Saturday, 30 January 2010

Darling Buds of May 1950's Summer Fete Handmade Wedding!!

Apologies for the crazy title - but it gives an indication of the feel I am after - shame our budget didn't stretch to hiring out a barn - but hopefully we can get a small scale version of this look in our back garden!!

My simple but complicated wedding!!

Last year my boyfriend of 9 years proposed to me - we have lived together for most of this time and to all intents and purposes were like a married couple anyway - but now we are both in our 30's we thought it was the right time to do it!

Now probably unlike most women I have never dreamt about the big white wedding, in fact the whole idea scares the life out of me - but I realised not so long ago that I could actually make this a day I would enjoy - it might not be everyone's idea of the perfect day, but for me it's just right!

So, the plan is to get married in our local registry office - which luckily for us is a beautiful old building by a river with a small park next to it. I am not religious so getting married in church wasn't the right thing for me. Of course I want to arrive at the registry office in a car - no Rolls Royce for me though, I'd much prefer a convertible Morris Minor!!

Oh I forgot - the dress. Well being on the plumper side of plump I really didn't relish the thought of finding a dress - and especially not one made from Duchess Satin, in fact I really don't want a wedding dress at all - but I realised that I do need to it some way look like I am the bride and not a guest so I have designed my version of a wedding dress - it will be a 1950's style tea dress, calf length, in white linen with a colourful patterned waistband/sash. Then to add a bit of drama - I want to have a pink tulle netting underskirt and possibly colourful flat shoes (cannot walk in heels!)

Luckily I know a lovely lady who will be able to make this for me - so I have avoided the horror of bridalware shops and the embarrassment of trying to find a dress I can squeeze into!! And although spending a lifetime trying to lose weight I am not crash dieting for my wedding day - if I lose weight that's good - if not,  well my OH still loves me!!

So over the next few months I will be blogging about my preparations and inspirations in the run up to the big day - which is on the 26th June this year. We haven't left ourselves much time to prepare, but I am really trying to keep things simple - 50 or so guests for the wedding and meal then 80 in total for the evening reception which we are holding in our small backgarden!!

I have put a few of the many, many images in the collage above - and if I achieve a fraction of this loveliness I will be happy - I have also put together galleries on flickr if anyone is interested - Wedding Galleries

Wish me Luck!!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Charity Auction - Marty the Handmade Felt Mouse!

Wanted to do my bit to try and raise some money for the people of Haiti after the terrible earthquake so I thought I would donate one of my latest creations - Marty the Needle Felted Mouse.

I have put him on ebay - the auction ends just before 8pm on Sunday 24th January 2010. Here is the link to the listing - Link to Ebay I have started the auction at £5.99.  

All proceeds will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee

I really hope that Marty raises a good amount as they really do need all the help they can.


Update 24th Jan 2010
Marty has sold - to the lovely Michelle! Thank you to everyone who bid, Marty is extremely flattered and impressed by your generosity!!


Thursday, 14 January 2010

I made this! - Felt Buttons

Just a quick post to show off my new felt buttons - love making these!!

Thinking of making them into brooches, hair clips etcs.

What does everyone think?

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Needle Felting

For those who have seen my flickr photos recently you may have noticed my latest obsession - needle felting!

I received a book for Christmas called "little felted animals" by Marie-Noëlle Horvath (click here for the Amazon link), and this inspired me to try my hand at needle felting, which up until then I had been completely ignorant about if I'm totally honest!

For those who may equally be in the dark, in simple terms needle felting is the art of making shapes out of wool fibres (carded or combed). You need a special felting needle for this which has little barbs which cause the wool fibres to knit together when you jab into the wool with it. I bought myself a little starter kit on ebay (click here for the listing link) which is ideal for beginners.

Above I have shown some of the things I have made this week. My first item was the mouse (Marty) who wasn't initially supposed to be a mouse but just an experiment, but strangely enough a mouse started to appear!! Then I made a toadstool - just because I love toadstools!! Then I made a piece of cheese for Marty, see the steps below which show how this turned from a cloud of yellow wool into a slightly strange looking piece of emmental!! My last piece was a corsage flower which I attached happily to my new grey woolly jacket today - can't wait to make more of these, can see these being a favourite of mine!!

You can buy so many different colours of wool - or if you are feeling adventurous you can dye your own - might leave this to the experts though!!

The great thing about needle felting is how quick and easy it is. You will probably end up stabbing yourself a few times along the way as you do jab quite quickly once you get the hang of it - but it helps to keep your eye on the ball!! Before I started, I watched a few videos about needle felting on Youtube as I couldn't quite believe that all you had to do is jab at the wool - it seemed too easy!! And there are no hard and fast rules, just the more you jab the denser the shape gets - simples!!

There are some amazing felt artists out there such as Kit Lane, Lil Fish Studios (Lisa Jordan) and Vria Lee (Victor Dubrovsky) to name but a few - please do check out their links - you will be amazed!!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Craft Review 2009

Well, I finally had a few minutes spare to gather my thoughts about 2009. For me it was a year in which I re-discovered my creativity and finally felt that others appreciated what I made. Ironic really considering that my day job is as a product designer!! And for the past 9 years most days I have been designing and developing giftwares for thousands of people to buy and give as presents.

When you work in mass produced products you lose your connection to the item. It is produced rarely for its aesthetic beauty or to win design awards - it is created purely to make the most amount of profit - 70% usually for the big High Street guys!! (Don't tell them I told you that!!). Don't get me wrong, I do like my day job - much better than previous jobs (chambermaid, cleaner, checkout girl, office junior, pound shop worker, call centre salesperson, canteen assistant, graphic designer), and I still get excited when a DHL arrives at work from one of the Chinese factories with my designs inside.

But it's different when you have crafted something by hand, tweaking the design along the way. Wondering whether it is something you could sell, something a friend or family member would like - or even something to keep myself!! Not overly caring that you have just spent £20 on materials, thread, books, a new pair of scissors, buttons, ribbons or just had to buy a new desk, or chair or storage unit to house your ever expanding stash! It's not about the money for me - it's about the sense of achievement and the thrill of other people noticing my work and commenting - and when I sell something I get a real rush of adrenalin - followed usually by a tinge of sadness knowing that I cannot keep it for myself now!

Learning to sew again and embroider, appliqué, lino printing and needle felting have made me a much happier person - and the friends I have made - mostly online through this blog, flickr and twitter have opened my eyes to a whole new world - one that suits me down to the ground. Not only can I be creative with pretty fabric I can also indulge my inner geek and learn about blogging, seo's, keywords, meta tags and nettiquette (still need to work on that!!).

Before I blether on too much, just a wish for 2010 - that I can find more time and energy to do the things that I love!

Happy New Year everyone!!


(these are just a few of my creations from the past year - the whole collection can be found on my flickr page)