Tuesday, 27 November 2012

5 Reasons to Visit CRAFTfest - The Online Craft Fair

My soapmaking alter-ego, Fairfield Gardens, is taking part in CRAFTfest, an online craft fair, which started on Saturday and runs until 1st December.

There are lots of great reasons to visit, not least the 250 or so stalls to browse through, but here are my top 5:

1. It's on 24/7 so you can dip in and out whenever you feel like it.

2. There is so much to discover. One of the nice things about real-life fairs is finding something new or unexpected.

3. You can bookmark finds. If you're not in the market right now you can bookmark finds and makers that you like and come back to them at a later date.

4. Oodles of inspiration. Let's be honest. Sometimes you're not really interested in buying anything; you just want to look at the stalls and bask in the loveliness. With CRAFTfest there are blogs to discover, Facebook pages to follow, Pinterest boards to covet... You can find a list of most of the stall holders and their various locations on the internet via this CRAFTfest networking spreadsheet.

5. You can browse from wherever you are. It's nice to get out, and be able to touch and smell the goods on offer, but if it's raining buckets, or freezing cold outside, you just don't fancy getting dressed or you're on the move, you don't have to miss out.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to CRAFTfest and start browsing. If you're not convinced here's a taste of what's on offer:


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Crochet Christmas Stars

I found some crochet star motifs in my needlecrafts book and after a bit of an impulsive purchase of Anchor metallic yarn I thought I'd try one of them out.

It looks great!  The metallic yarn works beautifully.  I think it will make a lovely Christmas decoration.  I added a loop at the top, then after blocking it, I painted it with silver glitter paint and PVA to stiffen it.  I can't wait to hang them up around the house.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

TAST Week 46 - Magic or Checkered Chain Stitch

This week's stitch from Sharon at Pin Tangle is a wonderfully fun one.  I have seen this stitch a few times and thought it would be fiendishly fiddly to do, but I was delighted to find that it was quite straightforward.

I opened a shop on Folksy a little while ago, and although I'm still in the process of setting it up (read trying to find the time to stock it!) I do need a banner/logo.  I had the idea of two B's (for Berry Bakewell) which were mirror images of each other, embroidered, with a shape that was reminiscent of a butterfly.  The magic chain, as it's a bit more interesting than the 'standard' chain, seemed like a good choice for the embroidery.  I tried a couple of different colour schemes and also a different shape and thickness for the B.  I also thought about filling one in completely, and also trying the third idea with the chain colours alternating rather than matched but haven't got around to it yet.  I think my favourite is the second one. I'm loving the combination of green against bright colours, particularly deep pinks, at the moment.  Which do you like best?

Monday, 12 November 2012

TAST Week 45 - Open Base Needlewoven Picot

Last week I inadvertently did open base needlewoven picots using a different method, but this week I learned to do it properly (and it was much easier!).  For some reason I felt compelled to do a dinosaur. I call him Embroiderosaurus!


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Teeny Tiny Crochet

I am going through a bit of an elephant phase at the moment.  There are so many creative depictions of them, from the adorable to the beautiful.  I came across this on Etsy via Twitter:

Photo courtesy of Suami (Etsy)
It's a teeny tiny crocheted elephant that's only 1.5cm (0.6in) tall.  How incredible is that?!  I can only imagine the dexterity and patience needed to make something like that.  But then, while checking out the elephant, I discovered that the shop is filled with hundreds of other miniature crocheted animals and objects.  

All images courtesy of Suami (Etsy)

They are collectors items so don't come cheap, but even if you're not in a buying mood it's well worth a visit to admire the craftsmanship and make you smile.