Monday, 22 February 2016

Amour armoire - dreams of lovely storage

I had not heard of Chairish before. So when they got in touch with me to see if I'd be interested to have a look at their website and maybe share a few crafty storage ideas, I was both intrigued and delighted. Little did I realise how much time I would spend browsing the site! Oh my! There is a ton of really great stuff there. 

Chairish, for the uninitiated, is an online site that offers a rather special social shopping experience. They facilitate peer-to-peer selling and buying of vintage items like furniture, accessories, jewellery and decor. On their website, Chairish say that they make it "fun and easy for design lovers to buy and sell vintage furniture and decor to one another." But here's the other big thing - Chairish only exclusively features curator-approved items. This provides a safe and trust-worthy environment for both buyers and sellers. Pretty neat, right? On the one hand, I am gutted that Chairish isn't operating in the UK yet - on the other hand, I can totally see how Mr Craftyady (and my purse) might heave a massive sigh of relief for now.

Here are a few things I have found there which have great potential for being terrific craft storage.
Armoires are gorgeous vintage cupboards with heaps of potential to be repurposed into craft storage. There are many excellent examples of armoires on Chairish (check out their collections here) like these lovely Asian-inspired ones ...

... Which can be turned into wonderful storage like these ones I found off Pinterest.

Mr Craftyady and I have been thinking about undertaking a renovation project on our house and expanding on some of the space we currently have. Missy Moo could do with a larger room now she's growing up. We've talked about how the expansion could also incorporate a craft space for me. All the talk of possibilities has got me dreaming of storage for all my craft related stuff. And boy, do I have a LOT of stuff!! There's sewing stuff, card-making stuff, pyrography stuff, art stuff, leather-work stuff, chainmaille stuff ... Seriously, there's tons! Right now, most of it is stashed away in clear plastic boxes up in our loft and I have to pop up there ever so often to get something I need. I'd love to have an armoire to meet my storage needs ... And a space to put it.

Do you have a craft room? What's your favourite storage item? Have you ever repurposed anything into storage for your craft supplies?

Until next time, friends, happy crafting!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Ain't modern technology great?!

At work, one of the departments bought themselves a laser cutting machine. I was invited to view it and was offered the opportunity to use it during my lunch hour if I wished. I did have to provide my own materials and bring along a compatible vector file that the software could use to direct the laser to cut.

I had been playing around over the past few days with a couple of freeware packages that can turn jpeg files into vector files that the laser cutting machine could read and use. Finally yesterday, I was able to get some time on the machine. I had drawn up a simple five petal flower outline with a hole in the top of one of the petals. The idea was that it would be a flower tag.

Here's what the first run through using my flower vector file produced. Aren't they great?! I am so excited!

Using these lovely tags, I was able to make these last night for our country market craft table.

This new resource has so much potential and I have so many ideas rattling around in my head of other things to draw up for the laser cutter to cut for me. So excited!!

Well, it's Saturday - country market day! Yay!! I am off to pack my boxes up for market.

Wherever you are, have a lovely weekend, friends! 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Rejuvenating my red Swedish clogs with a bit of burning

Once I had discovered how much I loved flexing my crafty muscle all over my new tan Lotta From Stockholm Swedish clogs (see previous post), I decided that my trusty old pair of red Swedish clogs (also from Lotta) needed a bit of rejuvenation. I sanded down the heels a little to clean them off and get the surface ready to burn on.

I found a little bird design in my collection of carving patterns. I believe this is a Lora Irish pattern from one of her collections. I had to modify the pattern to fit the wooden heel of my clog.

I cut a piece of tracing paper the exact size of the heel surface I wanted to burn on. This way, I could adjust the positioning and make sure the final pattern was exactly how I wanted it.

Once I got the pattern paper exactly right, I taped the corners down with a bit of tape and started to transfer the pattern onto the wood.

I wanted the birds lined up exactly in the middle.

Then the burning commenced. Burning on the heel of a shoe is a little tricky - especially when working around the curved part of the heel.

Those little birds turned out super cute, don't you think?

I've fallen in love with these lovely red clogs all over again. Can't wait for summer so I can wear them. There's something really special about red shoes.

Hope your week has been going well. The weekend is almost upon us, friends. What are you up to this weekend? I will be at our little country market on Saturday morning. I will take some pictures and share them with you in a future post. Until next time, happy crafting!

Monday, 15 February 2016

The summer I took to burning my shoes .... literally!

I love Swedish clogs. Absolutely adore them! I watched Carrie Bradshaw strut her stuff in some amazing Swedish Hasbeen high heeled clogs and desperately wanted some. Unfortunately, my wallet didn't quite stretch to proper Hasbeen prices. Fortunately though, I encountered a lovely company based down in Twickenham who offered some lovely Swedish clogs at more modest prices. I bought my first pair - in a delightful red - from Lotta of Stockholm, some three years ago. Even got them off the seconds sales which was even better. They are super comfy and a favourite summer wardrobe staple.

A few months ago, during the summer of 2015, I bought myself a second pair of clogs from Lotta. A delightful tan pair with lovely 7 cm heels carved out of a pale Swedish alder wood and vegetable tanned leather uppers. See? Aren't they lovely?

The more I looked at them, the more I felt the urge to do something to them. I mean, look at all that gorgeous pale wood. These shoes were just screaming out for some Craftyady attention. So I dragged my pyrography machine out and decided on some burning.

I played about with a floral design and drew it onto the lightly sanded heel. Once I was happy with it, the burning commenced.

I was incredibly pleased with the finished results. After I was done, I rubbed a bit of olive oil into the wood to protect it (it's what Lotta recommended) and they were ready for an outing.

I wore them to the summer graduation ceremonies where I stood for a few hours watching my students graduate following their years of study at the university. They were so comfy and they looked really nice too. Always a bonus! Here's another photo of the clogs on my feet - not the best photo ... It's really hard to take a decent shoe selfie!

Once I had done my first pair of Craftyady customised Swedish clogs, I was hooked! Remember how I said in the beginning that the very first pair I ever bought from Lotta were red ones? I decided that they needed the Craftyady treatment too! I'll go find the photos from that project and tell you all about it in my next post.

Until then, have a great day, friends.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

To market, to market

Some time around October last year, my friend invited me along to a country market that she is a member of. "You should join," she said. "Your crafts are just what we need." So armed with a box of my 'produce', I went along and met the members of the Wythall & Hollywood Country Market.

"What's a country market?" I hear you ask.

Well, the country market I am a member of is part of a larger group called Country Markets Limited. It's a cooperative limited company which coordinates and organises regular sales of home-made  goods - food related or craft - by individual producers. There are lots of country markets all over the UK and each is run co-operatively with no stall or table dedicated to any particular individual. Each member of the market is expected to take their turn staffing the stalls and helping to run the market. The sales income from the produce goes to the country market which then returns 90% of the sales income back to the producers.

The little country market I have joined is called the Wythall & Hollywood Country Market. Wythall and Hollywood are two suburb areas on the outskirts of Birmingham. Our market is made up of a number of individual producers, offering fresh vegetables and eggs, wonderful baked goods like cakes, scones and cookies, homemade jams and chutneys, delicious home cooked stir fries and pizzas, handmade greeting cards, knitted items and wooden items decorated with pyrography.

Being a part of the market has been great fun. I attend every Saturday morning with my produce and we have a lovely time hanging out together. The market used to be in a local library but since November last year, has been moved to a new location. We are trying to build up greater awareness of our presence in the area to encourage more visitors and customers. It's pretty quiet at the moment but I think word is spreading and as the weather improves, we will likely get a higher footfall at market. 

The variety of produce I offer at market ranges from my hand bound journals to leather and felt brooches, wood burnt boxes, personalised bookmarks and gift tags, fabric zipped pouches and foldaway shopping bags. Here's an example of some of my produce on display.

I have really enjoyed getting back into my pyrography and being a part of this market, although trying to juggle work, family life and the crafting for market can be tricky sometimes. But hey, you know me - I like challenges like that. :-)

Until next time, happy crafting, friends. xxx

(Oh by the way, if you're on Instagram, you can find me there as @craftyady.)

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Helloooo out there!

I am so sorry I have been missing for so long. Life just got in the way of blogging. I still craft and bake and run around after the small persons who are not so small any more. Dinoboy is now a teenager and MissyMoo is 8. Time just flies by, doesn't it?

So how have you all been?

Aside from doing my usual CraftyAdy stuff, I joined a local country market society last November. It seemed a good way to make new friends and have an outlet for my produce. I will tell you more about it another day. Just wanted to send out a virtual wave.