Sunday, 21 April 2013

Flower Brooch Tutorial

Yay, the Sun is finally shining! Spring is here and when the daffodils are at their best the car-boot sales start- wonderful places to pick up some buttony bargains. It can be difficult getting up early on a Sunday morning but with the sunlight bursting through the curtains we decided to go to our first this year. It was not a disappointment. The hubby spotted a Quality Street tin, often a great sign, and sure enough it contained buttons. I love taking them home and sorting through them, it's not quite the same when they're already sorted. There was a card labelled with "Fashionable Buttons, Made in England" with 3 yellow buttons still attached priced at 6p. The best before date on the tin is Oct 1988 and it was still Mackintosh Quality Street back then.
My favourites were two sets of green buttons, similar but different so I can't decide which I like better.
I also bought some knitting and crochet bits and bobs, I'll feature them in a future post. Fingers crossed for more car-boot sale finds this year! Now on to the tutorial.

Flower Brooch Tutorial 
This brooch can be made using any a variety of fabric providing it has a bit of stiffness. Felt is a good choice, shop bought or from a wooly jumper shrunk in the wash. A previous post, "Keep Your Cutoffs", features a brooch made in the same way using left over bonded fabric. The finished example using the measurements below creates quite a large flower, approx. 10cm X 10cm. Obviously if you want a smaller one just decrease all the measurements as required. All the measurements are approximate as they don't need to be spot on, after all flowers aren't geometrically precise so the brooch needn't be either ;-)

You will need- felt for the flower in colour of your choice- roughly 20cm x 20cm, green felt for the leaves- 6cm x 5cm , brooch finding, needle and matching thread

Instructions continue after the break. . . . .

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Brooch Making Frenzy

Unfortunately, we didn't have any takers for the giveaway so I am going to extend it, surely someone has something to say about buttons, for example how wonderful they are? ;-) It's difficult not to get tempted by the fabric bundle myself, they're crying out to used, some patchwork hearts or mini bunting perhaps?
All you have to do is leave a button related comment OR email craftinernest[at]gmail[dot]com mentioning buttons OR tweet @CraftInErnest, you guessed it, about buttons!

This week I have mainly been making brooches, here's a few I've made using various materials and techniques-

The weekend post will include a tutorial to make a felt rose brooch!
Also I did some button-related crafting (I think you're starting to realise how much I love buttons),

And these extremely simple button earrings. Just a case of using a strong glue (e.g. epoxy resin or E6000) to attach earring posts to a pair of buttons. I particularly like these vintage, metal buttons

I also had a great day on Saturday with my Dad out our second "Time to Knot" macrame meeting at Craft in the Bay. We arrived a few hours late as my Dad had to get a quick (not at all) round of golf in, but we still had a lot of fun. I knocked up a rather simple bracelet but haven't attached a clasp yet.

Thanks for reading! Remember to Craft in Earnest x Craftin' Ernest 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

GIVEAWAY- Fabric Bundle and Vintage Buttons!

Hi there, today’s post will catch up on a few things and include the first giveaway!
In a previous post, I mentioned a small, oak table I renovated in a class with my Dad for my Mum. I didn't have a photo to hand at the time of that post but took a couple over the weekend. As I said before I don’t have a picture of it before we got cracking sorry. Just imagine a really black table barely recognizable as wood. A lot of elbow grease, a scraper, very fine wire wool and some furniture wax later…..voilĂ 

We had some bad news on the sheepskin front :-( Seven of the ten skins were rejected by the dresser (the person who inspects and prepares the skin) as the fleece was too long and some had begun to moult. Hard to believe in the weather we've been having! To look on the bright side, at least three are going to be tanned. It would have been heart-breaking if they were all unsuitable.
On Sunday I taught a crochet class to seven beginners that hopefully have caught the crochet bug- it’s awfully hard to resist! The all did really well and were super keen, I really enjoyed myself.

So on to the giveaway….........The prize is a varied bundle of 10x10cm fabric squares (approx. 85 in total) and 5 vintage, peach coloured buttons!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, send me a tweet @craftinernest OR email me on craftinernest[at]gmail[dot]com (fill in the "at" and "dot" as normal - I'm trying to avoid spambots) and mention BUTTONS. The closing date is Wednesday 17th April and I will pick a random winner on Thursday 18th April.
Best of luck and remember to Craft in Earnest!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Sheepskin Slippers

This post probably isn't for you if you are a strict vegan! I’m most definitely a meat eater. I know there are a lot of good arguments for and against eating meat, I’m afraid I love the taste just too much to contemplate giving it up. My Mum is a strict vegetarian and has been since she was fifteen, so we’re used to veggie food although she did cook meat for us, but she eats dairy and wears leather.
Up until about 2 years ago my parents had a couple of sheepskin rugs in their house. One on the floor in front of the television and from childhood right up until they gave them away, I use to lie on it when watching TV. Here’s a good old 80’s photo (hence the poor quality) of my brother and me doing just that!
My boss, Pete, keeps sheep on his small holding for breeding and to sell the meat. They are all the same breed, Lleyn which originated in the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales. He sells the ewes for breeding and the males (wethers) for meat when they are old enough. Until then he gives them everything they could want on his orchard/farm in North Somerset overlooking the Avon Valley. Here's a picture of me helping to feed some of the ewes:
Last year I went over to his during lambing season just in time to see twins being born. Unfortunately the first did not come out smoothly, it took over an hour and was quite traumatic but the second popped straight out no problem. They were both fine and healthy though. This is a picture of the first lamb: