Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Toadstool tutorial (and some big news)...

This is a project I've been meaning to try for a while, and decided this morning to give it a go and photograph it at the same time.  So, if you'd like to make a little toadstool all of your very own, you will need...

fabric, size 10x8cm for the stalk
circle of felt, size 3cm diameter for the base
2 ovals, roughly 9cm wide by 8cm tall, one in felt, the other in fabric for the toadstool top
embroidery thread
polyfil stuffing
small smooth pebble
selection of buttons (optional)

Take the fabric rectangle, fold in half, right sides together and sew 0.5cm in from the edge, then turn the 'tube' the right way round,

turn the raw edge inwards and pop a little polyfil into the open end to help it hold it's shape,

place the felt disk over the end and oversew with the embroidery thread.

Next, remove the polyfil and replace with a small, smooth pebble wrapped in some more polyfil to weight the base.  Continue stuffing the stalk until it is full.

Now you will need the 2 ovals shapes, cut a small circle in the centre of the felt one (this is for the stalk to sit in)... 

place them together, right sides out, pin and then sew all the way round the edge in blanket stitch.

At this stage, you could add some buttons on the top for decoration.

Turn the toadstool top upside down and stuff with polyfil through the hole, careful not to overstuff as this will make it top heavy.

Place the toadstool top over the tip of the stalk, and attach by oversewing,

you can also add some extra, decorative, stitches underneath...

and voila!

Have fun!

EDIT TO POST, BIG NEWS...

The two latest craft kits I have designed for Anchor are now available to buy,



and all going well, and my small owl will also be available as a kit later this year!

If you make something from one of my tutorials please do join the Flickr group, Lucykate Crafts... pattern pieces, to show off your creations.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New wips...


I have been working on another one of these bags, just got to add the rest of the decoration.  This one is a slightly different shape to the first, curved at the bottom, mainly because I was running out of the felted wool, which is a shame as I do like the mottled background with the burgundy and green flowers and leaves.

Next, will be some stock for the Etsy shop 'Pink' range, which I've started playing around with some ideas for already.  The two little green owls were given to me by my mother-in-law, sweet aren't they?

We had a great trip down to London, although it did make me realise that the last 3 years of being a stay at home mum have left me feeling a bit out of touch.  I came to two decisions on the train on my way home,

1.  I need to subscribe to Selvedge magazine to get up to speed with what's going on in textiles these days, and...
2.  I need to go clothes shopping, there are so many fashion trends that seem to have passed me by!

Thank you for all the get well wishes, they are much appreciated and I am feeling much better I'm pleased to say.  Plus, how fantastic is this?!  A lady called EmilyT left a comment on the eye patch tutorial post...

"You're going to be famous in Cuba!  In a couple weeks I'm going down with our church group, and I had been asked to bring the stick-on patches for four kids in their neighborhood. I hated to bring something that could only be used once and thrown away.

So I took your wonderful directions, translated them into Spanish, added the photos (which are really helpful) and will bring them, together with an assortment of felt and decorations. Folks can make many many of their own.  Thanks, see how your goodness spreads all over!"

Emily, if you see this (unfortunately, blogger has given me no way of contacting you), I am so pleased!, I'd love it if you were able to send me some photographs.

Right, decision time, mop kitchen floor or sew, while Luke is still asleep..., what would you do?!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stuff...

Terrible title for a post, but I can't think of what else to put, it's been a busy week!.  The tonsillitis keeps coming back, plus I also have a heavy cold, and with it being the school holidays, potty training (which, on our second attempt, is going really well) and Mr LK away, I don't mind admitting I've been pretty knackered!  Shamefully, I didn't even get my act together to sort a wish list for Purl Patchwork while he was in New York, but luckily for me, he took matters into his own hands, and paid a visit to Kinokuniya and came away with a lovely selection of books, which I thought I'd share...

Look at those amazing crochet hooks, where on earth can I get one??!


Some lovely felted bags, I really like the handles on these two,

really nice coaster sets,

lovely corsages,

more felted bags,

and just lots and lots of inspiration in general.


A few of you have asked for tips about felting, to be honest, I'm no expert, I'm a chuck it in the washing machine and hope for the best kind of girl, and believe me, there have been a few disasters.  There was one charity shop jumper, it was really nice, tan wool, sleeveless top but it felted and shrank so much that it now looks like a comical hot water bottle cover!.  It will make a nice bag though and quite sturdy too, as it's so thick.  The best advice on felting is from Betz White and in particular this post as she gives before and after examples.

 This week is back to school, so Wednesday should, in theory, be my first proper day crafting in a while, but instead I am off to London with Mr LK for a private view of The Royal Society of Portrait Painters, at the Mall Gallery to see his work on show.  It is the first time in a long, long while I've been able to go, I've either been working myself, or looking after the children.  Now we live closer to London, it is much easier to make the trip, we're not used to going anywhere on our own though without the children, I'll have to remember that this time I don't need wet wipes and chocolate buttons in my bag!

Thank you for all the lovely 'pink cat' comments, and yes, it will be part of the next Etsy shop update, so for now, back to sewing!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pink...

Finally finished, been tricky fitting any sewing in around, one minute happily playing, the next squabbling, children.  We've spent a fair bit of time all huddled around the kitchen table, me sewing, and them either drawing or squishing playdoh!.

This is for the 'pink' catagory of the Softie Awards.  I was already contemplating pink as a theme for the next range destined for my Etsy shop, and this has cemented the idea in my head, so 'PINK' it will be!

I was also a very lucky girl this week, as I won this lovely tea cosy in a giveaway by Janet Clare, fantastic isn't it?.  I just need a tea pot!

It's also about time I responded to being tagged by Jill (who also used to be a cross stitch designer, is new to blogging and has taken to it like a duck to water) for this meme, so...

4 jobs
as a student I spent a summer doing a night shift in an embroidery factory
PA to an interior designer
Needlecraft Designer for Coats Crafts UK
am currently a stay at home mum attempting to freelance!

4 films
Star Wars (the original one)
There's something about Mary
I also love all the old Cliff Richard films, Summer Holiday in particular, I remember watching them as a child
Elizabeth (I am fascinated by all things Tudor)

4 places I've been
I'm not very well traveled, I'm more of a home bird, but have made it to Paris, Portugal (on honeymoon, it rained!), and in the UK, we visit Cornwall and the Lake District often

4 places I've lived
I was born in Lincoln
grew up in a place called Formby, Merseyside
my first house was in Bolton
then we lived in a small village in west Lancashire before moving to the east Midlands

4 tv programmes
Have to admit, we don't watch much television these days, the one programme that I do sit down to see is Lost. Also love The Office (UK version), and The IT Crowd
I think my favorite programme of all time has to be The Good Life

4 radio programmes
I don't listen to the radio much either, I do however, listen to a lot of craft podcasts, love to have them on in the background when sewing

4 favorite foods
now, this is tricky as I love my food, I love all food, it's probably easier to tell you what I don't like, rice pudding, beetroot, oranges and anything with aniseed in it!

4 places I'd rather be
There isn't really anywhere I'd rather be than where I am now, although, Mr LK is off to New York on monday, I would love to be going with him.  Maybe one day...?!

Rather than tag anyone else as I'm pretty sure this meme has pretty much done the rounds, perhaps you can give me some ideas for a New York shopping list, what should I get him to bring back for me?!

Thank you for all your well wishes, am feeling much better.  Next project is to finish off a very special 'wip' for a 'vip' (my mother-in-law!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sewing and shopping, shopping and sewing...

I have been out of action for a few days, a bad (and my first ever!) bout of tonsillitis added to the school holidays have led to a bit of a craft shutdown. So last night, I decided I needed something to get me back on track, so began making something to enter in the Softie Awards,

After a quick trawl through all my images on Flickr, I decided that as this cat has proved popular, (it's been favorited by 67 people!), that was the pattern I would work from, plus I have a felted jumper in a really soft pink, which I've been dying to cut into when the right project came along.  It's not finished yet, but I'm hoping to get my entry in before the weekend.

Luckily, my credit card hasn't been affected by illness, and I did start to get a few deliveries of things I ordered last week,

lovely new books and embroidery thread,

and some pattern booklets and a rather lovely Elephant kit from Sewing Stars and Wee Wonderfuls.

If that little lot doesn't inspire me to get back to crafting, I don't know what will!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kids play!

After a healthy start to my Etsy shop (a big thank you to those who have been brave and taken the plunge with me, I'm all sold out of owls and dogs for now, but there are some little hedgehogs available), I had to hot foot it out shopping this morning for packaging, and again this afternoon, with a rather large bag of parcels to post.  This also means a chance to go round the local charity shops.  One shop, in particular is excellent, and today was no exception.  A woolly jumper, which I've already felted in the machine, and a couple of pillow cases, which colour wise, go really well together.  I'm thinking... another felted bag and lining?!


I also bought a book on toymaking.  This is from 1979, and I was expecting it to be full of soft toy patterns, but on closer inspection, it has loads of ideas for things to do with cardboard.  With our two week holiday from school looming (I would say easter holidays, but given we've already had easter, I'm not sure what to call it!), I thought I'd share some of the ideas...

village playmat,

houses,

a skyscraper, Luke would have fun knocking that down!,

and a dolls house.

Looking through the book reminded me of two blog posts I lurked on earlier this week.  This one from Udder on making little houses, and this from Tiny Happy, with a fab idea for drawing a whole town, for a train track.

Before I finish and on the subject of kids, I must tell you about Lucy's patching.  She was seen at the hospital last week, her weak eye has improved and is working almost as well as the other, so no more patching (for now, anyway), she has been discharged and can now go to a normal optician.  Thank you to all the people who have contacted me about the eye patch tutorial.  I'm so glad to hear that it has been helpful, and can assure you, that patching does indeed work magic!

To celebrate, she asked that I post a picture of the tie dyed cushion she made at Saturday Art Club, it's even got little beads she's made sewn on.  Given this blog actually does have her name on it, she thinks of it as hers now!