Saturday, 13 April 2013

From the top...

I thought you might like to see how I make my cats and probably the best way to do that, is in sections.

So, to begin, this is how it all starts...

I used a circle for my pattern, cutting it down
Heavy weight interfacing

to the portion I needed to give an interesting body shape.

I use a heavy-weight interfacing to give form and structure

and I iron this onto the linen, or whatevery fabric I'm

going to use - I never bother to pin iron-on interfacing by

the way. Why make extra work!

My selection of embroidery threads
I use various cotton reels to draw around for the eye

patch, for which I use recycled felt; made from old

plastic bottles and this is stitched into place with

embroidery thread. I like to use different shades and it's

surprising what a subtle difference the colour of a thread

can have on the whole effect.

Some of my fabrics
 Only a fellow crafter will understand when I say it's a joy to

sift through my fabrics to choose just the right one to

create something that is pleasing to the eye.

I enjoy using cottons, as there is so much choice in pattern.

I use a medium-weight interfacing to strengthen any fabric

I'm going to applique - and it stops fraying.

So this is how I begin to assemble materials I will use in the

making of one of my cats. It's a process which has become as

much a part of my life now as cleaning my teeth before bed!

But I enjoy it tremendously and it's always exciting to watch

these inanimate objects take on a personality.

Next time, I'll show you how this process evolves and some

of the new ideas I've been experimenting with.

Now for the moment you've all been waiting for; my new Blog feature, Pinboard

I've chosen a very tallented maker as my first crafter and I'm sure great things are

destined for her.

I first came across the delightful baby shoes of Momatuvi whilst visiting the Folksy

forums and only wished I had a small pair of feet to fit into them!

Baby Booties Blue Mini Heart
Tanya is self taught and designs the shoes


They are stitched by hand and you can see

the tremendous care that goes into each

pair of shoes.

I asked Tanya a few questions about her

venture and here's what she told me...

Q. What inspires you?

'One of the main things that helps me to stay motivated is the craft that I do. I absolutely love making baby shoes. I have found over the years that when I'm doing something that I don't really enjoy or I'm not that interested in, then I find myself becoming more and more bored with it, until eventually I just stop doing it. Doing what you love is a great motivation.'

Q. How do you see your enterprise developing in the future?

'I actually can't visualise my business as an enterprise just yet, as it's more of a hobby that's growing organically into a business. I know it's a good idea to have a business plan and set goals, but for me, I prefer to let things progress naturally. Money is not a motivation for me, although it does feel good when I sell something.'

Q. If you could give one tip to fellow crafters, what would it be?

'I have been an artist all my life and I've found that the only person to criticise my me. My tip to fellow crafters is to 'believe' in yourself and know that someone will like your work and want to purchase it. How to find that someone is all down to promotion. Potential customers don't know your product exists, if they're not told/shown that it exists. My advice is to get your work out there through different social media platforms, supermarket notice boards, leave business cards every where and anywhere that's allowed. Sell at craft fairs and boot sales. Have a little get together/party with your products on display and encourage your friends to invite their friends to it (without obligation to purchase anything). Network with other business and crafters maybe even use their products within your own products. And generally talk about it to friends and family'.

Many thanks to Tanya for taking part and I know you will be itching to take a look at her Folksy shop - so here is the link