As something a bit different, I have created this sweet little Afro-theme ornament. I just love her beaded dreadlocks and bright multi-strand bead necklace.
I have prepared about a dozen kits for anyone who might be interested in a simple sewing and crafting project. All the textiles used are original African printed cotton fabrics which have been recycled for these kits. Personally I associate black people with a vibrant and colourful cultural background, so I hope I have managed to capture this in this little doll.
Might seem totally out of season right now, but oddly enough, these little kits are proving to be popular during this moment of ‘closure’ and uncertainty. Quite a few people have been turning to creative activities as a source of calm — even those who wouldn’t normally pick up a needle and thread, have taken on simple projects as an escape from distressing news and an uncertain future.
These little kits are ok for young stitchers too — maybe with a little help from someone more experienced, so if you want to know more, follow the link to my Etsy page for pricing details of the kit contents.
The biggest surprise of the past couple of weeks has been the interest in my specs’ keepers. They are one of those accessories which disappear off the scene for awhile, and then for no apparent reason — return. And that’s what’s happened, and I have found myself stringing beads for hours on end for this seemingly simple creation.
Not that they are difficult to make, but when you no longer have nimble fingers, can be very fiddly and a source of great frustration, plus the occasional cuss, especially when — as happened to me today — all the beads fly off the thread into every corner of the room. Would you believe I have just found a dozen beads caught up in my hair too!
So for those who are looking to keep their goggles to hand, back in my Etsy store, as of today, a couple of new summery colours, and as usual, the possibility to contact me with your own colour choice. Use the personalisation box on the listing page to let me know.
At long last I have managed to add a couple more of these sewing kits to my Etsy store. This particular kit has been surprisingly popular — partly because of its simplicity that even a beginner can handle quite confidently, but also because of the mix of different elements and methods required to complete it.
Anyway, for those of you looking for a fun project — maybe even as a gift for someone — here’s the link to the Etsy listing…
Many of us have become aware over the past couple of months, either through personal observation or via the media coverage, that the period of lockdown seems to have had a positive effect on our environment. Animals have been leaving their natural habitats to venture into city centres, no longer clogged up with traffic and pollution — and have provided a spectacle that very few of us have ever seen before, and are unlikely to ever see again. We have seen levels of pollution drop (though I fear only temporarily) and for those attuned to these changes, the air will have seemed sweeter and the skies much clearer.
Whether it has something to do with the current coronavirus problem and the changes mentioned above, that I can’t say, but certainly I have been feeling a need to simplify my life and remove some of the ‘sophistication’. I’ve been looking for greater contact with the ‘basics’, doing away with empty ambitions which only take me further from my roots and the people and things I love most.
Sadly, I can’t just retire to the woods and ignore all my connections with modern society — but I can concentrate more time on those creative activities which soothe my soul. Strangely enough, technology features quite importantly in these activities, because it has given me a way to connect with family and friends and to admire and be inspired by the creativity of people around the world.
So using this new world as a starting point, I will be applying myself to newly found handcrafts — and honing my skills in old favourites. Here’s hoping that there will be occasions to share them with new and old friends both virtually, and in person.
One of my most interesting discoveries in recent months has been kumihimo braiding, a Japanese craft which has been around for centuries. The beautiful braids have been used for all sorts of situations that go from swords to cushion trimmings to traditional clothing. At its best, and probably most refined level, the braiding is combined with beading decoration, and certainly in this part of the world, is frequently used to enhance jewellery. In my research I have also come across some amazing articles of clothing which have been ‘constructed’ using yard after yard of flat kumihimo braiding in an incredible array of colour combinations.
In my own experimentation with the craft, I have been creating mono and multi-colour braids using techniques for 7, 8 and 10 warps for both rounded and flat braids. I have combined the braids with pendants of varying types, and with large round wooden beads which I have painted by hand, and also with semi-rounded wooden beads which I have covered in fabric. Some of the pendants are previously loved pieces of Indian jewellery which I presented in here some time ago.
The results of my endeavours are available on Etsy if you are interested in purchasing any of these ‘one-of-a-kind’ articles.
I always think that it’s a lot of fun being able to change my earrings often — I am not too bothered about having expensive jewellery, and out of preference have quite a few pairs of inexpensive ones to be able to change around as the mood takes me. And this is the thinking behind the offer I have put on my Etsy page at a time when people are looking for inexpensive gifts for friends and family So take a look and see if anything catches your eye so as to take advantage of the 5 pairs for only €15.00 which includes shipping to Europe. Here are just a few pairs as examples of those you can choose between.
Got a very pleasant surprise when I opened up my mail this evening – I discovered that some kind soul had bought one of my calendars! Just want to say many thanks indeed to whoever you are and wherever you are! I hope the calendar gives you as much pleasure as it did for me to create the images inside it! If you are interested in a calendar for this year, click on the image to be taken to Red Bubble which handles the print-on-demand calendar sales.
The surprise came at the end of a pretty exhausting day – hubby went off on the motorbike for a long ride mid-morning leaving me here to nurse my ribs and try to do some overdue web work. It is pretty uncomfortable to sit in front of the computer right now, but I managed to make some headway and hope to find some time to get in a bit of crafting next week – and maybe some more of that homemade bread.
My Christmas Swapper, Ruth of Nice Day Designs in Ireland tells me that my parcel reached her and that she was pleased with the bits and pieces I sent. Now I can look forward to her ‘donation’ soon which she tells me will soon be sent off to me.
Anyway – ’nuff said …
Our calendars are available through Red Bubble and whilst you are looking at our calendars on Red Bubble, you might also like to check out our cards. Click on the calendar image to be taken to Red Bubble.
We have recently added some new colours for the multi-strand recycled textile necklaces which have proved so popular this year. You can now find them in purple, white, coral, turquoise and mid-brown, in addition to the black, navy, light green and dark red previously listed. Contact us if you are interested and we will put your preferred colour up for you as a personalised listing to purchase on Etsy.
When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.