Tuesday, 29 December 2009

I made this! - Velvet Stocking!

Made this Christmas stocking for my Mum. Used some lovely metallic mink velvet which worked beautifully with the Designers Guild cut velvet on the top trim. I still had some of the turquiose velvet left to make a piping trim and then I bought some turquiose dupion silk for the lining.

Luckily most of the presents I had bought for mum this year were small enough to fit in the stocking so it ended up being useful!!

Monday, 14 December 2009

The Christmas wrapping dilemma!!

Each year I spend far too long thinking about my wrapping paper.

Now I don't know about you but I must confess that I am a wrapping paper snob. I truly believe that the way a present is wrapped indicates the thought and care that has gone into it and is just as important as what is inside!!

And for Christmas, the present also becomes part of our decorations, spending several days under our trees before being unwrapped.

Last year I bought a giant roll of brown paper along with 100 metres of brown grosgrain ribbon and a circle punch to make my own gift tags out of cream card with buttons and hand drawn stitching. Quite a rustic look, and I was really happy with how the pressies looked, but oh my god, the tags alone took forever and I really don't think anyone really appreciated it apart from my sister who is a fellow crafter! 

This year I planned to make my own paper (red paper with handprinted white polka dots) but had to admit defeat last week when I accepted that I really didn't have the time to do this. So then I searched around for unusual and beautiful (and affordable) handmade or designer wrapping paper - to no avail!! If anyone knows of a good supplier do please let me know!!

My search ended up in Sainsburys where my other half made me choose there and then (knowing how fussy and annoying I am about wrapping paper!!). My final choice was half green damask foiled paper and hot pink and green damask to compliment. The tag selections were awful so I bought plain silver and am jazzing them up with bits of the wrapping paper. Then of course there is the ribbon - a costly detail, but I just couldn't resist - this year I opted for thin velvet ribbon in pinks, purples, greens and kingfisher blues.

Am I one of the last remaining gift wrap snobs? Is it crazy spending so much time and money on something that just gets ripped open and thrown away!?

Saturday, 12 December 2009

I made this! - Christmas Cards!

Wanted to attempt to make some of my own cards this year for my family. Of course somehow I had to incorporate some fabric. After a few unsuccessful experiments I decided to use this simple tree design which was machine "embroidered" in several colourful threads before being cut into the tree shapes.

I then stitched the felt to the front of the card and hand sewed the wooden sequins on to finish!!

Really happy with how these turned out - bright and colourful and simple!!

Less than two weeks to go now!!


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

I made this!! Christmas Stockings!!

So it's my first proper Christmas as a crafter - last year my craftiest effort was using brown paper and making my own button gift tags. Seemed like a good idea at the time but over a hundred presents later it became a little tedious!!

This year I will be buying my gift wrap but making a few presents and decorations instead!!

I've started off with the essential stocking - bought a couple metres of thick red felt (why is this so expensive!?) and a few machine blanket stitches and finishing touches later there are stockings!! The beauty of using felt is that you don't need to worry about linings or right and wrong sides or fraying!! Really like the naive look (I'm good at that!!)

Thursday, 3 December 2009

I made this!! New Batch of Meese!!

Yes I have been busy - been making lots of mice for my NOTHS store, commissions, for friends and as pressies also. I think I can make felt ears in my sleep now!!


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

I made this!! Christmas Sock Mice!!

Ho Ho Ho!!!

Hey look what I've been up to . . .

Yep - more Christmas Sock Mice!!

This time they have little woolly hats and scarves!!

I will also be adding more "non Christmas" sock mice to my NOTHS Store.

Merry Christmas everyone!!


Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Sneaky Peak

Does anyone realise that Christmas is coming?!! (Not Xmas - the abbreviation annoys me!)

So to get into the festive spirit I have created some jolly red and white meeses!!

Will soon be on my NOTHS store which is in desperate need of more mice!

Watch this space . . .

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Oh My Dog!!!

A bit of a change in topic to my usual posts but had to share my photos of this dog that I came across one afternoon in Hong Kong.

Aparantly he is famous in Hong Kong as he wears a different pair of sunglasses every day. He was a very happy looking dog, and was very friendly and calm considering the chaos that is Cheung Sha Wan Road which was right in front of his nose!

If you are ever in Hong Kong pop by Lai Chi Kok MTR and you will find him on the other side of the road (near Starbucks!!).

I promise you he'll be happy to see you!!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Wish you were here!!

Hi everyone!!

Just in case anyone misses me - I am away on business until the 28th of October - off to enjoy the wonders of the Far East!!

My NOTHS store is suspended until then, but if anyone needs to contact me they can drop me a message on thebeautyisinthedetail@gmail.com


Saturday, 10 October 2009

I'm in heaven!

Just a quick mini post - just had to add this lovely image of chairs upholstered in my current fave fabric - Dandelion Clocks by Sanderson (Fiona Howard pattern). I know I've already posted about this before - but hey - you can't get enough of a good thing!!

How lovely is this!??

I have bought several metres of this to make roman blinds from for my guest bedroom - have enough scraps left over for bags!! - Hooray!!

Should fabric make a person so happy??

Monday, 5 October 2009

I made this! - Wooden Button Brooches

Now I know these are nothing new - but after making one of these for myself the other day I thought - hey, other people might like these too - could be a nice idea for my noths shop? I have a growing collection of gorgeous large Italian wooden buttons and already had the brooch backs (from making my corsage brooches) so with a little fiddling around and a little super glue - hey presto - button brooches!!

I couldn't just glue to buttons to the brooch back - that would be too easy!! I had to over complicate things (as usual). I cut out small circles of linen to glue over the brooch backs - so that you cannot see the silver through the button holes (which would look weird) and then I threaded and glued embroidery thread through the holes for the finishing touch!

Friday, 2 October 2009

I made this! - Polka Dot Corsage Brooch

Now you know by now I am quite partial to a polka dot - so much so I am even considering a polka dot wedding dress (don't tell my other half!), so it makes sense that I should make one of my pleated totes in a polka dot fabric!

My sprig tote bag has been very popular so I just had to make a matching corsage brooch for this bag too. I love making corsages - just wish they didn't take me so long!! Will never make my fortune that way!!

I decided to do a little modelling too for the corsage brooch - that's if you can count a shoulder as modelling!!

For those who may want to buy the bag (which comes with or without the corsage) or the corsage on it's own please head to my new Not on the High Street store - click here

Sunday, 20 September 2009

I'm on Not on the High Street!!

Very happy today - my store has launched on the Not on the High Street website this weekend!! Here's the link.

I made the decision to take my work more seriously and find a suitable online outlet after some less than successful craft fairs this summer. I have had such a good response from my work shown on my flickr gallery that I thought - hey I could possibly make a business out of this!! So now The Beauty is in the Detail . . . is a proper "serious" brand!!

Still early days - but if you don't try these things you will never know!! Wish me luck!!


Saturday, 29 August 2009

Fiona Howard

I just love the designs created by Fiona Howard. Such lovely elegant graphic images using a sophisticated colour palette. These mugs shown above are a great example - but there are many more things to be found on her online shop.

Fiona is also responsible for my current favourite design - Dandelion Clocks by Sanderson (see below). Which I will soon be using to make a blind for my spare room!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

for the love of Polka Dots . . .

I'm obsessed!! I now run a group on flickr called For the love of Polka Dots . . . There are other great polka dot groups on there but I'm planning to make mine the prettiest and have a "strict" (as strict as I can be anyway) policy of only accepting the prettiest polka pics!! Here's a few of my faves so far!

Thanks to everyone for such fantastic images!!

1. Polka dots ballerinas, 2. Application, 3. Pink and White Polka Dot Cupcake Liners - Baking Cups, 4. nature pocket jumper, 5. Polka Dots, 6. 005, 7. Untitled, 8. Tulips, 9. Untitled, 10. Untitled, 11. Bye bye!, 12. Gretelies Tasche - Bag , 13. taggie legs, 14. Happy dotty duckie, 15. MacBook Envelope - 13", 16. Polka dot top

Friday, 7 August 2009

I made this! - Mortimer Sock Mouse!

This is my newest addition to my sock mouse family. A commission for Zoë Power. The brief was that he or she had to be pink and purple. Recently if I come across a pair of socks I like I just have to buy them now - it's become an obsession! This time I had to hunt down the right pair - not as easy as you would think - even when I had the whole of Oxford Street to choose from!!

But finally in Topshop I spied this lovely pair - and I just love how the large spots work with the shape. This time I made the heart belly a little smaller so it didn't wrap around the sides too much and I used piping inside the tail to create the nice rounded shape. Not content with having Molly Mouse my friend Mandy has commission me to make another mouse now with the other sock in this pair!

Think this sock mouse lark might be taking over my life . . .

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Craft Fair! - Tunbridge Wells Pantiles

Well - my first "proper" craft fair - or Craft Market as it is officially called. Spent every spare hour preparing, writing lists, stressing. Still didn't have enough stock really to fill up the stall but it wasn't a problem in the end as I only sold three things!! So depressed! Think I am better spending off my time selling online - so my next job is to list everything on my Esty and Folksy stores - can't get any worse I guess!! :0(

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Craft Fair! - Tunbridge Wells AEC

So I had my first craft fair - it was organised by Bev Russell from Tunbridge Wells Adult Education as a chance for students to learn how to sell and to promote the courses.

Was a bit daunting to start with as I didn't know anyone - was the only person from my Soft Furnishings course who exhibited.

Had few pieces pre-prepared, but when I realised just a few days beforehand that I had a whole table to fill on my own I panicked and spent every spare hour sewing - which was great fun - but slightly stressful.

Wasn't the busiest craft fair I have ever been to and halfway through after only selling three things I was feeling a little despondent but things did pick up towards the end.

The best part was meeting all the other sellers - such a lovely bunch of people.

Can't wait to do my next fair now!!

I made this! - Polka Dot Teacup Pincushion!

Another one for the craft fair - this is now the third teacup pincushion I have made - and I think this is my favourite! Loved the leaves on Dianes Teacup and was itching to add more colour and pattern so used one of my last remaining scraps of my vintage floral print cotton.

Have shown my work in progress as I often get asked how I make these. This latest one has a little lavender bag inside it also - just for the hell of it!!

I made this! - Lavender Birds!

Still love anything birdy - so was dying to make my own bird hangers. Thought they would be great for my very first craft fair - they went down a treat luckily - especially as they took much longer than expected to make!

I made this! - Doorstops!

Used a pattern from one of my favourite books - Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter.

The largest one is from the actual pattern and the two smaller ones are a scaled down version as I found the original to be too large - and costly to fill!

I adapted the handle from Lotta's original specification as I prefer it to be the full width with the ends hidden in the seams - you just have to make sure that you really securely stitch the ends inside the seams as they are pretty heavy.

Pretty easy to make - just have to take it slow and be careful when you attach the top section as if you are slightly misaligned it will look pants.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

I made this! - Sock Mouse!

Always been a bit of an animal lover - especially anything cute and furry.

So I thought I would turn my burgeoning sewing skills towards creating something cute and woolly!

As I cannot knit I thought I would make good use of the many colourful pairs of socks that are bought for me each Christmas - many of which remain unworn.

If anyone wants to try making one of these here's my mini tutorial -

1. Firstly take a sock - preferably clean - preferably unworn. Cut down the back through the heel to the toe

2. Cut a heart shape out of the sock - any shaped heart will do!

3. If you want to add an appliqué shape on the belly then you will need to pin the sock heart shape onto an embroidery frame - I used some hideous fabric that I wouldn't dare use on anything else - don't worry no-one will see it!! Then I pin the appliqué fabric in position and draw the shape I want in chalk. Using a close together zig zag stitch you carefully sew round your shape.

4. Remove the fabric from the frame - cut off any excess hideous fabric then very carefully trim around your appliqué shape. The first time I tried this I snipped through the sock and had to start again!

5. Now is the time to decide to what kind of tail your mouse should have. On Marvin mouse I spent forever turning piping inside out - which creates a stiff rat like tail. For Molly mouse, she has a more simpler tail - a strip of fabric with the raw edges folded in twice - stitched one line along the whole length then knotted the end!

6. Once you have trimmed off all the fabric and made your tail fold the shape in half and pin. Contrary to my photo I would advise starting from the tail end - if you look closely at my photo you can see a white mark on the right hand side - this was my stop sewing mark. If you start from that end and sew towards the nose end it is much easier!! Learn from my mistakes. Before you start sewing tuck the tail inside and position - it is much neater and more secure if you machine sew this on as part of the seam.

7. Once you have sewn the back seam, turn inside out making sure the nose is as pointy as possible and start stuffing! I use natural lambswool but you can use anything you like.

8. When you have finished stuffing you will need to weight the mouses bottom - I use a large plastic button which weights it and creates a flat surface helping your mouse sit up. But I'm sure there are many other ways to do this!!

9. This is a rare sight of Molly's bottom! This part needs to be hand sewn. Naturally the open ends come together as shown above - but if yours doesn't just trim bits off until it does!! Tuck the raw edges in and use invisible stitching (ish) to bring it all together.

10. All you need to do now if add the finishing touches - The ears - are just two Pac Man shaped pieces of felt, and the eyes and nose very small buttons - but beads could work just as well.

The Beauty of these little meeses is that they will all be different - no matter how many you make!!

Would love to see other peoples sock mice - post a link to your image - or share on flickr. Other images of Molly and Marvin can be seen on my flickr gallery