Wednesday 30 September 2015

On Instagram in September

I'm a little bit scared at how fast this year has gone- it's absolutely flown by! Today I'm looking back at my Instagram photos from September with memories of our holiday, a lovely workshop, new craft work and of course pics of Nelson cat. I'm a real Summer person so I don't look forward to the change into the chilly seasons, although I do love Autumn food- foraging for Autumn produce and making chutneys is something I love to do- as well as the excuse to wear my boots and woolly jumpers! Wishing you all a lovely October!

Nelson is taking it extra easy at the moment because he was bitten on the leg- we assume by another cat- and the vet said he needs to stay indoors until he has recovered. So he's enjoying extra cuddles at the moment, poor boy!

I started the new Tilly And The Buttons Bettine dress pattern this month and had hoped to get it finished to wear on holiday. Alas, life got in the way and I didn't get it finished in time, so that's my challenge for October!

Autumn flowers

I ran a workshop for 24 members of the Suffolk East branch of the Embroiders Guild, which I really enjoyed. The group made felt beads, upcycled fabric flowers and needle books

Mr Writer and I went on holiday to Sicily and had such a lovely time- what a beautiful place. Above is the view from our room- really missing the sunshine and good food!

We spent time on the beautiful beach, visiting the local towns and even took an excursion to walk on Mount Etna Volcano, which was an experience I'll always remember

A picture postcard Sicilian town. Really missing these sights! You can see some more photos I took in Sicily here

I've been working on some new Fair Isle designs and this is a detail of a finished necklace- see more in this post

What did you get up to in September?

Sunday 27 September 2015

New Work- Hand Knitted Fair Isle Necklaces

I've been busy working on some new pieces for my Fair Isle jewellery range and I'm excited to share the first of my new Fair Isle necklaces! I hand knitted the necklace to my own Fair Isle design in beautiful British wool and the knit encapsulates light wooden beads that tie with ribbon. This is my first prototype of Fair Isle necklace in this style and I am going to experiment with other colours and designs to add to my Etsy and Folksy shops soon. I'll keep you posted! 

I find the Fair Isle process very therapeutic and very rewarding. One of the reasons I love knitting so much is because you are creating your own fabric. Maybe one day I'll go one step further and try spinning my own yarn!

This is a real statement piece that can be dressed up or down and is a great way to wear wool every day! 

I've been following the Fair Isle tradition by using a maximum of 5 colours per design

The nature of the design means the necklace is reversible, so you have two looks in one!

You can check out my other Fair Isle necklaces and brooches here. Watch this space for more new designs!

Wednesday 23 September 2015

My Workshop With Suffolk East Embroiders Guild

A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to hold a workshop for the Suffolk East group of the Embroiders Guild in Ipswich. I had a fab evening with the 23 ladies and 1 gentleman making upcycled fabric needle books, felt beads and folded fabric flowers. Here are some photos from the evening...

The evening started with me demonstrating how to make folded fabric flowers using fabric scraps and embellished with a vintage button centre. I then demonstrated felt bead making, which could also be used as a flower centre or alternative "button" fastening for the needle books, as seen in my example here!

There was such a lovely atmosphere to the evening- the group meet once a month so there was a real social aspect to the evening- lots of chattering, tea drinking and biscuit eating throughout the workshop. My sort of crafting!

The group really got into making the needle felted beads and I demonstrated various variations and applications for using the beads

It was great to see the different ways the group interpreted the project and really made it their own

One lady in the group made some fabric hair slides to give to her Granddaughters, which was very sweet!

Thank you very much to the Suffolk East branch of The Embroiders Guild for inviting me to run a workshop for you and thank you to all the members of the group for being so welcoming and making it such an enjoyable evening!

Monday 21 September 2015

Back to the Blog!

Hello there! I've had a little break from the blog recently as life got a bit crazily hectic, but I'm back now and looking forward to sharing lots of new things with you. Mr Writer and I have just got back from a lovely holiday in Sicily, so I thought I'd share some photos of the beautiful things we have seen. Hope you've been having a lovely Summer, I'd love to know what you've been up to too!

We stayed in Taormina, which is a town on two levels. We were based in Taormina Mare, so we were by the sea, and up above us up a windy road was the town of Taormina. One of my favourite things we did was wading across the sandbank to sit and read and swim from the little island. It took us by surprise how hot it was, we were very lucky with the weather.

Something you can just see in the corner of the photo is Cacti- they grow everywhere in this part of Sicily, mainly this type with prickly pear fruit

The towns were so pretty with lots of decorative details

We bought home some tasty treats that we discovered on our travels, including honey from a visit to a honey farm in the foothills of Mount Etna, olive oil and Pistachio Cream which is an alcoholic drink made with pistachios that are used a lot in Sicilian dishes

We visited the Valley Of The Temples in Agrigento to see the ruins from the Ancient Greek settlement in Sicily. The temple above was so impressive because it hasn't been re-constructed, it has been preserved as it was then

Travelling home from our trip to the temples we stopped to take in the lovely view of this town

From Taormina town there is a spectacular view of Mount Etna. We were really excited to get the chance to take a trip to visit Etna and walk on the volcano! A coach takes you half way up and then we jumped in a cable car for a 20 minute trip up the mountain (it was pretty high!). You then take a very bouncy jeep ride for the remainder of the journey. You're not able to go to the very top (it is an active volcano) but we were lucky to have really good views. I couldn't quite get over the novelty of walking on a volcano and we were lucky enough to get to walk through one of the craters

I've not shared a photo of Mr Writer and I on the blog before but I though I would today because the holiday made me realise how important it is to spend time with the people we love. It's also beneficial to take some time away from work to recharge and regain some perspective on things, so I'm thankful we got the chance to do that 

So now and I'm back, recharged and ready to jump back into making and blogging. I'm looking forward to sharing what I get up to with you, watch this space!

What have you been up to over the summer months? Please do share in the comments below!

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Big Sunday Colchester 6th September

I'm super excited to be taking part in the Big Sunday in Colchester, this Sunday 6th September, alongside Made In Colchester! Big Sunday is a free festival taking place in lots of venues throughout the town and there will be music, food, performance, craft and lots more to see and do. You will find me on the Made In Colchester stall at The Waiting Room- come and say hi if you're heading down for the festival, I'm really looking forward to a lovely day celebrating all the town has to offer. See you there!

 Lauren Kelly will be selling her beautiful prints alongside Made In Colchester

Tracy Owen is the artist behind Curious Paper and you can meet her wonderfully curious paper creatures and people at the Big Sunday. Each piece is handcrafted using beautiful old papers and cloth

I will be selling a selection of my upcycled fabric jewellery, displayed in my vintage suitcase