Thursday 21 February 2013

Spring 2013 Issue

Brighten up a drab and dreary day, and blow away those cobwebs with the UK Handmade spring issue!

Alongside the regular selection of gorgeous handmade goodies, tutorials, recipes and reviews, UK Handmade brings you exclusive interviews with inspiring designers and makers who use their own unique creativity to provide us with a fresh take on everyday items. So throw off those winter woollies, fling open your windows and breathe in some FRESH air.

You can view it here

UK Handmade is a design led online magazine committed to showcasing and promoting the best creative talent the UK has to offer. You can find out more about the magazine and submitting articles here

Monday 4 February 2013

Get stitching!

I've felt in a real creative slump recently...moving house hasn't helped, in fact it's stopped me from sewing for many weeks now. I felt like I needed to do something to push myself a bit more and try and learn something a bit different. I've always loved hand sewing and blanket stitch is something I love doing for my owls and rabbits, but I felt it was time to learn a few more stitches. I started having a look around on the internet and got completely sucked into embroidery tutorials, stitching blogs and oh so many video tutorial on youtube. It is seriously addictive and once you start looking at all the embroidery stitches that are our there and all the amazing work people have created, you just want to grab some thread and give it a go!

I was very lucky to receive some beautiful handmade wedding presents. One of which is the owl and the pussycat image at the top of this blog post. Made by the wonderful Sally of Tinkering Times, it hangs on our bedroom wall and I look at it everyday. Recently, I've started to study it in more detail and look closely at the stitches, all the tiny details Sally added to this piece never cease to amaze me.

So, inspired by Sally's work, I ordered an embroidery hoop, got out my embroidery thread, begged a couple of crewel needles from my Mum and started to try out some embroidery of my own. Since looking at a few tutorials I can now recognise some of the different stitches and I have to say that I have fallen slightly in love with split stitch. Having always had an urge to embroider words, split stitch fits the bill nicely. I've always loved blanket stitch, but split stitch is so lovely for creating letters.

I'm pretty please with my first attempt. I think I may have had the thread too thick on the first set of letters I created, or maybe the letters were too small. I tried less thread and bigger letters on the second attempt and can't decide which I prefer. More thread gives a bolder look. I know the embroidery hoop bandwaggon has been trundling along for quite some time, but I can really see the appeal. I've got lots of handmade hoop gifts planned for all my family and friends now I've caught the letter-making bug. Also, once I've practiced a bit more, I'm going to make my daughter some personalised items and if I like them, I may make some more and stock them in my Pouch stores!

Just as a little footnote, I found this video to be very helpful, it's simple and informative and a great place to start if you're new to embroidery.


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