Saturday, 21 May 2016

Spinning Adventures

A couple of weeks ago I went on an adventure to Cumbria with my friend, Jennie, to have a go at spinning. I follow a lot of hand spinners on Instagram and I love the colourful skeins produced. So I thought I would have a go myself!

The class was taught by Elaine at her home near Grange over Sands. She was wonderfully welcoming and a very patient teacher - which was definitely needed! With just four people in the class there was plenty of opportunities to get one to one help and rescued from tangles!

The lesson included what to look for when buying a fleece, how to prepare the fleece and then we were let loose with some fleece and a spinner! First of all we tried a drop spindle while we got to grips with drafting the fleece. I found the drop spindle difficult to handle and could have done with a second pair of hands! 

Then it was time to have ago on a wheel! 

I was seated a a modern looking double treadle wheel. We were guided through setting it up and then away we went! We spun threads of two different fleeces and then plied them. It certainly gave me the appreciation of hand spun yarn. It's challenging and must take months if not years to get up to the standard that can be sold! 

If you fancy a go, details of Elaine's workshops can be found here.

I now have itchy fingers for a spinning wheel but space is tight with all the rest of my crafting supplies... Unless anyone knows of one going for a good price ;)

Happy crafting 

Katie x

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Zombie Apocalypse

My little pin cushion is one of my favourite makes. He is called Derek.

Early last year I was very excited to receive and order for 16 of the little rascals from the Costume Supervisor of The Walking Dead. Now I have to be clear - She was ordering them personally and I sadly have not been endorsed by the programme!

This lovely customer wanted them as a wrap present for her crew. Lets just hope my stitching skills were up to scratch... Never did I think my work would be flying over to be greeted by professional seamstresses.

If you would like your very own little zombie pin cushion you can find them in my Etsy store.

Then I started thinking about the zombie fans out there that may not want a pincushion but still wanted something useful. So I am proud to present my new zombie key rings!

This is Gus!
I've been busy beavering away, making a stock of these in different colours. A couple have been sent off to IG friends and now the remaining need to be photographed (hopefully with better lighting than those above!) and uploaded to my shop.

I love the way he looks like he is holding the keys. Makes me smile :)

Happy crafting,
Katie :)

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Mini-One Workshop

I have found  a lovely little treasure box about 2 miles from my house in the form of Kraftyhands. I first found out about this gem of a shop when my mum sent me an email about their open day when I still lived in Glasgow, and would you believe it the Open Day was on a weekend I was visiting Leeds. Yippee!

So off I went with Mr P. The shop is small but has a brilliant stock of papers, mixed media ingredients and craft CDs and the best bit? There is enough room for a couple of tables where the brilliant minds of Mike and Ian can teach the craft curious a multitude of different workshops. I have now attended a few workshops from Steam Punk designs by Ian to art journal techniques and ideas with Mike (who has a fantastic blog and YouTube channel).

This blog post will concentrate on the brilliant mind of Ian (Mike will get his turn soon!), the owner of Verne Industries and the fantastic workshop Mr P and I attended this weekend to make our very own Mini-Ones!

This is what we were presented with when we arrived:

Interesting right?! (please note how well we are looked after at Kraftyhands - biscuits in the background!)

With Ian's patient and easy teaching style we set off painting bits and assembling our box of goodies.  We even had a little plumbing lesson - I can cut copper pipe and have the blister to prove it!

It was difficult to see how all the bits would fit together but slowly all the components of the lil man start to appear. The eye and knees have LEDs on them so a a bit of wiring was required.

And suddenly he was together!

These photos are a little fuzzy as they were taken on my phone but I will take better ones soon, and a little video of his flashing eye and knees :)

If you like this Mini-One, have a look at the creations on the Verne Industries website. Ian designs and makes all of these wonderful machines. You can find Ian and his creations at Steam Punk Fairs across Northern England and he even takes commissions if you fancy treating yourself!