Thursday, 26 February 2009

our creative space! . . .

Getting some orders through this week, so my creative space is a scattered affair as usual. My creative space tends to blend in with the family space as these photos show! That's my little boy's 'road play-mat' underneath my pink tweed and templates, ready to make a couple of personalised teddy bears.

. . . and above, a general 'guddle' (think that's Scottish for mess!!) of craft books, half-made ladybird softie, pink tweed, my 'stuffing stick', yummy wool . . . and the interesting looking red piece of cardboard in the foreground? Well, that's part of my son's 'Viking' project - my other half got together with him to make this mask which he thoroughly enjoyed wearing.

It's nothing on the model Viking boat my 'other half' is building in our kitchen!! But that's another story - it's become the project of all projects. If I ask him nicely maybe he'll let me post a pic of it when it's done - if it ever is done!! As 'Little S' quipped - "maybe it'll be finished by Christmas, Dad!"

Bye for Now!

P.S. More creative spaces over at kootoyoo!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Little Red Critter

I'm busy making some of these little critters today - so I'd better horse on! Still trying to build up stock and I'm guilty of not having any of my products in local retail outlets at the moment. There's only one solution - get crafting! A couple of orders to fulfil this week too - more to come I hope. By the way my own website has a new URL:

I'd been wanting to change it for a while, as I felt the old one, 'harristweeddelights' was way too long. Also, I really just wanted to use my own business name as my URL! Hope this does not cause too much confusion! It may take Google a little while to find this new URL so if you're having any difficulty just key in the entire URL. Technology - ach!!

I'll be popping one of my ladybird-tweedies into my Etsy shop, hopefully too.

Bye for now!

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Sunday Plod

Well, I got a little further down the road this Sunday - but not by much!! I remembered this red telephone box just round the corner - it's a little splash of colour amongst the muted colours of the surrounding landscape. So I tried to take a shot of it without looking like the Paparazzi had arrived in my little village! I'm not sure if these old telephone boxes are 'protected' now?

Back up the road, looking out towards the moor . . .

And a shot looking out across to the village of Gress . . .

and finally, a snapshot of the coastline (Tolsta headland) . . .

And then home for a cup of tea!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, 19 February 2009


I think that big ball of aran wool went to my head!! I was mucking about with it this afternoon and started of thinking about a knitted sheep soft toy (inspired by one of my crafty books), when I decided to use the knitted shape as part of a textile card. My boys thought it was completely baaaaarmy! And I'm not sure??

I really like the texture you get from 'garter' or 'pearl' stitch. I think that's what made me think of sheep - I've promised myself before I wouldn't go down the 'sheep' route. I don't think I'm particularly good at drawing them and I just don't find them particularly inspiring - maybe that's what's made this particular sheep look a bit 'gormless'. I dunno - the jury's out on this one.

It IS supposed to be a naive style - barmy, daft or what? And it IS supposed to make you laugh, but I don't know if it does that in a good way?? Honest comments please!

P.S. The rest of the sheep collage is made using black felt, with one hand-stitched eye.

P.P.S. The wool has got a nice woolly sheep smell - I just thought I'd share that with you!

my creative space . . .

I've been eyeballing this HUGE ball of aran wool for a while now, and last night I decided to give in to temptation. Well, almost - I've got to finish off the last remnants of an ordinary sized ball, before I tuck into this other beauty! I bought this huge ball of aran wool last year for knitting the woollen bonnets on my ragdolls.

My 'Creative Space' is more of a mental creative space today as I've a huge list of other things to do before I can even think of sitting down and enjoying some relaxing crafting. So the image is more of what I may manage to do later.

I picked up the two books in the background from the library this week. The Kaffe Fassett one is fantastically inspiring - all that colour! I'd love to have a go at quilting/patchwork. I'm thinking of knitting a few small squares knitted in aran wool and having a play-around with them. I'm not a keen knitter from the point of view that I like to do it occasionally, and only for short bursts at a time. But I love the way it creates texture which I find really fascinating.

The other book I took out is one I've had before - '50 Toys to Make', which is a fun book with some really good ideas for all sorts of toys. It's purely for inspiration and I can see a few things which might transfer well to Harris Tweed!

I may return to this HUGE ball of wool on my living room floor and these two yummy craft books later today after I've tackled my even HUGER laundry pile!

Bye for Now!

(You can see more creative spaces at Kootoyoo. I'm off to have a quick look and see if anyone else has a huge laundry pile - just to make me feel a bit better!!)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Just for Me! (but in a good cause)

A bit of retail therapy, this morning. Having been prompted by someone's 'tweet' on 'twitter' this morning, I headed over to the OzBushfireAppeal shop on Etsy and snagged this lovely necklace for yours truly! The item was kindly donated to the shop, (which has been set up by members of the Etsy 'Dust Team' to raise funds for the recent Bushfire tragedy in Australia) by Bunny Boutique. There are some lovely items here, being sold for a great cause.

All proceeds from the Etsy shop are being donated to the Australian Red Cross. A great way to donate to this worthy cause (and get yourself something cute at the same time!!).

Bye for Now!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Feeling Bookish (and warm!)

Recently, on a blog I came across, someone had posted a pic of their collection of craft books which I found quite intriguing. I found myself squinting, trying to read the bookspines to see the titles! Here's a pic of my craft books which sit on my desk. Some, I look at on a regular basis and some stay firmly on the desk, never to see the light of day!

And here's some lovely flowers on my kitchen table which symbolise my happy mood. Our central heating system has been fixed after about 3-4 weeks of shivering, so all in all things are looking up! I'm looking forward to crafting in a warm climate, without having to spend 2 hours trying to get a coal fire lit and waiting another 3 hours for the house to warm up!

Happy Days!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Sunday Plod

Maybe I should make a regular feature called 'Sunday Plod' but it might get a bit boring if I don't get further than the end of the road! I love to take close up photos of natural forms, plant-life, rocks, etc:

Rusty old gate and gnarled post . . .

Plant-life on top of the post . . .

and the end of the road (for this old truck anyway!) . . .

Hope you're having a pleasant Sunday!

Cheerio an Drasda

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentines!

A nice surprise - lillies??

Friday, 13 February 2009

Red Mister Ted

I decided to make one of my 'Mister Ted' bears yesterday - I'm not sure where he's bound for yet. I have to say I've spent way too much time taking photographs of him though! I have a couple of ideas in mind for him yet, but haven't quite decided - his fate is in my hands! Poor Ted!

When I've decided which online shop to add him to, I'll give you his eventual destination!

My boys are on half-term hols this weekend, so I'm not sure how much crafting will get done - we'll see!

Bye for Now!

Edited to add: 'Mister Ted' has been sent over here!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

my creative space . . .

I'm posting on Wednesday (evening) this week as it happens to be my more craft intensive day of the week and when I start most projects - whether they get finished is another matter!

I'm on the couch today, amongst the newspaper crossword puzzles! Well, actually I'm everywhere! The ironing board is set up in one bedroom, my fabrics in another room and my sewing machine is set up in my kitchen - I get around! I designed a prototype for a little Harris Tweed bus (about a year ago - ouch!), and eventually today decided to get one sewn up and started, ready to go into my Etsy shop.

The gorgeous tweed you can see underneath was used to make some of these covered buttons which you can see below. I added these to my Etsy shop earlier today.

Hope you're having a creative/productive day, in some form or another!

See more creative spaces over at kootoyoo's blog. My thoughts are with those who have been affected by the horrendous bush fires in Victoria, Australia this past week.

Bye for now.

How to Eat Cake!

Make it . . . .

Lick it . . .

Spread it . . .

Eat it . . .


Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Technology Eh!

I had an interesting experience last night which I thought I'd share . . . wait for it! After feeding the troops and doing all the usual parental bedtime routines (eg. chasing the youngest up to bed and trying to reinforce the idea that he's actually supposed to stay there!), I logged into 'Twitter' and was hence led by an Etsy announcement that there was to be a Virtual Lab on needlefelting starting at 10 pm.

Well, I don't usually take much notice of such announcements but intrigued I followed the link and found myself in a virtual auditorium, while a video played in real time of someone in Brooklyn giving a demonstration on how to 'needlefelt'. I hadn't a clue how to respond, interact or anything really but after a while I got the gist of it (sort of!). There were only about 7 other 'Etsyians' attending the workshop which was quite cosy actually! I didn't get round to chatting with anyone in the auditorium, but I was totally intrigued by this use of technology.

The idea of sitting in my living room in the Outer Hebrides and taking part in this virtual lab workshop in Brooklyn, New York gave me quite a laugh - but I really enjoyed the whole idea and would consider giving it another go. It was really interesting to see who else was attending and read their profiles and have a quick peek at their shops. Good fun!

From time to time, I get a bit downhearted about my Etsy shop, which I struggle to have time for, but then I come across something else on this amazing site which keeps clawing me back! By the way, I've got a SALE of my Valentine hearts and 'heart teddies' in my Etsy shop if you're interested!

I'm going to get my head down this week and build up my stock. I listed my Harris Tweed soft dice on my website at the weekend so may start to stock up on them in different colours of tweed for my virtual craft fairs and maybe even some 'real' craft fairs!

Bye from my 'Virtual' Hebridean world!!

(By the way I still don't know anything about 'needlefelting' but I'll go back another time to find out!)

Saturday, 7 February 2009

A little snow . . .

Here's a quick pic of the small amount of snow we had here today - not quite the extent that much of the rest of the country experienced! It's so sunny, I don't think it'll last long.

I love the snow - it makes everything look so crisp and bright - but then I don't drive so that's maybe why it doesn't bother me!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Finished 2D Dino

I thought I might as well post a pic of the finished dinosaur, seeing as my previous pic gives a little bit of the inspiration behind my dinosaur designs. I was quite pleased how he turned out and adapted a previous pattern and in fact bits of other patterns came into use. I hand appliqued his features in wool felt and then decided to give the feet some shaping with two rows of stitches in favour of further applique claws. I think the stitching gave a bit of texture too.

I'm hoping to do some more in different colours/variations. He's designed to sit at the end of a child's bed or on a bedroom chair (although he likes a cuddle too!). He's almost two dimensional as he's blank on the reverse. I've been trying to design a pattern which would be simple enough to use over again, so we'll see how this one goes! It would be fun to customise, add different applique details - maybe pink hearts on a pink dinosaur for girls!

It would be fun to try him in a check/tartan tweed - I don't know why but I seem to have this vision of a tartan dinosaur!

So many plans!

my creative space

Sorry, I'm rather late with my posting today - trying to get the house warmed up (dodgy heating system again!). My creative space today is a bit non-existent today as I finished my project last night and should have taken some pics in mid-creation! I guess I was carried away with the desire to finish it.

However, I've taken a pic of him this morning along with some of the images which inspired him. Having two boys, there are never any shortage of dinosaur reference books in our house, so I've spent some time poring through pictures of various types - not that I'm an expert mind, I'm more interested in stuffing them, than identifying them!

The vintage patterns in the photo are ones which I treasure and managed to buy them from E-bay, much to my delight. I create my own patterns but these have been inspirational sitting on my desk and I've probably used elements of them, almost unwittingly! My softie dinosaur obsession has probably been spurred on by being surrounded by them in one form or another for the last few years, and they're great for creating dramatic 'softie' silhouettes.

You can see more creative spaces at kootoyoo's blog.

Hope you're having a good day!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A bit of embroidery practice . . .

Last weekend, I thought I'd have a bash at a bit of embroidery practice - I've been wanting to embroider the features on my Rag Dolls but haven't really had the time to practice. I had bought some embroidery thread and a hoop a few months back so I decided to take the bull by the horns! I actually used the same material I use to make my Rag Dolls which is a curtain lining fabric but used it double-fold.

I tried a bit of chain stitch to start off with . . .

Here's the book I used (but not this particular page - that's a bit too advanced!!). It had really good illustrations though.

. . . I just made up shapes as I went along to practice the stitches with,

I ended up with a piece of 'freeform' embroidery using chain stitch, french knots and finally stem stitch. I love the way 'french knots' add texture - it's a cute wee stitch!

I like the way that the embroidery hoop keeps the fabric taught and you feel like you're working on a piece of canvas. I almost felt like I could doodle away once I'd mastered some of the stitches. I did find it really time consuming though, but that's coming from an amateur embroiderer! 'Feeling Stitchy' is a great blog to see some really inspiring embroidery and has great tutorials if you get really interested!

I might adopt it as a new hobby to unwind from stuffing toys! Don't think I'll ever become a master 'embroiderer' though!

Bye for Now!

(I've just realised I've done en entire post without mentioning Harris Tweed - now we can't have that now - hee hee!!)

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Sunny Sunday

We have beautiful blue skies here today in the Hebrides so I nipped out to take a few pics - we have to make the most of the good weather when it's here and document it for posterity!

This cute little sheep looked a little sad while I took my 'arty' shots . . .

. . . and a rusty latch on a broken gate, just because the colours caught my eye.

Hope you are having (or had) a relaxing Sunday!

Cheerio an Drasda!