Tuesday, 26 June 2012

I do like to be beside the seaside

Yes, it's true.  There's nothing like the tang of the sea air and the quality of the light - which is especially important to those of us who craft.  Some of my favourite childhood holidays were spent in Swanage in Dorset in a lovely hotel (sadly I can't remember the name of it) which grew a little bit each year we went, as we did too.  I used to love watching the water skiiers from their dining room window, had my first taste of coffee there and tried playing snooker with my dad. We spent hours on the beach and if we were lucky had a beach hut in which to create a little home from home in the week we were there.  I've loved them ever since so I'm always on the lookout for new representations of them by other crafty folk.

Here's a few to share with you.

My friend Lynn Roberts is a very talented ceramic artist.  She is sympathetic to my beach hut obsession - here's some of her latest creations.  If you like what you see you can find her at many events around the Sussex area and her goods are stocked at Miss Mabel's Magnificent Emporium in Burgess Hill www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-Mabels-Magnificent-Emporium/201793089916559

Another talented artist friend, Linda Brand, created this beautiful coloured pencil drawing of the beach huts at Mudeford.  It's currently up for a prize in the Best of British Drawing Competition.  If you want to vote here's the link: http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/222621/voteable_entries/52423905

When my daughter and I visited the Brighton Art Fair I was very drawn to the amazing work of Gillian Bates.  I had to look very carefully before I realised that this was textile art, the drawing being done with thread.  I've been a fan ever since.  Gillian is based on the south coast so her work has a distinctly seaside feel.  Have a look at her Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/gillianbates or contact her for a commission.

I've recently created my own Etsy shop (Aliscrafty)http://www.etsy.com/shop/Aliscrafty so this has given me the excuse to browse lots of other crafters' work and I've picked out two worthy of a plug - first is a shop called Whimsey Woo Designs. Shirley has the most beautifully made padded gadget covers (ipad, etc) and - yes - I found one with beach huts on it 
but there are lots of other fabulous designs.

Second is a shop aptly named 'ilovemybeachhut' - an emporium of cushion covers - this is my favourite: 

but there are lots more on this and other themes at Wendy's lovely shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/ilovemybeachhut.  Strangely enough she's based in Dorset which has brought us back to the beginning of this blog.

So how about my own beach hut creations?  Some time ago I was very keen on cross stitch and made this collection of little huts from a Mary Hickmott pattern in New Stitches magazine.  Luckily, Laura Ashley had this brilliant house-shaped frame at the time which suited them perfectly.  Inspired by all these marvellous creations, I'm off to make some beach hut pictures of my own.

Let's hope we have some more beach type weather this summer so we can enjoy the sun, sea and sand but if we don't it's good to know there's no shortage of lovely beach hut images to view to remind us of what we should be experiencing.

Lots of love till next time.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Rainy days and Mondays

As an apt follow-up to my last post on working at home I've realised a further big advantage today (Monday) when it's pouring down and very dull - you don't have to go OUT to work.  As I also have to wait in for a parcel today it seems the perfect opportunity to write another blog to tell you all about my work in progress.

Little bits of knitting

As part of my crusade to sort out my yarn stash I thought I would make a little knitted flower from each yarn as I rearranged the overflowing cupboards.  This is the result so far and I'm not even half way through!

There are 100 little flowers which are awaiting centres and brooch pins to become very special gift tags.  I sold out of these at the Craft in Focus Christmas Contemporary Craft Fair at Wisley Gardens last November so am restocking for this November's fair (www.craftinfocus.com).

I'm also working on a special commission for a friend.  Her daughter is getting married this summer and she wants to give her a knitted bride and groom as a souvenir.  This is proving to be a real challenge as I'm trying to replicate as far as possible what they are going to wear..  So far I've made the groom's body and trousers.  The daunting task of working the bride's dress awaits!

Little felt folk

It's never too early to start making your Christmas stock so here are some of my gingerbread men cut out and sewn ready for their jumpers and decorations to make Gingie 2012.  This year the yarn for their hand-knitted jumpers is being specially dyed by Beth Sutherland of Luscious Little Somethings (www.lusciouslittlesomethings.com).  I shall also be making more of the gingerbread bunting which sold out last year and more Flippos (the penguin).  These will also incorporate Beth's luscious yarn.

Little bits of yarn

I do love miniature things so when I spied some mini skeins on Folksy from Rosy Retro (www.folksy.com/shops/Rosyretro) I just had to have some.  I've knitted them into small corsages and sewn some pretty floral ceramic buttons into the middles.  There was enough left from each skein to knit one tiny flower.

Little bits of fabric

My stock of greetings cards is looking rather depleted so I've just ordered some lovely new fabrics from one of my favourite shops, Quilty Pleasures in Brighton.  You can find them online at (www.quilty-pleasures.co.uk) .  One of my choices was the charm pack California Girl which has some very pretty florals in it and I think some of these other fabrics will work well as background for some pictures I'm planning.

Little charms

In my half term tidying session I came across these little charms which I bought on a crafty shopping trip with my friend Ann.  My idea is to incorporate them into cards or pictures by embroidering some potted plants around them.

LOTS of networking

My Lavender Heart Facebook page is gradually gaining likers and I will be using it regularly to post pictures of new makes so if you want to see them as they are produced click that 'Like' button.  I'm now using Folksy (the shop is Aliscrafty) where you'll find some sunhats listed and will be using Etsy to showcase some new products too.  I'm also on Twitter (@Aliscrafty) - rest assured I don't tweet about what I had for breakfast, it's for matters crafty - which has proved to open up a whole new world of contacts as well as a forum for communicating with crafty pals.

Back to work now.
Lots of love