Website…

So I’m trying to take my craft selling a little more seriously. I worked hard to take some ‘good looking’ product shots and opened up my Etsy shop. Hooray!

The next step was to sort out was my website. I bought my domain name years ago but never got round to doing anything with it, the idea of building my own website seemed too scary so I procrastinated. Until last week and got stuck in to it.

Funnily enough it was enjoyable in a way, kind of satisfying. And whilst not the slickest of websites, I suppose it does the job. So please have a look, (click on the photo below) and let me know what you think as sometimes with being the ‘creator’ it means you’re too close to see it’s faults.

Welcome

Totes Adorbs…

So today I launched some tote bags on Etsy! They are all hand-printed by my fair hands, on a cotton bag made from 100% recycled cotton. As they are hand-printed each bag is totally unique – there might be some extra paint, there might be a squint print, some might be some slightly lighter in colour but I think this all adds to their charm! They are safe to wash, but in order to keep the design looking it’s best I’d recommend either spot cleaning them or hand washing them.

The inspiration for all these bags came from plants that I’m growing in my garden this year.

The first bag is printed with super cute strawberries. My strawberry plants are now actually 3 years old! Sadly though this means that I’ll probably have to get some new plants next year, as they don’t produce as many berries after 3 or 4 years.  There are 20 strawberries printed on this bag – 10 on the front, 10 on the back.

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I’ve grown carrots once before, and they turned out to be tiny little things but rather sweet and tasty. I know you’ve got to have quite sandy or unlumpy soil to make it easier for them to grow, so fingers crossed they’ll be better this time round. There are 10 carrots printed on the bag – 10 on the front, 10 on the back.

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I’ve never grown radish before. I also don’t even particularly like radish, but I’m hoping that if they do grow okay I can finely slice them or pickle them for salads. I grew potatoes and peas last year, but supposedly you’re not meant to grow potatoes in the same place two years in a row hence the change to different root vegetables this year. This bag has 20 radish printed on it – 10 on the front, 10 on the back.

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So which bag is your favourite? These totes are great for shoving in your pocket or hand bag meaning you’ve always got a plastic bag alternative handy. Please make sure to have a look at my Etsy shop and let me know what you think about the product shots!

Monday Make: Radish Bag…

So for some reason I took a hankering to do some lino printing at the weekend, having never touched my tools in probably years. (Ever have one of those moods that appear by random for something random? Weird ae.) I also had some spare canvas bags kicking around and therefore the perfect combo for a ‘Monday Make’ was born. A radish printed bag!

The following admission shouldn’t make me a terrible person, I certainly know die hard lino fans will be spitting out their coffee and reeling in horror but… I know I said lino printing, I actually cheat and use that vinyl lino as I find it way easier to carve as it’s softer and smoother.

The material I used were as follows;
Canvas Bag
Fabric Paint
Pen
Pencil
Paper
Roller
Vinyl Lino
Lino Carving Tools
Scissors

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I started by drawing out a simplified sketch of a radish. It was important for me to keep it simple as I was firstly out of practice and didn’t fancy trying to carve anything too complex and secondly I was going to print it as a repeating pattern and didn’t want the over-all effect to look too busy.

I then traced the design in pencil on to some layout paper and did the whole pencil transfer thing by scribbling all over the back. As the vinyl is grey, the pencil marks can be pretty hard to see so I advise going over them in pen.

Then it was time for the fun part, the carving! There’s probably I proper technique to doing it, but I start by craving the outline and then working from there to remove all the excess. Top tip – just take your time, remember you can always remove but never put back!

The other fun part (can there be two fun parts?) is testing out the stamp for the first time. I chose to cut my radish in half so I could have the leaves green and the radish red. I applied the paint by brush (usually it’s by roller, sorry lino printers. Better go make yourself another coffee again and put on a new t-shirt.) and pressed it on to the paper. Obviously on bigger stamping blocks using a roller would give a smooth, even coverage but for little radishes I think brushes are just fine! I like the look of the brush strokes, I think it gives it a little more of a rustic charm no?

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As I was happy with the way the stamp printed, it was time to put radish on to canvas. I added a little more paint to one side of the radish after it was printed to help achieve a rounded, shaded look as I felt it looked a little flat.

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Press, print, repeat and soon you’ll have a lovely canvas bag covered in radishes. The fabric paint I used needs to be ironed for 5 minutes before it’s ‘fixed’ on to the fabric so make sure you read the instructions of yours. Nobody wants their radishes running in the rain!

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Has anyone ever printed before? I think it’s quite a satisfying, easy craft to do and get in to – it’s a little addictive to be honest as I’ve already made a strawberry and carrot bag too!

Monday Make: Pumpkin Garland…

So it occurred to me, as I was changing my home accessories to match the new season, that I was really lacking in autumnal themed objects. I decided I wanted to try and make one before heading to TKMaxx and purchasing one, and I’m so glad I did because I think what I made turned out super cute!

I picked up five polystyrene pumpkins from Hobbycraft at 50p each, and I already owned the needles, felt and jute. So technically this project cost me £2.50 and about 5 hours of my time on a lazy Sunday. Not bad huh?

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I started off by roughly felting wool on to the pumpkin to create a base, and then went back over it with a second layer to fill in any gaps. Once I had the orange down, it was time to focus in on the detailing by repeatedly needling in between the sections to give it a proper shape. I attached the stalk and then needled in some jute string to enable them to be hung up. At this point I didn’t know whether they were going to hang at different levels as a bunch or in a garland.

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I chose to felt two of the pumpkins in a darker rusty brown with a light stem and three in the classical orange with a dark stem. This was just to add a little variety, meaning I used four wool shades but technically if you were on a tighter budget, you’d only need two shades. I used one full pack and a bit for the three orange pumpkins so if you were planning on using the same colour for all 5 I’d suggest buying three 10gram packets of orange and only one of the green.

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I chose to make them in to a garland as hanging bunch just didn’t quite sit right – they looked more like a radioactive bunch of garlic actually… At first I used slip knots to figure out where I wanted them all before tying them in to place a little more securely. The garland still didn’t look quite finished to me though: the tied knots and little tails of string looked untidy.

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I decided that felting little balls on top of the knots was a nice decorative way to hide them, and I was much more pleased to call this it’s final look!

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I am so happy with how it turned out! I think it’s cute and fun, and it felt way more satisfying making it myself than going out and buying something new. If we’re costing it up properly;

Jute String £1
2 x Orange Roving £3
1 x Rusty Brown Roving £1.50
1 x Dark Green Roving £1.50
1 x Light Green Roving £1.50
Felting Needle Tool £7
5 x Pumpkins £2.50

Grand Total = £18

Do you think that’s an okay total for a craft project? I certainly do. You’d have the needle tool for future projects, and you’d have the extra wool to play with too. I no doubt could have picked up something cheaper at TKMaxx but sometimes when creating handmade things saving money’s not the point.

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