My laptop is on the brink of death: sad but true. It’s okay; I have a new (/reconditioned) laptop ready to step into the breach, but I’m not allowed to play with it just yet, because it’s my birthday quite soon. No problem, I don’t mind waiting; but in the meantime, I really didn’t want to put my poor old ailling laptop under any more duress than necessary. Cue a little device that the lovely Corey bought for me months ago and I duly ignored because I’m not really very into technology… It’s mobile phone-sized, and will allow me to check my email while out & about. Don’t need anything fancy, so now I’m in laptop preservation-mode, it’s perfect! Only problem is, Corey had an identical one & smashed the screen of his within weeks. Oops. So having dug mine out of its (unopened) box this morning, I knew that I would also need to devise some form of protection for it.
Easy! I remembered a little ‘handy pouch’ I made earlier this year, when I was still high on last year’s felt/fabric stocking success! It didn’t turn out to be quite as handy as I had hoped, at the time, due to being just the wrong size for everything I could think of. However with an extra fold of felt tucked inside for added protection, it turns out to be a perfect fit for the aforementioned email-checking device (I’m sure the device does lots of other clever things as well, but with the exception of a little web-browsing, I assure you all those other functionalities will be entirely under-utilised!). Without further ado, here it is:
I loved the blue/brown paisley fabric when I acquired it & was determined to make something I could actually use with it – so I’m really happy now that I’ll be able to use & see it on a daily basis. 😀
I will definitely not be making multiple ‘handy pouches’ for the TangleStore, as sewing is very much a means to an end for me, and really not my favourite way to pass time. But TangleClub members, watch out! I actually remembered to take step-by-step pics as I was making the pouch, so I’m going to put together a tutorial for you (in the freebie archive) very soon (remember I am very much a novice at sewing, so it is very much a beginners’ project!). I also thought of a potential good use for all the fabrics I’ve been stockpiling but never using – would anybody be interested in a ‘handy pouch’ kit? I’m going to give it some thought…
Yesterday evening, I partook of a local Etsy ‘Make & Mingle’ get-together.
(That’s me in the middle, Britta left & Corey right. Picture taken by Gina of Lulu and You – you can read her blog post about our evening here.)
There were only a few of us, but it was good fun, and included a felt brooch tutorial with the lovely Britta Jarvis of Jaguar Snail. My wonderful-yet-decidedly-non-crafty hubby Corey also decided to get stuck in, and Britta was very patient guiding him through the processes involved, such as…um…threading a needle… I should not be mean, though, as he did actually very successfully add beads & brooch back to felt to create this personalised (see the ‘S’ bead, in the middle?) flower brooch for me. 🙂
There were flowers, hearts & owls to choose from template-wise, and those who have read my blog previously will not be surprised to learn that I opted for the bird-themed option. I’ve not stitched anything for a while but really enjoyed doing something different, for a change. Mine is the owl shown above right. My friend B also made an owl but made the inspired choice of a light blue thread for the blanket stitch border, and I was quite jealous that I hadn’t thought of it! Britta herself went beading crazy on a tiny purple heart, and managed a huge amount of pretty, sparkly, intricate detail in a very short time!
Despite lack of blue edging, I am very fond of my little beady-eyed owl brooch (and of course Corey’s flower, too!) but don’t worry, you will not be finding a new line of felt brooches in my Etsy store – this was strictly a one-off for me! Instead – for something a little more professional! – do check out the Jaguar Snail Etsy Store, for Britta’s gorgeous family of hand-stitched owl brooches. Each one has its own unique personality & funky fabric awesomeness, and look – they even have tiny feet embroidered on the bottom! How cute? Very cute!
The reason I ask is, I’ve just added a new mini zine to my Etsy store that is absolutely packed with project suggestions for your leftovers. The zine is printed on recycled paper embedded with real lavender flowers, and will show you how to make lavender sugar, tea, incense sticks, infused oils and more! Cunningly concealed on the inside of the zine, you will also find a cross stitch embroidery pattern and instructions. You just need to turn the zine inside-out to find it! And if you don’t have the leftover threads in your stash to stitch the pattern, I have also put together a limited edition kit including 21 different shades of overdyed floss + fabric so you can get started straight away. Check out listings for both zine and kit for more info.
[Update: June 10th] N.B. The first kit sold straight away, so I have just made up & added a second. There won’t be more than 5 kits made, so buy now if you want one!
Here’s my latest Misshape. He’s not at all the shape I intended (but I kept changing my mind as I was stitching the outline) – & I guess that is the point of Misshapes! Everybody here thinks he looks like a little ghost. He’s probably my least favourite Misshape so far, but he was fun to stitch. This one is stitched with 2 pieces of felt (different colours, back and front), rather than dress/t-shirt fabric, like the last ones. I stuffed him with moong (/mung) beans, which in hindsight was a mistake, as he looks kinda bumpy up close. Cotton wool or wadding probably would have worked better for the flatter felt body.
If you have a sudden urge to sew a Misshape yourself, but you’re a bit scared cos you’ve not made anything like it before (like I was), I do recommend starting with felt rather than fancy fabrics. The felt is much easier to hold, cut, and to sew through. On the other hand, if you’re worried that you’re stitching won’t look neat enough, you might be better off starting with a different fabric, as you don’t turn the felt creatures inside out, so your stitching remains visible on the finished Misshape. Personally, I think a little unevenness to the stitching would only add to the charm of a felt Misshape… Imagine a Misshape with a little wad of stuffing sticking out the side – it would just make him more endearing, surely?!
There must be so many uses for these cool small envelope designs (not least as seed envelopes, as intended!). Check out this link for some lovely floral & foliage decorated envelope templates & utilise them in your preferred crafty manner. Some additional templates are simply folded into shape, and require no cutting or gluing at all!
This site has some different envelope templates. You can buy special envelope-sealer glue (apply to an edge so it dries, then moisten to seal envelope at a later stage) here. You can probably get it other places, too, but this is the first place I’ve seen it…