Sunday, 31 January 2010

Small Things . . .

I only had a small amount of crafting planned this weekend - a quick custom order which led me on to making some embroidered buttons (Harris Tweed, of course!) I finished some more this morning and hopefully they will make it on to Folksy later this week - I'll post some pictures of the finished buttons soon. Very satisfying to complete some smaller projects - which was one of my 'crafty' resolutions this year - well at least I've achieved ONE of them!

Happy Sunday :)

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Sounds Like Fun!

Most weeks in our local rag (the Stornoway Gazette) there is an article about Harris Tweed. Being a local industry, there's always a story somewhere about the ups and downs of this historic cloth. This week's article caught my eye however, as it conjured up a lovely tweedie image:

. . . a charity bike ride through London, the Tweed Run. "Up to 400 Harris Tweed-clad cyclists will be setting out from the fashion hub of London, Saville Row for a 14 mile bike ride through the capital in aid of Bikes4Africa".

I like the bit in the article where it says: ". . . we'll be stopping for a civilized tea break in the park halfway through" - very debonair, hehe!

What a great photo opportunity :) Just thought I'd share that with you!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

my creative space . . .

Way Hay! Kirsty is back :) I wasn't too sure if I'd get time to play along this year, but I guess I'm too darn nosey and just like seeing what everyone else is getting up to! Today is a bit of a crafty 'winding down' day as I've been doing a lot of intensive designing, creating and listing this week - pheeew, time to take a breath, I think!

So scribbling lists (last night) and cutting a few swatches of tweed for a possible custom order for tweed buttons (if they match the lovely knitted garment which the customer is making!) is as far as I'm getting today.

I really was busy at the beginning of the week, honest!! Pop over to Kirsty's for more creative peeps :)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Mixing it all Up!

Playing around a bit this week - mixing more colours, fabrics, experimenting - I seem to be drawn to this lovely multi-coloured check tweed lately, and tried another of my mobile phone pouches yesterday. Possibly a new design - I love layering different tweeds on top of each other like this.

Not quite sure what happened to my stock-building plans this week! However, I've been playing around with these gadget pouches the last couple of days and added some as 'custom orders' to my own website. I'll probably re-list my gadget pouches as 'made to order' items on my Etsy site and work on some more one-off designs, like the one above, for immediate sale.

But right now, I'm off for a cuppa - it's freeeeeezing here today, brrrrrr! Bye for Now :)

P.S. The 'Oatcake fairy' is still out there - the plot thickens!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Sun Shone . . .

Yesterday, the sun was shining and everything looked lovely and bright and shiny outside so I had to take a photograph to remind me how it can look in better weather! This is the view from the side of my home, looking out towards the moor. I think that's my father-in-law's sheep in the foreground!

The mystery of the 'Oatcakes' continues and I still haven't found out who the kind culprit was who left them on our doorstep the other day. It wasn't 'Auntie N' after all as she called round at the weekend with some of her own fabulous homebaking and I offered her one of the chocolates that she 'didn't give us' - which gave us a laugh. I'm sure we'll find out soon who the kind sole was.

I got a lovely reply to an e-mail I sent on Saturday regarding this year's craft fairs. The one I attended in November was run by a lovely and talented couple who kindly let me have a stall even though I hadn't been able to attend much throughout the year. The Town Hall where the fairs are held will most likely not be available this year (due to renovation work), but he assured me they would find some other venue and that I would be very welcome to attend.

Pheeeew, what a relief - I was really pleased to be offered the chance of the odd stall here and there and it gives me the incentive to build up some stock, knowing I'll be able to display my wares at some point(s) in the year. Great to be able to communicate with a craft fair organiser like that and get such a swift and courteous reply - my faith in craft fairs has been restored, hooray! Even if massive sales aren't always guaranteed, it's nice to meet people and talk about what you are doing.

Leading on from that, I thought it might be nice to have some of my 'tweedie' creations in a British online marketplace site (other than my own website), so I'm considering resurrecting my poor neglected 'Folksy' shop which I never got time to devote any attention to and had to abandon because of this. As I'm now hoping to build up stock I think it might be fun to have some stock here and share the 'tweedie' love! We'll see how that idea pans out in practice - best laid plans and all that!

Sorry, overly long post - thinking aloud again! Have a lovely, relaxing Sunday :)

Thursday, 21 January 2010


My husband's lovely auntie left a little package on the doorstep yesterday, while I was at work. She didn't leave a note but when I realised that inside there was homemade otacakes, I knew it must have been from her - I recognise that baking anywhere! Delicious, melt in the mouth, crumbly, moist - sorry I've just eaten another one and there's only 3 left now!

I've been working with some linen fabric this week and experimenting with a little embroidery - this is the first of three pincushions I'm making. Really simple little projects, but they look quite effective. The tweed and the linen work quite well together, I thought. I just picked out some colours from the tweed plaid backing and used them in a simple freehand floral design.

Nice to make, so I'm off to embroider the other two. But I must phone lovely Auntie Nan first to say thank you!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Fabrics of Inspiration

Trying to keep the 'Inspiration Tuesday' theme going here! . . .

These are the fabrics I'm looking at today - I've made one item and I've far too many other ideas in my head for other projects! You may recognise the Matryoshka fabric which I used in a lovely swap with Gretchen, the linen I purchased a few months back for something which now escapes me - I just know I really had to have it at the time!! And of course, some lovely Harris Tweed which I used to back a little bag charm, which is one of the ideas I wanted to try with the fabric.

I think I'll be using every scrap of this fabric - so many 'applique' possibilities - the flowers, the swirls, the dolls - yum! The embroidery thread is for another idea involving linen and tweed - haven't reached that one yet. How many hours are there in a day?? Answer - not enough!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Sunglasses Required!

If you're of a nervous disposition, look away now! Sunglasses might help to shade the glare of these bright and breezy tweeds. I had it in mind to make some 'tartan' teddies after my 'dino' versions last week, so here they are. I think I've broken just about every rule in the book with these! The checks/plaid are too large and overpowering for such a small item, probably too many colours - hooray for rule-breaking, that's what I say, I had fun making them! They'll be making their way into my shop in the next day or so - that's another box ticked!

Happy Monday :)

P.S. Now added to my Etsy shop here!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Tags, Shop Updates, and a Gift!

I've been on a tag-making mission the last couple of days - I'll get my Etsy shop stocked up by hook or by crook! This month I'm concentrating on my 'Tweed Plush' shop and it's been fun just making things as I take a notion for them (although I do have a little list I'm working through!) Last night I spent some time re-jigging both shops and trying to give them a very separate identity and I think I feel quite happy with how they look now. Cute, fun plush 'n stuff and luxurious tweedie stuff for your home (the fabric is so magical it's really an artwork in itself!)

I also did a bit of work on my own website which I'm trying to integrate with my Etsy shops. There's always the stumbling block of coaxing UK customers to purchase in Dollars - and I completely understand the reluctance to do so. I remember well seeing another local business which had a link to Etsy on their website and I was completely confused by it! So I am trying to explain to visitors to my website that besides being able to purchase 'made to order' items from the site, they can also purchase 'ready-made' items from my Etsy shops . . . but in Dollars! It's a tricky one, I'm not sure I've got it right!

Here's some of my tweedie tags added to Etsy:

. . . and just look at this little cutie brooch I received in the post last weekend from the lovely Mojca! She had a Giveaway just before Christmas which I'd completely forgotten about - it was beautifully packaged with lovely tartan 'beaded' ribbon. I'm sure she may have her own Etsy shop soon - going by what I've seen, I don't think she'd have any problems getting sales! She's a very crafty lady with a passion for 'tweed' :)

Happy Sunday All :)

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Family Portraits

'Little S' caught me by surprise last night and asked me to draw his portrait - just like that! I have drawn him before, but only one very quick portrait, but he obviously remembered this. OK, I said, it's not often someone offers to sit for me so I had a quick go - he didn't sit very still and was watching something on the TV at the time. Afterwards he said "now I'll do yours". So here are the two drawings side by side - quite a fun snapshot in time. He decided to add the wine bottle and glass afterwards - not sure what that says about me - Hic!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Inspiration and stuff . . .

I was thinking it would be nice to do a regular post on what's inspiring me 'art and craft-wise' and the best title I came up with today was 'Inspiration and stuff . . . '! Oh well, you get the general idea. During the festive break I was really fortunate to come into posession of this beautiful vintage sewing machine, which belonged to my late mother. I remember it as a child and reminds me of how she taught me how to sew (and knit). Something to be treasured - where I will keep it, I'm not sure - but somewhere I can see it and maybe use it from time to time . . . I love it.

Working on a few 'tweedie' tags so far today, it's good to get the hammer out and bash a few brass eyelets - there's nothing like getting the tools out! I managed to get the right size eyelets over the Christmas break and purchased a few pre-cut felt shapes, so I'm all set to make a few of these in between other stuff. They're nice to pop into packages as a little 'freebie' or possibly make up a few as sets for sale in the shop. I've a few 'teddy' felt cutouts for tags which would look lovely on baby gifts as a little extra 'tweedie' cuteness.

Right, I'm off to do a bit of 'bish, bash, bosh' ie, hammering, in between some of the other more mundane daily tasks!

Cheerio an Drasda :)

Monday, 11 January 2010

Tartan Terrors

A 'quickie' blog post today - just added a little batch of 'tweedie' dinosaurs to my Etsy shop this morning. As Saturday seems to be one of my busiest crafting days usually, some regular Monday shop listings might be a good New Year resolution to make! I thought it would be fun to add some of these little fellas to my Etsy shop in a special range of plaids/checks, dogtooth checks - not really 'tartan' but it made a good blog title! I've used oddments of tweed for these, so won't be making too many in each pattern - not available on my own web, just on Etsy.

I thought they looked really 'fun' and vibrant in checks, reminiscent of the very first one I ever made. Hopefully I will be making some little teddy-tweedies in plaids too - I'm looking forward to experimenting. Better go and shift 'teenage son' out of his bed - no school for him today, more school closures here 'cos of icy pavements, etc. And I thought everything had got back to normal!

Happy Monday! :D

Thursday, 7 January 2010


Last night 'Little S' insisted that I squeezed this woolly jumper on to 'Sean' the Sheep - I think it's a little small for him, it was knitted for one of my Ragdolls, I think! We're all wrapping up warm here, but it's nowhere near as bad as the rest of the country and the snow just seems to come and go intermittently. I think the lack of 'gritting salt' for the roads, school playgrounds, etc is causing the most havoc.

Anyway, the boys are back in school today and I'm back to writing lists and ticking off boxes - it feels good!

P.S. I've even managed to add a few older items to my 'Sale' section - wow, such productivity! Also, after many months, two more 'Moon Monsters' have been listed in the 'fun' shop!

Oh, and while I'm on a roll, you can now have your 'tweedie-dinosaurs' personalised, at my own website - Pheeew, I think that's it for the moment!

Cheerio an Drasda and keep warm :)

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

New Girl in Town

Well, here she is - the new girl in town. The first of, I hope, a new range of 'Art Dolls', which I mentioned in my last post. I had great fun making her, playing around with fabrics, notions, etc. which is exactly what I'd hoped for. No restrictions as regards toy safety as she is a decorative piece, not designed for children. A certain lovely blogging friend may recognise the fab button I used, which I was delighted to come across! She is entirely hand stitched in my own pattern which miraculously all seemed to come together quite easily.

Even more miraculously she has been added to my Etsy shop (Tweed Plush) and is available for sale. I hope this is a sign of more efficiency in listing items as soon as I make them! The shop has now been reactivated, with a few items of older stock on sale. My bag charm listings have been updated and are now 'made to order'. I'm trying to have as few 'custom made' items in my Etsy shops and concentrating on physical stock instead. Of course, there is a wide range of 'made to order' items available in my own website.

I left the edges of the shawl of the 'art doll' frayed as I didn't want a 'finished', tailored-looking doll, more of a tactile, textural piece, which is what I was aiming for. She is 40 cm long and feels lovely to hold - the cotton/linen fabric I used for the body has a nice 'slubby' texture and is a lovely putty-colour. More pics of her in the listing. I came across the fabric for the doll when I was getting together a small parcel of craft oddments for a friend (who passed on the fabulous Selvedge mags to me - Gee, I love that publication, so inspiring - Thanks Karin!).

Well, that's the first item to be added to my Etsy shops this year - here's to many more and lots of creativity to follow!

Cheerio an Drasda :)

Sunday, 3 January 2010

A Year in Pictures . . .

This mosaic is a 'hotch potch' of some of my favourite pics/creations of 2009 (at least the ones I could find on Flickr!). A mixture of Harris Tweed, landscapes, embroidery, softies . . . oh, and I must have been feeling hungry as there's some herring and potatoes in the corner!

There appear to be four bumblebees in my random selection - I've no idea what that's all about, but I seem to like 'em!

2009 was a busy year in terms of new designs and just trying to keep up to speed with everything in the world of 'crafty' business enterprise in general! This year I plan to slow down a bit and concentrate on more 'one-off' designs, have some fun with fabric (I'm thinking of returning to doll-making but more in terms of 'art-dolls' which I find very exciting!), perhaps work on slightly smaller pieces, and in general make life a little easier for myself!

My own website is back up and running - hooray! I have a couple of new ideas for products, but mostly I will keep it much as it is with a variety of Harris Tweed 'gift ideas' on offer. My two Etsy shops are in various stages of transition - Tweed Plush is in the process of being restocked this month as I want to keep it looking fresh with some new products rather than continuing with the entire selection of last year's stock (I may have a sale however of older stock!). I hope to keep a variety of some of my favourite items eg. bag charms, etc. in stock. Tweed Delights has a small variety of home decor gifts as before and more to follow I hope - I would like to keep this shop as traditional as possible for those who enjoy the pure, unadulterated beauty of Harris Tweed! I know there are a number of you out there!

OK, let the crafting commence - I'm up for it, are you? :)

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year from the Outer Hebrides!

All the best for 2010 :)