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.
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.
Whilst my previous post giving details of the DIY mask template and tutorial download has been extremely popular, several people have shown interest in finding the materials for making the masks. It goes without saying that if you have some scraps at home to improvise your mask — old shirts for instance — that would be more than acceptable as a possible source of fabric, but on the other hand, you might prefer something a bit more interesting to cover your face with without having to purchase yards of elastic and textiles!
With that in mind, I have created kits for those of you who have no access to textile stores or haberdashers. Each kit contains material for two masks (minimum purchase), including the necessary elastic — and a copy of the template and tutorial. Easy to make either by hand or with a sewing machine. The cost shown for the listing (minimum purchase 2 pieces) also covers shipping to Europe and the USA. In the gallery below you can see all the fabrics available for the masks — all in printed cotton whilst the plain lining fabric (not shown) is naturally dyed and boiled cotton. Hover the images to see colour details or click for enlargement.
If you would prefer to purchase 2 ready-made masks, follow this link to my Etsy page. The same colour choices are available as in this dropdown list. Shipping times (free to EU and USA) will be lengthened by two days to allow for the production of your chosen masks.
Click here for Etsy >>>
I must stress that these masks are NOT to be considered medical standard, but only for community use such as for shopping and social distancing in general.
Number of kits/masks available per fabric pattern:
For the moment I don’t have a photo to post, but will get one organised soon.
Just thought it might be useful to have immediate access to this mask pattern and tutorial so that you can supply your friends and family with community masks as requested by numerous local authorities at the present time.
They are NOT medical masks, but are in keeping with local community activities such as shopping and recreation where it is important to keep our OWN droplet emissions from spreading when we cough or sneeze.
Feel free to download for your own needs. In the pdf file you will find a template and instructions to make the mask — including tips for down sizing for children.
Mask kit available for those who would like to make their own but have little or no access to the necessary materials for doing so. Click here for details
Making masks — whilst it is not possible to make and contribute homemade masks to medical staff, it is possible to make them for your local community where masks are hard to find. In some places (areas of northern Italy for example), people are obliged to wear them outdoors, so in the face of the shortage, homemade becomes a useful source.If you want to have a go, take a look at the two mask patterns Spoonflower is offering for free, both accompanied by a clear video tutorial on how to make them. Scroll down the Spoonflower web page to find the tutorials towards the bottom, along with the mask download links.
I must reiterate that these masks are NOT medical masks and are intended for community use only.Click for free mask tutorials
Just to put this post into context, we are in the middle of a pandemic, caused by the coronavirus, or more officially, COVID19. Without going into all the details of ‘how come’ — you will find plenty of that sort of information here, there and everywhere — I just want to say a few words about what the restrictions are doing to us socially.
First and foremost, one at a time, countries around the world are locking down with severe regulations about the movement of their population — and with the almost total block of air traffic in and out of the country. The situation at the present time is absolutely horrendous — yet again you’ll find details elsewhere covering this point — but what essentially it means for just regular folks, is that we are obliged to stay indoors at all times apart from essential outings to buy food or medicines.
This situation has inevitably had a global effect on people’s habits. With few exceptions, people are unable to work and are confined to their homes in search of something to fill their time usefully and/or creatively. There has been a surge of generosity on the part of many creatives/teachers and the like, who are offering free courses in all manner of creative activities both for kids and adults.
My thoughts are with all those who find themselves stopped in the tracks of life, having to deal with something that very few of us, even in our wildest dreams (or nightmares in this case) could have imagined happening in our life time. Here in Venice the sun is shining which makes it even harder to stay indoors — but it must be done and we will do it.
As they say here ‘Andrà tutto bene’, which basically means, ‘Everything will be alright’…
In fairness, it’s not as if the wheel was reinvented with this idea as I’m certain most knitters/crocheters use something to keep a tag on the pattern line as they work – for instance I always used a ruler – but this little instrument doesn’t slip and slide around so cuts out the frustration factor from the equation.
Just pick up a piece of cardboard or stiff card – about 10 cms wider than your pattern and about 10 cms deep – and laying the pattern vertically on top of the card, measure off about 1/4″ either side of it and then cut a line between your markings. You can now just neatly slide your pattern through the slit you created and slide the pattern upwards as you work, keeping the working line just visible above the cut in the card.
If anyone is interested, I have just added a pompom tutorial – I have set it all up in a downloadable pdf file for you – free for the taking, and have fun with the pompoms – they are always such a cheerful addition to scarves and hats and sweaters for both children and adults alike.
You can pick up the pdf file for download by clicking on the link below …
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.