Craft Leftovers Interview

Find out more than you ever needed to know about me and TangleCrafts in the interview just posted at the cool Craft Leftovers site. ¬†There’s a free set of TangleCrafts Weaving cards with the March issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly – find out more here, then sign up before Saturday to get your subscription. Craft Leftovers Monthly is a fun and funky combination of zine and crafting goodies that will show you how to make awesome cool crafts with all your leftovers – you can’t say fairer than that!

Check out the main Craft Leftovers site, too – there are lots of interesting posts & free projects to browse and explore ūüôā

2nd cute creation of the day!

Misshape RabbitOh. My. God. ¬†I can’t believe it, but it’s even cuter! ¬†Misshape #2 has long rabbit ears, and is stuffed with lavender rather than moong beans (I thought lavender suited the colours of this one; but I have to say, it’s much easier to stuff with beans!). ¬†He was made in exactly the same way as Misshape #1, and as you can see from his poor, malformed body, was stitched freehand rather than from a pattern.

The fabrics I cut this one from were a lighter jersey than the t-shirts of Misshape #1, so I was extra careful when pinning them together, as both cuts were keen to spring in unhelpful directions. ¬†The patterned fabric is from what used to be one of my favourite dresses (which I sadly know I will never fit into again) so I’m very happy to have created something so cute from it. ¬†And of course, there’s tonnes of fabric left, so maybe I’ll make a little family of misshapes…

Jeans Pocket Pincushion

Pocket PincushionAfter the ‘success’ of my Mis-shape, I was still itching to stitch. ¬†I dug out an embroidered pocket that I saved from a pair of jeans that I threw out years ago. ¬†All I did was running stitch across the top, closing the pocket, except for the last couple of centimetres. ¬†This time I was better prepared, rolled some card into a funnel, and made less of a mess filling the inside with moong beans. ¬†Finished stitching across the top. ¬†I could have left it there, but my streak of pink stitching looked a bit wishy-washy, so I whip-stitched back across it with a 6-ply hand-dyed cotton, so it looked as though it wasn’t pretnding not to be there. ¬†It makes a great pincushion (actually, it makes a pretty good paperweight) and I’m really pleased that after about 5 years I have finally done something with that rescued pocket. ¬†I knew it was worth saving!

Sewing? Me?

Okay, so I woke up this morning, on the first of a few days off. ¬†I’ve been looking forward to catching up on all the things I’ve been talking about getting around to. ¬†But this morning, when I woke up, I had an unprecedented urge to sew something. ¬†Me! ¬†Sewing machines scare the life out of me, & I’ve not sewn anything since a badly appliqued sewing case when I was 9! ¬†Oh, and I attempted to sew up a hole in a jumper on request of an ex-boyfriend who didn’t understand the difference between sewing and embroidery.

Well, I have been being seduced lately by the fantastic books of cuteness by Aranzi Aronzo, the fabulous ‘Stray Sock Sewing’, and the weirdly cool ‘Plush-o-Rama’. ¬†Every time I look at these pattern books, I think, ‘That looks easy; surely I could do that’; so I guess my inner self decided it was time I put myself to the test.

I was up very early, very twitchy to do something. ¬†But I decided that I needed felt, and dried beans to fill whatever I made, so I dashed out to the shops, and got there before they were even open. ¬†In the end I got some moong beans, but had a flash of ‘insight’ that suggested I already had some felt at home. ¬†Turned out I was wrong. ¬†Well, I was itching to get on with something. ¬†I’m not a fabric addict (threads & yarns, that’s another story) so I didn’t have any interesting oddments to use up. ¬†What I do have, however, is LOTS of old clothes, many of which are either too big or too small. ¬†One quick rummage later, and I was finally ready to begin.

I cut 2 very rough squares of fabric, approx. 4″ square. ¬†I used 1 plain t-shirt, and 1 patterned. ¬†I pinned them together around the edges, with the right side facing inwards. ¬†Oh, before I pinned them, I sewed 2 buttons and stitched a nose/mouth (randomly positioned) onto the right side of the plain fabric.

Mis-shapen front (top) and back (bottom)

This was just a trial for me, so I didn’t want to copy a pattern from a book or online. ¬†And I certainly didn’t want to bother with fiddly things like tracing, and cutting paper patterns! ¬†I decided just to (running) stitch a fairly random outline, within the pinned border of the fabric. ¬†It turned out slightly more random than anticipated, but I was fine with that. ¬†I remembered not to sew it closed, and turned it inside out (after trimming off the excess fabric to 0.5cm outside my stitches). ¬†I then poured as many moong beans onto the kitchen counter as I did inside the ‘thing’. ¬†I slip-stitched the hole closed, et voila – my very first hand-sewn Mis-shape (‘It’s a mis-shape with ears’, as my husband said when he saw it).

I think he’s very cute. ¬†More will have to follow. ¬† I can’t believe that suddenly I want to sew…

(N.B. I promise that the beautifully centred pattern on the back is purely accidental!)

Recycle your Christmas cards!

Okay, the 12th day after Christmas has been and gone, the tree and decorations are down, and everything is ready to be thrown out or stored for next (sorry, this…) year. ¬†But wait! ¬†What are you going to do with all those Christmas cards? ¬†Well, you could cut them up into gift tags for the next round of xmas presents. ¬†You could also turn them (or at least some of them) ¬†into a handy D.I.Y. weaving loom!

Find 2 cards that are the same size (or cut a second down to the same size as the first). ¬†Glue them together, using a solid glue stick (eg Pritt Stick) face to face, back to back, or face to back – it doesn’t matter! ¬†Glue down any open edge so that you have a single rectangle of fairly sturdy (and festive!) card.

Now all you need to do is mark & cut notches, and you’re ready to weave! ¬†Follow instructions in FREE How to Weave on Anything PDF, using Christmas cards as your loom!

A couple of cool websites

Just stumbled across a couple of cool websites I thought I would share – please visit, support, contribute, because they are very cool!

At The Sampler you can make a monthly subscription to receive a goody bag of, well, goodies from a wide range of indie crafters, zines etc.

Craft Leftovers is a place after my own heart, specialising in, well, crafts from leftovers… ¬†You can subscribe to receive a monthly craft zine, a kit for a previous project, as well as lots of cool re-claimed stash to craft with! ¬†There’s also a raft of free projects & instructions on the site, so go explore!

Weaving with plastic bags

For the ultimate recycling/re-purposing craft project, make your own yarn from strips of plastic carrier bags! ¬†Click here for instructions. ¬†So now on the days you’ve forgotten or already filled your stash of eco-cotton bags, you no longer need to feel guilty for accepting plastic bags. ¬†Weave, knit, crochet – the possibilities are endless! ¬†(Colours may be somewhat limited, but that is your penance and challenge!)