Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Creative Connections monthly craft challenge - November

The theme for the November challenge is 'Winter'. Which is rather apt has the weather has taken a cold turn this week (though at least it's not as bad as in the USA today with Hurricane Sandy!).

My project idea is a shawl. These are useful when it turns a little chilly, you can where them around the house, in bed while your reading or pop under your coat when you're braving the elements.

The pattern for this shawl is simple:

Cast on 3 stitches.

Row 1 - knit 1, wrap yarn around your needle, knit 1, wrap yearn around needle, knit 1.

Row 2 (and other even rows) pearl to end.

Row 3 (and other odd rows) - always knit the first stitch, wrap yarn around your needle, knit to last stitch, wrap yarn around needle, knit 1.

Cast off when desired length is reached.

I used an acrylic mohair yarn (natural mohair makes me itch) for this (a charity shop find) and knitted it on 5mm needles so it grew quite quickly. You can use what ever yarn you want and which ever needles that your yarn requires (or you want to use, there is no guage for this pattern!).

I decorated my shawl with a few knitted flowers (you can find plenty of free patterns for these at Knitting Pattern Central), but you can add whatever takes your fancy. The holes created down each side of the shawl could be used for tassels, for example.

Happy knitting.

This shawl is now available to buy in the Elsie May and Bertha shop.

Previous challenges:

October - Halloween.


Monday, 22 October 2012

Strawberry swap

The theme for my latest swap was strawberries and my swap partner was Barbara Warren of Bumble Bunting.

I was a bit flummoxed at first about what to make, I had  some fabric with strawberries on it but what to make with it. Fortunately, inspiration struck and I came up with three things! A fabric shop 'sign' for Bumble Bunting, a strawberry brooch and a lavender strawberry.

The shop sign was made with a stripy strawberry fabric for the main body, embroidered and appliqu├ęd words, strawberry cross-stitch and mini bunting out of another strawberry fabric.

The extras.


Strawberry brooch mounted on a decorated card.

As usual, you had to add something new for your swap partner but you couldn't spend more than £3. I saw the tin below in John Lewis and luckily it had been reduced down to £3 exactly. So used this to hold all of the bits and pieces of the parcel.

 Lavender strawberry.


As Barbara is a bunting maker I expected her package to me would contain some, and I was right. I now have some lovely bunting up in my workroom, along with the lavender hearts and my £3 present was the strawberry post-it note blog.

I'm not sure when my next swap will be as I'm pretty busy with making things for christmas, but I'm keeping a look out to see if any new swaps catch my eye.


Friday, 12 October 2012

Creative Connections monthly craft challenge - October

A few months ago I joined Creative Connections which is an online network for crafters. To access the site you do need to become a member, but this is straight forward, especially if you are a member of Facebook or Twitter as you can sign in using those.

Creative Connections runs a monthly craft challenge and I have become a member of the challenge design team. This means that we have to create something based on a theme for each monthly challenge. These aren't for people to copy but to give ideas for their own creations.

The theme for the October challenge is Halloween (not surprisingly). I'm not really one for the orange and purple type of halloween that you can see in the shops at present, I wanted more of a ghostly feel. I created a couple of collages, something I'm doing more of.

The first one is called 'Bewitching' and the second is 'Ghostly'. They both have the same 'template', but some of the elements are different.



Too make the collages I used:
  • card
  • pages and engravings from old books, 
  • pictures printed onto fabric (I used the paper that you use to transfer pictures onto t-shirts etc)
  • scraps of linen
  • ribbon
  • lace
  • embellishments including, sequins, beads and self-adhesive butterflies.
  • glitter
  • glue
  • gold crayon.
To display them properly (they were still drying when I took these pictures, which is why they're hung by bulldog clips!) I will be mounting them on stiff card, with ribbon to hang them up. I'll pop them into the Elsie May and Bertha shop when I've done that.

Once you're a member of Creative Connection you can enter the challenge each month. The October challenge finishes on 31 October (I know, I'm really lax when it comes to posting this blog post!).

Happy crafting.


Saturday, 6 October 2012

A 2nd birthday and a new logo

It's two years since I launched Elsie May and Bertha onto the world! I can't say that is has been an overnight success, sales are still few and far between. but I have met (in person and online) lots of lovely people. Time has flown by so fast!

One of the big benefits of being your own boss is that when my chronic fatigue is bad I can take the day(s) off. Something that was causing a wee bit of a problem at my old job and doesn't enamour me to future employers!

We're currently working on christmas items, including cards, decorations and stockings, which I'll be adding to our website soon, so keep an eye out.

Our new logo.

A few weeks ago I picked up a tweet from the Craft Connection, who were forwarding one from a student offering to create a logo for anyone. This tweet came from Polina (Polly) Stoyanova, who is doing a degree in Digital Media at the University of Greenwich. Well, I do like to help, so I tweeted back and after a couple of email exchanges Polly came up with a lovely design. 

The teapot was the first element chosen, Polly had seen the tea cosies on the website and liked the. It had to be pink, of course, as it's my favourite colour. The needle and thread indicates the sewing we do and the name being in green just makes it 'pop' out.

What do you think of it?

I'm slowing adding it to the website and various social media sites, so that there's the same logo across everything that will, hopefully, raise our profile.