Saturday, 27 September 2014

Elephants -- Greetings cards

Several of my friends have recently had babies. Looking for cards to send to them, I was struck by how many 'new baby' cards have elephants on them. But it seems that elephants aren't just limited to 'new baby' cards. This month's round up of elephants in craft are are elephant greetings cards.

1. The simple colours and design make this design really stand out (this designer also has a great wooden elephant brooch)
2. This is a cut out design which the elephant shape is perfect for
3. The contrasting fabric and stitching on this card make this design stand out
4. I love the combination of pinks and blues in this design
5. Of the different cut out designs I found I liked the elephant shape and the patterned background in this card
6. This is a great combination of valentines day and elephants
7. Back in my childhood, quilling was one of the crafts I dabbled in. This quilled design made me smile when I saw it and has a different sentiment to a lot of the other cards
8. I picked this one as it used a totally different colour palette to most of the elephant greetings cards I saw
9. This design represents probably the most common design I saw for elephant themed baby cards on Pinterest - a line of simply shaped elephants

This is just a selection of the great designs I found. For more images of elephant greetings cards visit my Elephants board on Pinterest.

All links above are to Pinterest as a number of the items pictured are no longer available at their original link.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Crochet cherry brooch

This crochet cherry brooch kit came with Mollie Makes issue 43.

This is a fairly simple make if you do have crochet experience, although if you don't you may need to google for some basic instructions. 

The cotton yarn provided in the kit was nice to work with but the crochet hook provided was somewhat flimsy.

The only place where I didn't follow the instructions to the letter was that I added couple of stitches joining the two cherries together. This was because I was finding the two cherries were twisting around each other in an unsightly way.

Front view.

Back view.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Handmade Fair

For my trip to the Handmade Fair I opted for a 'full experience' ticket which included a session the the theatre, a workshop and a 'grand' make'. Because I booked so late a couple of the sessions I might have chosen were sold out so I went with, Pinterest Super Pinners in the theatre, making a cocktail ring for my workshop, and making an origami tulip for my 'grand make'.

It was a bit of a walk through the gardens to the back of the Hampton Court Palace where The Handmade Fair marquees were located. The weather was glorious, if anything it was too hot.

The event programme included a pattern for a purse made out of scrap ribbons which inspired me to buy some vintage trimmings.

I have some woven labels which say 'Stitched by Sarah' but I liked the simplicity of this and the fact that I could use it for things I've made but not stitched. Bought from The Homemakery.

Art Cuts had a huge range of shapes, I selected these small woodcuts in case I wanted to put them on my tree which is only small.

Little Tins of Loveliness offered a range of Liberty print sewing kits. I picked this one to make to store my crochet hooks.

The queue for the Cath Kidson super tent session was long. The super pinners session wasn't as popular but was an interesting panel session with Torie Jayne, Rosalilium and Craft Candy.

Here are a few notes I took:

Q. What were their most successful pins?
A. Great visual images and DIY tutorials, especially those images with text on saying what the tutorial is about.

Q. How do you know who to follow?
A. Fellow bloggers & looking at who the people you follow also follow - this can lead you to new discoveries.

Q. How do you organise your boards?
A. Have a board for every pending project. If the content isn't relevant eg Christmas board in July, just drag it to the bottom of the list of boards.

Q. How do you use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog?
Pinterest is great for driving traffic to your blog as they have a longer lifespan than on twitter or facebook. On those platforms they quickly drop down the timeline and only pop to the top again if you re-tweet or repost them. With Pinterest as soon as someone else pins your pin they get back to the top of people's streams again for re-pinning. Pin every image from the blog as that drives traffic back to the blog - about 20% of traffic to their blogs comes from Pinterest.

Q. Do you have many secret boards?
A. Only if it is something they don't want others to know about eg sister's wedding or when they have just created a board and want to populate it before releasing it, but in general not many secret boards as they aren't driving traffic.

Q. How have you increased your followers?
A. Regular pinning as this keeps you in feeds - regular but not loads at once. Being picky about your visual style. Share pins on twitter & facebook. Saying what is in the image that you have pinned so it is searchable within Pinterest (be descriptive though rather than using hastags).

Lunch was at The Peckish Peacock chosen partly because of their beautiful painted wagon.

The cocktail ring workshop was run by The London Jewellery School.

Not something I would wear but it is always fun to learn something new.

I found this lovely stall TOFT with amazing crocheted animals and bought the book which came with an additional 10 PDF patterns that arrived via email later that evening.

Alice Caroline specialises in Liberty fabric and had a box of fairly sizeable scraps for £1 a time.

Millie Moon had a lot of fabric squares for patch working, I loved these two rolls

The Mollie Makes tent had some kits being given away for free but I also bough the Mollie Makes embroidery and woodland friends books.

Vintage trimmings from Simply Vintage Designs.

The origami tulips session was run by Sesames

World domination grand pompom make.