Fabulous Fabrics

I’m now at part two of testing out the cool book I bought.
Patchwork panache as the book says, or Fabulous Fabrics as I’m saying.
This is such a great way of using up left over fabric scraps, or smaller designs that might not be used elsewhere.
The idea is to use double sided visilene to stiffen the fabrics and then ‘glue’ them together. Felt or other material is used for backing to keep it neat. A eyelet is attached for hanging purposes. I’m also going to try and add brooch backs when they arrive to make some funky brooches – a winter item, and maybe for holding those caddies together or just because.

I’m really pleased at my first attempt.
I cut a large square of red cotton, and a small flower, adding visilene to each. A hint I was given is to iron them between baking paper so the iron is not ruined and the item doesn’t stick to your ironing board. I then cut out the shape, so it was stiffened with no frayed edges, and then ironised them together.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything with eyelets so I had to practice with a couple to get it right. As you can see, they went wonky.

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And the finished product. My first to at this sort of thing, and I found I really enjoyed it from the get go. This is a very light weight one, so I will try with denim and definitely put more of a backing on the others. Thankfully I practised on the eyelets, this one looks pretty good.

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~ time lapse ~

I’ve just finished these. The mustardy yellow one was a lot bigger than I thought, oops, so I popped on some charms to add a ‘distraction’, and the blue and red denim one is just wrong.
The four on the right side I’m definitely happy with. I just now have to sit down and sort out my fabrics, and when the stamps arrive, there will be another dimension to each piece.
This is something I’d like to keep doing more of. I shall make some specially as brooches before I make the final call.

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Jen 🙂

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Fitted Tablecloth – I must be mad!

Today I finally got around to making some fitted tablecloths. I’ve wanted some since, well, a long time ago but never really did anything about it.
I want tell you where to find the instructions, there are oodles on the Internet depending on what style of table you have and how fitted the cloth should be.
I tried to make a go of it myself, but it wasn’t going to work the way I wanted it to, so I checked out google and found a pattern.
Basically, the idea is to cut a piece the size of your table top + hem allowance, and a long piece for the skirt. This skirt is then gathered at the corners to make a nice pleat.
I decided not to do it that way as I was using bed sheets and didn’t have the length or quantity to do it – I cut a separate piece for each side and end.
The small table half way done. Pinned, test, sew, test….

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While not perfect, they certainly look better than having corners dragging on the floor or tucked up and being chunky on the sides.

All went well until the needle got stuck and the only way to rescue it was to break it. I really don’t like having to do this, even though they are pretty cheap to buy. Thank goodness for heavy duty wire cutters.

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Back into it and around 2 hours later (from start to finish), exhausted, I have my fitted cloth. For the small table! There is still the full size one to go.

I have lunch, and scrape out the freezer – what better time to defrost it than while I have the house to myself and am busy – then get back into cutting the second one.

This was slightly quicker in that I knew what I was doing. Each cloth was on the table, off the table, pinned, sewn, on the table, check shape and length, off the table, pins and sewn….

The small table cloth is a fully enclosed one. It usually sits next to my big table at markets but if I am going to have a table on its own, it would be this one.
The large table is only skirted on three sides – one side for easy access during markets – but I will make a couple of fully skirted ones for other markets and situations.
A good queen size sheet made the large table cloth and would make a fully skirted one as well, and only cost $13. Not bad for a couple of hours.

Small table, fully enclosed.

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And the large table, 3/4 covered.

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The corners are a bit wonky here, but I didn’t cut enough for this overhang. It won’t be seen so I’m not too worried. This weekend is my next market and I will post pictures to show you what it looks like all dressed and accessorised.

Have a great crafty day
Jennifer 🙂

What a surprise! Workroom revamp again. Pt 1.

Hopefully this will be the last one.

I’ll admit it. I get bored easily. I like to move things around and keep myself on my toes. Sometimes it works, and then sometimes I can just leave things be. Like the bedroom, lounge, kitchen….. My work room, ‘studio’ creative space, is a whole different thing. I have been here before. Done posts, shown pictures, and yet here I am again, doing another. Why? Because I saw something today that resonated with me and I think it could work.
When I have a market, I have to tidy two (maybe three) tables so I can take one and organise myself on the other. Now imagine, if I could have it so that I didn’t have to do that every second week. Well organise the jewellery is a must, but having everything else properly organised so it was less fuss and bother.
Before I start, if you want to check here and here for other tidy studio posts go for it. They explain the circumstances and room space.
Ok, all read and up to date? Lets begin on this stage of my room.

While the pictures don’t quite show it properly, I saw the space around the tables and decided I really liked it. One thing was missing. The space to put everything properly. Now if only I could move just one item of ‘house’ furniture to make room for my things.

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So much stuff and not enough room. I don’t want to feel crowded. I am already am really, with it the way it is.
Something has to change.
I spent some time, several coffees and measuring bits and pieces, then I sent a text to hubby “you don’t mind if I cover the fire place do you?” And the response that came back was “…I never want to see another fire place so go for it”
Enabling the help of two boys, we moved things and the result is as follows.
Where the bookcase used to be,

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And where the bookcase lives now. A perfect fit!! Yipee.
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Next I thought I would re jig the filing cabinets and the wooden cube shelves. I figured if it didn’t look that good it wasn’t going to be a hard job to move back. And if it worked, I could actually gain 10cm on the other end near the bead shelves. And believe me, every centimetre counts.
Before the move

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And after.. I did have a little trouble finding a filler to hold the shelves at the window end. Well I do still have to, I have something but it won’t last forever.

20130619-194507.jpg I do quite like it on it’s side as the things I need are easily reachable.

To be continued……

Jen 🙂

The year in review

What has happened this year?
In a nutshell…
– I attended the Middleton Fair for the first time ever, since visiting it years ago with small children in tow. I’m hoping the next one will be better. I have four weeks to get my act together on that front.

– I’ve been in the local newspaper as part of one of the markets I attend, albeit wrongly named.

– I bought my own domain name and started a new website – a lot of work is currently needed to tidy and fix it up.

– I bought an ad in a local newsletter – has it been successful? I’m not sure. No one has actually said they’ve seen my ad and come looking.

– I’ve done lots of markets this year. Some very good, most of it not so. Take the good with the bad, it’s all about marketing and getting your face out there.

– started this blog as a stand alone beady and craft blog after a completely un-related blog post from a friend.

– I attended an art exhibition with my very first attempt at collage and mixed media.

– I then dabbled in some painting and mixed media canvases. I sold a few early on but not much since.

– I made a few bags early on and then stopped. Not made much since. I’m going to make a few more new ones for the upcoming fair and markets in between.

– I’ve put it upon myself to help the manager of the Woodbridge Market to try and make sure it gets better. While it was hit and miss early on, I think he’s come round a little, and knows I don’t want to take over, just help. Last market he asked me if I had my camera at the ready and said well done on the FB page. Wahoo!

Next years goals?
Work on my website and get it uber organised.
Get my work area to a workable standard and try to be neater overall.
Get to work and make sure everything in my collection is worthy. There are a few at the moment that will be pulled apart. Those things that don’t get many looks or that I’m really not impressed with anymore.
Work on a few new items with clay, glass and semi precious stones, and nice chains or ribbons. Make a collection or two that is on going that become like signature pieces.
Look at a different marketing avenue maybe, or try a few more shops to get a small retail base happening.

I did start either this year or last. A goal of making less items and not rushing them out. Sometimes it worked. Other times I put too much pressure on myself and then that stuffed it all about.

Overall I’ve had a fun year beading, crafting and sewing and look forward to moving forward – onwards and upwards – in the new year.

I hope to see my followers back to share my journey.
Happy New Year!!
Jennifer 🙂

Flowers in Pink Clouds

My flowers are getting a new home.  On the canvas and not a bag or necklace like I was originally thinking.  I now know how to make them, so I can now make as many as I like any time I want.

I chose to make the background solid colour and not splatters from the other day.  On the mention of that one, I will decide if I add more colours or another form of texture.

My round sponges will add enough texture and shapes without taking away from the flowers where as a flat painted background may be too flat.
I  started with a dark base of lightened purple, and then white over the top to lighten it a bit more.

Then I added orange and yellow, followed by a deep red and topped off with pink and white.

The purple on the border was feeling a little harsh, too dark, so I dabbed over it with a pink white and I am now happy with the result.
I’m not exactly sure of what I was hoping to achieve with all the colours, when I could have just done red and pink with a super light violet , but I think maybe it gives it all a deeper colour and some depth.
It is very bright, but it is meant to be.

Once all the colours were dry I attached the flowers by sewing through from the bottom and securing with several knots.
The edges are loose and the centre only attached.

Very pretty. And Pink!

it is much brighter in the flesh, but this is not too bad.

 

Keep smiling 🙂
Jennifer

Funky fabric flowers and bags

The other day I received lots of goodies in the mail, and while I said I was going to play, I did, just with other stuff. All the beads are still on the table. I didn’t put them away either.
I played with my fabric flowers instead.

Earlier this year a friend sent me some flowers she had made herself. Just because. They are gorgeous, and pretty in pinks and reds, all floral. But they needed a little blinging up. They sat in my sewing drawer until I knew just what to do.
Then, it hit me. I had finished my first evening bag … Enter pictures please.

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(oops, they’re sideways, sorry) And I now knew exactly what to do with them.
So I blinged them up with a bit of ribbon and some beads and buttons.

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Now my only problem is, should I make a feminine necklace with chain and pearls, a bib necklace with 3 or more of them, a couple of evening bags, or one with a full flower garden on it…??

Below is a mini tutorial of how I finished the flowers.

First, gather supplies. Flowers, thread, ribbon…

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Then pin the ribbon in loops. As neatly as possible, but they move, and it doesn’t matter that it’s not perfect. They’re a fun thing.

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Next, making sure you knot the thread underneath, make small stitches to secure the loops. Only one or two per loop is needed, as the buttons and beads will be more than enough to secure it later.

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Decide on what will be the centre of your flower and sew it on. If needed add more beads so the centre is fully covered and you can’t see the ends of the loops. It should look something like this.

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Or this…

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When you are adding the centre piece make sure you knot the thread regularly underneath to keep it tight and secure.

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My last flower got the royal treatment as I had run out of ribbon so it as beads all the way. A flower button formed my centre and then I beaded extra petals around it.

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Any help in my decision is welcome, I do have all those other fabric flowers I bought, so plenty of flowers for plenty of ideas.

Keep smiling 🙂
Jennifer