Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rush, Rush, Rush

New Owl purses
2012 Calendar all wrapped up

Can you see the new reindeer ? I made him a scarf

New and improved felted wine bottle holders or champagne if you are so inclined.

The sewing machine hasn't been getting much rest lately.
How did Christmas get here so quick ? In between the sewing and the shopping there's been little time for much else. It's been super busy but very productive. I'm already making plans for 2012 with a new website and catalog in the works but don't worry I'll be getting some help so I can focus on more new things. Expect some notebooks as I got a book binding machine for Christmas. I've managed to punch some holes but will need to watch a couple of videos before trying to put a coil in. Things that I have learned from this busy time, is make batches of stuff at the same time much more time efficient and even though I started before October preparing for the holiday season it wasn't early enough ! Renegade London made a considerable dent to the inventory (no complaints here) but there aren't really too many shortcuts to the making of most of the toys and because the fabrics are constantly changing you have to allow for the fact that sometimes it won't react as you predicted or your sewing machine decides it won't accept any of your threads even though it did it before. Tags make lots you can never have too many. I know that I made at least 144 sewn items this year probably more because that's how many tags I ordered. That doesn't include any paper goods so I'm going to aim to double that number next year.  I found some new years resolutions from 2009 and one of my resolutions this year should be to revisit the goals more than once a year. I eventually get round to things on my list but sometimes it takes more than 12 months. The checklist book still seems to be keeping things on track so I'll keep using it. I always put "to be more organised/tidy" but I recently found a great quote "Creative minds are rarely tidy" and I will hold onto that. It doesn't discount dishes, vacuuming and laundry but you can't have everything. Thank you for reading and accompanying me on this journey and onwards to 2012.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Being productive is hard Part Deux

So I should have mentioned in the last post that I bought myself a little to do book and I wrote each thing that I needed to get done and checked it off as I went along. There are still an overwhelming number of things to be checked but if anything it serves as a reminder to get going when my attention span wanes or I get sidetracked by Grey's Anatomy. I had never watched an episode so I'm now catching up on Netflix. In the long run I have saved time because I didn't watch it on TV with ads !

So the pillow is done. Two more to go.

The window display went up on Wednesday. This was after some frantic hot glue gunning of the deer head when I realized I'd stuck the picture hooks on the bottom of the frame.  It took 5 hours  to get this up. The middle where the doors meet was my major nemesis. I'd put something up only to realize it couldn't be seen. There's a lot of fishing wire going on, the backdrop was some fabric I bought in Ikea a while back. I'd been planning on making some curtains but I had an aha moment where I thought ooh they look like snowballs..

Daytime shot of The Seed Window.
View from the inside. I'm lucky to have a big table which I managed to fill.
Things have been pretty busy since the display so there's been less time to procrastinate and more doing. Glad to report the completion of the 2012 Calendar and a new improved wine bottle holder. I did some market research with people from work and it got the thumbs up so hopefully it'll be a hit. I also inputted almost a year's worth of receipts. thanks to memo book I'd identified the fact that it would soon be tax time and I would have to do it anyway and it got done and was quite satisfying. So on that upbeat note I will go and finish off an owl.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Being Productive is hard Sometimes

It's been a tough month and I'm not quite sure why. There's no shortage of projects it's just a general malaise, hopefully it won't last too long. In the works is an almost completed calendar, some not yet begun blanket pillows, recycled hang tags and more plushies. I have an event coming up in two weeks so that will probably force me into action....

I started writing this post on the 14th November and I kicked that malaise into touch. Sometimes all it takes is a good clean and a work surface, other times it's just that general excitement to see how your idea turns out or maybe even going surfing does the trick. Here are the results. I did complete the calendar but haven't photographed it yet. The blanket pillows are cut but look at all this other stuff.
Surf inspired Gift Tags

Then there was the packaging design.

Felted Flower Pin Brooches.

Wine Bottle Carrier

CD Wreath x 4
and last but not least hoodie bear, the newest addition to the plushie family. It wasn't easy, it took 3 samples to finally find a successful conclusion that was faithful to the drawing.
Lil hoodie bear.

My dog was kind enough to model.
That's at least a couple of blogs worth of stuff in one. Hope you like them.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Photography - Kelly Slater

I happen to live in Huntington Beach and so it simply wouldn't do to not go to the US Open of Surfing when it's in town. This year I actually have a decent camera and in only it's second outing I managed to take a whopping 600 pictures. (This was mostly due to it being on Sport mode and the fact that I was there for about three hours.) So I didn't have a huge zoom but with a decent spot on the pier it was enough to get some decent shots. I think a lot of it is predicting when the surfer is going to go for a wave and if you're really lucky they will be coming towards you. It's 50/50 as they can go either left or right. So I was supposed to post this hmmm back in September but seeing as Kelly just won his 11th World title I think I can squeeze it in now.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Cards & Wine Bottle Carrier

So to dispel the myth that I haven't actually been working much I present to you some recent work.

Snowboarding Penguins

Ice Skating Penguins
It has taken a while for the ball to drop so to speak. I had these leather scraps and they have been residing in a bag for at least a year or so. My husband needed to punch a hole in a belt and so I got out the punch and I realised I could cut up the scraps and make handles. I intend on making some wooly bags with my felted jumpers but these wine bottle carriers were pretty quick to put together. As Hannibal from the A team would say " I love it when a plan comes together."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thrift Store Find - Vintage Sewing Basket

I found this lovely sewing box in my local thrift store and immediately swooped it up. I don't actually own a sewing box but this one matches the clock in the craftroom so clearly meant to be and worth the three year wait. It has two stacking trays and then plenty of space for notions. The top tray actually tells you what to put in each space. I filled it up a little for the photos but it will soon be bursting with stuff.

Top Tray

Bottom tray

Monday, October 31, 2011

Renegade London

Well I finally made it across the pond as they say the journey was hellish. (I'm back now just a bit delayed with the old blog). It may not sound like much but when the remote for your tv doesn't work, the 9 hours of chair confinement seems insurmountable. I ended up having to switch seats but only when the hour and half of turbulence had ended. I replaced the broken remote and gained a seat which reclined but refused to stay in that position. I used to love flying Virgin, no longer. Anyway enough of the ranting back to craft news. After pooling my family resources I was able to create a decent display improvising with cardboard boxes, a tartan blanket, plate holders and easels. I did miss my oversized frame though but there was no way it was fitting in the suitcase as it was I was a mere .2kg under.

Star helper

 Ethan (my nephew) and his Jimmy comics

Some of the goodies

The Frame that got left behind.

This was the lovely Kim and her leather goods.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Trees and Dog Dolls

I must admit while I have been pretty busy with my projects but I've also been playing bejewelled a lot ! It's pretty addictive. Progress wise there are a lot of new projects that are in the pipeline and while I occasionally feel guilty taking time off to play mindless games I also realize that at times my mind needs a break. Standing in the shower today I had some great ideas, so even before the working day has technically begun constructive things happened.
Here are some tree ornaments I've been working on which combine two of my favourite fabrics and my new embroidery obsession. I really will be sad when all the green wool has been used up. I also made big tree pillows which you can see poking out there and some bags but alas no decent pictures yet.
 Here's the new Sanford doll which he models so professionally. It's essentially a drawing on cotton.
Here's the Farley doll. He wasn't responsive to my cues so I just had to lie his namesake by him. As you can see he wasn't impressed ! I'm still working on the Boss doll but it's so nice to be able to draw and I love the way it looks. (Also washable in cold water !)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thrift Store Find - Doris Day Mug and Mini Red Racer

There hasn't been a thrift store find in a while although I continue to find gems.This is a mini hand cart which I thought would be a great addition to my display items. Sanford was intrigued by it but as soon as I moved it he ran for cover.

This is the most brilliant book and if you are at all interested in learning any of the above snap it up if you see it. There's so many stitches with good clear instructions. At $3 it was the bargain of bargains.
This is a famous movie star but I honestly had no idea because frankly the likeness isn't all that accurate. What I liked about it was the drawing itself and all the marks on it.
It took me a while to decipher this I thought it said Waverley but on closer inspection, drumroll please Doris Day, I can't say I saw that one coming. Still I do like a good mug. I wonder what makes you think I don't need that Doris Day mug anymore when it's simply BRILLIANT.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Projects

It's been a busy couple of weeks since the last post but rest assured it has been frantic on the making front. I discovered a new passion, embroidery. I began by making it up and then watched a useful video on Etsy labs that showed four stitches and I was up and running.

Here are a few samples, I'm so excited to incorporate the technique into new plushies.

This was my first attempt sans instructions.
little trees

Owl Tea Towel

Sun and Cloud

Rain cloud with rainbow on back
In addition I've been making a selection of cloud pillows as well as a sun but it looks more like an egg when not placed near a cloud. I embroidered a rainbow on the back of the rain cloud but forgot to take a picture. That's it for now, short and sweet.