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Friday, 30 December 2011

Friday thoughts - On the move

My family (and my husband's family) all live some distance from us. Christmas/New Year's is often the time when we jump in the car and make the journey to visit them. As we don't often see our family members, time with them is very special and we make the most of the opportunities.

I also like making the most of the opportunity of sitting still without the need to 'do' anything when travelling in the car (when not driving, of course). If I know that I have to travel, I usually pack my crochet. I find that crochet doesn't need any patterns or a lot of materials and isn't too tricky to do whilst bumping along the road.

As we have recently spent time travelling, I managed to whip up quite a few crochet flowers.

I now have quite an array of colours and textures to use. I like to use these flowers as part of headbands. That can only mean one thing...lots of headbands to make!

I hope you have had the opportunity to enjoy some crafting!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Monday in the making (although it is Tuesday)

I know that it is not really Monday...yes, I am a day late, however, yesterday was a day spent with family and there was not any time to blog.

There wasn't a chance to blog but there was time to craft. We had to travel a bit over an hour to reach our destination so it was a perfect opportunity to whip up some crocheted flowers for headbands. I have a lovely little stash to make into headbands...I can't wait to get started.

Just before Christmas I was busy stitching up some new toys. I gave a little sneak peak of one that was given as a present. Since I have presented my gift I can now reveal my new design...

...meet 'Whiskers' the cat. I made a purple and green one for my little niece and it looked so cute that I had to stitch another to place in my shop. You can check out his details there.

I have been enjoying spending some extra time crafting. I hope that you have had some time to relax with family and friends over Christmas and have had the opportunity to do a little crafting. I hope to reveal more of my crafting soon!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Friday Thoughts - It's that time of year

It is that time of year...Mr T and I ventured out to do some last minute grocery shopping and there were cars and people everywhere. At least we didn't need to do too much shopping as I have tried to get a bit more organised and looked for some handmade items for gifts earlier on.

It is also that time of year to wrap up all the gifts and place them under the tree. We have had to put our presents in a box (not very festive I know!) as our little dog, Tupsqueak, enjoys ripping up cardboard and paper on the odd occasion. We didn't want to take any chances with the presents.

But... who is this amongst the presents??

Ahh... just a new creation of mine. This little beauty has been saved as a present, however, I am working on another to add to the shop. I can't wait to show you!

Something that I can show you is something that I have recently added to my shop is - 'Esther' headband.

I have some ideas for a range of headbands and this lady is No.3 so far - Jane, Cutie bug and now Esther. They will be available in different sizes and colours. I can't wait to get crocheting some more flowers. A full description of 'Esther' and more photos of her are available in my shop.

I am looking forward to crafting and relaxing over this Christmas break, reflecting upon the true meaning of Christmas. I hope that you and your family have a safe and happy time together during this Christmas season!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Monday - in the making

After an exciting start to the day yesterday, I thought I would spend some time after a busy week finishing off the Cutie Bug headband that I started.

I showed pieces of one Cutie Bug headband in a post a week or so ago. I finished that band and tried it on my friend's little girl and the result...super cute! I had to make another one and place it in my shop. Here is the final product...

Tasks for the week: finish off a cute present I am making (can't show photos yet...it will spoil the surprise) and finish off a baby toy that I started awhile ago. We'll see how I go with that list!

Happy crafting everyone!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Weekend Wonders - Today is the day!

I am quite excited as today is the day that Madeit has chosen to publish my guest blogspot...YAY! I gave a bit of a sneak peak in my blog about a week ago. Check out the Madeit blog and the starry items that I have chosen for the Gift Guide.

A big thanks to Madeit team for the opportunity to add to their blog!

Have fun browsing and shopping everyone!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Friday thoughts - Bring it on!

Ahh... freedom.

I am on holidays now for a little while. I am looking forward to a good break and a chance to get out of the normal routines of life. It also means that I will have more time to spend on my craft. One of my aims these holidays is to sink my teeth into some of the bigger projects that I have designed and to replenish some stock.

An item that I have finished is a set of Cutie Bug hair clips that were on order. As I had freedom to choose the colour, I thought I would choose 'Watermelon colours' with pink and green. I hope to get a few more sets made over the holidays.

I am still looking forward to my post on the Madeit blog (I won't reveal my theme quite yet)... however, keep checking out the items on Madeit if you are stuck for a gift idea. It is not too late to purchase something and have it posted out straight away or by Express Post. The latest Madeit newsletter features items that are ready to post.http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Ready-to-Post-Handmade-Christmas-Gifts.html?soid=1102437359584&aid=0xNx8zhzGGg is the link.
If you are on holidays, I hope you enjoy your time off and make plenty of time for crafting!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Monday - in the making

I am paying the price of a craft filled weekend...

After I have finished blogging, I will be busy wrapping gifts of all sorts in readiness for work tomorrow. Yes... yes I could have made time over the weekend, however, I was lured by craft. Let me explain...

Firstly, I spent time gazing at all the wonderful creations on MadeIt to prepare for my blogspot on the MadeIt blog (which I hope will be featured very soon). Lots of creations to inspire my own creativity.

Secondly, I wanted to test a Cutie bug headband for size and look on my friend's daughter. We were meeting for coffee and I wanted to complete it beforehand (and for the record, the trial went well and I will be adding these headbands to the store soon).

Thirdly, I wanted to make some ladies headbands - one for a gift, and a few others to place in my store. As these are all handstitched, it does take a little while. I have added two headbands to my store...

 Lastly, I attended a market on Sunday. It gives me the inspiration to maybe one day make enough items to hold my own stall at a market.

Anyway, my crafting tonight will be gift wrapping. I better find the tape and wrapping paper.

Have fun crafting!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Friday thoughts - What's my theme?

I have been browsing through the MadeIt stores, not only looking for super gift ideas but I have been given the opportunity to add a blog entry to the MadeIt blog. So to prepare, I have jotted down a few ideas and picked out items to support a Christmas theme. Here are a few of the wonderful items that I have picked:

Can you work out the theme that I have chosen? You will need to wait until Monday to find out for sure. In the meantime, view other blog entries and gift guides at the MadeIt blog.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Monday - in the making

So...I am on a bit of a design roll at the moment. I gathered up supplies and have designed a Cutie bug headband for little girls/babies.

I know it all looks a little funny at the moment, I thought I would start to piece the main elements together to make the design more clear. The idea is to have an elastic lace base. I will make up tulle base on which I will stitch the crocheted flower. On top of the flower will be a Cutie bug, like the ones that are stitched to my clips. I am thinking I may need to add a 'leaf' or two.

I am yet to make up my mind whether to have a green winged Cutie bug or a pink winged one. I am unsure whether the pink winged Cutie bug adds too much pink. Feel free to add your thoughts on this, I would love to know.

Speaking of Cutie bugs, I will need to get going on some to replenish my stock. I also have a custom order of Cutie bugs which will need to filled.

Have fun in your crafting!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Weekend Wonders - Re-energised

I couldn't sleep last night...I had designs floating around in my head.

I must admit... I am one to analyse. I analyse my work, I analyse my netball match, I analyse my craft. I spent a great day yesterday in Hamilton, not only catching up with my sister-in-law, Ali, her husband, bubby and my mother-in-law (yes...I lot of lovely family), but I had the opportunity to peddle my wares at a market (a big thanks to Ali for letting me encroach her stall and her enthusiasm for my products - my No.1 fan!)

The good part is that I sold a few items (always handy) and it was great to see how people react to the products I make. As my 'shop front' is online, it is difficult to personally gauge the responses of others. Markets are also great to support fellow crafters. It was great to wander around the market, see what was on offer, not to 'pinch' ideas or view the competition, but to buy something - the ultimate encouragement for a stall holder.

So, I then went away and analysed the day. I was thinking of the importance of adding some more 'boy' products as I do like to focus on the girlie crafts (funny thing is I am beginning a new girlie craft which I will show tomorrow!). Hence, that was what was interupting my sleep last night...trucks, tractors, trains...hmmm.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Friday thoughts - To market, to market

It has been a very busy week...more work related rather than craft related...

...however, an exciting part about this week is looking forward to this weekend. I am sharing a stall with my sister-in-law, Ali, at a market in Hamilton. As I haven't got a lot of stock, sharing a stall will be perfect. I must admit I am a little nervous, however, I am looking forward to some feedback... to see what people are interested in, what people buy (if anything) and what suggestions people may have. I am going to chalk this down as a learning experience, rather than a hard sell (although selling a few items would be nice) and a chance to promote my designs.

If you are in Hamilton tomorrow, come over and say 'Hi'.
Seek out a market this weekend and have fun browsing!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Monday - in the making

Firstly, I apologise...

I was unable to add to my blog over the weekend as I had a tummy bug. It seems to be the way...plenty of things that need to be accomplished and then 'bam', stuck in bed for a whole day. The good news was that it was just for a day! Complete bed rest was just what my tired body needed.

This meant I was able to get back to work on Sunday (to catch up on the things that I wanted to do Saturday). I also made a bit of time to relax and design another little princess, this time with curly, black hair. She won't take much longer to finish.

I have quite a few different ideas for bag buddies to develop a bit of range. What type of bag buddy would you like to see? I would love to know.

Keep well and have fun crafting!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Friday thoughts - Christmas colours

We haven't put up any decorations as yet. Both Mr T and myself have been flat out with work. It is such a pity that this time of year is so busy because I love dwelling in the finery of Christmas.

When thinking about decorating for Christmas, I can't go past the traditional colours - red, green and gold. Sure there are other colour combinations that look very beautiful. I particularly like the purple and silver combination... but there is something about the red and green that speaks 'Christmas'.

Hence, with my latest stitching of Cutie Bugs I dabbled with the red and green...

They could be used to keep little locks in place on Christmas Day or for Christmas parties.

Other red and green finds that I happened to spot on MadeIt include:

I hope you feel a little more inspired by red and green. Happy Crafting!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Monday - in the making

I have been busy working on another bag buddy creation, this time a little princess...
She's not quite finished as I still have some more stitching to do, however, she is progressing quite nicely. She should be in the shop fairly soon!

I hope your creations are progressing nicely!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Weekend Wonders - Run, run, running!

It is good to sit down...

Today, Mr T and myself participated in a 'Fun Run' today - the first 'running' event for both of us. I had to stop and walk a few times (only three!) as some of the hills knocked me around a little. I was quite puffed by the time I stopped running and walked the first time, but once I started running again, I managed to settle myself into a comfortable pace. I tried to keep myself focused - achieving little goals along the way.

I was very proud of Mr T's effort. Although I managed to cross the line in front of him (not that I'm competitive...) he was only around 20 minutes behind me.

I feel like I'm running at the moment...just keeping pace with things. It is such a busy time of year! It is busy at work, with items that are due in the next couple of weeks (overtime work) and things to organise. I am also participating in a market in a fortnight's time and although I am sharing the stall and providing a limited amount of items, I would dearly like to have a few more items finished.

But I suppose it is all about pacing - chugging away at the things that need to be completed and doing what I can. Focusing and completing my work items (although I feel less motivated by them) will mean more time spent on craft (which I enjoy). It is important, though,  to spend time relaxing in the midst of it all.

Speaking of racing around...a new boy racer added to the store.
I hope your weekend wasn't as fast paced and that you could spend some lovely hours crafting!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday thoughts - Feeling Funky

I went out of my comfort zone today... well maybe just a little.

It was 'Funky Friday' at my work place today. The aim was to dig through your wardrobe, pull out something a bit more 'out there' than the usual work garb and wear it in public.

I am here to say that dress ups are not my most favourite thing. I opted for a flowing aqua, brown and cream patterned top with a tie around the midriff, with three quarter length demin pants. My hair was styled in two, low pony tails...aiming for a more 'hippy' look. It was a bit more 'out there' (well...at least for me), but I still felt reasonably comfortable.

It is safe to say that the colour schemes and styles of clothing that people wore to work today were a little more bright and more eyecatching. Which promotes the thought...colour combinations...which ones work well?

At the moment I am loving what I term 'Watermelon colours' - pink and green. I haven't long completed a pair of 'Cutie bug hair clips' using that colour scheme. The classic pink and purple also work well together. A colour combination that I hadn't previously thought of until I saw it combined on a fabric design is chocolate brown, beige and teal. I have also made a pair of 'Cutie bug hair clips' using that colour combination.

I love pairing colours with each other and the combinations are almost endless. What are your favourite colour combinations? I would love to know.

Happy crafting with those colours!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Monday - in the making

Ahh coffee...I love it! I love the smell and the taste. There is something glorious about the smell of a Coffee Shop.  As I speak, Mr T is making me a cup of deliciousness.

Meeting a friend over coffee is also an enjoyable activity for me. I meet up with a good friend and her baby daughter Friday afternoons for a chat - discussing the happenings of the week, sharing ideas and giving each other encouragement.

As is the case with a few of our coffee meetings, I walk away afterwards with a new idea to craft. It was when I was watching the baby play at one of our meetings, that I thought I could make up a grasping toy, hence the birth of 'Wonky Worm'.

At our last meeting, my friend showed me one of her daughter's toys - one that can be placed around baby's wrist. Over the weekend I put pencil to paper and have developed a 'Birdie Baby Bracelet'.

'Birdie' is still very much a work in progress, but I hope to show you all very soon the finished product. In the meantime, I would like to get some more Cutie bug clips and Bag buddies made up.

Anyway, it's time to go and put the kettle on. You never know what ideas will develop!

Happy crafting!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Weekend Wonders - Not too late

I'm running a little behind in schedule.

My Friday post for this blog was posted rather late and just scraped into Friday! If I think too much about all the things that need to be completed by mid December (or before) I could hide in a cupboard and refuse to come out until New Year!

Yes, time is flying by but I am refusing to let time frames and stress take over me. I love growing organic vegetables for us to eat, but lately my poor garden has been playing second fiddle to my craft. So today, Mr T and myself spent the afternoon in the garden, planting some tomatoes, basil and marigolds for Summer. I thought I better plant some before it is too late.

I also harvested our garlic...

Yes...it should last us quite a few months.

Crafting is another activity I like to do to take some time out from busy schedules and demands. Over the weekend I finished the 'Watermelon coloured' (Pink and Green) cutie bug hair clips and have listed them in my MadeIt store. Tomorrow, I will share something else that I have been working on over the weekend.

I hope that you had a lovely weekend!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Friday Thoughts - What has caught my eye?

There are just over six weeks until Christmas. I love finding just the right item for friends and family, but I do dislike the hustle and bustle of shopping centres and the commercial feel to Christmas. Instead, I like to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas. Gift giving (and receiving) isn't a huge focus, however, I do like to provide a little handmade something.

This year I discovered 'MadeIt'...so instead of trying to finish all manner of handmade gifts by December 25, I am starting to peruse through 'MadeIt' to see if I can have a few other crafty people help me with gift making. Here are just a few items that have caught my eye...

Pin cushion by 'Plushka'

Coasters by 'Monkey and Bee'

Cute little set by 'Little Poppet by Ali'

Check out more gift ideas by clicking the 'MadeIt' button. Registration to buy items is free and there is a wide range of crafts and gift ideas.

Have fun browsing!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Monday - In the making

As mentioned earlier, I love making 'critters'. An item that is fast becoming my favourite is the 'bag buddy' design. I have already designed a teddy bear bag buddy (which is available in my MadeIt store), however, I feel a range of bag buddies happening!

I have just about completed a 'boy racer' bag buddy.

Complete with his helmet, sunglasses and cheeky grin, this boy racer is just about ready to zoom off!

I hope to finish stitching him tonight and add him to my MadeIt store. He may soon have a few buddies joining him on the starting grid!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Weekend Wonders - Oh Goodie!

Presents and surprises...I love them and it's not even my birthday.

Today I spent a lovely day with my sister-in-law, her husband and baby. We enjoyed checking out a market and had some time in the afternoon to browse through a craft shop to stock up on supplies.

I even received a little present...

I was given some little pieces of fabric perfect for my creations, but too small for Ali to use anymore as she makes bigger items. I love the colours and patterns! Oh goodie...oh the possiblilities!

Thanks again Ali!

You can check out Ali's wonderful creations at her MadeIt store www.madeit.com.au/LittlePoppetByAli

Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday Thoughts - I've found it!

No, I didn't lose anything.

I was crafting a boy racer bag buddy last night (yes... a new design) when a thought struck me - this is what I enjoy doing. Yes it was sewing, creating and all the things that I enjoy doing.. rather it was what I was doing.

I figured out that I enjoy creating 'critters' most of all - teddies/soft toys, cutie bug clips, bag buddies... anything that becomes a 'form' - a little 'toy life' as such. It's not that I don't like creating other items such as cards, etc, but it does give me a thrill when I finish a little critter and it looks back at me with its quirky smile and toy eyes.

Have you found your niche? What do you enjoy crafting?

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Monday - In the making

Was it just a waste of time?

I'm talking about prototypes - practice runs. I had a very crafty weekend but I really don't have anything in my shop to show for it. I made up this lilac headband so that I could add my crochet squares on as embellishments. That all worked fine and I was quite happy with the results.

The next day I thought I would make a few more as I have some lime green and candy pink crochet squares to use as decorations. I also thought that I would make myself a headband to check the sizing.

Well...what a discouragement! I messed up the velcro at the bottom of one of the headbands. The velcro was too skinny and I missed stitching it the first time around. Secondly, I not only did the same trick on my headband, but my headband is fractionally too small. An hour of crafting...gone!

Not really. I have worked out that trial runs/prototypes/practice runs are all important in creating your own designs, especially if they are for others. You don't want to have shoddy or inferior products.

So instead I have learnt a few things. Firstly, I need to change the width of the velcro. Secondly, I need to make the adult headband fractionally longer. It will only make for better quality items in the long run. There we go - lessons learnt. I could always develop a 'seconds bin' at my market stall for bargain hunters that don't mind an awry stitch.

I suppose this is an encouragement to all crafters. Yes, we do make mistakes and yes our designs do not work out as planned, but mistakes only help us to make our crafts better.

Stick with it!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Weekend Wonders - When the cat is away...

I'm in the midst of tidying up.

Mr T has been away for the weekend and he is due home. Whenever he is away, I get lazy. I tend to stay inside, do the jobs that only 'have to' be accomplished and I cook only the simplest of meals (if at all...I must put those takeaway containers away!). So yes...I admit I get very lazy when the 'cat' is away. The exception is that this 'mouse' likes to play...with her crafty things.

This weekend I have spent a lot of time indoors making headbands, making cards and drawing up designs. The cards, this time around, are to give to friends rather than sell.

It is not that Mr T discourages me from playing with my craft things, in fact, he is quite the opposite. I suppose I have the time to focus on my projects for extended periods of time, rather than feeling like I should be attending to jobs around the house.

Anyway, I can't stay and chat...I have a few more things to put away.

I hope you had a lovely, crafty weekend as well.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Friday Thoughts - Oh boy!

Hmmm...what to do.

As a designer and crafter I find it quite easy to get into a 'girlie' mode. I love designing and creating hairclips, headbands, toys and often they are 'girl' oriented. I got to a stage a couple of months ago that I craved creating something in pink and purple (hence my new lot of fabric). To make my point, I have just finished (and placed in my shop) my next batch of 'cutie bugs'.

I have already started doing a bit of Christmas shopping on MadeIt, finding a few items for the female members of my family. But what about the men? Yes, they are more difficult. Craft can be 'cutesy' or feminine (at least the crafts that I make). Even, browsing the net for 'handmade gift ideas for men' leaves limited options.

So I feel a bit of a challenge coming on. I am attempting to design and craft something that any man would love to receive. I have an idea about a notepad and pen holder that could be placed on an office desk. I am currently stitching up the prototype. I will let you know my thoughts about it...whether I am happy with it or not.

Do you have as much trouble as I do coming up with ideas and crafting for men?