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Archive for the ‘Textiles’ Category

Welcome Back

This month The Virtual Crafting Challenge is all about Die Cutting and Embossing. So here is a project featuring a die cut tag which I embellished.

Hand made tote bag with embellished gift tag

Hand made tote bag with embellished gift tag

The bag is an Easter gift for MIL, it features

  • Die cut was created using The Slice Elite and Design Card: Remember This
  • Zig Calligraphy Markers
  • Zig Art & Graphic Pens and Rock n Roll flower technique.
  • Zig Wink of Stella pens

Here is a close look at the tag

Die cut gift tag, with hand drawn elements

Die cut gift tag, with hand drawn elements

The calligraphy and hand drawn elements add a personal touch to a quickly made tag. How do you use your die cuts?

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I’d like to share a picture of the latest sewing project I just finished;

New tote bag for knitting kit

New tote bag for knitting kit

 

Now I seem to have been bitten by the knitting bug, I thought it would be nice to have a knitting bag, rather than a Really Useful box that I had been using for my yarn, especially for the longer needles!

This bag started from the fabric produce bag  instructions on Daisy Janie’s Blog. It evolved as I went on, and this is the second generation. I altered the order in which I created the seams to give a neater finish to the top edge. My fabric is upholstery weight so was too bulky for the shorter second handle, so I cut extra fabric to create the second handle. When I’ve had more practice it would be nice to add a pocket to the front for my notebook of instructions, and a ribbon to hold my needles to the inside. But this is a very nice compact bag to have just by the chair and not too bulky to carry around.

The small size also stops me filling the bag with everything I own relating to knitting, which I simply do not need next to me for the project in hand and would otherwise clutter up the bag! (You can tell I’m a new knitter eh, bet you get more and more stash and give up this neat freak thinking as you go along ;) )

When I get to grips with interfacing I’d love to try to make a Bagsket, as seen on Foofangle’s excellent tutorial, now this looks a great way to stop your ball of yarn disappearing across the room. But that is a project for much further down the line, when I stop buying other craft stash and have some funds left for buying fabric. ;)

The little tag features Zig Calligraphy markers, highlighted with Wink of Stella pens. I’m making one of these for MIL for a Mothers Day gift and wanted to practice the lettering.

There are some truly superb tutorials for sewing projects around blog land. I’ve collected some useful sites together at the top of the blog, under the tab marked ‘Textiles’. Just a few to get you started. If you have favorites you’d like to share, let me know and I’ll check em out :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I would like to introduce our Featured Artist, for February 2011

Debbie Shore

Debbie Shore

Debbie Shore Featured Artist of the Month

I discovered her work thanks to sewing shows on Ideal World but for those of you who haven’t yet found Debbie Shore, here is a little more about her and her work.

Who you are: 

My name’s Debbie Shore

Where you are (which country you are based in)?

 Debbie: I live in Northamptonshire with 2 of my 3 grown-up children, my photographer husband, two cats and two dogs.

What you do:

Debbie; I’m a presenter on the shopping channel Ideal World, where I’ve spent the last eight years, but began my career in television some 26 years ago on Children’s ITV. The middle years have been filled with commercials, corporate video and a bit of acting.

What got you started in your creative journey?

Debbie: Crafting has always been part of my life, from an age too early to remember I was sewing dolls clothes and making houses from shoe boxes, to modelling scenery for my model zoo from paper mache! But it’s the sewing that I enjoy more than anything. I love the feel of fabric, the texture and colours, and even more I love the way you can transform a room by adding colour and warmth. I like to figure out how things are made and replicate that at home, and I like to save money on shop prices!

What inspires you: 

Debbie; A piece of beautiful fabric really inspires me to get creative with small projects like cushion covers to the nail-breaking task of upholstery.

If money,time and obligations were no object, what you would most like to do?

Debbie;  If money were no object for me, I’d spend my day making soft furnishings for yachts in the Caribbean, and I’d invite you all over for workshops!

What do you enjoy most about your creative work/life?

Debbie; I am so lucky in my job that I can indulge my passion for sewing and be paid for it, but the most satisfying thing is to inspire others to dig out that old sewing machine from the loft and be confident enough to use it.

Links

To find out more about Debbie and her work, please visit her website, details below. 

I have a lovely bunch of members on my website Shortcuts to Sewing please feel free to visit, and chip in if you wish!

Debbie x

Many thanks to Debbie Shore, for being our Featured Artist of the Month for February 2011.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

***Updates***

Debbie has just opened a new website called Thimble Lane and now also has videos on You Tube and a shop on Ebay. For more details and links, please vist;

Updated 12 November 2011.

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I would like to share a picture of the Rice Heat therapy bag I made a couple of weeks ago.

Handwarmer

Handwarmer

As regular readers will know, I struggle with joint pain and find wheat bags really soothing. It’s almost impossible however to find them un-scented! The one I have is getting on a bit now and I was getting really worried what I would do if it wore out.

I found a great tutorial for how to make a rice heat therapy bag and modified it both inside and out and created this handwarmer. It’s great, for one minute in the microwave it stays hot for about 20 minutes. I’m working on designs and trialing different fillings. If you are Celiac then the option of filling your bag with rice is a safe option as the store-bought bags are often wheat filled.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I would like to introduce our Featured Artist, for January 2011.

Claire Mills

Claire Mills

Claire Mills, Featured Artist of the Month January 2011

I discovered Claire’s work after searching for a cover for my new Kindle but for those of you who haven’t yet found Claire, here is a little more about her and her work.

Who you are:

Claire: Hi, I’m Claire Mills and I run my own little enterprise called Crabtree Lane. I have a ‘day job’ at the moment and do Crabtree Lane things in the evenings and on weekends – but hope to go full-time with my own venture in Spring 2011.

Where you are (which country you are based in)?

Claire: I’m based in beautiful, rural Worcestershire in the UK and am lucky enough to have a workshop in my back garden from which I make all my pieces.

What you do:

Kindle3 Cover by Claire Mills

Kindle3 Cover by Claire Mills

Claire: I make hand-made home accessories, using a wide mix of designer and vintage fabrics. I take a great deal of pleasure in sourcing fabrics and this has become something of an obsession! The making side of things really came from the love of fabric – I realised I had to DO something with all this wonderful material.

What I make grows and changes month by month and is usually based on either my own frustration at not being able to find what I want on the High Street or from requests from friends and colleagues. My favourite things to make are those that combine practicality and function with eye-catching fabrics and design. For instance, my range of Kindle covers that come with beautiful ribbon ties or my vintage style Sausage Dog draught excluders made in modern, fresh fabrics.

Sausage Dog by Claire Mills

Sausage Dog by Claire Mills

What got you started in your creative journey?

Claire: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making something! I was lucky to grow up in a family that encouraged creativity and tolerated a certain level of mess that comes with that! I had access to unlimited paper, thanks to an Uncle who owned a printing business and was often given paints, pencils, clay, glue and glitters. We would also collect leaves and use foods to make our ‘master pieces’.

At school, the only things I ever felt I was good at were the arts. I had a love for making models and 3D pieces and was particularly drawn to clay. This led me to University where I learned industrial ceramic design processes and later, achieved a degree in ceramics and glass.

But then the world of ‘real work’ called and my creativity was channelled in a very different direction for many years. It wasn’t until a bout of illness forced me to become house-bound for a couple of weeks that I started to consider what I might do with my burgeoning fabric stash. From that, Crabtree Lane was born and I now find myself on another creative journey.

What inspires you:

Claire: I cannot describe the feeling I get when I see a particular surface pattern or certain combination of colours.There is such a huge range of wonderful vintage and modern material out there, designed by incredibly talented folk that I am like the proverbial kid in a sweet shop when I venture into the Haberdashers or stumble on a bag of old material in a junk shop. The possibilities are endless for combining these fabrics and colours and creating something new from them.

I am also inspired by the process of figuring out how to construct something in 3D and there is a definite mental challenge and sense of satisfaction (after MUCH trial and error!) in doing so.

If money,time and obligations were no object, what you would most like to do?

Claire: I would probably become an eternal student! There is still so much that I want to learn how to do – so many techniques, art forms and opportunities yet to be experimented with.

My immediate interest is in re-upholstery and I am looking forward to learning the art of bringing old furniture back to life with new fabrics. I would also love to be able to design and screen-print my own material.

I am constantly frustrated at how rubbish my drawing skills are – and I guess if money were no object I would hire some unsuspecting life drawing expert to help me achieve a half-way decent standard. I pity that tutor!

What do you enjoy most about your creative work/life?

Claire: Getting into that wonderful state known as ‘the flow’. Hours can pass by and I could swear I have only been in my workshop for a few minutes. Having the time, space and support from a very tolerant partner has enabled me to turn a very tentative hobby into a potentially viable enterprise. I am hugely grateful to have been given the opportunity to see where things might go with Crabtree Lane.

“Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Links

To find out more about Claire and her work, please visit her blog and websites, details below.

Please feel free to drop me a line any time at claire@crabtreelane.co.uk, I’d love to hear from you.

Egg Cozy's by Claire Mills

Egg Cosies by Claire Mills

Thanks to Claire from Crabtree Lane, for being our Featured Artist of the Month for January 2011. Do check out her websites, her finished pieces are really well made.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Hi All

Welcome back, hope you all had a wonderful time over Christmas. Just had to share a picture of the wonderful gifts my friends and family gave me this Christmas.

Christmas Goodies 2010

Christmas Goodies 2010

 

Yes that is a Kindle snuggled under the tree, I’m getting on really well with it and if you have Dyslexia like me I can recommend giving one a go. They don’t solve all the problems and I still need to use my coloured overlays with it, but its very versatile and helps greatly. Also good if you suffer from limited dexterity, I struggle to hold the pages of a book open for long, so the Kindle is much easier for me to handle. I’ll be doing a proper review of it in a few weeks, once I had a longer play with it.

Look at the lovely books too! My wonderful hubby got me the sewing books, I’d had these titles on constant loan from the library for AGES and he got them for me YEY!!!! GM gave me the Bag book and the Polymer Clay one too. There are some amazing projects in these books. I’ve already reviewed the other titles but will review these new ones during the coming year.

Not yet pictured as not yet assembled is a new desk, also from Hubby. I can’t use the sewing machine on the dining room table as it’s not really very sturdy for that kind of thing. It’s often far too cold to spend time in my studio during the winter months as it hasn’t any insulation or proper heating. So DH bought me a desk that I can have in the dining room. Looking forward to having a nice new workspace and will share pics once I have them.

Struggling on the health front again, travelling in the car visiting relatives during Christmas has set off the whiplash again :( getting highly board of being in constant pain again! I was born without patience at the best of times and was really hoping for a healthier New Year. Trying to stay warm and resting up, so things settle again.

It’s been a wonderful Christmas and was white (there was lying snow left from the previous week). Hope you have had a lovely time too.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Just had to share a picture of the wonderful Kindle cover I bought from Crabtree Lane. This was made by Claire Mills, isn’t it beautiful.

Kindle3 Cover by Claire Mills from Crabtree Lane

Kindle3 Cover by Claire Mills from Crabtree Lane

I was lucky enough to recieve a Kindle for Chirstmas and was looking for a cover for it. When I saw Claire’s designs I thought they were beautiful. Why have an industrial looking cover when I could have something so pretty. Claire made this especially for me after I contacted her to ask if she had any bird themed fabrics. When the cover arrived it was such a lovely thingand really well made. that I contacted Claire again and she will be Featured Artist of the Month on here for January.

The only downside about buying Kindle books is that you don’t have changes of cover, why not treat yourself to several of Claire’s covers, so you regain variety with your Kindle. Come back next week to hear more about Claire’s story.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

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