Thursday, November 27, 2014

Open Studio!!

As usual time seems to fly by and I suddenly find it's ages between blog posts. However, right now that is a very good thing indeed as it means I've been far too busy with my new business!

My little brooches flew off the shelves in my Etsy shop and even led to some additional orders - thank you so much everyone who bought them, I really cannot tell you just how much I appreciate it :)

I've been sewing like mad, getting ready for this coming Sunday when I'm taking the plunge and hosting a Christmas Open Studio here at my 'studio' (kitchen/dining room!). Amidst all that sewing I also made up another big order of floral wash-bags.

My dear little sewing machine has worked her socks off and performed miracles. I've told her she can have a bit of a break after this weekend but then forgot I have a quick quilt to make for Christmas!

So, here's a taster of my sewing for my Open Studio..

Loads of bags, purses, brooches and key-fobs.

An army of Dammit Dolls - made from my old Recycle for Hampshire work shirts - delicious irony ;), with some little Red Robin Christmas Scented Sachets, made with fabric I had printed up months ago by Spoonflower, from a little sketch of mine.

A trio of patchwork cushions made with gorgeous Janet Clare fabric.

A quartet of fabric covered notebooks.

Four tiny framed embroideries...from a grand total of 19 - and this doesn't include the three that sold within a few minutes of me posting them on Instagram :)

I think it's fair to say I'm enjoying getting my little business up and running! I don't think I've ever been happier and am so excited to see where it takes me.

Finally, to welcome my Open Studio visitors I decided I needed a new wreath for my front door. Made in the same way as my previous one, using carrier bags taped together (yes, really!), it cost me nothing but time - the cotton reels were a very happy freebie when I bought an old sewing machine years ago and they'd been waiting in the loft for just the right thing  -and the denim was from a very torn pair of Minx's jeans.

So, now I just have to scrub my home and tidy like mad, bake a mountain of mince pies and make a gallon of mulled wine and hide all the usual rubbish that clutters up the corners....and hope that someone comes!

Moogs xxx

Monday, November 3, 2014

Christmas Decorations Blog Hop November 2014

Well, it's pouring with rain, the teenagers are back at school after a lovely half term break, and the naughty Wobblydog (who celebrated her 1st Birthday yesterday) is busy with a stinky bone...after waking me at 3am, ripping up the offcut of carpet that sits underneath poor Merlin Moog's bed.

I'm on strong coffee and lots of sewing to get me through the day but first I have a slightly different blog post to do.

A few weeks ago I was invited to take part in a Christmas Decorations Blog Hop being run by Stitch Craft and Create. It's not something I usually do but I thought it would be fun to take part and encourage me in my endeavour to blog a bit more. The blog hop is taking place throughout November and all bloggers taking part have been asked to make a Christmas decoration from one of a number of Christmas craft ebooks offered by Stitch Craft and Create.

It wasn't easy to choose which ebook to go for as they were all very tempting but after some deliberation I chose this one as the cover photograph really drew me in:

This is a beautiful book, the photography is stunning and the images and text really evoke the kind of Christmas I would love to have. There are over 120 craft projects in the book, including papercrafts, knitting and crochet projects, edible gifts, gift-wrapping, some lovely food and drink recipes and even a section on making bird feeders to keep our wild feathered friends well fed at Christmas! The projects are all very accessible and most could easily be done by the whole family.

There's an emphasis on using natural found materials in many of the projects and it makes me want to head to the woods for twigs, cones and berries! The twig stars and hearts in the first chapter 'Preparing for Christmas' are something I really want to make and the dried orange and apple slices in the 'Scent of Christmas' chapter are going to have to be tried this week.

There are also some lovely knitted and crochet projects, in gorgeous natural and typically Scandinavian colours - the infinity scarf on page 47 and the cosy hat on page 49 are going to be cast on very soon too...and then there are all the fabulous sounding recipes I need to try, especially the White Mulled Wine and the Winter Warmer Hot Chocolate. I can see me dipping into this book many times in the run up to Christmas.

Even if you didn't make anything from the book, browsing through it would get you in the festive spirit in no time - you can almost smell the spruce and cinnamon! 

It took me some time to decide which decoration I wanted to make from the book. I was very tempted by the crocheted candle holders and the little heart decorations made from Dad's old socks (some rather gorgeous not at all old looking Scandinavian colourwork knitted socks!) but in the end I opted for a project out of the 'Cut and Glue' chapter - the Bird Garland.

It was a great quick make that, I think, captures the simple Scandinavian style so well - it was also an absolute pain to get a decent photo of! This is the best one:

This one definitely isn't!

Full details of the blog hop and the other bloggers taking part can be found here. If you fancy treating yourself to the book you can find it here in the Handmade Christmas Shop, where you can also find lots of craft materials, kits and gifts as well as ebooks and downloads. If you sign up to the Stitch Craft & Create newsletter you can also download a selection of free ebooks.
If you're a new customer you can click here and use the code SCC525 to get a £5 discount on your first order over £25.

£5 Off £25 at Stitch Craft Create with Offer Code SCC525

I'm really looking forward to seeing what the other blog hop bloggers get up to this month - I think we're in for a treat!

Before I head off to start drying apple slices I just wanted to thank everyone who popped into my etsy shop this week - I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you purchasing some of those little brooches - I sold 11 on the first day!

Moogs xx