Saturday, 31 August 2013

Purse and Bag Charms

No, I haven’t suddenly become a jewellery maker over night!  I just love purse and bag charms.  I have collected quite a few over the years that I have been selling on folksy.  Some I have given away as gifts, but some I have kept.  Recently, I had been thinking that I would love to make them.  I felt sure that they couldn’t be difficult, once you know how!  I also thought that because I make purses (and used to make bags) that they were not too far removed from what I do!  Not sure at this point if I will try and sell them!  It depends how I get on.

So far, I have asked for some advice about how to get started and received some from a lovely jewellery maker on folksy.  I have purchased some tools, findings and beads – oh, and a few charms!  I also watched one of those really help instruction videos that you can find on the web.  Learnt some essential tips!

Over the years I have been collecting beads of all types and sizes, not that I had a clue what I was going to do with them!  So I have a box full now plus a few in scattered places around my home!  I used the small pearls beads for my embroidery and I just love them.  Recently, I started using them on my purses with lace and ribbon.  I have a tendency to get carried away when I am embellishing and I often need reigning in!

Oh, in case you were wondering these beautiful bag charms I am illustrating my blog post with are NOT MINE!  They are a selection of my favourite ones that I found on folksy.  Please click on the photos and visit the shops.  The sellers have some amazing, gorgeous items for sale. 

The other thing I have done is start a new Pinterest board which I hope to fill with bag charms that I find, that I just can’t resist!  It will be a lovely collection, I am sure, when I have collected a few more.  Here is the link: purse and bag charms

I haven’t started yet, but I certainly have ideas for my first attempts at making bag charms.  I think it is a really good idea to expand your craft knowledge – don’t you agree?  Perhaps, I should mention that I have no previous knowledge of jewellery making, but I am really looking forward to getting started and if I think my attempts are worthy of showing then I will let you see them!

I am very busy at the moment.  Isn’t it crazy that I am contemplating learning a new craft in the midst of so much to do!  But, what is that saying? – "give a busy woman another job to do and it will get done quickly" – "give a woman who has loads of time on her hands and it will get done sometime, soon whenever!"  The reason I am so busy is because both my sisters have asked me to make stuff for them, plus one of my nieces is going to be a bridesmaid in a few weeks, and she wants me to make her a purse made with the same fabric as her dress (and a matching tie for her little boy!)  I have also two commissions to work on and complete.

Of course, all this extra work will be on top of my rolling workload of makes that are being constantly progressed – purses, notebooks and some new items for Christmas that I am working on!  Crazy? Yes, it helps when you are a busy creative crafter!

Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you enjoyed looking at all the bag charms that I found on folksy.  Can I encourage you to explore a new craft or technique too?  It is very exciting.  I can’t wait to get started on making my very own handmade bag and purse charms!



FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Adien Crafts, D & K Designs, Di Keeble Beads and Jewellery, Jaysmonkey, Wild Rose Designs, Michelle's Handcrafted Jewellery, Bobby's Boutique, Black Swan Designs.

Saturday, 17 August 2013


Today, I am happy to introduce Clare Sherwen and her lovely work.  Printmaking and painting is something that interests me, and knowing a little about the process, I was very impressed with Clare’s work. I am delighted that she agreed to be a special feature on my blog.  Please click on the photos and visit Clare’s folksy shop and have a browse.

Clare says:

“My favourite item in my folksy shop has to be my Purple Cat print, he came out so well and has just been featured in a brand new book called “The Printmakers Cat” which I am still in shock about!”

How long have you been selling on Folksy?

"Since 2011 and I am on my 111th sale which I still can’t quite believe!"

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, your background and how you got to do what you do?

"I’ve always been arty and love creating things and I did my degree in Fine Art (Printmaking) a few years ago. I specialised in the etching printmaking process at university but it is not really the safest form of printmaking to do at home with all the acids etc! A few years ago I managed to get an affordable table top printing press and started experimenting in collagraph printmaking. This is a safer form of printmaking which involves using a card printing plate and adding various textures with paint, enamel, glue etc and then I print from these plates on my dining room table."

“I’m very reluctant to part with the original painting that this card is taken from. I was there at just the right moment to catch that typical sleepy cat look!”

"This year I have been concentrating on selling online and getting my artwork out into exhibitions. So far I have had three exhibitions and two more are coming soon and I still love the thrill of seeing my art displayed on the wall!"

What is the inspiration/motivation behind your designs?

"As you can see from my shop I’m a little obsessed with animals, especially cats! I’ve just got a tiny mischievous black and white kitten called Morpheus and he is definitely the inspiration behind my most recent artworks!

For my exhibition work I mostly produce prints based on architecture which create a sense of heritage and have a very textural and tonal quality, for my online work I tend to do smaller prints and recently a lot of animal motifs have been creeping in! I have been concentrating on making animal prints and have done a series of purple animal collagraph prints with my most popular being a hippo print which sold very well in the USA!"  

“Another favourite is my lino cut print of my new kitten Morpheus looking very cute!”

"I also love watercolour and acrylic painting and have recently started painting ACEOs (mini collectable artworks that are 3.5 x 2.5” in size) which I only discovered about on the daily Art Thread on the Folksy forum. I’ve now sold over 200 of these all over the world and love the fact that anyone can afford a small piece of original art and start building up their own art collection!

How do you decide what to create next?

I always work from photos so I’m usually inspired by the last place I have visited whether it’s the local zoo with their amazing tigers or my recent holiday to Turkey where I took over a thousand photos and still need to find the time to start working on them properly! I get bored working on just one thing so I love being able to work on a huge animal painting one day to a tiny cat print, to then printing up a load of bags the next day!"

“This is one of ACEOs. They are a real challenge to paint so small but very addictive!”

"I’m hoping to start promoting my watercolour pet portrait commissions soon as I had a break from doing too many as I was so busy over the Christmas period last year. I’m hoping people will be a bit earlier with ordering them than last year so I’m not painting right up until the last Christmas posting day again!

What else would you like to share?

I’d like to say how grateful I am to everyone on the Folksy forums. I’d never been on a forum before so it was a little scary at first but everyone was so welcoming and helpful. The knowledge base that is on there is amazing and I don’t think I would have been able to get quite so far with my selling without everyone’s help."

“This is one of my most complicated to do collagraph prints as the bridge is so detailed so it was a real challenge but I am so pleased how it has came out.”

I asked Clare which three items she liked from my folksy shop.

“Love the colours and detail on this one.”

“Love the notebooks and very hard to choose a favourite but this fabric is so pretty.”

“Beautiful coloured fabric.”

If you would like to see or know more about Clare and her work then please click on these links.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope you have enjoyed reading about Clare and her work. Please come back soon.



Saturday, 10 August 2013

Fabric, Chinese take away, chocolate limes and hessian

As you can see from the photo I have recently purchased some new fabrics.  I get really excited when new fabrics arrive and I start thinking about all the possibilities that they represent.  What shall I make with them?  The tractor fabric was on sale and a total bargain so I immediately thought of a pencil case for a boy – I am not sure what else, as I find boys difficult!  Do you have any ideas?

I am sure I shall be making pencil cases, purses, probably a sketchbook or two, notebooks, and may be a couple of diary covers. As it’s that time of the year when you start thinking about the big C, no doubt I shall consider other items too.  Well, I never used to think about C. in August but now I have a shop to stock, it’s different!

Pinterest Boards
Recently, I have made a few Pinterest boards that I really like – I don’t seem to share the same view as folksy on this, but never mind!  Anyway, I thought I would share a few with you and also some selected items from the boards to illustrate my blog post.

Let’s start with “Chinese take away”.  This board was inspired by Shirley’s Dolls House Rug Chinese Dragon in Blue from Whimsy Woo Designs.  It started me wondering what other Chinese handmade items were available on folksy.

When I start searching for images for my board, I never think: what have I got in my shop that fits the theme?  So it always a nice surprise when I am searching, to come across one of my own items that fits in nicely with the theme.  You can find this large Chinese silk cosmetic purse in my folksy shop Handmade by Edwina.

Now who does not like "chocolate limes"?  Well, folksy apparently, because this was another of my boards that has not been chosen for the front page.

This time my inspiration came from the knowledge that the two boards I had previously created and folksy had chosen for the front page were both single colour boards.  So I thought of a colour and then decided to forget that idea, and do a themed board based on two colours: chocolate and lime!
Some gorgeous items were discovered in my search.

Love this tatted brown lace bookmark by Heather from TataniaRosa.

I love buttons so I was definitely drawn to this pretty button bracelet by Clair of Folbar Beads.  I must get around to buying one as they must be really fun to wear.  (Clair is on holiday at the moment, but please do come back and visit her shop.)

Finally, my very favourite board is called simply “Hessian” and what a lovely selection of items I found during my search.  I feel hessian is a much underrated fabric and it certainly deserves much more attention.

Those of you who know me will understand why I have chosen this Love Hanging Embroidery hoop.  Yes, I love embroidery!  This was made by Lisa of dilly dally.

Cupcakes – now who does not love them?  So when I saw these cards with the hessian background, they were definitely made for my board.  Created by Lucie from Love, Lucie these Yummy Cup Cake 'Lovely Mum' Card are a super combination of texture and machine embroidery.

I have created one or two other boards, but I think I will end it there.  Do visit the shops of these creative sellers by clicking on the photo and have a browse at their lovely products.

Hope you have enjoyed reading my post and looking at my Pinterest boards.



Saturday, 3 August 2013

Creative Angels

August Angels is the name that was chosen for the daily listing club on folksy during the month of August. This is a group of individual creative sellers on folksy who share their newly made items, chat, laugh, offer and receive support, commiserate, and celebrate both personal and folksy triumphs and report all folksy sales. A daily (monthly) tally is kept of all sales received by the group members. The club is open to anyone who wants to join and who regularly add new makes to their folksy shop.

What are angels?

Wikipedia defines angel as a supernatural being or spirit, usually humanoid in form, found in various religions and mythologies. They are often depicted as benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between Heaven and Earth, or as guardian spirits or a guiding influence.

Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out God's tasks.
Whether you believe or don’t believe in angels, the notion of a supernatural benevolent being who acts as a guardian does appeal to some people. They like the idea that a guardian angel watches and cares for them during their 21st century lives.

Early Christians inherited Jewish understandings of angels, which in turn may have been partly inherited from the Egyptians. In the early stage, the Christian concept of an angel characterized the angel as a messenger of God. Angels are creatures of good, spirits of love, and messengers of Jesus Christ.

Many Christians regard angels as asexual and not belonging to either gender . Angels are on the other hand usually depicted in painting and sculpture as looking like male human beings. However, while cherubim and seraphim have wings in the Bible, no angel is mentioned as having wings.

Contemporary belief in angels
As recently as the 20th century, visionaries and mystics have reported interactions with, and indeed dictations from, angels.
A 2002 study based on interviews with 350 people, mainly in the UK, who said they have had an experience of an angel, describes several types of such experiences: visions, sometimes with multiple witnesses present; auditions, e.g. to convey a warning; a sense of being touched, pushed, or lifted, typically to avert a dangerous situation. In the visual experiences, the angels described appear in various forms, either the "classical" one (human countenance with wings), in the form of extraordinarily beautiful or radiant human beings, or as beings of light.

In the US, a 2008 survey by Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, published by TIME magazine, which polled 1,700 respondents, found that 55 percent of Americans, including one in five of those who say they are not religious, believe that they have been protected by a guardian angel during their life.

A 2008 survey of over 1000 Canadians found 67 percent believe in angels.

The creative sellers in the folksy daily listing club are not angels as defined by Wikipedia, but they do regularly make the most beautiful handmade items, e.g. jewellery, cards, art, paintings, purses, knitted and crocheted goods, cushion covers, wonderful throws, blankets, quilts, cases, book covers, novelty items, and as in my case, handmade notebooks and journals.  You can also buy craft supplies – did you know that? I have illustrated my blog post today with a few of these lovely items.  Please click on the photographs and it will take you directly to the seller’s shop on folksy. Stop, have a browse, you are bound to find that gift you have been meaning to buy, or why not treat yourself?  Many of the sellers have "sale" items so you may even find yourself a bargain!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog post on angels and will come back for another visit soon.



TOP TO BOTTOM: Violet Vickers Creations, Bojanglies, Wild Rose Designs - Handmade Bags and Accessories, The Card Jeanie, The Beaded Garden, JAustenJewelleryDesign and Whimsy Woo Designs.