Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Share the Handmade Love.... with friends

cupcake 1

Sharing the Handmade love is going to be a bit different this week.

I mentioned a while back that I had made a present for my friend Julie over at
The Life of a Cupcake and I showed you a little preview. Well, she finally received it.... it takes a while for stuff to get to Canada from England apparently! So now that she has it I can tell you all about it and.... give you my first free embroidery pattern! Hopefully I will make a few more in the future, so keep your eyes peeled.

I made Julie a pin cushion as she bought herself a sewing machine and I wanted to encourage her to sew more. Also, Julie LOVES cupcakes and everything to do with them. I drew out a sprinkled delight and embroidered it on to while felt. I then cut around the shape leaving a small seam allowance. Using the first piece as a template I cut out a second piece of white felt. I placed the right sides of the fabrics together (ie the embroidery on the inside) and stitched them together by hand leaving a small gap. I turned this through to the right side, then stuffed it with toy filling. I turned under the little bit of fabric left out around the gap and handstitched this shut. Voila! A cupcake pin cushion!

cupcake 2

Here is the pattern I used for my embroidery. I used split stitch for the outline of the cake case and the icing, back stitch for the cake case detail, seed stitch for the sprinkles and french knots to decorate around the top of the cake case. Feel free to use whatever you like best though! Click on the image and it will take you to a full size version you can download :-)

cupcake 3

Sunday, 23 May 2010


Zen 1

This is an embroidery piece I made for the Phat Quarter swap on Flickr. I can now show you photos of it as my swap partner received it and loved it!!

I have just discovered shadow quilting and wanted to use layers in this piece. It is made of three layers – the bottom layer is white cotton with a beige spiral pattern based on Zen gardens made from patterned sand. I used a split stitch for this.

zen 2

The middle layer is white crushed organdy that is shot with rainbow colours. This layer has the Buddha’s halo on it. I used whipped split stitch and whipped backstitch to give colour and texture to the piece.

zen 3

The final layer is on blue tulle, which had widely spaced rhinestones attached to it. I arranged my Buddha around one of these rhinestones to represent his third eye. I used a simple, thin backstitch to represent the Buddha for good definition. I then sewed all three layers together with a blanket stitch around the edge. I wanted the piece to be self-contained but it could be framed as well.

zen 4

I really like the way it came out. Vegkat, who got my piece took some great photos of it in the daylight – thanks love!

zen 5

You can see more process photos of this piece on my Flickr photostream here

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Share the Handmade Love Wednesdays - Skulls

So, I've been feeling a little bit down the last week. Nothing major, it just reminded me of my Goth days back when I was teenager. And so, in tribute, here are some gorgeous items made from skulls!

Romantic Skull Necklace by OutsideCatArt Storytime Skeleton Block Print by RedhydrantDay of the Dead Patch by Lizmiera Reversible infant bib by MyWoobyandMeHummingbird Skull pendant by mrd74 Crow Skull Jacket by Tadaboutique

Left to right, top to bottom:

Romantic Skull necklace by
Storytime skeleton blockprint by
Day of the Dead patch by
Reversible infant bib by
Hummingbird skull prendant by
Crow Skull Jacket by

And if anyone wants to buy me a raven skull pendant from mrd74 I'd love you forever!!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Beachcomber Necklace

Beach Comber Necklace 1

I made this piece in the same way I made my Sea Gypsy Necklace. As I wasn’t going to sell my Sea Gypsy necklace I figured I could use the same look with this piece of worn shell I found in St. Kitts. It conveniently already had a hole in the top, which made me automatically believe it had to be made into a necklace. I used the pre-existing hole to create a wire shank and added a swirl at tie the piece in with my other work.

Beach Comber Necklace 2

As with the Sea Gypsy necklace I gathered together pale hemp cord, wooden and glass beads. I used five strands of hemp to make the main cord, threading the wooden beads from Miami on all five strands. I threaded the glass beads from New York onto a single strand so they nestled between the others partially hidden.

I like the dramatic affect of this necklace – the central piece is chunky and bold, while the hemp is finer, hiding the smaller, more delicate glass beads.

Beach Comber Necklace 3

This piece is currently available for sale in my store here

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Busy Busy Busy!!

Flower Garden Belt 1

I know, I know, I missed Share the Handmade Love on Wednesday! It's been madness around here. Ever since I got back to my ship it's been non-stop! I've been learning the ropes of working with the Nickelodeon costume characters and doing their slimy laundry (don't ask!) and after only 48 hours on the ship I had my hand up SpongeBob's butt!! I had to fix a snap, ok?!

The Nickelodeon stuff is a lot of fun actually. We have Meet & Greets and breakfasts and live shows. One (with the slime) is a full gameshow in our theatre which the kids love. There's a lot of laundry, but not more than I can handle and it's interesting to look after a different type of costume. That's a new special skill on my resume!!

In other news this week I got my first custom order! I'm very excited to be making a belt for the daughter of my new friend Deezie. They liked the belts in my Etsy store but they were all too big for her daughter, so I'm making her a custom one based on my Rock Belt
(see it here). In honour of the occasion, here's one of my other belts!

Flower Garden Belt 2

I wanted to create another belt like my Rock Belt and originally wanted to make something a bit more feminine and floral. I used an old pair of jeans that one of my dancers had left for me and was thinking I would embroider on the denim outside with flowers, vines and butterflies. I tried sketching out some ideas but nothing looked right to me. I then discovered as I cut the waistband off the jeans, that the inside of this pair was lined with a white fabric printed with a floral pattern! I decided to follow this pattern and let the design develop organically, excuse the pun!! I started by hand embroidering over the flower shapes in the print with colours I consider to be floral – more pretty and subdued than vibrant, but bright nonetheless. I considered sewing butterflies and other gardeny items on to the belt but it didn’t feel right. I went for the simple approach and just used the original flowers as the focus. I added green vines to anchor the flowers to something, instead of leaving them floating on the belt. I added green beads to represent leaves and green buttons to continue the natural theme.

This a very feminine piece and will look good with outfits in pastel or pale colours – maybe for a wedding or a garden party?!

Flower Garden Belt 3

This belt is currently available in my
Etsy Store here

Saturday, 8 May 2010

For Liberty!

liberty 1

I’m back on my ship! I thought I’d managed to miss the madness of the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland by staying home for an extra two weeks…. But my flight to the US was still an hour late leaving because air traffic had been moved south into our flight path to avoid the new cloud! Ah well, I got here in the end. My ship is currently out of New York and in tribute here is a New York inspired craft!

Last summer, the cruise ship I was working on was based out of New York. While I was there I designed an outfit that I felt represented the ship , including a necklace. I finally got to create that necklace recently and really like the way it came out. It is a choker made out of blue and turquoise glass beads inspired by the Statue of Liberty. I even got the beads from New York! Nestled in the centre is a crystal bead that catches the light, maybe the light of hope?! What do you think?

liberty 2

This is currently available in my Etsy shop here

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Share the Handmade Love Wednesdays - Food!!

This week I'm sharing the handmade love with food.


I love cake and coffee and Mexican and Italian and Japanese. I love cookies and chai and pizza.... yum! When I'm on the ships I can't cook for myself and the food can become a bit samey. So as I am going back on Friday... here's a little food tribute!

Fresh Strawberry Marshmallows by calabasascandyco Red Velvet Cake Truffled by lollidreamsButter Cookie Black Tea by NOTJUSTTEA Mustache on a Stick Cookie by fairytalefrostingMississippi Mud Organic Flavoured Coffee by katherynmd Green Chili Pork Taquitos by athyme2bcomforted

Left to right, top to bottom:

Fresh Strawberry Marshmallows by calabasascandyco
Red Velvet Cake Truffles by lollidreams
Butter Cookie Black Tea by NOTJUSTTEA
Mustache on a Stick Cookie by FairytaleFrosting
Mississippi Mud Organic Flavoured Coffee by katherynmd
Green Chili Pork Taquitos by athyme2bcomforted

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Rainy Craft Fairs and new stuff...

rock belt 3

Today, my mum and I went to the Weald of Kent Craft Fair. It rained all day! We had a good time and spent lots of money anyway! It gave me lots of ideas about where I want my stuff to go and how I could display my wares if I went to a craft fair. We also went into the supplies tent and I bought some Angelina fibres to play with. I'm planning on making lots of sparkly stuff!!


Also, I now have a shop on Folksy, the UK handmade marketplace. Please go check it out and let me know what you think!

And now some of my crafts! I mentioned my Rock belt before, back in February when it was National Embroidery Month. It was quite difficult to get good photos of this piece because it is quite long and the embroidery is fine. But after a photo shoot with my dancers, I think I cracked it!

rock belt 2

My Rock Belt is made from the waistband of an old pair of jeans that my best friend cut up for his Hulk Halloween costume. He gave them to me to add to my stash and this is what I made from them. It has frayed denim and chains hanging from it and is hand embroidered with rock symbols and words. I drew each of the symbols myself and chose bright colours to realise them on the belt. I imagine this piece being worn low on the hips, maybe with a band tee and some dark skinny jeans. I think you could wear it casually during the day to punk up your outfit, or out with your best threads to a gig!

rock belt 1