All the good things

Last year for my birthday I was a very lucky girl, I got an iPad Pro and pencil. I very quickly bought Procreate too and have thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use it to create digital designs. I’ve had some of these printed onto fabric and have tried some embroidery over the top. I used Prinfab to do the digital prints, I was really pleased with the quality.

This is the first sample I did, using wool embroidery yarn, and I’ve kept this for myself!

Two of my designs are now available in my Folksy shop.

I’ve used DMC embroidery threads to add the details and it gives a nice texture to the finished piece.

I also created a repeat pattern printed fabric, although I’m still too scared to cut into it! It was inspired by the badges I make, and the tiny bits of embroidery they feature.

Other new products that I’ve recently added to my shop are these Lavender Bags. I’ve made them using off cuts of felt and fabric from other embroidery projects, so they are reducing waste as well as being fun to make, and even though I say it myself, rather cute. I’ll be making more for definite! The lavender used for stuffing is grown in my own garden, and most of the ribbons used are recycled too, from gift wrap and clothing.

And finally, a new craft magazine arrived on the shelves of all good newsagents this week! It’s from the Take a Break family and is full of simple craft projects, including one from me! I designed a pattern for some crochet coasters which work up quickly in Aran yarn. The magazine is only £1.99, a bargain I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m also in there giving advice about keeping your embroidery and cross stitch projects neat!

Teresa x

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Five years of Shirley Rainbow (and a giveaway!)

I am celebrating my 5th year of Shirley Rainbow! I can’t quite believe I’ve been doing this for 5 years. The first item I listed in my Folksy shop was this card, and off I went! I’ve learned all sorts of things- from how to set up and build my own website (I embedded code…. never thought I’d say that or even know what it meant), to how to organise myself and stock for craft fairs and an exhibition, and how to take reasonable photos. I’ve done wholesale orders and commissions and learned how to crochet too along the way. Folksy has been a great platform to sell with and the support I’ve received via their blog, chat forums and Facebook groups has been fabulous.

So to celebrate and say thanks for everyone’s ongoing support for Shirley Rainbow I thought I’d do a giveaway.

The first giveaway prize is this embroidered bird. It’s part of my new digital print collection. It is hand embroidered with DMC thread on cotton and measures 6” across. I’ll do three runner up prizes of these badges, made of hand embroidered wool felt and faux leather.

Soooo…. to enter: follow my blog, like this post and leave a comment! Open worldwide. This giveaway will also run from my Instagram. I’ll put all the names in a hat and draw a winner on Tuesday 18th Feb (my actual Shirley Rainbow Birthday) at 8pm, and I will notify the winners. Good luck!

Teresa x

** This giveaway is not affiliated with WordPress or Instagram in any way.**

Handmade for Valentine’s Day

If you go to your newsagent today (in the U.K!) you will be able to buy Take a Break Monthly magazine featuring an embroidery tutorial by me!

It’s a Valentines inspired piece but there are plenty of ways to personalise it for other occasions such as wedding or anniversaries? Perhaps even a Christening gift.

It’s in the monthly magazine and the front cover looks like this:

It was really fun designing this project and I learned a few things about working with a magazine as well.

However (blatant advert for my own shop coming up) if you don’t fancy making a gift for Valentine’s Day there are some really rather nice bits in my Folksy shop

And also these beautiful pieces from other sellers on Folksy

Dottery Pottery – Trinket Dish

Vanilla Wind – Little Bunnies

Love Lottie Knits – Lavender Hearts

I thought this card from Gaynor Marshall Designs was pretty apt for me!

Xx Teresa

2019- the year of Stitch

How is January going? I hope you’ve had a good start to the year. It’s been quite busy here. There’s been quite a lot going on behind the scenes: I’m working on a commission that I can’t share yet, and some other exciting stuff I can’t share yet either! However in between all that I’ve been doing a bit of embroidery and I think that 2019 should be the year I learn more about, and practice, embroidery!

I started the year with these little Drop Cloth samplers that were so much fun to do. So far I’ve only sewn one up into a pincushion. Will I ever dare stick a pin in it though?Embroidery kits are a great way to try out new stitches, and I’ve been having a look at what I might try next…

In the mean time I’ve dug out my embroidery books and have designed a simple layout to try new stitches, and also some I’ve not used for a while, in a sampler. There are so many embroidery stitches to do but it’s difficult to work out how to utilise them sometimes, so I find I use the same stitches over and over. Even if I don’t find a way to use them in other embroidery I’m enjoying giving new techniques a try. I’ve also decided, inspired by my Instagram friend Alison Sye, to time how long I spend on the embroidery. So far it’s 10 hours.

Clockwise the stitches I’ve used are

Herringbone stitch

Whipped running stitch

Laced back stitch

Running stitch with lazy daisy

Chevron stitch

Chain st

Basket Weave Stitch

Cloud filling stitch

Lazy daisy stitch worked in a grid with french knots

Laid trellis work.

Couching

Fly stitch

Fern stitch

Straight stitch

Couching

Chain stitch

I’m drawing the lines with an erasable pen so that it doesn’t get too chaotic ( I’d still like the sampler to look good!) and I will do some more blog updates on what I’ve stitched. And maybe at some point I will incorporate the lovely new stitches into some pieces for my Folksy shop!

Teresa x

Handmade Christmas Gifts 2018

Hello everyone and a very Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a good festive break. I’ve enjoyed a bit of time offline, doing some embroidery and a bit of crochet too.

The embroidery is a drop cloth sampler pincushion kit. It’s totally different to any embroidery I’ve done before and it’s really fun making it. It’s from Beyond Measure which is a gorgeous online shop selling highly desirable haberdashery and more.

I’ve started a new cleckheaton jumper in style craft life DK in Silver Nepp which is a gorgeous yarn with multicoloured slubs throughout. However I might have made it a bit small so I might be pulling it out and starting again!

I want to share a few of the handmade gifts I made for Christmas this year; I didn’t make many as the three weeks before Christmas I’d put aside for making got ridiculously hectic with some other projects.

I knew my parents were getting a slow cooker for Christmas so I made my mum a crocheted pot holder for it. The pattern is from Emma Lamb’s book Crochet Home. I made it using DK cotton yarn which worked out to be just the right size. For some reason I didn’t take a finished picture before it I wrapped it. Here’s a work in progress photo, it was finished with a scalloped border. I then went on to make another of the pot holder patterns in Crochet Home for my godmother. I used the same DK yarn but this one came out rather on the large size! I still liked it though, so off it went!

I designed and made an embroidered tree for my sister which I loved doing. She has a beautiful collection of Christmas decorations so I hoped this would fit in well! I enjoyed it so much that you might see a limited collection of them in my shop next winter…

During a browse on Pinterest a few months ago I’d come across some little tiny dolls made from scrap fabric which were super cute, and I thought I’d like to have a go at making some as a gift. After doodling a few ideas I made a little pattern and thoroughly enjoyed making a little lady, a cat and a fish with two tiny blankets. I used some scraps of Liberty cotton, wool felt and some vintage pearl beads. The cat and lady are filled with lavender so they can be popped in a drawer with your clothes. I gave them to a friend in a little tin and I will definitely be making more of these!

One of my commissions before Christmas was to make a Christmas card with the three kings on, I’ve not made any cards for a while now so it was a nice change.

This Christmas I managed not to have too much of a melt down about actually giving people the gifts I’d made them. It seems silly when I make stuff to sell to complete strangers that giving something to someone I know well (and who usually likes me!) is so hard, but there you go! I can’t help being a bit daft.

Teresa x

Folksy Friday- my sewing themed Folksy finds

It’s Folksy Friday! A wonderful day where Folksy Shop owners share the wonderful wares of their fellow shop owners across the World Wide Web.

I’ve decided to theme my Folksy Friday on sewing. I’m missing sewing, especially dressmaking, at the moment, as I’m so busy making Shirley Rainbow stock for craft fairs at the moment. I’ve had a lovely browse of sewing themed products on Folksy and found some gorgeous items I’d be very happy to find under the Christmas tree (hint hint!)

These beautiful scissor earrings are from Rock Rose Jewellery . I love the detail on them with that tiny little screw!

This cute whale kit really appealed to me, I like his happy face. The kit is from Windswept Girle.

I’m sure this beautiful Singer Sewing Machine Print would look lovely on the wall above my sewing table. It’s A4 in size and is from By Charlie’s Hand .

I have many many handmade Christmas Decorations, but no sewing machines! This is so detailed, and is made with free machine embroidery by Emma Louise Corry.

This is a truly amazing piece of kit for any sewer, and the story behind it is very interesting. Its made from an original Victorian sewing pattern, and is called a sewing casket! It’s from Katrina Krafts.

I couldn’t resist including this cute cat Needle Case by Kate Rowe Design . The cat has such personality!

Büchertiger Supplies stock beautiful sewing threads and embroidery floss. I was particularly drawn to these 3ply French Linen Sewing threads, the colours are gorgeous and I like the little cards they are presented on, too.

Tote bags are always handy, I’ve got quite a few and can always find a use for more! Craft themed ones are best (obviously) and I really like this one by Woah There Pickle.

Finally another pair of earrings, super cute Button Studs from By Victoria in sterling silver. I had a lovely pair of earrings like this years ago that I bought on a holiday to Barcelona, unfortunately one of them broke and I’ve never seen a pair like them since, until now!

And that’s it, all my sewing themed Folksy Friday finds! I’ll be sharing these across my social media too, to support Folksy’s campaign to support handmade and small businesses. Every sale to a small, independent business really matters, to read more on why check out the Just A Card website!

Folksy are also offering 20 free listings to all shops, old and new this weekend, so if you are thinking of setting up an online shop maybe now is the time!

Teresa x

PS- I’m not being sponsored by Folksy for this post, I just really want to support them! I love the community I’m part of through Folksy and have learned so much with their support!

Craft fair season is here!

This weekend sees the first of my craft fairs for Christmas 2018!

On Sunday 4th November I’ll be having a stall at the Embankment pub on Arkwright Street, Nottingham. I’m in the Jesse Boot room upstairs so please come and say hi if you visit! There’s lots of stall and the pub serves food too, perfect for a Sunday lunch.

The following weekend on 10th November I’m having a stall at a fundraiser for a charity called Open House, which offers fantastic support for women with post natal depression. It’s going to be a great event, there’s a bouncy castle, cake stall, raffle, craft stalls, and visits from a local choir and some therapy dogs too! For more information about the support Open House offer please check their website here.

The fundraiser is held at The Vine, Bobbersmill Road, Nottingham.

I have a weekend off after that, and then November ends with a stall at the SOCK Gallery in Loughborough, on 26 November from 10-5pm. It’s the same day as the Christmas lights turn on so there will be a lovely festive atmosphere!

December begins with my first fair at the well established Craft in the City event in the centre of Nottingham, at Waterstones. I’m really looking forward to this fair! It’s held on every weekend in December with different stall holders each weekend. I’d love to see some friendly faces so if you are shopping in Nottingham please pop by.

All the info and times are on my News and Events page here.

If you can’t get to Nottingham though, I’m always open online….! Every sale, big or small, is very much appreciated, thank you for all your support.

Cheers, Teresa x