Friday, 29 March 2013

Coming soon...

I have been a little quiet over the past few weeks, but the cogs have been turning; I've been mulling over the idea of featuring a regular slot on my blog to showcase fellow crafter's work, but I feel Folksy Friday is already well covered by the stirling efforts of quite a few crafters on Folksy - so what could I do? I've come up with an idea, which I'm going to call  Pin Board. Each week I will feature one folksy seller, with a picture and link to their shop and fire three questions at them. So I really hope you can join me for that!

I also want to begin showing you how I make my cats - sometimes fiddly, sometimes frustrating, but always rewarding. To kick this off, here is sneak preview; one of my cats in the making.

 This is one of my Trivial Travels cats and you can see that I begin by creating the face and then go on to applique the scene.

It's strange how, as soon as you add two eyes to something, it immediately takes on a personality and this is a stage I especially enjoy; even though the facial formula is pretty much the same for each cat, no two have ever looked the same - even something as slight as the angle of the vintage buttons I use for the eyes can make a difference. It's an unknown quantity and it never fails to fascinate and entertain me!

Next time I'll take you back to the start and show you how I begin the process; plus a few of the new ideas I'm experimenting with.

Work has also begun in my allotment, although the weather has set back the plans I had to start getting my seedlings in.

I'm so pleased I decided not to use a rotavator, but to dig out the weeds by hand; these were mostly dock, with long tap roots and I knew if I chopped those up I would be asking for trouble this year.

When I went to check the plot last week, there were very few weeds coming through, may be a dozen!

Now I'm just waiting for the weather to improve, so I can really begin planting out.

Someone else has been patiently waiting for the Spring to finally get its act together and send us a bit of warmth!

Like all cats, comfort comes high on Boo's list of priorities.
He has poked his nose outside only to relieve himself and is soon protesting at the back door to be let in and resume his nap on the comfiest chair near the stove!

I found this picture of him, taken last year in the garden - I'm sure this is what he is dreaming of.

Just to finish for today - sales on Folksy have been good for me so far this year and today I made my 100th sale. Here is the little guy that did it for me - another of my Love 'n Kisses.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Folksy Friday

March Back in Time

My first go at a Folksy Friday and I'm so excited to share with you a few of the great shops I've found on Folksy! My chosen theme is all things vintage, because I just love it. So sit back, march back in time and let the nostalgia wash over you!

Silent Theatre

Silent Theatre is one of my favourite shops on Folksy and has some gorgeous art prints sourced by Berkshire-based designer, Clare. I think Clare has a real flare for finding art work which, for me, sums up the golden era of days gone by.

Once Clare  has found the right piece of art work, she incorporates it into her own unique design, using her photo editing skills.
The art work I've chosen is entitled Art Nouveau Vintage Jewels and I just love the serenity in this picture. If you would like to see more of Clare's work, visit her Folksy shop at:

Mache Moon

What  a great idea to encapsulate time in a fashion bangle! What really strikes me about these gorgeous chunky bangles is that, as well as being a great piece of vintage art - they're so wearable.

Vintage Flower Decoupage Bangle

Mache Moon is the creation of Belinda Nicholson.

Belinda loves to upcycle and her chosen media is paper mache.

I think it's great that an item you can cherish had a 'previous life'!

All Belinda's bangles are finished off with varnish to make sure they are really hard wearing.

You can also find adorable Teddy Bears made from Paper Mache too - visit Belinda's Folksy shop Mache Moon at

Ultimo Clump

I go quite weak at the knees when I see vintage buttons!
So imagine my delight when I stumbled across this fantastic shop on Folksy.
26 Vintage Gold Buttons

Ceri Dawkins stocks a mouth-watering range of vintage supplies, including this pack of 26 vintage gold buttons.

I also just love the way Ceri is packaging her supplies; it's clear to see exactly what you're getting and has a real vintage feel to it.

If you want to see some more of the goodies Ceri has in stock, visit her shop at:

Ginger's Altered Bits

Fantastic name for a shop!     Designer and maker Carol Fox is based in East Anglia, where she works with a mix of new and reclaimed items

Just look at this beautiful fridge magnet! It's made from a game domino.

Vintage Domino Fridge magnet

carol's vintage fridge magnets are finished off with a coat of clear resin and this particular one has a copper dragonfly detail.

The effect is just gorgeous and I really like the whole steam punk theme in Carol's shop.

If you would like to see more of Carol's work,
visit her shop and take a peek.
Sew Amy

Amy Thompson's Trash to Treasure theme is just so inspiring.

Amy makes a stunning range of vintage themed books; notebooks; guestbooks and journals.

I feel so inspired when I look at the tremendous detail Amy puts into all her projects.

This lovely journal just makes me feel I want to open the pages inside and get writing about my life!

If you want to see some more of Amy's work, do visit her shop  - I guarantee you will feel as inspired as me.

So that's it! I do hope you've enjoyed looking at the work of these tallented designers as much as I have and thanks so much to all of them for being such good sports and letting me have my first little dabble at a Folksy Friday. Happy crafting everyone. X

Friday, 1 March 2013

Early Makes

Old Bag
It's interesting to look back at some early makes, to see how I've 'grown' from a design perspective. When I first began crafting in textiles, it really was an exercise in self discovery. Just what was I capable of making, with the limited knowledge and skills I had at the time.

I was exploring a new media, which was to lead me into all sorts of unexplored territory, before I finally settled on the collectable cats I make today!

American Tourist

I sourced my fabrics from the charity shops on my doorstep, as they were cheap and easily accessible - plus it was nice to feel I was giving something back.

'T' shirts were an interesting buy, as they came in a variety of flesh colours and inspired my early makes of little characters. I had the most enormous fun making these!

Fi Fi

I really learned a lot of new needle skills making these little people. I worked entirely by hand, as the projects were too small to use a sewing machine on, especially an electric one.

The fabric had to be eased through the fingers gently and my stitching had to be tiny - there was little room for mistakes, or it would stand out like a sore thumb!

Onion Seller

I gradually developed an eye for design, texture and colour; the skills I would need to compete in my chosen market.

Although I loved making these small characters, they were clearly not going to be viable as a product to market; it took me all day to make just one figure and who would be prepared to pay the £20 at least I would want?

It was back to the drawing board!

But this little project had served a purpose; it gave me an invaluable training and whetted my appetite.

With my new skills sharpened and enthusiasm bubbling, I felt ready to come up with a design I could market.

My motto has always been 'Keep it Simple'. That has remained my mantra when designing my collectable cats.

I base my patterns on simple shapes that are easy to assemble and recreate.

Trivial Travels Cat

All that style evolution has finally led to this little guy - the latest in my range of Trivial Travels Cats.

I'm really enjoying making these heavily appliqued cats.

I always strengthen my appliqued fabrics with some fusible interfacing. It gives structure and stops a lot of fraying - although I like to see the odd fibre here and there, as it adds interest.