Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere to share the ups and downs of starting a craft business, with plenty of tips, mishaps and the odd glass of wine!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

How to Entertain your kids on Rainy Days - Treasure Maps

Predictably for the UK, the Whitsun half term has started with rain.

So to keep the kids entertained this afternoon and using the Treasure Map that I'm making for Patrick as inspiration, we've been on a treasure hunt!

The map I'm making for Patrick is for his wall (and to be taken down ans played with) as he has a pirate themed bedroom in the making. So far I've got this done on it:

Which Patrick is over the moon with (phew!) And Seren helped him make this treasure map after lunch:

Once they were suitably distracted, tidying up (wonders will never cease!) I hid two kinder eggs and they happily spent the next 35 minutes being pirates on an expedition.

Their reward? Well, I captured Seren before hers disappeared, but wasn't quick enough to get a snap of Patrick!

You may remember last year I shared a Pirate Eye Patch and a Pirate Sword tutorial on the blog, have fun with those for your little pirates' adventures!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Flower Tutorials Link Up

Earlier in the week I posted my Felt Pansy Bookmark Tutorial which was created as part of the Link Up over at Bugs and Fishes... sorry for the delay, but here are the rest of the flowery tutorials that were created by some very talented ladies:

I love all of these tutorials, but being a feltie, my favourite has to be the Felt Poppies!

All the links are below the following pics

Dandelion Puff Embroidery Pattern - Hugs are Fun

Paper Flowers - Life is Like a Triple Chocolate Cookie

Super Cute Scandi Style Embroidery - Hoogally

Felt Flower Brooch - Little Black Duck

Buzzzzz - Unexpected Kitty

Felt Pansy Bookmark - Grace's Favours (Me! Yay!)

Flower Power - Pickle-Lily

Easy Love Heart Cozy - Sara's Texture Crafts

Felt Poppies - i ManuFatti
Flowers Embroidery Pattern - Bugs and Fishes
Fabric Flower Necklace - Made by Mrs M
Improvised Foundation Pieced Posy Block - Two Little Aussie Birds

Hope you all enjoy going through these as much as I did - I'm off to make some felt poppies now :-)

Monday, 19 May 2014

How To Make A Felt DIY Pansy Flower Bookmark Tutorial

You may remember at Christmas last year I took part in a Link Up run by Laura, who pens the gorgeous blog Bugs & Fishes

My contribution was How to Make Reusable Felt Gift Tags

Well, Laura's running another Link Up today and this time the topic is Flowers.

I had been trying to decide which flower to work on, when I went past a friend's garden last week and saw these beauties:

So I thought I'd share a tutorial on how to make a Felt Pansy Flower and turn it into a bookmark:

You Will Need:

Small Scraps of Yellow Felt
Small Scraps of Purple Felt
Purple Embroidery Thread


1. Cut out all the felt pieces using the template at the end of the tutorial and arrange the pansy pieces as follows:

2. Using 2 strands of purple embroidery thread, start sewing on the detail. Use a combination of small and longer straight stitches, pulling the thread as tightly as you feel you can (without it snapping!) as you want to ruck up the petals a bit to give them some definition:

3. Cut a length of ribbon, using a book as your guide. I used a book that is typical of the size books I read, but if you wanted to make this for a child you might want it a little shorter:

4. Glue the front of the ribbon to the back of your pansy and then glue a circle of purple felt over the back of the ribbon and the pansy:

5. Add the button of your choice to the bottom of the ribbon using the purple embroidery thread:

Well Done :-D You have a Felt Pansy Bookmark!!

Hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. As always, it'll be on the main Tutorials Page along with all the others and linked up over at Bugs and Fishes... I'll do a post later in the week with all the others in the link up if you've come here via a different route.

PS. I did make some other sizes of pansies when trying out this tutorial - the medium one is on the template, but the two little ones I just did freehand:

I have also got a range of patterns that are for sale which you can find in my Etsy Shop and my Craftsy Shop - if you'd like a pattern for something specific, do let me know and if I think it'll be a popular one I'd be happy to draft it :-D

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Felt Rainblow Cloud Baby Mobile Pattern

I am taking part in the Etsy School SEO Month at the moment. As part of that, we have to look at the stats that Etsy provide for us sellers and disseminate them into something meaningful, about what works, what doesn't, where we might be able to improve, etc.

One of the things that I noticed was that my two most popular items in the last couple of months are these two (click on the pictures for links to the listings in my Etsy Shop):

The multi cloud mobile is actually the more popular of the two, but in order to turn that one into a pattern I'd need to provide instructions for making the hanger, which at the moment is the weak link, in that I get a friend to make them for me!

So onto the 2nd most popular item, the wall hanging.

This was much more straight forward to turn into a pattern. So last week, I locked myself away for a couple of days and....... Voila!

Making a pattern is a funny thing. You know exactly how you make something you're familiar with, but designing a pattern is quite a different thing. You need to be sure that the order you're giving people is actually the most sensible, because whilst I might be able to sneak something to an item after I've supposedly finished an hide the evidence that I did it that way, it's not ideal to suggest other people do it!

You also need to take good clear photos and label them all... this takes a LOT longer than I'd like, but as they are essential to my patterns, they're a necessary evil!

You can find the pattern in my Etsy Shop and also on Craftsy, along with all my other patterns for sale.

Any of the finished items that I make are potentials for being turned into a pattern, so if there's anything you'd specifically like to see, please feel free to shout out suggestions!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

How To - Simple Felt Plush Man Toy Tutorial

I had an unusual commission last week and I thought it would make a great tutorial, so I took some photos along the way.

I was actually asked to make 4 of these guys, two with devil's horns and two with angel's wings, for a company who are bringing in a new safety policy and these 4 chaps (Safety Dave!) were going to be used as props during the training.

I love the cool things that I get asked to make, especially when they're for an unusual reason!

So here is a tutorial for how to make a simple plush man:

You will need

2 pieces of felt (your choice of colour) 8" x 10" (20cm x 25cm)
Black embroidery thread (2 strands)
Toy Stuffing
Sewing machine
Disappearing marker/chalk pencil/ordinary pencil

Draw round the template with a disappearing pen (or chalk pencil) and pin two layers of felt together

Leaving a gap at the top of the head, sew all the way round the outline on your sewing machine. Tie off the threads inside the head.

Cut round the man, don't snip too close to the stitches or they'll come undone when you add the stuffing.

Add stuffing to the arms, legs & body, a tiny bit at a time as you're putting it through a narrow opening (the neck) I used a chopstick to push the stuffing into the limbs. Do no stuff the head at this stage.

Draw eyes and a smile on the face, using either your disappearing pencil or an ordinary pencil.

Embroider the face, using back stitch for the smile and french knots for the eyes (I've used two french knots on top of each other to get the right size.
Add stuffing to the head and following the machine stitching, sew up the opening, by hand, using a back stitch.

Well done - you've made a cool little man (or girl if you want) and if your kids/grandkids are anything like my 5 year old and 3 year old, there will be hours of fun to be hand - these guys are just the right size for little hands!

Here's the pic of the 4 I made for my lovely customer:

For other tutorials, please visit the Tutorials Page and if you'd like something made just for you, feel free to have a look around my Etsy Shop and give me a shout if you see anything you like.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The (Felt) Penguins Have Arrived!

Last week on Facebook I shared a picture that almost drew itself:

I know it's not the right time of the year for most people to be thinking about Christmas and cold weather creatures, but since making my first Penny Rug pattern I've been rather obsessed with the idea of them, so when this popped into my head last week, I knew I had to make it straight away.

I like making patterns as I go along with making the first of an item as then it's fresh in my mind as to what works and what doesn't and thankfully wool felt is very forgiving if you do sew something and then decide that it doesn't work and need to remove or change it!

The listing for this pattern has just live in both my Etsy and Craftsy shops and is £3.50 (USD: $6.00)

Sharing Buttons