Monday, September 29, 2008

A word of caution...

It is around this time of year, we crafters begin tackling the long list of handmade christmas presents to be made in time for December.  I know, myself, last year I made a start in September, and after months of stitching, was still finishing off the last one, sat watching 'Home Alone' on dvd on christmas day.  Whilst, some can instantly appreciate the work that goes into designing, choosing fabrics and thread, the hours spent sewing and embroidering a handmade gift, I fear that there are others, who do not.  Despite all the thought, preparation and time that went into each highly personalised present I made, the only two people to say 'thank you' were my mum and mum-in-law, from everyone else the response was..., well, nothing!

I won't be doing it again.

(other than for those that are truly deserved, and they know who they are, last year even my own children missed out)  

The effort this year will be no more than a bit of internet shopping with a credit card.  

Please make sure your own efforts are not as sadly misplaced as mine were.

On a brighter note, there is a preview of Issue One of Sew Hip available, my contribution is below,

I can't wait to see the magazine in the flesh!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bit early for snow...!

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my previous post, I love what French Knots said about 'head spaghetti',  yes, that is so what it has been like, unravelling spaghetti!  The whole exercise has been somewhat cathartic too, and I do feel all the better for having gone through the process, and all for such a very good cause.  I can't say too much at present, but it is all to do with a magazine article I've written, something I'm very excited about and will explain more later in the year.

In amongst all the wordiness that has been going on, a little bit of sewing has managed to sneak through, one snowy owl...

which will be in the post to my giveaway winner as soon as I email her for an address!

He didn't turn out as snowy as I'd have liked, he kind of took on his own direction during creation, which was quite refreshing seeing him evolve that way.  He's larger than my other owls, and also has some fly stitch added to his tummy, another feature that I found seemed to be calling out to be included.

Next on the 'to do' list is another project for issue 2 of Sew Hip magazine, don't forget, issue 1 is due to hit the shops very shortly, you can sign up for a subscription here so you don't miss either of the Lucykate Crafts... patterns.  Now, I just need to decided, do I go and watch the 'Sex & the City' re-run later, or do I make one of these?  I really need to make a girly version for Lucy to use for the tooth fairy, she has wobblers, 4 of them, finally!  Bless her, she's nearly 7 and still not lost any teeth!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Unravelling...

We went to visit my mum at the weekend, and on the drive home, while the kids were both asleep, we actually managed to have a conversation (remember those?!).  Now, my husband is a difficult person to stand next to professionally, he is very talented, dedicated and hard working, (for those who don't already know, this is what he does!), all of which makes him a very tough task master.  

(portrait painted by Mr LK, Me & Lucy, 2002)

Just recently, I have had to look at my own current work on a deeper level in an attempt to further identify my style and niche.  When I was at college, I didn't engage with my full potential in the slightest, preferring to be in the pub rather than the studio (don't all students though?!), and since leaving, I worked for a large company, where you couldn't pick and choose the projects, you just worked on whatever brief you were given.  It wasn't until I was given a rag doll project that I really found, after all these years, what I was looking for.  

Now I know what I like, I also need to understand why I like it, hence the conversation, which went something like this...

Mr LK : So, where do your ideas come from?

me : From my head,

Mr LK : Snot comes from your head, doesn't mean it's a good idea, where do your ideas come from?

me : errr, I don't know, they just (head spinning at this point), come down my arms, through the needle as I'm sewing.  I like working small,

Mr LK : Why do you like working small?

me : errr, I don't know, I just do, I like finer detail,

Mr LK : Right, now we are getting somewhere, why do you like finer detail?

me : errr, errr, errr, (help!)

This went on for about 30 minutes, he was like a dog with a bone, not giving up until he got some answers!  In the end, between us, we did come up with some very thought provoking ideas (which I'll go into fully another time), but good grief, I feel sorry for his students when he's lecturing!  It was, however, an interesting exercise in unravelling my work.  I came home and after finishing off some urgent sewing, had a root through all my old stuff, some of which I'm so embarrassed by, but there was the odd thing that made me giggle...

...like these!, an idea I had for 3D christmas cards.  There are more than just these two,

I also did a Father Christmas one, and a Rudolf one.  They are a bit bashed about, having been in a portfolio for the last three years, and I'm sure if I re-made them now, I'd do a much neater job.  I think one will most definitely become a christmas tutorial here on the blog, which one though?, which one would you like instructions to make?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bad head, bad blogger...!

I have been a bad blogger of late, lots going on though, look...,

photographic evidence of some actual sewing, more birds, which I'm slowly working my way though for an Etsy shop update.  Time has been taken up with some projects for magazines, one project in particular, I'm very excited about, all to be revealed soon!

I have unfortunately, also been suffering with the mother of all migraines this week, and in my painkiller induced haze, completely forgot about this...

The October issue of Quick & Crafty magazine, turn to the giveaway page and there is a chance to win one of 2 Lucykate Crafts... handmade cushion covers, which I will personalise with embroidered lettering of your choice!  So if you want to be in with a chance of winning, buy the magazine, and send off the slip with your contact details, closing date for entries is the 3rd October.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Winners & WIP's...

This week is the beginning of my new working regime, Luke has started his pre school sessions, yipee!  I have been slowly working through my to do list and amazingly getting through it, now if I could just find the list, I could tick stuff off!

At the weekend, I was riffling through my fabrics and realised I have quite a few sewing based prints which gave me an idea which I'm going to try out via Etsy.  The bird isn't finished yet, there is another element to add, but he will be part of a little group titled 'The Sewing Birds'

(I love this print!)

Edited to add the fabric details since a few of you have asked, it is by Moda, their 'Wee Play' range by American Jane and is called Rulers.  I got it from Sew Mama Sew, unfortunately this colourway is sold out but they have blue available)

On to important business, the giveaway winner.  Luke has been learning how to use my computer, he's managed to grasp watching monster truck racing on You Tube, so I gave him the task this morning of picking a winner.  In place of the high tech random number generator thingy, we used the "Mum scrolls up and down through all the comments while little boy closes his eyes and points a sticky finger at the screen shouting 'that one'!" method.  Worked well, apart from the fact that the screen now needs cleaning, but the winner is...


I'm quite looking forward to this as Barbara's chosen colour scheme is that of a snowy owl, which is something I've not done before but I'm finding quite an inspiring idea.  I will add it to my to do list, when I find it, that is!