Thursday, 25 July 2013

Summer is finally here...

(although I hope I haven't jinxed it by saying that!) what with the sunshine and the talent displayed on Facebook lately, I am feeling both energised and inspired. So much so, that I've undertaken in some rather self indulgent crafts in order to get me working again, by way of a little dress-making and some art-journaling.

I've wanted a 'Cloth Kit' for some time, having visited their stand at The Knitting and Stitching Show on a number of occasions, admiring their ready-made clothes. I couldn't believe my luck when I found their 'Big Birdie Skirt Kit' in Hobbycraft's January sale! (yes, I know... but I've only just found the time!).

I quite fancy trying my hand at making a summer dress, using some fabric that I hand-dyed the other year, but thought this 'Cloth Kit' was a better starting point, since I'd never made an item of clothing before.

Cloth Kits - 'Big Birdie Skirt Kit'
Photograph originally uploaded by Abby Swanwick

The kit came with everything you need to make the skirt, including thread! The pattern was ready-printed onto the fabric, all I had to do was cut it to size (size 8-18 marked out). It also contained step-by-step instructions that were really easy to follow.

Cloth Kits - 'Big Birdie Skirt Kit'
Photograph originally uploaded by Abby Swanwick

I had to redo one or two stages along the way-but I feel it went quite well considering. I'm much more confident about having a go at making my summer dress now!

I love the idea of keeping a sketchbook/journal and adore looking through those of others, but I'm rubbish at both. I read back over the drivel I wrote in my journal and cringe; I struggle to find the time/lack confidence/lose interest in keeping a sketchbook. So when I read about Dina Wakley's 'Graffiti of my life' online art journaling course in Roben Marie Smith's blog, I had to have a go!

Dina guides you through her process for creating an art-journal from preparing the pages with colour, stencilling, collage (with both paper and fabric), composition and book-binding. She provides both written/ illustrated instructions and video tutorials - the best thing is, that once purchased and downloaded, you can work through the course at your own pace... So I managed to encourage my Mum to have a go with me and three years later (it shouldn't actually take this long-rather a few days/weeks depending on how much free time you have) I'm almost finished.

'Graffiti of my life' art-journal
Photograph originally uploaded by Abby Swanwick

I really enjoy foreign travel and would like to create art-journals containing sketches, photographs and collected ephemera such as tickets and receipts for each of the destinations I've visited. I can see such potential in the techniques I've leant from Dina's art-journaling course, to now enable me to do this. In fact, I'm pretty sure it'll completely change the way I work, now that I am able to break away from a sketchbook and bind loose sheets myself.

I've made a real effort to keep up with and share the goings-on on all social media platforms this past few weeks-and it's done me the world of good... I have a renewed passion for my craft and for getting Kefluti up and running. Although we're still house-hunting, I'm hoping to have Kefluti's Folksy Store open in time for Christmas! So keep checking back to read about my progress. You can also keep up to date with what I'm up to via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by...


Friday, 5 July 2013

Change of plan...

Keflüti's folksy store opening, which was due to take place this month (July), will sadly be postponed until further notice... 
for T and I are moving in together!!! :)

The past few weeks have been occupied with finding a location we like, (closer to where T works), and house-hunting, hence no blog posts and few Facebook/Twitter updates. We are now back in the throws of house-hunting again, after the purchase of our preferred property fell through earlier this week :(

Since T is also a graphic designer and a budding photographer, our number one requirement of a property, is a studio space which hopefully, once we're settled, will allow me to be much more productive (since I currently work between the dining room table and the sofa!!)

What with all that has been going on, plus work being much busier than usual, I have inevitably been suffering from creative block. However, with a constant need for greetings cards, and my subscription to Craftseller magazine enthusing me by providing copyright-free papers and card designs, (amongst many other things), I'm enjoying a new found, stress-busting yet creative activity...

Birthday card created using Craftseller Magazine's July 2013/Issue 25
copyright-free paper collection

Photograph originally uploaded by Abby Swanwick

Father's Day card created using Craftseller Magazine's June 2013/Issue 24
copyright-free paper collection

Photograph originally uploaded by Abby Swanwick

In addition to this, I have completed a third patch for NFU Countryside's Knitting Project...

A third patch for NFU Countryside's Knitting Project
Photograph originally uploaded by Abby Swanwick
developed from patch number two...

A second patch for NFU Countryside's Knitting Project
Photograph originally uploaded by Abby Swanwick

which I'm quite proud of, since I had to work out how to extend the diamond pattern, this being the first time I've 'designed' a knitting pattern!

I can't promise to be any more productive both creatively or socially over the next few weeks than of late, for obvious reasons, but I am hoping to use any time I have, to build stock and design new products for the imminent launch of Keflüti's folksy store... I'll keep you posted...

Keep checking back both on here, Facebook and Twitter to see what I've been up to...

Many thanks for your continued support!

Abby :)