Friday, 29 January 2010

Sunshine Blog Award - 1st award



I'm thrilled. A few days ago I was awarded the Sunshine Blog Award by

Raicreations Designs


I had to go and look up what this was all about. There are conditions attached to accepting this award.

The rules for accepting the Sunshine Award are:
- Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
- Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

So I have spent a few days just reading other blogs. A fantastic exercise. There are so many talented people out there writing about their crafts and lives. It has been a most interesting experience. It is so difficult to choose just 12. However, heres my list I have included my reasons for each selection.

In alphabetical order :-

Anna Brookman Jewellery - Beautiful inspiring designs

Basketmaster's Weavings - an interesting, down to earth lady whose blog is a mine of information about basketweaving. Tips, patterns plus many pictures, tutorials.

Bodrighy Wood - You can see the well turned woodworking skills of this craftsman. Just from pictures you can almost touch and feel the smooth lines of the finished articles.

Busy Bees Craft Place - I'm useless trying to make anything out of paper. Therefore to see what can be done with card paper and glue etc. is so inspiring. Her bookatrix holder is something I would happily put to good use.

Craft Ideas for all - I'm expecting my first grandchild soon so these bright cheerful Ideas for baby gifts brought a smile to my face.

Fun Foods On a Budget! - I found this sit by accident. The recipes on here are mouthwatering. I just wanted to go straight to the kitchen to try one especially the Brownie Bottom Cheesecake . Just the ticket for getting those creative juices running.

Glitterbug Studios - Springtime comes to mind looking at Tracey's blog.


MidnightCoiler - Its great to see traditional crafts being continued with modern designs.

Monster Crochet - The enticing header on this blog does not dissappoint. Bright cheerful, and innovative mixture of crafts all beautifully designed.

Needle Tatting and other Nonsense - I chose this blog because it is the one of the needlecrafts that I haven't been able to master yet so I will be returning to this site to inspire and egg me on to have another go. There are tutorials as well.

OOAK Fairy Fae Sculpture. - I couldn't believe these fairy sculptures. Ethereal I think is the word. I am again bowled over by the wealth of talent.

SEWCHRISTINE - Beautifully created bags and a lot lot more besides. Very positive outlook.

I have commented on all the blogs awarded to inform them of their award.

I shall be following all my choices and a number of other sites I found on my travels. I think all these sites bring a little bit of sunshine into our world.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Craft change - crochet for macrame

Having stopped doing the scarf. I thought I would go shopping yesterday for some new yarn to make a totally different scarf and some buttons to complete the items I made over Christmas.

I came back with just what I wanted 5 buttons and two balls of yarn. I expected to be full of enthusiam for the new yarn but no what did I do I picked up the cotton thonging that I bought about a month ago and made a choker instead.

Its surprising just how much you forget between makes. It took me some time to work out the square knot again. Sorry its only one half of the choker in the picture but it does show the square knot in all its glory.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Crochet scarf

I started a crochet scarf on Tuesday. A few stop starts as I was making up the pattern as I went along then the odd mistake which needed unravelling all to be expected. However, when I picked it up on Wednesday I found that my thumb hurt it looks like I was using too much pressure holding the needle so I haven't been doing a lot since just the odd row.

Instead I've been out digging the garden and attacking the brambles always good for using up excess energy and angst. I now have two veggie plots dug and a small area cleared of brambles.


Having had a break from the scarf I'm not sure I want to continue. I think what I wanted to make was something lighter, this will be ok for the run up to christmas so I think this one is going on the back burner for a while.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Slow going

No pictures today. Its taking me longer to complete my next bracelet as I've decided to do a few together different colours but all similar in design and build. Should be ready the end of the week.

Thanks Minky ,noticed your comment yesterday. Nice to have it confirmed that my original guestimates are way over the top. In the end I think my decision to do what I want to design has a better feel than trying to mass produce. I am after all doing this because I enjoy it. Why put myself under any unnecessary pressure.


Happy crafting

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Inspiration found

The new jump rings have now suggested a different bracelet design which I am working on. Hope to complete one today if I can find the right beads in my collection.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Bracelet Finished

New supplies arrived yesterday less than 12 hours after ordering. A big thank you to International Craft and Beads Unlimited for promptly processing my order.

Bracelet is now finished

This has a handmade silver plated chain, shades of red glass pearls as charms and is elasticated so will be comfortable for anyone to wear. This took around 6 hours to make. Hopefully I'll get quicker. I think I'm going to make a few of these in different colours but I will have to do other things in between as my fingers become sore doing the wire wrapping on the charms.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Frustration

Unable to complete bracelet due to lack of materials. ( I ran out of essentials headpins and jump rings.) Spent 2 hours online sourcing the missing bits. Ended up ordering enough to keep me going for the next few projects. So now I'm waiting for them to arrive.

I know I should start the next piece of jewellery but no inspiration. So maybe its time to catch up on some housework do a few jobs that I dont do so often and take another look at my beads this afternoon. Oh and keep an eye out for the postman just incase the suppliers are really on the ball.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Reflection

After booking my first event I was going well 4 bangles in one evening. New found enthusiasm is great. Ok they were very simple. Then yesterday I started thinking and as I have managed to stock my stall for a few fairs then what I really need is stock to replenish the table as sales occur :-). If I try to create even a quarter of the items I calculated my craftwork is in danger of deteriorating into mass production which would take the sponteneity and enjoyment away. I need to enjoy what I'm doing.

Yes, there are a number of items I can make quickly and retain individuality (simple pendants, bracelets and necklaces) but then I need the freedom to do something that maybe I haven't tried or combine skills and that takes thought, planning, adaptability and above all time. I've always found that the creation of something unique and usable from what is after all a collection of bits and pieces be they new, recycled or jusy been hoarded is what makes craftwork so interesting.

Right my next bracelet is under construction, handmade chain, elasticated to fit any iwrist with Glass pearl charms that have hand made wire wrapped loops. This has taken over 4 hours so far and I'm not satisfied with the number of charms so I shall sit and make some more. I'll post pictures later.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Lots to do

Well I've taken stock. Given the time left 53 days I should be working 24hrs a day and still not reach the 2700 items in my last post. Needless to say I wouldn't be able to do that I need sleep, exercise and food, I think that cuts down my working day significantly. Hey this is supposed to be fun, so I'll have to cut down the numbers and aim at around 500 items. That still works out at around 7 items a day (around 50 per week) still to make.

Best get up now and start the day. Prioritise what needs to be done today, then comes the fun part what shall I make today.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Start Planning

Well yesterday I sent off a booking form for my first craft fair of the year 6-7th March.

So I sat down with a spreadsheet in front of me trying to work out how many items of each type I would need to fill a stall for 2 days. Finger in the air time (its a guessing game). If I assumed the same sales as from my last 3 fairs (all sales would have fitted in a very small handbag) I have more than enough jewellery already made. However, I must be poisitive. This year is going to be great. Last year I was only dipping my toe in the water. (I wonder how many cliches I can fit in this blog.)

No seriously it is a bit of a guessing game there are expected around 1700 people based on previous years. So if I work on a third buying something (optimistic as ever) X the types of jewellery 5 for variety I need to make around 2700 items. Sounds a lot but I do have to keep the stall stocked. I wonder how many I have already and waiting to sell. 16 on my web site small tub of earrings and keyrings, small box of bracelets and necklaces. Ok, I need actual numbers but you get the picture.

Do these figures seem unreasonable what do you think?

Do I have enough time?


Do I need more beads?


Will I have time for another jewellery party between now and then?



As I have all these questions to answer I'd better get going. Need to find out how many items I need to make in a week. Talk to you all later.

Friday, 8 January 2010

New start

Last summer I was given an art clay starter pack. After some months I plucked up courage to start making a ring. However when the clay had dried I found it was too big for me. It hadn't shrunk as much as indicated in the kit. So it was put on the back burner - abandoned. Today I crushed it up added water and am trying again. Heres hoping.

On a brighter note I made a ring and bangle using semi-precious stones and wirewrapping. The ring was the first ever ring I've made (I cant count the art clay because that wasn't completed). Then because I had originally intended to make a bangle not a ring I made the bangle and decided to incorporate some wirewrapping then I added two wirewrapped charms to give movement.

I shall now be looking for more applications for wire wrapping. The more I play with wire the better I will get. That's the theory.

Sorry more pics. The bracelet will be put up for sale soon in my online shop at www.folksy.com/shops/blossomcrafts


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

All that snow

Yesterday I had a lazy day watching the snow. Then in the evening I started sorting a bag of mixed semi-precious stone chips as I wanted to make an amethyst and quartz bangle. Took a long time.

This morning took a look at the sorted chips the rose pink and white ones looked mixed still (daylight makes a difference). At last I can start. All went well until I changed the design part way through. Its still not quite finished, so no pictures today. Sorry.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year to one and All

Hope everyone has recovered from the break. Well I've had a break from jewellery making but I can't seem to stop making something. I got my knitting needles out over Christmas but I'm not going to say what I made at the moment. All will be revealed later :-).

Just before New Year I started making a bag from the Blog Giveaway. Heres a picture to give you an idea of the items.



My initial thought was I want to make a bag but as I hadn't made a bag before I needed to decide on the shape, size, was I going to line it. So out came the old wallpaper to make a rough pattern. A rummage upstairs and hey presto enough material for a lining (it must have been up there for over 20 years). Heres the half way stage
.

Just the catch to work out and the strap to complete now. Beads and button form the catch. The strap was finished as a sewn static strap perfectly adequate as I want to use this myself. And heres the finished article.


It is fully lined with two pockets inside. About 1 week thinking and a few hours work over two days. I'm rather pleased with this effort. Still quite a lot of beads and other things to make I'm not sure what yet.