Friday, 26 March 2010

Merry Go Round - March

I'm jumping on the Merry Go Round with nine other fellow artists/craftswomen from all around the world - linking arms in friendship. This month's theme is to take a photograph of something and use this as an inspiration to create a piece of work.

This is the photo I took my inspiration from (the view from my window):

These are the Harris Tweed fabrics I chose from the colours of the landscape:

. . . and this is what I made - one of my Harris Tweed beach-balls in lovely Hebridean colours:

The 'beach-balls' are made to my own design, the panels are machine-stitched together, and then hand-finished to ensure that all the panel seams meet equally in the centre - that's the tricky bit! I then stuff them very firmly with polyfil to give them a solid round shape. There's something very satisfying about making them, and they feel great to touch, the tweed is really soft and smooth. I love the contradiction of using this traditional, lofty, fabric to make a fun, quirky object - using 'the traditional' to make something completely unexpected - hehe :)

I've been wanting to make some of my 'beach-balls' in different colour schemes/themes, for some time, so this challenge was the perfect catalyst for me to do this. This one will be called 'Lewis Landscape' (Lewis is the island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland where I live). I think I will be adding this beach-ball to my new blog-shop later today and hopefully adding some more soon, using different inspirational themes.

I see them more as a soft sculpture, as opposed to a soft-toy, a celebration of Harris Tweed in a soft, tactile shape. The beach-balls are the size of a smallish football.

Please check the responses to the challenge from the other team members below - should make for some great reading :)

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

Wendren at Wren Design

Ruth at Birdland Creations

Please bear in mind that the members will be posting at different times of the day, depending on which world time-zone they are in :)

P.S. I'll be taking a little Easter break for the next couple of weeks, but will possibly be popping in from time to time! My shops will still be open (apart from my 'made-to-order' gift-site)

Cheerio an Drasda :)

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Colours of Nature

I got a sudden urge to go out to the garden this morning and take a couple of snaps - perhaps I'll use them for inspiration at some point! My garden needs a good overhaul but I'm afraid it's been sadly neglected for some time - our exposed location means it's at the mercy of the elements. These days I find myself drawn more to wild flowers, rather than cultivated ones (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it, hehe!)

Last day of school for my boys tomorrow before they finish for their Easter break - I think we're all looking forward to it! No more sorting school clothes, gym kits, etc. for two whole weeks - hurray!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

My Creative Space . . .

I really enjoyed the last Mini Art-Doll I made, so I'm cutting out some more in this lovely cotton/linen blend fabric. I love the whole process of doll-making, I'm quite fascinated at how they take on their own little personalities! (These ones are suddenly reminding me of these dead body outlines you see at a murder crime scene, hehe! Where did that come from???!! ) Not that I've ever been to a murder crime scene you understand . . . .

I'll be winding down this weekend to enjoy some 'chill-out' time at home with the boys and hubby and my extended family who will be arriving for the Easter break the following week. Somehow I don't think there will be as much crafting as I've been planning!!

More creative spaces over here.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A Tale of Two Aprons - Part One

Yesterday I received a lovely package in the mail from Janet. This was especially nice as I wasn't feeling very energetic and needed a little boost to my day! There's a bit of a story behind this package, as it's the first of two purchases I'm expecting to receive. Here's the lovely wrapping:

. . . and the lovely item inside which is a 'crafting' apron - such a cool idea, especially for someone like me who unfortunately doesn't have a dedicated workroom (yet!!) and is always mislaying things like scissors, thread, pens, as I drift about the house, creating my tweedie wares! This is just the job :)

It has lots of pockets and nifty loops for stashing all your crafty tools - why should carpenters and joiners have all the fun of wearing tool belts - this is the fun and feminine version for crafty ladies . . . and I love it!! I will post a pic of me wearing the apron soon - I didn't feel quite up to it yesterday (still recovering from Saturday's 'excess' - I'm getting too old to party!!)

I will be receiving a second 'craft' apron from Janet soon - fingers crossed! I'll finish my little tale of 'two' aprons then :)

P.S. Mr Froggie Kit is coming along, with instructions all typed up - I will hopefully be making a little stock of these soon for my Etsy shops and my 'Blog Shop', perhaps during my Easter break which will be starting this weekend (I'll post details of my online shop 'vacation modes' in the next few days)

Bye for Now!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

My Little Blog Shop

Just a quick little post today (a rare evening out at the weekend has left me feeling a little exhausted, but it was fun, hehe!!)

You may have noticed the 'My Little Blog Shop' link at the top of my sidebar - this is a link to a very simple shopping cart system where you can purchase some of my 'tweedie' goodies in British Pounds. No need to register, just click and purchase, using a basic Paypal checkout. It will also serve as an 'add-on' to my original website for buying 'one-of-a-kind' items, craft-kits and everything in between (all for immediate shipment).

Don't worry Dear International Friends, it won't affect my Etsy shops - just a different platform directly linked to my blog. Some of the items I'll be putting here will be stock that I wouldn't normally sell on Etsy (ie. beach-balls) and some just random items which I feel like creating!

I hope you enjoy watching it grow and becoming an integral part of my blog :)

(Hark, I hear you say - what on earth is that mad Scottish woman up to now, with another website!! Yes, I can hear you, all the way up here in the Hebrides, hehe :))

Cheerio an Drasda!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Mr Froggie

"Mr Froggie" gets the kit treatment! This afternoon I've been working on getting a kit together for this fellow. He's a simpler and quicker project than the ladybird, but quite fun too. It's funny trying to rework my own 'softie' designs into kits - well I can make them, but putting that information into simple instructions uses a whole different part of the brain! I do enjoy it however.

Have a good weekend :)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

my creative space . . .

I'm finally getting my 'ladybird-softie' kits into production mode - hurray!! They should be listed in my Etsy shop by the weekend hopefully, if not sooner! (Thank you to my 'kit-testers' by the way - much appreciated).

There's something quite therapeutic about assembling all the little pieces, weighing out toy-stuffing, adding stickers, tying gift wrap - I must need a holiday! My youngest wanted to help with the assembly line - but he got distracted by the cartoons on the TV quite quickly - well, he'd had a long day at school - poor wee mite! (so much for child-labour!!)

More creative spaces here.

Note: Ladybird softie kit now added to my Etsy shop here.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Handmade Pressies

My youngest seemed to truly embrace Mother's Day this year. Here's a pic of the 'goodies' he presented me with in the morning:

There was a handmade heart-shaped chocolate box (his own idea!), a mosaic-tile coaster which he'd made in school, and later he painted this picture of flowers and a watering can. He was awfully excited by the whole thing this year, not quite sure why! It was all lovely . . . just a pity he woke me up sharply at 7.30 am in the morning, to start the celebrations - bless!!!

I spent the weekend finishing off a custom order, which included the Macbook sleeve in that lovely Herringbone tweed. I think it looked pretty good, but I'll wait for my customer to receive it before I post a pic. I also worked on a new design which turned out to be quite fun, but can't post about it yet either - boo hoo!!

Things have been quite busy recently in terms of coming up with new designs and some nice orders too, so I think it's time to slow down a bit this week - perhaps tidy my craftspace, Aaaaargh! and update my cashbooks, more Aaaaaaargh!

Craft-wise I'm hoping to get some more pincushions into the shop and start getting some 'Ladybird softie' kits made-up too. I'll keep you updated as soon as I get these done. I've two more 'softie-kits' in mind but will have to get instructions written up for these yet - it all takes time! If I'm not here, I might be doing either of my two favourite pastimes, 'tidying-up' or 'book-keeping' - NOT!!!!!

Cheerio an Drasda :)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

B b b b buttons!

Yesterday I decided to take a quick stroll into town (from my office job) to try and purchase some oddments of Harris Tweed. There is a funny little eccentric shop in Stornoway where you can buy tweed and tweed products, tucked away behind a little courtyard - it's a bit dark and dingy inside, but the owner is very entertaining and likes nothing more than a good bit of banter. He used to have an open fire in the shop, burning peat, but I'm not sure that he does that anymore!

Anyway, I was very dissappointed that the shop was closed (for lunch) and I ended up in the Craft and Hobby shop, just beside it, where I popped in to buy a skein of embroidery thread. I happen to know the girl who runs the shop, although she wasn't actually serving, so I felt a little mean just purchasing ONE skein of thread, so I had a browse through their button-stand.

I bought three sets of buttons, some decorative shimmery lace trim, and of course the embroidery thread. I hope the tweed shop is open next time though 'cos it could get a bit expensive if I go and buy craft supplies (which I don't really need!) every time it is closed! I usually purchase crafts supplies online, but it's quite nice to go into a 'bricks and mortar' shop and have a browse around and be able to see the products in front of you - what more could I ask for, the 'craft and hobby' shop just beside the tweed shop - Oh Dear, I foresee financial ruin!!

I must try and take my camera the next time I go to the tweed shop though, to take a picture of the outside, at least. It's very quaint!

Cheerio an Drasda :)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

my creative space . . . don't panic!

I'm just cutting into this lovely piece of herringbone Harris Tweed - I hope I don't mess it up!! This is going to be a Macbook sleeve for a customer who requested one of my Gadget pouches but on a larger scale for a laptop. It's funny because I'm not really a 'gadget person' myself and would probably not have made this if I hadn't been prompted! I was pleased how the prototype turned out and I'm now all set to make these to order.

Time to purchase some more tweed I think. It would be so great to make more of these as I would be on my way to supporting the local Harris Tweed industry in my own very small way, as part of my creative business. It all has a knock-on effect. Well, it's good to have aspirations isn't it!

I do like using these more traditional colours and patterns - there's something very earthy and rich about them, as opposed to some of the brighter colours I've used in the past. Nice to have a mix though!

More creative stories here :)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Very Old Work!

For the last two months my old Art School Portfolio has been leaning against a wall in my kitchen, after retrieving it from storage just after Christmas. I just can't decide where to put it yet! It's now over 25 years old - you can do the Maths! The folio gave me my entry into an Art college in Aberdeen, where I was thoroughly miserable for a year and a half! I just didn't settle in, and never found a medium I was happy with, but mostly I think I was feeling like a fish out of water and absolutely nothing inspired me during my time there.

The drawing on top in the above pic is an etching I did while in Art College (I decided to specialise in 'printmaking' - heaven knows why!). Here's a close up of it:

My elder sister (who happened to be in Aberdeen at the same time) and I had a laugh about the etching, as it's the only piece of artwork I have, after spending a year and a half there. A scribbly little etching of a cat playing with a mouse! It must have some significance of how thoroughly miserable I was! But I like the etching anyway :)

I quite like the colours in the 'still-life' paintings in the background (these were part of my portfolio work done in school). This was a much happier time and we had a nice little group of us working together on our Portfolios - I loved assembling the still-life compositions and really enjoyed painting them. I can sill remember the objects I chose, clear as a bell!

Sorry, this is a very 'Me Me!' post, but I was reminded of Art School days when I read Marion's new blog, all about her own embroidery work (she also happens to run a very busy successful crafts business). It's nice to get back to your artistic roots or creative goals, especially if you have put these on hold while bringing up a family. So the moral of MY story is . . . even if you completely 'f . . k up' your college years, you can always pick up the pieces later!! (sorry for very bad language!)

Cheerio an Drasda!

P.S. My 'green' from yesterday was one of my little dinos which you can see here :)

Monday, 8 March 2010


Lovely Lynsey took a screenshot of the treasury for me! She's a 'good egg' :)!

All the Greens

Ooops, two posts in quick succession - just a quick snapshot of work in progress today. All the greens, part of a custom order, and handsewing - my favourite!

Bye for Now :)


Feels like spring has arrived here today! Hope everyone had a good weekend. My tweedie 'bumblebee' was featured in this lovely BnR (Buy and Replace?) treasury created by Scottish Princess. Here's the link:

Now if I was feeling clever I would post a screenshot of it, but alas this morning I can't for the life of me remember how to do it! Doh :)!

Happy Monday :)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Mystery Design

'Dreich' weather here today - drizzly, damp, pretty yukky! Good day for crafting though :)

. . . some of the lovely tweed I've been working with this week (well, I'm just about to dig into the herringbone one in the foreground - it's a beauty!)

. . . and the mystery 'grown up' project (not a ball of toy stuffing in sight!!):

. . . a Harris Tweed sleeve for a Macbook - which I made to a customer's request this week. She asked whether I could make a sleeve similar to the ones I make for phones/i-phones but much bigger ie. for a Macbook. Well, I thought, why not? It's a really simple design, with the tweed itself being the 'star of the show' - but I'm really pleased how it turned out. It looks like a very elegant tweed envelope!

You can see more pics of it on my website here, where I've added it as a custom order, and also on Etsy here where it is also listed as a 'Made to Order' item. Harris Tweed woven labels are a little like 'gold dust' around here, but I've decided to use mine with this product. This tweed is so beautiful, it deserves to show off it's lofty origins!

On the ladybird 'softie' kit - initial feedback is looking good! More on that next week :)

Off to look at that lovely herringbone tweed, before I finally slice into it!!

Cheerio an Drasda :)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

my creative space . . .

Not very inspiring, I know, but yesterday I spent the better part of the day trying to source a decent quality black felt fabric on the internet. I'm using it for part of a custom order for a new 'tweedie' design which I got via my own website (Gee, it actually serves its purpose sometimes!!) I find it really stressful sometimes (and a little soul-destroying!) trying to find supplies on the internet, particularly when it's for something very specific.

Anyway, I got home from work tonight and there it was - exactly the weight of black felt I wanted and the swatch was also perfect for a different use - result!! Can you see the shadow of my fingers on my camera - I thought that was pretty cool! (You might have to 'squint' to see).

Still working on the art dolls this week, remember I had TWO doll bodies. You can see the first one here and this is the other one below, but NOT decorated or finished by me! The second doll body was 'hi-jacked' by my 8 year old. On seeing me working on the first one and taking note of the second doll body, he piped up 'Hey, I could make a Celtic Warrior doll for my school project with one of your dolls - can I have it?'. Well, what do you say? I spent hours making that doll body (entirely handsewn in a beautiful 100% linen fabric!). What a dilemma - my child's creativity or mine!! Well 'Little S' won, and off he went with the doll body and proceeded to rummage through my fabric stash for 'celtic warrior' clothing, and this is what he made:

He chose all the clothing himself, and gave me little swatches of fabric from my stash to tell me what he wanted! He insisted that he sewed on the yellow tweed 'helmet' himself and did a pretty good job too. He obviously had a really clear picture in his head of how he wanted the 'Celtic warrior' to look like. I'm allowed to sell it on my online shop after the project's finished, he tells me! I sewed on the features for him, of course, and sewed on the trousers and shoes, but all under his strict instructions! Hmmm, think I've got some competition in the house, hehe!

You think 'they' don't really take that much notice of what you're doing, but I think this is solid proof that he's been taking it all in and generating his own ideas - quite amazing!

I'll reveal more about the custom order at the weekend, once I've been in touch with my customer, but suffice to say it's quite 'grown up', very much a Harris Tweed item, and I'm hoping it will go down well! Not really something I'd have made without being prompted either!! There's 'mysterious' for you!

See more creative 'goings-on' over at Kirsty's :)

P.S. The belly dancing doll never 'became', perhaps I'll use them (the metallic discs) for something else - that's crafting for you!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Weekend Work and a Winner!

Well, here I am, on the dot - 3 pm! We keep a tight ship here at Tweed Delights, and if you believe that you'll believe anything, hehe! The Random Number Thingummy Jig came up with number 3, who happens to my good friend Mojca, and it wasn't a fix - honest!!! If you'll send me an e-mail Mojca to tell me which colour of pincushion you would like, I'll be sending both the pincushion and the 'tweedie' ladybird kit to you very soon. Thanks to everyone who commented and entered the Giveaway - it was great to get some feedback on my products too! I hope to do more Giveaways, so don't despair if you didn't win, there'll be other chances :)

Pheeew, got that sorted! Now onto business as usual - 'tweedying'. Just a few quick pics of some creations I was working on at the weekend:

These 'tweedie' seahorses will hopefully make it into my Etsy shop this week, once I've added the sequins. I couldn't resist using some of my new Fuschia pink tweed - I was going to be 'grown up' and reserve it for my home-decor items, but I just couldn't help myself from dipping into it! I think it turned out really nice. The black tweed version was also something I just wanted to try - I only have a very small stock of black tweed, so I've been very 'mean' with it!

Last but not least, I had a go with one of my art-dolls - it came out quite different from perhaps expected (I ditched the belly-dancer spangly discs - they just didn't fit in!) but I'm quite pleased with it. Just lots of textures, fabrics, etc. intermingled - pure wool felt hair (natural dye pigments seemingly, unlike mine!!), printed tape from a lovely Etsy shop, with 'Alice in Wonderland' text which is bizarrely very 'current' (I've had it for a while), and some lovely tweedy bits all put together to create, I'm not sure what!! Sort of a strange mix of Celtic, Hebridean, and is actually quite child friendly as there are no buttons on this one. Hopefully to be put into the shop this week too.

It was great fun putting the doll together, but what about the other doll-body? Yes, I did show two of them last week, but there's a little story to tell about the other one! I'll tell you more later in the week - it's quite entertaining!

Over and above that, I finished a custom order which was sent off to New Jersey, USA today - hope it arrives safely (One of my i-phone pouches which was lovely to make in a bright, zingy tweed!) I'll hopefully be working on a new product this week too, which came about from an enquiry through my website - it's no wonder my Other Half complains about not having 'matching' socks! I hope Mariana is still working on that 'time/space/physics' research she mentioned in her last post (her goal is ultimately to slow down/expand time) 'cos I'm seriously running out of it again - Oh Dear!

Bye for Now and well done Mojca!!

End of Giveaway

Just a quick post to say the Giveaway is now closed - back at 3 pm to announce the winner. If you haven't left a contact e-mail address, please be sure to check back then, and contact me if you've won, to give me your address details. Otherwise, I will be in touch! Back soon :)