Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Your Home and Your Working Life

I am, by no means a signed up, bona fide business... I'd need sales to be called that but I do spend a lot of time making, listing, advertising, networking (ok gossiping on Facebook or Twitter). I'm trying to build up something to bring in extra pennies. Such are the times that I don't have the luxury to wait until the youngest is in school or even get a 'proper' job due the OH's ridiculous shift patterns.

I try and do as much in the evenings as possible but in reality businesses cant be run after 7pm. In the winter I work in artificial *ugh* light and I'm normally so tired I end up staring at a piece of fabric begging for the blurred vision to clear! This has meant I have to do work during the day, less now little man doesn't nap but I do sometimes sneak off and do bits. Surely those of us that work/run businesses from home with small children must find it an almost impossible task. I find myself feeling guilty thinking that I really shouldn't be listing this item or sewing this seam and I wonder whether it will have a negative effect on them... then again would the negative effect be worse if I went out to work? *pauses to throw chickens out the house*

But, *stay with me* I wonder whether rather than the negative effect being on the children or the washing pile, maybe the negative effect is being had on us? With a family you cant immerse yourself in your craft when in the back of your mind your planning the next meal or clock watching for the school run. You cant go out and visit potential stockists with a cute but slobbery toddler tucked under your armpit and you cant just do a craft fair without months of planning... just to make sure the kids are ok.

So what do I do? Probably not a lot really as there isn't much I can do about it. The OH's hours wont suddenly become family friendly allowing me to get a paying job. I will still need the pennies and can only therefore utilise the skills I have in the best way possible. I guess I will have to hope that one day all the pieces will fit together and my children wont hate me for neglecting them. :)

How do you cope with your work/home life?

Vintage Cigarette Card Bunting

I made this today. They are vintage cigarette cards in a transport theme. Funky, no?

Sunday, 24 July 2011


I love lino printing, there is something about the way it looks, understated almost despite the time it takes to prepare and the physical nature of it. I hadn't touched it since school but a few months back my dad lent me his spare lino and tools and I've been hooked since. I've done simple prints such as my birds but I wanted to try something a bit more taxing.

Well it seemed like a good idea at the time because now I am tearing my hair out at this wild pig. Certain parts only come out properly at different attempts and I just cant work out whether its my cutting, colour application or printing technique.

I hate failure especially as its something ive put so much effort into.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Vintage Bunting

Vintage Bunting by Handmade and Heritage
Vintage Bunting, a photo by Handmade and Heritage on Flickr.

I saw these little silk cigarette flags at the flea market this week and decided to turn them into bunting. I think they would be fab for a boys bedroom.

In other news not alot is happening, ive got various projects I could be working on but im still lacking the get-up-and-go!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

New Treasures...

I found these at our local flea market today - very happy with my finds!

Monday, 18 July 2011


Not quite what I had in mind for my next project but ill take any inspiration at the mo!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

You know You've Lost Your Crafting Mojo When.....

* The house is tidy.... well tidier and there is the faint whiff of Eau De Bleach permeating around the house.

*Along with the said whiff there is what seems to be the smell of freshly cooked food - not only have you cooked a meal from scratch you have actually had time to go to a shop and buy it the ingredients. Takeaway leaflets are stuffed firmly back in the thingy-me-bob drawer.

* The tumble dryer is lying silent - no need to dash about drying clothes, you have all the time in the world to hang out clothes on the line.

* The kids suddenly shine and sparkle and are wearing freshly pressed clothes not just whatever is dragged out of the wash basket that morning.

* Bills are paid on time because you havent lost the paperwork under a mountain of crafty supplies.

* You are leaving the house!!!! My god there are actual real people out there...

Its a brave new non crafting world and I hate it!...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Hydrangea Mixed Media Tutorial

Using simple techniques make a unique mixed media piece of art for your home.

You will need:

Old or damaged book (I used Sense and Sensibility)
Embroidery Hoop (size optional but I used 6.5 inch diameter)
Suitable fabric (I used a linen style cotton)
Mediera Silk Thread 1003 
Watercolour Paint - Vermilion and Phthalocyanine Blue
Needle and Scissors
Backing material - cardboard or backing felt

1) Draw and cut petal shapes. Start with around 40 petal but you may need more or less for different sized hoops.

2) Paint one side of each petal individually. I would recommend two light coats of colour and fade the colour towards the tip of the petal.

3) Using one strand of embroidery thread stitch the petal detailing. They can all vary in design and they don't need to be perfectly stitched. Note that I have folded each petal slightly to create a better 3d effect.

4) Arrange four petals onto your fabric and stitch into place. 

5) Keep layering flowers until you have covered your fabric or are happy with how it looks - you can add more or less to suit your own taste.

6) Finish off the back with either backing felt or do as I have done and slot in a piece of cardboard. If you prefer you can cover the cardboard in decorative paper but I liked how this looked so left it plain.

7) Attach a piece of ribbon or string to the top of the hoop and hang proudly in your home.

If you have any questions I am always available contact me at a.warburton1983@ntlworld(dot)com

Please do recreate this for personal use or for gifts only and try experimenting with different shapes and colours. I would also love to see any works created from this tutorial.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Fox Doorstop

Fox Doorstop by Handmade and Heritage
Fox Doorstop, a photo by Handmade and Heritage on Flickr.

This fox was made using my own pattern and all thrifted materials (bar the wadding and rice).

I got my mum who is a far superior sewer to do the main body and ears. I think next time I will add all the appliqué to the the fabric before sewing him up. I might also add some more facial features.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Dear Mr/Mrs Craft Fair Organiser...

Dear Mr/Mrs Craft Fair Organiser,

When I sign up to do a craft fair and hand over £40 of my hard earned money, spend weeks working on stock, neglect my family, faff over display ideas, spend late nights wondering and hoping to at least make my pitch back please do tell me of the following before I sign on the dotted line...

Tell me about the lack of actual craft sellers, sure food producers should count but do we need more than actual crafters??? Tell me about the franchise jewellery sellers offering to print in silver the foot print of your lickle cherub? Tell me about the nail artists and henna artists and the fake hair extensions. Tell me also about the tombola that if rumours are to be true - you pocket the cash. Also tell me about the sellers that buy their 'fashion jewellery' from China or Taiwan who then go on to sell it for such a pittance that it makes my own stuff look over priced and stupid.

You don't however need to tell me about the dirty looks I received today at using *strike me down now*... vintage or thrifted or *shudders* DOILIES in my work. Or that the only other credible crafter came over looked my stall up and down with a look you wouldn't give a dog if it had shit on your shag pile.

So thank you for such a wonderful day... the £12.50 I made and then spent on putting fluids back into my body (its a sauna in a marquee) was worth it all. No need to panic about paying for the wedding hun ive got it covered....

Oh and I get to do it all over again tomorrow.

Kind Regards
Soon to be Ex Crafter

P.S A couple of lovely ladies were very kind to me today in case they ever read this you two were the only thing stopping me from crying right there in the middle of the marquee.