Sunday, 28 August 2011

Handmade Monday 31: Getting prepared for Christmas

Ok, so it's early (and in fact, a lot earlier than I'd usually plan), but I want to do as handmade as possible this Christmas.  So that means starting now.

Have made a couple of lovely pretty beaded bookmarks for gifts (hopefully the recipients won't see this blog entry!).  These are the first ones I've tried but I'm really happy with them, and so am planning a couple of others for people I know who are partial to good books.

This week I've also been sorting out the photos of my baby that I had printed out.  They're all in an album...I was intending to scrapbook them, but there's so many and it would take too long to do one page let alone 60, that I've just put the photos in the album and have journalled, doodled and decorated around them.  It's not something I've really done before, but I'm enjoying it, and I can keep things quite simple.  I may add some different papers in, as well as some bits of stamping and embellishments, just do it post sticking in the photos. They're all photo cornered, so it's quite easy to scrapbook each once I've a bit more time.

Anyway, feel free to look back to Handmade Monday and see what everyone else has been up to.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Christening frame present

I think I referred to this crafty make a couple of posts ago, but the christening was today, so hopefully the presents have been opened by now and I can share my make.  It also fits in perfectly with Handmade Monday 30 timings.
I had the frame and decided to use her middle name Rose as a theme with the backing paper and name die cuts.  The fairy was perfect with the flower, and the buttons just finished it off after I'd coloured it in using my favourite promarkers (I just love the effect you can get on wings with the white through to blue tint using the blender - I'm rubbish at colouring in usually, but with promarkers they're failsafe).  A pretty border and the date of her christening around the scalloped circle, and it was finished.  I hope Peggy and her parents like it, and that she'll be able to put it in a keepsake box in years to come.

I'm having a bit of a handmade year really, and hoping that for Christmas I'll be making lots of people's presents rather than buying them...will help towards saving some money once my maternity pay finishes before going back to work, as well as being nice personalised gifts.

Anyway, that's me for handmade Monday, go and check out the link above to find more great blogs and crafters.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Exciting - new logo time

Finally, I've got round to creating my new logo.  I did a few trials on various 'free' logo creator websites, but then although they claim to be free, you end up unable to download your beautiful logo once it's been designed without paying.  So I resorted to powerpoint and Picnik.

I love Picnik.  It's a new discovery that I found on this blog and is a means of making your photos look flash without lots of photo editing software (which I always seem to locate on my laptop but then am either unable to use or it's only a trial/demo sample).  Well, it is photo editing made easy with lots of effects you can use.

So change a photo that I love (thankfully found one which showed beads rather than a whole piece which meant I didn't have to go and take lots of creative bead photos), add some text and 15 minutes later, I have a new logo that I'm pretty pleased with.  I now just need to make it fit lots of different size banners & shapes and it should work for lots of things on both the internet and flyers/business cards.

Unfortunately I should have done this prior to ordering lots of flyers and business cards, but at least I can use this in the future.
How did you design your logo?

Monday, 15 August 2011

Handmade Monday 29: hen party jewellery workshop

Bizarrely, the hen do I was on this Sunday morning (I couldn't make the rest of the weekend's events) was a crafty jewellery at Amy Surman's shop, which is where my jewellery making started (the hen & I did one of Amy's adult education classes together years ago).  I haven't been back there since their recent refit and it looks lovely.  Plus there were lots of gorgeous new beads.  Unfortunately (or thankfully due to my bank balance) I didn't really have time to have a proper look and buy.

The workshop was beads & wire...I was late due to a mix up on times, so I chose to make a memory wire bracelet as I knew I was running low on these in my stash.  I found a gorgeous midnight bead mix to use, and the below is the result.
I also made a memory wire ring as that's not something I've made worked out quite well, but I won't be making more as they're just too large for most people's fingers.
Anyway, please go and check out Handmade Monday and some of the other blogs on there.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Button project

I love buttons and came across Kitties Closet on Facebook which has a miriad of divine buttons (nothing like my boring button jar - all those boring black & white ones from clothing!).  Couldn't resist, so now have a gorgeous button stash to make some jewellery.

This was my first attempt.  I'm pretty pleased (and it got lots of complements from my friends I went to lunch with when wearing it) with it, although it's too attractive to my baby boy who kept grabbing it.  One to wear when I'm not with him I think.

Also, did some restringing for a friend - a couple of lovely costume jewellery necklaces, the one below I love the beads.  Really autumn-y.
May have a couple more friends needing items restringing, so that could be keeping me busy.

I also have been busy this week making a gorgeous gift...can't share it yet as she's not received it yet, but as soon as they've received it I'll share it with you.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Turquoise jelly charm bracelet

Was asked on my facebook page to make a charm bracelet with blue beads.  It was an urgent request, so dug out the blue bead bag, and found some gorgeous turquoise glass 'jelly' beads.  Perfect size and really unusual, put them with some silver and other blue beads, and ended up with a scrummy, extremely summery charm bracelet.
I'm always a bit nervous about making jewellery to order - it's quite personal, and it's hard to get your design ideas over correctly to the customer.  But I'm glad the customer really liked the picture, and hopefully it'll be with her tomorrow if Royal Mail play ball!

I really love it too, and now want to get back to making lots more stock ready for some Christmas jewellery parties, as well as doing some gifts for my family & friends for Christmas - some bookmarks and wine charms I think.  Unfortunately, while more crafting is lots of fun, and makes use of all the supplies I have (as well as bringing in a little extra cash and excitement of orders), it's not really a healthy hobby...sitting down in one place all the time, heavy concentration...shame it couldn't be combined with some kind of exercise at the same time especially as my early morning crafting opportunities mean it takes up my exercise time.  Not good for the diet and getting rid of the baby weight.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Handmade Monday 28: Stocking complete and bunting achievement

So we're on Handmade Monday 28, and I'm updating you on my son's Christmas stocking...yes I'm early with it, but wanted to get it done and out of the way so I can worry about everyone else's presents (his are bought and ready - just need to decide on a 1st birthday one for January now!).  Also, starting early meant lots of spare time if something went wrong.

I started with some online instructions, but needless to say took something from each and ended up doing my own thing (meant the lining initially got sewn on the wrong way so had to unpick and redo).  My mini sewing machine broke while I was making the bunting (see below), so I had to make it by hand.  I really enjoyed making it - hopefully Nathaniel will be really pleased to have his own handmade stocking when he's older and it'll become part of the Christmas tradition.

I'm really pleased with it.  Ok, so it's not the best finishing, and I have a lot of blank spaces on one side, but for a first go it's great.  And as it's lined, hopefully it'll last forever.

This weekend also saw my handmade bunting being used at the big family party.  I wish I'd had more time to use all the fabric I'd got as we could have done with a bit more of it, but it looked very professional and lots of people commented on it.  It'll also be helpful for future parties and hopefully Nathaniel's christening later in the year.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Stocking chaos on Handmade Monday

It's a handmade monday again, and am actually managing to take part for once.  It's been such a lovely day, we've been out at our usual mums & babies Monday catch ups, but I've managed to start making Nathaniel's Christmas stocking.  Yes, it's early, but I've got lots of other things to catch up on, plus if it goes wrong, there's plenty of time to redo it.

Mind you, it took a while to get organised and find the felt colour I wanted.  The plan is to do the burgundy red felt with some lining,  Then applique on some Christmas trees with some embroidery's been a long time since school when I did some embroidery, so I may be looking up some online support groups to give me some ideas & tips.  I'd also like to stitch on Nathaniel's name, but we'll see how much space I've got.

I do need to get hold of some Christmassy fabric (ideally with some trees or stockings on) to make a top cuff for it.  Our 2 local fabric stores are slightly lacking in funky fabric, so I've found some brilliant bundles on Emma's Fabric Studio, so may have to invest in a couple of fabrics.  I can always make some tree decorations if I have leftovers.

I'm hoping tomorrow to get making some jewellery as have sold 5 bracelets from my good for you range, so need to make some more stock ready in advance of my flyers potentially going into our local NCT nearly new sale goody much to do before then, but really hope I get some jewellery parties out of it.