Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Fabric "paper chains"

When I was a child I used to love making paper chains. I wouldn't just link coloured papers i would also colour in my own designs. So when i was looking at some scrap fabric a few weeks ago the two merged into one in my head.
I made mine and I love it. I am looking forward to putting it up. For me to make it for someone else might be just too expensive so i thought why not share how i did it because it really was fun to make and it looks great.
Please forgive some of the photos my camera was on its last legs. I now have a new one.
Some of the fabrics i used have been in my stash for a while, the red fabric, the reindeer fabric and the bauble fabric were given to me by Rhi @ The sewing boutique you can order it from her if you wish to use it in your chains.

Step 1
Decide on your fabrics. It really doesn't matter what you use as long as you like it. I would say about 10 to 12 inches long and about 3 to 4 inches wide for each piece. I then iron on fusible interfacing to give them a little more stability.
Step 2
If you have the fabric in large pieces you now need to cut them to size, fold them in half with the right sides facing and pin. Sew up one short end and the long open end.
Step 3
Once you have sewn the all the strips, turn them all the right side out and the fold in the raw edge. Iron all of the strips. 
Step 4
You now need to make the first link for the chain. I like to sew a small square box on mine to make sure that the link is strong. If you wish to then add a small cross from corner to corner of the square. 

Step 5
Take another strip and feed it through the first link before you sew it into a new link. Repeat this step until you have used all the strips. You can make the chain as long as you like. When you have the chain the length you want tie a length of ribbon to each end to allow you to hang the chain from the ceiling.

The end result looks fantastic and will brighten the home for the festive season for years to come. The best part is you can add to it each year.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

50 shades of crafting.

Where does time go. If you are waiting for something to happen it seems to drag, however if you need to do something or make a decision to be a regular at something time seems to slip away before you know it.
I always intend to practice my section of the songs I sing with a group I sing with at home Mello'D'. Then before i know it Thursday is here and I have to go to singing practice and the tape recorder hasn't moved from my bag.
Then there is my Zumba dvd that hasn't seen the dvd player for months, its a good job i get to class at least once a week.
Lastly (for now) there is the up keep of blog posts, i promise to do smaller posts more often. Yet here i am with a long post planned to let you know what's been happening at the table of Willowlane Designs.

First of all one of my favourite things was the next design team pack from The Sewing Boutique. I opening up my pack to find a FQ of their new fabric. Michael Miller's Mod Blooms and some lovely turquoise spotty ribbon. this Fabric called out for me to make something to wear. The first thing that sprung to mind was my friends little 3 month old baby girl Maddison. I had some polycotton that would go really well with this. The plan was to put some ribbon bows onto the skirt too but as i know my friend doesn't like things too "faffy" as we both say I decided not to add them. This just means I have what's left of the fabric and the ribbon left to make something for me. So here is the finished product, i like it that much i might start making them to order on my page Willowlane Designs Facebook Page.

I also organise craft fairs around my local areas and in June I was at a new venue for the Blaenavon World Heritage Festival. It was one of my biggest event yet and was a very busy and eventful day, best of all I made some sales. For this event i took some of my new thank you teacher cuts which seemed to go down really well with one not returning home with me and an order for two more.

Then finally for the last part of my makes for this blog. It seems to be selling like hotcakes in the UK and i am currently enjoying the 2nd book. You have more than likely guessed it already but the books in question are "Fifty Shades of Grey"
With this in mind i set about making some items for my page. When i find the time i will be making a t-shirt for myself too :-) All available to order, there is even a maternity range too.

So those were some of the things that were keeping me busy this past few weeks I hope you liked them. 
Until next time. 
Laters, Baby

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Latest makes and other things.

The sun is finally starting to win the battle over the rain and it make such a difference to everything. Not heating, no lights and best of all washing outside on the line.
The sun also lifts my mood which is good as i think i may have been in a slump for a while. Last week i decided that enough was enough and the excuses had to stop, the reason i wasn't losing weight was down to only one thing, ME and the fact i was putting more in then i was working off. I have decided that there is to be NO snacking between meals and no biscuits, sweets or chocolate at all. This resulting in a slightly grumpy me while i get used to less food but also a 2lb weight loss on weigh in day. This week is the hardest one i think because i always seem to do well first week and not the 2nd. Plus i have to weigh a day early due to seeing Bruce Springsteen the day before weigh in and being in a different city.

So now down to the crafting. I have made a few things since the last entry and got a few orders in my book which i like. Working for yourself is sometimes strange. Of course its about the money but i think when you make things its also about people liking what you do.
I finished Miss Colette and i am very happy with her. She will be going on a long journey next month all the way to America.
She has a dress to change into and of course some knickers. Her little boots also come off.

I did a craft fair that i didn't organise for the first time in a while, it was good to sit there and relax. The time went so quickly. I learnt i need to plan my table more and have since bought a few items to aid my display.
I made up lots of peg magnets and a few oilcloth bag charms/keyrings.
 I will be getting a board for my work area i think so i can organise my to do list. I am a list writer for just about anything. So some of these will do just nicely.

These little bag charms I really enjoyed making these. They were a little challenging on the machine, i think i have an idea on how to stop them sticking, when i make the next batch. This is my first step into working with oilcloth and i am hoping to make some bags with some material that i bought ages ago.

I have had a little go at a new item this week too, while out shopping for supplies to help the look of my stall I found some really nice plates. There was two of one type and one of another but i thought they would look lovely as a cake stand. So off to the charity shop i went and found the perfect glasses. Its the first time i have had a go at this sort of thing but i have to say i am really pleased with the way it turned out, the best part is someone else liked it too so it has been sold.
Its one of the odd things that you buy the items to make and then sell on but a little part of you wants to keep everything. Of course this can't happen unless i buy a bigger house so i better get back to the sewing machine.
Until next time xoxo

Friday, 1 June 2012

My first sewing boutique pack

As you know i was chosen to be on the design team for The Sewing Boutique. I got my pack on the 19th of May. I was so excited about the challenge i ripped it open right away I then forgot to take photos of it all when i sat down to create something so i will have to tell you what i had.
The theme was jubilee colours so there were 3 sheets of lovely thick felt, a button pack, some blue gingham bows and a Union Flag button.
I sat down at my work table with a pencil and some paper and had a think about what to do.
The day before i had been to a craft show in Cardiff where Rhi from the boutique just happened to have a stall and i bought some keyring hoops so i though about making a keyring. I am a lover of them and have more keyrings than keys on my fob.
Now i am not the best drawer but like to have a little visual sometimes so i cam up with a few sketches to work from. These are my little drawings.

Owls seem quite popular at the moment so i thought i could mix the two.
I didn't realise how fiddly actually sewing on the flag bits would be but i am happy with how things turned out. The heart was just as tricky with the little bits but now i have some templates i may make other versions.

 I thought i better try and take a photos so you could see how lovely the packaging is and the items i got. As you can see i also had to sew bits on and cut off at the ends to make sure i had it just right.

This finished designs aren't too far away from my drawings so i was really happy with them.
I haven't quite decided if i will make more of these as they took about an hour each to make but i might offer them to order on my page Willowlane Designs for £7 plus p&p.

The next to come was the mini bunting. I thought it would look cute in the back of my car. I needed a few more bows to finish this off so i made them myself with some ribbon. I am rather proud they don't look too different from the ones in the pack.
This is now hanging in my car and i love it. I haven't seen anything like it and am going to expand on the idea some more. If you would like to order one of these with a name on or just as you see it please use the link above to my facebook page.
So these are the makes from my first Design Team Pack. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to get going on the next one. It made me think about other items i haven't made before and i think i even got a new product out of it :-) Thanks Rhi and here's to the next one.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Back to fabric this week

Well as much as i have been enjoying the paper cutting it was time to get back to fabric things. On the list are two welsh dollies and a patchwork wall hanging. I finished the wall hanging lastnight and i am really happy with it. I have never made one before with patchwork so i kind of made it all up as i went along.

I also started with the dollies. One of them has a face and has been sewn up, I shall stuff her this evening after everyone has gone to bed and left me in piece. I think she is quite a pretty little girl with her big brown eyes. Her name is Colette.

No paper cutting for me this week but i have to say although I am itching to have a go I am still enjoying all my fabricy things. Colette will be getting brown hair and a welsh girl outfit over the next few days and a dress to change into when she doesn't want wear her traditional outfit.

I am also eagerly awaiting my first design pack from the sewing boutique who picked me to be on their design team. What to make with the items is taking lots of  my thoughts. I love creating things but always get nervous for the reveal.

I have decided that i would really love to take a GCSE in textiles so will start looking around to see if any of the local schools do an adult course. I just hope i am still able to study after years of no study.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Well here i am again and its not the longest gap between blogs so i am quite pleased with myself. 
Along with this i am keeping myself busy with singing with Mello'D' and the other crafts i can't stop doing. I have started paper cutting. This is one of my first cuts. I have also just been chosen to be on the design team for I am looking forward to getting my first batch and thinking about what to do with what i get sent. This is going to make my blogs a more regular thing. I do hope those that still visit will stay with me and even leave a comment or two. I might just get good at this.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Changing times

The regular blogs haven't quite worked out the way i planned. I am going to say that its because i have been so busy crafting, which is sort of true but i have also been trying to find a way to be one of those really interest bloggers that i follow.
I like to think that I am quite friends tell me i am...or maybe they aren't laughing with me just at me lol.

So March is here and I have had a few changes in my life. Sadly my mother in law passed away on the 1st of February after 9ver 8 years of fighting Cancer and the after effects. We will miss her so much. Its hard to talk about her in past tense, its sad to think my youngest son will never remember her or how much she loved her grandchildren. She was like a real mother to me for the 18 years that i new her. As we all morn her loss we also have to watch her husband, my father in law start his 2nd battle with cancer. Life is truly so unfair at times.

I am still trying to make my little at home business work. Now i know the time i put in to the items doesn't reflect the price in the way that some products are alot of work that if i worked out the hourly rate i would be on about 25pph, but i love making things and its nice that my hobby pays for itself with some left over for a few treats for the family.

The last change so far is the looking after me part. I am making more time to exercise and trying to make better choices with my food as often as i can. This has resulted in me shifting 5lbs over the last two weeks. I really enjoy the extra Zumba sessions and the few miles i have tried to walk once a week.

So hopefully this is the sign of things to come.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

My new year begins tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the 9th of Jan but I am counting that as my new year. The reason for this is food, I have rubbish will power so not eating all the goodies that were left over after Christmas is NOT an option for me nor is throwing it all away. So i decided to extend my holidays until the food was gone.
I like to plan ahead so i have stocked the kitchen with healthier options for myself and have committed to getting 8 Zumba classes in by the end of the month. If you haven't tried Zumba i highly recommend it. If i had the time and money to do it every day of the week i would.
My other promises to myself are to be more organised around the house. As a crafter it is sooo easy to just leave what ever project I am working on across the dinning room table which doubles up as my work space. This isn't an option now as we have also committed to making sure we eat as a family around the table. Daniel does much better when we all eat at the table, he is even making less mess and staying put til he has finished now and that's after just 2 weeks.
My last task is to read four books on the British monarchy by the end of this year. i have two lined soon as i finish the twilight series :-)

I am a mother to boys so have a little bug bear with shops of any kind. If you want it in pink not a problem but blue or green no chance. Boys clothes always have less floor space then the girl section. This has spilled over in my crafting too. I have been making bandana style dribble bibs for my little craft page. Material for girls is so easy to come by and doesn't cost the earth but boy fabric is like gold dust and just as expensive. Until today that is......ebay searching paid off and i have ordered some really cute fabric for my next batch of bibs. If you have the same problem and would like the link just let me know.

So back to the dining room table i go to do the thing that keeps me out of the kitchen ans away from the fridge.