Inspiration with Brown

Like many people I find winter months hard. The coldness, long dark evenings and grey days, and a general lack of natural bright colour. It’s all brown. Or grey. Or browny grey. I like grey as a colour paired with something bright and eye popping (most of my house and outfits fit this) but brown never gets me excited. So since the start of this winter I’ve tried to enjoy brown! I know I sound weird. On my walks to school and back and also on a trip to Manchester to celebrate my husband’s birthday, I’ve looked out for everyday things than perhaps normally I’d not pay attention to, that would cheer me up and that also might be brown. I’ve taken a few photos…

An amazing corrugated card lampshade at All Bar One in Manchester

Snowy beech hedge

Manchester Town Hall

A beautiful hand stitched pincushion which was a Christmas gift a few years ago

Gorgeous books at the British Library

My old university building, Arkwright in the centre of Nottingham

Clumber Park NT, at the end of Autumn

Random brick walls!

So I’ve changed my mind a bit about brown. I probably still prefer all the other colours out there, but during winter in the UK brown definitely gets a moment all to itself. I can see the beauty in it. And the little challenge I’ve set myself has definitely made a difference to the otherwise dreary winter days- a very good thing indeed!

Teresa x

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January’s selfish crochet: Three Springs Shawl by Addydae Designs

My January selfish crochet project has been the Three Springs Shawl by Addydae Designs. I was inspired by Rosina over at Zeens and Roger, go and look at her BEAUTIFUL version! It’s been an absolute pleasure to make this shawl and I’m so pleased with how it has turned out, even though it has embarrassingly highlighted my inability to count to six.

I’ve used three different brands of yarn. I was a little concerned about it but decided that it would probably be fine, the yarns are all very similar. 


The grey yarn is Fyberspates Coop Knits Socks Yeah! in Melanite, from Wool Warehouse.

The mixed colour yarn is the Platinum Sock Cold Lava colour way by Lovebug Yarns.

The orange border is Crocosmia Askham 4ply by Eden Cottage Yarns which I bought at Yarndale. This yarn is a blend of silk and alpaca which I think makes a nice contrast in the border.


Pattern wise, the instructions were nice and clear, and the stitch count table was very useful. The shawl is huge! Lots of counting of stitches. I used stitch markers to mark after 50 stitches which made it a lot easier when I lost count. Being huge makes it perfect for wrapping around and around my chilly neck. I’ve enough yarn left to make some mitts too, although those might have to wait until autumn. I’ve got too many other ideas that are bursting to get out before mitts need to be made! 


Teresa xx

Shirley Rainbow HQ – craft space tour

Happy new year blog readers! I’ve had a bit of a slow start to the new year, all is well and I’ve enjoyed a bit of a break from online shenanigans.
I’ve made an attempt to get my house in order. Kitchen cupboards have been tackled but it’s slow progress and I felt very pleased when my first wholesale order of the year came in and I had to tidy my craft space. I’ve had a proper shuffle around, trying to make space for new craft supplies acquired recently and generally making the whole area work better. So as its tidy (ish) I thought I’d give you a little tour. Which sounds very grand but I can assure it isn’t! 

I have my craft space in my bedroom, which is quite big, I take up two walls of space with my desk and storage unit. I have a very laid back husband who doesn’t mind that he sleeps in what must occasionally feel like a haberdashery. Or yarn shop. Or pure crazy craft mess! I do my embroidery and dressmaking up here as well as all the boring admin, and the exciting packing up of orders. Crochet is mostly done on the sofa downstairs (with the tellybox on). 


On my desk is the vintage sewing box I bought from eBay. It came full of old sewing stuff and was a little bit bashed about. I repainted it pale blue with a tester pot and gave it a bit of varnish too. I covered the worst dents and scrapes with flowers cut from pieces of wallpaper, which I also used to line the inside. It now stores lots of sewing equipment. The big shelves have all my Shirley Rainbow stuff in, my dressmaking projects, patterns, yarn and many other bits and pieces. 


I’m definitely not a minimalist! I like to be able to look around my space for inspiration. There’s lots of books and magazines to for reference. It might look messy to the untrained eye but I can assure you that every sewing pattern I’ve downloaded has its own plastic wallet and is carefully stored! I’m planning on making some more nice labels for my drawers so I can find stuff again after my reshuffle. 


I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peep into my craft space!

Teresa x

Ps. Sorry the photos aren’t the best, it’s just so gloomy today!

Dates for the diary

Hello, just popping by with a quick post to let you know the craft fairs I will be at over next month.


Also, I will be accepting card payments at all fairs too, I have a new snazzy machine! 

So if you in the Nottinghamshire area and fancy a nosey amongst lovely stalls filled with handmade goodies perfect for Christmas presents come along! And please say hi! 

Teresa xx

Early Festive Cheer

I know it’s a bit on the early side but here’s a little update on Christmas goings on here at Shirley Rainbow HQ. Well, my living room really! I’ve been making a few Christmas decorations recently so it’s time I spread the word. My Folksy shop has been updated with festive goodies, and there is free 1st Class UK postage on all orders. 

I’ve made loads of these baubles recently, some for a craft fair at the end of November, but some have gone to my new stockist, The Focus Gallery in Nottingham. I’m so excited to have my work in an actual shop! The Focus Gallery is on Derby Road, which has a really good selection of independent shops, an excellent bakery (Tough Marys Bakehouse, where the brownies are AMAZING) and a couple of nice pubs too. It’s well worth a walk up if you are in Nottingham for Christmas shopping. 


The Focus Gallery shows the work of many local artists and craftspeople, and has a great selection of jewellery, glassware and artwork, as well as some embroidery from me!  The website link is here.


I will have a stall at Southwell Garden Centre Christmas Craft and Food fair on 25th and 26th of November, I will have lots of Christmas gifts and decorations for sale. 

So I’m feeling (mostly) prepared for the Christmas season. I’m looking forward to doing some Christmas shopping too, hopefully with as many local, independent and small businesses as possible. It’s a fabulous feeling when someone buys from my shop, or craft stall, and I’m hoping to pass that on as much as possible. 

Have a lovely weekend! 

Brand New Stuff (and a discount code!) 

After a few fairly unproductive weeks I feel like I’m making progress again, hurray! I’ve added a few new items to my Folksy shop, which I felt was feeling a bit neglected. I’ve been making a lot of Christmas bits too, behind the scenes, it won’t be long until I’m sharing all of those, where has the time gone?! 

Here are the new bits:


Hand Embroidered Felt Appliqué Wall Decoration – link here.
Crochet Star Garland – link here.

Star Gazer Embroidery Hoop Art, and the link is here.

As a special treat for blog readers I’m offering a half term discount- just use RAINBOW10 at checkout for 10% off anything in my shop. Postage is free for all UK orders too! 

If you are just about to start half term, have a good one! 

Teresa

Discount code valid until midnight 31.10.17

Yarndale 2017

Last week I spent a lovely and extremely exhausting day at Yarndale. For those not in the know, Yarndale is a festival of yarn in the town of Skipton in North Yorkshire. It’s held at the auction mart, and this was the fifth year.


I went with my friend Clare, who is also a crochet enthusiast and a very talented milliner. We were both totally overwhelmed by the amount of stalls! There was a good variety, with all types of yarny goodness, and lots of stalls selling equipment to spin, felt and weave as well as knitting and crochet.  Most stalls were from small businesses, and it was great to talk to the stall holders and find out how the yarns were made, and also hear about the animals too! Everyone was really friendly and happy to talk, although at times it was quite difficult to even move, it was so busy.


The Yarndale Hub looked spectacular with all the lovely crocheted bunting, and the crocheted hearts made and donated for the Yarndale nominated charity Mind. I wish I’d remembered to send the heart I’d made!


We had a really yummy lunch at the auction mart cafe, (roast pork, stuffing, apple sauce, chips and gravy!) I’d recommend eating there if you go to Yarndale. After our lunch we got down to the serious business of yarn shopping. I was planning on buying yarn to make the Three Springs Shawl by Addydae Designs. I bought some mini skeins for the contrast rows from Five Moons. I’ve not decided on the yarn for the main colour yet, despite seeing hundreds of beautiful yarns at Yarndale I still couldn’t make up my mind. Probably grey!


I chose this gorgeously soft alpaca and silk blend from Eden Cottage Yarns, it might end up as the border on my Three Springs shawl, I’m not sure yet.


This yarn had my name all over it… that grey and that yellow! I love the little bags of lavender tied to each skein too. It’s from Rosie’s Moments, its a merino and silk blend; I feel that Yarndale may have given me a strong liking for luxury fibres.

Somehow we managed to miss the yarn bombing outside- too distracted by all the stalls- although we did get a trip on Jean, the decorated red London bus back into Skipton. It was a great day, and I can see why people go for a whole weekend. Having a whole weekend would mean more time to browse and also see all the yarn bombing and handmade displays that make Yarndale so special. I’d better start saving now!


Blankets by Jane Crowe


Felt studio stall- my daughter says they look like unicorns hair plaited!