Archive | August 2012

Oxford Inspiration!

It’s the school holidays and Mr M is still contracting in Oxford, so of course I had to get the train up to see him. After a lovely lunch, he returned to work and I spent the afternoon exploring crafty places again.

My first stop was the old fire station. The gallery contained work that kids had done in their summer school:

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I wish I’d done that sort of thing as a kid! There was also a strange sort of sculpture / statue:

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I find that the shop is always full of inspiration. It stocks products by local artists and designer makers.

There were some lovely purses by Custom Made, whose blog I follow on my Google reader. I wish I could make these:

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You can also get a wide assortment of jewellery. The necklaces for sale are more than double the price I’m charging for mine at Creative Crafts & Workshops. Whilst these necklaces are lovely, it does make me think maybe I should charge more!

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You can also buy button rings and the artist who made these also used lego bricks!

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The whole shop has a white colour scheme which really allows the vibrant products to shine through:

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After shopping in the market next to the old fire station, I headed over to the indoor market. Every time I go to the market I always look in the window of the Cake Shop. The cakes they make always look amazing. The one below caught my eye this time:

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It’s a cake model of The Radcliffe Camera, which is a reading room annexe of the Bodleian Library. Brilliant hey?

To read more about my previous trip to Oxford read here. You’ll see that the old fire station does indeed vary it’s exhibits and things for sale in the shop. This time I mainly visited the same places as on that trip, and may just have treated myself to a few bits.

I’m off up north this bank holiday weekend and as it’s me and two boys (sorry, thirty something men), I can’t imagine I’ll have much of a chance to be crafty. I haven’t forgotten my giveaway and am working towards it – I’m gathering bits and haven’t forgotten.

Have a good weekend all!

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I have 50 followers!

When I started my little blog I doubted anyone would read it. However I was wrong as today I reached 50 followers. My little blog is international, with most readers coming from the UK and USA, but today I’ve also had views from Canada, Australia, Singapore, Laos, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia and France. Wow!

To celebrate and to thank my lovely followers, I will make something in the next few days and have my first ever giveaway. I will write a post especially inviting my followers to participate, but until then, my thanks will have to do.

THANK YOU!

Mrs M

P.S. Does anyone know if views in the wordpress reader count towards your stats?

Fabric Flowers

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Aren’t they lovely?

I decided to treat myself to one of Adriana’s workshops at Creative Crafts and Workshops to learn something new and have some fun as I’m still on my summer holiday from school. She runs a workshop on how to make these most Mondays. I needed a reason to not have a lie in, so I found myself at the shop before the 10am workshop so I could drop off my jewellery at the same time.

Fabric flowers are quite easy to make once you know how!

First make the shape of your petal in wire:

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Then use that to make your fabric petal (I won’t give away exactly how to do that as it’s not fair)

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Twist your petals together, stick a bead in the middle and wahey!

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I see all sorts of possibilities with these. I bet they would make great table centre pieces for (dare I say it?) Christmas. They are another thing on my want to make again list!

Exciting News!

Whilst we were on holiday I missed the opening of a cute little shop in Reading called Creative Crafts and Workshops. It’s owned and run by Adriana Bowyer with whom I made my Christmas bag last year. The shop is a delight with a wide range of handmade goods, including crocheted bags and jewellery, knitted teddies, paintings, bunting, purses and so much more. The name also gives you a clue that Adriana is still running workshops – there is at least one every day, some of which Adriana teaches and others taught by other experts, and as well as being fun the workshops are very good value!. It’s slap bang in the centre of Reading, under 5 minutes walk from the train station in Reading’s oldest arcade. For more information see the Creative Crafts and Workshop website or the regularly updated facebook page.

Whilst this is obviously great news for all crafty people in Reading, it is exciting for me! When I popped in on Friday, Adriana suggested that I give her some of my jewellery to sell. I’ve never considered doing this before, but as I thought about it I realised it was a great opportunity and I could never wear all of the stuff I’m making at the moment. You can guess what I then spent the some of the weekend doing…

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These are not all of the necklaces I handed to Adriana this morning, but as you can tell by the quality of some of the later photos I ran out of light with which to photograph them in! Adriana seemed pleased with them – let’s just hope her customers like them too!

Four from one…

I seem to be on a jewellery making mission at the moment!

When in Singapore, we went to Chinatown and I bought some bargain necklaces from the night market (see this post). I bought two of each necklace so that I could make matching earrings.

This is what I made from just one necklace.

The earrings:

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A bracelet:

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And two more necklaces:

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So that is four things made from just one necklace. I still have thirty five beads left!

Surprise Pay It Forward

Claire Bear has started a surprise pay it forward and I’ve decided to join in and have a go.  It will be a chance to get something unique and handmade, a chance to inspire others and be inspired and  get to know fellow bloggers more. Why not join in?

This is how it works  (I’ve borrowed Claire Bear’s  explanation, who borrowed it from the Quilting Chemist):

I will send a surprise gift to the first 3 people to comment on this post.  This gift will be made by me and I will send it sometime within the next year.  Exactly when you will receive it will be a surprise ( it will probably be a surprise to me too).

Of course there are some rules in this game.  Here it goes:

1.  I will make a little something for the first 3 people who comment on this post.  It will be a surprise and may arrive at any time in the next 365 days (yes, a year).

2.  To sign up to receive a gift from me you must play along too.  Share the giving love on your blog by promising to send a handmade goodie to the first three people who comment on your blog post.

3.  You must have a blog.

4.  After commenting on my post, you have to post this (or similar) on your blog to spread the love.  If you haven’t posted in 48 hours then the next commenter will be chosen.

If you want to join in just comment below and if you’re on of the first three I’ll send you something before the end of August next year!

 

A stash necklace

Last night when making my silver heart jewellery I dug out my jewellery pliers and decided to have a dig through beads that I already owned. When I started making jewellery a few years back I bought quite a few beads from ebay, but my skills were very basic and I enjoyed shopping for beads, but couldn’t make much from my purchases. I decided to make something using beads I already owned. Since I went on a basic jewellery course and made my floating necklace my skills have improved. This is what I made:

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I have never before dangled beads from the chain like this – in the past I would have just threaded all the beads onto the wire or cord directly. The red beads were in my stash and the silver beads were left over from butchering a necklace to make a matching set.

I’m quite pleased with this and don’t think it looks homemade. I am considering making an item of jewellery for every female member of my family for Christmas.