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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?

Monday, 24 October 2011

Monday - In the making

This is my next little project on the go. I designed this little 'bug' over the weekend and started stitching it together. I have already finished stitching its buddy. I'm not going to give away any clues at the moment. Do you have an idea what it is going to be?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Weekend Wonders - I love colour

Earlier this month I mentioned that I picked up my latest 'stash' - my latest 'block' of colour to work with. I enjoy going to a craft store, finding a beautiful fabric and then spend time matching felt, threads and yarn to the fabric. This 'stash' is quite bright with candy pink, lime green and a lilac colour. Over the weekend I had the chance to visit my local craft shop (yet again) and purchased some plain fabric to match the pink, green and purple so that I can soon begin some headbands.

I also spent time over the weekend keeping my fingers busy with a range of projects and managed to finish a card set using an aqua blue and white patterned paper.

I not only love the colour of the blue, but I also like the simplicity of the pattern. To create the card design I simply cut a rectangle of the patterned paper and mounted it on two rectangles of different shades of aqua. I was going to place a silver sticker outline around the block, but it looked elegant without it. Instead I added a silver 'Happy Birthday' sticker. This set will be added to my MadeIt shop over the weekend.

Whatever your project was over the weekend, I hope you enjoyed that creative time!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Friday Thoughts - Around the corner

It is getting closer... in fact just around the corner. What am I thinking about? It's Christmas! I know that it is still October and that we have a number of weeks left, but the year just seems to be flying and it will be Christmas before we know it. So I am in the process of keeping my eyes open for special little somethings to give to special people. One place to source such goodies (of course) is MadeIt, where there are heaps of talented people that have a number of carefully crafted items up for sale (check out the buttons on the side for more information).

I am also in full swing making some little items that would be perfect to pop in a stocking, or can be easily posted.

One such work in progress is this colourful key ring -  carefully handcrafted out of felt and fabric and embellished with a button. This one won't take me long to finish off and will be ready to purchase to pop in a card or stocking for someone special.

I have more gift ideas and plans in the pipeline and will be revealed soon...

Monday, 17 October 2011

Monday - In the making

I am not one to sit still. Whenever Mr T and myself travel somewhere, Mr T usually drives. That leaves me plenty of time to get creative and do something crafty. When I travel, I like to crochet. It is handy as it isn't too fiddly or intricate while the car is bumping along the road (although I did ask Mr T whether we could travel the other way to our destination once as I knew it wouldn't have so many hills or be as bumpy!). During my latest trip away, I used the yummy, bright coloured yarn that I bought a few weeks ago and began crocheting some small 'granny squares'.

Now, all I need to work out is what to do with them as there are so many possibilities. A belt? A headband? Decisions, decisions...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Weekend Wonders - Bringing people together

Over the weekend, Mr T and myself attended a church camp in a very beautiful part of country Victoria. Of course, I brought along some items for my busy fingers to do (I am making a few keyrings as gifts to give). While I had a few moments over the weekend to work, a few people came up and asked what I was making. I explained what I was doing and this often sparked thoughts and conversation about items that they were making. What was particularly interesting was talk about how craft assisted in bridging the generation gap. A grandmother shared about how she had pieces of fabric cut out and ready for her grand-daughters to help sew up. A mother shared how she made items of clothing for her children when they were little and spent time sharing how to sew with her children. I can personally think of times where my mother patiently taught me how to knit and my grandmother showing me how to crochet. Craft is very good for children as it assists with learning mathematical skills (counting, measuring, patterning, shape, etc) and assists in the development of fine motor skills. Plus, it provides valuable time spent with loved ones. Children's craft may look 'messy' at first, but it can provide practice for life long skills. It also keeps this 'big kid' entertained!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Friday Thoughts - All things new

I am enjoying my new workspace as mentioned in my last post. It makes it easier to sit down and enjoy some creative work when everything is in the one spot. As we are in the process of doing some remodelling and shuffling of furniture, Mr T came up with the idea of using an old book case as a craft storage area. Brilliant!

I have placed a new card set in my shop. I like simple, clean designs and I thought that I would use this olive green pattern as a feature panel on the front of the cards. The gold stickers add a bit of style. Click the 'View my madeit shop' button to find out more information and prices, etc of any of my products.

'Wonky Worm' is being trialled at the moment. I want to ensure that all of my products are safe and reliable before putting them up for sale.

However, I wanted to show a sneak peak of another toy that is nearly finished. I have called her 'Rosie' as she definitely is quite pink. I thought she would be too bright, but the fabric and the light purple and lime green felt tone her down a bit. She is becoming quite a gorgeous girl and will be added to the shop shortly. I was wondering if she could have a friend and if so, what colour? Is pink the only colour for little piggies. What do you think?

Monday, 10 October 2011

Monday - In the making

I'm not a big fan of creepy crawlies, especially caterpillars, but this little creature is different. Labelled 'Wonky Worm' by Mr T, this little item will be a grasping toy for babies.

The idea for 'Wonky Worm' came about when I was having coffee with a friend who has a baby daughter. The little girl was attempting to grasp at a skinny, rattly toy and once again I had a moment where I thought 'I can make a toy for that same purpose'.

It won't be long and this little fellow will be all finished. Stay tuned...

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Weekend Wonders - Me??Design??

There is nothing like a market. So much talent and creativity in the one area. As a crafter, you can't help but be inspired by the work of others. Your eyes are opened to new colour combinations, uses of fabric and the difference of items.

In saying that, I visited a market today and I couldn't help but feel a little cheated. I spyed a stall that had copies (and I mean, identical design) of goods of a favourite designer of mine. To be fair to the stall owner, I don't know the full story. She may have sought permission to use the designs for her own profit, but it does promote the thought of design.

I never thought that I could be a 'designer'. I am a very structured person - I mean I have even created a structure for this blog! When it came to crafts, I had to find a pattern and follow it to a tee. What inspired me to create was looking at a toy pattern, finding out the cost of it and thinking 'I could design something similar' (mind you, not identical). I gave it a go and added my own creative spin and have been pleased with the results and the positive feedback of others. It does take some refining and the development of some prototypes, but the feeling of accomplishment and 'I thought of this myself' is well worth it.

So designing...who me?? You might just suprise yourself.

Happy crafting (and designing).

Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday Thoughts - Encouragement

Encouragement, for a crafter, renews enthusiasm and creative drive. Let me explain...
When someone views our work and shows joy and amazement and shares what they like about the item that we make, it peps us up - encourages us to continue. It was wonderful to experience such a 'boost' yesterday when talking craft and sharing recently made items with my sister-in-law as at times, it is easy to fall into a slump and be overly analytical of our work. It's times like these that helpful and encouraging words add zing to our creative drive. Not only do I encourage you to continue with whatever you are making at the moment, but take a few moments to email or chat to someone about something that they are making and encourage them. Happy crafting!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Hello world!

I am creating this blog to share my love of craft with others. I am 'Tupsy' and I enjoy making all types of items which I usually give to others as gifts. I am in the process of developing my own 'shop' where people can purchase my goodies. Stay tuned for its launch.

I particularly like seeing enjoyment on the faces of those that receive my crafted gifts, hence the description of Tupsy Turvy products - 'Little gifts of joy'. I also hope that this blog gives encouragement to others, in their crafting journeys or in life in general, as life is such a blessing.

Today has been a lovely, sunny Spring day. Mr T, my fluffy dog (Tupsqueak) and myself had a chance to be out in the sun and do some gardening. However, I managed to sit down this afternoon and work on some birthday cards. My father's birthday is during this week and I got to work designing some simple but masculine cards.