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.
Hello! How are you? My goodness it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post! Hope you are all okay. I’m fine and very busy getting ready for the festive season. I’ve got quite a few fairs lined up in November and December which will hopefully be lots of fun. I’ve put a full list of the fairs and so on on my events page, and there is (will be soon) more information on my Facebook page. It would be great to see you if you are in the Nottingham area!
I’ve got a few new products I will be taking to the craft fairs and thought you might like to see them on here too.
My sewing machine has been getting quite a bit of use lately, as I’ve been making these zipped pouches. Each purse is lined in cotton and features a hand embroidered patch, which I’ve hand stitched in place. I’ve made them in two sizes, a small coin purse (which fits a bank card in too) and a larger pouch, which could be used for all sorts of bits and pieces. Sewing and crafty bits and bobs, makeup, or a handy pouch for all those odds and ends that end up in the bottom of your hand bag. I think they’d be suitable for all ages!
I’ve also been making a crocheted version of the small purses. This is a pattern by Rosina at Zeens and Roger which she has kindly given permission for me to use and sell from. They are so much fun to make, and I’ve really enjoyed choosing the lining fabric too, I’ve used quilters cotton which comes in so many fun prints I always want to buy loads. These purses have been a great stash buster and I’m hoping they will be popular at my fairs.
And badges… lots of badges have been made. I love the pink and gold ones especially. They are perfect for filling festive hosiery! A selection of badges (no two are ever exactly the same!) are available at the Victoria Walker Boutique, Leeds, and The Focus Gallery, Derby Road, Nottingham.
Thank you for reading,
June is a lovely busy month here at Shirley Rainbow HQ. I’ve just finished my time as Folksy Featured Maker, which was really fun. You can read my interview here. I was also asked to write a short piece for their blog about Hoop Art, which you can read here, which shares some of the wonderful embroidery available from Folksy.
Today I set up my display for Art in Shops which is part of Sherwood Art Week. Lots of shops let local artists and crafts people use their shop windows to display their work for a week. My textile and embroidery hoop art (above) is on display (and available to buy!!) at TSB and Sherwood News at 656 Mansfield Road. I’m looking forward to the Secret Garden Craft Fair tomorrow, and seeing all the yarn bombing. The exhibition I’m taking part in starts next Friday, at Sherwood Methodist Church, Mansfield Road, Nottingham; I’ll be there to help with invigilating the exhibition on Friday lunch time. I’ll do a blog next week with all the fun stuff that went on. If you’re in the area though, Sherwood Art week is a great event with lots to do and see, check their website for all the details.
It’s also Just A Card week next week, which is an online campaign to support all designers and makers, encouraging people to buy from and support independent shops as every sale counts, even ‘just a card’! I’ll be taking part in their Instagram challenge next week.
Images courtesy of Just A Card.
I’ve also got both of my children’s birthdays in the next two weeks, and I’m making a dress for a wedding I’m going to on the 30th June! Yikes! I’d better crack on with it…
I’m absolutely delighted to be letting everyone know that I’m the Featured Maker on Folksy for the next two weeks! Folksy is where my online shop is based, and is a real champion of British craft and handmade products. I’ve been selling with them for four years now and find it’s a great platform.
On the Folksy blog you’ll be able to read an interview I did with Hannah Berridge of Hannah Berridge Ceramics – just click here! You might also find me popping up on their social media too to share some more about my embroidery.
I’ll also be offering a 15% off discount in my shop until 11th June with the code MAKER15. As ever, 1st class postage to UK addresses is free!
I’d love to hear if you have any comments about my interview, just pop them in the box below.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who has supported Shirley Rainbow over the last four years, I really do appreciate every comment, either online or in real life, and of course every sale too!
It’s been ages since I popped by on my blog. When I’m busy it’s the first thing to get neglected, which is rather sad as I really enjoy writing it. Anyway, here I am, with a quick update about what I’ve been up to and some upcoming events too.
I’ve been doing a LOT of embroidery. All of this is in preparation for Sherwood Art Week which is taking place in June. I’m really excited as I am taking part in two events- my embroidery will be on display in the Art in Shops exhibition and also an exhibition at Sherwood Methodist Church where I will be exhibiting as a real Textile Artist. I’m doing a happy dance about that, even though I’m really nervous too! I’ll be sharing lots more info on this soon.
I made a new crochet cardi- the Sunday Funday Cardi by Claudine of Iron Lamb. It’s so warm and cozy! It’s a straightforward make with only the shoulder seams to sew. I used Stylecraft Special Aran in Empire, and it took a bit less than 6 balls. I did the first sleeve probably about five times in total, as I kept going wrong and pulling it out but this is not a reflection on the pattern, it’s just my inability to count and remember the number! I’m already planning another Sunday Funday Cardi.
Other stuff I got up to in April included a mini break in Glasgow during the Easter holidays. We went with the children and had a great time despite the rain and cold. I’d really recommend going to the Science Centre and the Riverside Museum, which were both great. We booked an apartment with AirBNB which had a good view over the river. It’s a really friendly city which makes it a lot more pleasant when you are dragging tired and grumpy children home on the subway! We had a lot of museum trips in April due to the generally rubbish weather. The Space Centre in Leicester was a great day out with friends, and also Tattersall Castle in Lincolnshire. I was thrilled that both of my children had a try on a spinning wheel (and a bit jealous!); they both got to keep the little piece of yarn they made, which was taken into school for show and tell. I’m such a happy mum when my children are enjoying my interests with me!
Science Centre fun!
Our river view.
My proud mum moment!
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!
Discount code valid until midnight 31.10.17
If you pop over to the Handmade Fair website you will now be able to find a tutorial by Shirley Rainbow!
This is a piece of work I was asked to do over the summer by the lovely people at Folksy (who were sponsors of the Handmade Fair this year) and I’m so excited to say it’s available for people to see now! It’s a step by step guide to stitching and finishing an embroidery hoop for display.
The link is here if you would like to go and have a look.
The Handmade Fair is a craft fair created by Kirstie Allsopp. There are lots of lovely tutorials on the Handmade Fair blog featuring all kinds of crafts, it’s definitely worth a look for some inspiration.
Many thanks to Folksy and the Handmade Fair, and also to my friend Lucy for letting me take photos in her beautiful home!