Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Friends and fond farewells

It has been a little while since my last post, for which I apologise. With my trip to Canada imminent, and counting down my last few days as work, my life is turning upside down in a very big and scary way and between the terrified tears and excited highs I haven't had a lot of time for crafting!

Still, I could not let one of my closest friend's birthday go amiss. She may live in Toronto, but thanks to the modern wonder of the internet and instant messaging, I actually talk to her (well type to her actually) more than any of my friends here in the UK. I am extremely excited to be visiting her at the end of my trip to Canada - I cannot wait!

Despite her insisting that I need not send a present (that my visit later in the year would suffice), I really couldn't stop my fingers reaching for the needle and thread...and with the help of some inspiration from Mika Art Blog, I produced a fridge magnet, brooch and keyring in the shape of a Boston Terrier. This cute breed holds a very special place in my friend's heart.



Fridge magnet

I did have a little trouble getting the eyes right...I'm terrible at eyes and most of my creations don't have them for exactly this reason. The eyes give character, and I find if so difficult to capture this. I left the brooch eye-less as I thought it was a bit more wearable that way (abstract, perhaps).

I did not write this post until after the parcel had arrived for obvious reasons, and I know now that my gifts have been well received. So during this time, when I am saying a sad goodbye to my workplace and the friends I have made there, I can at least look forward to my adventures in Canada and towards the end of them, the chance to spend time with one of my oldest and most cherished friends.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tutorial: Mini flower hairclip

As promised, here is the tutorial for the mini hairclip featured in my previous post. It is my very first tutorial, and I hope that it is easy and fun to follow! Please comment below if you have any questions.

You will need:

Pattern pieces (see Step 1)
Three colours of felt (your choice of colours)
A small button
A metal hair clip
Needle and thread

Step 1

Save the pattern image below to your computer by right clicking on it and selecting 'save as'. Print the pattern - I recommend that the largest flower is about 3.5cm across.

Step 2

Using the pattern pieces, cut one flower in each colour.

Step 3

Secure your threat in the middle of the largest flower piece (for info on how to do this, see here).  This should be on the topside, which is the side facing up when the piece is complete. 

Step 4

Place the hair clip on the bottom side of the largest flower, ensuring that the slots are central. This central placement of the slots in the clip is important, as it needs to allow for the button to be sewn on through them in the next step. Secure the clip in place with a few stitches.

After a few stitches, your hairpiece will look something like this on the bottom and top:

Step 5

Position the two other flower pieces on top of the largest one. I like to do this so that the petals are offset, but this is personal preference.

These are then secured in place by sewing the button on top, with the thread being passed through the slots of the hairclip. Sew through the button holes several times, as this will safely hold the whole hairpiece together.

Step 6

Finally, pass the thread through to the topside of the largest flower and fasten off with a couple of backstitches. Ensure that these stitches are hidden below the petals of the flower above to give a neat finish.

The finished piece:

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A stab in the dark...

I do the majority of my crafting in the evening - probably a side effect of having a daytime job of course - and tonight is no exception. I just wanted something simple and fairly quick, as I am in need of some early nights, so I decided to go with an idea which has been in my head since I made my first hair clip (see Button Bonanza). I think mini hair clips like this are the perfect accessory for young girls - I just wish I could pull it off myself because it is so cute!

However there is an obvious downside to evening crafting, which the the lack of daylight. This makes it difficult to do just about everything from cutting out and sewing and especially photographing. I am so eager to share my work with the world that I cannot wait until daylight appears! As if to rub in my poor photographic efforts this article was at the top of my reading list tonight with some handy hints on where I'm going wrong.

Anyway, look out for a tutorial on these mini clips, coming soon I promise - when I have daylight in which to photograph the production process...

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Pony Power!

The first ever animals I made out of felt were horses and ponies. They were 2D, roughly blanket stitched and it took me several ponies before I figured out how to effectively stuff them - legs included! One in particular had a 'gammy' leg which was so poorly stitched that it ended up all wonky. I still have them all...perhaps I will photo them as an update (or prequel) to this post.

It makes sense therefore, when I got back into felt craft more recently, that my initial attempts at 3D animals were of ponies. The photo below is the first and will probably always be my favourite, although a little under-stuffed! As with many of my creations involving these colours, the picture just doesn't do it justice as it doesn't quite capture the rich purple in contrast to the blue. The felt is in fact flecked with shiny purple and blue ribbon and it is the colours that make it my favourite piece! It is a little different for me, as I normally make animals in their natural colour.

Which brings me nicely onto a trio that I made, based on three real horses. It came about after I listed one of my ponies on Ebay - although it did not sell (as sadly my items never do) - a lady contacted me and asked if I could make hers and her friend's horses if she sent photos. I took up the challenge, and a challenge it was! The most difficult part was making the 'feather' around the grey horse's legs but I persevered and I was so pleased with the result. I hope you like these little beauties too - I was sad to send them away!