Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Mary Mary....

 The Crafter's Garden

Mary Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow?
With wool and needle
Lace and beads
And pretty things all in a row

Have been playing with flowers recently, probably because its been too wet to go and harrass the real ones in the garden and have got to thinking about how often us crafters use flowers as either embellishments or the key feature of our work. This week I've been crocheting bun holders for a friend's daughter for school and thought she needed matching slides too.... so came up with 2 sets for her one with forget me not slides and one with pansies. Sadly the curse of Bev and camera's struck with the forget me not design but the pics of the pansy slides and matching bun cover came out well. Have added them as a custom make to Bits and Bobs Baby and Home  - this link will take you there!

Am also going to be making more - but obviously not all the same -  as have been offered a table at the school fair!

I've also started making a cushion cover out of larger crocheted flowers than can be edged into a circle. Am using a range of soft nursery colours and its starting to look really pretty. In fact am a bit of a "butterfly" at the moment as am working on 3 projects at once!

Interestingly the Folksy June Bugs are also inspired by all things floral... so here is an herbaceous border all of their own creation....

From: Chrysanthemum Corner - Bits and Bobs Crafts

Follow the windy path to Tulips and Topiary  - Dottie Designs - a handy journal for all your plans!

Then through the climbers arch to a feast of Gladioli by Maxine Veronica

Underplanted with a serene array of mini florals by Ickle Imogen

Finally sinking onto a bench in a rose garden supplied by:

Silk Purse, Sow's Ear and.....

CShell Designs    

Overlooking a pond with dragon flies flitting around,  from Bessie Loves

Monday, 27 June 2011

New Ranges and Organisations!

Have finally bitten the bullet and decided to become "more structured".... so am in the process of dividing my 2 shops up into:

Bits and Bobs Accessories   and    Bits and Bobs Baby and Home

Although there's a fair bit of "furniture" and stock to be shuffled yet!

As a celebration of making this decision I've launched a new product range - Handy Pots!

They can be:

 1. Craft Storage
 2. Pencil Pots or Tool Pots
 3. Dressing Table Tidies
 4. Vases - if made of glass

I got inspired to make handy pots when i was looking for something different for a craft sale and discovered a collection of of empty tubs and jars in a cupboard. I got out needles and yarn and had a go at making these poor naked little items personal coats to keep them warm and hence the handy pot was born!

They real joy of handy pots is that the only limit on how they turn out is your imagination! I've been asked to have a go at making a few football orientated ones and also a "cricket sweater", so they can be personalised to suit hobbies, interests of colour schemes. Handy pots will be available both as OOAK originals and bespoke items so pop over to my website and leave me a message me with your specifications and I'll get clicking!

Eight is the Magic Number

Having watched a documentary all about octopi and how clever they are I've been experimenting with things octagonal too! And over the weekend turned a lonely ball of soft apple green cotton from my stash into this set of fab coasters:

In celebration of my "numerical obsession", today's Folksy Feature is in Numerical Order

1 Horse on this fab cushion from Audrey's Cat

 2 little birds on this beautiful decorative bowl from Lily's Night Garden

 3 flowers on this cute Bunny Plaque from Aunty Joan Crafts

 4 Red Beads on this quirky Red Squiggle bookmark from Beadesk

5 Flowers and Berries on this beautiful "Wild Strawberries Brooch" from Linwood Crafts
6 bright cheery flowers on this "Retro Flower Eco Bag" from Maytree Lane

7 stones in this fab necklace from Brockstones

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Going Green

I'm about to start experimenting again with the joys of "plarn" making. Plarn is yarn made from recycled carrier bags and there's lots out there on the internet about how to make it and use it. I'm also about to start experimenting with how to cut fabric into yarn to make sturdy shoppers. I already use as many upcycled, recycled and end of line products in my makes as I can but I just feel I could do more.. I regularly prowl charity shops and boot sales looking for other people's surplus yarn and just recently have picked up some beautiful cotton yarn in a shell pink - the colour is as soft as the feel of the yarn - for 50p a ball!!! And bargain of the week was a bag of vintage yarn from a boot sale for £1!!!! And the bag it was stored in as well!!! And yes I got mates rates as my lovely friend Sue was running the stall but she did say it was only £2 for anyone else. There are lots of balls of a really nice airforce / denim blue and some gorgeous remnants of a soft beige yarn and a toffee yarn with glitter effect. Having had a peruse of my stash I have plan for a gorgeous mixed yarns winter scarf in shades of golds and soft browns...

Another reason for experimenting is that I am currently writing a workshop that I'm planning to run in the Autumn - the "working title" is "Crafting on a Budget".... but all ideas for something more catchy and yarn related are greatly appreciated! The plan is to promote yarn swaps, build a local "directory" of how to pay less for good quality raw materials, have fun, experiment and of course drink coffee and eat cakes! So I want to have a small range of made up items I'm really happy with I can show the participants as well as improving my skills with plarn and fabric work.

In celebration of "going green", I've listed a green satchel bag, made from surplus stash in my Folksy store today and have also been perusing the work of the June Bugs to discover some of their green makes...

1. Bits and Bobs Crafts          2. Ann Chandler Originals       3. Flo Nightingale 4. Audrey's Cat                     5. Girl of the Sixties              6. Ritzy Swish

As ever, please click on the image to go to the store

BIts n Bobs Crafts Ann Chandler Originals
Flo Nightengale Audrey's Cat
Girl of the Sixties Ritzy Swish

Friday, 17 June 2011

Somewhere over the rainbow - Folksy friday

As part of the ongoing campaign to chase the rain away, I've been knitting all things rainbow this week! Have a community fair tomorrow so am really praying for sun so I can get some stock moving - have mainly concentrated on little things like hairslides, phone cases, corsages but will take some of my bigger makes too. Will also try and remember to pack the camera!

As am "rainbow inspired" at present have decided to make my Folksy Friday run along this theme... by featuring an item in each of the colours I have in my phone cover below:

So here a "rainbow of talent" from the fabulous Folksters:

1. Get Down and Crafty   2. Aunty Joan Crafts   3. Mary Elliot

4. Polly Purple Horse Crafts   5. Bags of Swish   6. Mia Scarlett

As usual please click the photo to visit their fab Folksy Stores

Get Down and Crafty Aunty Joan Crafts
Mary Elliot Polly Purple Horse Crafts
Bags of Swish Mia Scarlett

And as I've found lots of rainbows on my travels... I've decided to do a double and share those with you too!

1. Heloise V Crochet   2. Felted Fluffies   3. Rock Princess
4. 100% Delicate       5. Moody Cow Designs

Heloise V Crochet Felted Fluffies
Rock Princess 100% Delicate
Moody Cow Designs

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Raindrops on Roses

This is quite a topical title for me today as I have a rose bush in need of urgent attention as its growing wild suckers but the "raindrops falling on my head" and indeed the roses are keeping me indoors! I have no wish to either slip on my bum whilst do acrobatics on crutches, amusing the neighbours or dig another furrow in the lawn from wheelchair wheely spins:-)
Having had a lovely swim today - it was dry when I went in and braved the chilly depths, I was surprised to find that yet again I was "Singing in the Rain" on the way back to the car.... I swim indoors too so the sun doesn't see my in my bathers, take fright and run for less scary climes!The only bright spot, literally was when my frined took her 3 year old son off to Poundland and he came out grinning from ear to ear with a bright orange brolly.
Of course if it was "Raining Men", I would probably be much happier with the weather, as one of them could then do battle with the roses for me...

But all this watery weather is leading me onto my latest listing in my Folksy and Frooly stores a gorgeous scarf, lightweight, handknitted and full of the rich jewel colours of the ocean... And if you want to handle the scarf yourself... why not come and visit me this weekend. I'll be displaying my wares at the St Denys Community Festival on Saturday 18th June. Its a great event arranged for and by the locals and always raises some money for charity. Its not a craft fair in the strictest sense but it'll get my name out there and might even prompt people to learn to knit or crochet... so its worth a go

Here's the scarf and small selection of work that would complement its colours by the talented Folksy June Bugs

Sock it to Me Scarf - Bits and Bobs Crafts

Bridesmaids Hair Comb - Infiniti Jewellery

Bead woven spinning top necklace - Crafty Warren

Aqua Butterfly Brooch - Lynwood Crafts

Apple Jade Lover's Knot Keyring - Nofkants Curios

Purple Surf Encaustic Painting - Passionate About Photography

Friday, 10 June 2011

Denim and Dad's

I was stash hunting the other day and I found a ball of a denim effect yarn. I started playing with ideas around denim and daises and then it occured to me that Father's Day is on the horizon. My Dad is almost impossible to buy for, he's 84, totally unmaterialistic and as long as he has a wide screen TV to see the football - his sight is pretty poor - then he's as happy as larry. So he usually gets something like a diabetic goodie bag these days. He's definitely one of a very special generation, has lived in the same village all his life, except for 2 years national service in India - so much as suggesting foreign food brings the comment "I was in India you know.... I've seen them cook" - and came from a time when people just mucked in and helped each other out. He brought us up on his own, with some help from various Grannies and Aunties after Mum died when I was 7 and worked fulltime as the village street cleaner. He spent many years having to go into infants assemblies admiring their collages of him as part of their people who help us projects. But he'd also go out of his way to put bins out for those who couldn't manage and so on... he always did more than his job. He also supported the grannies and aunties practically for many years - decorating, gardening, driving, shopping and so on. When my great aunt got too frail to do the stairs he's even go round and make sure she was safe in the evenings. Then he ended up caring for his partner as she developed Alzheimers.

However Dad is not a denim fan - think he once owned a pair of jeans for gardening but that was many years ago now! But I was thinking that my shop really lacks things for Dads and lads, so I started to play around with the yarn and came up with a couple of phone covers. I've also got plans for a handy pot in its own denim jacket and t-shirt...

So in honour of all our special Dad's and to celebrate me actually having a "blokie" item in my shop, today's Folksy Friday is dedicated to Denim and Dads:

Please click on the pic to be taken to the store

1. I Albert, 2 O Blue, 3 Scruffy Stuff, 4 Bits and Bobs Crafts, 5 Little Denim, 6 Sew Shabby Chic

Indira Albert O Blue Thrashion
Bits And Bobs Scruffy Stuff
Little Denim Sew shabby Chic