Sunday, 11 November 2012

A whole lot of crafting going on.

Yesterday was crop day at Eclectic Keepsakes, I really do enjoy my time spent there, especially at the moment as I am not really scrapbooking (hadn't touched a LO since last crop). It reminds me why I like scrapbooking, also the company is good, it's a good way of exchanging ideas and as always the Lovely Karen had made very yummy cakes.

This months crop was a little different, as there was no class taught, instead we were each to provide a small kit that we had put together and then we would do a swap. Now as a girl who tends to buy whole sets of papers so that they match or kits that have already been put together, this did scare me rather a
lot, as did working to the budget of £5. My DH would readily confirm that I have great difficulty working to a budget. Luckily for me ATDML had their retreat last weekend and we were lucky enough to pop over and have a look at their shop and what a delight it was, so many papers to choose from, so many ideas for embellishments.

The first papers that I came across I chose, they were a mix of reds (favourite colour), blue and greens. Unfortunately I forgot to make a note of the name (I think I was just in denial about giving away the lovely new papers ;) I also came across some embellishments by Webster Pages called Designer threads dollies spring mix. Now these lovely things were out of my price range so I thought that I would have a go at making some, it took me all week but I succeeded. So I had a kit ready to go. We all arrived at crop and Karen asked us to put our goodies into brown paper bags so we did not know what was in them. They was great excitement in the afternoon when we got to choose a brown bag, like an early Christmas present.

Here is what I got in my brown bag, a lovely selection of My Mind's Eye papers, aren't the colours gorgeous. I would not normally go for this colour range, I tend to stick to very girly papers, but that is the beauty of this swap, it gives you something totally new to play with.

Guess who put together my brown bag, yes the lovely cake baking Karen, she also put together a lovely sketch for us to use.

So armed with the sketch and my lovely goodies I got straight to it and actually finished a layout to bring home.

I am really happy with the finished LO, it features a photo of my DH, which is something new as well as using a different colour scheme. I hardly ever scrap just him, most of my LO's feature my DD.

So in my eyes crop was a great success and I hope that Karen does the kit swap again sometime. Talking of Karen again, guess you got my kit?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

It can be done

Yesterday my Mum and I attended a class held at our local sewing supply shop, a day of Mother, Daughter bonding. I was a little nervous as my sewing adventures are a little hit and miss and the free style embroidery that we would be attempting is more my Mum's thing. So with Grandad on pickup duty for school, off Mum and I went.

The class is held at Franklins our local sewing supply shop, it is also where I attend my sewing classes on a Tuesday. Our teacher was the lovely Alex Waylett, who introduced herself and made us all feel very welcome. In all there were four of us ladies eager to learn how to make one of Alex's gorgeous clutch bags.

So after all had been explained to us and we had rummaged in our supply bag in front of us, we then had to make an important decision, what fabric to use on the front of our clutch bag. Would we like an evening bag or a daytime bag? How would we be using the sewing machine to embellish it?
I found a gorgeous fabric that had a mainly circular pattern, in my eyes I would perfectly sew around the circles.

So once we had cut out all our required pieces, Alex gave us pieces of fabric to practice on. The excitement was rising, what could go wrong?

My inability to sew in the gorgeous precise manner that I had first imagined when I first picked up my chosen fabric. At this point I was thinking what on earth have I got myself into, I am not going to enjoy this at all, I can not perfectly sew around the patterns. Alex came over and gave me a couple of tips, firstly the foot that I had attached to the sewing machine so that I could do the free style embroidery was too tight against the material so that the fabric underneath did not flow as easily. I also needed to even out my speed, too slow leads to large stitches and too fast leads to too small stitches. So again I attempted to embroider around the pattern, at this point it hit me, it does not have to be perfect, if I do perfectly sew around the circles you would not actually see my sewing embellishment, also why am I giving myself a hard time, it is my first attempt at this. So with this in mind I started at the edge and began to sew around my circles and yes they are far from perfect but I love the effect that I have.

I also added some black sequins and orange seed beads to embellish further. At this point I am really happy, I can't believe how much fun I am having with the sewing. Time is ticking by so Alex starts to help us with putting together our purses. I chose a lovely deep purple to be the inside.

And this is my purse before we added the clasp, I love the padded feel it has.

Alex demonstrated how to attach the clasp on one side.

Then we attempted to finish it and finish it I did. I can not believe I finished a project in a day, a sewing project at that.

I am so happy with the end result and I can not wait to have a go myself at home, I even purchased a foot for my sewing machine that will let me do the free style embroidery. I am thinking of other things that I can use the technique on, maybe even somehow manage to use it in my scrapbooking, who knows, we shall just have to wait and see.

If you would like to see more of Alex's work click here