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To Do, or Not To Do, seriously, I need to do something…… and quickly

Do you know those days (weeks) when you just can’t see the wood for the trees and despite your best intentions you still keep starting more new things??

Consequently its getting a wee bit busy in the craft room.  Can you just feel the sarcasm rolling of my tongue?

The To Do List is currently showing; 3 new projects for the Linen and Lace Design Team to be completed and posted by 16th September (Top secret so no sneaky peeks),

6 projects for a craft fair in October and I need to finish them for photography and the application form,  table fillers for a fair in November, (this is so far down the line its not even on my shopping list yet)!

some quilts that I am (still) finishing and a list of things that I’ve yet to start, bunting, some baby bags and a quilt thats not even sketched yet to name but a few ……..

aaaaahhhhh.  (Screaming loudly)

In some of those moments when I was happily procrastinating I had a wee play and using some yardage from a Craftsy sale box, I found a pattern and having a wee play I fell in love with these cheeky little  bags and their plucky characters, Mr Fox and Princess Chick.

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I’m thinking of putting a few of them into upcoming fairs and I do hope they will be well received they are so cute, even if I say so myself.

Then something a bit twee, how can you not love a cupcake? and this one won’t put a single calorie on your hips!  another project, its time consuming, lots of hand sewing and its filled with those pesky plastic pellets to weigh down the base, what a painnnnnnnnn!

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What do you think? worth pursuing????

And then just to mix things up even more and to keep the creative juices flowing,  I decided to make some Advent calendars. Tonic Studios had some great offers on Create and Craft and I do love a bargain so these fell into my basket and they were calling me from the side of the cupboard and I couldn’t help myself and just had to make a couple – to see how they turned out, you know how it is.  I really need to concentrate.  I have promised my self a huge clear up this week, I will see how it goes so watch this space x.

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Posted in crafting

So much to do and So little time……..

I have had a busy busy busy few weeks and tried hard to fit everything in but as always something always falls by the way side and it has been my blog, sorry……

I made a gorgeous quilt, it was a design team make and I was given beautiful Amy Butler fabrics to create the blocks and colour pops. It was a colour palette that I would not have chosen myself so it pushed me right out of my comfort zone!  It’s for a magazine so I can’t share all the how to’s just yet but for a sneaky peak of the colours ….. yummy aren’t they?

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Then a had a wee trip into  bag making, always a good place for me, it’s where I go when I need a distraction or something to occupy me.  It can revive a flagging mojo, chase away the blues or simply give clarity to your thoughts with a familiar process and knowing that its something that you can do well.

Having settled myself it was time to start  another design team project, who doesn’t need a coffee sleeve? I drink that stuff by the gallon and enjoy every drop cause caffeine is my favourite thing, naughty I know!

Having made and dispatched three coffee sleeves for the DT project, I carried on and made some more!  These are simple and quick to make give you loads of room for your imagination and when complete, they fit into your bag or pocket easily so no more having to get your hands burnt when you are sipping your expresso.  The coffee sleeves in the photo were made for some colleagues of my husband so they are not part of the design team project!  Safe to snap and show and no secrets shared!

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So it was then time to tidy the craft room, it looked like a bomb site and was well beyond being an inspiring space.  It took a day and a half to make it a tranquil and creative place for my next adventure.

While tackling the tidy up I came across a couple of pieces of fabric, I haven’t a clue where they came from or when I ‘acquired’ them, but I love purple and I couldn’t help myself so yet another bag was born and this one is planned to accompany me on a few shopping expeditions!

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I had been watching Create and Craft and the lovely Mandy Shaw and her delicious Dandelion Designs  http://dandeliondesigns.co.uk had a show, now, if you ever want some inspiration, head over to Mandy’s web site and feast your eyes on her great ideas.  I couldn’t help myself and a few, well OK about a half-dozen patterns fell into my basket.

So last week I played and now you can meet Robin and Rosie, these advent lovelies are for two of my grandchildren.

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Really enjoyed these Christmas treats but from what I hear I better return to the land of shopping cooking and cleaning  …….. Bye for now.

Oh before I go, I am planning taking a table at a Craft Fair later in the year, what do you think would be most appealing to buy  what should I concentrate on making ???

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Look what I found…..

A wee bit of impromptu crafting took place yesterday,

I was planning to tidy some drawers , it all started so well then i came across a bit of oilcloth that I had bought in Dunelm, it cost me pennies, I mean, what could I do,  I had to make something, sure it would be rude not to……
A tote bag!  Always a good idea, always needed, and seeing that I had a new sewing machine just waiting to be used, any opportunity felt like a good one.

Couldn’t be easier, the fabric  (thats the thing with oilcloth, what do you call it, its somewhere between plastic and cloth so I’m calling it fabric) well it was about 25″ deep by the width, 44″ I think.  One strip cut at 4″ made the two handles, another strip was cut  it was another 4″, the bag was then simply hemmed top and bottom, french seamed at the sides and finished with ‘sugar  bag’ corners, finally a loop was added at the handle edge to clip on your keys, its such a simple add but how it saves a load of frustration when you are fishing about in the abyss of a bag looking for car or house keys to offload your purchases!

Couldn’t be easier, nifty polkadots, one happy crafter.
One happy daughter ….. she is  away to the shops with a new bag for her purchases…..

Me… I’m heading back to tidy those drawers.   Wonder what will distract me next………

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Some Catch Up Crafting

Hi Folks,

Didn’t quite meet my own agenda for posting so best say that a monthly post is where I will start and if I post more often, its great, well, best leave that conclusion up to you.

Sometimes life has an unfortunate way of interfering with crafting, it can really get in the way, shopping, cooking, generally doing the rounds, so between one thing and another I’ve been kinda busy, having a wee hour to sit and chill and catch up is lovely.

I have been just trundling along very nicely doing little bits and pieces of all sorts of things, no really big projects just some nice enjoyable crafting; you know the stuff that’s good for your soul and helps you calm down and chill out.

So ….. my Stonehenge Project

These lovely cushions came about quite by accident.  I have recently had the pleasure on having some family stay with me, my cousin Barry and his wife Irene, from Canada. Irene and I share a passion for quilting and so what do you bring a quilter as a present…. Fabric of course.  This range is called Stonehenge and it is from Canada (yes I Know),  after they left me to go onto the next stage of their travels, I pondered and decided to make something that I would see every day and it would remind me of their trip to see me – and so the cushions or pillows or whatever suits you to call them were born.  No fancy quilting or cutting, I cut 6″ strips of the FQ’s and used my ruler to get the 60 degree triangles, they are sewn with 1/4″ seams and echo quilted inside the plain triangles for a wee bit of interest, its stitch in the ditch everywhere else.  I now have a lasting memory and some new cushions for my new furniture if it ever arrives.

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Some Floral Reflections

Ever since I was little I loved to colour in, even without colouring pens or crayons, I would shade and doodle and fill spaces with just plain pencils or old ballpens and create patterns and designs and imagine.  Now its fashionable to call doodling Zentangling and colouring in makes you a Colourist, so I guess that I have new careers just falling over themselves waiting for me to take them up (Don’t think so).  It’s really a good thing that I don’t take myself seriously, and for those of you reading this, we folk in Northern Ireland take an immense delight in sarcastic humour, we just never try to take ourselves seriously.

Oh where was I, yes, colouring.  It is now possible to get books for adults to colour in. These are not ‘seedy’ adult books, at least I don’t think so, just nice pictures for us adults to while away the hours.  I dabble, well more than dabble at card making, and its brilliant that we can now get digi images via the internet or on CD or DVD and this access had made colouring much more accessible and much more appreciated and soooo much easier, it’s not a guilty secret, or a need to be pinching the grandchildren colouring books and pencils when they come over.  So I have built up a lovely little assortment of pens and pencils to assist me in this very relaxing and satisfying hobby.  I am often found balancing trays, paper, pens, blending solutions, tortillions whatever and the gentle sound of pencil or pen striking paper is soothing to me.

I never said I was any good to it, but sure I keep practising, torturing the experts on FaceBook for tips and critiques, sure I could be doing a whole lot worse…..

IMG_2232    This little one was a digi from a Spectrum Noir CD and I was firstly coloured with alcohol pens in a range of creams, apricots, gentle pinks and corals, then over these original colours, I laid down more layers of wax crayon and blended to settle the colour into the first layer.  It gives a richer tone, sometimes pens are too harsh and pencils too gentle and the blending brings then together nicely.  Having finished this image I cut and mounted it and make it into a card for a very dear friend and hopefully she should get it soon.

Tomorrow is Another Day

Well tomorrow, I am receiving a new box of goodies to play with from those lovely ladies at Linen and Lace, looking forward to creating some new exciting projects.  I hope to share these with you later…..

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Linen and Lace – a new beginning for me….

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I saw a post on Facebook calling for members for a new design team.  The post said they were looking for people who quilted and sewed and generally had a love of all things crafty.  I responded to the post saying that I just loved the sound of this but was not at all hopeful because I had no idea what a blog was, didn’t have a blog, didn’t know how to start one, but I did have my Pinterest and Facebook pages.

A lovely lady called Diane Peternel, from Tattered Lace contacted me and after some Facebook chat, sent me some  application forms which I duly completed and returned but I was still hugely skeptical but pleased that I had even managed to complete the forms!

To my amazement and delight I got a phone call a few days later and after completing the ‘technicalities’, I received a package with 4 sets of shiny new dies, my only brief was to ‘prepare one sample using each set of dies and return the finished samples by….’

If the samples were to the liking of the Boss; they could be used for the launch show of the new ‘Crossover’ diecutting machine and the new range of Linen and Lace dies, a hybrid type of die, deep dish to cut zillions of layers of all different types of things! and perhaps a place on the design team.

A very anxious crafty pixy went of to her craft room and started cutting loads of paper diamond shapes and playing with them.  Now, us crafters know that times stops when we enter a craft room, because clocks don’t work where there is creativity!  As I had no design brief other than to ‘make an item from each die set and send it to Tatty Lace Towers for X date’.  This allowed my imagination run riot so I had to be very firm with myself, curb my crafty vibes and get down to work otherwise I would never make the delivery date.  What could I make, what might work, a bag? No.  I know, a quilt, so all my patterns and magazines came tumbling out, No that was just not working, I know, a set of table mats? Nooo.  So instead I went back to the desk and I looked at the shapes and how they fitted together, and what shapes that came from this.  Ahh, the penny dropped, a table runner, designs that I had on my desk looked about right, OK.

Having retired from work about 4 years ago, I had forgotten the skills of working to time tables and schedules so this was a shock to my now undisciplined crafty lifestyle.

I love crafting, all types of crafting and spend hours (days) in my craft room which overlooks the little town of Comber in County Down in Northern Ireland.  I have the most magnificent views of the countryside, of sunrises and sunsets, the famous Mountains of Mourne and the Black Mountain rising behind Belfast (perhaps I can share some of these views with you sometime).  I listen to music and dream and craft and dream and play and dream some more so you can imagine I have a perfectly idyllic time but it wasn’t getting my samples made. Right, better work ethic required!

So, back to my original thought, Diamond Shaped Dies.  This is what I (finally) made and it’s my first offering for Linen and Lace.

I had decided on a table runner, not quite a quilt but bigger than a bag, shapes were planned, sizes calculated, yardage calculated; threads sorted what a checklist!.

I didn’t go shopping for fabric, that would be a whole other adventure so I decided that I would cut from my stash.  Now if you know us crafters, we all have a little bit of fabric and paper, well, not a little bit, but you know what I mean, so I did have choices! I found a nice creamy background with an overall pattern of greens and blues and greys that would suit nicely the main background fabric,  some matching blue sateen, solid green and a dark grey and blue pattern.        Decision made.

As I intending to use appliqué, I ironed Bondaweb onto the dark blue/grey cotton and put all the shapes through my Cut N Boss.  With a little help from YouTube, I found that using a metal shim was the magic trick and the dies cut perfectly.  I was, to be honest, a bit skeptical starting out, (previously I had only really had success with fabric using Sizzix quilting dies) to have them come through so cleanly was a treat.

All the diamonds were ironed into place according to my plan and then zigzagged with a small stitch, not quite satin stitch but close enough, I had to use stitch n tear to keep the fabric flat and it added a firmer finish to the runner top, I left some stitch n  tear in place in the points of the diamonds for a crisp finish and then used a medium weight insulated wadding (for hot items) and a matching cotton backing to finish.  The runner sandwich was then echo quilted to emphasise the overall shapes and to give some dimension.  It was finally bound in the blue cotton sateen and that was the first piece under my belt. Finished!

Only another 3 sets of dies to go and 3 items, at least, to make

Ps this story had a happy ending, I was invited onto the Linen and Lace design team.

Result….One happy Crafty Pixy

Now I’m am away to research blogging; now that I’ve started better find out what to do next …..

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TheCraftyPixy.com

Yeah    at last I got myself sorted and got a blog up and running and my own dotcom.

I ‘m aiming to load a blog each week with a crafty pick made by me,  a card, quilt, bag or other handmade item, or perhaps just a wee natter about what I have been playing with!

So watch out for my picks and we can keep each other company while crafting.

Oh by the way I love music so don’t be surprised if there’s a tune or two to keep us going……

That is providing I can work out how to do it of course