Getting back into Embroidery 

Back in January I signed up to take part in the Very Berry mini hoop swap, organised by Ali Burdon. I thought it would be good as it had been a while since I had done any embroidery and I felt like I needed something to kick start me back into it. The swap involved creating a piece of embroidery in a Dandelyne mini hoop 5.5cm wide.  We were given the details of our swap partner and some of their likes and dislikes to get us started. 
So here’s my hoop, a very very literal interpretation of my swap partner Julie’s likes- purple and flowers! I really enjoyed making this, and it really did reignite my love of embroidery. For those of you who are new followers, I studied Textile Design and specialised in embroidery at university. Crochet (and dressmaking) has kind of taken over in the last few years though. I’ve been feeling like I needed to combine these two techniques, somehow, and since the swap I’ve gone on to make these two little wall decorations for my Folksy shop. 


I used some lovely hand dyed crewel wool from Paivatar Yarns, a fellow Folksy seller and I’m really happy with the effect. I think all the spring flowers popping up everywhere have inspired me! 


I’m thinking of other embroidery designs I can finish with crocheted frames at the moment, as I’m taking part in an Art and Crafts week, in Sherwood, an area of Nottingham near where I live. I’m going to have my work on display in a shop window for a week in June! Sherwood Art Week is great, the whole area gets yarn bombed, there is a fabulous craft fair, and most of the shops in the area let artists and craftspeople use their shop windows for display, it’s one big art gallery! I’ve bought some lovely stuff from the craft fair before, and my kids love to go and look at the yarn bombing.  


And before I forget, this is the hoop I received from Lucy Brennan of Charm About You for the swap. She’s used my favourite colours and her favourite fabrics, I love it! 

Teresa xx

Granny Squares, Stars and Circles

Well the end of January is nigh, and I thought I’d share a little crafty catch up with you all. I’ve been adding a few new handmade bits to my Folksy shop over the last week or so. One of the perks of this job is that I test out all my ideas – particularly jewellery- on myself and wear a test piece so I can see how well it works and if it needs any tweaks. After some ‘rigorous testing’ with a navy version I made a collection of these star necklaces in some juicy colours. 
They are hand stitched to a felt backing for extra sturdiness, and are attached with jump rings to gold or silver plated chains. (Link to Shirley Rainbow shop here.)

While I was making these necklaces I got a bit distracted by the colours and made this necklace too, and after lots of lovely comments on Instagram I’ve decided to make this style of necklace for my shop too! It would be made to order, and I’m going to try out some different colour ways too, soon. (Shop link as above.)

I’ve been playing around with the crocheted picture frames I made a while back. I was really pleased with how these have turned out, and I’ll hopefully make a few more for my shop too. If you have any ideas for words to stitch please let me know!! 


I’ve started a new crochet project for myself too. I had a mad session on Pinterest a few weeks back, where I was searching for crochet clothing. Well I found this picture: 


Image from Kitsch Bitch via Pinterest here.

I love it!!!!! And so with some odd balls of Drops Karisma I’ve started to make a granny square coat. Eeeek! I’m stupidly excited by it. 

And finally, I’ve nearly finished my first Betty Dress, by Sew Over It. I’m a bit in love with this fabric too. I might wear my granny square coat with it one day……..!

Teresa X 

November Craft catch up

Well it’s the end of November and I feel rather odd, because even though I’ve been a busy bee, making hand made gifts for as many people in my large family as possible, I can’t show any of them! (Or I could, and just spoil Christmas Day….!! ) 
One thing I can share is the gift I sent as part of a crafty gift swap I joined on Instagram, hosted by Miki of Set Free My Gypsy Soul. I was partnered with Kate of Jelly Bean Junction who is a very talented crocheter. After a fair amount of Internet stalking I decided what I would make… A little badge hand embroidered with the ‘sign of the Deathly Hallows’ as Kate is a Harry Potter fan, some crocheted tree decorations, and, my favourite, an embroidered wall decoration with a crochet frame. I really enjoyed making and wrapping this all up.


Then, last week I received my gift, from Norra Jones, of Oh Sew Norra. It was the most delicious smelling parcel I’ve ever opened, courtesy of a Christmassy Yankee candle, and some delicious gingerbread men (which my children and I scoffed before I took a photo- oops!) Inside was a super cute crocheted gingerbread man, a soft ball of sparkly red yarn, some hot chocolate stirrers and a gorgeous crocheted bauble, which turned out to have a chocolate orange inside! A truly great parcel of goodies.


In other Shirley Rainbow news I’ve popped a couple of new Christmas things in my Folksy shop, this hand embroidered Gingerbread House hoop art, 


and a crocheted Star Garland. All orders placed during December will come with a little crochet star decoration and a Christmas Santa chocolate or two!

Teresa xx

Time for the festive C word…

Hello! The weather here in the UK has suddenly got a lot colder, and everything suddenly seems very Christmassy, including my online shop!


I had my first customer order of Christmas decorations at the weekend, and I realised it was probably about time I shared some of the handmade Christmas decorations I have in stock.

The link to my Christmas collection can be found here. 


I’ve really enjoyed using a mint, red and cream colour palette for most of my Christmas range this year. I designed my teddy decorations a few years back and they have been popular every Christmas since (I was asked to make them for two TV celebrities two years ago, that was very exciting!).  I will also hand stitch any initial on the back of teddy’s jumper, just leave me a message at checkout. 

I use wool felt for my decorations and they are all sewn by hand. My crocheted decorations are made using a lovely 100% Cotton yarn. Everything is packaged up in cute striped paper bags before sending in the post. 


More pics, including some of the olive green decorations. 

I’ve still got a couple weeks of bits to photograph and list in the shop, fingers crossed I get some decent light over the next couple of days to take pictures! 

Teresa xx

www.folksy.com/shops/shirleyrainbow

Creative time and recent commissions

Hello,

I’ve recently been feeling in a bit of a funny mood creatively, which is starting to do my head in!  I think it has a lot to do with my very limited time to make stuff, leaving me with too many works in progress and no time to work on them.  As the summer holidays are now upon us I think that is only going to get worse.  My three year old daughter has stopped napping in the day too, which is lovely to spend more time with her but also a teeny bit frustrating… As she is off to pre-school nursery in September I need to appreciate my time with her, not be grumpy, but I am looking forward to having undistracted time to make every morning! (Not sure if undistracted is actually a proper word…) 


Anyway, lack of making time aside, I thought I’d share a couple of recent commissions, both crochet ones. I was asked by a lovely fellow folksy seller to make some Crochet Picture Frames in cream cotton. It was a real pleasure to make these, and has inspired me to make some sets of single colour frames for my Folksy shop. When I get the time! I think these would look lovely framing candid wedding photos.


I also made a Crocheted Bag for my auntie. The pattern is from the book Crochet in No Time by Melanie Griffiths. I think this is my most challenging crochet project to date. I’m not sure I got the gusset right, and I only made one handle (with my Auntie’s permission!) as it drove me potty, 7 double crochet stitches in a spiral for 40cms! I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out and my auntie looked beautiful in her mother of the groom outfit for my cousins wedding. Even though I’ve stalked my family’s Facebook pages I can’t find a photo of her wearing it! If I do I will share it. 


And before I forget, these are the coasters I made for my mother’s birthday! From the book 75 Crocheted Floral Blocks by Betty Barnden. 

Have a good week! 

Teresa xx

A quick catch up

Hello!
I’m back after an unplanned blogging break! June was a very busy month at home- it’s both of my children’s birthdays, my mums birthday and my wedding anniversary, plus my husband went on holiday, we had several birthday parties from school and three fancy dress non uniform days…. Yikes! However I now have an unexpected lull in the the school run- we have chicken pox in the house! So while I’m trying to call the school I thought I’d finish a quick blog post.


I was busy in the first week of June making an order of badges for the Victoria Walker Boutique in Farsley, Leeds. My badges are available in store only.  I’m hoping to make some more badges like this for my own shop on Folksy. I did manage to pop a couple of handstitched Apple Badges in my Folksy shop too, a cute gift to say thank you to a special teacher. I was really pleased when Folksy selected them as part of their Gifts for Teachers Guide.


I’ve also added to my ‘With Love’ jewellery collection on Folksy, there are now three necklaces and a pair of dangly earrings, all featuring hand cut wool felt hearts that are hand stitched onto a wool felt back ground. All the jewellery comes presented in little Kraft card boxes, so it’s ready to wear, or be given to someone special. 


I’ve been doing a little bit of Christmas making too- so far I’ve made a new teddy bear tree decoration as they have been very popular before. Choosing some colours and sketching a few designs of new Christmas items is my next job! I’m feeling bizarrely organised. 


Right, time to clear the kitchen table for chicken pox distraction craft time…
Teresa xx

Spring Time Sale 

Hello!
This a is quick one today!


I’m having a sale in my Shirley Rainbow Folksy shop to make room for some lovely new products. I have created a sale section, with some products at 50% off! Click here to have a look.


And for a limited time use code SPRING16 for 10% off everything… Including sale items! 


Thank you for looking, and Happy Shopping! 

Teresa