

Pins, pins, pins. What can we say about pins? They are of course very important to keep your patterns and fabric intact as you are cutting out. I used to tack everything together but now, because I have a lot of confidence in my sewing ability, I don't bother tacking and I just pin everything together. This saves a lot of time and, you know, if you have ironed your fabric and measured it properly before cutting out then there shouldn't be much need to tack your work before sewing. I have to add here that I do tack if I am sewing anything delicate or fiddly. I use pins of various thickness and sizes- I use my sweet heart head ones for pinning together thick fabric or a number of pieces. I always use them when I am making my lavender cushions because this involves sewing in a plush wadding. I do not use them for pinning fine fabrics or any type of delicate work, they just tend to punch big holes into your lovely fabric, I save this job for the smaller and thinner pins.


MARK MAKING Equipment

Let's face it if we didn't have this basic equipment we wouldn't be able to sketch our ideas and this is something I do frequently. We also wouldn't be able to draw our patterns and then mark them perfectly on our fabric. Short and sweet!


I have in no way intended to be patronising in my obvious list- this idea happened to come about because I spent the weekend trying to create a bit of space for my growing craft enterprise. I started thinking 'just how much space and storage do I need' and I have come to conclusion- as much as I can!

I would love to here about the tools you can't live without. I'm thinking that I might draw up a 'followers list'. I also plan on a part 2.......this will include my best friend 'The Stitch Ripper'.

Over and out!


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

EXCITING new things going on in my shop!

Pom pom trims......aren't they  AWESOME!!?? NOM NOM! I've called them Indian Summer Bright Pom poms. Yep I'm afraid I'm still after another holiday. I've listed these over @ ONCE and so far I've added this bright bundle in one listing- 2mtrs each X £6.00 (£2.00 per mtr). But you can always have more, I will be listing them by the metre also.

To me these beautiful ribbons are the most perfect ribbons in the world. These are listed at £1.50 per metre. I have so far listed these crafty ribbons in 2 and 3 metre listings, I think they are the sort of thing that you will require more than metre of? I've started using them already and they are so lovely to sew with!

Of course this is much needed retail therapy on my part. My holiday emptiness made me head straight to wholesaler!

I now have a bad back from sitting far too long at my computer and trying to take a decent product pic!

Sunday, 14 August 2011