Monday, 16 May 2011

Make like a tree and...

I've had a very busy and fun few days fattening up the handmade supplies section of my shop.

I figured out how to make crochet leaves:

They only really came together nicely when I found a tutorial by fellow crafty blogger Easy Makes Me Happy. She shows how to make a nice vein of slip stitches going down the centre of a leaf. It was just the finishing touch I was after! Mine are bigger and all in teal green but I LOVE her dinky colourful ones too. See what she used them for:

Now that's my idea of home decor! I also made some stars. If you can make flowers and leaves you can probably figure out how to make these:

Ok then if you must know - make a circle with 10 st, 2 into every st to make 20, and slip st. To make one star point, chain 6 and turn, 1 single cr into 2nd st from chain end, 1 double cr, 2 triple cr, and slip st into the 4th st after chain base. Repeat another 4 times around the circle, sew the tail through to the back, and tweak the points to make them lie flat and pointy.

I also made some more flowers, in lilac shades this time (I included a tutorial video about how to make flowers in my previous post). I wanted to make some yellow ones too, but I ran out of yellow while doing the stars! :(

Here are those useful links again for you:

Easy Makes Me Happy - a blog with some lovely crochet patterns.

Weird Wares - my Etsy shop, where I sell all sorts of fun fiber things. Although I love sharing craft tips, I'm hoping you can't be bothered and will buy them from me instead!


Saturday, 7 May 2011


Isn't it amazing what you can learn from the internet? 

Many of the fibre craft skills I use to make my weird wares, I have learnt by watching video tutorials posted by other craftoholics. In this feature I'll show you a few examples of items I have listed in my new 'Handmade Supplies' shop section, and I'll also share with you some of the videos I used to learn the basic techniques.

Here are some crochet balls I made using the skills of amigurumi (a Japanese style of tight single crochet).  They are stuffed with polyester filling so they are soft and squishy! I am going to make lots more in different colours. Wouldn't they look lovely as part of some fibre jewellery, or used as buttons? 

I also made these flower appliques, using some yummy high-quality leftover yarns. I LOVE projects that use up my yarn scraps! 
# Remember you're a Womble... #

I used a tiny hook and embroidery yarn, and adapted the pattern to four petals, to make these extra-small flowers. These ones are for embellishing a project I'm working on, although I might make some to sell too.


Of course I'd love it if you bought my handmade supplies from my Etsy shop. But I don't mind sharing some of my trade secrets! Here are some videos I watched when I was first learning to crochet. In both cases (as I often do) I have adapted the patterns slightly to fit my own particular way of doing things.

Here is a video of how to make an amigurumi cherry. It has a very clear demonstration of how to start off neatly with the 'magic circle'. My crochet balls are similar, except that on the reducing row I reduce every other stitch instead of every stitch, so I don't get a row of holes, and then sew it up when I get down to 9 stitches instead of 6.

This video shows how to make a crochet flower, and also includes how to add layers of petals. My flowers are similar, except that when starting each new petal on the second row, I tend to do a slip stitch and then straight on to the 6 petal stitches, instead of slip stitch and chain 1. I think this makes the petals look a bit more defined.

Here are those useful links for you again:

Weird Wares, my Etsy shop

Thursday, 5 May 2011

April's Army Awesomeness!

I am proud to run a shop that shares Etsy's philosophy - that handmade things made by individual artisans are more desirable than mass-produced wares. But with Etsy's growing popularity, as with any marketplace, sometimes it's hard to find the diamonds in the rough. You need to go rummaging! One of my missions in writing this blog is not only to promote my own shop but to spread the lurve and big up my fellow Etsians whom I think are real gems. 
For today's feature I'd like to show you the sheer awesomeness of one of my Etsy teams, 'April's Army'. I have chosen some of my favourite finds from makers of handmade supplies. Commercially produced supplies are also available on Etsy, but why would you buy them when there are wonders like these?

Lorraine from studiorickrack makes stunning glass beads in her lampworking studio. This immaculate hollow focal bead made my jaw drop!

Laura from RockefellerJewellery says she is 'a bead nut', and as well as lovely beaded jewellery she is also a dab-hand with the polymer clay and glaze. This aztec-style stamped pendant looks just like ceramic! 

LandL are a family team who make a variety of wares from recycled books and paper. These beads are made from scrapbook paper, rolled by hand and glazed to look like smooth pebbles.

 One of the pleasures of being an Etsy team member is that we enjoy showcasing each other's work using the treasury list feature. Take a look at this treasury list I recently made, which includes the items I have featured today, and more mind-bogglingly awesome things, all handmade by members of the April's Army team.

Here are those links for you again:

My 'April Awesomeness' treasury list 
studiorickrack's lampwork beads
RockefellerJewellery's polyclay beads 
LandL's rolled paper beads 

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Greetings from the Weirdo Lady

Greetings avid fans,

I've done most of my blogging to date on facebook, both on my Weird Wares fan page (where I post pictures of my latest Etsy listings and Etsy-related links), and on my Tome of Doom project (where I post excerpts of my literary work in progress). Though facebook has generated a lot of interest from friends-of-friends, I thought it was about time I created a proper blog, that I will update frequently.

Most importantly, I have 'monetised' it. What does this mean? Well if you look at my right side bar you can see that Google have very kindly allowed me to display some advertising links. Isn't that wonderful? Getting paid to blog? Me?!

I have also added a donation button, which you can use if you wish to send me a secure donation by PayPal or credit card. I'm not actually a charity!! Just another starving artist. I hope that you would rather buy my eccentric creations from my Etsy shop, but if not, and you still feel compelled to help me pay my leccy bill, the donation button is the option for you. And I promise that if we ever meet in person, I will pay you back with a hug! <3

Of course the best gift you can give is a good ego-massage. Every comment on here, every link you share, every tweet you re-tweet, shall be repaid with humble thank yous and seriously nice Christmas pressies when I'm famous! *ahem* 

~ Emily ~