Friday, 19 August 2011

Microcrafts review & giveaway

This book is highly unusual. Compiled by a large group of etsy sellers and designers it contains a very wide range of innovative craft projects all united by being micro, hence the title.

Margaret McGuire, Alicia Kachmar, Katie Hatz, Tamara Barker, Claudia Cormier, Elizabeth Duke, Sarah Goldschadt, Larissa Holland, Melissa Jacobson, Len and Melanie Kachmar, Holly Keller, Colleen Lemons, Mei Pak, Mel Sparkles, Jessica Trail, Hope Wattanaphand, Nadia Marks Wojcik have all contributed to a very entertaining and amusing book. Please check out their shops. They rock.

The essence of the book, we are told, is not just to craft small but to use up odds and ends. Recycling is something I'm very passionate about so this appealed to me. Leafing through the book you could definitely use up scraps of yarn, material, felt and paper to your hearts galore.

There is enough to satisfy the alternative indie crafter within you and also enough mainstream projects like these books:

and this felt dog:

If you would like to win this copy of Microcrafts leave a comment below telling me about the smallest item of craftiness you've ever made. If you like me on facebook and/or follow me on twitter while telling me about it in a comment you'll be in with another chance. Please leave a link or sign in with your blogger username so I can get in touch in two weeks when I pick the winner. The closing date is 2pm (GMT) 9am (EST) on Saturday 10th September. Good luck.

The book is available to pre-order here in the UK and here in the US.

NB I was sent this book to review by Quirk Books, the publishers.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Crocheted Shrug

The cream cardigan I was laboriously knitting in 4 ply last year has finally met its sad demise. It was on a life support machine for over 12 months in a 'picking up the stitches' coma until I finally decided I couldn't be bothered to make it up. I had gone off the cardigan at this point and thought it looked considerably stranger in my world than on the stunningly beautiful rowan model with her fantastic clothes next to it. Odd that.

So I've decided to shoot the cardigan and remould it into a crocheted shrug. I'm a bit nervous as this will be the first garment, aside from basic mittens, I've crocheted. It won't be as daunting as knitting as my mum crochets so I will be able to easily ask for help if things go wrong. I like the design of this Anna Shrug, sadly no longer available for free on the Rowan website, as it's much more my style. Something to throw on with jeans which won't look too posh!

Watch this space for updates!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Making, making, making

Lots of lovely things have been going on craft-wise in the last two weeks which is why there has been a brief hiatus on this blog.

I've been coming up with new ideas for christmas decorations as well as making plenty of existing stock in antipation of the holiday season sales. Learning from last year I am aiming to be about a month earlier with all my deadlines as I found by the time I had my stock in my shops the christmas international posting deadlines were well upon us. This resulted in customer queries after the deadlines, even though they were well advertised in my shops. I've also been stocking up on christmas ribbons (which were sold out at the start of December last year), christmas coloured thread and felt.

I'm trying to remember the advice I picked up somewhere that a sizable chunk of your crafting from July onwards should be christmas-orientated, such is the seasonal emphasis on handmade shops. I have had to nag myself not to make anything new but channel my creative energy into christmas. Sometimes I haven't felt like doing this in the middle of a sweltering heatwave here in the UK but mostly I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course 20 or 30% of your time should still be spent maintaining existing non-christmas stock but I've made a conscious decision to concentrate on christmas.

Are you doing the same?
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