Wednesday, 30 May 2012

my creative space . . . using up scraps

I embarked on making another 'tweedie' bird on Tuesday - really because I felt I had to do something constructive by the close of day - I was having one of these days, wondering around in endless circles and not achieving anything - sound familiar??? 

I was quite pleased with the finished tweedie-bird, then started playing around with the scraps of fabric I'd been using, and decided to try making some 'scrappy' tweedy brooches using some of the lovely vintage lace I'd been using earlier . . .

(Really enjoyed  playing around with the lace and the tweed and the buttons - possibly try a few for my next craft fair in a couple of weeks??)

I hadn't really found my creative mojo until late in the afternoon, well 5 pm to be exact! I made an executive decision that the boys could have frozen pizza for their tea - they were delighted LOL!!! "Win, win" situation - I got to push the boat out 'creatively speaking' and they got a fast-food fix - sorted! :) :)  (P.S. We did  walk to the shop and back again to negate the detrimental  effects of eating c . . p food!!!)

More creative tales over here :)

By the way, my GIVEAWAY is still open until June 2nd (Saturday) - sorry did I shout that out too LOUD, hehe!!!!  It's open to anyone worldwide - spreading the 'tweedie' love :)

Alison xxx

Monday, 28 May 2012

Something old . . . . something new

We've just had the most fantabulous weekend of wonderful weather - scorchio!!!  Pity we had to wait until the third week in May to get any warmth at all, but heck, I'm not complaining - we just made sure that we spent every minute of the weekend outside - barbecues, sunbathing, walking, cycling etc - it was bliss :)   

I was rummaging through a drawer searching for some summer t-shirts (they were WAY, WAY at the very back!) when I chanced upon this . . . 

It's a detail from an embroidered tea-cloth which I retrieved from the family home some years ago.  It's funny when I initially came across it, because it was a very familiar item to me when I was growing up.  

Whenever anyone 'special' came visiting, it would come out of the kitchen drawer and was placed ceremoniously on the wooden tray, the special china teacups would then come out, along with whatever nice cakes and biscuits we had in for the guests.   It's funny how a simple handcrafted item can trigger memories of times gone by.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think it may have been embroidered by my late mother, perhaps when she was a  girl - I can't be quite sure,  as she wasn't one for 'blowing her own trumpet' - but I'd like to think that she DID embroider it!  It was reserved, as I say, for special  visitors, sometimes people who were visiting the islands on holiday to see long-lost relatives, or for their annual summer homecoming holidays.  
I can really only appreciate it now that I've done a  little fundamental embroidery, although I would love to do more.  Here's some more details from the cloth . . . 

I love the colours - they're really pretty!  I must look after it a bit better - taking it out of the drawer, where it was crammed amongst lots of t-shirts and summer tops, would be a start! ;-)  It's a nice thing to have though, as a family heirloom :)  Do you have any items made by family members which you treasure?

I remember clearly as a kid, waiting for the visitors to leave, eagerly anticipating that they'd left some of the yummy cakes and biscuits on the tea-tray, hehe!  Well, you  can't let good food go to waste :) :)

Well, that was 'something old' . . . the 'something new' came about really as a result of a chance remark from my older sister while we were chatting on the phone.  I was telling her that I was making some 'tweedie' birds for the Gallery shop - 'Ah', she said,  'are you making tweedie lovebirds?'   Em, no, I replied, just  . . . um, birds!  She must have a more romantic streak than I do, hehe!  Anyway she'd planted an idea in my head to make a  pair of tweedie love-birds and  here they are . . . 

I've added them to my Etsy shop here, and they can be personalised with initials if being given as a wedding gift.  Aw, I've gone all mushy and goooey, hehe!   Speak soon, when I've regained my 'stiff upper lip' :)

Hope you've been enjoying some  'scorchio' weather where you are!

Alison x

P.S.  Remember you can  still enter my craft-kit Giveaway here - it's open  until Saturday 2nd June :D

P.P.S.  I just noticed  this on my blogroll list - sounds like fun, and I have just the perfect crochet-piece waiting in the wings! :D

Thursday, 24 May 2012

my creative space . . . a Giveaway, new packaging and city scapes

Um, well that's a funny title I've given my blog-post today - I'm going to have to work hard to pull it all together and reign myself in to writing a cohesive post . . . oooops! Well, anyway, School Sports day this week meant I had to write off a whole day of creativity, but it was a lovely, sunny day and we all went home happy . . . and a little sunburnt, I will never learn, hehe - I think you're supposed to make sure the children don't get burnt, not the parents!!!

So not a lot of making 'n creating this week - at the weekend though I did a little work on my 'tweedie' motifs, which I've decided to turn into little craft-kits - hey, why should I do all the work!;-) You've got to make your own tweedie-garlands and decs now - the gauntlet is down, so to speak! I made up three packs for online sale, complete with packaging and added a little blurb on the back giving some tips on how to use 'em. 

Here are the three variations on the kit (complete with a length of hessian string, not shown  in the first image) . . .

. . . a  fresh haul of 'tweedie' fish :D
(this last 'rogue' fish is facing in the wrong direction - he must be a bit of a rebel, hehe :) (or just a little lost!)

. . . stars in your eyes!
. . . have a heart (or two!)
. . . sorry, not a very clear pic of the packaging - but they DO look quite nice, honest!!!

I'm giving away ONE of my craft-kits in your choice of motif - fishy, stars or hearts (4 in each pack) - just leave a comment saying which one you'd like.   Alternatively you could choose to have a pack with ONE of each  motif - three motfis in total, nice for making individual  'decs' - you choose!  I'll be making the craft-kit especially for the giveaway, so the colours shown won't be exactly the same. I had so much fun playing with the shapes I couldn't resist making them into a little kit - as you can see, they're quite rustic with unfinished edges, but are made with double thickness of tweed making them quite substantial.

You can enter the Giveaway wherever you are in the world - just leave a comment with a link to your blog, or/and a link to contact you if you've won. I'll leave the Giveaway open until Saturday 2nd June, midday (12 pm) British time.  If you don't win, I have added some of the kits to my Etsy shop, one of which has sold - but I'd like to have a regular little supply of them, as I think they're quite fun!

My youngest came home from school with a lovely collage city-scape this week and as I haven't any new makes this week, I'll feature his work instead!  I really liked  how he meticulously drew all the windows on the  sky-scapers - such  dedication to detail! 

Ah, to see the world through a child's eyes - they have such clear, uncluttered vision!! Then we grow up and get all muddled and befuddled - it's such a shame, hehe!!  

I hope you will enter my Giveaway - it would be fun to send a little tweedie-package off to someone I know would make very good use of it!  More creative-types over this way - Byeee! :D

Alison x

Sunday, 20 May 2012

You must try this, it will make you feel happy! :)

I've been wanting to try to crochet a pebble-cover for so long now, and finally this weekend I DID IT!!!! :) . . . . and it made me feel very happy, hehe! Here's the result (I've only done ONE so far . . . but I have great aspirations!!) . . .

I found the pattern to crochet the pebble-covers here at:

There are 4 lovely patterns to choose from - this is the flower pattern and has just 4 rows. I sort of 'winged it' to cover the sides and base of the pebble, using a series of chains (3 or 5) and trebles to create a sort of open lace, decreasing in bits here and there - it just seemed to sort of work, but only AFTER I'd followed her lovely pattern! (I made an additional round of 'all trebles' in between rows of chains/trebles)

I used a 3 mm hook and Puppets Lyric Cotton (8/8) for this one and it worked really well. I'm going to try using some of my hessian string I think and some other yarns from my stash to make some of the other patterns. I was surprised I managed to cover the sides and base using my own 'methods' but I think with a little crochet knowledge on decreasing and shaping, it's possible! You CAN do it - just try it :)

The last image is of the base of the pebble - I think it looks OK for a first attempt :)

When I showed the boys my crochet pebble attempt (rather proudly I must say!) Teenage son said 'Hey, you've wrapped a rock!' - quite a cool response I thought :) 'Little S' was slightly less enthusiastic and said 'What have you done to that pebble??? You've put it in a 'straight jacket'!!' He seemed to think it was rather cruel - as if I'd trapped it forever, inside its crochet-harness!

Anyhow, I love the idea - they would make lovely presents, paper weights, ornaments, etc. and are SO satisfying to do! Off to find some more pebbles now :)


Alison x

P.S. Here is a link to one site for making a magic adjustable ring which this pattern uses - it's the only one that made sense to me when I was trying to learn it a few months ago :)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

my creative space . . . made it, snapped it, listed it!

It's extremely rare that I manage to make something, photograph it and list it in my online store in one day - but yesterday I actually managed this rare feat!  I think perhaps it had something to do with Teenage Son being around (he's on study leave) - it was nice to have a bit of company even although I was trying to be super -busy!

I decided after packing up a little custom order in the morning to make a cosmetic bag as I'd made one the week before for a lovely customer.  Teenage Son and I scoffed some nice homemade lentil soup - he went off to do his studying (well, that's what HE told  me, hehe!) and I got started on my cosmetic bag . . .

. . . I only have a small amount of this tweed - but, heck, what am I keeping it in reserve for - better weather, hehe!??, and I decided to indulge my taste for cute Japanese fabrics and out came this fab designer print cotton from my tiny stash - tooooooooo cute!!!! :)

Little tin-soldiers, toy box themes, finished off with a gingham print edging - what's not to like???! The stage was set . . . I got to work :)

It all came together, my sewing machine decided to behave - no naughty tantrums or jams, and I was feeling nice and chilled as there was no rush to reach a deadline, just how we crafty folk all want to work in a 'perfect' world - how often does it happen tho!!!??* Here's how it turned out . . .

I finished it off with a little matching 'tweedie' gift-tag.

There should be more days like this :)

I've decided to keep Teenage Son at home as a good luck charm and NEVER to send him to school again!

More creative tales over in the fab new space :D

P.S. I was on a roll, and made a SECOND cosmetic bag later in the day - they're now both in the shop - Hurray!! :D

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Creative space . . . new work and old

I spent the earlier part of this week working on stock for my local Art Gallery shop - I didn't expect to get it finished but I must have got a last minute spurt of energy/drive and it's now all away and hopefully it's being put on the shelves today. It wasn't a formal order as such and I'd just said to the nice girl in the shop that I'd put my 'usual stuff' in - a few each of my 'tweedie' collectables . . .

The teddies and the dinos always seemed to be reasonably popular, but I decided to add a slightly new design, just for my own satisfaction! These 'sleepy' birds did the trick for me, and it was lovely to add something a little different - whether they will agree with that in the shop, I don't know yet! The boys gave me a little advice, which actually made quite a difference to the end result, hence the 'sleepy' birds came into being . . .

They're very tired after their long flight, hehe :)

Just look at this cute pair who were waiting outside the house this morning - they were visiting in our garden last night, so we had to close the gate but they were obviously enjoying eating the grass and decided to stay the night - a bit of Bed and Breakfast, why not, hehe! . . .

Just love the little lamb, with his floppy ears - they're a completly different breed to the usual 'black-faced' Hebridean sheep, but I've no idea what they are, apart from the fact that they look very funny and cute (the wool looks pretty good though, hehe!) . . .

The 'grannies' are a work in progress of course, and this is as far as I've got but I'll continue with it as a chair throw which I hope it'll be (4 squares in width) . . .

Joining in with my 'Creative Space' again today, although my laptop is being a little naughty, or perhaps it's the owner who has been a little naughty and it just needs a good hoovering out - ooops! :)

Alison x

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bank Holiday Monday . . .

It was a Bank holiday here on Monday, and the forecast was rain and gales - well, the forecast was wrong thankfully :) We DID have some snow showers over the weekend - in May, can you believe it??? Anyhow, after spending the morning doing a heap of laundry, it was time to head to the beach - one of my favourite ones is just a mile or so from my home, in the village of Gress. A really pretty village, with a lovely river, scenic farmhouse overlooking a stunning beach - it's got everything really! It was beautiful and sunny, but REALLY cold . . .

The two red blobs are my Other Half and 'Little S' :)

There were so many people on the beach, you could hardly move hehe! . . .

I had an alterior motive of gathering some driftwood for some artpiece or other, another garland perhaps (but maybe just for me!) . . .

. . . mission accomplished.

I love how the edges have been worn and smoothed out by the motion of the sea, who needs a sander when mother Nature can do the job just as well ;-)

It's back to work for me today and I'm finishing up my small stock for my local Art Gallery shop - I'm really pleased to be having some stock in a retail outlet, particularly this one which has worked quite well for me in the past. I'll show some pics later in the week :)

Hope you had a good holiday weekend if you had one, we're back to rain and cold today, never mind - good crafting weather :)

Teenage Son is on study leave this week, so I'm on 'tea-duty' - better get the kettle on! Bye for now :D

Alison x

Thursday, 3 May 2012

my creative space . . . a little bit of everything

I'm working on some 'tweedie' critters today, or I'm just about to start, so I'd better get a move on! Here's the little dinos I made on Tuesday, just got to embroider their eyes - I found some fabulous thick felt for the fins which I was really keen to try out. I had to use a stanley knife to cut the felt - Other Half is beginning to complain that I'm slowly edging into the tool box more and more, hehe! . . .

Some more garland shapes to the left, ready to be strung (used Hubby's eyelet tool - ooops!), and underneath you can just see some gadget sleeves - it's all going on, well it would be if I stopped blogging about it, hehe - well, it's nice to talk isn't it??!! More crafty 'chat' over here :)

Alison x

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Sun, Sea and Shells . . .

I've just climbed up on top of the boys old den outside to take a pic of some seashells against the beautiful drop-back of Broadbay, glistening in the sunlight - I'm lucky that I didn't fall through the roof!, it's getting a bit decrepit through lack of use and attention. That's a little sad - the youngest kiddo claims there's too many creepy-crawlies inside it to play there - sheeesh, kids are so soft these days! I didn't quite get the pic I wanted but the shells looked pretty against the sunbleached plywood . . .

I'm thinking of drilling holes in these shells and incorporating them into my 'tweedie' garlands - well, experimenting with them at least :) OK, I'm thinking of getting my Other Half to drill some holes in them - got to keep him busy, hehe!

Off to make some 'tweedie' critters for the local Arts Centre shop today as they have kindly agreed to take some stock from me after a couple of years absence - so quite happy about that. Oh, must also go and wash my face in the morning dew being the 1st of May and all, or perhaps just slap a little mascara on - usually works OK for me, hehe! :)

'Speak' soon :)

P.S. Here's the beautiful drop-back of Broadbay this morning, as taken from the top of the rickety old den . . .

Alison x