Monday, 29 October 2012

Twit Twoo

picture 1101 by Handmade and Heritage
picture 1101, a photo by Handmade and Heritage on Flickr.

Sorry I couldn't think of a better title *facepalm* I've never stitched or printed an owl before and as they seem to be popular birds I turned this design into gift wrap. I have hand finished the eyes myself so each one has their own little character.

I'm snowed under at the moment with orders (well not so much the orders) but making things for a couple of events coming up. I'm hoping my work goes down well as i've been working super hard to make new things. I'll blog about the events nearer the time.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Woodpecker Hand Embroidered Brooch

I do apologise for the hastily taken photograph. It really doesn't show it at its best but I wanted to share it with you.

I do have to own up and say that this woodpecker has a bit of creative licence to it as it was influenced by both the Greater and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

In other news I am so very nearly at 10,000 blog hits I do hope some of them have been real life readers and not spiders and other creepy bots trawling my blog!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Sparrow Hand Embroidered Brooch

Its my Birthday today, not that you would know it just seems like another day! It's my last year as a 20 something which i'm totally cool with. Even as a teenager I always thought my life would begin in my 30's.

So to treat myself I stitched this sparrow this morning. Our street is a real mecca for sparrows, I sometimes wonder if its the fact that the street has so few cats, in fact ive only ever seen one. They nest in our guttering and swoop along the neighbours gardens stopping for natters on a neighbours bush. I love watching them even if they are not the more exciting to look at.

So Happy Birthday to me...... x

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Popular Crafts Magazine - Artist of the Month

I'm Artist of the Month at Popular Crafts Magazine!!!!! (who'd a thunk'd it)

Click Here to see my mug in full view and to read about what I do, what I love and where I get my inspiration from.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Hand Embroidered Wren Pocket Watch Pendant

Following on from the lovely feedback of my Wren embroidery I have decided to explore it a little further and make a necklace.

It's encased in a vintage style pocket watch and hung on green ribbon with a bird charm for extra detailing.

I'm sort of hooked on this little birdie so im thinking my next piece will be a brooch - watch this space!

Monday, 1 October 2012


Over on my Facebook page I asked for inspiration for my next embroidery project. I had some fab suggestions for birds and the one I have chosen will be made for a special giveaway on my blog. However as someone who gets easily distracted I decided to do a little miniature embroidery of a wren.

He's one of my favourite pieces to date, of course I can see bits i'm not happy with but I really love how the eyes have turned out this time. I think she has a bit of personality which sometimes my embroideries lack - probably due to me trying to be so clinical with colours and shapes.

I'm not quite sure what to do with her yet, I may just have to keep her!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Cross Stitch Robin Christmas Card

I think it has to be at least 10 yrs since I last did any cross stitch. I used to do a bit when I was a teenager but I found the big ones too boring and time consuming.

This little robin only took about an hour whilst watching TV. I think it looks really cute although whether people still appreciate traditional cross stitch is another discussion.

I might make some of these for my Etsy shop, but at least my friends and family will receive one for xmas.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Robin Gift Wrap

I've been making lots of things recently and I wanted to show you some of my favourite makes. I originally made a Robin lino block to use in greetings cards, but having seen how nice it looked I decided to make some gift wrap. I changed the main colour to black and coloured the Robin's breast to add an extra detail. I think it looks really nice and my friends and family will definitely be receiving their gifts wrapped in this design. I'm making lots as I am doing a couple fairs over the next few months and really want a decent haul of stock in interesting designs.

The original use for the block

The finished Gift Wrap

I've also been making some printed 3d bird decorations. My screen printing equipment finally got an airing and I made this simple designs to be used as Christmas decorations (the bird lover in me would have them hanging all year round). I think they look really effective and its something a bit different for those of us that love quirky Xmas interior styling. Some I have kept simple and stylish but i've also experimented with colour and stitching.

Blue Tit

Coal Tit

Blue Tit

In other news I'm organising a craft fair!!! I run a little craft group in our local village and decided it would be nice to showcase their work along with other local sellers. Some ladies have had very little experience in crafting and its amazing to see their progress. I shall post more details nearer the time.... its all very exciting and VERY stressful! 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Thrifty Forager

This is my bedtime reading, alas I seem to be suffering from a bout of insomnia. Its comes and goes depending on stress levels (usually near to payday lol)....

I shall blog some recent makes tomorrow or some day in the not to distant future!

Friday, 31 August 2012

Robin Print and Embroidery

Posting this has reminded me that I totally forgot to blog about my holiday purchases - oh well you really didnt miss anything.

I finished this little Robin off last night whilst Hubby was watching the football. *yawn* I had to use two tones for the breast as I didnt have the right colour but I think it looks quite cool. I've listed this on Etsy so hopefully he will find a new home!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Anniversary Trip (Picture Heavy)

Well I have to say I had such a fab time and I had lots of surprises along the way - a tattoo probably being the most jaw dropping moment.

We camped at Baconsthorpe a mile away from the ruins of Baconsthorpe Castle. We did some shopping in Holt which is an amazing little town full of independant shops and art galleries. We then went to Sheringham to have lunch by the sea and on the way home stopped off for tattoos. Here are some pictures I will blog about my buys and anniversary presents tomorrow.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Going on an Adventure

Hubby is whisking me away for a night away at an undisclosed location for our 1st wedding anniversary (where the blinkin heck did that go?). Worried? Slightly... excited? Hell Yeah!

It's going to be strange being away from the children, DD will love it but my DS who is only three may struggle. Lets hope we don't get a desperate phone call from the MIL :S

I've packed the entire contents of my wardrobe which amounts to pretty much a suitcase anyway and i'm praying for fine weather and an incident free weekend.

Destination Unknown!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Screen Printing - For beginners

Last Christmas I received the most amazing gift of a screen printing kit from my parents. I've been hankering after one for some time and finally in AUGUST i've had the chance to do something.

I'm stencil screen printing which is very easy and more cost effective (you can re-use screens) but it does limit you somewhat in what you can design. I have played about and this is my first effort. Ive tried it on different surfaces and the idea behind the design was that I could stitch in the block colours. (soz for poor images)

I need to work on making sure my cut lines are smooth

Printed onto a calico bag

This was printed onto paper and coloured with pro markers

I showed the pieces to my dad and he suggested that they look quite nice just in black, so im working on adding some extra detailing in and hope to show you my progress soon.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Silk Painted Cushions

I wanted to share with you a collaboration between my parents creating these gorgeous silk painted cushions. My Dad painted the silk inspired by the Dorset Coastline and my Mum beautifully turned them into cushions - silk is a pain to sew so shes done an amazing job.

Please do let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Embroidered Brooches

Having made a small range of pocket watch pendants I decided to try and extend the range to other things. I've been playing and come up with these two brooches. One a Goldfinch and the other a Robin (slight nod to Christmas) but I think the Robin deserves some love all year round. Both are available to buy online (see Etsy link on homepage)

Monday, 6 August 2012

Robin Red Breast

I shall not even utter... or type the 'C' word. I shall not dare speaketh its name. But for all of those who look to the winter season for business reasons know that the earlier you start thinking about it the better. I'm not sure if the unseasonable weather is helping my design work but i've been designing lots.

This little print isn't purely based on Chris......lalalala I have a Robin that visits my garden regularly pretty much throughout the year. Sometimes I am lucky enough to see two which is quite a thing as they are so fiercely territorial. Anyhow this is my little Robin print which has been created using lino and I have coloured in the breast with my professional markers (the best things ever!!!) Hes been printed onto an Edith Holden book - The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady.

Enjoy and please don't shout at me for being so erm Christmasssssssssssy :P

Monday, 25 June 2012

Clematis Inspired Embroidery

I have finished the collaboration piece inspired by my Dad's sketches. I am quite happy with how it came out and only needed to adjust a few areas to suit the stitching.

I'm thinking it would be quite nice as a purse or little make up/storage bag. I think I may have to get my mum to help with that part lol

Sunday, 24 June 2012


WIP by Handmade and Heritage
WIP, a photo by Handmade and Heritage on Flickr.
I'm working on the embroidery based on my dads sketch. I still need to add details to the buds and also work out what i'm going to do with it. The composition doesn't quite work in a hoop so I think it has to have a squarer shape.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Joy of Having a Creative Family

I have written before about how creative my family is and my Dad is no exception. He is currently working on a joint project with my mum designing and making silk painted cushions. Of the designs i've seen so far, they look like they will be amazing!

I was leafing through his sketchbook and stumbled across an image of some flowers and decided to use it as an embroidery pattern. Please excuse the dodgy photography I had the image scanned from his sketchbook so I could take it home with me.

It is based on a Clematis and i've sourced some colours that would suit. I am hoping to do something a bit different with the finished piece maybe a purse or small cushion. I'm so glad I spotted this because I usually have a creative block for months after a craft fair and don't go near a needle and thread.

This is the progress so far, still a long way to go with lots of detail to add!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Experimenting with Composition

picture 538 by Handmade and Heritage
picture 538, a photo by Handmade and Heritage on Flickr.
I am constantly looking at ways to improve the way my work is presented. I tend to use plain backgrounds of plonk a piece of work up against a decoupaged background. Yesterday I spent a good hour playing with backgrounds, inside, outside, fussy, plain and took shed loads of photos in the process.

Of all the compositions I tried this had to be my favourite. I love the colours and the details I managed to show. Its actually quite difficult to photograph my jewellery as the glass shows reflections.

The actual piece is a development from my first necklaces where I hung it on a length of organza. I think the chain and little charm work quite well.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Warkton Village Craft Market

Well today was the day of the Craft Market. Early signs were that it could be a wash out as the weather looked gloomy and I had a slow first couple of hours but to my amazement I not only sold something but actually made some money!

I didn't sell any of my embroideries but cards, pin cushions, sewing kits and bunting did well which proved that people like to buy more affordable items and I needed more mainstream products. I didn't have to sacrifice my style to achieve this which was a great satisfaction.

I have to really credit Deanne and Michelle for the effort they put in, keeping us topped up with complimentary tea and coffee and making sure we were happy and having a good time. I think along with Julia of My Little Vintage they have to be the nicest and welcoming event holders i've ever met.

The customers were not plentiful but they were buying and very positive about mine and other peoples work. I think I will have to blog about some of the sellers as they really had a fab range of items.

High point... a lovely lady who really admired and appreciated my work - you cant put a price tag on someone being so kind.

Low Point... being opposite the cake stall! OMG they were the lushest cakes and cookies ive ever seen and being on a diet total torture. I was good and resisted temptation but I could have cleaned her out lol

Friday, 15 June 2012

Experimenting and Testing

Tomorrow I will be at the Warkton Village Craft Market organised by the lovely Deanne and Michelle. Deanne runs Quirky Boots and will be taking on another fabulous adventure opening The Gift Box a proper bricks and mortar shop! It's so fab to hear people are opening up these amazing little treasure troves all over the county.

It's well documented that over the last couple of years of blogging, me and craft fairs have a very turbulent relationship, I pretty much decided to take a break from it all. Warkton Craft Market has been a venue on my wishlist for a couple years now so refusal was NEVER an option. I am more relaxed about craft fairs now and I feel I can present a collection of work which best reflects me as a crafter- and that selling really is not just the only benefit you can take away. I cant wait to meet a new bunch of local crafters (although i'm extremely shy) and learning and listening to them can be really helpful and inspiring.

To give myself a fighting chance I am taking forward a few things I learnt from the last fair I did...

1) People wont buy what they cant see so i've been working on new and interesting displays which are now sat on my dining table being tested to make sure nothing falls apart. Gone will be the baskets that hide everything and tbh look pretty pants.

2) Smiling inanely wont make people talk to you, in fact they will probably run a mile in the opposite direction. Stepping forward and engaging with people and being proud of your work should rub off on the customer. Restrained enthusiasm is the key lol

3) Don't be too despondent if it all goes wrong. I royally threw my dummy out of the pram last time because I let myself down so badly. This fair like the fair before are the perfect venues for crafters (well organised, affordable, good location and marketed extremely well) but I couldn't make it work for me. Upon reflection I learnt that a) craft fairs may not be the place for me to sell and that b) if I did continue I would have to learn from my mistakes and rectify them not just threaten to give up doing the one thing that keeps me sane and that I love doing.

Even despite all the upset over craft fairs i'm soooo excited about tomorrow, there are amazing crafts on offer with lovely people and in a cute little village... what more could I want!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Something Different

picture 485 by Handmade and Heritage
picture 485, a photo by Handmade and Heritage on Flickr.

I purchased some pendant blanks with a view to make some embroidered keyrings. However in my parcel I received a complimentary glass cabochon and have done a little experimenting.

I really like the results so i've ordered some more and the proper glue to go with it. I might try and encase my little embroideries and see what happens!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Perching Blue Tit Embroidery

A couple days ago I posted about my Blue Tit WIP. Well here is the finished piece. As always I can find areas that could do with improvement but i'm pleased I tried out a new composition instead of my usual 'side on' embroideries.

I'm taking this lickle lovely to a local craft fair next Saturday (ill blog details in the week) I've pretty much decided that this is my last craft fair as my items just don't sell so i'm hoping to go out with a bang... or a tweet!