etsy mini

Thursday, 8 June 2017

studio and craft room organization.

Hello everyone. Today I thought I would give you a peek in to my studio and tell you about an easy, inexpensive storage solution I found on pinterest. First I will show you a video of my studio. Apologies for the grainy images.

As you can see, I have separate areas for felting and stitching. That way I have the luxury of leaving half finished projects out. I love the simple merino storage. It's just a rod suspended on cup hooks with the merino batts draped over the rod. I can see what I have at a glance and the vibrant colours really brighten the room up. I have a big, old cabinet for paperwork, mounts and general bits and pieces. Did you notice the under stair shelving? That is what I want to tell you about.

Until last weekend all the baskets , the old sewing machine, Gloria (the mannequin) and everything else were scattered around the worktops in my studio. I even had some under the table and to be honest it looked a mess! I couldn't find things and always seemed to be moving things from place to place to make room. So I visited my favourite inspiration site - Pinterest.

There were loads of amazing and very inventive storage solutions but many were not suitable for my needs and others were just too expensive. Until I came across this brilliantly simple idea.
 Apple crates!

They could, of course , be arranged in different ways but this fitted well into that wasted space. They cost 6.00 each from a local hardware shop. All I did was sand them down and give them a couple of coats of clear varnish. They could be secured together but I wanted the freedom to be able to move them and rearrange them. They are firm and stable just as they are.
Can you see Gloria looking after the knitting needles?

The neat little chest of drawers was a plain Ikea one which I painted years ago. Perfect for stationary.
I hope this has given you some ideas on how to sort your craft room out.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Hand spun art yarns now in my shop!

I have a confession to make. I have become addicted to spinning designer art yarns!

This is quite a long post so get a cuppa and sit down. I will tell you how this came about.

It's almost shearing time and I decided to use up last years fleece I would spin it and make myself a cosy sweater for next year. I learned to spin about 20 years ago but have always found it a bit boring. Felt making is much more exciting. I spun my yarn. Just a plain white 2 ply with some hand dyed pink and blue stripes for a bit of interest and knitted my sweater. I've never been a great knitter but to my surprise discovered I have finally learned enough patience to finish something and in about 4 weeks had my cosy sweater.

Then some friends in the village asked if I wanted any alpaca fleeces because they had some spare. I didn't want them to go to waste so said yes and ended up with a white fleece, a brown fleece, a beige one and a black one! My next door neighbor also has a few sheep and also spins but knew she wouldn't use the fleece before shearing and hey presto I have ANOTHER fleece to spin!

This was getting silly. Am I mad? Better make another sweater. This time I carded the brown alpaca with some brown soay which I had left. I also found some light brown shetland in my stash and threw that in the mix. I ended up with a rather nice tweedy sort of brown. I dug out a spinning book that has been gathering dust for years and found a yarn which the author had spun using a hand spun singles plied with a fine commercial thread. Mmmm I have a mill end of rust, silk fibre on the shelf. I plied my tweedy brown hand spun singles with the rust silk and ended up with a really nice yarn!

After knitting the front of my sweater I decided that it needed something to jazz it up a bit but don't like knitting fancy stitches or dealing with multiple balls of yarn so I scoured the internet for ideas. This is when I discovered ART YARN. Perfect. Lots of texture and multiple colours all in one ball. However, when I looked more closely they were too - well big. Too thick and too much texture to look right on my sweater so I decided to make my own. Lots of reading and many you tube videos later I  began. Of course I wanted to try lots of techniques and experiment with adding silks and Wensleydale locks and..........

I ended up with this lot
They are all beautiful. Chunky but not too thick to knit, crochet or add to a weaving comfortably. 
I think these are my favourites
Or is it these?
It would take me a month of Sundays to use all of these yarns and I 'm still spinning so I've added a new section to my shop for them. If you need to expand your stash or want something for a special project visit the new yarn section by clicking here       so far I've only listed a few but more will be coming in the next few days. Happy creating!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Bed hangings - to keep out the cold!

I was recently asked to make some felt bed hangings for a little girls bed which was in a drafty room. The customer had previously commissioned a picture for the side of the bed and now wanted one for the head end and one for the feet end. Each one had to be 102cm x 68cm .

We had a lot of fun designing them together and these are the results.
Felts of this size require an awful lot of rubbing and rolling and certainly gave my arms a workout! I'm sending them off tomorrow and hope she loves them.