Monday, 30 May 2011

How ToTransform A Shed in Four and Half Hours

Our shed was a mess. I had always wanted to make this into a little garden retreat but it seemed like a huge task. We always call it the Summer Shed because it has glass on two sides and although I used it a few times as a potting shed it had become a dumping ground. The roof used to leak but my husband re-felted it last year and I decided that today was the day to transform it.

As You can see the mice had a field day during the winter with some stuffing from old patio chair cushions.

The previous owner used to let his Grandchildren play in here and it was set out like a shop when we moved in.
I wonder who Katie loves now....she is 21 and had just graduated!

I gave my Dyson a real work out sooking up all the cobwebs and dust, then went rummaging for some emulsion for the walls.
I found a tin of 'Precious Jade' which must have been used for our kitchen walls goodness knows how long ago. I just gave it a good stir and slapped it on.

And here we are! A lovely wee garden hideaway. 

All the bits and pieces are taken from the house. We used to have a lilac colour scheme in the bedroom but don't now so it's great to make use of some pieces that don't really fit in the cottage any more.

I'm so pleased with how this has turned out! The extension cable reaches here from the cottage so I can see me doing some crafting out here aswell as relaxing with a book.
I've managed to squeeze in two adult sized chairs as well as a child sized arm chair and a wee stool.

The old sea chest is housing all the plastic pots and seed trays and I have a big pile of stuff to go to the recycling centre. I managed to squirrel away some of the other stuff into our other shed so that only leaves one homeless's not coming back in here!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

New Gift Boxes and Other News

All Aileen Clarke Crafts original jewellery now comes gift wrapped in these pretty little boxes.

 This week got off to an unusual start with all that wild weather. We had a 30 hour power cut which left me half way through a batch of card making with no way of using my sewing machine or printing out my labels. Unlike the winter weather though, the storm did not stop the postie getting here and I was delighted that my new gift boxes arrived.

If you ever wonder where I get the inspiration for my work then look no further than the photo below. This was the view from the patio of a holiday cottage we stayed in back in April. There are even sheep in the further away field! I thoroughly enjoyed sitting out here first thing before the breeze got up, drinking my coffee and doing a little needle felting.
The cottage is in highland Perthshire and we enjoyed three nights there thanks to friends of my Mum.

Perthshire is my home county and I do miss it sometimes. North Fife has a charm of it's own but I really love the wild areas of highland Perthshire.
We drove away up to Loch Rannoch then on to Rannoch station. If you cross the railway line and walk down the track a bit you come to this beautiful loch on Rannoch Moor.
Loch Laidon

It's only 12km to Glencoe from here. We spent a glorious couple of hours enjoying the exceptional April sunshine and I soaked up lots of inspiration too.


The textures of these mossy stones and dried sticks really appealed to me.

A couple of weekends ago we had the privilege of having our cottage used as a venue for the filming of a traditional music DVD.
Redbarn Stuidos are making the DVD and were looking for a venue that had a traditional cottage/bothy look about it. We have exposed stone walls in the kitchen and sitting room so they used these as a backdrop for the singers.
It was a great session and an interesting experience having a film crew in the house.

 Here is my Mum, Doris Rougvie with Gillian Murray from Redbarn and Alsitair Ogilvy who is not only a fantastic singer but he makes good tortilla wraps too!
If you would like to hear Alistair singing just Google him as there are a few lovely tracks on You tube.

 My son had a brilliant time playing camera man. Gillian gave him a small camera to film extra footage on and he got to keep an eye on this big one to make sure it was capturing what it was supposed to.

Included in the DVD are bothy balladeers Jim Taylor, Geordie Muirison and Joe Aitken. Joe won Scots Singer of The Year at the 2010 Trad Awards. They are such fun people to be around and they know so many wonderful songs both beautiful and funny.

Speaking of singing and songs, I was coerced into entering a song I wrote into the Edinburgh Folk Club Songwriters competition last week and despite the very nervous performance I gave, I won second place! A cash prize of £50! I'm still gob smacked. I treated myself to these beauties with the winnings.

Is it a bit mad to share photos of new shoes on the internet? Well people love shoes and I know that some of my blog readers will love these :)

So what did I do during our 30 hour power cut with no sewing or embellisher machine or even an iron available?
I turned my hand to a bit of embroidery and worked on a wall hanging that I started the weekend of the Open Studios. 

If you visited me at the studio you will remember me telling you that the leaf shapes I was working on with the embellisher machine were going to be made into a wall hanging with leaves and birds. Well this is as far as I have got.

I have new stock heading off to Zigzags in Dunkeld today to if you are in that vicinity, pop in and say hi to Dave.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Lots of New Things Available!

The great thing about working so hard in the build up to a big event like the Open Studios is that you get a nice build up of stock.

I am adding new items daily to both my Folksy and Etsy shops.

I have made lots of these lovely felt heart pendants in various colour combinations and using various techniques.

These pink and green 'moon' pendants are so hard to photograph as they really catch the light in an unusual way and gleam like fire.

 Although I made lots of purple pieces I only have a few left. Definitely the most popular colour.

 This new design below with the added stitching was well admired at the weekend. I had some pre prepared and stitched felt which customers were able to choose their favourite little section from, to have made into a pendant.


My sheep are still heading off in flocks all over the world.

 Available with or without a tree.

 Still got a few bookmarks in stock. Look out for some new designs coming soon.

And I have made a few new felt pictures available in both my shops.
'Sheep In The Apple Orchard'
 'Lavender Cottage'

 'Peaceful Glen'
And last but not least, this wall hanging inspired by the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye is now available too.

For information and prices, just click on any of the images above.

There are many other pieces in my shops too so for an over view just click on My Etsy and My Folksy.

 All designs, work and photographs on this website are protected under international copyright laws / All rights reserved.
© Aileen Clarke

All contributed content © Aileen Clarke