charity, craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, Uncategorized

Project Linus, Proud Daughter

My crafting inspiration has always been my Mum.  She is able to do pretty much everything with apparent ease…

She has consummate skills as a quilter – all hand pieced and quilted, although she’s also a dab hand at sewing anything.  She can also knit and turn her hand to pretty much anything (except crochet, don’t ask her about crochet!)

She has made some really cute and kooky things, which appeals to my random sense of humour, such as my kitty knitting/crochet project bag and the bunny bags with added felted carrot!  But she can also do pretty things like these hearts with lovely batiks, cottons with beautiful ribbons and trimmings.

Mum often makes things for my craft fairs and for my Etsy shop such as these lovely Japanese-style Origami Bags.

But what I really want to draw attention to in this post are the amazing quilts made by Mum and her ‘Sew and Sew’ group for Project Linus – this is a wonderful charity which provides quilts and blankets for sick and disabled children at Hospitals, Hospices and at home.  They distribute around 2,000 quilts a month in the UK alone.

Here’s Mum with two of her amazing creations.  The work that has gone into these is phenomenal.

And here are some of the ‘Sew and Sew’ ladies with their gorgeous offerings.  All in all the small group of ladies made 14 quilts in 5 months.  I am so proud of my Mum and her friends in doing something so selfless and kind and have such an appreciation of the time and love put into each one of these quilts.

The look on the Project Linus lady’s face says it all – she was amazed at how much they had produced in such a short time frame!  I hope the joy and love put into these creations will give the children who receive them a boost in their time of need.

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craft, crochet, knitting, yarn

Top 10 Stash Loveliness

I was inspired by the recent post from Cassy of knit the hell out about her Blogiversary and reminiscing about her stash, especially those special yarns you almost don’t want to use because they are so gorgeous.

I thought I would have a look through mine…  I love a Top 10!

One. Rowan Creative Focus Worsted – I bought this for a particular project and have not yet started it – a series of knitted bags with bamboo handles.  I also have three in a fabulous fuschia pink which I bought for a scarf but ended up using something else instead so it is also sitting in my (ever increasing) stash..

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Two. Araucania Ranco  – this yarn I bought on a whim from my local yarn store and then, on a whim, again on the next visit (oops!).  I love the soft, subtle colours but have no idea what to make with it!  I’m not a big fan of socks, but there must be something lovely and delicate which I can put this pretty 4 ply yarn to use on…

 

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Three.  Aubergine Silk – hand dyed and 1 ply but knits / crochets up as 4 ply.  This was bought for me as a present from Mum when we attended a Craft Fair in Sussex.  But what to do with it?

 

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Four.  Some beautiful hand-painted Alpaca Silk, Cashmere Silk and Merino Fine Lace from the excellent shop Watercolours and Lace – these are definitely ear-marked for a series of shawls, but I decided to learn more first about designing my own patterns before I use these lovelies.

 

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Five and Six. Another set of wonderful yarns, delightful colours and beautifully dyed and spun by the very talented Jean at Kaeravel Crafts – I did start making up the citrus one into a scarf but ran out of time and ended up using something else instead.

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Seven. Some Sari silks – I have three in total – they will be lovely as a little embellishment, but to what?  I haven’t made my mind up yet!

 

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Eight.  Some Noro Silk Garden – what a lovely yarn.  I bought this at the yarn exhibition at Olympia, back in March. Since then I’ve been made aware of the delicious ribbed striped scarf design by Jared Flood – I just need to buy another set to contrast with it!

 

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Nine. This amazing chunky handspun and dyed yarn was one of my first purchases, at the Craft Fair where I got the Aubergine Silk.  It was the most I have ever spent on a yarn but so worth it!  It came with two shawl patterns and I haven’t been able to decide yet which to do…

 

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Ten. Well, this is a bit of a cheat really… I did actually get round to using most of this (although have 3/4 of a skein left to do something with!)  this is Amorini, a 4 ply Cotton / Cashmere blend from the Little Knitting Company.  Perhaps a scarf or small shawl with the leftover yarn is in order.

 

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I’m sure I’m not the only one with an ever-increasing stash… But any ideas on what to do with my favourite yarns would be most gratefully received!

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Very exciting news…

My Etsy shop is now open for business…  Visit me here!

Here are a small selection of some of the items you will find on there.  I would very much welcome any feedback on Etsy from shoppers and sellers alike!

A selection of hand knitted and crocheted scarves and wraps in beautiful yarns…

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Hand quilted Japanese-style patchwork bags in gorgeous colourways…

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Scandi-style bunting in soft muted grey/blue, red and white.  Ideal for Christmas but lovely for all year round!

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I’m off for a rest now – very excited but also exhausted from the effort of uploading all of the pictures, finalising the policies and working out all of the measurements!

Happy snoozing!

 

Lou x

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My Etsy Shop is now open for business!

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New Year, New Plans!

Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve had such a busy time with Christmas and New Year and little time to myself, thankfully now I have had a chance to sit down and think about my crafty plans for 2015!

Initially when I learnt to knit and crochet, I was making for fun, and didn’t have a clear sense of direction.  I started by making gifts for friends and family and was encouraged by their reactions to start up in business, selling through craft fairs.

Towards the end of last year, I was considering giving up, as I had a lot of positive reaction, and some good sales, but these were intermittent and I felt that I hadn’t really found my niche.

I live in a part of England which is fairly poor (apart from the beautiful spa city of Bath) and although there are some artistic, crafty areas, there are also a lot of people who do not appreciate good quality handmade gifts.

I have spent a lot of time pondering what I want to do, and it is amazing how many factors you have to consider in making a decision!  The outcome of my ruminations that I loved what I was doing, enjoyed working with quality fabrics and yarns, with a quirky / geeky edge, but that I was spreading myself too thinly and not really focused on my ‘brand’.

So I have make some big decisions!

1. Honing my brand – I will be focusing on accessories and homewares.  As I am the Imelda Marcos of bags I will have a particular focus on these!

2. Starting to sell online and limit my face-to-face selling to those that I really feel I will benefit from

3. Going to sell off my remaining stock at discounted prices

4. My (huge) stash of yarn will be used up bit-by-bit on these accessories

5. Going to spend a lot of time thinking about Chester Bunnynuts as a brand and try to do a more professional job at marketing myself – part of that is writing more regular blogs, learning more about business and developing my skills in all areas.

So I think that’s enough thinking for now, and some action is required…  I have a week off in February, which I am really looking forward to.  I’m going to spend some time now deciding on the best marketplace for my goods – there are so many options from Etsy and Folksy to via my blog / my own website or eBay.

Where to start!?  If you have any experiences or advice on selling online it would be very gratefully received!

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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Busy times!

Apologies for my absence – after my stall in beautiful Bradford-on-Avon I was knocked down by laryngitis and a phone that suddenly shuffled off this mortal coil – taking all of my piccies from the day with it!

But great news from that day – I sold almost all of my crocheted poppies – I’ve got a couple left that are going to a good home, so I will have earnt £20 for the Royal British Legion. 

 

Kindness and crafting go hand in hand!

 

I also did very well with my pumpkins and sold all of these at the fair and afterwards the leftovers to my work colleagues, they went down a treat (literally, as they were stuffed with chocolates!)

 

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I’ve also been asked to supply some goods for a very upmarket Craft Fair in Devon this weekend, my friend’s Mum is running it – so we have both posted off a package of our favourite top-notch products.  Fingers crossed for a good result – I wish I could be there with all of my goodies in person, but it’s several hours away!  Here’s one of my Japanese-style Origami bags which are on their way to luscious Devon!

 

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My friend is making wonderful needle-felted animals – they are so gorgeous and she’s doing a range as brooches and one as Christmas decorations.  I will have to get some photos of them and post on here – she is so talented and she doesn’t even know it.  Bear, badger, fox, reindeer – I want one of all of them!

So just a short update for now – I have another fair mid-November so am still busy making some more bits and bobs!  I wonder what everyone else is working on – is it all Christmassy items?

Happy crafting.

 

Lou x

 

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