Saturday, 9 November 2013

Im officially a Fandom In Stitches Designer! Sqeeee

For those of you who follow me on facebook and twitter this will not be news because Ive been soo super excited about it all day... :)

Today I was officially published on Fandom In Stitches with my first ever PDF Paper Piece Pattern!!!!! This is incredibly exciting for me bcos I have been a HUGE fan of FandomInStitches ever since I found them in Jan 2013. 

Click this stinky linky !

For some bizarre unknown reason in the UK Paper Piecing as a technique is like a massive secret in terms of all things quilty and crafty... which is mental bcos its AWESOME! Its also known as Foundation Piecing and is very very different to English Paper Piecing which is to do with hexis etc.

Having been introduced to it I very quickly fell in love with the technique, and Im super greatful to the Fandom In Stitches designers bcos they share their patterns for Free! Ive sewn some incredible patterns from the site! Heres my Flickr Paper Pieced pics and have a gander at the Fandom Flickr Group! Seriously AWESOME right....!

So whats Paper Piecing??? 
Well basically speaking its a technique which involves sewing pieces of fabric onto paper... its great fun and it looks complicated but I promise you its SOOOOPER easy, esp as its all straight lines!

I learned how to do it from YouTube. This video was the one I used but you can google Paper Piecing or Foundation Piecing to find the video that makes the most sense to you :)
Karen Johnson, of Connecting Threads, teaches you the most common version of Foundation Piecing - usually known as Paper Piecing. Achieve perfect points on tiny blocks with just a few easy tips.

Tools required
Paper and a printer - bog std printer paper works fine!
Rotary Cutter 
Self Healing Cutting Mat
Card - and old greeting card is perfect
Ruler - add a quarter rulers are expensive here in the uk I just use a normal school plastic ruler!
Quilting Ruler - is very useful for trimming seam allowances bfor you piece your crazy jigsaw at the end 

So you want to know what I mean by sewing onto Paper?  

 This is what my Ice King Pattern looks like when its printed out and cut ready to go :) And very basically you sew the fabric onto the paper folding it out as you go following the numbered pieces :) Its fantastically fun and the best bit is you dont have to precut any of the pieces :) 

 So heres some of the pieces as I went along... You can see Ice Kings features starting to take shape :) The paper is on the back of the fabric :)
 And this is the stage of sewing where all of your peices are sewn... I call it the crazy jigsaw stage :)
 Then you start to sew the pieces together...
And you end up with TA DA!
Lets all sing the Princess song in celebration :)

Watch this space for more Patterns to come! Princess Bubblegum will be my next pattern :) Shes all tested and ready :) Id love to know what else you would like to see :)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

How do I organise my Fabric Stash?

I have an obsession... ok ok OBSESSION... I love fabric.... I mean LOVE fabric...

I own a large amount of fabric. Its come from all sorts of places, I have fabric from lovely friends who have sent me it as gifts, I have fabric from Hawaii, fabric from the USA and of course from the uk. I buy fabric online and in stores... I buy from facebook destash groups, I buy from charity shops and bootsales... 

My main favorites are novelty fabrics. Im a sucker for fabrics I know are no longer in print, or for things that I know are hard to get hold of. The best thing about fabric is that it pretty much holds its value, so I know that my stash is an investment and Im always mega careful about only buying things I can afford and at the best price I can possibly find.

The issue with having a large stash is that it takes up quite a bit of space and when you own a lot of fabric sometimes you forget exactly what you own and where it is....At the start of 2013 I set myself a challenge to be organised in my stashing and Im proud to say that Ive pretty much stayed on top of that! 

So how did I organise my stash 

1. I scanned every piece of fabric I owned above a4 size like this....

The benefit of this is that I know exactly what fabric I have in stock. I can see the size of the print on the fabric and also I can see what goes with what. I then upload all the pictures onto my facebook page into this album Fabric Stash Album

2. I reorganised my storage solutions... I have a small craft space and now that I am paper peicing a lot I need a cutting space next to my desk so the top of my chest of drawers needed to be clear. 
This is what my drawers did look like... semi organised yes but not perfect.
My top drawer was like this again semi organised but not perfect....

I found these awesome plastic storage trays 
They were from Home Bargains in the uk 3 in a pack for 99p BARGAIN! So I set about organising my fabric, I made a card template to fold the fabric uniformly and I categorised as I went. It took time but it was well worth it.

 Now my smaller pieces are a lot more portable :) They are categorised so I know where things are :)

Its sooo pretty too almost like having my own fabric shop and the plastic boxes fit into my draws perfectly! Being able to pull out a whole category is sooo useful! Bonus!
 And here it is in my drawer looks soooo much better right!!!

3. I made my own bolts for my larger pieces of fabric....
Approx 4inch x 9inch and 6inch x 9inch
  Not the sexiest pic ever hey LOL.. cardboard :) I was really lucky and picked up a load of precuts from my local scrapstore :) I totally love my scrapstore!!! You can make your own bolts to any size you like... these fit beautifully into my deep bottom drawer :)
 I started making bolts with these yummy Riley Blake halloween fabrics :) I loved how well they worked :)
 How awesome is this monkey fabric :) I have the most amazing and awesomely lovely friends :) These monkeys were a gift from a friend!!! Love you Lacey!!!!!

Its really lovely to have such an organised stash :) I can get my hands on the things I need when I need them and of course every now and then I just open the drawers and have a droooooooool..

So here are some more bolts in my bottom drawer :) Theres some space left which is great as Im not quite done organising yet!!!

4. Scraps....
One of the things I love most about scraps is that they have already been cut... so your not taking a fresh fq and cutting out a teeny bit making it not new anymore LOL. Scraps are just that they are leftovers. I have bought some INCREDIBLE scrap bags from the fabric destash group I help to admin on Facebook.
This is what my scrap stash looked like... and it was in that deep bottom drawer

 So one day I got all of it out and organised it, these little bags are sandwich bags with a zip closure or a press closure... Handy! I sorted it all into categories so that when I need a bit of skull or VHC I can grab the bag and off I go :)

 And then I had these little pots again from the scrapstore :) So the bags go into the pots and straight onto my new shelves :) Much better!
I guess im a bit over organised... and possibly slightly anal but honestly it sooo much nicer to have an organised stash :)

I do hope you enjoyed diving into my stash with me :) 
Do pop by and say hello to me on twitter :)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Im back to blogging :)

Well hello there reader... and how the devil are you?

Its been a while hasnt it... hope you arent covered in cobwebs and dust :) My blog had a spring clean yesterday, I wont lie there was swearing... Somehow the spiders of the interwebs ate all my pics on both my blogs and then I couldnt for the life of me work out how to change certain things so please bear with me im rusty at this!

So why am I back blogging... ? Well theres a few reasons.

stitching not itching
pattern from fandominstitches
1. Ive just come back from a break from crafting (altho I did a lot of cross stitch) due to a mystery illness that decided to pop along and make things a bit more interesting/blistery. Im still in the process of being diagnosed but its some sort of very rare auto immune disease that affects my skin... Rare = Special so il run with special, I tend not to do things by halves LOL. (At some point Il fill you in a little more about all of that but not atm :) So anyhoo as a result of my long mystery ilness craft break I am not doing any orders this christmas which means I can sew purely for the LOVE of it. This also gives me loads of extra time to do exciting other things :)

 2. Ive been designing, actual designing from scratch. I have now been crafting for about two and a half years, and a lot of that has been dipping my toe in as many craft ponds as I could find... testing the water, finding out as much as I could about all the weird and wonderful things in the world of craft...During my toe dipping a lovely friend introduced me to Paper Peicing aka Foundation Piecing and I fell head over heals in love with it. On Sunday last week I designed my first ever block... Im hoping to make it a free download, so I need my blog revived :) More about this in a seperate post :)
R2D2 designed by kristy
3. Twitter... is another revived addiction. I have had a twitter account for a while but I rarely used it. I have got back into it in a big way in the last few weeks. On tuesday last week I joined in on a fabulous hashtag chat called #craftblogclub which is run by the lovely @LivePeachy she blogged about it here Life Is Peachy #craftblogclub blogpost and even gave me a mention bcos I am a craft book hoarder :) The best thing about hashtags chats is that you get to 'meet' a whole load of new people who love to craft :) Getting involved in the chat made me think about my blog and how unloved it was.. hence the spring clean... Im going to do my best to keep it updated at least once every couple of weeks from now on!
My craft book stash... yes I hoard....

Soo here we are, if you wanna know a little bit more about what Ive been making in the last two and half years your best bet is probably to head over for a goosey gander at my Pinterest board of the things Ive been making Things Ive Made

Thanks so much for nipping by! ps come wave at me on twitter :) @BeekneeHoonies

Monday, 19 March 2012

Stitch and Craft

I got very very excited when my friend Jo invited me to go to the Stitch and Craft Show at Londons Olympia, she very kindly bought me the ticket for my 30th bday pressie! Thanks Jo! 

Id never been to a craft show bfor, and wasnt really sure what to expect, but I was very excited especially when I found out that my favorite designer Emily Peacock would be there!!!!!

I would say that Emily is one of my major inspirations, shes not only a fabulous designer but shes also an incredibly lovely lady. Emily very kindly donated some kits that helped us to raise over £600 pounds for Macmillan last year, and she sent me a Love Tattoo Kit as a present which was unbeleivably kind and made me jump around my house for the majority of the morning in excitement! Since then Emily endures a random phone call from me every now and then with some random idea I have had, or something I have seen which I think she might like! It was during one of these phone calls that Emily told me she thought I was a frustrated designer... now for me thats incredible. Emily saw potential in little old me... 

So for ages Id been saying to Emily that I would make her a little something to say thankyou for her kindness, as you know ive been dallying with Crochet so I thought Id have a go at making Emily a 3d model of her Momiji Doll design.. You can find the cross stitch pattern here Emily Peacock Momiji Dolls

I found a yummy pattern and changed it slightly to look like Emilys doll and this is what I came up with :) You can find the pattern I used here PassionFyre Kokeshi Doll. This piccy isnt 100% finished because as per usual I was still putting on the detailing at 11pm the night bfor the show!!!! She also came with a cocktail umbrella to complete the look :)

So on the day of the show I was all excited, my other half had dyed my hair for me which was long overdue, and I got all dressed up in my favorite clothes with my hair all straightened (and almost long enough to sit on EEEEK) and off we went on the train to London :) I may be 30 but I still get excited like a 5 year old and jump up and down and clap etc ... yes I know its not cool - but I dont care! When we eventually got to Olympia and got inside I was astounded by how busy it was - seriously busy.... I can only describe it as tho someone had put out a bulletin that Craft supplies wouldnt be available after that day and that everyone had better get their asses down to the show or never craft again!

There was stall after stall of DELICIOUS craftyness, cross stitched art adorned the walls of the stalls, there was oooooh and ahhhs from myself and my friends. There was reams and reams of fabrics and balls and balls of wool, buttons and ribbons and just a world of yummyness. If I was rich I could have spent an absolute fortune but Im not so I didnt! We wandered around the first floor of cross stitched goodies and then went downstairs for lunch. At which point we joined a huge queue for the food and I was sworn at by a little whiskery chinned 75 year old who was 'fucking gasping' for a cup of tea :) Good job she was going for the tea bcos the Coffee was VILE! 

After lunch we went to find Emily, who was sitting in the CrossStitcher stall - this stall was absolutely gorgeous, It had 2 big tables and a comfy sofa with yummy stitchy cushions on and a world of delicious nik naks. They had adorned the walls with beautiful fabrics in embroidery hoops and it was probably one of the best thought out stalls in the show. Emily was sat at the table doing free embroidery, I had a slight jump up and down in excitement moment which I tried to hold back! LOL! 

(sorry my pictures got eaten by the interwebs and ive not been able to retrieve this one )

Emily Peacock is beautiful, I hope she wont mind me saying this but shes like 1950s american movie star beautiful, she was flawless! So I gave her the doll and a little pin cushion Id made and some SweetBird coffee syrup, and she hugged me and said thankyou and was super lovely and I went all shy and so when she asked me to sit down and sew with her I got all nervous and said Id come back later.... I am such a dufus! 

So off we went to see the rest of the stalls... The next 2 stalls were Mr X Stitch and Jane Greenoff - I have to say I was a bit dissapointed in Mr X Stitches stall.. Being that he is contraversial, and one of the only male crosstitchers I expected something more from his stall than 3 white walls with framed work up on it. Yes fair enough he had 3d cross stitch which you had to put glasses on to look at, but I just thought his stall lacked imagination and effort in the set up of it.. Sorry Jamie I do like your work but I think your stall really let you down - your cooler than that!

We wandered around the rest of the stalls, on the 3rd level was a lot of yummy wool and quilting fabrics, but bcos it was soo busy it was very difficult to actually look without feeling under pressure to get out of the way, so I skimmed most of the stalls which was probably good for my bank balance :) I was very surprised at the lack of anything amigurimi/crochet apart from a few books on the bookstall... Crochet is cool!

The bottom floor was all card making and papercraft which isnt my cup of tea, so not a lot to report about downstairs... 
After that Id plucked up the courage to go and do some sewing with Emily so I went and sat and had a chat with her and started embroidering an anchor :) Another thing to add to my list of works in progress :) 

Want to find out some more about Emily - you can find her here Emily Peacock

Friday, 3 February 2012

Crotch-It Mind Tricks

So Ive been a Crochet hook owner for 10 days.... I bought 2 hooks and 2 sets of knitting needles for 50p from a charity shop, then a ball of shaded dk yarn for 55p at another charity shop and thought rightio Il give this a whirl....

Ive been saying for over a year that Id love to learn to crochet, but Ive never had the time to actually get round to it, well I stole some time and its AWESOME FUN!

Ive taught myself using youtube videos, learning the stitches as I needed them... Ive watched quite a few diff videos for each stitch til I found the ones that made the most sense to me :) So far Ive learnt chain,  single, double, increase, decrease, slipnots, magic circles, cinching and binding off  :) I can now crochet in a round which is used for Amigurumi (cute animals etc) and have started to learn the traditional straight liney type stuff.

So why crochet? Well... I love the fact that you can take a ball of wool and turn it into something completely different. I have a friend who makes FABULOUS crochet characters AliTheAlien Crochet and she sent me a surprise crochet Hoonie for my birthday  - which was super kind, but even better that it was designed by her daughter who I had made a memory hoonie for ;)

The other cool thing about crochet is that if you make a mistake you can just unravel and start again... I have MAJOR issues cutting into the scrummiest bits in my fabric stash bcos if you cut it wrong its wasted, theres no going back... I like the margin for error in crochet... which is good cos my brain likes to trick me...!

Crochet requires a LOT of counting, and as alot of the stitches require more that one action sometimes your brain can play tricks on you... telling you you have done 2 stitches when in fact only one. So I had to devise a way to make my brain comprehend whats going on... to make it behave. I have to break down each row, so that I have each stitch mapped out and can cross them off as I go esp where increases and decreases are concerned LOL. So I end up with something like this....

Esp handy if you have to pick up and put down your crochet because of interruptions - cos then you know exactly where you are when you pick it up again, and your less likely to make a mistake too :)

So anyhooo I did a few plain old rows and thought... boring! I started to look for amigurumi patterns and found a cool website called Ravelry :) I signed up and started to have a butchers.... WOAH theres loads of FREE patterns and its fabby... and I found this pattern of yummification... Hermione The Unicorn By Dawn Toussaint

Copyright Dawn Toussaint
So thats what I am attempting to make... probably jumping in at the deep end just a little bit.... BUT its forced me to learn diff things as I go so its been a fabby project so far! And heres how far I am into it with my 55p ball of yarn :)

Its not perfect - I made a mistake with the magic circle at the begining of the head... but other than that I am pretty darn chuffed with it :)

So what other stuff have I made so far... well I stumbled across an awesome blog Attic 24 seriously you have to go look at this blog... Lucy is a frikking genius, the colors and the designs are just breathtaking... shes taken crochet and made it seriously COOL! Its like a world of rainbows and color explosions!!! Now I know another fabulous lady who is seriously into her bright colors and rainbows of yummyness and thats Kitty Pinkstars! She got a new hammy this week after her sidekick Ethel went over the rainbow with the hammy angels :( I thought oooooh what a way to welcome Walter! And soo I got out some yummy colors and made Walter some Mini Bunting for his cage :) (click on the attic24 linky above for the pattern)

This is Walter - how sweet is he :) I hope he hearts his bunting :) Pop by Kitty Pinkstars fbook page to see more things about him and also check out Kittys yummy makes!!!!!

So there we go the weeks adventures in Crochet... or as I like to call it Crotch-it  :) 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Where it all began.....

Some of you may know and some of you may not, but in Nov 2010 I was diagnosed with Papilliary Thyroid Cancer thats a whole other story that you can read about here

So whats that got to do with the price of fish? Well when I got my diagnosis I decided that I wanted to cling to a positive, to not wallow in my diagnosis bcos to be fair that wasnt going to take away my cancer, all Id acheive by being miserable about it as exactly that - Id acheive being miserable... So I decided to face it head on with a smile on my face, I took the saying 'Keep Calm and Carry On' and I ran with it. It became a talisman, a sort of good luck charm and I tryed to live life by it.

2 days after Id been told I had the Big C I decided that I NEEDED a really cool hospital bag, so I asked a lady to make me one. At this point very few people new about my cancer so I asked her to pm me so I could explain about my custom order. Shelley of Thats Sew Shelby turned out to be lovely, she agreed to make me a Union Jack Bag with 'Keep Calm and Carry On' on the side, but not only that she offered her support which turned out to be invaluable and Im very lucky to say that she is one of my best friends now!

 And with that Shelley had given me the bug...... it was a cheeky bug, and a crafty bug! Shelleys kindness and fabulous makeyness had inspired me to think of ways I could make a difference, to try and put a smile on the faces of other people facing cancer. So the cogs started to whir....

Id always like the look of the Sock Monkeys that were popping up all over facebook and so when my partners Nan gave me some socks that Grampy didnt like I thought hmmmm I wonder how hard it would be to make a monkey... At this point I had no sewing machine so I started making one by hand, it took FOREVER to make but when I was finished I was pleased with him and the crafty bug had taken a strong hold of me.

And so Mac was born.... with the birth of Mac came Make For Macmillan, a charity page on facebook set up to raise money by auctioning things we had made with all the money going to Macmillan. We were astounded by the support - people donated items for us to auction and by the time we had been going 5 months we had raised over £2500 pounds. Unfortunately as I type M4M isnt running as it became sooo big that I struggled to manage to run it as well as deal with treatments and homelife. I hope that in the future we can get it all going again.

V luckily I was given help to purchase a sewing machine and so the monkeys just kept on coming, every single one made for macmillan :)

I fancied a change, and so one day I thought id try making a plush toy with fabric, I made a paper template (which I still use to this day!) and set about making Splodge.....

Splodge was created on one of my many craft days in Shelleys kitchen :) His decoration all handsewn he became quite the little character!

Sooo why Beeknee Hoonies? Well my 4 yr old used to call us beeknee hoonies as a sort of cheeky name - almost a sort of toddler swear word :) I loved it, it made me giggle and so the Hoonies were born :) I love that when he is older he will look back at  Splodge and know that he was part of it all :)

I am soo very glad that the big old beardy man in the sky decided to chuck lemons my way bcos I made some awesome lemonade, and some excellent friends in the process!