Sunday, 18 December 2011

A Mosaic of Makes from 2011

2011 has been a fabulous year for Aileen Clarke Crafts.

My work has sold really well through various gift shops and galleries here in Scotland and gone all over the world thanks to the wonders of online shopping sites like Etsy and Folksy. Apparently my shop is among the top 250 sellers on Folsky which truly amazes me. It is one of my goals for 2012 to keep both of my online shops well stocked with a full range of items.
Events like Open Studios North Fife and The Handmade Show have also helped me focus and given me the opportunity to meet so many more people face to face, both customers and fellow artists.

Textile Trinket Boxes

My little boxes were an instant hit and have all gone to new homes over the past couple of months. Only two left in stock.
I do hope to develop new ideas for these and make them regularly available.

These photo mosaics are just a snap shot of pieces I have made during 2011.

Textile Wrist Cuffs

My range has certainly expanded and will hopefully continue to grow throughout 2012. I have enjoyed making a few commission pieces this year including pendants, earrings, brooches, wrist cuffs, handmade cards and art work. 

Fibre, Textile, Glass and Resin Pendants



New to my range this year have been these rings. I love wearing them myself and have to admit to owning at least five in all different colours.

Also new this year have been the Sheep Pendants, Earrings and Rings.

There are so many different colour combinations and different fibres that can be used that the possibilities are endless! It means that every single design is different. It also means that it is sometimes hard to choose. I've had customers at fairs swithering for ages not knowing which one to get for a friend and ending up buying one for themselves instead.

A variety of Sheep Jewellery is still available in my Etsy Shop

Card making was my first love and really how my whole Aileen Clarke Crafts business came about. I still make hundreds of cards but most of them go out to local shops and sell at craft fairs. I find them difficult to photograph for selling online and the time taken to get the photos just right is worth more than what the card will sell for. One of my plans for the new year is to buy a  new and better camera during the sales so hopefully that will allow me to make more of my cards available online.
The bookmarks continue to be a hit but again, I have struggled to find time to make more of them in recent weeks. Much of January will be spent making back ground felt for lots of different projects so hopefully I'll get some new bookmarks made in the new year.

Over the past year I have met people in real life that are regular visitors to my blog and fans of my page on Facebook. They have all helped and inspired me to come up with new ideas and make more of everyone's favourite items. Thank you to all of you who take the time to leave comments. It's such a great source of feedback and encouragement especially for someone who works from home. 
It's great to be part of such a wonderful creative community as well. So many of us are busy making and creating trying to make a living doing what we love and the internet has certainly provided us with a fantastic way of helping and supporting each other.

Felt Art Work

I'll leave you with this little selection of cosy cottages.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Bonnie Wee Hooses

 I think it's fair to say and obvious through my work that I have a bit of a thing for wee cottages.
I was brought up living in a cottage on the outskirts of Perth and I've lived in a few different ones over the years including the one I live in now with my husband and two children. 
This is the cottage I grew up in as a teenager. My brother lives in it now.

Painting By Jim Douglas

This is the cottage we live in now.
You can just about make it out behind the trees! The trees provide a nice bit of shelter and are home to lots of Greenfinch in the summer. Thankfully they are all still standing after yesterday's gale force winds! I felt like I was in the opening scenes of a disaster movie yesterday when I went out for wood and coal!

 I found these old photos taken in 1996 on a visit to Donegal with my Mum. I can remember we were ridiculously over excited with these cottages much to the bemusement of the old fella we met in the driveway.

 We were even more over excited when we saw that this one was a florists!
Mum and I both worked as florists for years and we thought this our absolute dream place.

A few weeks ago I spotted a photo on Craft Blog UK that really intrigued me.
It was of a knitted cottage against the backdrop of the beautiful Scottish Highlands. I immediately went in search of it's maker and got chatting via email to Julia Marsh, owner of Hand Knitted Things based in the north west of Scotland. 
Julia sells knitting patterns for her little croft house cottages but seeing as knitting is not one of my talents she offered to knit one for me!

 Drum roll please.............

Ta da!!!

 I am so delighted with it! I think it's the cutest thing ever.

It reminds me of some of the wee hooses we saw on holiday this summer out on Harris.

And of course it's like a 3D version of one of my own little needle felted ones.


You can find out more about Julia and her Hand Knitted Things here

So we had an unusually wild and windy day here yesterday with the children off school and the fire needing fed like a hungry animal.
My postie still got through though and brought me some new supplies to play with.

 These new Felt Flower Pendants are now available in both my Etsy and Folksy shops priced £20.

More colours coming soon.

I also have these new Sheep Earrings available in both my shops. Just click the images to go to the listings.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

December and It Finally Feels Like Winter!

Here are a few pieces I made using all that stash shown in the last post.

Heart Shaped Pendant

 Wrist Cuff

Wrist Cuff
Just click the photos to go to the listings for more information and use your 'back' button to come back here.

I received a commission from a customer to make her a silvery grey felt brooch so I made a few and let her choose which one she preferred. 
This one is now available in my Folksy Shop

Silvery Grey Brooch

I also managed to get a couple of new boxes made. I sold all but one of the previous ones.

These are both in my Etsy Shop priced £30 each.

I have also been busy with more sheep pendants
Got some new ones available both on Etsy and Folksy but they are selling out really quickly.

All my chains now come with a little extension making them wearable up to 18 inches long. 

I wore one of my own pendants and a matching ring to the Trad Music Awards last night in Perth. My outfit was purple and mauve so I wore a textile and resin heart and purple textile ring to match and I did feel that the 16" chain was a little short on this occasion. 

The Trad Awards were fantastic with such a great line up and everyone decked out in their finery and killer heels! Except I don't do heels. It's hard enough negotiating stairs in a long flouncy skirt never mind heels as well! We were on the lower balcony seats but I still managed to come home with these beautiful Amaryllis from one of the tables.

You can watch highlights from the Trad Awards on BBC Alba on Monday night and on the BBC i player for a week after. I'll be watching with my daughter and playing 'Spot Granny In The Crowd'! My Mum was at one of the tables with other Folk Club and TMSA members enjoying the wine and chocolates.

And last but not least on this little catch up post, I have made this felt landscape available in my Folksy Shop also.

'Red Poppies Along The Wall'

All contributed content © Aileen Clarke