Saturday, 18 May 2019

Create It! Show

Today I went to the Create It! show at Detling. Wow! It was every bit as good as the annual trek to Ally Pally but better parking, less manic crowds, and more reasonable food prices. The prices on the craft supplies were reasonable, too.... no inflation as there is in the other shows. There was nothing missing, either. At Ally Pally, which of course is larger, there are more stands but it's just repetition. I went with two crafting friends and they agreed.

I got some new dies and stamps (Honey Doo, Hobby Art, Picture This, JJD Cards, Lavinia Stamps, Pink Ink Designs, and a few others), new papers (Anna Marie Designs and others), and bagged some bargains!

They're still on tomorrow so if you should read this in time, I highly recommend going. I hope to be posting some images of things I'll make very soon. I took some photos (with permission) of several of the cards on display but don't feel I can post them here as they're not mine and I certainly don't have permission to put them on the Internet. Sorry about that, because they really are beautiful!

Now a little moan. Several months ago I "invested in" (£££) a whole lot of Tim Holtz's Distress Oxide stamps. They're already dried up! I could buy some reinkers, I suppose, but after using them when they were fresh, I'm not inclined to replace them. Honestly, I have a lot (I was a demo) of Stampin' Up pads and they're still nice and juicy, same with a few others (Versafine, Memento, and others). I wonder if anyone else has had the same experience?

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Full circle again!

Last time I posted I used the title "What's a Year?" -- well now it's nearly TWO years ago! How the time flies ... blah, blah, blah! In the last few years I went from cardmaking to scrapbooking to art journaling to sewing and now I'm back again in cardmaking. A full circle, but I really still dabble in all of them. I'm quite  tempted to delete the whole blog and start over but I think I'll give it a little while 'til my chaotic brain settles down.

Meanwhile, I've made some cards that I'll be posting in a day or two.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Well, what's a year?

A year since I posted last???? What is going on? Well, frankly, not much. Certainly not much to write about!

This year I've concentrated on sewing, mostly small projects. I've made doll clothes for a granddaughter:

I've made a few things to wear:

And lots of odds and ends, but the most recent is a bible cover:

I could not find a good pattern for this, so I made my own. I needed the pocket on the front to hold my markers (yes, I do often mark in my bible) and some bookmarks. Then I attempted a bread basket, but I'm not at all satisfied with this. It's too shallow and floppy. I'm planning to re-do the corners to make them deeper.

And the handiest things are my pattern weights. I love them and had fun doing them. They're filled with rice to give them the proper weight.

So I'm not going to make any grand predictions about posting more often. I thought about quitting altogether because I'm not sure anyone ever reads this blog, but I'll carry on for myself as a record if nothing else. 

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!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Catch Up for 2015

I'm afraid this little blog has been sorely neglected, but I'm wondering if anyone would miss it if it went away....if you would, then please leave a comment. Otherwise it's on the way out....forever.

Blogs are strange things. For awhile they were really fun ways for everyone to keep up to date with friends and their "doings". It seemed especially great for crafters to share projects, for photographers to showcase photos, cooks to offer recipes, etc. but now it's become a really big business and I'm afraid that we mere amateurs are a dying breed. Some enterprising individuals are even making a living being a blogger! That may work for some, but it's very time-consuming to keep fresh and to blog often, that is unless it really IS a full-time occupation. For those kinds of blogs, you get company endorsements, free products to try, and lots of feedback. It hasn't worked that way for me, but because I simply don't have the time to devote to it.

Here's what I've been up to since the last post. First I made a sewing machine cover to match my "sewing tidy". I didn't have a pattern, I just measured my machine, then threw myself into it. I'm happy with the way it turned out.

I used some scraps of the same fabric as the sewing tidy  (shown here with the machine sitting on it) and plain muslin (or calico). 
I wasn't really satisfied with it until I ran a top stitch around the top, however, as it needed more "definition". Now it seems to sit better.

Next is a patchwork tote bag. I didn't really have a pattern for this either, but followed (loosely) a video on YouTube from the Missouri Quilt Company and Crafty Gemini. The first photo is the front, the second is the back.

The bag is made from less than a half-jelly-roll and a base of Bosal-In-R-Form Plus, a kind of fusible foam fabric. It keeps its shape almost perfectly so it's perfect for making bags and anything with a shape. It's really easy to use but I found it a little fiddly due to the fusible feature. It's too easy to get it wrinkled. You could make covers for iPads, laptops, smartphones, etc. and the video is very easy to follow.

Next I made a little fabric box for trinkets, pins, cotton balls, jewelry, or whatever you need it for.

These also are easy-peasy. They're made from two 10" square pieces of fabric and a little wadding (UK) or batting (USA). I found this tutorial online also, at I made a different one for each of my craft group friends for our Christmas meeting.

For crafty things, that about sums it up. I had some foot surgery that has really knocked me back about two months...and counting. I'm looking forward to a new year for 2016. I just want life to get back to normal.

For anyone reading this, I hope you have a wonderful and happy Christmas and a great new year. I don't think I'll keep the blog open unless I hear from someone, anyone, so I know it's being read.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Little things

I've decided I may never make a full-sized quilt. It's not that I've decided consciously to not attempt it, but I just find I love doing small projects far more.

First, as an update from my last post, I've abandoned the quilt-along group. They are doing absolutely beautiful work but I fell flat on my face with the first block. First attempt was a disaster.
First attempt at "Addie" block
You can see from the lower panel that already it's out of sync....the triangles don't match the same way. Believe me it got much worse than this..... so I started over. This time I made certain that all my pieces were accurately and uniformly cut, then I laid them out before sewing just to orient myself as to what goes where.
Second attempt at "Addie" with different fabrics.
So far, so good. But when I actually sewed it, it was as much a disaster as the first one! I love the book, The Farmer's Wife 1930 Quilt Sampler and the writing, but IF I ever try one again, then next time I'll pick an easier block! 

My mug rugs, however (see previous blog entry) turned out very well. No pattern-- I just winged it.
Four mug rugs finished with burgundy backs
They were fun to make and not at all fussy or difficult. It probably was too easy and I chose the lazy option, but at least they're done now. First I used some heat bondable material to bond the cat silhouette to the front piece. Then I sewed a blanket stitch around the silhouette with my machine. 
The blanket stitch on my machine
Once that was done, I assembled the sandwich, using a fairly lightweight batting. After I turned the back lining inside out, I ran some quilt lines from top to bottom. If I made more mug rugs I think I would also have run horizontal lines and perhaps a contrasting binding, but for these I decided this was enough.

One more little thing is the new magazine, Simply Moderne. I just happened across it at WH Smith's and fell in love with some of the quilts, described as "modern" quilts, and other projects. No blocks or at least not many, lots of applique and just very different. This is the first ever issue so I'm looking forward to the second one. It's published by the same publisher as the magazine Quiltmania. This issue had articles about USA quilters and shops, but I suspect that this will change as it is geared toward UK readers. If you go to their website, you can browse some of the pages electronically. The magazine is a bit pricey at £11.99 but it's 128 pages where other quilt magazines are only 98 pages.

And the last little thing is that I went to a local quilt show here in Whitstable and met the nicest women, I believe most were from Abbey Patchers and Thanet Quilters. There were some lovely quilts on display, at least three different trader tables (I think I bought something from each of them!) and a tombola. I won the tombola (TWO prizes!) for the first time in my life -- two beautiful patchwork cushions.
My tombola prizes
Here are a few quilts that caught my eye, though they were all beautiful:

There is another quilt show in Deal, Kent this weekend. I hope to go to that one, too.