Still wishing you a Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Is it too late to say that now? I said it to my hairdresser yesterday and it still felt right! It’s been a bit of a slower start to the year than I expected, the two weeks off the school routine definitely made my brain go all fluffy round the edges and its taken a while to get back into action.

Here’s a little update on the world of Shirley Rainbow. I had a great time during craft fairs in the run up to Christmas, it was, as ever, great to spend time with other stall holders who run their own small business and have a good chat between customers. Doing the fairs is also a great way to get instant feedback from customers, which I will definitely be paying attention to. I’ve also popped a couple of new embroidery pieces in my Folksy shop and updated my Lavender bag collection, the link to them is Here.

Unfortunately a shop that I stock my work in (The Shop at Sneinton Market) will be closing this January, due to many changes behind the scenes. So I’m on the look out to apply for some new bricks and mortar opportunities- any suggestions for shops would be welcome!

As usual I’ve been working on some projects in the background, just to keep me ticking over, and also to have a break from making items for my Folksy shop. I finished a very long term project over Christmas, a tiny model of a kitchen. It was very fiddly, and very rewarding, to make it, and see everything come together. Sewing tiny curtains is certainly a lot easier than full size ones. Have you ever tried making anything like this?

I started a piece of embroidery from a free pattern on the DMC website, really looking forward to framing it up over the weekend. Sewing with metallic thread is such a pain though, I did it in small sessions so my fingers didn’t hurt too much!

I have also decided that 2020 is a year to try and do a bit more dressmaking. I hardly did anything last year- a skirt and a pair of dungarees, both un-blogged as yet! For Christmas 2019 I received a beautiful piece of cord fabric and the Ness Skirt pattern from Tilly and the Buttons, which I cut out and then never got round to sewing up. I have made a start this year! I am hoping to squeeze in time to finish it very soon.

So on that note, I’d better go and actually start doing stuff,

Thanks for reading,

Teresa

Cozy at Folksy

It’s been a while since I shared a Folksy Friday with you all, and this week, as the weather turned quite chilly in the UK I thought it might be the perfect opportunity to share some of the lovely products available on Folksy that I would rate as super cozy.

So to set the scene, we definitely need some cozy socks, and these socks from look perfect. They are hand knitted with a wool blend yarn so would definitely keep your tootsies toasty. They are from SockySocks.

Being snuggled under a blanket is one of the nicest things about a chilly evening, this blanket gets to join my cozy list. It’s from The Stitching Hour.

I like these little candle holders too, they are from By Shelly Lee (heart design) and Ceramics by Rachel Lavender, and would help create a cozy atmosphere.

I also spotted these beautiful hand poured candles by Melted Glass by Steph, the detail is fabulous.

I think a cozy cushion is in order to snuggle up against, I really like the patchwork effect and mix of hand printed fabrics. From Bailey Whin.

If you need to pop out you’ll need a scarf and gloves on, this colour block scarf is so bright it will ward off any dismal feelings. I think its fab! All my favourite colours together. It’s from Holly and Evie and is made to order.

These hats from Maya Croft look so warm and snuggly. Liezl is also Folksy’s Featured Maker this week, you can read her maker interview here.

I really like the pattern of these fingerless mitts, from Dream Time Treasures.

And for really cold days these beautiful Nordic style mittens will keep the frost out. I love the pointed shape! From Fir Tree Knitwear.

Next on my cozy list is a lovely mug of tea (or coffee or hot chocolate!), this hand thrown mug looks just the thing to wrap chilly hands around. By Church St Workshops.

And finally, an alarm clock cozy, to take the edge off getting out of bed on a winter morning!! It’s from Cat Thomas.

I hope you are feeling much more cozy now, if you’d like to see more of the beautiful (-and cozy!) products available on Folksy that caught my eye I created a Pinterest board and you can view it here.

Thank you for reading!

Teresa

June Days

June always ends up being the busiest month of my year, and this year was no exception, with birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and a couple of First Holy Communion celebrations as well!

During June I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Folksy Friday animations by Leanne Warren of Leapup. I was asked to contribute a few pieces to be used in the animations, and it’s been fabulous seeing them come to life. If you want to watch them all click here, and I’ve included a few photos below too.

This little fish is inspired by my lavender bag range (I’m going to be making more soon). She caught the fancy of a cheeky seagull!

Hitch the Seagull by Big Bird Little Bird

Dora the Donkey by Lavendonmade

Beach hut bunting by Michelle Corbin Design

Photo from Leanne Warren.

This flower is now listed in my Folksy shop as a made to order item. It’s so much fun making them! It featured in the Rainbows and Unicorns animation.

Another project I’ve been working on for some time was finished during June; it’s been delivered now so I can finally share it! My auntie commissioned me to embroider her house, and my grandparents house, which she grew up in. It was to be stitched in black and grey. It’s been a challenge, I won’t deny that, but it’s been interesting too. My 6 year old daughter was a fabulous cheerleader on this project- her little fist pump and ‘yesss’ when I told her I’d finished stitching the railings was wonderful!

In between stitching these hoops – and to add a little colour to my day, I made another embroidered pin cushion. I’ve really enjoyed making these, just playing with stitch and colour is very relaxing! Should I do some for my shop?!

This week I’m going to be starting Christmas craft fair stock. Feels scary but I need to get organised! As I’ve been so busy recently with other stuff I’ve started to feel a bit panicky about not being ready for Christmas. As I write this there’s only 178 days to go…. if they go as fast as June went, yikes!

xx

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

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

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!