Friday 27 March 2009

Handmade Cambridge - Jewellers

Just a week to go! And today it's the jewellery makers' turn to show their wares. The range of beautiful and creative work that will be for sale at the Cambridge Handmade Craft fair on April 4th is just stunning, so it will be well worth a visit! I love Corryvreckan's sea inspired silver work. Lovely ideas feature in her jewellery, like the seagull and pebble earrings, bladder wrack pendants and this very covetable seaweed bracelet.

Clare Howieson will be there with her beautiful silver work. She is a Cambridge based jeweller who combines delicate textures with abstract shapes to create distinctive contemporary pieces. These look hard to resist!

Not only is Lazy Giraffe working hard to ensure we have a successful craft fair, but she also makes jewellery, including pieces with lovely names like sweet dreams, damson and the one I like - honeydew.
MomentsbyMartha will also be taking a break from organising Oxford Handmade and displaying her 'Onyx&' range of necklaces, part of the CUBICbyMartha collection. I like this one, tiny cubes of midnight black onyx are strung together, with a cube of smooth lemony prehnite.
I know I am going to find it hard to walk home without spending my takings on a Pennydog resin pendant. She creates lovely work which I have featured here before. She also has a book and £1 from each sale goes to the Retired Greyhound Trust.

And yet more silversmith delights will be on show from Quercus Silver who works in resin and silver. I seem to be drawn to anything sea inspired today, like this ring.

Turned and Twisted describe themselves as a crazy couple on the wrong side of 40 creating madness and mess throughout the house. Louise is the jewellery maker with a love of beading and chainmaille. This bracelet looks like it would feel lovely to wear.

Softy Walter promises you this will be the softest jewellery you will ever wear! And it certainly looks like that! I love the colours. They look good enough to eat.

For some spring inspired charm, MyAphrodite will be there with her jewels, including this sweet Fledgling Dreams necklace.

Button Moon will be there too with an array of button inspired jewellery, including bracelets, earrings and button necklaces galore.
As well as being a clutter loving, perfectionist, tea drinking lady, Snappy sausage is also a jewellery maker, combining fused glass, found objects and illustration in her charming work.

And finally, Snag Dragon Beads is a talented bead weaver, armed with a needle and thread and a carefully selected palette of beads, creating a colourful range of pendants, brooches, bracelets and earrings.

Phew! Pretty much something for everyone there! Have a good weekend. I'll be busy making cats and dogs and a few Easter bunnies too!

Monday 23 March 2009

Woof woof! Giveaway!

My workroom has been run amok with these little chaps this weekend. The Handmade Craft Fair team put out a request for samples for their goody bags to be given out to the first 200 visitors to the craft fairs. These went down a storm last year at Handmade Oxford. I spent a while thinking of something I could make that reflects my work and is small enough for a goody bag. So I came up with these mini versions of my dogs.

They are based on the larger dogs, made with vintage fabric, a little stuffing and backed with felt. I've made two versions, one with a loop for hanging and another with a brooch back so it can be worn as a brooch or pinned to a bag.

I've also made some flower brooches for the goody bags. These are a very good way of using up vintage flowery scraps, but I've enjoyed making these so much I think I will make some more to sell as well.

I also need to pick a dog or cat to donate to the Handmade Cambridge raffle. The Blue Cross will be raffling off lots of handmade lovelies to raise money for their animal adoption charity - so one of my dogs or cats would be perfect! But which one should I put up for adoption! Its a tough choice. This is where I need your help. Have a look at my Fabric Nation folksy shop and leave a comment to vote for which cat or dog should be entered into the raffle. Everyone that leaves a comment with a vote on this post will then be entered into a draw on 1st April to win their own little Fabric Nation goody bag with one of my mini doggies, a brooch and gocco print. Happy voting!

Friday 20 March 2009

Heart swap!

I signed up for my first swap recently. A heart swap organised by Mollycupcakes. I usually spot these after they have happened and have always been a little envious as they look such fun. I've always liked making up parcels and sending them off as much as I like receiving them! I think this explains why I enjoyed working as a postie so much in my student days and then went on to help run a little music label that specialised in creating packages and mail art (more on that story another day!) for all our releases. I was paired up with lovely Lisa aka Vintage Girl and this morning received this enticing pile of parcels...

So I made a cup of tea, sat in the sun and unwrapped each parcel, one by one and discovered lots of lovely homemade treats, chocolates, fairy lights, ribbon, a heart tray and a sweet bag to keep them all in.

Thank you so much Lisa, they are all lovely. I really love the fairy lights, I have a weakness for these so I'll looking forward to putting them up this evening and enjoying them with one of my yummy heart chocolates (yes, I've already had one!). And I love the handmade brooch and union jack heart. Both beautifully made and really pretty.

Here's a peek of what I sent to Lisa, but you will have to pop over to her to see what's inside the bag...

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Handmade Cambridge - knitters and hookers

Lots of knitted and crocheted treats await visitors to Handmade Cambridge. Tokyo-born Hannah Chan makes charming little amigurumi – Japanese crochet toys. I love her little cats, bears and rabbits and might end up walking home with one myself! Malva design studio has created wonderful jewellery pieces including some very expertly and beautifully made earrings, bracelets and brooches. She also makes lots of other lovely things that show off her amazing skill and sense of colour.
Strikk uses cotton yarn and wool to produce fabulous cushions, scarves and homewares. I love the colours used in these cushion covers…

Over in Cloudhopping world, you can find creations that stem from a love of gorgeous pure wools and carrying a crochet hook and a ball of wool around all day! Cloudhopping has a lovely range of hats, light and delicate scarves, flower brooches and other accessories, including this….

Bluefish handmade has been knitting and crocheting since she was 6, so it’s no wonder her work is intricate and colourful as well as functional. Victorian style has influenced her graceful scarves and fingerless gloves and for spring she has applied her crochet skills to create some very pretty jewellery and lingerie.

Spring may be in the air, but there is still enough of a chill to find a reason to keep you hands cosy in a pair of Blackberry crafts fingerless mittens. She has been selling these in her shop in a lovely mix of colours, including mint and chic chip!


I was smitten by this lovely Japanese fabric with prints of thread cards! So a little piece ended up finding its way to my letter box, along with some rubber stamps, fabric stamping inks and linen tape. And it all arrived beautifully wrapped from Karaku along with a little cotton bag hand stamped with my name! Etsy sellers always seem to add a little love to their sales. Very much appreciated.
Earlier in the year I had also fallen for these lovely Japanese linen button prints. I'm, not sure what to do with these yet. I have lots of ideas, but I love the fabric how it is as well. I might frame a piece. I don't know much about contemporary Japanese fabric designers, but would like to find out more. The button fabrics are unnamed, but the threads are from the Trefle range by Kokka, but the piece I have is quite small, so the designer might be chopped off.

Finally, in Japanese style, lets celebrate the blossom. Our cherry tree is bursting with pink at the end of the garden right now. Little Cotton Rabbits is also celebrating spring with a giveaway too, have a look here.

And on the blossom theme, here are some of my favorite vintage fabrics (all designers unknown)...

Happy hanami!

Monday 16 March 2009

Fun south London style!

This looks fun! I'll be in at Handmade Cambridge so can't make it, but if you're in South London that weekend, make a date with Mr Head.

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Hamdm@de Cambridge - meet the designers...

Between now and the end of the month I will be featuring sellers who will be exhibiting at Handmade Cambridge on April 4th. This week, here's a peek at some of the lovely textile based work that will be on offer. Pictured above is one of Namolio's elephants. Namolio works mainly in linen to produce beautiful coasters, pincushions and toys, a graphic designer by trade, her work has a gentle, calm quality. Helena Carrington's textiles suggest an illustration background with her range of travel inspired, digitally printed interior textiles, accessories, photography and art pieces. I love the mix of colours and text on this Camping in France cushion.
Poor Robin creates bright and cheerful button bracelets, felt cuffs, pendants hair clips and other handmade gifts, celebrating all that is joyful and chromatic! I can't resist anyone that combines orange and blue, my fave colour combination.

And finally, lucky visitors to Handmade Cambridge will have the chance to pick up one of Cozee Cuddles handmade quilts. This one is made with mix of cotton fabrics and even the flowers are filled to make them extra cosy!

Next week I'll be featuring the knitters and hookers!

Monday 9 March 2009

Things to make and do!

We had a lovely afternoon on Saturday. This year my birthday coincided with a friends 50th that evening, so we had a little craft party 'round mine during the day before setting off for dancing later. Loved ones donned my vintage pinnies whilst they baked and recipes were messed with to create wheat free lemon drizzle cake, malteaser brownies and popcorn banana cakes...

The queen of cakes made me this fabulous kitty cake! Thank you special star!

The table was stacked high with fabric, pins, threads, patterns, buttons, cups of tea and glasses of sparkling wine, and we swapped ideas and craft books and made all manner of things. A little felt owl based on a pattern from wonderful 70s craft books...

Everyone joined in, from urban cross stitchers to button heart makers (from lovely vintage Spears button sewing kit!).

We found out how to make yoyo brooches... (and I discovered the effect sticky cake and sparkling wine has on my photo taking abilities - sorry!)

The more adventurous among us made their first softie, based on Allsorts' lovely scotty dog pattern.

We met a sweet new baby, learnt bad words in Greek and were impressed with the home grown woad dyed wool! And then we hot-footed it across town for dancing old school style to punk and ska records. Thanks to everyone for your craftiness, treats and love and making it such a nice day!