Wednesday, 29 June 2011

....And That Was June.

June has been a very productive month for me and it was rounded off nicely with the street fair at Falkland last weekend. Here is the view over to the Lomond Hills from near Freuchie.

Funnily enough, I made this picture from my imagination the day before I took the photo!


A cottage, some sheep and a bit of artistic license with the size of the poppies and you'd think I'd used that scene as inspiration.

 Me and my wee stall.

The street fair went well and was very enjoyable to do. 
My Mum supplied us with the tartan bunting.

 Mum, Fynn and Kirsty

I shared a stall with Kirsty of Falkland Felts. We had great fun doing a stall together. It is something we day dreamed about doing 15 years ago when we were young, free and single. We were going to get a van and travel all summer doing stalls at festivals then head for the sun in the winter. Then life and children took over and this is the first of us actually doing a stall together!

Kirsty's on-the-spot workshop making felt soap rocks was a great success.

Children and adults alike had a go and went away delighted with their creations.

 For anyone unfamiliar with the process, you take a bit of soap, in this case a piece shaped like a big pebble, and cover it with felt. 

You wrap some dry felting fibres around it to the point where you can't see any soap anymore. Holding the fluff and soap carefully in both hands, you dip it into warm water and start to squeeze gently.
 Keep squeezing until the fibres start to stick together, then start rubbing the ball of soap and fibres around in your hands.
It gets all sudsy as the fibres felt together and once you are done you have a soap wearing a woolly jumper that you can use as a normal hand soap or a bathroom ornament.

Here are some of Kirsty's along side some real rocks. You can make them any colour you want. The children made some fantastic rainbow ones.

 I have made a lot of new pieces this month from brooches and pendants to landscapes and bookmarks. I have a constant supply of my work going out to four main stockists as well as keeping a variety of work available through my online shops.

 These new sheep cards and mixed media pendants are going into production in between doing stuff with the children during the holidays and going camping.

One of my favourite things about June is the flowers.
It's probably the only time in the year when I miss my job as a florist. 
Although you can generally buy most flowers all year round now, my favourites are at their peak at this time of year as this is their natural growing season.

My Mum and Hugh had their 5th wedding anniversary this month and we gave them these. My husband is great at buying flowers. He chooses and few bunches of this and that then I get some greenery from the garden, my trusty roll of cellophane, a big piece of ribbon and transform them into a presentable bouquet.

Just look at those scented stock! Absolutely heavenly! Mum was delighted with them and they looked even better in her big Azteca glass jug.

Hope everyone has great plans for the summer holidays. I was looking at video footage from our trip to Ireland last year. I felt a pang of regret that we are not going this year when I saw all the sunny shots, then felt glad we have decided not to go when I watched a clip taken in the porch of the tent with the rain pouring and low cloud as far as the eye can see. I'm sure we will get just as rained on this year but we won't have gone so far for the privilege!

Monday, 13 June 2011

A Bird In The Hand

This week I'm working on some more new brooches. I've always liked bird shaped brooches and have made many over the years. 
The garden flowers I'm using as props are being very obliging with their matching colours.

I really enjoyed sitting in the shed doing a little sewing at the weekend. I'm delighted that these Vintage Table Linens have found a perfect home. Don't the colours go so well!

I find it very time consuming hand stitching beads and brooch bars but it is also very enjoyable when I can do it sitting in my little garden hideaway. 


Here are some finished leaf brooches. I have some listed in both my Online Shops.


I'm very careful when I'm sewing outside not to let any bits of thread fly off in the wind. I found this little fellow stuck in a Cypress tree and couldn't really understand why. I had to get a chair and a broom and very carefully pull the branch down low enough to see how I could help. Turned out there was a fine thread tangled in the tree and caught round the birds ankle. I managed to free him easily enough and snip the thread off without harm to the bird. It wasn't a sewing thread, more like a string fibre or something but even so, I'll keep a little bin beside me while I work for all those snippets of thread and wool.

There are a whole gang of Goldfinch enjoying all the wild thistle seed at the side of the farm track near our cottage. It's lovely to see them flit from stem to stem, bush to bush then fly off in a flock over the field.

Friday, 10 June 2011

A Passion For Pink!

I love it when new supplies arrive.

These designs all started with the leaf shape in the centre of the square pendant. I had made a blue version of this in March with a cuff to match and I wanted to see how the design would look in these beautiful fuchsia shades.

Next came the heart pendant. It has a lovely puffy effect as it is two thin layers of felt stitched together.

The matching cuff is incredibly soft. It closes with two buttons layered together as I liked the shimmery effect of the top button but it wasn't big enough on it's own.

 I had a leaf shaped template in my drawer of bits and pieces from when I was making fused fabric leaf pendants last year. I had picked a beach leaf off the hedge while walking home one day and based a few designs on it. When I cut this leaf out of the felt, one of the smaller leaves that I had cut for the square pendant fell onto the big one and hey presto! another design was born.

I have made these as brooches but they could also be fitted with a jump ring and worn as pendants.

The little pink daisy on the green background in the top photo was a bit of fun. I had some felt flower shapes cut from commercial felt for me by a fellow folksy seller and she kindly gave me card board cut outs of the four different daisy shapes that I ordered. The teeniest one just happens to fit within the square pendant tray and I couldn't resist the pink on green combination. A shiny shell bead makes up the centre and matches the background green perfectly.

I also have plenty of heart shaped templates lying around and this brooch is reminiscent of the hanging hearts I used to make. Again, this heart has a lovely 3D puffiness due to the layers being stitched together.

You can find some of these new pieces in my Etsy shop and I'll be adding more as and when I get them individually photographed. Thankfully the sun is shining today so I may have to just sit outside sewing on beads and brooch bars!
All contributed content © Aileen Clarke