On My Craft Table: April 2017

 

IMG_5022I’ve been a little quiet with my makes recently. I’ve spent quite a bit of time practising my brush lettering, but what other creations are currently on my to-do list?

First up, is my shameful stash of uncompleted Mollie Makes kits. As a regular subscriber, an issue pops through my letterbox each month, and I usually squeal with delight when I spy that month’s kit. Each one gets carefully put away in a safe place, and recently, that’s where they’ve stayed. Continue reading

Creative Chats: Handmade by Holchester

Welcome to a new feature on the blog, Creative Chats! The creating community has so much talent that I wanted to showcase some of it here on my blog. Creative Chats are an insight into the lives of my favourite creatives.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll probably be familiar with my crafty partner-in-crime, the lovely Rachel from Handmade from Holchester. We met two years ago at a local craft group, and have been firm friends ever since. I’m so pleased that she said yes when I asked her to be my first interview!

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  1. What inspires you?

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Rediscovering Drawing: Lisa Congdon’s Creativebug Classes

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I’ve always been a doodler. If there is a random piece of paper, and some form of drawing instrument, you can pretty much guarantee that I’ve drawn something on it.

At Blogtacular this year, the Artist Lisa Congdon delivered the keynote speech. As well as giving a completely inspiring, confidence-building speech, she shared snippets of her sketchbooks, which instantly inspired me. When I then discovered that she had filmed some Creativebug classes, I knew that I needed to give them a watch.

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We Make Collective: Embroidery Box

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I first discovered the We Make Collective box through Instagram and then heard more on the Blogtacular podcast. As I already had a regular subscription box, I wasn’t sure if I could justify another subscription. I then realised that I was already regularly spending money on new craft materials anyway, and so decided to subscribe in time for the embroidery box.

The box arrived in early August and I was immediately impressed. Opening the box, there was a beautifully curated stash of embroidery goodies, a mixture of fabric, brightly coloured threads, yarn, and other embroidery essentials.

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I’ve had a go at embroidery before, but usually in the form of pre-designed kits. I was most excited about having the chance to truly create something original. My initial idea was to start with something bright and colourful, and I started scouring Pinterest for ideas. I was immediately drawn to the hoops with beautifully stitched text, and decided that was the route I was going to follow, also giving me an opportunity to practise my hand lettering.

But what text to include? Over the last month or so I’ve been rewatching one of my favourite shows, Mad Men. Among the many memorable quotes, one always stands out ‘Make it simple, but significant’ said by the very creative Don Draper. That’s what I was going to do with my design, use both the quote and the principle.

I began by sketching some ideas out roughly in my sketchbook. Once I had an idea of the fonts I wanted to use, I drew around the inside of the hoop to help size my designTo help with placement, I drew rough lines marking the centre of the hoop. Using a black pen, I went over the design so that it would be easy to trace.

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From the We Make Collective box, I used the hoop, fabric, and needles for this project. I already had some black embroidery thread, which doesn’t need separating into smaller thicknesses, which I decided to use. I originally thought about using the calico fabric, but thought that the pale mint fabric would provide a nice subtle pop of colour and provide contrast against the black thread.

I find embroidery really therapeutic, and like to stitch in the evening in front of the TV watching a good box set. This was no different, and was completed whilst watching many episodes of Mad Men. I think there is definitely room for improvement, but for my first ‘original’ design, I’m really happy. Overall, I’m hoping that Don Draper would be impressed.

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As for the We Make Collective box, I’m so happy that I ordered it. I’m definitely going to be keeping my subscription for the foreseeable future. Along with the materials you get in the box, you also get access to online tutorials. Given that I still have plenty of materials left, I’ll definitely be checking these out for my next embroidery project. The next kit is something that I’ve never tried before, macramé! I’ve been itching to have a go at this for a while. I’m really looking forward to having an opportunity to have a go at something completely new!

If you are also a We Make Collective subscriber, I’d love to hear/see what you made with your box!

Why Making is a Learning Curve

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‘It’s all gone wrong!’ I wail from my craft room. I’m filled with that dreaded feeling that something hasn’t turned out the way I planned, or it’s beyond repair.

On Instagram, I’ve recently been sharing more of my doodles. Generally, I’ve been chuffed with them, but there have been a few that I’ve been really disappointed with. In particular, one evening, I came up with an idea loosely based on a doodle that had proved popular the week before. In my head, it looked fantastic. On paper? It looked dreadful. My immediate feeling was disappointment; I’d invested time in something that was now a bit of a waste. Continue reading