Thursday, 16 January 2020

2019 - A Year in Crafts

Hi there everyone 😀

I know I've shared bits and pieces of the things that I've made over the course of the year, both here and on Facebook, with some on my Hand Made at Number 27 page. I thought it would be nice to just bring them all together again for a bit of an annual round up ...

January to March
It's always nice and quiet for Hand Made at Number 27 in January so it's a good time to have a go at making something just for me. I decided that I would finally have a go at making something with mosaic and made a start at my January craft group and I'm really pleased with how it turned out ...
Inspired by my first attempt it wasn't long before I had another go ... this time it was more of a recycling project, using old tiles ...
There were also a couple of sewing days, making up plenty of reusable facewipes and peg bags for stock, another session making up beeswax wraps and a gorgeous snuggly baby blanket for a customer who had bought a sensory blanket from me in 2018 ...

April - June
The second quarter of the year was a busy one on the crafting front. With craft fairs on the horizon it was time to get busy making up lots of our best selling items ... more beeswax wraps and reusable face wipes, which have sold like hot cakes right across the year ... I'm really pleased that both of my best selling items are in line with our journey to zero waste ... long may it continue ...
As well as the popular old favourites I got to have a go a few new bits and pieces too ... some 'men's shirt' bunting, some little house key rings, where I had the chance to try out free motion machine embroidery and another two mosaic hearts ...
April saw our first of a number of craft fairs that we attended across the course of the year ...
Exciting news from my good friends, who became grandparents in the spring was another good cause for getting the sewing machine out ... and in May we were all delighted to welcome Emma Holly to the World ...
There was a bit of button art ...
... and time to have a go at something new for me, which didn't end up working out that well. It looked fine, but the soap bag just wouldn't dry out after use and using soap in the shower just left such a mess that it was abandoned as soon as it was started ... definitely a bit of a zero waste fail for us there ...
There was a totally unexpected and random order that I picked up from someone putting a call out on our local 'Spotted ...' Facebook page ...
Inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee I thought I'd have a go at making something to wear ... I think the least said about this project the better ...
And finally for this quarter ... do you remember this? Well it's been an ongoing project for about two years now but there was a bit of a spurt of progress ...


July to September
This quarter started off with a button art order picked up from our visit to the Lullington Open Gardens event with the craft stall, where we were blessed with glorious weather for a lovely couple of days ...
As seems to becoming the theme there were plenty more beeswax wraps and reusable face wipes made up ...
I tried a few new bits ... including fabric bookmarks ...
and ... after having fallen in love with all thing William Morris following a visit to Whitwick Manor ... I had another go at free motion machine embroidery when making these simple gift cards ...
There was time for me to finally make up some home made dish cloths for the kitchen ...
And ... though it seemed early ... it was time to start getting ready with a few Christmas makes ...

October to December
After our three week break on the Isle of Wight this quarter started off with some more card making ... this time using some positive 'self-affirmation' papers that I'd had free with a magazine ... trimmed up with bits of lace or ribbon. I'm really pleased with how professional they ended up looking ...
It was then time to start making for Christmas craft fairs in earnest ...

There were a couple of short notice Scrabble frame gifts made up which I don't seem to have photographed, along with a Christmas gift for Baby Emma ...
There were lots more beeswax wraps and reusable face wipes, including some larger sized ones, which continued to sell really well and are still doing so into 2020 ...
There were the regular Christmas gift tags, which are always popular ...
... and I added matching bookmarks to my William Morris cards ...
There was a bit of a last minute rush on Scrabble name tags ...
For me there was the 2020 calendar ...
... and my first ever Christmas wreath, made at the last craft group of the year ...
My very last crafty make of the year came in that quiet period between Christmas and New year when we finally decided to have a go at doing something with the candle ends we'd been saving across the year. We built up the courage to make some new candles and, whilst not perfect, we were both pretty pleased with how they turned out ...

Looking back I have been quite surprised at how much crafting I have actually done. I consciously decided not to do quite as much this year, concentrating more on attending monthly craft fairs than trying to sell on Facebook and it has actually gone pretty well.

I'm really pleased that my most popular makes for Hand Made at Number 27 are showing that more people are starting to think more about reusable options to replace single use and I love the fact that there has been a little bit of recycling in the mix too.

It's also nice to see that I've had chance to try a few new makes from my ever increasing list of things I'd like to have a go at ... as well as making a few bits for myself.

We are already booked in for plenty of craft fairs across the year for 2020 so I'm sure it will be another productive and crafty year 😀 I can't wait to get cracking!

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Monday, 13 January 2020

Blowing the Cobwebs away

Hi there everyone 😀

Over the last few weeks we have managed to take a bit of a break from the grip of the January lethargy and have ventured out a couple of times for a fresh air and a bit of an amble.

Our first outing was in between Christmas and New Year when we met up with some of the family at Calke Abbey, a local National Trust property that we have visited several times before.

There wasn’t that much occurring as the house and formal gardens were both closed and none of fancied a yomp over the wet and muddy parkland but we did have a good wander round the stable area, where there are lots of little open doors with interesting bits and pieces to peek in at.

Whilst the little man wasn’t that keen on looking in dark and dusty places he did enjoy playing in one of the Humankind Landscape rooms ...
... and allowed a very short photocall in front of the Christmas tree ...
After a bit of a wander there may just have been a stop in the cafe for breakfast, which was followed by a visit to the the play park for the little man ...

We were only there an hour or so but it was just what we needed after being cooped up inside over Christmas and it was good to give the legs a bit of a stretch and breath in some crisp fresh air.

Our second trip out found us at another local spot ... The National Memorial Arboretum, where the plan was to have a look at a part of the site that we hadn’t seen before and maybe treat ourselves to a nice hot bowl of soup for lunch.

As we headed to our unexplored spot we stumbled across The Stickman Trail and decided to follow it and see what we could find ...
It was a little haphazard as we had no information sheet but it was fairly simple to work out which way we needed to go.

We both love the Arboretum. Everything means something and there is so much to see.

We were fascinated by this area of memorial tree planting ... straight lines in every direction ...
The site isn’t just about the armed forces there are memorials to all kinds of groups ... 
... and private memorials to individuals ...
We always sit for a moment of reflection under the memorial tree where metal leaves have been added in memory of lost children ... It's always a really peaceful spot ...

We really loved the Every Which Way memorial, which through the deliberate distortion of the figures, which did take a while to sink in ... reversed hands and some torsos twisted 180 degrees, is intended to convey some of the anxiety and confusion the child evacuees of WWII ...

Though it was a pretty grey day there were plenty of pops of colour dotted around ...

There is a good mixture of elaborate and formal memorials ...
... and those of a lot more personal and simple nature ...
It’s an ever changing site and looks different with the seasons so it's always a good spot for a bit of a contemplative wander.

We only explored a tiny part of the site this time and were soon tucked up in the welcome warmth of the cafe where hot home made soup went down a treat. We were both very tempted by the lasagne but maintained our resolve to be good ... and there was definitely no cake.

Although we’ve visited a couple of times we’ve never actually looked at the indoor exhibition ... we did this time and really enjoyed it. It was well laid out, interesting and quite poignant at times.

As we wandered back to the car and spotted the sign for the Sumatra railway, which was one of the things we had been wanting to see ... oh well ... we will just have to visit again 😀

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