craft, crochet, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, yarn

New Products, New Ideas

I’ve had a lovely few days with Mum visiting, as I’ve been unwell and she has been visiting¬†to look after me. ¬†But also we’ve been practising my sewing skills, expanding my repertoire after having attended¬†a sewing class recently.

I had the idea to make a crocheted clutch bag, but wanted to know how to line it with fabric to get a professional finish.  Thankfully Mum has the skills to teach me!  This is the item in progress.  The first part after finishing the main crochet design, was to block it to size and measure up the fabric.

Finally I have managed to use my KnitPro blocking pins and mats and they were fabulous – well recommended (from Wool Warehouse with free shipping…) ¬†The yarn I used was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran – it holds up very well and was a joy to work with.

We quickly decided that there needed to be some interfacing to stiffen the edges, otherwise it wouldn’t hold up too well. ¬†Eventually we settled on sew in interfacing which we measured to just under the size of the silk taffeta lining fabric.

And here is the finished article! ¬†I’m so happy with the outcome – finished off with a magnetic bag clasp and a vintage brooch.

img_20170205_121320

In fact, I love it so much I’ve even started on the next one already!

img_20170205_134434

Standard
craft, knitting, Uncategorized

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 6

And on to Day 6 already!

Day 6: What is your favorite piece that you’ve knit?

This is one of my earliest knits as a gift for someone – this blackberry (also known as bramble stitch) scarf was a present for my brother.

I was so thrilled with the outcome and made very few mistakes in it Рbeing a bit of a perfectionist they were very noticeable to me but not to my brother who loved it.  So much, in fact, that he refused to use it except for on special occasions!

A few months later I finally managed to encourage him to wear it more often and I’m still delighted when I¬†see him sporting it.

I’ve started making him another scarf since then but have yet to finish it…

2012-12-23 13.29.24

Standard
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.

IMG_1221.JPG

Standard
craft, crochet, knitting, nature, spring, Uncategorized

Spring Crafting the House

Much as I love Winter, taking down the Christmas decorations is always a sad time РI usually make a big effort with my two mantelpieces, which seem to look bare and a bit sorry for themselves when the festive season is over.

This year, I decided I would do something about this (as opposed to just moaning about it…)

So, I resolved to¬†make a seasonal display¬†of my living room mantelpiece for each season. ¬†I have started with Spring – there’s still a bit of work to do but it’s a start! ¬†My friend’s Mum found the deserted nest in her garden (don’t worry – she waited several¬†years for someone to claim it but they never did)

IMG_0263IMG_0264

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0265

IMG_0266

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a bit of an eclectic mix¬†and¬†I feel it needs some handmade / crochet loveliness to jazz it up a bit, but it’s a start!

I can never do anything by halves, so I then cleared my new shelf (opposite the mantelpiece) and decided to make this¬†British woodland scene (which will be permanent but with perhaps some seasonal visitors…)

IMG_0258IMG_0259

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0260

I have some work on the set-up of this to do, but I think the foxes kit which Mum bought me from Kidsonroof¬†works really well in this setting. ¬†Apologies for the picture quality – it is¬†very overcast today so even my ‘proper’¬†camera struggled to take a clear image!

IMG_0261

IMG_0262

 

My little crochet Toadstool looks sweet but a little lost on the impromptu wood stumps, again a few additions are needed so I think I should get crafting…

What would you like to see added to the scene?

Standard
Uncategorized

Exciting Etsy plans

Morning all – just a quick update…

I have made a rather monumental decision – I’m going to open an Etsy shop!

The last few¬†weeks have been a bit of a reflective time – with the cold weather and lack of funds post-Christmas I’ve put in considerable hours considering what path I want to follow to sell my products.

I live in a part of the UK that is not particularly geared up for crafts – I have attended some craft fairs but have found the results to be patchy. ¬†It seems that I get a lot of positive comments, but that doesn’t always transpose into sales.

For some time I’ve been thinking about the different online communities and also how I can back up the route I choose with social media. ¬†There are so many pros and cons of the different options available, it has been quite challenging to finally make up my mind!

Although Etsy is quite big, and I think you can easily get lost there, I have heard lots about the great community and backup from¬†Etsy UK. ¬†I’ve also decided to rationalise my makes into mainly accessories – hand knitted and crocheted bags, wraps, scarves, gloves, hats etc. ¬†I also have some sewn bags which I will also put on Etsy and see how they go!

Now my decision has been made I am planning my makes, pricing and shop policies and then will be setting up a (hopefully) speedy production line Рdifficult when I work full-time!  I have a week off after Easter and am planning to open the shop perhaps in late April / early May.

Has anyone else had any experience of selling on Etsy or other marketplaces online?  How did it go?  What did you think of the results?

Happy crafting!

Lou x

Standard
Uncategorized

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 РI 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 Рpart 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

Standard