Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Crafts December 19

Ok, so for some reason crafting came back to me a bit at the end of the year. I realised nothing was going to sell if I didn't actually  have insurance and start listing things, so I reached down the back of the sofa, checked pockets etc to see if I could scrape together insurance money.
Then I heard the call of a local Craft and Vintage Fair, I said Id never do one again, but I did.
I have low will power.

I spent weeks preparing, pricing things, trying to find display stuff, the fair happened, I made some money, then spent most of it on a skirt that was singing to me on the stall next to me.
On the one side, as it was vintage it was a teeny tiny size, it had a 29" waist, on the plus side I am an awesome sewist, it had pleats so I knew I could take it out to fit my less than vintage waist.

 Here it is, brace yourselves.

It's long and made from wool with  a glorious print on pink and orange, it sounds awful but I love it.
Apologies for the awful 2nd photo.

I've been trying to make items out of things I already have.

Necklaces from letter press stamps. Necklaces

More soldered shadow box necklaces. I tried to be modern by using a pop song lyric. Then I went for an olde worlde sewing theme. Shadow box necklace

Some recycled chandelier glass pieces which I have soldered around, added diamante and chain, to make into Xmas tree decorations Decorations there are other Xmas items to look at on my site.

A glass with a soldered on chain to hang on a tree, add wrapped sweets.

And I've dyed some old linens to give a more modern look. 

I decided to make my own Xmas cards to give to friends this year so I've been drawing, a robin on a toadstool this time. All the drawing has made me want to make my own rubber stamps again. 

I think that's it, not much to show for a year but hopefully I'l get back into the swing of things.

TTFN and have a Merry Christmas and an alcohol laden New Year.

Friday, 13 September 2019

2019 crafting so far

Hi Folks, it's been a while I know.
Last Christmas I sold at a couple of fairs and online but had a really uneventful time of it.
This usually happens in December, low sales and low crafting spirits, but this year seems to have been worse. The crafting lull usually lasts all of January, then I'm back into the swing of things after then. My craft insurance ended and I didn't see the point in renewing it. This year the lull has lasted most of the year.
But I have done some things.
I've sewn 2 dresses.
I've started to buy soldering bits and pieces but I haven't got the 'oomph' to make anything with them, buying things may be a good sign but nothing like the love I used to have for crafting over the last 15 years.
Mix that with still no interesting jobs on the horizon, budgeting,  and people I fancy not fancying me(nothing new there admittedly), all in all I'm at a bit of a low point.

Anyhoo, enough of the violin strings.

This is what I have done....

                                    This is a bad photo of a wrap round dress, 1970's style.
 A similar idea as the previous wrap dress but made in denim. I have a thing for denim this year, mixed with lace. I used an old piece of lace I bought from an antiques market to create a detailed pocket. I haven't worn this dress yet but hopefully I will by the end of the year.
                                                             Pocket detail in the making.

Not only have I been sewing a bit but I've been to a couple of places. Cotswold Wildlife Park with the family which I thoroughly recommend.
Also, wait for it, I went to London to the Tate Britain to see the Van Gogh Exhibition. I received 3 VG books last Christmas and had/have a bit of an obsession with him. I recommend Bernadette Murphys book called Van Goghs Ear.
We were allowed to take photos while there which is unusual. I'm glad of it though, as you can imagine, it was packed and I couldn't push people out of the way so I could have a proper look. I really wanted to see the brushstrokes.
Here are a few of the pics...
 Starry Night was absolutely stunning, the colour of the sky in the top middle is indescribable.
 Here is a close up of another painting, hopefully you can see the brushstrokes if you can increase the size of the picture(click on it, see what happens).
                                                                  The man himself.
His signature can be seen if you tilt your head and squint.

So, its now September, the weather is fluctuating, today its nice and sunny which is uplifting.
I hope you are all ok and are having a great crafting journey.

Oh and I forgot to say, I had my ears pierced again. It may be part of my mid life crisis but lets face it, its yet another way of wearing more jewellery which is never a bad thing.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

New necklaces

HI Folks, its been a while.
I've rounded down my work to sewing and soldering and I've decided to stop selling at craft fairs, no profit, no point.
So I'm focusing everything on shadow box pendants and sewing things like bags, but mainly I'm sewing for myself #yippee.

I have a few necklaces I've made. After what seems like an eternity trying to make boxes for pendants I finally had a breakthrough.
As I may have mentioned I love images from history. I'm glad to say I'm old enough to have heard of Vaudeville and crinolines but young enough to want to learn the dances from The Greatest Showman. If a kids see's somebody wearing a necklace I've made, and they wonder who it is in the image or who painted the painting then Id be very happy.

So, enough of my waffle, here are some necklaces I've made and maybe a few other things to show you.

New jewellery

Clara Bow

Monochrome Frida. I'm making more colourful versions too.

The Lady of Shalott by Waterhouse. I created a new box pendant but upcycled an old necklace to embellish it.

Mermaid necklace featuring a Waterhouse image.

Weeping angel, sadly I don't know the painter.

Waterhouse, The Soul of the Rose. Yes, I think Im obsessed with Waterhouse!

I'm such an idiot accidently adding this twice.

Colourful Frida Kahlo necklace, she sold before I listed it on Folksy!!
I'm working on how to make the shadow box pendants hinged with a door, its tricky but fun.
I hope to make more Frida necklaces dip into the world of Van Gogh too.
I think the metal boxes lend themselves nicely to Gothic accessories so I'l look into images for that theme too.
here are a few things I've mad e for myself or things I've been messing around with.
A wrap round dress for me. it loos odd because I'm a lot bigger than the mannequin its on.
Not sure if this video will work but I like to use moulds, so I've been having fun experimenting. We have had candy skulls which are still popular but I think shrunken heads may be a new thing.

This is a new dress for me.with a cobra, beetle  and flower print on it.

I've been working on more dolls. I recently sent 2 to America!!
Everything I make can be seen in my Folksy shop(link above)
Here is my Facebook page if you'd like to follow the good and bad things that happen in my world of craft.
That's it from me for now. I hope you are all enjoying your crafts. Add links of your work to my comments if you wish.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Depression Mode

A friend of mine wrote this and thought I'd pass it on to anyone that's suffering. Please note this is a very lighthearted view written after their medication, pre medication would have been very different.........

Depression was described to me about 12-15 years ago as, when you know you love something but don't feel it.
I started to cry , I didn't know how I felt was 'a thing' seeing as I'd been like it for so long.
It took me over a decade to do something about it.

Do you really want to hurt me.
I worked at a God forsaken place for 5 God forsaken years. I had 4 bosses, 2 of them decided I was to blame for everything that went wrong, which was mostly caused by them . If I said the sky was blue, they would say 'no, its yellow with stripes'. they were that idiotic and had to dominate the little employee.
Like the good little person that I am, not wanting to anger my parents and for the pay(which wasn't great) I stayed.

Over the next few years things just got worse. Id seemed to have stopped having emotions, maybe to hide how badly I had been treated, I didn't want to show signs of weakness, I couldn't show how I felt at work or at home,so I just carried on as if everything was ok. All the time in my head I had the worst thoughts eating away at everything. Telling me how crap I am, Im useless, I shouldn't have my own opinions etc

Gradually being used as a verbal punch bag effected me to the point of going bonkers (in my head)  Id gradually given up caring and quit my job.

So yes I felt a bit better, my parents noticed I was happier. But that's on the outside.

What happens on the outside isn't always what's going on the inside.

I will try to recall how depression feels. Please don't think Im cured, but I am a lot better.
I felt like my head was in a fish bowl.
People didn't seem real.
Its such an effort just to smile, even time with friends was a challenge. I had to think of things to say to react to a conversation or Id just sit there and say nothing. I had to act like I was interested, in most cases I was interested, I just couldn't muster up a reaction.
There were bad, negative thoughts constantly going through my head.
I felt nothing positive.
Smiling is very tricky and led to me just wanting to cry.
Anxiety levels are high in certain situations.
And yes, I was suicidal for most of that time.
Thats just a hint of it, sadly a side effect of medication is memory loss, but its not all bad, there's good to come(keep reading)

Too shy shy.
I hate talking about me(but I can type like a looney so get comfy).
I'm useless at job interviews and just as bad at talking to a doctor. Thank goodness for emails and blogs.
So 10+ years came and went, each day getting worse and worse. During that time I went through a period of hearing voices or things outside my head when I was alone, but I went through phases, the voices didn't last long and didn't say anything bad. Years went by again, I was in such a bad place I had completely broken down on the inside, I could no longer function as a human being and HAD to go to the doctors.

Tears for Fears
I had to see a doctor.It took a few days to get through, due to nerves/doctors not being available, but eventually I got through. Just making the phone call(not an appointment) was enough.
As soon as I got off the phone I was so proud of myself for doing something about it, then a split second later I burst into tears with complete and utter relief that Id started to do something about it. It was the best cry Id ever had in my entire life, I sobbed, fell to the floor, I totally broke down.

Open your heart
Eventually I spoke to a very nice doctor who invited me to an appointment in about 2 hours from the call. Yes I was fricking nervous but I was like a robot by then, I had to help myself.
I was so relieved that they believed me.
Nothing came out right, I barely said anything that was in my head.

Doctor and the Medics
I was given some tablets which took about 6 weeks to truly kick in.
I tried 3 different types over  year.
Sadly one of the side effects for me is memory loss(have I already said that?)

So gradually as time went by, I started to feel better. I laughed more easily(well I laughed, I hadn't done that for ages)I smiled more easily and the negative thoughts eating away at my brain can still be heard but they are muffled. They are still there but they are in another room,  with the door closed.

I started taking tablets at the start of the year, by Christmas I was off them and don't really feel like I need them.

As I said before I'm not cured. I still don't have positive feelings which is heart breaking but the negativity has seriously reduced which is great.
I told the doc about the memory loss(have I mentioned that can be a side effect) he left me with  a prescription so if my mood was low I had something to try.

I should be so lucky
Since then we have had some crappy family news so my smile has been tougher to conjure up. I'm currently not on any tablets but its good to know I have something if I need it.

Some of the most entertaining people in celeb land  have depression, (correct me if Im wrong) Rob Delaney, Carrie Fisher, Robin Williams, Ruby Wax and I think we would all consider them to be very popular people and fun to be around but we don't know what its like in their heads.

 I think I'm trying to say that yes some people feel awkward about it(I havn't even told my family about any of this so please keep it to yourselves if you know me).
I cant give any advice to anybody who has a friend of loved one with depression. Personally a hug wouldn't have helped me but it may help someone else. Though I am always up for a hug whether it helps or not.
And please don't tell someone with depression to cheer up. THEY CANNOT HELP IT. Nobody wants to be like this, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy(though I secretly would wish it on the person that made me this way)

Everything counts in large amounts
So, if I have inspired just one person to be brave and make a doctors appointment I would be absolutely chuffed to bits(without actually feeling it)
PLEASE MAKE THE CALL. If I can do it, anybody can.

I thoroughly recommend the books written by Ruby Wax that she has written about her mental health issues. A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled is particularly good.There's some good advice and an understanding as to what's happening in your brain.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Ink and water card toppers craft tutorial

I've been having more fun with my water spritzer bottle and washable pens. I thought Id share my experiments with you so you can design your own toppers.

You will need - paper/card to work on and card with a shape cut out. Water bottle spritzer, water soluble pens, water proof work surface..
I have used my die cutter to make a heart shape in some card to create a stencil, but you can choose what shape you use for your project.

Place shaped stencil onto a piece of card you are using for your topper. Using water soluble pens draw round the inside of the shape. Pen will transfer onto the stencil piece of card so you can use that in projects too(see  pic further down).

Using your spritzer bottle spray on top of  the shape you have drawn. You can leave the stencil in place as it may help  to control where the ink travels, or take it away for a more unstructured look.

In a few seconds the water mixed with ink from the pens will start to move the colour around creating a gorgeous water colour look.

Because of the water on the card, the card may buckle, meaning the water will roll and drip to the edges of the card, so you may want to flatten it, depending on where you want the water to flow.

Here is the card stencil I used, it has some ink on the inside so I added water and the colour flows.

Here are both elements with the beautiful, colourful results

I've added some rubber stamped letters

And cut out the stencil to create a different type of topper

This is just a basic idea of what the final elements can look like but you can add your own style to make it even more one of a kind.
This is an image of a Valentines card I have made using the same idea for the heart.
I've been sewing again, here a  couple of new make up bags I've made, each  one of a kind. You can find my work here if you'd like to see more of my work.   My crafts 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

New year, new crafts

So its new year, well a few days in. My health kick lasted a matter of hours and I've already spent all craft vouchers  I got at Xmas on many craft supplies.

I just thought Id check in and say what I've been up to.

I may have mentioned that I'm trying to reduce my crafts so I can focus more. I'm focusing on rubber stamped or hand drawn greeting cards, sewing and soldering.

I think I will just bombard you with a load of images of what I've been making.

I had some drawing made into rubber stamps.

 Then I realised I could just draw things, scan them and create images with photo editing. I hope to make this little owl as a birthday card. I have to work out what she should be sitting on first.
 Another card from my rubber stamps
 Card and matching pillow box.

 I love seahorses so I drew a seahorse with a unicorns horn, no idea if they have a name, Im going to call them Sea-corns.
 A penguin and baby penguin, are they called pufflings? I'm not sure. I hope to make this into a birthday card too.
 This is my latest design, with people going through tough times in mind. The Juggler.
 I hope to make more of these paper doll cards too.
All of my work can be found in my Folksy shop and you can learn a lot more of the inspiration behind them,  or I have a number of other items in my Etsy shop. Ive reduced my handmade cushions and you'll find some jewellery on there too.