Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend Creations

Oh it feels good to have a relaxing weekend. The past few weekends, we have been busy with house DIY (well, Joe has!) and generally getting to house up and running to be a comfortable home. Since we haven't really rested since moving in - always busy every weekend, this weekend it's been a delight to do not so much at all.

We went out on Friday night to meet some friends in the pub, and we watched England play Moldova in football (World cup 2014 qualifiers) and yesterday we went out for a wander. I have also had time to make some more leafy-earrings for my Etsy Shop.

There was an autumn challenge on CRAFT PIMP, so leafy earrings in Autumn colours were an obvious idea and a good opportunity to get the resin out again after all these months. They turned out better than what I had imagined they would. Sothey're straight on up and into the Etsy shop.

and then, i didn;t stop there, I made some in some woodland colours.

Nice fun earrings to make. I have lots of colours in the resin, so maybe I need to do some more shapes! I'm stuck on leaves at the moment! Got any ideas?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yay! I'm back online! Etsy Shop 20% Sale!

I hate reading blogs where they start “oh it’s been so long since I last posted …“ but this time I find it’s me that has so say that, and I am so sorry!!

As some of you know, OH and I have been building a house here in Germany and it’s come with challenges (FYI German efficiency is a MYTH!) It came with delays upon delays. Also having a landlord who would not let us extend our notice period, meant that we had to move into temporary accommodation until the house was ready. We thought at that point, 6 weeks max … but it got longer and longer and ended up being just over 4 months in total. All of our personal things were put into storage, including my crafts and jewellery making things – and we have been living with just the basic requirements and the TV.  

Life also brought upon us a surprise in the form of a pregnancy. J I’ve had all the usual suspects of symptoms, but now I’ve just reached over the half way point. We know that we are going to have a little boy (also to be known in the future as the best goalkeeper England will ever have!) he’s healthy and growing in all the right ways and we are so happy to be starting a family.

Well a few weeks ago now – we moved into our little house, and this week we have really started to feel like we’re at home. New furniture is on order. We have the cat back. The kitchen is almost finished. Not every room has lights, but the critical ones do. Boxes are no way near unpacked, but the main ones are and the others can be done in time, and we no longer living amongst too much chaos! Thankfully.

So, what do I do to create chaos? I bring out the beads … !
I feel like a kid in a candystore. There’s been so much that I have been missing out on, creative urges have just had to be suppressed for the past few months so now I’ve come back to it all – it’s typical that I don't know where to start.
I want to make jewellery, beaded beads, more cluster necklaces as I had some wonderful designs in my head in the past few months, I also want to sew, make iphone pouches, curtains for the house, and now there will be stuff I want to make for the babys room, like button pictures and bright curtains … where to start?

Nobody knows! I’ll start by making a mess probably.

I also needed to blog on here, catch up with you all, catch up with my friends and crafty peeps on craftpimp, beadbuddies and crafteroo forums. I’ve missed those nutters!

I've reopened last night my Etsy shop, relisted some of the deactivated items, I will have to list some new things that never got listed on Etsy in the first place! (crazy I know!)

There have also been some great creative items made by the Craft Pimp Team in the months that I have been away – so after spending hours on Etsy window shopping yesterday, I selected my favourite items and put them into a Treasury. Click here to see. I’ll probably spend a fair feb more hours on Etsy.

Well, to start it off – and to celebrate being back online and back to reality again – I’m going to give you all a 20% discount on ANYTHING in my Etsy shop! YES, ANYTHING!


This will go on for another month I’d say, as I’ll be adding new things frequently to keep you coming back to look for more! *evil laugh!* as I have found things that have never been listed on Etsy before, and they’re going to be added too.

Here’s a sneak peek of two things that are currently listed …

Love to you all for such great support!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Crafting Butterfly"? -or- "Everything syndrome" ?

Sometimes I get really frustrated with myself when it comes to crafting. I seem to want to do (almost) everything … and everything all at once … I want to know how to do everything, and I want to be good at everything … but I think I’m destined to become a jack of all crafts, but a master of none.

I call this “everything” syndrome because it is frustrating, it feels like a illness … other people would call me a craft butterfly, which means I flit from one thing to the next. This paints a prettier image, so for sure I’d rather see myself as a butterfly rather than having a “syndrome” but why is it so frustrating? Surely butterflies aren't bothered when moving on to another flower? Whereas I get miffed at my yearning to explore another new craft before really becoming competent at the one in that moment that I am doing.

So, I have narrowed it down into a few symptoms … so other people can diagnose themselves so then it’ll make me feel better that I am not alone. Ha!

• Inspiration of all crafts, daydreaming about what you would do if you had the knowledge and skill set
Normally spurred on by being surrounded by other talented artists/crafters therefore constantly enthused.

• Stubborn-headed, obsessive and determined to pick up a particular craft.
You can't think of anything else …

• Frequently having a creative itch that needs to be scratched,
Can only be scratched by purchasing said books/supplies etc to have a go at it yourself

• Full force enthusiasm for the new project and/or technique.
Feeling fabulous, new creations, learning new things!

• But then losing patience and motivation for the new craft.
How fast does it lose your attention?
Do you lose attention because it reaches the end of our skill set / patience / tools?
Do you lose attention because you start to obsess about something else? *guilty!*

• Results in moving on to another creative hobby before you’ve explored the first thoroughly.
Flitting from one craft to another. Yes, be a butterfly!

• Accumulation of many different craft supplies for different areas of craft,
Hoarders syndrome … if you chuck it out, you will need it next week.
The need to have everything to do everything.

• Jack of all crafts, master of none (or one if you’re lucky…)

Of course it is natural that some crafts stick, others don’t. Once tried, you know if it’s for you … but do you give yourself enough time to truly figure that out? Or does something else distract you?

Making jewellery, and playing with beads of course has been my obsession for many years. I’d say, this one has really truly stuck on me. Thinking about it now, it probably has because there are many corners and media within this genre that keeps me hooked. Not only the wonderful variety of beads, but also the techniques – beadweaving, stringing, wirework etc. Most of the things I try to do know, I try to incorporate back into jewellery.

But jewellery making has taken me on to other curiosities …

Some explored, some not, some have books on the shelf, but no tools and supplies. Some have supplies and little experience, but have been limited to my own patience. The main thing I struggle with – is the distractions … outside inspiration of other crafts that make me wanna do that too! I blame the peeps on CraftPimp and Crafteroo for being so talented and encouraging!

Silversmithing / metalwork – a natural progression for anyone who dabbles making jewellery. I need to have the time, patience and money – because this one does not come cheap. I started to use precious metals in my work, I buy in components and I buy so many, that I want to learn how to make them myself to make jewellery. Critical thing here is the price of raw material. Which is off-putting in today’s market. I still want to do it though – I know where to go for courses!

Resin – mainly for use in jewellery. I have components, tools and supplies – was obsessive with the stained glass technique and once I figured out what I needed to achieve that, I felt better – I dabbled … and then got distracted …

Lampworking – Well of course, another link into jewellery making. Oooh making your own beads! Yeah baby! I went on a course with Carla Di Francesco, I have books … I have GLASS … I have a Hothead torch … but I did not have the space in our apartment to truly spend time on it. No good ventilation and what-not, would give it a go on the balcony on sunny days, but if the wind picked up, it’d be useless. I was only going to give it away/sell it all a few months back, but the OH said to me that I’d only regret it considering we will have space in our new house for me to continue to have a play.

Ceramics – again mainly for one reason and one reason only … making your own beads! I was mainly interesting in picking up porcelain, not interested in much else. So, yes, I have the books but I have no supplies. I was recommended to start with Fimo / Polymer clay so then I don't dish out money for a kiln before it’s necessary and so I’d get used to molding and sculpting. I still need to research a bit more on how to manipulate white polymer clay to give an effect of porcelain, with glazes etc and I’ll probably do that. The other side of polymer clay (the intricate canes and patterns) isn’t really for me. Inspiring as they are, I don’t use polymer clay beads as a first choice in my jewellery making… but porcelain, or faux-porcelain - yes I would.

Paper craft, (card making etc) – Not done for many years, but want to do some again. Scared of how big this one would become because one thing I know for sure, is that I love variety and the paper and the tools you get for this could become just as mahoosive as my bead stash.

Quilling – Some modern quilling things you see out there are works of art. I was sucked into this, absolutely amazed at how this previously considered “old-lady-craft” has been reinvented. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I had to get stuff in. Dabbled in small creations (again into jewellery) and want to do more, it’s just that I got distracted …

Sewing – since my machine is still destined for a service (and I also need to retrain myself on it) I am limited at the moment to hand-sewing … I’ve made lots of little fabric flowers, stitched together things to be made into brooches and necklaces (again … to incorporate into jewellery) it actually has come hand-in-hand with a ribbon obsession too … there’s no help for me is there … ?!

My OH is not a big fan of noise and distraction, so I have previously not sped up getting the sewing machine working because I know he’d hate the noise. When we move into our new house however, it will be a different story as there will be a dedicated hobby room! Roll on house move!!! I’m aching for my machine to be serviced, so I can move on to bigger projects, I’d love to be able to make curtains and cushions for my new house and have a go at upholstery. I must think in baby steps here, as again this is another craft that can spiral because there’s so many variations on techniques, tools and materials.

Embroidery – hand embroidery if anything, this fits in with the sewing of course, but of course I have it in my head to make embroidered buttons and beads. Using embroidery and/or cross-stitch techniques … something small to keep my hands busy, and small enough so a project doesn't lose my interest. Supplies I have, some important things are on order – but this craft is what I currently have on the agenda!

Stained Glass – I have books and I know where to go for courses. No tools and supplies as yet, but that’s because previously I have no space to really give it a go. It’s on my agenda for when I am in the new house. To make jewellery components, wind-chimes, artwork … I love stained glass (check out my pinterest board) and am daydreaming in becoming a worthy artist within this media. My aspirations are big but probably not realistic!

*** *** *** ***

The thing is, is that I am constantly wanting to try something new, or retrace my steps to things that I have wanted to do in the past, but not yet got round to trying.

I’m stubborn and determined, like I cannot think about anything else… BUT THEN the wind blows and sets me off sailing in a different direction!

This week's whim … I want to make embroidered buttons … the ones that I saw on craft pimp made has made me really want to have a go! I have ordered some things off Ebay and honestly my worst fear is that when I finally have everything to do it – I’ll either a) be onto something else by then or b) it’ll only entertain me for such a short time before another impulse comes along.

Do you think I’m like this because I have not yet found my true crafty passion (or maybe it is just jewellery and it's just curiosity that sets me off in other directions ... )
or do you think I’ll be like this forever?!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wire plus Resin equals...

I do worry about myself sometimes ... about some style of jewellery that comes out of my head.
Once upon a time I used to think that I had to make something that I thought everyone would like (an impossible dream) I cared so deeply about what people thought of what I made... but taste is subjective, and with time, I learnt more about my taste and other peoples tastes and how different everyone is.

Once I deeply accepted the fact that I wasn't out to please everyone, afterall, this is my hobby, it's not a business. I have been a bit more unrestrained with what I have made and have just gone for it - unleashed myself and just created without expectations.

Now, I try to make jewellery that is to my taste, this doesn't always work out - as what I have in my head at the start, versus what actually comes out at the end sometimes can have quite the opposite effect. But still, I have learnt more just to go for it - see what happens, laugh at the outcome or relish the wonderful results ...

I recently acquired a new resin kit - and ot round to playing with wire and setting them into coloured resins... I have been playing for weeks! Nothing really was any good, I was just learning the best ways to set the resin with the wire... this week I thought I'd move on to the next step and actually make some jewellery with this new technique.

I started off with a doodle, which is an acheivement in itself because I rarely plan ahead what I am going to make. I chose to doodle it out,because I have already used up a lot of the supplies with my mucking about these previous last weeks - and felt that having a definate plan would result in a finish product, with minimal waste.

Now that these are made, I like them, but I think that I shouldn't. I can only imagine someone with a very confident style wearing these, and since I don't wear such confident in your face accessories, they are too loud for me.

I like each unique little leaf with the different shades of resin and leafy shapes. I like the fact that each earring is quirky and quite different from the other. I don't think I'd be ever able to make perfect symettries - so I'm going to have to accept the assymmetrical pieces as a design "quirk" yeah that's the word ... it's not a flaw, it's a "quirk" !!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Playing with colour - but without the mess!

I am quite scared of colour. I prefer pastels, and creams ... and rarely do I use bright colours - and when I do, I can only really handle one strong colour at a time then I spend time calming the colour down by accenting it with softer tones. 

This colour matching process is unavoidable for any crafter/designer ...  mixing and pairing, playing and seeing what colours work well with eachother.

With many crafts, it can get messy! Personally I spend hours scattering all my supplies out - and then dismally I have to spend hours getting everything back into it's rightful place.

On many occasions I have had all my beads scattered around on the table, in groups of combinations to see what colour combinations work, with groans of dismay from the hubster about how beads get "everywhere" (he does have a point) ....  this is the start of each project, this messiness will never stop, but it is easier if I know what direction i'm going in before I start to drag every bead out of it's box.

Quite a while ago - I stumbled across a great website ...
This website allows you to select colours, and it will search from over 10,000,000 interesting images from flickr that have a creative commons licence to show the colours that you have selected.

It helps me with the bright colour combinations so I can see if they work for me ...

It helps me dream of summer ...

I get carried away with it with my favourite colour combinations ...

It helps me with heavenly pastels ...

So I hope it helps you too ... !
If you have no time to get out your craft stuff, or beads, masterial, paper or paints ... but want to start playing with colours, it's a great place to go searching for colour inspiration.

This year I am going to use it more to help me branch out of my comfort zone, to see new combinations that I have never used before and then will challenge myself not to be scared of too many bright colours in one piece.

Have fun playing!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hey there! Happy New Year!

Well, I have been quiet recently here on the blog :) But some of you will probably know why!

On 31.12.2011 I got married! Yay!

For the past few months I have been completely distracted, I have not been making much for my shop, I have been reading a lot of my favourite forums (Craft Pimp, Crafteroo & Beadbuddies to name but a few) but I have not been contributing as much as I normally do. I have been concentrating on dresses, shoes, table decorations, hair & makeup, wedding favours, bridesmaids, venue, registrar, wedding cake, kiddies goodie bags, photographers, bridal underwear, stationary, chair covers, and on and on ... rather than crafts and/or beads! hehe! It's honestly been exhausting, but down to the final detail, everything was perfect - So I'm gonna give a shoutout to who we used for these final details.

The Venue - DeVere Mottram Hall - Click here to read my trip advisor review.

The Dress - Maggie Sottero "Alexandria" - Bought from Maria Modes - Macclesfield.

The Suits - I'm still shocked that he chose a tailcoat! - Hired from Slaters - Manchester

The Band - GrooveThing - North West

The Bridesmaids Dresses - Dessy - Bought from Maria Modes  - Macclesfield.

The flower girl dress - Organza beaded dress - John Lewis

Photographers - Gallery Studios - Warrington

The wedding cake - Marks & Spencers (it was AMAZING!)

The flowers - Kate at The Mustard Seed florist - Macclesfield

The chair covers - Gemma at Cheshire Covers - Knutsford

Hair & MakeUp - Ruth at Orchid Blush - Across the North West

Wedding favours - Sweets & Chocolates from UK wedding favours / boxes and ribbons from ebay

Table decorations - Crystal lanterns from Range UK / table runners, bubbles, snowflake confetti and table diamonds from ebay / mirror plates from wilkinsons / Tealights and Glimma Holders from Ikea

Guest Book - Thumbprint guest book from - Not on the High Street

The day itself was amazing, memories keep on floating in and out of my head - and I keep on asking Joe lots of questions too about his memories, things that I may have missed! Things still coming to me, and now it was a week ago already ... it still feels like yesterday :)

There will be a million more pictures to come, I don't want to bore you with too many, so here are a few favourites from my facebook tags this last week.

Cutting the Cake

First Dance

My Mum, Sister and I

I loved the beadwork on my dress :)

My Niece Mia and I

Me, Hubby and my sister