Thursday, 29 April 2010

Making Gifts Magazine - Issue 4 out soon!

Hi! I hope you're enjoying the spring weather, whether its sunny or rainy (like it is right now... and gone pretty cold too!)

I have another project in the next issue of Making Gifts Magazine, which will be published on 07 May 2010 (a week tomorrow)!  This time, I show you how to make a set of no less than TEN felt finger puppets on a farm animals theme: there is a sheep, goat, sheepdog, pig, horse, hen, goose, cow, rabbit and cat.  You can see them on the front cover below, in the left-hand corner.

I would love to know if you buy the magazine and have a go at making the finger puppets!  Please leave a comment below.

Best wishes
Joey x

Sunday, 25 April 2010

My Green Party Brooch

Good morning! It's sunny here today (yippee!) but still a bit "fresh"!

As promised, here's a picture of my finished Green Party brooch which I showed you in progress in this post.

I made this brooch by hand to show my support for the Green Party during the run-up to the UK general election 2010 and the local council election. Election Day is on 6th May, so I've plenty of days to show it off!

I copied the Green Party logo as closely as I could, using felt applique and different embroidery stitches; the petals around the world are glued on, then embroidered with a white straight stitch and french knots in green to add a bit of interest and texture.  The world map was completed entired in lots of french knots in white.  The brooch has a thin layer of cotton padding inside, and also a piece of flexible plastic, cut from a washed plastic milk bottle to make sure the brooch doesn't go all floppy!  This is something I use quite a lot, and has the added benefit of recycling and not having to buy more plastic! I did toy with the idea of finishing the brooch's edge with blanket stitch in a contrasting colour, or working seed beads into it, but decided that I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, to go along with the simple colour scheme.

Have a lovely Sunday everyone!
Joey xx

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Treasury Time!

Hi! I hope you're having a good weekend!  Apparently it's been the hottest day in the UK this year so far, and although the sun's been out I think it's been pretty nippy!  I must be getting old. Well, I am 36 after all...

Etsy's even better now they've introduced a new treasury in beta: Treasury East! If you haven't seen it yet, please take a look at some fantastic treasuries and have a go at making one yourself.  Now there's no hours and hours waiting for that special moment to come around when you get to very quickly type in the title before the box disappears and suddenly there's 800+ treasuries from nowhere (can you tell that I've been stung by the Etsy treasury a few times?) or get to your computer and find that you've miscalculated the time that the treasury would be available again??  Annoying, wasn't it?

Here's the first one I've made this afternoon. I was feeling tired after a swim (just over half a mile, not much) and thought I deserved a treat! Click the picture to go to the "real" treasury.

And here's the first one in which something of mine has been featured!  This gorgeously bright and summery treasury was made by Black Cat Crafts and is called "Pretty in Pink and Orange".  It features Clement, the Mewberry Cutes brooch from my shop. :-)  Thank you, Black Cat Crafts!

Now go and make your own featuring the most beautiful handmade things you can find on Etsy!!

Have a lovely evening everyone!
Joey xx

Friday, 23 April 2010

Earth Day in the Back Garden

Hi! I hope you've had a good day! Did you know that it was Earth Day yesterday? Well, quite by coincidence but quite fittingly, I happened to be making a brooch to show my support for The Green Party during the run-up to the general election. This is my way of being political; I cannot argue over policies and political philosophies with . Why the Green Party? Well, I've supported them (and been a member, though not at the moment) for a few years now because they have intelligent and fair policies which aim to raise the standard of living for the least well-off in society. They believe that a multicultural society is a good thing, to be welcomed. I want to live in a country in which everyone will feel valued, no matter what their background.

Anyway, because it was such a beautiful sunny day, I sat outside to embroider several hundred french knots (that's an exaggeration but it's what it felt like!) which make up the Earth motif.

I was joined by a robin (or was it two?) who was collecting bits of dried grass and stuff, and kept flying back to the dark conifer in next-door's garden.  Can only be doing one thing...  Robins are brilliant, they come so close and I think they're so cute with their perky little beaks and big eyes!  They're really acrobatic too, turning mid-air and almost hovering to change direction.

Then later on, a ladybird came to have a nosey at what I was doing. He obligingly posed for some photos for five minutes and then flew away again!
the planes are back...

I have finished the brooch this evening and I'll post a picture of the completed brooch at the weekend. It's already pinned to my coat so I can show everyone tomorrow! Wish me luck that I don't get caught up in an argument about party politics! Well, I'll only have myself to blame, won't I? ;-)

the text transferred, ready for embroidering... which I've completed now!

Here's a song by Heavens to Betsy, a band that I happened to share a bedroom with one night, many years ago. I really love the melody and the words just make my heart melt, I think it's beautiful but very sad...

Have a great Friday!
Joey xx

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Dimple, the pink and grey owl brooch

Hi! I've finished another cute little owl brooch, complete with moving wings, and she's on my Etsy shop now!  The colours remind me of April skies; grey and heavy with rain, but also pink cherry blossom bursting from branches.

I do like making these little owls, but they are quite fiddly to make! The favourite part of making them is doing the french knots in shaded thread, because I love seeing the little knots appear in a different colour each time! Yes, I know, simple things for simple people... ;-)

I'm going to be soon making some purses with buttons and embroidery, similar to my tote bags (like the one below), but obviously on a smaller scale. I saw a lovely little purse today in Accessorize, the fabric was slightly sparkly and it had some delicate embroidery.  I want to create the same sort of feeling I got when I handled it, something precious to hold something else which is precious... it was far too nice to put dirty loose change into!

My pastel circles bag... hand-sewn, with hand embroidery and cute buttons!

So watch this space for some work-in-progress shots very soon!

Joey xx

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Spring Soft Beauty: an Etsy Treasury... and my Giveaway Results!

I've just made a treasury on Etsy! Click on the image above to take a closer look at the items.  I picked these things because they all look so soft and delicate and make me think of woodlands... lovely.

Giveaway Results!
The day is finally here, what you've all been waiting for... who will win Kitty 1000?

Here's the number drawn from the virtual hat... (i.e. the random number generator)

So number 16 is.... Sweepstake Lover!  I'll be in touch to get your address, so Kitty 1000 will be flying your way very soon!  Thank you to everyone else who entered; please keep watching this blog because I will be doing another giveaway soon!

Best wishes
Joey x

Tutorial: Etsy/Dawanda/Folksy DIY photo business cards

If you have a shop on Etsy, Dawanda or Folksy (or any of the other similar sites) where you can sell your handmade stuff, you probably have some little cards to advertise your shop.  It's nice to put in a little card with orders you're sending out, so your customers can remember you and perhaps pass on your name... or to have at a craft fair that people can pick up and then visit your online shop at a later date. However you may have been put off buying expensive printed ones.

My partner had the great idea of setting up an image which can be printed and then chopped up using a paper cutter (or craft knife and ruler) at home.  I'll show you how I created my little cards, which I think are cute and collectable but cost a fraction of the price  of similar cards! (mine worked out to be less than 2p for each card)

Obviously, they will be on photo paper (unless you have a decent printer at home, then you can print on anything you like!), but you will have the option of either a glossy or matt surface, and will be one-sided.  Although you can always create a back and front and glue them together!

First of all, you need to have Google Picasa installed on your pc. It's free of course!

I'll assume that you've already taken the photos you want to use for your cards, so open Picasa and select them.  Now follow the steps in the pictures below.

When you receive your prints through the post (or immediately if you've used your own printer), you can carefully cut them up with a paper-cutter (guillotine). This is a lot neater than just using scissors, and safer then using a craft knife/scalpel and ruler.

I'd love to know if you've had a go a making your own photo business cards using this tutorial - please leave a comment below!

Joey x

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Wish Me Luck for my BIG SWIM!

Hi! I hope you're well and happy today! :-)

It's my Swimathon day today! So this is a very quick post before I get ready... I'm really looking forward to it but don't feel 100% well, which is a bit of a pain but there ya go.

So to celebrate (what is life for??), here's a video of some of the music from one of my favourite video games: Jet Set Radio which came out for the Dreamcast.  I love the music from this game and if I could get the soundtrack on CD (or even a download) I'd be a very happy lady!  But thanks to YouTube and Renegade466isback, I can enjoy the games again without dusting off the old Dreamcast, and turning it upside down (which is what we'd have to do to get it to work again, apparently... don't ask!)

Best wishes
Joey xx

Sunday, 11 April 2010

A Celebratory Giveaway!

Kitty 1000

I hope you've been having a good weekend.

I had a lovely surprise this morning when I went through my usual daily bad habit of checking my Etsy stats (yes, I am very sad!) on the "Heartomatic" bit on

I was very happy to find that 1000 people have now hearted my shop, Joey's Dream Garden! I can remember way back, when the number of shop hearts reached 100, I was so pleased, but never thought I'd reach 1000 hearts!  Good things come to those who wait... ;-)

I've had so much fun since I set up my Etsy shop, back in September 2007. The first thing I listed in my shop was a little yellow bunny brooch (pictured below). I'd made a few little bunnies from felt like this a while before, but not as brooches.  So when I discovered Etsy, I decided that I just wanted to join in with the crafting fun!  I'm really glad that I did.

Anyway, I think this is a good opportunity to celebrate with a giveaway! I have made a special commemorative Kittypip brooch, called Kitty 1000 (pictured at the top of this post), in golden yellow felt, with lots of metallic thread stitching. To win her, all you need to do is leave a comment to this post, by 17:00 BST, Sunday 18th April 2010 (so if you don't live in the UK, check here for your time:

I'll be using the random number generator to pick out the winning comment at random (the first comment will be number 1, the second number 2 and so on) and then post the result very soon after!

Only one comment per person please.

Good luck!
Joey x

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Affodell, the little springtime owl!

Hiya!  I hope you're not too blue if you've had to go back to work after Easter... remember there's another bank holiday coming up in a few weeks!

Just like I promised, I've made another owl brooch... yes, already!  Wasn't that quick for me?

This one I've named Affodell, and I think she looks like a she-owl.  Her colours were inspired by all the beautiful daffodils and narcissi (I don't know the difference though!) I saw on Sunday in the botanical gardens.  Just like this:

Daffodils in Sheffield Botanical Gardens

She's in my Etsy shop, Joey's Dream Garden, right now!

Have a happy day!
Joey x

Monday, 5 April 2010

Mottieve, the Blue Owl!

Hiya! I hope you've been enjoying the Easter break so far... and it's not finished yet! Yippee!

I was really quite productive yesterday and finished the first one of a new brooch design: an owl! I've called him "Mottieve" (pronounced "motty-vee") which is a made-up name I found, but I like the sound of it. 

The design isn't completely new... do you remember the owl and pussycat in a pea green boat sets that I made together with my friend Claire of The Pin Factory?

Well, I've used the same owl design because I loved it so much! There is one difference though... now, his wings pivot, so you can make him flap them! I'm a real sucker for a novelty, and I was determined that my owlie brooch would have flapping wings!  The picture below shows Mottieve in progress, a couple of days ago, minus his striking tummy markings!

He's in my Etsy shop, Joey's Dream Garden right now... go take a look!

I will be starting another one very very soon too!

Have a great day everyone!
Joey x

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!

I always love the spring, but especially this year after the long, cold winter we've had here in the UK.  It's lovely to see our garden springing back to life.  Just look at the lenten rose (hellebore orientalis) above; isn't it pretty? I've had this plant for about 5 years, I think I bought it as a tiny thing from one of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens plant sales.  In the picture below, you can see the seed pods just starting to form on one of the flowers; they're the green pod-like things right in the centre of the flower.

The next photo shows what our clump of lovage looks like at the moment. In the summer, this grows to a massive 7ft!

Now, look at the picture below... this is what the lovage looked like just 14 days ago!  Tiny, isn't it!  All that growth in just 14 days...

Now for some Eastery-crafty goodness!  Here's a few of my recent Etsy favourites...

I love Karen Ruane's work, it looks really pure and clean, and pretty.  Her embroidered art is unusual in some aspects (like how she adds little loops of fabric to the edges of a piece) but traditional in other ways, with the flower motifs.  Just gorgeous.

I would love a little bunny like this.  I think it's that worn, "well-loved" look that a little bear of mine has (which I had when I was little, and cried when some boy turned his legs the wrong way! There was no lasting harm though) And that old bell around her neck is just too gorgeous! Tinkle-tinkle!

Keira is SO talented with glass, I just marvel at how cute and perfect all her little beads are.  Look at the bunnies!! She is a lovely person too, so friendly and is happy to make custom beads for you.

Couple of Love Birds - Gingermelon
How lovely and sweet are these? Very very much so. And if you go to the Etsy shop, you'll see that they both just fit in the palm of your hand! What is it about tiny things that makes them so adorable??

Finally, I wanted to show you my little efforts to make the kitchen look slightly Eastery...

I've had these felt die-cut rabbits for about 3 years; I bought them from Paperchase and I've only just got around to doing something with them!  All I've done is simply string them together with invisible thread to make a garland for the dresser.

I bought these little glass egg ornaments from John Lewis Stores (otherwise known as Cole's here in Sheffield... it will always be Cole's to Sheffielders!) for half price and happened to have a child's clothes hanger lying around so hung them on it, sellotaped them at the back to secure, and used a jolly bit of braid to hang them in front of our kitchen window!

Have a great day!
Joey xx


Related Posts with Thumbnails