Saturday, 25 October 2008

Hebridean Giveaway!

At last .... I am getting it together to do my first every giveaway! I think I've acrrued enough reasons this month to justify my Giveaway. This month was the start of my commitment to regular blogging (did I just say that out loud!!) as opposed to the "start/stop" affair of previous months. I think it's quite a difficult thing to undertake and to continue with. Getting used to showcasing your work to the rest of the planet and revealing a little (or a lot!) of your personality, lifestyle, thoughts, etc. is something I really had to battle with initially.

In addition to blogging, this month I decided to grab the bull by the horns and start to stock my Etsy shop (albeit in a small way). I'm a huge fan of Etsy so this is quite a big leap for me and quite an exciting one. I'm in awe of all the talent out there.

Lastly, this week I joined the "Crafting in Colour Etsy Team". I'd been looking for a relevant team to join, for a bit of interaction and support - so this seemed like a good choice for me! So far, it's looking pretty good, with some really talented members - I hope to rise to the challenge of becoming a worthy member and to showcase the work of this colourful team!

OK! Here's the Giveaway! I'm giving away one of my little Tiny-Tweedies dinosaurs made from Harris Tweed, with felt trim - approx 5 inches in length. A cute desk top decoration or a fun gift for a child (or adult!), presented on a little hessian bag, with a Harris Tweed card label attached. I'll pop in a Harris Tweed collage card and bookmark set for good measure (this will be a random colour selection). The little dinosaur is two dimensional and entirely handstitched, stuffed with soft polyester fibre - the spiky fins are made from two layers of felt to give them a nice spiky silhouette.

Just leave a comment, saying which colour of Dinosaur you would prefer. It might be fun if you state which part of the world you live in, but only if you want to!! Please leave an e-mail address with your comment if you don't have your own blog so I can contact you. The Closing Time for entries will be Saturday 1st November - 12pm midnight (GMT). It's open to anyone in the world - I will announce the winner on Sunday evening (GMT) 2nd November. (I will use the Random Number Generator which I will have to practice with this week!). I hope you will join in and have fun!

P.S. I just managed to do my first Etsy Treasury so that's another reason to do a giveaway!!

Thursday, 23 October 2008


I've just managed to add my little Harris Tweed teddies to my Etsy shop - Hurrah! It took quite a lot longer than I thought, about an hour longer! Anyway they're up there now and no doubt I will get a little faster (and a little more accomplished) as time goes on?!** I won't be posting any crafting photos today, so here's one of my get out clauses - another in my series of the scenic Hebrides! (Rocks at Gary Beach, Isle of Lewis)

I hope to do a giveaway, possibly over the weekend, so keep in touch!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Ready for Etsy?

We've just had hailstones here in the Outer Hebrides. Brrrrrr .... it seemed like the middle of winter all of a sudden. Anyway, as promised here's the completed little teddies which I was working on during my October break. The plan is to get them up and listed in my Etsy shop in the next couple of days, to get the ball rolling, and hopefully then gradually add a few more items. I enjoy making handmade cards, so I hope they will feature amongst other items. These are some which I designed in the summer to accompany my seaside-tweedies collection.

I really enjoyed making these and used a nice quality felt with a high wool content which was a dream to use. (I think it came from E-bay and was orignally from Japan). Harris Tweed background of course!

I was working on some 'freebies' yesterday, so I hope to get it together and do a giveaway by the end of the week, or at least over the weekend. I've been looking forward to doing this as I love the idea of my little tweedie 'creations' winging their way across the world somewhere, or maybe even across the Minch (that's the strip of sea that separates the Isle of Lewis from mainland Scotland!). But I don't mind if they end up in the Outer Hebrides either!

Well, my kids are still on their school holidays so I'd better go and do some 'mummy' things with them ..... like feeding them!! Bye for now.

P.S. I've figured out why my images were appearing half the size on my last post so hopefully back to better, bigger images now!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Dress a Doll Project?

I've been making little souvenir Harris Tweed dressed dolls for a while now. The only problem with them is that the body of the doll is quite time consuming to make and the entire product is difficult to price for that reason. I removed them from my original shop a while ago. I've always been interested in making soft toy kits of some kind or another, however.

I stripped some of my souvenir dolls of their little Harris Tweed outfits and though it would be fun to make a kit and enclose enough tweed to make a simple outfit. A couple of felt circles would serve as buttons, and I'm thinking of some other trims to add such as ribbon, etc to encourage a bit of creativity! Simple enough for a young child to put together with some adult supervision.

I had some fun today designing some packaging for them and composing a little blurb on the reverse on how to dress your doll. Unfortunately it was so late in the afternoon, I had lost the time to take a good photograph, as you can see! I think they would be fun to either sell on my Etsy shop or at local craft fairs, or maybe I should try them out on my nieces first!

I'll post a little message here if I get it together to put some in my Etsy shop - once I figure out how to do it!! The five teddies I set myself to make over the October break are now ready so I'll post a picture of them next week. Maybe a giveaway is in order to celebrate - yikes!!

(You can click on any of the images to see a larger view)

You can see a better pic with some of my doodles here!

Friday, 17 October 2008

More Cake Anyone?

I know - blogging about chocolate cake two weeks in a row seems a bit excessive, scraping the barrel, or just plain piggy! But I do have good reason for posting this pic as it's not just any old chocolate cake but my oldest son's birthday cake. Today my son is now a TEENAGER - Aaaargh!

Little did I imagine during the gloom of my own teenage years that I would become a forty-something, married woman, with a teenage son of my own! It's a funny old world - and I feel that today is a real milestone for me as a mother and for my son entering a whole new phase of life. Happy Birthday Son!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

One down .....

Well, I'm a little embarrassed to be featuring this little ted on my blog today ... but he's all I've got! I set myself the task of completing five little teddies this week, at my leisure! This is the first complete one and there's four more stuffed ones ready to have features embroidered. Hardly ground-breaking design, as I've been making them for quite some time. I hand-stitched a little felt heart onto these ones - Aaaawww! They'll hopefully make it to my Etsy shop.

I've been frantically designing and photographing my work for the last two years now, so playing catch-up on my blog is a bit of a pointless activity - it would take weeks of posting previous designs, inspirations, etc. I hope my best work isn't behind me!! Anyway, I find these little fellows quite relaxing to make and once they're sewn and stuffed, they're like a blank little canvas waiting to be embellished! They were a realistic target for this week.

Here's some nice pics of sea and sand (in the Hebrides!)to pass the time until I get back to full-time crafting!

Cheerio an drasda!

Monday, 13 October 2008

Flickr faves (cos I'm still on my hols!)

Here's a selection of my favourites from my Flickr travels, so far. (It took me long enough to figure out how to do this!!). And I must say that "Toasty Cat" by Marjji must be my all time favourite - what a photo, what a pose .... what a cat!!

1. Genau Von Stimmt, 2. ermelinda e florinda, 3. Fish, 4. Mabel and Melinda, 5. Felted Wool Pear, 6. eenie :), 7. Flame Skimmer, 8. Undies!, 9. Gang of Kindie-Garden Plush Dolls5, 10. Halloween Kitties, 11. my bat minions, 12. Doll outside, 13. Toasty Cat, 14. Rex, 15. ...(by matilde beldroega), 16. Ingrid

I used "fd's flickr toys" to create this mosaic, and inserted the html for each photo individually as I had numerous other attempts using my entire "favourites" selection - some images appeared blank for some reason. (If anyone else has problems doing this I'd be happy to assist because it really drove me nuts!!)

Bye for Now
Oidhche Mhath!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

I've Cracked ...

I had to concede defeat eventually to my own self-inflicted crafting-break this week and gave in to cutting out some little teddies, ready to sew at my own leisure - (which is unlikely this week, being the school holidays!)but at least I know I can pick them up anytime. Pheewww, must have been getting withdrawal symptoms! I hope to put these into my Etsy shop, and perhaps add a little extra detail/finishing, to them. I'll show them off when they're done.

This week, my big sisters and my nieces are up on holiday from the big smoke (Glasgow, that is!). Its great to get some family support for my crafting endeavours, which I really appreciate. My blogging habits have taken things to another dimension again, while my Other Half looks on bemusedly while I "chat" to the rest of the planet, comments like: "Moms talking to the world again" or "Shouldn't you be making the tea now?" are more common than not. However, now that I've grasped the fundamentals of blogging, I hope to be able to whip up a post in a jiffy! (while juggling making the tea, of course!!).

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Cake, Dinosaurs, Blogging and Me!

My son came home from school today with a beautiful, yummy chocolate cake he had made in Home Economics so I took a picture of it. Cake seems to be a popular blogging shot and as I like eating it, it seemed like a good shot for my blog! (It was extremely yummy, by the way!)

My digital camera has been one battery short of a full load for the past few days (I used the fourth one in my wireless mouse - decisions had to be made! - laptop or camera). Apart from this, my blogging, flickr and Etsy research doesn't generate too many great pics as that's what I've been doing the last few days! I'm still on my crafting break but the old wheels are starting to turn, and on a trip to the library today some books on celtic symbols caught my eye - an idea in progress maybe! Anyway, instead of crafting pics I've decided to blog some 'lifestyle??!/personal*' pics.

I've had these vintage dinosaur patterns sitting on pride of place beside my laptop now for a few months. I bid for them on E-bay, not expecting to get them, but I did and here they are. I love them! More for inspiration and some pattern construction details, than anything else - I think I should put them in a glass case!

... and since I seem to have been posting a lot of interior shots, here's a pic I took today at the back of our house - it's been a beautiful, sunny, autumn day here so everything looks shiny and glistening - the sea especially:

and here's a picture of me taking pictures for my blog!:

These frown lines are a bit worrying! - the apron (William Morris design, don't you know!) is what I wear when I'm supposed to be doing something domesticated to put me in 'work' mode - it doesn't always work!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Flickr, Butterflies and other People's Critters

I've just been looking at all the really cute stuff on flickr. I'm allowed to do this cos I've declared myself to be on holiday! Anyhow, I thought I'd post a pic of my butterfly-tweedies and hopefully it will inspire me to get some more together for my Etsy shop. I hope to get it together and take part in all these lovely blogging activities such as swaps, give-aways, crafters interviews, etc. I think it'll take me a wee bit of time for my poor little brain to figure out how to go about all these things! I'm still familiarising myself with Etsy, Flickr, etc. but I'm having fun doing it! Here's my butterflies:

Maybe I'll get it together to do a giveaway once I've got my little shop stocked up and ready to go! Aim high! These little fellows are about 5 inches wide and made from Harris Tweed (of course!), felt circles and embroidered eyes - all handstitched. I've started to embroider features such as eyes now and hope to pick up a few more embroidery skills along the way. I love seeing all the different versions of similar themes on people's craft blogs and flickr.

And I thought I was the only one making soft-toy (plush) ladybirds (ladybugs), butterflies, etc.!! It's been really cool to see different people's approaches to making 'similar' critters! A real eye-opener for me! I love the international element to Flickr and craft blogs in general. I wonder where all the inspiration comes from to make all these creations. My children "egged" me on with all my projects. If they laughed, I knew I was on the right track! I also love the texture and colours of Harris Tweed. What's your inspiration?

Oidhche Mhath (Good Night!)

P.S. If anyone wants to do a "critter" swap with me, I'd be happy to oblige!! Butterflies, bees, ladybugs, frogs (?!), spiders ......

(Most of mine are on my Flickr photostream - here or in my original shop here)

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Highs and Lows

This week has been a series of highs and lows. A change in my blogging habits from monthly to daily is a bit of a radical change, but the weather has been so awful and I'm on a bit of a break from crafting. Having completed a rather large order which was quite unexpected and quite challenging - about 3 weeks of frantic crafting!, I'm now chilling out a bit, regrouping and taking a back seat for a couple of weeks. We have October holidays in a week's time, so I will be concentrating on getting my house in order and looking forward to having a good old family break at home. Not to say that I won't be blogging or continuing with my Etsy shop developments!

I had a lovely chat with Ebba Redman this week on Domestic Crafts. She has been conducting a questionnaire on this topic for her dissertation (Ebba is a student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design). I don't consider my work to be particularly highbrow! but I love discussions about why we craft, inspirations, cultural influences, etc. She gave me a lovely write-up on her blog which was a great buzz for me - thanks Ebba!

Wholesale Dilemma

Completing my wholesale order and packing it off was a huge relief. It's on its way now so hopefully all will be well! This is how my workspace (corner!) looked while working on this order (what a guddle!):

Selling wholesale has always been a bit of a dilemma for me as it seems to go against the grain of 'handmade'/unique, etc, - it's not always easy to motivate yourself to make 10 items exactly the same! It was rewarding to see it complete though and I was grateful for this order as I haven't been able to attend the local craft fairs recently. I sell 'Sale or Return' to my local Art Gallery shop which is a midway ground that works quite well.

Cuteable High
Another high was being featured on Cuteable this week. I was jumping up and down with excitement when I visited and lo and behold there I was! How cool! Thank you!

Etsy Shop v Original Shop
As mentioned in my last post, I managed to add a couple of items to my Etsy shop. It's difficult to know which to promote my original online shop, or my Etsy shop (which has very little in it yet!). But I'm really enjoying the sense of crafting community that Etsy exudes and had I known about it before ... It's also great to think about selling internationally - very exciting!

Selvedge Fan

Last Saturday, a kind friend sent me a copy of Selvedge. This is not a publication I would have come across but it's a really sumptous magazine on all things 'textile'. I just drool over this magazine, it's really inspiring too and I love the covers - fantastic photography.

The Central Heating is still on the blink! Boo Hoo!
The Winter Bugs have started to hit our family - Boo Hoo Too!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Etsy Recce

I've sent out these little fellows to do a little recce over at Etsy and to hold the fort until they're joined by some other pals in my Etsy shop. I decided to send them out together as a team to keep each other company - they've to report back to me at 0800 hours with a full survey report and a low-down on the general layout of the land. Actually, not really, they just happened to be made up and ready to go! I hope they'll be joined by some more TinyTweedies soon!

They're made from 100% wool Harris Tweed, entirely handstitiched with hand-embroidered features and greeting. They're waiting to be adopted by a baby near you! Like the rest of my TinyTweedies range they're 5 inches in height. Do your best boys! Tee Hee!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Aahhh - Summer Days!

It' such a wet, windy, wild, dreich, cold, blustery (I've run out of adjectives!) day here in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, that I thought I'd post a photo I took earlier in the summer just to cheer me up. Was it really this sunny, was the water really this blue, clear ...? It's a sneaky shot of my O.H. and little boy mucking about in the sea at a beach near our home. Our central heating is on the blink, so I'm doubly cold - not much crafting happening today!