How to make a Patchwork Heart Card Tutorial

So, here we are, February already and Valentine’s day literally just around the corner.  Every year I struggle to be organised with this day and this year is no exception.

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As you know, September to Christmas is my absolutely manic time of year and from January until at the very least the end of February I am still dealing with the aftermath of that frantic time.  I have only just found a permanent home for my 4 very large boxes of Christmas Decorations which has caused bedlam  –  nothing new there then!  We also launched full-scale into loads of work on the house the very minute all our guests went home but that is another story and a whole load more blog posts.

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During last season’s events, I was approached by no less than 3 lovely WI ladies who run groups locally.  I was so flattered to be asked to go and talk about myself (really it’s true!) and my creative life and perhaps do a demonstration.  My first one was on Wednesday and I thought as Valentine’s day is almost upon us, and I create a lot of heart products, it would be rather lovely to do a tutorial for a pretty Patchwork Heart Valentine Card.  The fabulous thing about this is, that it would look even better on fabric or even on a canvas and the process is exactly the same.  What a lovely birthday gift it would make for someone special – I would be so touched if someone spent the time to make me one of these and I would keep it forever.

First of all, you need to choose your card.  I love to make cards with a lovely scalloped edge and especially as it is Valentine’s day I feel this adds to the Romantic look and feel of this theme.  I find it easier to work on it with the card open flat, as it won’t keep ‘bouncing’ open whilst you are working on it which is rather annoying, especially when it is so fiddly and time-consuming.

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Secondly, either cut from paper or find a heart shape that works for the front of your card.  Remember to allow a little space at the top for either stamping or hand writing your message.  If your stamping skills are a little dubious to say the least, (you know who you are!) then do your stamping or message writing now, so that you do not ruin your beautiful card.  If you have been on one of my workshops, then frankly you have no excuses whatsoever……….Hmmm.

I have chosen to use one of the wooden heart blanks I make a lot of, as it is the perfect size for my card.  I sell a lot of these so if you have bought one from me then draw round the edge very carefully, making sure it is both central and there is room for your message.

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Red scraps basket

Now we are ready to start applying the fabric.  I have chosen, rather obviously, red.  This is brilliant for using up your little scraps of fabric, of which I have far, far too many.  This is just my ‘reds’ department, with a little bit of green sneaked in to the corner but I have a basket like this for each colour and 2 overflowing ones for pink!

The idea is to hand cut each patchwork piece in lots of different fabrics to fit your heart exactly.  And no, you cannot cheat and just ‘stick and overlap’ each piece of fabric because it will look like your child has made it  –  you know I am right.

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Here is a pink patchwork bird my now not so ‘little man’ Ben, made for me when he was around 7 and below is a red patchwork elephant Charlotte made for her baby sister when I was in hospital in labour with Ruby, she was 11 at the time.  I think they are absolutely adorable, although I am somewhat biased, but I do think you can tell that they have been done by a child.

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Try and pick co-ordinating fabrics whereby the ‘tone’ is the same – i.e; don’t put a deep raspberry or burgundy (no-one uses that word anymore but you know what I mean) with a scarlet or bright red unless of course you love it in which case, carry right on!  Make sure you have a variety and bear in mind that if you use all different weights of fabric, such as cottons and canvas, it will have a much more uneven look and be a little more rustic.  I do tend to use all different weights, generally because I love all the different fabric patterns that I have.  I also try to ensure that I have a stronger piece like a dark background with a tiny dot next to a less strong piece such as a flower on a white background.  If you follow this throughout, when finished, this will give a far more cohesive and even look.  You could also just use say 2 or 3 different fabrics, say blue stripe and blue and white dotty and the simplicity of that design can look stunning.  You could also use scraps of ribbon too if they work with your colour scheme.  Always remember, it’s whatever makes you smile.

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Here is a large patchwork elephant I haven’t quite finished!

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I always start in the middle and work outwards.  I tend to cut a few first, into little squares or rectangles and see how they gel together.  Use little tiny ‘snips’, embroidery or very small scissors.  Once you have quite a few cut and you are happy with the ‘flow’ of the colours then stick those down.  You may need to lightly trim the edges so they sit neatly side by side.  You are not necessarily aiming for them all to be the same size, just no overlapping and nice straight edges on the middle pieces of fabric. If a fabric piece overlaps slightly once glued, gently nudge it with your fingernail or something like scissors or the wrong end of your brush to move it over a millimetre or two so it lays nice and straight.  Don’t put too much glue out at once, as you will soon realise, it is very time-consuming and the glue dries out.

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Use a nice little flat bristled brush if you have one as it will be much easier to paste with.  I tend to use this very sticky glue a lot as it is fab but any PVA glue is absolutely fine.  Do not put too much glue on – use just a thin layer – as you do not want to soak the card as it will want to warp and bend.  If that happens, keep it flat and put a book or heavy object on it whilst it dries.

I should make you very aware at this point, that it is far too easy to get lost into a rather lovely creative little world and you really could take all day to play around with the positioning of your little squares.  It really is rather therapeutic and is now being widely recognised as such, especially when recovering from illness.

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Once you get to the edges, place your fabric square onto your card and draw a pencil line onto the fabric so you know where to cut.  Try to be as neat as you can but don’t fret too much if you struggle, as we will be putting a trim around the edge to hide any rather dubious cutting!

You will inevitably be left with some teeny tiny gaps which are minuscule to cut, as you can see on the bottom of my heart.  Try to use fabrics which are a contrast to the pieces used around them as otherwise they will just blend in.  You are best to apply the glue to the card when you do these and you may well need to get the tweezers out!!  However, if you really cannot cope with these teeny areas then you could always colour them in with pen, however, practice really does make perfect.

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Once your, now rather beautiful looking heart is complete, it is time to add a trim around the edge to finish it off.  You really can use anything for this but one of the easiest trims to use is ric rac.  Firstly, it is quite widely available in a large amount of scrumptious colours and indeed widths, secondly, due to the fact that it is ‘wavy’, it not only adds interest and depth but it is easy to bend and shape, particularly along the curved edges.  It probably goes without saying that I have rather a lot of it so, after just a teensy amount of deliberation as to quite which tone of red I was going to use, out came the narrow crimson ric rac.

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Again, start at the top in the centre and try to cut a nice mitred edge (as you would find on the corner of a picture frame) so that when you have gone right round your heart and you join the trim at the top it will sit nicely together.  Whatever you do, do not cut at this stage, what you feel is the right length of trim, as it is far too easy to cut it too short, only realising when it is too late!

You might wish to change your brush at this stage, as your nice flat one will probably be too big.  Choose a little pointed brush head no wider than your trim.  Only glue approximately 2cms at a time, as the fabric trim will readily absorb the glue and dry really quickly, causing you to re-glue.  When you lift the trim to glue the next section, hold the part you have just glued down with one or two fingers as it will want to lift.  Again, do not use too much glue as it will squeeze out the sides.  Try not to get it onto the card.

When you get to the bottom point of the heart you can either bend the trim into a v-shape and carry on or, if it does not sit well like this and the back is the same as the front, you can bend it back on itself so you are effectively now using the back as I have done.

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Once finished, you can decide if you would like to add a little embellishment such as a button or a flower etc.  Remember, if you are creating this as a card and you wish to post it, don’t choose an embellishment that is too high.  I have chosen a tiny sparkly flower.

Finally, choose what, if any, message you would like to stamp or write on the top  –  or indeed wherever else you would like your message to appear.  After deliberating over these stamps, as much as I love the top large stamp,  I felt it was too fussy and would have detracted from the patchwork heart.  Less is more!

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So there you have it, I so want to make a pink one on fabric and put it in a little frame but alas, I must move rapidly on to Mother’s Day and Easter.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the lovely WI ladies for having me.  I was a little nervous that they may not find it interesting but I need not have worried, as they listened avidly and lots of sweet and delightful ladies came up to me afterwards and told me how fascinating they found my talk and demonstration.  I could have stayed and chatted for ages………..Hmmm……..nothing new there then.

I am booked in to do another talk and demonstration to make little Handmade Christmas Trees in the Autumn with another group and I can’t wait!

I would really love to see your creations and see what you think.

Happy Valentines Day.

Much Love,

Sarah xx

Where to buy gorgeous but cheap Craft Supplies – June

 

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Sparkly Threads

So where shall I start?  Hmmm, Hobbycraft I think.

All their Gutermann sewing threads are half price at present so I felt it would be a little rude not to purchase a few reels as I do go in there a lot and I can’t not buy anything at all can I?  (Shh don’t tell Mr Chandelier as he would probably be utterly horrified at that statement!).

I will also admit to being just a little bit seduced by the sparkly threads shimmering in the sunlight calling for me to take them home!  Also, at £1.55 instead of £3.10 for the sparkly threads and just 77p instead of £1.55 for the non sparklies they were a bargain.

 

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Another half price product that I purchased was this fat quarter bundle in pinks and purples.  They are by Kirstie Allsopp and were reduced from £11.00 – which I would not have paid as I only really loved the floral ones  –  down to £5.50 which worked for me.  If each fabric had been available by the metre, I would have happily paid more and bought bigger quantities of the 2 florals but they aren’t available by the metre, so half price worked for me.  Although as you know, I have thousands of different fabrics, I am a little lacking in my purple and lilac departments so they had to come home with me!  I think they are going to stop selling her fabrics which is why they are half price.

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In the same purple and lilac vein, I did have to purchase this rather lovely ‘Violet Marguerites’ (what a fab name) fat quarter which, to be honest doesn’t really belong on this post as it was certainly not cheap at £6.00 but it is gorgeous and I kept looking at it every time I went in and as I so need more of this colour I bought it.

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Heart Embellishments

 

 

Still in Hobbycraft, I bought some of these little heart embellishments for just £1.00 a pack.  I do have them in lots of different colours but I had white and not cream so I needed cream ones too.  They are shimmery on one side and matt on the other which is perfect I always work with both.

 

 

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I also had to have this tiny tray of little wooden shapes which have birds and birdhouses, hearts and flowers and watering cans and butterflies.  They were just £2.00 for the whole pack which is brilliant value.

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Lilac Heart Buttons

I did also genuinely need these Hemline little lilac heart buttons as I made an angel garland the other day and was searching for small lilac heart shapes and struggled to find lots of choices.  Hard to believe I know, with all my materials, but true!  At £2.00 for 17 they weren’t that cheap but I needed them.

Talking of Dunelm, I bet you don’t associate them with Fabric and Craft Supplies do you?  Well the sad part is that they did used to have a fab craft department selling all sorts of supplies from artists brushes to ribbons, from paper craft products to beads and sequins and much more in-between.  I presume it didn’t sell well for them as they have stopped doing most of it however, they do have a fabric department with good prices on the fabrics that they do sell.  They do quite a good selection of oilcloth too.

They also have fabulous reductions on sale fabrics and I really only purchased this Newport fabric in Hibis (pink) because it was half price.  It was reduced from £10.99 per metre to £5.50 but I only purchased half a metre for £2.75 as I like, but don’t totally love, the colour.  However, I do absolutely love it in the faded blue, so I also bought half a metre in that colourway too.  The only thing to bear in mind with Dunelm fabrics is that they only sell in half metre lengths so you cannot have for example, 3/4 metre, which is marginally annoying but do keep an eye out for remnants as I have bought quite a few in the past and they are brilliant value.

Even though, as I said above, they have stopped selling a lot of craft materials they do still have a very good habadashery department which again, is fairly priced, and has a good selection of trimmings, cottons, glues, ribbons and buttons etc., far more than you would expect, so hunt down those aisles!

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Moving on to The Range, these paper flowers above, in pretty pinks and lilacs are £1.00 per pack, which is what most of their craft materials are, but I thought these were faulty as a lot of the gold flower centres are missing.  However I bought them in blues too and they are the same so I figured that was probably how they were meant to be.  I also tend to change or add to the centres when I create anyway so it doesn’t really matter to me, but if you are bothered don’t buy these.

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Finally on to The Works, this three pack of Glitter craft tapes, (like washi tape) is excellent value at £1.50 for all three.

I will confess to perhaps buying a little more than appears on this page but sometimes I get home and literally tear my new materials open straight away as I just can’t wait to ‘play’.  I also buy materials from Antique Fairs and Sales and Boot Fairs and anywhere else my magpie eye spots something pretty or sparkly!

What craft supplies and materials have you bought lately?  Were they bargains or didn’t you care as ‘you just had to have them!’

Happy Hunting.

Much Love

Sarah xx

 

Shabby Chic Heart Wreaths – featured on another blog!

Even though I have been creating and selling things I make since I was very young, it still makes me soooo happy when anyone loves and admires my work.  As well as events, I sell so many things just as a result of people visiting my house, either from my children’s friends mummy’s or our friends and family and it secretly thrills me to visit their houses and see my items on their walls or sitting on the side.

 

Even though I should be used to it by now after all these years, it is just such a wonderful feeling to think that they love it that much they want to see it all the time and I really don’t think I will ever ‘grow out of that feeling!’  I do however, resist the urge to squeal and point whilst shouting “That’s mine – I made that – it was me!” like a child (even though my family frequently tell me I do behave like a child, Hmmm……..)

So how wonderful to wake up to a lovely message from Lilybelshomedecor saying that she really loved my work and had featured me on her blog in a post about ‘things you absolutely must buy!’

She featured my Shabby Chic Hearts and this is the post here – go check out her really beautiful pictures, my favourite is the love birds!

Go create some hearts  –  I am creating Easter Bunny things today – Love them so much   –  show you soon!

Much Love,

Sarah xx

 

How to make a Bunny Trug – Tutorial

I always try to make presents for the special people in my life whenever I can.  I don’t know about you, but for me, to be given a gift that someone has lovingly made just for me  means so much more than any shop bought present.

This week, I had to make a present for a cute little one year old baby, whose nursery theme is little taupe bunnies. It is a very small room with not much space so I wanted to come up with something that not only looked adorable, but didn’t take up much room and was practical too!  Hmmm………..quite a lot of thought needed for that one.

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After much deliberation, I decided I would buy a sweet little heart trug and add some wooden bunny shapes which I would paint and distress.

You could of course adapt anything, from a box to a tray or any other item you have skulking around just waiting to be loved!

 

First of all, you need to decide what the end purpose of your item will be and what wooden shapes you would like to add.  Think carefully about the size of both your trug (or other item) and the size of your wooden shapes – how much do you want them to dominate and how many –  if you don’t have your wooden shapes yet, you can always cut out rough paper templates and ‘play’.  For me, this is by far the best bit as I absolutely love to play with all my materials.

This is also when my clear and tidy workspace quickly becomes absolute bedlam as I do tend to get a little ‘lost in my world’ and become a tad over excited and start pulling at jars and drawer contents, tipping everything out all over the place and grabbing at stuff wildly like a child in a sweetie shop – although Mr Chandelier might liken it more to a crazy mad woman who really needs a straight jacket – really!

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Ok, now you have, (unlike some), calmly chosen your shapes it’s time to paint them.  I know they are only tiny shapes but I always do the job properly and prime everything first.  You however, could skip this if you are not a perfectionist like me.  I also knew that I was going to paint the bunnies taupe and would also distress them so I wanted the white to show through when I sanded the edges.  You could just use two different colour paints instead.  Don’t forget to paint the edges  –  but not the back!

 

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Once your first coat is dry (which is usually pretty quick), give a good second coat of your chosen colour and then when that’s dry a ‘lick’ over one more time for depth when you sand.  Let the paint cure thoroughly before you lightly sand the edges.

For me, much as the little bunnies look ‘ok’ at this point, I wanted more definition around the edges and I wanted them to stand out a lot more, as I felt the edges were too insipid.  This was easily remedied by pulling out the wax.  I literally dabbed my finger into the wax and rubbed it into the bunny edges and then onto the top of the bunny as well.

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See the vast difference between the two – now the left hand bunny stands out really well and gives a far greater contrast which is exactly what I wanted.

 

 

 

Finally, glue the bunnies on and add some little bunny tails (tiny pom-poms).  I chose grey as the Mummy of the child I’m giving this too adores grey and also the white was far too stark against the cream trug.  Last but not least, add a little dotty ribbon tie and voila, one sweet little Bunny Trug.  I love it so much and hope she adores it too.

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Last of all, I made a little gift tag with some gold beading and wrapped it in gold star tissue paper for the final touch and when I handed it over, my friend was really chuffed and said she really, really loved it!  You just can’t beat that feeling, makes me so happy!

 

Go create something this weekend and show me what you made – I would so love to see.

Happy creating.

Much Love,

Sarah xx

Craft Storage and Organisation – How to store Fabric.

I have been buying fabric since I was 6 years old and it would be fair to say that I have a very large collection of most types of fabric, in vastly different sized pieces and in many different patterns and colourways.

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Over the years I have tried numerous different methods of storing it, usually with limited space.  My first ever solution – when it was tiny – was a basket.  Obviously, I very quickly outgrew ‘the basket’ and from thereon in, I always stored the majority of it on shelving of one kind or another.  The exception being my ‘scraps’ which, as they are so frequently used, have their own baskets which are broken down into colours.

As at a few weeks ago, I had fabric rammed into what seemed like every corner of my studio.  It was mostly on various different shelves, although I had quite a bit in a large drawer, some in storage tubs, some in my ‘fabric filing tray’ quite a bit on the floor – actually quite a lot on the floor – and even some new fabric in bags both inside and outside my studio (naughty!)

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With all this ‘fabric chaos’, a considerable amount of ‘tripping over’ and a constant ‘fabric avalanche’ each time I tried to make something, I had a bit of a ‘fabric meltdown‘.

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Although It was all (mostly) colour coded and all fabric such as felt, tulle, organza, ‘shimmeries’, etc. had their own departments, there was certainly order, but I couldn’t really see properly what I had, let alone access it in a hurry.  The reason for this was simple.  The problem with shelves is that whilst they are fine for large pieces of fabric, e.g. 4 or 5 metre pieces, when it is sorted by colour – which is how I work – you do tend to have lots of different sized pieces and this generates pyramid-shaped piles.  When space is an issue, one tends to slot more fabric into the gaps.  Fabric is heavy, particularly large pieces and with the best will in the world, it’s just not feasible to put it back exactly how it came out, especially if it is at the bottom of the pile.  I had also run out of space.

Something had to change.  I had been mulling over this problem for some time and had come to the conclusion that my ideal would be to put all the fabric into drawers as it is a lot easier to access, you can see exactly what you have and drawers can cope more readily with varying sizes.  I have also so outgrown my little ‘Narnia’ studio and would ideally like to store the fabric somewhere else – but where?  The house was already bursting at the seams and I really, really had nowhere else for it to go other than my bedroom.  So it was with great reluctance, that I finally accepted that I would have to give up a bit of bedroom space and add another single wardrobe to my run of units, which I could then dedicate to my ‘stash’.

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I so did not want to lose this sweet little corner, even though the chair is normally covered in clothes!

We bought the original units from Ikea as they are fantastic for internal storage within their wardrobes and have drawers and pull out jewellery trays and loads of other fab add-ons you can buy.  Originally, we had the intention of making our own wooden doors for them however, 5 years ago, after 2 years of living here and realising that the majority of the house was considerably higher priority and I would probably wait another 5 years at least for my doors, I decided that I would buy some rather nice high gloss ones from Ikea and add my own crystal handles as I really do love and look after my clothes and I didn’t want to wait any longer.

Unfortunately, they no longer do the internal colour units that we have already so good old Ebay came to the rescue.  I also needed at least 7 drawers to match so bided my time until exactly what I wanted came up. The door was wrong but it didn’t matter as they were still available to buy.  After a small amount of haggling Mr Chandelier went and collected the unit and drawers from the most delightful lady called Michelle, who even sent me a text the next day thanking me for my purchase and a message stating she hoped I enjoyed my wardrobe – how sweet is that!

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Anyway, after mumbling something about me “taking over yet another room in the house” Mr Chandelier very kindly put up my new wardrobe very quickly and adapted the bottom 2 drawers for me which had to be drilled and ‘faffed’ with, as the hinge brackets were in the way.  He then handed me the drill and screwdriver and said he would come back in 10 minutes as I should be finished by then – yeah right!  I put them all in and then realised that I had to do it all again because, although the bottom hinges could be worked round, the higher ones couldn’t.  So I took them all out again, re drilled new holes and reconfigured it to try to use every inch of space but those pesky hinges were causing me grief.  The problem was that Ikea has changed the hinge positioning on the new doors but I did of course have the old wardrobe shell.  By this time Sunday was well and truly over and I had come to the most annoying conclusion that if I swapped my new door with one of the old ones – where the drawer positioning isn’t so crucial – then I could literally use every single inch of space – which I so needed as I was never going to fit it all in anyway – Mr C really loved that idea – NOT!

I managed to persuade him to change them over and I did of course, much to Mr Chandeliers total and utter disbelief, take the whole lot out the next day and re-drill and reconfigure the lot – finally I was winning – or so I thought – Hmmm.

It then took me a good week or two to actually sort out and transfer all that fabric and I decided to try to be as ruthless with my fabric as I am being with the rest of the house, not an easy task.  I don’t think Mr Chandelier could actually believe a) the chaos and b) the time it took.  I think he thought he might be hallucinating!

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Whilst this was going on, Baby Chandelier set up the ‘Maileg Team’ to keep a watchful eye on progress whilst having a picnic on my bed.

However, I have just about managed to shoehorn in – and I really do mean shoehorn in – all the beautiful fabrics I want to keep and frankly they just make me want to randomly snatch them and run into my studio to create something – I just love it.  Having lived in such chaos for so many years, the feeling I have is indescribable to finally have such beautiful order.  It really will revolutionise my creative life.

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I can really see all my fabric stock (well most of it anyway) and it will make my life a lot easier, particularly when I am in a hurry or am wanting a particular print that I know I have.  Perhaps best not tell Mr C about the fur department, oilcloth dept, vintage linens dept, tulle and netting dept, organza dept, felt dept, denim dept (I know!), shimmery dept and a sneaky little Peony and Sage, Kate Forman, Susie Watson faded, vintagey kind of style dept which I still need to house within Narnia!  What he can’t fail to miss though, as it is as tall as me – honestly it really is – is that massive pile of fabric that I am getting rid of – it should only take me a couple of years to put on eBay, nooooo.

The moral of this story – Patience with a capital P – although I expect Mr C thinks a straight jacket would be somewhat more appropriate!

Now go sort your fabric out and ‘show and tell’ me how you’ve stored yours.

Happy sorting.

Much Love,

Sarah xx

Craft Storage and organisation – Wooden shapes

As promised, here is the first post showing some of the storage solutions I have in my studio for craft supplies.  I have started with wooden shapes as I have literally hundreds of them from IMG_4039bunnies and birds to cupcakes and fairies, from watering cans and flowers to hearts and stars, from buckets and spades to butterflies and chicks, from wooden letters to dolly pegs and so, so much more.

 Then of course, there is the Christmas wooden department, with dozens of angels and gingerbread men as I use absolutely loads of these from September onwards, reindeers and stag heads, Christmas trees and baubles, stockings and santa heads – I know – it’s madness but it all has to be housed.  I also have lots and lots of angel and fairy heads in different sizes, gorgeous wooden mushrooms, tiny clothes pegs, beads and wooden sticks – I use these for masts when I make driftwood boats – and       we won’t even mention the several bags of driftwood because frankly that would spin my head!!! IMG_3487

I already had loads pre-September but obviously I had to buy many more (yes really – I had no choice!) for all my Christmas making, so although it was semi organised into bags, all the new stock just caused bedlam and I really could not see what I had without pulling loads of stock out everywhere, adding to my already ‘Hoarder next Door’ roomset lookalike. Some items, like Angels, also needed sub dividing as I have angels for hanging, angels for bunting, angels for cards etc. and numerous styles and sizes.

So you see, when I said in my last post that everything snowballed and took hours and hours and hours, you can start to understand why. IMG_3490IMG_3497

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I bought some of these plastic storage boxes which you can find in lots of places such as The Range and Hobbycraft.  However, the cheapest place I have found them is in a store called Home Bargains and the tiny ones are approx 59p, the medium £1.49 and the large £2.49.  Do definitely shop around as some stores sell an identical product for £8.49 for the large one – madness.  Basically, they have loads of little storage compartments in them and you can take out some of the dividers.

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I also used a fabric jewellery tray on the right hand side as; firstly I needed something with larger compartments for all my hearts and stars and secondly, I wanted to utilise the space I had to the nearest centimetre.

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As you can see, I used a combination of different sizes as that suited me (large, back left and medium front left – I had a gap in the middle where I inserted the large hearts and white flowers) but it does of course depend on where you decide to keep them.  I put mine in the Alex chest of drawers from Ikea, mentioned in my last post.  I also decided to take the lids off carefully and keep them underneath the box itself – they all just fit nicely  That way if I do a workshop away from home, I could in principle take the whole box.  In reality, I probably wouldn’t as I would ‘cherry pick’ the items that I need but it’s good to know that I could!

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For the larger items such as dolly pegs, wooden mushrooms, angel and fairy heads etc., I used the existing drawer with a fabric inner divider (the Komplement drawer divider £15.00) – both are from Ikea – I have a run of drawer units which are actually the drawers designed to go inside Ikea wardrobes – Mr Chandelier cut the wardrobes down as we initially had them elsewhere,  (how amused was he with that one!) and we topped them with worktop.  I have several of the fabric dividers bought purely for my studio – I think they are meant to be used for bathroom supplies and underwear etc., but as with everything in life, they are, what you want them to be!

So there you have it, the first of many storage posts, but I can’t tell you how fantastic it is to be able to pull open a drawer and find what I need instantly – heaven!  It also makes ‘filing’ away everything I didn’t use so much quicker too.

Happy sorting!

Much love

Sarah xxx

How to make a Fairy Birthday card or Mother’s Day card

Well now, here we at the beginning of my blog and at the end of the week and I’m thinking that I had better make a Mother’s Day card as it is on Sunday.  Hmmm!

Love me, Make me!

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Let’s start with some fabric scraps – I think I will go with pink as it’s one of mine and my mum’s fave colours – you could pick your mum’s favourite colour.  Ditsy fabrics are best, you need a tiny print as you use such a small amount of fabric.

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Then we need some wool for her hair (match your mama’s!) and some cotton buds for her arms and legs.  If you don’t have cotton buds you could use whatever you do have in stock; string, wool, pipe cleaners or whatever – she’s your creation, use whatever makes you smile.

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Now we need to make her dress.  Cut a rectangle of fabric approx 9 x 7cms.  Cut the top and bottom 9cm edges nice and straight so they fray evenly then fray them.  Pull strands of thread from left to right (not on 7cm sides) – I tend to go to about 4mm.  Then I pull at it and ‘scruff it up’ a bit as I want it to look a little vintage.  Next, sew a tack line of stitches about 1cm from the top of her dress turning the sides under approx 3-4mm as you go.  Gather her dress by pulling on the stitches when you have finished and do a double stitch to secure.

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Now we have to bring her to life and make her face.  The best fabric for this is flesh coloured felt but use whatever fabric you have or, if you are reading this ‘the night before’ and really don’t have anything you could paint directly onto your card (raiding your children’s paintbox if necessary) mixing your colour yourself.  Believe me, your mum will absolutely love it no matter what, because YOU made it with such love.

Cut an oval shape from the felt approx an inch high and sew some tiny beads on for the eyes (black pen could suffice!).  Next sew her a teeny, tiny nose from dark grey or black cotton by sewing 3 stitches into an upside down u shape.  Now for her mouth, the hardest part.  Using crimson or red cotton sew a little mouth by using tiny stitches into a big U shape.  Don’t worry about being too perfect – the handmade look is part of the charm.  Just take your time, be patient and draw a fine pencil line if you really need to.

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See now – isn’t it exciting when you sew her little mouth and she starts to come alive!  You’ve made her into a little person –  I bet she’s adorable – you might want to name her at this point – it could be rude not too!!!  Lastly her cheeks.  I use pink felt for these and you will need some very sharp and small scissors – snips are best.  Just cut some tiny circles for her cheeks.

We are almost ready for glueing but her arms and legs need some colour.  Off to the paint department.  Pick a colour to match her dress and hand paint her cotton bud arms and legs – you might need 2 coats as the plastic is slippery.  Let these dry.

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Now we are ready for glueing.  Start by using a fabric glue to stick her cheeks on.  Next, align everything up just to check proportions etc., – don’t forget to leave space at the top for your message.  Firstly, glue the face down with fabric and paper glue. For the rest of the card, I use a glue gun as it is instant and I feel there is less chance of the card bending and warping but you certainly can use pva or a similar glue suitable for fabric and card.  Glue her arms and legs down next  – check the positioning of the dress first to ensure your glue does not show once the dress is placed on top – then glue her dress down by glueing along the neckline and carefully down the sides only – make sure the sides of her dress are turned under for neatness.  Next, glue her hair on.  Cut the wool to the  length you want her hair and use approx 2/3 strands – again it is whatever looks right dependent on the thickness of the wool.

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Finally, give her a little bow and a flower in her hair and omg, how adorable is she now – just look what you have done.  I absolutely love my little fairy girl and don’t want to give her away, bet you don’t either!

Hope your mum loves her as much as you do!

Much love,

Sarah  xxx