Monday, 21 March 2016

Crop Day to Craft Day: an evolution

Back when I was doing papercrafts, my friends and I got together once per month to do scrapbooks, cards, art journals, etc. The group started a year or two before I joined, which was in 2007. So I've been with this wonderful group of women for NINE years now! We lost one member who moved away and another member moved but not so far, so still joins us very occasionally. We're down now to six, which is really a manageable number since we meet in each others' homes.

The change however is that we no longer do papercrafts. We're all into sewing now: bags, placemats, fabric boxes, mug rugs, wall hangings, or other sewing projects. A couple of us are eager to start sewing clothes, but for now are content to just do our "projects". We're no longer meeting for "crops" (a papercraft term) but now meet for "Craft Day"!

Someone asked what we take for our Craft Day. I can show you what I take:

First, of course, is my sewing machine. Currently, it's a Brother Innovis 600, which they don't even make anymore. As far as I can tell, it's almost identical to the Brother Innovis 350SE. I have no plans to upgrade at the moment as I really love my 600.

The husband of one of my crafter buddies said we look like the sewing room in the show "Mr. Selfridge" when we all start sewing on our machines! That or some kind of backstreet sweatshop, I suppose.  And we all use different machines!

Then of course, we all bring our various "tools of the trade". Some of us use an assortment of bags, but I have a plastic storage caddy. I leave my supplies in it all the time, even when working at home. That way I know where everything is and don't have to go rifling through drawers and boxes to find something.... just pick it up and go.  The photos are in reverse order: bottom layer to top layer.

The contents of the bottom tray change, depending on the project at hand. For example, for the last craft day I made something out of Debbie Shore's "Sew Inspired" magazine. I cut the fabric out before I went, so that saved time and space.

The second (middle) tray always holds my scissors, rotary cutters, bobbin case,
fabric clips, and various other odds and ends. These are too large or too odd-shaped to go into the top tray. It may look a little chaotic, but I know exactly what I have.

The top tray has movable compartments. I keep small items in here, sorted by the type of item. For example, all machine needles are together, tape measures, etc.
It really is a very workable system.

The only problem with the plastic caddy is that the little snaps break very easily. Mine have broken in a couple of places, so I have to be very careful when all three trays are snapped together and I need to carry it. I can replace or add to the trays, although they aren't particularly cheap!

It looks like this when it's all ready to transport:

I usually have to also carry a tote bag for large items, such as a very long ruler, a bag of poly stuffing, magazines/books, and my lunch. I think everyone ought to have some friends to craft with. We learn so much from each other and get so much help from each other, too. To see what kinds of projects we do, you can scroll back through this blog. I haven't put everything here but a good sample.

I would love to hear how you craft: where, when, with whom, and with what kinds of tools. Please leave some comments if you want to share. Thanks.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Some changes.....

You may notice some changes. I kept the blog address but now want to rename my blog as Scrappy Crafts, because ... well... I just like it better. The thing about "scrappy" is that it applies to paper (scrapbooks, cards made with scraps of paper and whatever else) as well as scraps of fabric (patchwork, quilting, and more).

I've also changed the background to a patchwork theme, but that will change over time, too.

And in keeping with the them of "change", I've reorganized (yes, I'm doing American's easier for me) my craft room (a cabin actually). I took out the long table in the middle of the room so I now have room to move around.
Sewing section is enlarged and stamping section reduced now.

The area to the left is all sewing now. Even the first column in the white Ikea sections is all sewing. A few months ago a man contacted me with a request to take his late mother's craft supplies and distribute them to my local Women's Institute. I had a whole estate-car full of boxes and bags, which I took to our WI meeting and offered them for free. Few takers, however, so I had about half left. Some things went to a charity shop and I kept some. Most of her things were for sewing: boxes of lace, buttons, ribbons, remnants, etc. Then of course, I've been adding "a few things" here and there as well, so now have quite a stash.

My sewing work center (machine is under the dust cover)

Sewing is still my primary craft now. Although I belong to a Facebook group called UK Quilters, my quilting is really more small projects and patchwork, such as the sewing machine cover and tidy-mat, along with the wall hanging shown here.

In the process of the reorg, I gave away tons of stamps, patterned paper, embellishments, ink pads, and more. As I went through things, however, it awakened a little spark of enthusiasm to get back into some of my papercrafting, so I'm glad I didn't just chuck it all out. I still have all my Stampin' Up stamps, a good bit of paper, and a few ink pads and art supplies.
Still a few stamps, inks, dies, etc. left to play with!
So, the crafting bug still lives and so does my blog, for now. Although I didn't get any comments after my last post, according to the statistics there were lots of views. For that reason, I'll carry on for a little longer.

It's not yellow...the sun was shining in the window and the light was on!

I even have a nice comfy rocking chair in my room now! I can sit and read my craft books and magazines undisturbed with a cup of coffee!