Thursday, 29 July 2010

Merry Go Round - July

Jumping on the Merry go Round this month with a band of like-minded merry artists and crafters! This month's theme is: "How much, if at all, does your geographical location affect your art/craft?"

Quite an easy one for me this month, hehe :) I'll let the photos speak for themselves . . .

Posting a little early as I'm now off on my hols for two weeks - yippee! See you mid-August - hope everyone has a lovely Summer break if you're taking one :)

Please check the responses by the other members of the group below - depending on THEIR geographical location, they may be posting at different times of the day! Cheerio an Drasda :)

Mitsy at ArtMind
Kim at Vilt a la Kim
Sara at Saras Texture Crafts
Fabienne at Easterya Jewellery
Mariana at Florcita
Agathe at Le Bar du Vent
Lily at Lily Pang Art and Design
Ruth at Birdland Creations

my creative space . . .

Well, not very creative as I've been winding down from crafty activities this week and gettting some wear out of these beauties!! I've had these 'serious' walking boots for many years but have never really managed to break them in - who knows, I might be wearing them here next week . . .

Bye for now :)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Tutorial - make a Fabric Luggage Label

Well, it's been some time since my first tutorial (make a 'Musical Note' embroidered badge) and it's probably about time I did another one! My oncoming hols must be inspiring me as this weekend I decided to make a luggage label out of tweed. I must admit I was pleased with the result and it means I have a nice 'masculine-type' freebie to throw in with men's gifts! Although they're perfectly pretty and very unisex too, depending on your choice of fabric. Here's how I made mine:

You will need:

(1) Two pieces of fabric cut to the desired shape of your label (I used a traditional label shape)
(2) some clear plastic vinyl (I used some from an old pvc bag from a child's toy - probably held wooden blocks or something!)
(3)4mm brass eyelets and tool (and hammer!)
(4) jute string or similar
(5) card for address detail
(6) scissors and sewing machine, thread, etc.

Make sure the vinyl you use is nice and strong and pliable - the kind that's used for tent windows, toy packaging, shower curatins, etc - search for 'clear pvc vinyl fabric' (or clear plastic table cover!) online if you've none lying around. Most people with kids will probably lay their hands on some - even an old plastic buggy cover will do!

Sew the two layers of your label shape together a few millimetres in from the edge all round. Cut a piece of vinyl a rectangular shape and place it in position, sew this on top of the double layered label.

You will end up with the two layered label and vinyl sewn on top - leave a gap at the top for your card to slide into.

I left the wrong end open at first - ooops!

Insert your brass eyelet close to the edge and string it with your jute string, ribbon, or whatever you've chosen to use. If you're feeling extra fussy you could cut a half circle shape in the vinyl for easy removal of the card - my 8 year old suggested this tip, that kid will go far, hehe!! I frayed the edges of the fabric to give a nice finish - Voila, instant chic to your luggage!

If the fabric you use is a light weight one you could probably use some interfacing (or a middle layer of felt?) to give it some weight. Good fabrics to use though might be denim, calico or a similar weighty fabric. My labels look very masculine in these darker tweeds but would look very pretty in printed heavy weight cotton, perhaps even upholstery fabric (don't go chopping up your settee covers though!!)

This might be a fun project to do with kids too - customize their own luggage label in their choice of fabric! Go make luggage labels! (This is a free tutorial for anyone to use as they wish, commerical or otherwise)

P.S. As regards eyelet tool and brass eyelets, I used a little set which my Other Half had many, many, years ago, and it works brilliantly - the eyelets I used have little serrated edges, which is necessary with this particular tool.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Have a cuppa!

I've been gripped by 'applique' fever the last couple of weeks - here's the last of my card designs for now. I still haven't mastered the art of 'free motion' machine embroidery, but I'm using my own methods to get the effects I want to achieve. This is the initial doodle/drawing for the 'cup of tea' design (I've used the Gaelic version here!) - I thought this lovely houndstooth tweed would look great in the shape of a teacup . . .

and here's how the final design worked out . . .

I'm quite pleased how it turned out - the swirls of steam were a bit of a challenge, and at first I just added 4 straight lines to represent the steam, but it just didn't look right. A couple of days later, I came back to it, did another doodle of how I wanted the swirls to look and finally decided to tackle them with my sewing machine (I did attempt to hand embroider them but it looked incongruous with the rest of the card). 'Teenage son' said it looke nice and 'cartoony' which was exactly the effect I wanted, so double portions of dinner to him, hehe!

I won't be adding this one to my online shops yet and I've yet to try an egg cosy in the same style - that'll have to wait until I come back from my hols.

I'll be busy this week getting us all ready and packed, but I'm sure I'll find time for a couple more posts, and definitely my Merry Go Round post on Friday!

Have a lovely Sunday :)

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

my creative space . . . pipe-dreams

Found myself day-dreaming at the 'office job' today about having a lovely cosy Home Office in the garden (OK, an oversized garden shed would do!) for my little 'tweedie-business'. My wee house is bursting at the seams with tweed and crafty bits 'n bobs. I sometimes harbour wicked thoughts of getting my two lads to share a bedroom (sssshhhh, don't tell them!) but then 'world war III' would probably break out within minutes - more than my life's worth!

Took this little outdoor shot at the back of the house tonight and it was really chilly - so perhaps the garden-shed idea isn't such a good one either! This rather fuzzy shot is taken looking out to the lighthouse at Point, the view from my living room window.

I'm sure a solution to my little 'workspace' problem will present itself at some point (no pun intended!) - until then my creative space will remain a very 'squashed' one! Never mind, great works of art are created in the unlikeliest of spaces . . . who am I trying to convince, haha!! :)

More unlikely spaces over at Kirsty's - they'll just about be getting out of their beds by now I'm guessing, hehe! (It's 11 pm here)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

I take it all back!!

Never believe a word I say, haha! Just reread my last post - "closing all my online shops for a month, blah, blah, blah!!!" To retract that statement I've decided to keep my Big Cartel store open for another week till Monday 26th July! I was having so much fun making my egg cosies (and now matching cards!) that I decided to keep one of my online shops open to list them. Had a go at making a 'cupcake' version yesterday - Yes, I have succumbed to the phenomenon, Oh my!

In fact I made an applique card first and then the egg-cosy to match, so from there decided the two items were quite a nice match for each other. I finally found a use for some little seed beads I got free in a craft magazine earlier this year, and handstitched them onto the card as 'hundreds and thousands'.

Both gift sets have been listed in my Big Cartel store. They're such fun to make I can't resist the urge - I'm a lost cause! Here's some more detailed pics:

Little seed beads on the icing . . .

applique tractor card (with puff of smoke!) . . .

As per usual, I'm doing everything EXCEPT what I'm supposed to be doing, tut tut!!

Well, it's the school hols and you have to keep yourself sane somehow :)

Cheerio an Drasda!

By the way, I came across this free currency converter widget today, which is useful to add to your website or blog here. I added one to my site today to help international customers and to help those purchasing from my Etsy shop (when it reopens!!). Quite a handy little thing :)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Eggciting Times!

Sorry for the 'cheesy' blog post title, hehe! But things have been getting a little eggciting lately :D

A little flurry of interest in my laptop/gadget sleeves has kept me busy since the start of the school hols, hence my blog has possibly been a little quieter than usual (apologies!). Making my little egg-cosy the other night has got me very excited about all the design possibilities - I really enjoyed making it and started to think about designs both for children and adults/boys, girls, etc.

This little tractor version (and, yes, it could be mistaken for Postman Pat's van too, hehe!) is the first of many, I hope. I won't be listing this one yet as I've closed my online shops now until I come back from my hols in the middle of August. I'm giving myself plenty of leeway to prepare for our exciting break and also to finish off a couple of last minute orders. I'll be trying to keep my blog updated however until I actually leave at the beginning of August. Who knows, I might squeeze in some relaxing crafting time before I go!

Hope you're enjoying a lovely boiled egg for your Sunday breakfast :)

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Life on the Croft

A busy week, sewing laptop sleeves, decorating ice-cream cones, going to the 'office job' (2 days), leaving lots of time for . . . . very little else! Life on the croft continues apace - some blustery weather . . .

. . . next-door's 'lambs' getting big and fat (ready for the pot - kidding, hehe!)

. . . and a corner of my slightly bedraggled/neglected garden (something had to go!), but I love the colours and shapes/textures of the mish-mash of foliage . . .

. . . and a detail of one of my newer 'tweedie' sleeve designs, now added to my website and hopefully some 'one-of-a-kind' ones will appear on my Etsy shop later in the Summer . . .

Apologies as I've not had much time to catch up on blog-reading this week - I hope to see what everyone has been up to over the weekend.

Cheerio an Drasda :)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

our creative space . . . or Part 2 in how to Get some Crafting Done!

If your child is allergic to 'E' numbers, look away now! This week I have some 'tweedie' orders to make up and have to juggle keeping the kiddo amused, while getting the work done. Mostly this seems to be involving food, sweets, ice-cream, chooclate, etc - oooops! Some exercise will be required afterwards to balance out all this unhealthy eating of course :)

Decorating ice-cream cones - this one looks like something from a 'Mad Max' movie I think! Well, it's creative innit???!!*

The School summer holidays are posing some interesting and demanding challenges :)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Family Portraits

'Little S' kept himself amused yesterday by making 'packet-mix' Smartie cakes - I'm not beyond a bit of bribery to get some of my own work done during the summer holidays! After he'd iced them he told me he'd made 4 of them to look like members of the family - the mind boggles! It was quite easy to guess though, hehe!

I'll have to think of something else today - hmmmm! :D

Monday, 5 July 2010

And the winner is . . . .

A very prompt announcement to my Giveaway today! I got 'Little S' to pull the winning entry out of a tweed bonnet (sssshhhhh, don't tell anyone but it's not Harris Tweed, ooops!!!)

We folded up the pieces of paper . . .

He practically did a somersault trying to pull a piece of paper out . . .

Pulled out the winning entry . . .

. . . which was Commenter No. 2, Karin who has a beautiful blog called: the Mrs! Many congrats Karin - if you can send me your address details via the Contact Page on my website, that would be great! Thanks to everyone who took part in my Summer Giveaway - I'm off to sweep up some of the crumbs I can see in my second photo, don't look too closely now, hehe! :D

Back later in the week with some more 'tweedieness'! Byeee :)

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Pheeeew! Back Again :)

Well, three days without an internet connection was quite strange, a bit scary too when you can't respond to e-mails and such, but hey, we survived and it gave me some free time to browse some craft books.

I came across this lovely local publication about a very famous Harris Tweed weaver called Marion Campbell, in my local book shop. This amazing lady was famous for her beautiful tweeds (she won several awards for the design and quality of her work), and for the fact that she made the cloth from start to finish, entirely on the croft (except for carding the wool, which was done in a local mill). She hand-dyed the wool fleece using locally sourced, natural plant dyes and pigments, spun the wool, warped the yarn, wove the cloth, waulked the finished tweed, washed and dried it by hand, finishing the cloth ready for sale.

How inspiring! I love the fact that she completed all the stages herself - must have been a really rewarding experience to see the finished tweed. It was worth being without my internet connection to browse through this little book - it's a cracker! It's called 'A Harris Way of Life' by Gisela Vogler - sorry, I'm not sure if it's available online but you can always Google it though and find out! Back on Monday to announce the Giveaway winner :)

Cheerio an Drasda!

Friday, 2 July 2010


Oooops, many apologies! We have been without our Internet connection for the last 3 days - a fault with the phoneline company, so sorry!!!

Back as soon as possible with details of the Giveaway winner - hopefully by the beginning of the week.

I'll extend the Giveaway deadline till Monday midday - pleeeease let me have my internet connection back by then!!!! :) Byeeee!