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Happy Easter Everyone! Easter is approaching ever closer, which means we can all finally start eating all those luxury foods again! Easter this month falls from 6th April (Good Friday) - 9th (Easter Monday).

Tina - In the Garden Tracey - Wowthankyou Claire - Elderberry Arts Jim- James Kath Guitars Betty - Betty Bee Vintage Jamie - Mr X Stitch Silvia - SlowLane Handmade Maria - MinXtures Jackie - KayJay Gems Jan - English Bridge Workshops Kirsty - Little Floating Craft Co Alice - The Sequinned Sheep Kerri-Ann - Imagine Design Create

Our third CRAFTfest has just finished. It ran from the 10-18th March 2012, with 145 stalls selling homeware to handmade wedding gifts. The event bought in 36,954 views! This was incredible, so thank you to all of the sellers and buyers that helped make CRAFTfest the success that it was! The next CRAFTfest will be held from the 9th - 16th June 2012. For more information, please visit the CRAFTfest site at This issue focuses on Easter, we have our regular contributors - Jim, from James Kath Guitars with his life in Sante Fe, Tracey from Wow Thank You, Tina from In (and out) of The Garden Jamie, aka Mr X Stitch, Betty Bee and Claire from Elderberry Arts. We have our other frequent contributors too, from Little Floating Craft Company, and recipes from The SlowLane. Remember, if you would like a hard copy of this issue look out for the links on our website. It is paid for by the page, but worth it if you would like to hold onto and read a hard copy! The magazine is printed by HP Magcloud. We hope you all enjoy our Spring Easter issue of Creative Crafting, and have a wonderful Easter break. If you would like to submit an article, get in touch at We would love to hear from you!

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A Year in Sante Fe Part 4 James and Maritza now have a shop! Join in with the Grand Opening.


Crystal Magic The Crystal Lady discovers some beautiful handcrafted Blue Lace Agate creations.

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10 Easter at Betty Bee Towers

Discover how Betty Bee celebrates Easter in her own crafty way.

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12 Recycle tubs for storage

Maria from MinXtures gives us a fantastic idea to use all of those empty ice cream tubs we’ve been hoarding.

16 An Interview with Spiral Fountain Jewellery Nicky tells us about her inspirations and shares her beautiful jewellery.

19 Millie-Mae and Mummy make Cupcakes

A scrumptious Easter recipe that will warm your heart as well as filling your tummy.

21 Craft Kits – Crazy or Lucrative?

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Tracey from Wow Thank You asks a selection of crafters their opinions.

24 Spring Charm Bracelet Project Page 6

KayJay Gems teaches us how to create a fabulous Spring inspired bracelet.

26 An Interview with Perfect Patchwork

Meet Felicity, her cats, her dog and her fantastic patchwork creations.

30 Recipes from the SlowLane

Silvia shares two recipes with us this issue for Easter Brunch.

32 Tina in the Garden

This issue Tina shows us the difference between Spring in the England and Spring in Florida.

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Make Your Own Flower 35 Make your own Bird Feeder

Elderberry Arts shows us how she keeps the birds happy in her garden.

36 Addicted to Enamelling

Meet Jill Leventon of English Bridge Workshops.

38 Make your own fabric flowers

Kirsty from the Little Floating Craft Co shares her beautiful project with us.

40 In the spotlight with Mr X Stitch

Jamie is back and this time he has brought fellow editor of beefranck with him!

41 Knit yourself a Kindle Cover

The Sequinned Sheep has a fantastic way to keep your e-reader safe and happy.

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42 An Interview with Rota Art

We discover more about Christine and her Cyanotypes.

44 Starting up a Creative Crafts Business

How did you start your business? We hear from Imagine Design Create.

45 Easter Eggs – An alternative to chocolate

Trying to stay away from the calories? How about these alternatives?


Crafters Directory

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A Year in Sante Fe Part 4


o March was the month we took the quantum leap. Okay, it was only about three miles, not quite a quantum (whatever that is), but it was far enough to make our lives crazy. We accomplished two major positive events and experienced one setback. The Rail Yard where we spent every Sunday since last August, became a dry zone for us sales-wise. We were lucky to make the $35 in order to pay for the rental of the spot. So, sales being slow and the economy being somewhere on the bottom of the litter box, we did what any responsible adult would do… WE RENTED A STORE!!! (Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, has ever accused me of being smart). I don’t know how to spell wooooooooph, but, wooooooooph. And that wasn’t the crazy part! We also bought a house. And no, the store and the house are not at the same location. Again, not so smart. We could’ve done that and killed two birds with one stone, but I like birds, so we decided against that. Then, comfortable that until sales grew I could cover the rent and mortgage with my salary from my computer job, one week after the deal on the house was signed, my company let go half of the employees; I believe you folks call it “Getting Sacked”. So, God has such a weird sense of humor; he gave us everything we had prayed for but then said “Okay, you’re so smart, let’s see you REALLY make a go of this by making it pay for itself”. 6

James Kath Guitars

Needless to say I wasn’t wearing adult diapers at the time, but it sure would have helped. So, now we have a brand new house and a store, but it’s the slow season here and I have no income. But always being optimistic in the face of undeniable, impending doom… I’m optimistic we’ll be okay. There are people in foreign countries getting bombs dropped on them and haven’t eaten in a month, I have absolutely no right to complain about anything. Maritza and I are blessed beyond what we deserve. God saw fit to give us these things and somehow how we’ll honor that and not squander the opportunity with whining. But we’re whiners so we probably will anyway. We had a grand opening with food, spirits and a great band. The turnout was marvellous; everyone ate, drank, danced, browsed… but we didn’t sell one darn thing. Guess they were too preoccupied with the punchbowl of sangria and the cheese squares. But we didn’t expect sales anyway so it’s okay, it was basically our “coming out” party to build awareness. I video recorded some of the party and at the end of this article I’ll put a link where you can see it all live!! The building was built in 1790. I know that’s not so old a building for England, but here, that’s prehistoric. It’s an old adobe style building and the walls are three-feet thick. The lady that rented it to us (she’s in the video) is eighty-five years old and she grew up in this building and so did her mother!! Most rent prices in this area are about two-thousand dollars a month, but for some unknown reason she fell in love with Maritza and gave it to us for eight-hundred a month (still a lot of money when you’re out of work ;-/ ). But God is good and tells us to only focus on today and not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself (Matthew 6:34). He’s been sending me customers left and right. I have so many guitars in my shop right now that I had to build a shed in the yard to put some tools in just so I had room to hang up guitars. If you’re not a spiritual type of person, please forgive me for mentioning God so much. But in MY life, when I used to do things on my own volition, it never went right; I tried to force my way of doing things on everything and ultimately was wrong. One day I decided that God does exist since he’s let a dummy like me make it this far in life without cutting off my fingers, so I figured I’d let him figure it all out for me. I wait for signs and then I act instead of bulldozing my way on my terms. So far so good. I have a whiteboard in the shop where I list every project I have to do, that way I don’t forget …> 7 anything. When we moved in I had one entry in the list. Now I have to buy a bigger whiteboard. So, fingers are crossed. Maritza is doing well also. She has sold several pieces since we opened on March 2nd, but has been primarily busy setting up our new house and making it homey. She works in the house in the morning and comes to the store about 2:00. We have a lot of passersby from nearby Bed-andBreakfast inns. She has also been taking silversmithing classes and is now making the most beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry (that’s very popular in this part of the country). She used to have long, beautiful nails but has systematically lost them all to her grinding machine. Our house is nice. It’s small with almost no yard, but that’s perfect for me; I don’t have time for gardening

right now. There’s enough space for a small vegetable garden and we plan on putting one in because the vegetables in the United States are awful. They pick them too early and they have absolutely no flavor. When I was in the U.K. once I went to a farmer’s market and bought some red peppers. I decided to eat one right then and there and it was so delicious I wanted to marry it. That’s what real produce tastes like. But I digress.

years of experience and am a very dedicated and good employee and I’ve gotten “let go” at least five times in the past seven years because companies run out of money or need to improve their budget. I really would like to be self-sufficient at this stage in my life. But again, that’s me whining like a baby. Compared to lots of other people on this tiny planet, I guess I’m doing okay. Here’s our video: BdFpWV5os

So, our year in Santa Fe is constantly hitting us with challenges and blessings. At fifty-years-old I feel like my life has just begun; my way of life has completely changed and my wife and I are more in love than ever. I don’t have any money, but what a major difference it is not having the Seriously we WANT you to email us, so intense stress of working the do it! Do it now!!!! computer job. Computers used to be fun, but nowadays it’s a 24/7 job and you’re never secure. I have thirty 8

An excellent stone for starting over, the gentle energy of Blue Lace Agate instills peace of mind. ● - assists with verbal expression of thoughts and feelings. ● - a powerful throat healer, releases shoulder and neck problems, thyroid deficiencies. ● Throat, third eye, heart and crown.

£13 £38 Blue Lace Agate Spiral Bracelet Crafty Bits and Bobs By Snoz

Blue Lace Agate Druzy Pendant

£52.18 Approx Conversion


Blue Lace Agate and Sterling Silver Necklace Jewellery by Joy



Sparkle Flower Ring


sterling Silver and Natural Blue Lace Agate

£14 Earrings

Drusy stone ring

Blue Lace Agate Bracelet and Earrings Nevar

Bddesigns Blue Lace Agate Bracelet

Phoebe Dreams

If you would like more information about Crystal Healing Jewellery, you can contact The Crystal Lady at:

c i g a M l Crysta or visit 9

r e t s Ea y Bee Towers at Bett



t’s nearly Easter and I think it’s fair to say spring has finally arrived. Its so lovely to see all the flowers poking their little bright heads out and offering a well needed infusion of colour. The garden at Betty Bee Towers is looking so sweet at the moment. My pots are a riot of pansies and heathers and the trees are looking full and green. I always find this time of year very inspiring and start planning lots of new craft projects, particularly ones that will add to my ever growing Easter display. I love seasonal decorations and Easter more than any other takes it’s visual cues from what’s going on outside. If your craft mojo needs rejuvenation, now is a great time to rediscover the joy of making. A really easy way to create a striking Easter display is to get a bunch of pussy willow (you may be lucky enough to have this in your garden but if not, you can buy it at garden centres) put them in a jolly vase and festoon them with brightly coloured eggs. Egg painting couldn’t be easier and it’s a great way to keep kids entertained as well. You don’t need to stop at simply painting your eggs either. Take your inspiration from those amazing Faberge eggs and add crystals and glitter. Who says Easter cant be glamorous? Not I. Make sure you have a hole at the top and bottom of the egg to feed some ribbon or string through so you can attach them to your willow branches, then with a glue gun, some sequins and glass beads, you can create Easter eggs which will sparkle in the spring sunlight. As well as painting and embellishing eggs you can also get some wonderful results with decoupage. I love decoupage - the ancient art of decorating items with paper and applying coats of varnish in order to create a glossy lacquered appearance. It works really well on hollowed out eggs and your decorations will last forever. In addition to making Easter eggs, you can add some lovely vintage touches to your display by putting flowers in china teacups and bunches of daffodils in jugs. When creating nature tables and seasonal displays I often put decorations under glass. I would absolutely love an old bell jar but these are quite hard to get hold of so I improvise with a glass cake stand. This year I’ve used a Victorian Easter card I found in a junk shop along with some little knitted wool chicks. Yes its kitsch, but every time I walk in and see it, I can’t help but smile. Happy Easter and happy crafting. Betty Bee writes daily about crafts and vintage inspired style on her blog


Recycled Tubs for Storage

Written By MinXtures

Hands up, who saves sturdy containers? You know the sort, ice cream tubs, shoe boxes, little perfect cardboard 'must be useful for something one day' boxes. I decided enough was enough. I have what can only be described as a tower of ice cream containers the recycling collectors won't take (collected over years and given to me, I might add). So, time to do something with them! For this example I have used a Ice Cream plastic 2L tub, 3 mm satin ribbon and denim inside and out. The basic principle will work on most square or rectangular or straight sided containers.

2 x fabric pieces approx 17 x 15 inches (One for outside one for lining). Approx 1 metre of 3 mm ribbon, (thick cotton or yarn works just as well) Fabric cutting scissors Large sharp needle Sewing thread and pins Ruler, marker pen or tailor's chalk Sewing machine and bulldog clips/pegs are handy but not essential.


Step 1, 2 & 3

Step 4

Step 1. Placed in the centre, draw around the bottom of your ice cream tub on the wrong side of both pieces of fabric. Step 2. Extend the 4 lines either side by 1 inch more than the height of your container, in this case about 4.5 inches.

Step 5

Step 3. Add markings for seam allowance at each corner, I've used 1/2 inch allowance, then draw lines to join as in picture.

Step 6 & 7

Step 4. Cut out both on the outside lines. Step 5. Fold corners together and pin. Step 6. On the outer fabric machine (or hand) sew along the stitch line. Step 7. on the lining fabric, sew approximately 3 mm inside the stitch line. Step 8 & 9

Step 10 Step 8. Turn outer fabric right side out and insert your tub, folding excess fabric to the inside (good idea to use some pegs to hold in place). Step 9. Insert the inner fabric and fold the excess height back on itself to the same height of the tub. (pin or peg in place). Step 10. Thread your large needle with 3 mm ribbon (or yarn) and start to sew at one corner. Leave a small length for tying the last stitch. With some fabrics you may find stitching at the corners a bit tough, so an awl or hole maker can be useful. Insert the needle through all the layers and place your next stitch the same side about 1/2 inch apart. When it comes to finishing off, you can tie the end together tightly and trim leaving 1 cm to push between the layers to hide.

Felicity from Perfect Patchwork followed Maria’s tutorial and created this beautiful tub! We’d love to see more so do send in your photos by email or on Facebook.








Spiral Fountain Jewellery Handcrafted Wire and Chainmail Jewellery Tell us about the lady behind Spiral Fountain Jewellery I’m a middle aged married Mum of 2 children, who probably reached a point that so many mothers do. As the kids were growing and life was becoming increasingly hectic with trying combine a job as a GP with their upbringing, I wondered whether this was what life was all about? Would I grind away until I retired and suddenly find the nest empty? Although happy with my family, I just wasn’t fulfilled with what I was doing. I’d spent my early life working long hard hours to fulfil everyone’s expectations of me because I was bright at school and so should get qualifications and a ’good job’. Well, I did succeed at that, but I realised that although I should be happy, I simply wasn’t. I do care about being a doctor as I know it makes a lot of difference to a lot of people, but it was coming at too high a cost to my own family and I had totally suppressed the artistic side of me that wants to simply create. I still work in the health service, but fewer hours and flexibly now, which allows me the time to pursue my jewellery business and be there more for my children. I earn much less money doing this, but it is hard to put a price on your happiness and peace of mind! I also think that being a happy fulfilled person 16

“I’m very lucky to live in Cumbria surrounded by fells, the sea, lakes & woodlands”

means that I am much better doctor and so my patients benefit too.

Also, the advantage of working like this on a collection of birds which I hope to launch in about May 2012. is that I can put it down if the kids need fetching or one of them is sick. I When did first begin creating your couldn’t do that in the ‘proper job’. Where does your inspiration come designs, and Why? from? What is your biggest crafting This turning point in my life coincided There is not one answer for inspiration achievement, and why? with one of those Amazon tricks of as that comes with everything around showing you a book ‘you might like’. I Biggest crafting achievement.. when I me. I suppose nature gives the most don’t think I had actually typed in ideas from emerging flowers with won first prize at a local agricultural ‘jewellery’ as a search because I fair because after that I finally had the droplets of rain on them, gushing thought you had to be … confidence to start selling my jewellery. waterfalls or a cute rabbit in the ‘professionally ‘ trained for that sort of garden. Cumbria is also full of history thing. However, the Bead & Wire Art with both the Romans and Vikings Other than your crafting, what jewellery by J.Marsha Michler appeared else do you like to do? having left a trail of ideas here. I can in front of me and from that moment I hardly move here for inspiration! was smitten. Finally I had unleashed Maybe that is why there are so many I’m very lucky to live in Cumbria my creative spirit! There’s a bit more surrounded by fells, the sea, lakes and artists and writers in Cumbria. about what happened in order for me woodlands, which allow me to enjoy to start selling jewellery on my If you could change one thing my passion for the outdoor world & blogspot. nature. I love walking the dogs and my about what you do, what would it family and I also keep chickens, which be? the kids adore too, especially at If I could change one thing about me hatching time! what would it be? Nothing. I’m happy If you had to choose your favourite from your creations which one would it be?

http://spiralfountainjewellery.blogspot. com/2011/05/it-was-butterflysfault.html

Oh, this is a hard question as I try to create every item to be special. Choosing one is very difficult! So I will simply choose my latest creation which is a blue tit, made entirely from wire & a single haematite bead. I am working

What is it that you enjoy about your work? What I love best about wire and chainmail jewellery is turning simple coils of wire, jump rings and a few beads into something beautiful that may enhance the way someone feels about themselves when wearing it. 17

with who I am now, even with all my faults and regrets. I wouldn’t change anything.

supporting me on my craft stall, offering advice & generally letting me get on with it! It wouldn’t be Do you have a favourite website? possible without his enduring support. Favourite website… this may not be a Tell us a random fact popular choice with some, but it has to about yourself! be Folksy. Although it has not been the best selling website for me, it is the Random fact .. in one of my place where I have learnt the most old jobs I did get to winch about online craft selling and has the down from helicopters to liveliest and usually friendliest forum help sick /injured people off that I’ve encountered. Without it I fishing vessels. Definitely wouldn’t be doing what I am now and the most exciting thing that would never have had the confidence I have done. to be on Facebook, Twitter, Creative Connections or to set up my own website etc. It has been a great place to learn how to sell online. There’s a wealth of advice and experience from fellow sellers and you can discover some other fascinating crafts.

i at Visit Nikk

Has any person helped or supported you more than any other? Support.. well it has to be my husband who has tolerated my hobby getting out of hand into a small business and even spent his days off in all weathers!/SpiralFountainJ 18

(and mummy)

This has to be one of the most fun activities to do over the Easter holidays. But beware - with children helping, a serious portion of the mix gets ‘lost’ when the spoons get licked! Millie-Mae is 5½ years old and is the daughter of Tracey Kifford, from online marketplace WowThankYou. (

Makes 15 (from Nigella Lawson, “How to eat”) 175g self-raising flour 175g unsalted butter, very very soft 175g caster sugar 3 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1½ teaspoons baking powder Tiny pinch of salt Few tablespoons of milk


Preheat oven to 200⁰C/gas mark 6.


Line a 15-bun tray with paper cases.


Put all ingredients, except the milk, in the processor and blitz furiously.


Pour in 2 tablespoons of milk while mixing until you have a smooth, flowing batter.


Divide between paper cases.


Cook for 15-20 minutes and then cool.


You will need: A rolling pin, some icing sugar, some cutters (we used flowers and a butterfly), and some little chicks for decoration (readily available from pound shops).

Makes 15 (from Nigella Lawson, “How to be a domestic goddess”) 200g bar of milk chocolate 20g unsalted butter 100g Shredded Wheat Packet of mini chocolate eggs Lined baking sheet

Our cupcakes expanded too much (confession: because we made 12 rather than the 15 we should have [oops]), so I levelled them with a knife before we started to decorate the cakes.

1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a glass bowl along with the butter. Melt over water. Once melted set aside to cool for a few moments. 2.

Crumble the Shredded Wheat into another bowl.


Mix chocolate and Shredded Wheat and mix well. Take out a small handful and form into a nestshape on the baking sheet placing 3 mini chocolate eggs on top.


Leave in a cool place (not fridge) until set.

We filled an icing bag with the buttercream and piped swirls of buttercream over the top of each cupcake. Then, carefully, peel a chocolate nest off the baking sheet and place on top. Add a flag. Take your coloured icing and using the icing sugar to prevent it sticking, roll out to about 5 mm thick. Punch out shapes with your cutters and then decorate the cakes. We took a thin ‘sausage’ of each colour and rolled them together, resulting in a rainbow effect that makes the butterflies more interesting! A final touch is the baby chick – pop one on the nest to finish off the decoration.

Unsalted butter Icing sugar Milk Drop of vanilla extract

Millie-Mae loved making these cupcakes, and is very proud of the results – though every single item in the kitchen is now piled high in the sink awaiting a wash!

I never measure ingredients for buttercream. I use about a third of a pack of soft butter, and keep adding the icing sugar in the mixer until it forms the right consistency; I add a drop of vanilla extract, and if the mix is a bit too stiff I add a small drop of milk until it’s just right for piping.

I bought a pack of ready to roll icing from the supermarket, sliced it up and added a few drops of food colouring to each piece and worked it into the icing. I then rolled each colour into a sausage shape, wrapped in clingfilm and placed in the fridge until needed.

So, so, simple that even Toby had a go making them, and he’s just three. Fold some paper or fabric in half and from the crease cut out a flag shape. Take a cocktail stick and wrap the flag around the end, gluing together, and then setting aside to dry.


Both children are desperate to dive in, but with all the eating that went on during the making process I think they’ll last until tomorrow – when Nana and Grandad can visit and admire them before they get guzzled up!


eing an avid follower of MasterChef, I’m constantly hearing the term ‘deconstructed’; a ‘deconstructed’ trifle (custard, jelly, cream, fruit all presented as separate entities on the same plate, for example) … This suggests that if you’ve got something really good, the next best thing is to take it all apart! Could this concept be trending closer to home? Perhaps because of the Queen’s Jubilee and the popularity of ‘Make Do and Mend’ more and more Craft Kits are appearing for sale at fairs, online and in stores. Historically confined to the haberdashery aisles of department stores, craft kits are now ‘in vogue’ with many people keen to have a go. Because of this, receiving a well presented craft kit as a gift is a safer bet now than ever before! I chatted to some WowThankYou sellers, who sell kits, to find out more. Kate Malloy from A Little Bit of Annie began by making her Penny Mice to sell ready-made. But she had so many questions about how they were made, she realised there was a market for the kits! “I developed them over several months and tried to make the kits more than just the materials to make a Penny Mouse by using vintage style jars as the packaging. I then developed the other kits - Ha'penny Hearts, Tuppenny Chicks (launching soon!) and Guinea Owls. The majority of kits are bought by ladies looking for gifts for teenage girls, often daughters and nieces. I sell a lot around Christmas time, but they're always popular as birthday gifts. There is definitely a big demand for kits at the moment; the 'homemade home' scene is very much to thank for that!" 21

Written by Tracey Kifford from WowThankYou

As a non-crafter myself, one item I would attempt to make (if I had the nerve) is bunting. I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to make it from scratch, but to receive a kit as a gift would be wonderful. Why? Well bunting is more repetition than fiddly and complicated, so I’d feel comfortable with achieving what was being asked of me. With this in mind, I spoke to Kim Lampard of ZigZag Bunting who just so happens to sell bunting kits! “We make bunting in lots of lovely designs but if you enjoy crafting it is great to feel you have made something yourself. This is why we offer bunting kits: we supply bunting tape, instructions and pre-cut the fabric triangles so that people can have a go at sewing for themselves. Often it is a question of confidence, so if we can put together fabrics that we know will look good, and make sure the instructions are clear, anyone can make a beautiful swag of bunting.” “We find we have a surge of orders in the Spring, when people are planning summer parties and weddings and want to make something special as a gift or decoration. Then the kits make great stocking fillers for young and old alike, so we sell lots of kits in Christmassy colours at that end of the year. And of course with the Olympics and Queen's Jubilee approaching people are keen to sew our Union Jack Bunting kits too.” Emma Herian, from Sew Recycled!, has been making mini-bunting kits for some time now, with many being bought around Christmas time as they are perfect for stocking presents. “I find them very cheap to put together as the main point of them is to use all my scraps (I can’t throw fabric away!)” But what about more complicated projects? Are these as popular in terms of sales?

Julie Ferguson of Mr Darcy’s Cottage sells Knitting Kits. Her experience is that her kits don't sell amazingly well online, but she believes this could partly be due a lack of marketing as she needs to concentrate on design deadlines as that is her main source of income and therefore takes priority. However, she always sells kits after a workshop; “I usually put a goody bag (and/or kit) together for some of the workshops so that people have a specific project to do. It varies as to who buys them - often people buy for themselves to try out a new technique (cables, fairisle, beading, etc.) but simpler ones are often bought as gifts - many are for beginner knitters so can be any age. I always include my contact details so people can get in touch if they are not sure about something.” Julie believes that the projects have to be reasonably small which makes them less expensive. She hasn’t yet put together many garment kits as the outlay on yarn is just too great – even though, just a few years ago, garment knitting kits were the only ones you could buy. 22

But what about non-garment knitting kits? How popular are these? Linda Regel of Made by Ewe designs and produces knitting kits. She is a partner in the Campaign for Wool and her kits use 100% British wool and fleece stuffing. According to Linda, “it would definitely be cheaper to knit your own sheep than buy a handknitted one - that is assuming the producer was charging correctly for their time and not just knitting them for peanuts.” The yarn in her kits is pure wool and top quality and therefore quite expensive, compared to standard acrylic double knitting but she thinks that if you are going to invest your time in making something, it is worth using quality materials. “It takes quite a bit of time to prepare the kits, winding wool, prepping the bags they come in, printing patterns I should really do a whole batch at once to save time, but then I would have to store them somewhere and I don't have the space. So I tend make them up as they are sold. There is much more profit margin than selling a finished item though. I used to handknit children's jumpers to sell - they took hours to do and people expected to pay the same as a mass produced shopbought jumper.” Linda sold a lot of kits at Christmas and she has had a really positive response to her ‘knit your own sheep kits’, which have been featured in Knit, The Knitter and Simply Knitting magazines. Everyone loves them apparently, which is fabulous! As a lover of all beauty lotions and potions, I’m particularly partial to a luxurious bath melt, or bomb, and I’m always drawn towards pretty coloured and heavily fragranced handmade soaps … so what about these? Can these be bought in kit form? Of course they can, and Suzanne Easton of Somerset Garden sells them alongside all her other products. She has just started making kits for her bath melts. “The kits make 8-10 bath melts and contain everything needed including the essential oils. I chose to make these as kits as they don't need any moulds and look pretty when they are finished. I've done them in three fragrances so far with ‘rose’ selling the best. They save me time as I do not have to make them myself and I am still able to make a small profit on them. I have found they sell best when I am at a demonstration event and can make the melts and sell the kits at the same time. They are also good for wedding favours and I have been asked to make them in larger quantities for brides-tobe.” Craft projects, particularly cotton/fabric ones that can be used and re-used time and again, provide both pleasure in the making as well as afterwards in their use. There’s a huge sense of achievement when you stand back and admire what you have made yourself with your own hands. Sometimes all we need is a little nudge to have a go for ourselves and this is where Craft Kits come to the fore. You never know, with traditional crafts such as sewing seeing such a revival, a timely gift of a Craft Kit might just provide a nervous non-crafter with a new life-long obsession! As a business proposition it does appear that packaging your items into kit form can be lucrative. You of course save time in the making, as well as providing a new product to a potentially new audience with little effort. However, it’s important to keep the prices realistic, and the overall packaging should be given a great deal of thought especially if the kit is to be sold as a gift. If your crafts and designs lend themselves to being sold as kits, it’s definitely worth giving it some serious thought. If you have missed any of Traceys regular articles in our magazines you can browse our back issues on our site.

Now, where’s my needlework box … x

Tracey @ 23

Written By KayJay Gems

Cherry Blossom, Primrose, Bluebell and Lily of the Valley Charm Bracelet


1 silver plated bracelet blank (or you can make your own) Selection of focal polymer clay flower beads I have used Cherry Blossom, Primrose, Bluebell, Lily of the Valley Selection of charms - filigree leaves and butterflies 38 mm head pins 4-5 mm open jump rings Silver filigree bead caps 6 mm Selection of 8 mm glass pearls - pale pink and lemon 8 mm white opaque glass beads Baby Blue Chinese crystal rondelles Green polished Czech glass beads Selection of size 8 seed beads Pointed nose pliers Wire cutters Round nosed pliers Step 1. Lay out selected flowers, charms and beads. Step 2. Thread flowers onto head pins, using bead caps on bluebells and lily of the valley to give a pretty finish. Step 3. Attach flowers in required order to one side of the bracelet blank. Make sure your loop isn't too tight to allow the flowers to hang like charms from the bracelet. Step 4. Attach charms using open jump rings (5 mm allow the charms to hang nicely). Step 5. Attach beads to the same side of each link as the flowers and charms randomly to get a good colour mix. I always use one colour first, then attach the others around them, always making sure to look to see there is an even spread of colours and no clusters of just one. The idea of hanging everything from one side of the links is to get the 'hanging' effect of the charm bracelet. I use seed beads on the pearls to give a nice finish as sometimes the colour can crack around the hole. The bead caps also finish the crystals, as the holes on those can sometimes be a little larger.

I have made a little pair of earrings too these are made using head pins, eye pins and sterling silver hooks.


IN My name is Felicity, I am divorced with 3 lovely boys, all in their twenties. I live with 2 of them, my cats (BB and Felix) and my dog (Cherry). I live in a lovely part of the country (Devon) which contrary to most people’s idea is sunny at times. I am very close to both the sea and the moors, which provides massive inspiration.

Left: Cherry Above right: Felix

When did first begin creating your designs, and why? I started sewing as a very young child, taught by my mother and I began my first quilt at the age of 13. This was made of hexagons using the traditional hand piecing method. It was made during a period of 3 concurrent illnesses, Chickenpox, Measles and German Measles when I was off school for a number of weeks and banned from seeing my friends to reduce the risk of spreading infection. I was, as you can imagine, very bored, hence the beginning of a very time consuming project.

Above: Sunny Devon Below: Hexigons Quilt


Above: BB


Tell us about the lady behind Perfect Patchwork



My first quilt was made from old favourite clothes and remnants from my mum’s dress making; it was picked up and put down a number of times over about 5 years, but was eventually finished, and took pride of place on my mum’s bed. Sadly it was not found after her death. This is not mine, but shows the type of design I worked on. This is where my adventure began – I went on to learn sewing on a machine, and hand knitting (also taught by my mum), and later crochet (taught by my God mother). I have crocheted blankets in the traditional ‘granny squares pattern, and even crocheted my first child’s baby shawl, (I unfortunately no longer have Below: Granny Squares Crochet that either), but this picture shows the style of it I briefly explored machine knitting, and while this was brilliant when my children were little,

it didn’t feel creative enough for me, so in the early 90’s a friend and I decided to do a few ‘away weekends’ to try some other crafty things. Firstly we went to West Yorkshire and tried Lace Making. This was followed by a trip to Whitby to do Patchwork with Maggie Martin (who still offers great weekends – accommodation and sewing). http://www.maggie Both of these became favourites of mine, and I later joined a local Lace making class, and continued with the patchwork at home. I very rarely make lace these days, due to time constraints, but have followed the patchwork route very closely. I launched my website in late 2009 ( ), as a result of a long term dream - I had always wanted my own website - and found that I had enough cash to do it, so I took the plunge. I am still learning 2 years later and am sure I will be learning forever, (I'm not sure I can learn as fast as things change!!). I am absolutely loving it, just wish I had started before. My logo was designed for me based on a photograph of a wall hanging which I made (and could have sold 5 times over!) I have recently opened a Wow Thank You shop and joined Twitter, Pinterest and Folksy. In my travels I have met some wonderful people, and have some good friends on Facebook and Creative Connections. Recently I have become involved with Creative Connection’s CRAFTfest. I took part in the first one, and have become a team leader (Lilac team). The teams have been set up to help support new members of the site, and for mutual promotion. I love this involvement. Creative Connections is an amazing site, with blogs, forums, groups, and the most superb online magazine which is absolutely free. There is even a chat room for when you are avoiding work or having a brain freeze. There is usually someone to chat to, or to help with any little problems.

My plans are to further explore creating one off designs and in particular I’d like to create some landscape quilted wall hangings incorporating hand painted fabrics, a skill I have just begun to learn. I would like to incorporate a range of fabrics and techniques including embroidery, fabric painting, appliqué and of course, patchwork. What is it that you enjoy about your work? The thing I love about my work is the variety: there is always something different to create. With my range of patchwork, quilting, knitting and embroidery I never get bored. I also have the excuse to peruse many beautiful fabric shops, and to have a huge fabric stash. Any time I feel guilty for buying either more fabric or a new piece of equipment, I can justify it on the basis of ‘it’s for the businesses’, and I imagine that’s why my fabric stash has grown so much over the years!

Quilted Baby Playmats _Play_Mats

Stuffed Owls

What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why? My biggest achievement is having set up my website. The basic outline was designed for me, but the structure, contents, terms and conditions etc are all my own work. This was massive for me, and has fulfilled my dream of having world wide exposure. Over the 2 years that the website has been running I have explored other avenues, and joined many creative sites, which has given me so much, and I have made lots of friends within the craft/art field. Other than your crafting, what else do you like to do? Being a creative person has spilled into my life, and I like to decorate, and redesign my garden. I have recently decorated my entire house from top to bottom (with help from my sons) and last year I re-designed my garden to make it low maintenance, so that I could spend more time sewing. I love to read, and am addicted to my Kindle, which goes everywhere with me. (So glad it fits in my hand bag) I read


Needlecases Needle_Cases

Patchwork Lap Quilts Lap_Quilts


almost anything, but don’t like poorly written books.

my favourite colours (purple and I love spending time with my friends, turquoise), and was begun one quiet and regularly visit Torbay and North evening, when I was doodling with Devon, where two of my very special pencil and paper. I intend to add friends live; lovely area of the county embroidery and quilting to it. that I live in. If you had to choose your favourite from your creations which one would it be?

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from so many different places, including books and My favourite creation so far is a wall the Devon countryside. I often find hanging which I am making for myself doodling when I have a bit of myself (not yet finished). I often find spare time, and at times I will that my current piece is my browse the internet; a simple picture favourite, then I start a new one, can often lead to a design. For and that becomes my favourite. This example I found a picture of a bat particular wall hanging is made in ‘My’ Wall Hanging

which I fell in love with, which led to this wall hanging: If you could change one thing about what you do, what would it be? The thing I would change (given half a chance) would be that I would work on my creations full time. I have a full time job which at times seems to limit my creativity, by the time the weekend arrives I have so many things on my ‘want to do’ list, that I never quite get there. I plan to expand my work room, put my quilt frame back up, and have all my machine set up; this would save so much time (I often end up swapping over from machine to machine depending on what I am doing) and then I would have more time for actual designing and sewing.

My Quilt Frame


Do you have a favourite website? My favourite website has to be mine , as this was my dream for so long. No seriously I do have a few, is a fantastic website with so much to offer, chat room, magazine, CRAFTfest, forums, groups, and lots more. I am also currently a great fan of .aspx as this is a fantastic site for embroidery designs which I have recently discovered (thanks to a friend). Has any person helped or supported you more than any other? I have had lots of help and support from a huge range of people but a few special ones come to mind. Anna from Creative Connections has been a huge support, and has made me feel much more capable and useful. Maria (Minxtures) has been a great help with tips on embroidery and introduced me to my favourite design site. Pat and Tracy are two of my closest friends and have always been there when I have needed some encouragement or support, and are my biggest fans.

Purple and Jade Patchwork Waistcoat

Tell us a random fact about yourself! I regularly can be seen running down my back path with a rabbit clutched in my hands!! (Often in my pyjamas) BB (my cat) brings them home to play with, and I rescue them, and put them back in the field. Some days this can happen 3 or 4 times (until I get fed up and shut the back door).

Zen Buddha Wallhanging

Lilac and Gold E-book Reader Case

on her website:!/PerfecPatchwork 29

Written By Slowlane Handmade



Carrot, Apple & the m Ginger Marmalade o Slowlane & Sweet Yeast Braid (Hasenfruehstuck/Hare’s Breakfast)

Easter Brunch With Easter, not only does the long Lent come to an end, but also the dark,cold season. The days become noticeably longer again, the air is pleasantly mild - spring is coming! Nothing is more pleasant then having a wonderful Easter Brunch with your Family just before you all run off hunting for those precious Easter eggs! Both these Recipes can be made a day before and in the case of the Marmalade, even weeks!!

Carrot, Apple & Ginger Marmalade 500 g Carrots (yes really!!) 250 g Cooking Apples 25 g Ginger 1 Orange 1 Lime 400 g Sugar

Step 1. Grate the Carrots, Apples and Ginger as fine as you like. Grate the Orange Peel and add the Juice from the Orange; add the Juice from the Lime. Step 2. Add all ingredients into a large pot, add the sugar and bring to the boil, keep stirring! Boil for about 5 minutes or until it the jam has the consistency you like. Make a test by using a plate, which has been in the freezer. Or use Jam/Preserving Sugar but lessen the quantity, as it will be sweeter. Step 3. Fill the Jam into your hot sterilized Glasses, seal and leave to cool. 1.





Sweet Yeast Braid


500 g Flour 100 g Sugar 50 g Butter 1 pinch of Salt 1 Packet Dried Yeast Âź Liter Milk, lukewarm Optional: Rind of 1 Lemon Or Almond essence

the m o


Step 1. Add your flour into a bowl and make a hollow in the centre. Add the yeast, sugar and a little of the milk and cover with a little flour. Cover with a cloth and leave for 15 minutes in a warm space. Step 2. Mix and then add the rest of the ingredients, mix everything thoroughly and leave to stand for another 30 minutes! Step 3. Separate the dough into 3 pieces and roll these to form 3 long strands. Step 4. Now make a braid and transfer onto a baking tray. Step 5. Bake at 200-220 degrees Celsius or gas 5 for approx. 20 – 30 minutes till golden brown. (I kept mine a little to long!!) Step 6. Cover with Apricot Jam or Honey and sprinkle some chopped Almonds on top. 1&2



Silvia Sherriff Handmade Gifts & Accessories 31


i! I'm Tina,





Back in England we have not had the early spring I had hoped for and the main display of flowers are not yet in bloom. I have a few photos to share with you but take a look at the next issue for the main display. So how about some photos of Spring on both sides of the pond? We have daffodils in England and azaleas in Florida. Just look at the Spanish moss in the trees , they are live oaks so do not ever seem to lose their leaves.



The white camellia is just coming out. They are so delicate and if we have a cold wind will turn brown very quickly. In contrast here is a bed of Antiriums. They are flamboyant and tough enough to take the strong sunlight and dry conditions. We will not see them in England until July or August, so here is an early preview.

Tina in and out of the Garden 32



Well O.K. that's a confusing title even for me, so I will explain. As I am writing this it is the first week in March, so my better half and I have taken the chance to visit with our friends in Florida.





Spring is coming


Spring is only just arriving as you can see from the photo of the daffodils and primroses back home in The garden. Just look at this beautiful photo of Spring in Florida. So much light and colour! It is such a pleasure to see and I am just so lucky, well more than lucky, as I will also be able to enjoy the full beauty of our English spring on my return to The Garden.

Crocus are making an appearance and in sheltered areas the hyacinths, while in Florida I found this Iris. We do have them in The Garden but not until around May and then I have not seen one exactly like this.

Daffodils 33




The birds behave in the same way in both countries singing, displaying, generally just looking for a mate. The one in the picture is a mockingbird Their song is so wonderful and they just sing from early morning until sunset. Speaking of Sunsets, I love to photograph Mocking Bird them and so I have squeezed Daffodils, are to me the most beautiful sight in the world one in later in the article. after the winter and I just cannot wait to get back to England when the garden will have erupted with Spring Still on the subject of birds, this one is certainly on colours. display! Perhaps he thinks he is more noticeable than in a But at the moment I will just have to get by with the tree, and he could be right - we certainly noticed him. My beautiful sunshine, temperatures in the upper seventies, better half said he was just glad that it was not his car sitting here, looking across the golf course with good that he was perched on, ever the practical one. friends and enjoying a nice cool drink with my feet up with the added bonus of no weeding to do.

Here is a photo of the stream. It is flowing well. The bog is not at its best at the moment as there is not to much to see. Here is the Florida Stream bubbling away in the sunshine, where it has widened out, you can see a very Spring-like picture of a family of ducks.


In the next issue I will have lots more photos of the garden to show you, including all the places you are getting to know. We can take a look at how some of last year’s projects have come through the winter and what new projects we can look at for the coming summer. One job I need to do when I get home is to work on the shower pond as it is really yucky. When I made it (being me), I did not even think about the fact that it was surrounded by trees which, of course, lose their leaves. They have filled up the pond and it is just a black mess. I have left it during the winter to see if the leaves do dissolve into the water, but I have my doubts as it is so shallow. These recycling projects can be a little difficult, but it is worth the effort. I will let you now how I get on.


The Easter decor is in the stores here across the pond. It is wonderful. I could bring a suitcase full back but my better half says that is not going to happen, so I have to be satisfied with a photo! I just have to show you, don't you just love him?

So! Happy Easter to you all, hope business is good and I will see you all back in The Garden in the next issue. I will have the kettle on.



n ow


u o y r e

Written By Elderberry Arts

Bird Feeder 115g lard at room temperature Pine cone 65g Birdseed 60g oats or oatmeal String You can also include berries such as rowan or hawthorn

1. Step 1. Tie a length of string approximately 30 cm long to the top of the pine cone. Step 2. Put the birdseed, lard and oatmeal into a bowl and mix together with your hands or a spoon until well combined. Step 3. Now press the mixture into the gaps in the pine cone until full and completely covered. This is easier to do with your hands than a spoon. 2. Hang ready for the birds to enjoy


Another way to make a simple bird feeder is to melt some lard in the microwave until liquid and then mix in some seeds, berries oats or peanuts. Place a stick of length of string into the middle of a plastic cup and then pour in the lard/seed mix. Leave to harden and then remove he cup and hang. If using a disposable cup it can just be cut away from the feeder. For other cups it may need warming a little of remove the fat.



Addicted to enamelling E

nglish Bridge Workshops in Shrewsbury is a hive of art and crafts activity. Among those who work there is Jill Leventon – a largely self-taught designer-maker who works with metals, enamels and, most recently, silver clay. Trained as a teacher and now with more than 25 years experience of making everything from enamelled copper bowls to metal ammonite type ornaments, Jill turned full-time in 2011. She is a member of the Guild of Enamellers, which holds regular regional meetings at English Bridge Workshops. Jill also runs a number of workshops for members of the public, covering everything from enamelling for beginners to metal forming. Working with metals is one of Jill's passions. Although she has worked with silver, Jill prefers copper and, in a her typically unpretentious manner, says: "I just get out the metal and play with it." The results are unusual shapes and intricate patterns in copper, which are then enamelled and fired. Jill's bowls in various sizes have attractive enamelled patterns and are always popular with customers.

A few years ago, Jill purchased a small vice-mounted mangle with interlocked corrugated rollers, which she managed to find space for in her already crowded workshop. This tool led her to produce many different designs in corrugated copper – including pendants and earrings. Again, they are enamelled in a range of patterns and colours. Jill says: "I gain inspiration from the landscape and organic forms." Being based in Shrewsbury, the birthplace of Charles Darwin, it's no surprise that Jill has been inspired by the ammonite fossils form. Darwin is closely associated with fossils and ammonites are particularly distinctive. To celebrate the bicentenary of Darwin's birth a few years ago, Jill formed ammonite shapes (corrugated spirals) in copper and

If you're not able to get to Shrewsbury for one of Jill's courses or workshops, look for them taking place in other parts of the country on the Guild of Enamellers website 36

Our contributor attended a beginners' workshop one wet Saturday. To begin with Jill explained where the fire exits These too have proved extremely where and the special precautions popular and Jill has morphed the to be taken when using enamel in powdered form. She then showed basic shape into a number of us examples of different types of different designs. enamelling decoration such as the As well as experimenting with use of millefiori beads and forming metal, Jill also tries scratching through the top layer different enamelling techniques. of enamel to reveal the underlying She says: "There are recommended firing temperatures colour. but I like to experiment with She then showed us how to 'sift' different temperatures to see enamel – essentially glass ground what different effects I can to a fine powder and coloured achieve." with trace metal compounds – onto a clean piece of thin copper. Recently, Jill has been teaching silver clay work – she is a Level 1 This was then balanced on a 'stilt' and placed in the kiln for firing. instructor for Art Clay Silver – because she says it is a good way After a period described by Jill as 'the length of a piece of string' for beginners to learn how to make their own jewellery with the (getting the firing time correct is where experience comes into minimum of equipment. Jill's work is on sale at the Visual play) the piece was removed and Arts Network Gallery in the Market allowed to cool. Hall, Shrewsbury, and the Willow That, essentially, is enamelling but Gallery Shop in Oswestry, there are endless variations – Shropshire. She attends a small different coloured enamels number of exhibitions each year including clear and opaque, and her work can be seen at fluxes, decorations, shapes and thicknesses of materials, firing times and so on. All the more Enamelling workshop; experienced enamellers working in Jill Leventon runs many courses and workshops at English Bridge the same room said the process is addictive – so be warned! Workshops in Shrewsbury on different aspects of enamelling and jewellery making. Full details are on her website. enamelled them with liquid enamels to produce a golden bronze finish.


Written By Little Floating Craft Co

Make Your Own Flower A

s I gazed out of the window on board our beautiful houseboat, Zulu, I noticed a tiny flower lurking in amongst the bracken on the opposite riverbank. It made me realise how much I’ve missed the greenery in a hundred different shades that surrounds us for at least half the year, and how much I’ve missed the wide variety of floral finishing touches that perfect the riverbank. We’re very lucky to live in such a rich environment but I do appreciate that we’re the odd ones out; not everyone has their own patch of riverbank! Some folks brighten up their space with beautiful gardens or window boxes, and others simply bring the outside in and have plants and flowers in their living space.

It’s still hard to get that year round brightness with the invigorating feeling that flowers bring, and if you suffer from allergy issues it’s even harder! With this in mind I decided to create my own floral accent that could be carried with me no matter where I go. I wanted something that would be versatile and could be used in many forms and could be made easily by following an easy formula, but in the same way could be made to look completely different due to personal interpretation. I used a piece of fabric no more than a metre long and approximately 30 cm wide for this project but you could make larger or smaller flowers!

Fabric - approximately 1 metre & 30 cm wide Newspaper 2 metres of polyester cord Fabric Paint Paintbrush Iron Stiff Interfacing


2. Step 1. I started by running my fabric under a cold tap and then wringing out until it was just damp. Place the fabric on newspaper, along with two metres of polyester cord (I used fine cord such as the type used in making blinds) Step 2. Choose your colour of fabric paint and colour your fabric and cord. Be as generous or as light handed with the colour as you choose. Remember, that if you want your petals to be consistently one colour on the tip and another towards the centre of the flower, to paint in soft stripes along the longest direction of the fabric. By having the fabric moist, the edges of the stripes should soften easily with the stroke of the brush.


Step 3. Allow the fabric to dry and then iron on some stiff interfacing. In doing this you are sealing the fabric paint too so the finished item can go outside and risk a rain shower! Step 4. Fold the fabric in half so you have a long double sided piece of lined fabric. On one half on the reverse (so on the interfacing) draw out your petals. I found that by drawing them in a line by hand they were slightly different which was something I liked! You could make a template from card and draw around this to make sure your petals are all the same if you prefer. Then keeping the folded edges together, cut out your petals (so cutting two identical petals of each you cut.


Step 5. Pin the matching petals together and carefully blanket stitch them together, whilst securing the cord under the stitches as you go. Step 6. Once your petals are all bound it’s time to play around with how you want to arrange them. I had eight petals and used two layers of four. You could have more or less layers though.



Once arranged, I began to embellish my petals. I had an idea of a vintage style diamond style button I wanted to use at the centre and from that I moved towards a glitzy flower with a very beaded finish. You could cover your petals with stitches, with beads, anything you like. Don’t forget that you don’t have to stitch – you could use a glue gun to add alternative things to your petals, and you can also build up the colours with more paints and inks if the finished piece isn’t going to go anywhere it might get wet! If you wanted to produce something just as colourful but without all the stitching, then a simple flower is easy to achieve by cutting a strip of your painted fabric approximately 50 cm long, and 10 cm wide and doing a straight running stitch along one edge. Make sure the first stitch is secure, then gently gather the fabric a little using your thread. Once gathered sufficiently, secure the thread and cut off any surplus. Then roll the fabric gently to form a bud like flower. I stitched through the bottom to hold it tight and then added a little lace to make it beautiful! You could use this as a brooch by simply adding a pin, or cover a cushion with them in a mixture of colours for a real explosion of Spring in your lounge!



Ideas for use of your flowers: attach to elastic for use as an Alice band, use as a brooch, glue to a ring setting and flaunt on your hand, glue or stitch to a bag, cascade on a cushion, add a magnet on the back and stick to your fridge, 39

In the Spotlight with

mr x stitch

Name: Bridget Franckowiak aka beefranck aka Franckobubble aka Snarkle aka Stitchwad. Medium: Cross stitch What’s your story? This issue we meet:


I started cross stitching Subversive Cross Stitch patterns in 2008 and I started designing my own patterns soon after, and I haven't stopped since. I'm also the editor of, a site that celebrates new and exciting things in the world of embroidery and cross stitch. What’s your favourite piece of work thus far? The Hell Sampler. I used motifs from an antique Lord's Prayer sampler and added lyrics from the song Hell by Squirrel Nut Zippers. I used fiery colors, but other than than there's nothing about it that is over the top or that gives away the subversive nature of it other than the text. That tickles me. What do you find challenging? Putting a design together and choosing colors makes me want to pull my hair out. Color choices do not come naturally to me, so that is probably the most difficult part. When it became too frustrating, I started doing single color pieces, something that actually worked out quite well for me. Any advice for newbies? Keep stitching, even if you aren't happy with the results at first. I was AWFUL at first, and my designs weren't really what I wanted but the more I stitched, the better I got, and the easier designing became. If you enjoy it, keep doing it! The act of stitching itself is well worth it.

See more of Bridgets work on her Flikr Stream beefranck/sets/72157607955769730/


Kindle Sleeve

Written By The Sequinned Sheep

in Moss Stitch

This pattern will fit a Kindle sized 166mm x 114mm x 8.7mm

DK Wool – I used Hayfield Bonus DK in Shocking Pink 0832 4mm needles 7mm snap fastener

K = Knit P = Purl Cast on 27 sts. Row 1: K1 [P1, K1] to end. Repeat for 58 rows. Cast off. Make two pieces. To make up: Sew both pieces together on three sides, leaving one of the shorter edges free. Sew up neatly using the same yarn, as you won’t be turning it inside out to hide the sewing up, although you can if you prefer it that way. On the open edge, sew snap fasteners halfway along on the inside of the sleeve, approximately 0.5 cm from the top, so that you can keep your Kindle safe inside its sleeve!






t a t r o A R Tell us about the lady behind Rota Art I’m an approachable, friendly, caring person who is patient and calm on the whole. I have been a single parent for the last 11 years so these qualities are certainly useful. Taking an interest in the world and how we affect it, I have been an environmentalist for many years and a non-meat eater for 25. I hate violence and racism believing we should all treat each other with respect and tolerance. These are the things that are promoted during the carnivals I’m involved with, where I enjoy making people smile, as well as dressing up! I love to explore places and I’m in my element out with my camera, snapping away at historical buildings or cultural cities; I become very absorbed. I take pleasure from the smallest of things, such as a cup of tea in bed with a good book! I have been told I’m not boring and I certainly am never bored as there is too much to do in life. When did first begin creating your designs, and why? I first began making Cyanotypes about five years ago after I learnt the process on a BTEC Photography course. I was studying black and white photography along with other processes to help me get back into my art. After spending 11 years concentrating on my children I needed to revive my creativity! I then started to explore the cyanotype process more and more making my

own negatives and beginning to experiment on fabric. Last year I felt my images needed something extra, so I began to stitch onto them and attach beads. I learnt to sew at eleven and quickly set about making my own clothes as a teenager. I have continued to develop my skills and have found the process of embellishing my hand made photographs most intuitive. Creativity is very much my life rather than a part of it and now I’ve opened the door again, there’s no end to my ideas and inspirations. What is it that you enjoy about your work? Having recently started my business, much is a learning curve. I’m enjoying meeting new people, working with other artists and the fact that no day is ever the same. This year, I’m looking forward to concentrating on some new large scale and ambitious pieces! I love the magic when the image I have waited patiently for is revealed during the final stage of the process, It excites me every time and rarely disappoints. I also enjoy the quiet intricacy of the hand sewing which somewhat becomes my meditation time. Most of all, I love to express myself creatively and translate my ideas into beautiful pieces of work.


What is your biggest crafting achievement, and why? – do you have a picture? Making Roger and friends has to be top! The reaction from the public to my ceramic pigs is wonderful and I’d love to make more in the near future and develop work which makes a statement, exploring form as well as material.

Other than your crafting, what else do you like to do? I love to bake when time allows and I enjoy reading as well as watching films and spending time with my two sons. I also enjoy taking the time to become involved in the Preston and Liverpool Carnivals along with my friends from Lancashire

If you had to choose your favourite from your creations which one would it be? ‘I know why the caged bird sings' a piece I’m about to finish with a wire cage frame. It was inspired by the book of the same name, written by Maya Angelou, a most amazing and interesting woman. Where does your inspiration come from? I’m inspired by books, nature, history, architecture, lace, my own curious mind, films, other artists, shopping, people, words and conversations! The list goes on. I believe a true artist can draw their inspiration from anything and everything. If you could change one thing about what you do what would it be? Presently I love the ideas I’m making, however I would love to start working with clay again on large scale animals and garden-ware. I’d also love to begin experimenting with bringing two of my greatest passions together, photography and ceramics using finer white clay bodies. Do you have a favourite website?

Has any person helped or supported you more than any other? I have some very encouraging friends in the ‘Thursday girls’ who have put up with me being rather boring at times. Also arty friends who I have met recently, my business mentor was most encouraging and older friends. My family have listened a great deal, particularly my sister and my brother helped immensely when I was working on my cash flow for my plan. I appreciate them all however my biggest thanks is to my sons, when they help it’s wonderful. The youngest has sat all day on stalls patiently, also dealing with customers and the eldest is great with all the online parts I’m learning, making my website too. I may give them a little ear ache but they are lovely lads.

No particular favourite site; I tend to flit about when time allows to see lovely things others make or am led to some interesting or odd places during my research. Such as the Bus spotters site recently where people have photographs of vintage buses! I do like the Craft council’s site to see the latest news on some great Tell us a random fact about exhibitions and it was this that helped yourself! me find ‘Lost in lace’ in Birmingham I can’t ride a bike yet! and an old university friend.

Visit Christine at 43

Written By Imagine Create Design

You can visit Image Design Create’s Facebook and website here /#!/Pages/Imagine-DesignCreate,


here are so many new crafters starting up every day selling handmade creations. But for me, I wanted to ensure I did it properly. Start myself up as a real small business, because I wanted it to be my future and help secure a happy and comfortable future for my family. I've always loved designing and creating so I knew that this was the career for me, self employment seemed the way forward so after a year of playing around with ideas, researching starting up a business and testing the water for interested i decided to start up my business 'Imagine Design Create' My idea was to offer something different to what is already out there, i want to offer colourful creations & colourful creative supplies/crafty kits. 1. The first thing i did was choose my business name, i wanted it to be something that would reflect what it was i was doing so Imagine Design Create seemed to suit me well! I went onto the business names website to check it wasn’t already registered to a creative business.

also help me when filling out my HMRC 2. I set myself up with a facebook paperwork as all the incomings and page, to display my creations & a outgoings would be separate. website to sell them. I found that offered the best deals for what i was after but there are many 6. Advertise, I'm constantly looking for ways to network with other businesses brilliant website hosts out there. and advertise my own, so I joined places such as the Professional Crafters 3. I used a small amount of my savings to purchase enough stock to Guild, Creative Connections and other keep me going with personalised networking sites. orders and make up enough stock for my website. 7. Enjoy! - After setting myself up i got back to the thing I enjoy most, 4. After my first official sale I Imagining, Designing and Creating, I'm registered myself with the HMRC as constantly coming up with new ideas, self employed (after jumping up and its sometimes hard to find the time to down with excitement), i wanted to make them all being that I'm a mother make sure I was doing everything to a 1 year old and have a baby on the right! - Next I registered for exception way in June! from National Insurance as i knew i would not be earning above the threshold to start with. – I set myself up with all the different forms & documents I would need to record all the general business information ‘incomings / outgoings’ etc. 5. After a month of trading I looked into setting up a separate bank account for the money I earned to be put into, not only would this look more professional to those purchasing but 44

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