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.
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…
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!
Recently I’ve had an embroidery commission and a custom card request, so now that they are safely with my customers I thought I’d share them with you.
My aunty commissioned me to embroider some handkerchiefs for her. I doodled some designs for her, following some suggestions from her, and I got the go ahead! I got to hone my embroidery skills a bit more, especially with silk shading which I haven’t done since studying embroidery at university.
I presented them in a little box, and was really happy she liked them.
My cousin requested a custom Valentines Day card for his wife, inspired by my Beautiful Carrot card, and a poster his wife used to have with a cabbage on! I was very pleased to hear they both liked the card.
I’m always open to custom requests, or commissions, so please get in touch if you are interested, and I can give you some more information.
Have a great weekend,