Excuses, excuses!

A week has passed, and there hasn’t been much whirring of the old sewing machine.  This is silly season for gift shops and the like, so the demand to keep stock levels up is pretty high.

So in the last week, I have used 1.5kg of clay and completely lost track of how many times I had to stock up on pretty silver, gold and red ribbons.  I have used pretty much all my felt, run out of magnets twice, embroidery thread loads of times and had to stock up on cardamom pods and cloves like there was no tomorrow.

What on earth was I doing with all that stuff you ask…

The felt, embroidery thread, gold and silver ribbons, cardamom, cloves and star anise was for these:

Felt spiced owls
Felt spiced owls

Then the clay, and even more ribbon was for these:

Clay ornaments, also very useful as gift tags, as they can be written on!
Clay ornaments, also very useful as gift tags, as they can be written on!
Clay ornament/gift tag
Clay ornament/gift tag

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How cute are these!  I found some of these ribbons on a soggy stall at the Morton in Marsh Christmas Fair last weekend, in ALL that rain, from a lady who will have an online sewing goodies shop, that will be called: “pandorasewingbox”  So look out for it after Christmas, she has some absolutely FABULOUS ribbons!

And the remainder of the felt and embroidery thread, and the magnets were for these:

Heart on a string.  Felt stuffed hearts on garden twine, cute in the tree, cute on a doorknob.
Heart on a string. Felt stuffed hearts on garden twine, cute in the tree, cute on a doorknob.

I used the same hearts without the string and popped a small magnet in the back, so they can attatch to your fridge, or a metal surround of a mirror.  I did a Christmas Fair in Oxfordshire today, and my stuff went fairly well.  One of my students had made an order for 10 of the owls, and the rest will all go into “The Arter”, a gift shop in Stratford on Avon that stocks work by local artists.  I did so much talking my throat hurts!  I love networking though, I met Sara Page who is a surface pattern designer and who teaches on the course Daughter No1 is taking at Birmingham City University.  I also just may have a possibility of a new job, doing a little patterncutting teaching!  Fingers crossed!  😀

My stand at Sibford School fair
My stand at Sibford School fair

This is the table that showcased a small snapshop of the work at The Arter, ceramics, pottery, glass, textiles, and painting.  It’s a great place to buy gifts if you are in the Stratford Area!

So this weekend I have a Sewing Sunday, the last of the year, and after that I plan to get cracking with the stuff from the previous post, starting with the silk top and the Pattern Magic adaptations!

Just a quick one

Soo stoked!!  The cushions I finished last week and delivered to the store on Tuesday made it into the window display yesterday afternoon!  *Happy dance*!

Window display at The Arter, Stratford upon Avon

The photos were taken with a mobile (cell) phone, so not fabulous quality, but hey, it’s all good for me!

Window display, The Arter, Stratford upon Avon

It’s not just clothes geting made around here!

Nope, anything goes!  I have just finished some cushions that I started back in June! *blushing*  Excuses – none really, I just lost focus and made other things instead!  I thought I’d pop them on here so you can see the other stuff that gets made in this house.  I made these for a shop in Stratford upon Avon.

The Arter - Stratford upon Avon

The Arter is a gallery stocking arts and crafts from 26 artists in the locality.  They have some fabulous stuff, and the goods range from handmade jewellery to glass, pottery, felted creations and ceramics.  If you are ever visiting Stratford on Avon, make this little National Trust shop a place to visit!  I don’t think there is another quite like it!  In this tiny picture, it is the shop with the little red bits in the window!  Soon there will be workshops and other fun activities run there, I am looking forward to them!  Visit their Facebook page for more information.
So, the cushions.  I wanted to make some kiddie ones, and I just love the way children use colour.  A child’s colouring in book is full of the most amazing colours, so this was my main draw.  I also love the way they see things “flat”, so the designs are not 3D at all, but flat, like children draw.  I chose four African animals, to reflect my roots, and I had just come back from a 3 week holiday in South Africa, so homesickness was still coursing through my veins!  I figured I had better have some English animals too, especially as they were to be sold in a National Trust shop!

African Animal Cushions

The animals are all applique, the black outlines are free machine embroidery, I wanted it loose, so I didn’t use a satin stitch, which is what you usually use for applique.  I wanted the lines to be within the shapes I had cut, so it looks like the colours have over-run.  The giraffe cushion has a patchwork design of triangles on the bottom, not my most successful technique, but it looks good.  The swirls are what you want them to be – suns, stars, clouds…  And the grass is pink.  Why not??

English Animal Cushions

Ok, only three..  I couldn’t decide on the fourth, so instead of it holding up the works I figured I had better get on with the others.  My favourite is the fox, he is just so cute!  The same techniques were used on these cushions.  I have restricted the pallette, otherwise it could have gone overboard very quickly.  These colours are bright and cute, without being brash.  The back is a sturdy dark blue denim with an envelope closure, topstitching in a loverly orange.  The size is 30x30cm, a really nice size for a child’s bed.

I have grand plans for these designs, I have roped daughter no 1 in – I want her to paint these for me so I can do framed prints etc.  So what do you think??