12 Days Of Crafting Fa la la !

Good Morning Darcey’s Angels! These last couple of weeks of November are a funny old time at WDS HQ, what begins as the most joyful of months with serious crafting for Christmas well underway, by the last week things are getting a bit ” if I see another sprig of holly I’m going postal”. 

At this point I have two commissions to finish and by next weekend all Christmas crafting will be done, I will breathe a sigh of relief and turn my attention to what I am going to do in the 2 weeks I’m going to take off, and of course the answer is crafting! Here are the projects I would like to get done:

First the gloves to match the scarf I made a while ago……


This Louisa Harding pattern from Knits From An English Rose is so pretty …and so difficult! It features lace and cables but is totally worth it knitted in Louisa’s Amitola yarn.

New scarf and gloves requires a new hat……


This from an ages old Rowan book all patterns are knitted in their Big Wool, I’ve got a  lovely caramel ball winging its way to me.

I’ve been dying to do this from Mollie Makes…….


I won’t be building my own loom ( the magazine  contains full instructions) I will be using one from my childhood that has hidden away for years!

I hope to get round to using these waterproof fabrics…..


I think I will make some make up bags with them.

Finally I have decided to pick up jewellery making again and I will be polishing my techniques with the aid of this book….


I really want to make these…….


Obviously I will show you what gets made in the New Year!

Have a super week

Kisses

Karen

How To Make A Bag Out Of Bluebells!

Hello loves! It’s no secret that I am absolutely nuts for the bluebells that carpet the woods at this time of year, I have taken roughly a bazillion pictures (yes I’ve counted), here is just one…..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

In the past I have tried to prolong their magic by wearing Jo Malone’s gorgeous Wild Bluebell fragrance ( http://www.jomalone.co.uk), I have brought bluebells in from our garden……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The colour is without compare and how gorgeous is that little flower bridge? I am so lucky to have given it a home when my mother in law downsized.

This year I have decided I will try and paint a proper picture of them, I will be exhibiting again this year at our local arts festival and I think a picture of our local woods will go down well. I am determined not to rush and I will use all the proper grown up techniques…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Not much to see and actually now residing in the bin, I wasn’t sufficiently happy with my washes so instead of painting something else I will try and try again!

So then, pretty much as it does every day, my mind turned to handbags, I have tried to find a really pretty backpack, these are my favourite at the moment but only if they have handbag style top handles so that I can carry it conventionally or on my back if needed, I started to see a bluebell coloured, satin backpack with zips and decoration in the green of their stems…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Again I’m going to take my time with this, I need it to be the most perfect shade of blue and the right zips etc. Of course then my mind started seeing the perfect tote in rose coloured fabric…….

I’m blaming this lack of focus on my bluebell induced mania! Hopefully I will have some of the picture to show you soon, follow me on Instagram for the most up to date images!

Have a cracking week

kisses

Karen

 

 

I’m Tutely In Love !!

Morning my lovelies! well, there was I with my plans of kicking up a storm on the sewing machine this week…Monday found me back in the Drs as I couldn’t catch my breath, turns out my chest infection had triggered severe asthma and I left with a course of steroids and a stern warning that if i got any worse I was to go to the hospital! I couldn’t face another week of not trying out my new sewing machine so I settled on this small but delightful project….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

It is no secret how much I love a Mollie Makes project and now they have projects that you can sell! I chose some fun fabrics that cheered me up and off we went! I cut out….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I used this amazing spray tack that stops you having to sew tacking…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I zipped it together on the machine and finished off with a pompom….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I then popped it onto what is rapidly becoming my Mollie Makes tree! The shape of this cone that is designed to be filled with treats, reminds me of the German tradition of the Schultute. This decorated cone is given to children the day before they start school for the first time , filled to the brim with sweets, toys and school supplies it is designed to make that first day at school a little easier. I have it in mind that some larger cones could be themed to all sorts of celebrations- new baby, hen night, starting college, christmas etc. watch this space!

I have to say Ive really enjoyed sewing this week, and it started me looking at patterns, pop over to http://www.sewbox.co.uk they have so much to look at! this is my current favourite……

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These patterns are available in a wide range of sizes and are definitely trend aware.

I’ve also been doing a bunch of up cycling as I have decided that if I can’t find exactly what I want, I will not make do any more and will adapt, change or make from scratch, I will share some of these projects next week.

Have a super week and I will do my best to be fighting fit, fingers crossed!

Kisses

Karen xx

 

 

 

Faux fur, Faux leather And A Genuine Hot Dog

Hello loves! well, the darling husband has a birthday this weekend so we took ourselves off to London so that he could visit his favourite comic shop which is handily in Berwick street, home to all the best fabric shops!it was a perfect opportunity to buy some fabric for a Mollie Makes project (more later).

As we were strolling down I spyed this……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Yes a wildly gyrating Queenie, i’d love to know what she thought!

Into the fantastic Berwick Street cloth shop, I think the windows give you an idea of what is to be found in this stuffed to the brim gem of a shop……

I found these two to make this project……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The good news is I have enough fabric to make a couple, so they will eventually be in the Etsy shop and the icing on the cake was meeting a lovely man called Vasilis who teaches at the London College of Art! He showed me some gorgeous gowns his students had made, he will be emailing these too me but is leaving soon for India- when I have them I will give you a bonus post!

A quick pop in the art shop and then to Gosh comics for the birthday boy, something awful happened inside dear reader, I bought stuff!…………

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I am obsessed with Harley Quin and the Suicide Squad characters and will be pimping my car out in her colours. I have no reasonable explanation for the manga book..

By this time we were famished and as my husband and by default daughter are partially german we went to Herman Ze German, that is not an awful stereotypical faux pas on my part, its called that! these hot dogs are the real Mccoy imported from the black forest. I have no idea why, but I took no photos of the food, instead here’s the lovely interior…

I had a veggie wurst and sauerkraut which is a superfood according to the Hemsley sisters, not sure how they would feel about the cheesy chips..

Finally, a tired walk down to chinatown, we popped into M and M world but I can’t show you what I bought as its a birthday present for my little bro’.

we popped to our favourite supermarket, for the essentials……………

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

And a peek at the brand new gate, how gorgeous is this……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

If you fancy any of these delights heres your links:

theberwickstreetclothshop.com

goshlondon.com

hermanzegerman.com

chinatownlondon.org

Have a lovely week.

kisses

 

Karen

 

The Best Laid Plans!

My Sunday was all planned out….we were going to go to Brighton, shop the vintage clothes stores for a prom bag for my daughter and then to the large indoor market hoping to score some fab champagne glasses for the wedding of my mate Nikki, all the while taking photos for the blog.

We started at The Farm cafe in North Road, fabulous local food, not an additive or pesticide in sight, so far so delicious, here’s the remains of my eggs Benedict….

imageThen it all went to pieces, my darling daughter who has been working like a thing possessed on her GCSEs started to look decidedly green! we made it to Be Worn Again, snapped up a plain bag and then had to take her home. I might have felt a bit peeved but this kid is a diamond, focused, driven and with her eyes fixed on the prize of a career in medicine, So it was home we went……but now what to blog?

So, let’s have a State of the Union post, a how we doing and whats cooking post. First up, how is the pet portrait painting going?

I have just recently completed this picture for a gentleman who won it as a raffle prize…..

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I have two more pictures to complete this month, so these will be taking up most of my time.

Next, its bears, I have been working with a company called Maximus who support disabled people back into work, my advisor is called Julia and she is brilliant, she is supportive and a great shoulder to cry on when the medical issues get a bit much. I made this bear a while ago and we named it Maxine in honour of Maximus…

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Just recently, Julia asked me to write a piece for Maximus’ in house magazine, this has now led to me being featured at their conference so I feel that Julia also needs to be honoured in bear form and as she is so glam I have settled on this gorgeous fur…

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I will also be looking to get a stall at our local craft market, to sell some of the bits and pieces I have been making, I am going to try to book for August so that afore-mentioned super daughter can help me……

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What does that leave for me to do in my spare time? for the last few weeks I have been working on this shawl from Mollie Makes……

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I am in the home stretch now and just have some leaves to complete, oh and all the sewing up to do!

Finally, I bought this fabric from the Vintage Cottage……

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it is destined to be a backpack, I am trying to hone my skills with a view to designing some bags, I have a colossal bag collection but the arthritis in my arms is rendering them a little useless, so I would like to make some fabric bags that look as desirable as some of my proper bags.

What sort of bag would light your fire?

Kisses

Karen xxx

Who Runs The World? Girls! (Obvs)

I have a butterfly mind, or put less politely an inability to focus! but this week it has really struck me how marvellous we as women are! There was Kate Middleton 10 hours after delivery facing the worlds press, yes she has a team of people making her look photo ready, but she still had to haul ass and stand and smile. In the worlds I inhabit, blogging and crafting, women are the ones making the money and pushing the boundaries. Clever women that are running businesses from kitchen tables and my favourite – from shedquarters! these are women finding creative solutions to work, raising children and in some cases, like myself, working with long term illness.

So let’s celebrate the women doing it their way, here are some of my favourite ladies who are leading the charge! First up is Katie at Felted Fancies Supplies, this is where I get my supplies from, its full of gorgeous felt, fabric and other goodies, plus your package come with a packet of fizzers!

imageimageimage This is how Katie got started: “I started selling supplies as I got really busy making felt name banners and managed to source some felt wholesale, thinking that i would keep some and maybe sell some off, well it all sold out and I had people asking for more! So I bought some and people then were asking for ribbons and buttons. So with baby steps I purchased a few extra bits each week. I concentrated on the great quality acrylic felt, but over time built up a great selection of everything. My aim in time is to create a one stop shop, for everything felty!”

You can find Katie here: https://www.facebook.com/FeltedFanciesSupplies

Then we have Shell From Shells Cards, Colouring and Crafts, Shell is an amazing artist and despite having Fibromyalgia she is one of the most uplifting people I know, check these out…

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Here is Shell’s story: “I had been crafting for several years and had sold cards to family, but that was it. I started my business accidentally in a way….I noticed whenever I posted photos of my makes on my own profile I only got a handful of likes, and I was worried that I might be driving people mad, so I set up a separate page and asked that the people that liked my photos to pop over and like the new page. This led to a work colleague ordering 40 birthday invites and that was when I realised that this could be a business. Its grown very rapidly, I learnt about networking and built a list of regular likers, I worked out costings and designed a logo and branched out into items other than cards, which is where I am today, roughly 2 months after I started my page”

You can find Shell here: http://www.facebook.com/shellsccc

Finally, Its not only craft businesses that thrive on Facebook, one of my particular favourites for items with a retro flair is the Vintage Cottage, here is just a small selection of the lovely items to be found on this page….

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This is how they got started: “I started my business in January 2012, I started up a Facebook page and started with painted furniture and shabby chic, but my love was always retro. So I started to source and sell items from 1950 through to 1970. Now I am living the dream of having my own shop.”  Find The Vintage Cottage here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vintage-Cottage

Tomorrow is the General Election and after discussing the work life balance, childcare and working with illnesses, please I am begging you, go and vote! I don’t care what you vote but VOTE! Make sure that the political system hears your voice.

Nagging over! next week we follow a local business -Rose and Bea to her new venture on the high street to see what it’s like when you hit the real world.

Do you have a favourite business that operates on Facebook? give them a shout out in a comment!

Kisses

Karen

Oh Deery Me!!

Well, my planned trip to London got off to a very scary start! We take our dog to a day care facility when we are out all day, and during our journey there, we hit a deer! There was no chance of avoiding it, the poor deer managed to run away, I hope it’s OK.

When we got to London feeling very shaken, the whole event was put into perspective by the tragic death of a cyclist that had happened just as we arrived at Victoria Station. If any of you cycle on the roads, please,  from the bottom of my heart be very careful.

On to happier matters, we made our way from the lovely Liberty,

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to the streets of Soho, and the original Yo Sushi in Poland Street, sadly without its beer serving robot!

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A trip to Yo set us up for a walk down the road to Berwick Street and our first stop….

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The embellishments were out of this world…

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And the silks and satins were amongst the best I have ever seen…

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And how about this fabric, embellished with giant pailletes…

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We bought this stunning embellishment for my daughters prom dress…

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Find them online at http://www.silksociety.com.

With our purchase in hand we visited both of the Berwick Street Cloth House stores. The first carries beautiful cottons and linens and huge range of trims etc, the following pictures are from the second store which is beautiful inside,

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and carries more luxurious fabrics, look at these velvets,

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They also stock really unusual trims and vintage buttons

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And as we all can’t get there when we want something, the good news is , they are online at http://www.clothhouse.com.

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From there, we went to look for trimmings,  we found New Trimmings Ltd, this my darlings is heaven!! It is about the size of my front room, but has EVERY type of ribbon, trim,button,bead and sequin you can imagine!! Have a look at just the pink and purple sequins..

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Maribou trim to die for…

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Here is just a small selection of the beads…

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And finally a tiny view of the ribbons…

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They told me that they have a bigger store around the corner, but by that time I was so overwhelmed by choice I think my head would have exploded! Again you can find them online at newtrimmings.co.uk.

At this point it started to snow and we called off our visit to Kleins and headed home. My view of the day? this is where you head for serious fabric, for that special project when you need the very best. I’d like to thank all the stores for being so welcoming and giving permission for these photos.

Have you got a favourite fabric shop? Would you like to see all my purchases? How about a fringed clutch tutorial?

Be careful out there,

Kisses

Karen