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!



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

Crafty Doings in July

After spending a lovely hour or so catching up with my favourite blogs this morning I’m inspired to write a catch up post of a few bits I’m making and have finished recently. My living room cushion makeover is on going. We have a four seater sofa and an armchair, so I am fairly limited in the amount of cushions we can practically fit and use in the living room! I think I can squeeze a couple more in at the most. My latest cushion is my corner to corner crochet cushion. It’s made with Stylecraft Special DK and some sparkly acrylic stuff. I really enjoyed making it, it’s so quick even when you are in a right tangle of yarn. I put a zip in one of the sides so it can be washed. 

I’ve started a new piece of embroidery, just for me! It’s from the Thread Folk Artist series, I think it was a limited edition design, you can find the Thread Folk shop here. I’m really enjoying it so far, it suits my style of embroidery of small areas of stitch to make the whole. 

I’ve made these cute little thank you cards for the teachers at school. I got a bit obsessed with taking photos of these, I love the flower pattern (which is by Emma Lamb, in her book Crochet Home) and I can see more of these flowers being made in the future. 

I wanted to add all the pieces of work I made for Sherwood Art Week to my Folksy shop, but so far have only added my Satsuma Bird Hoop Art. Lots more to come soon. I’ve also added free 1st Class postage to all UK orders from my Folksy shop.

Last weekend I had a lovely time meeting some other Folksy shop owners. We met at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and enjoyed ambling around, admiring the Tony Cragg exhibition and talking about all sorts of stuff. Thank you to Trudi, Jane, Anna, and Holly for a great time, and Camilla and Sian for organising it! 

And that’s it for the mo! Nothing else that I can reveal yet- I have some Christmas bits and bobs in production, yikes! 

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

September Catch Up

Hello everyone, especially new followers! I’m sharing a quick catch up on some projects I’ve finished recently. It’s nice to feel that my WIP (work in progress) pile is getting slightly smaller!

First up is my Ripple Cushion, made using Stylecraft Special DK. I’ll share the details of how I made it soon, it was a fairly straightforward cushion cover. Its looking very cozy on my sofa now.

I sent off some more handstitched badges to the Victoria Walker Boutique.

I’ve had this crewel work flower kit on the go for about two years, and finally got it finished. It’s hanging over my craft desk now, I’m really happy with how it turned out. I liked embroidering with wool, I’m planning on buying some more wool to do a few more bits. 

It was my Grandma’s 80th Birthday on Friday, and I made a little embroidered hoop art as part of her gift. I used some DMC lights metallic embroidery thread for some more texture, I was impressed by how easy it was to use in comparison to metallic threads I’ve used in the past! My Grandma is an accomplished embroiderer, and used to knit and dress make too. She made some gorgeous cross stitched pictures for my children when they were born, which are in pride of place on their bedroom walls. My Grandma has always encouraged me to be creative too; one of the best things she told me was that ‘fabric doesn’t go off’, I think I might get some of my fabric hoarding genes from her! It was lovely to see her and my family for her birthday. 

I’ve been crocheting stars again. I really like these colours together. That’s two recent makes that have involved orange. We are all back into school routine now and I’m adjusting to the busier timetable and earlier mornings. I’m going to have lots of fun doing my own thing every morning; I’m going to try and go swimming, and I’m hopefully going to borrow my friends dog to go for some walks too, as well as lots of sewing and crochet time! I’m really not that good at relaxing! However this weekend is special- I’m off to the Handmade Fair at Hampton Court! 

Teresa xx

Embroidery Inspired by Houses

The area of Nottingham where I live is mostly built up, with a combination of terraced houses, industrial units and Victorian factory buildings. I believe it’s called domestic architecture and it’s the kind of architecture I find most interesting.

Some of the buildings have beautiful features in brick and tiles and the houses often have features such as tiny diamond shaped windows, carved brick work around doorways and windows, and tiles along the roof lines. I have been very inspired by all of these details and used them to create a series of embroidered houses, which are available in my Folksy shop.Three Houses embroidery

I have designed and stitched three houses framed in 3″ embroidery hoops. Each house is different and has details of the houses I have seen.  I’ve added other features too, possibly fantasy or whimsical features, such as a picket fence in mustard yellow and some flowers growing around the doorway.

Mustard house with stripy sky

Mustard House with a Stripey Sky

Door with a pink house

Tiny House with a Pink Door

House with Starry Sky

Embroidered House with Starry Sky

My parents gave me an embroidery book, ‘The Needlecraft Stitch Directory’ by Sarah Whittle,  for Christmas last year, and my husband also recently bought me the Mollie Makes Embroidery book; both have renewed my interest in hand embroidery and stitch samplers. The Victorians in particular were famous for creating large pieces of work which demonstrated their skills in a variety of hand embroidery stitches. These tiny framed houses show a few of my favourite stitches to work.

I’m hoping to use some of the brick patterns I have seen to develop into further pieces of embroidery work. It’s a project to get my teeth into!

Teresa x

If you would like further information on any of the house embroidery shown here, please click on the link below the picture which will take you to my shop listing on Folksy and more detailed information!