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Friday, 31 January 2014

Decopatch at Craftelicious

So, it was my Birthday on Thursday and I had the day to myself, what to do? First up a meeting at the bank (I know!) and then I thought I would treat myself to a bit of decopatch at Craftelicious.

Craftelicious is a fantastic family run craft studio and cafe in Chorlton, Manchester, specialising in decopatch, pottery and ceramic painting and mosaics for both adults and children alike. Despite running Chorlton Crochet Club there for a good while I have never actually partaken in any activity other than crochet and drinking tea (and very nice the tea is too!). As I seem to be spending most of my life carrying out some crochet related activity at the moment I thought it would be great to try something different. 




Craftelicious is a gorgeous, bright and airy cafe decorated in purples, pinks and pale blues- a perfect space for encouraging creativity. 

First things first though, my stomach was growling by the time I had finished at the bank. Craftelicious has a fantastic menu of both sweet and savory crepes.....ranging from cheese and beans, to mozzarella and pesto, to goats cheese and caramelised onion. I went with the goats cheese and it was absolutely delicious! I would definitely have it again and I would recommend it to anyone! If you prefer to go sweet then there are loads of options to tempt you.....traditional lemon and sugar, nutella, banana.....





Now to business. What is decopatch then you may ask? 

You may have heard of decoupage? It is a French word meaning to "cut up" of "cut out" and the technique involved decorating object by cutting up bits of paper and gluing them to the surface. The surface would then be varnished to give a good finish.  Decopatch is the more modern form, using thinner paper and a combined glue and varnish meaning that you have more flexibility over your work due to the thinner paper and don't have to apply loads of varnish after you have finished.

I started with this little fellow:




and armed with paper, glue and a paint-brush set to work. 



I chose to use mainly red, yellow and orange paper. You can see the white glue here but it dried clear. Although the elephant was small it was quite fiddly, especially when it came to covering the legs, I was soon absorbed by it and only realised that a few hours had passed when it began to get dark!

Here he is! I'm thrilled with him and he has now taken pride of place on my bookshelf!




I would definitely recommend getting yourself down to Craftelicious for a spot of crafting, but if you don't fancy getting your hands a bit dirty then it is just worthwhile popping in for tea and a crepe. You won't be disappointed! 

SSxx

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

WIP Wednesday

Afternoon!

I hope you are all well. Thanks so much for your fantastic responses to my owl decoration earlier in the week. I heard from my cousin and she loved it so am very pleased. I have kept the pattern (thought parts of it may be floating around the living room) so may even make some more!

I have been trying something that I haven't done since I was about 8.....counted cross-stitch! When I was going through my sewing box a few weeks ago I actually came across some of the cross-stitch I did around that time, which was very bizarre (my sewing box is currently buried under mounds of fabric and wool, otherwise I would have taken a pic).

I found the pattern online via 'Sew' magazine as part of their valentines collection. I won't go into too much detail as to what it is as it will be another present. Here it is so far....


So far I have just completed one half of the chequerboard edging. Can you spot the mistake though? Here's a close-up:


I'm 4 rows short on the right hand side and I can't for the life of me work out where I went wrong. So, I have decided to start filling in the other green of the edging, being extra careful with counting til I can see where I missed a couple of rows out. Please please please let it be near the top!

Unfortunately you may not get to see this finished for a few more weeks as I will only post the finished item after I have given the gift (I've got myself in trouble with that before!)

Sharing along with Ginny today to see everyone else's WIPs

SSxx

P.S I don't have a printer so am doing this from my computer screen- quite glad I haven't made more mistakes than these!


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Twit-Twooo!

Introducing my latest sewing project........Owly! I made this for my cousin's Birthday using fabric left over from the cupcake cushion. What do you think?




Owl Decoration by SallyStrawberry


And some close-ups:







I loved making this although making and cutting out the patterns was very fiddly as its quite small and I kept on loosing bits!

Hope you are having a great day :-)

SS xx




Wednesday, 22 January 2014

WIP Wednesday

Uh-oh.............I just don't know where the week has gone! I haven't even had time to start a new WIP :-( the main reason for this is that I (perhaps stupidly!) agreed last minute to take a stall at a craft show THIS Saturday. Guess what? I have had to spend all my time making stock. I think it will be a great opportunity though to promote my upcoming crochet and knitting classes. Details below if you are in the area and would like to come along :-)






Have a great evening,

SS xx

Sunday, 19 January 2014

My first item in the 'homeware' range

Hello!

How are you all? 

Do you remember last week that I was going to concentrate more on making homeware? Well, introducing my first crochet home-ware item of 2014- retro crochet coasters in DK cotton









What do you think? I love the contrasting grey/brown and bright orange which gives them a very retro 70's feel. 

If you would like to see more please visit my Folksy Shop.

Have a brilliant week!

SSxx





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Friday, 17 January 2014

Making Decisions

Hello Y'all!

How are we?

These last two weeks I have made a decision......as much as I like designing kids hats I am no longer going to make this the focus of my crochet. My new focus is going to be......HOMEWARE! There are a couple of reasons for this: 

1. I don't have children so find it hard to get the sizing right as I don't have models to hand (although the ones I sell I do test out on at least one child!)

2. I can't take 'in action' pictures of my hats as I don't have my own children to model them on (may change, who knows?!?!) which I think will impair sales

3. I love a pretty house full of hand-made things and so do many people I know, making it an ideal market.

4. I already have some homeware in my Folksy Shop and have made loads of bunting, which out of all my work it seems to get the most attention (especially my Strawberry Bunting).

5. Due to my short attention span I like to make small things......and most homeware (except blankets, oh no!) is small


So who wants to make a bet? Will my living room end up looking like this:

Eclectic Living Room by Amsterdam Media & Bloggers Holly Marder
Source

.....or like this:


                                                  Source (there are some fantastic pictures here!)

Both are pretty fabulous don't you think???

SSxx

P.S I am still going to be working on some adult knitwear

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone!

You have now officially made it half-way through the working week. Unusually for me I have this weekend off work so Friday will actually mean Friday for me :-)

So, to business.........

.......I am very pleased to announce that the hat I was making last week is finished!

I even blocked it and everything, although I got massive paranoia that it has grown loads during the blocking and it will be too big. Fingers crossed it will fit!




I am yet to start on a new 'me' project but I have something in mind which you will find out about next week.

Joining in with Ginny on the Yarn Along as per on a Wednesday :-)

Take care,

SS xx


Monday, 13 January 2014

Sew and so

Hiya!

Sooooo, as I may have already mentioned....a couple of times......I GOT A SEWING MACHINE FOR CHRISTMAS- thanks so much Pete and Nanny!!! As you may guess, I AM REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!!

I always loved machine sewing and have got a GCSE in textiles, but since I moved out of my parents house I haven't had access to a sewing machine. No, don't get me wrong, when I did have access to a machine it wasn't like I was using it all the time (quite the opposite really!), but since I have become craft obsessed a sewing machine seemed like the next step forwards. Additionally, as I have wrist problems from crochet I thought it would be a great way to satisfy my need to create whilst giving my wrists a break!

I have booked myself on a dress-making course in March (going to learn how to make a vintage-style shift dress and I can't wait!) but in the meanwhile I have just been messing about a bit and trying out new things which I hope to share with you.

My first sewing project was an idea I came across whilst thinking what to do for my youngest sister's 19th Birthday at the end of the month. When she passed her A-Levels I made her some cupcake bunting, so I thought something along those lines. I didn't want to start off with anything too small and fiddly and after some deliberation decided to try out a cushion. 

After a quick Google and Pinterest search I couldn't find anything similar to the design I had in mind so I had to go it alone and draw up a pattern.

Bring on the grease-proof paper!




The fabric choice was easy once I had got over the awe of the huge variety of fabrics available in Abakans





I like patterns and am not afraid to mix and match so it will be the brown spotty cotton for the cake part, the starry fabric (oh, I do love this) for the icing part and pale pink for the backing. I also purchased some medium-weight wadding as I had visions for making the front of the cushion quilted. 

I used fusible webbing to stick the topping onto the bottom of the cake which worked a lot better than expected. Then, with the wadding on the reverse I used a shell-like stitch to go around the bottom edge of the 'icing' using pale pink cotton. I then zigzag stitched some lines on the base to give more texture before sewing around the entire cupcake shape.





I then sewed the backing on, right sides together, turned back out the right way and stuffed!

Voila! The cherry is a quilted flat circle in red cotton with some free-hand machine embroidery. 



 So, here it is!



Cute Cupcake Cushion by SallyStrawberry


I hope she loves it as much as I loved making it! Whilst I am thrilled that it came out so well for my first attempt at sewing in years I am going to play with the shape a bit and try and give it more of a 'muffin top'. Wish me luck!

Heading over to Handmade Harbour today for the first time in 2014!

Much love,

SS xx

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Facebook Giveaway!

Morning!

Just to let you all know that I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY of my teeny tiny crochet bunting on my Facebook Page.

All you have to do to enter is 'like' my page, 'like' and 'share' the post and comment which colour bunting you would like if you won- options are multi-coloured (as pictured below), pink and cream or blue and cream.





Best of luck!

SSxx

p.s. you may have noticed I have a proper logo on my Facebook page. This is down to the very talented Stefan Rhoades. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

WIP Wednesday

Morning and welcome to my first Work in Progress post of the year 2014!

Towards the end of past year I realised that I was no longer actually making things that I enjoyed making, or that I would actually wear myself, or that provided much of a challenge. In general I was just making up stock for my craft fair stalls and the commissioned items I made were very similar to the stock I was making up. So,  this year I am always going to have a 'me' project on the go.....something different, something I have always wanted to do, something that will challenge me....and this is what I will feature on these WIP posts.

So the story behind this weeks WIP began in the Summer when I was asked by my friend Dan to make him a winter hat, and I had free rein over what I made. Unfortunately this came at a time when my wrists were knackered with RSI and in the little time I was able to knit or crochet without pain I had to make stock for aforementioned craft fairs.

As you may have read in November I got a bit obsessed with hats. Not making them as such but dissecting how they were made, what kind of yarn was used etc. So many people were wearing gorgeous, chunky cabled bobble hats so *light-bulb moment* "Dan can have a cabled bobble hat!". Yes! I had an excuse :-)

After numerous Google and Ravelry searches I came upon this hat, called the 'Constantine Hat' by Buttons and Beeswax. Faye designs some lovely knitwear so please do have a look at her patterns (I also bought the pattern for the matching gloves as a treat for myself!). I thought that it would work well as a unisex hat, plus it would challenge me a bit more than my recent projects (I had to learn new skills such as the long-tail cast on).

As recommended by the pattern I used Erica Knight Vintage Aran in Gunk.





I even made a swatch- a first for me!





As always when I start a project with double-pointed needles I got in a bit of a muddle.......twisted yarn......stitches falling of the ends of the needles.......However, once I had got the first couple of rounds of ribbing down I was away! It has been a pretty quick knit so far, and I hope to present it to Dan by the end of the week.



Here's a close-up of the cables. They are a bit scrunched up in this picture as I didn't want to risk loosing stitches off the ends of the needles stretching it out.




Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along today to see what everyone else has been making over the holiday season.

Much love,

SSxx


Sunday, 5 January 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! 





I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas and New Year and managed to have a break and recuperate. Personally, December for me was manic....making, making and more making for a couple of craft shows, and I managed 7 commissions in this time too. Which, whilst was a bit of a struggle I did it, and am very pleased that I completed everything on time and didn't let anyone down. That period has made me realise how I would rather manage things making-wise this year. Having also done a couple of craft shows I also have a better idea of the scale of the inventory required (ie a lot less than I made), which means that I will get less stressed about future shows and fairs.


Last-minute panic crochet for a Christmas present.........


During December I totally neglected my blog, which at first made me feel a bit guilty, then I thought "sod it", as much as I would have loved to have spent time writing posts, taking pictures etc, I just really struggled to fit it all in. Sorry about that, but unfortunately when I had customers waiting or commissions something had to go. However, this is not going to happen again as 2014 is a year of getting organised and on top of things again! 

I would like to say a massive thank you to all those who offered support, encouragement and all my lovely customers over the Christmas period, it was you who got me through and made it all worthwhile. 

I will leave this post for now, but promise to be back in full swing next week. To finish....here are a couple more snaps of my Christmas and New Year....



POP!


A grim New Years Day walk in Northumberland. It was cold. It was wet. It was pretty dark



Mending a cushion cover on my NEW SEWING MACHINE!!!!

Speak soon and enjoy your Sunday,

SS xx