Wednesday, April 30, 2008

kitchen linen goodness

I mentioned in my last post about the Laura Ashley outlet store that had opened close to where I live. As well as being discounted I managed to discover it on the first day of opening (by random chance) so there was 20% extra off everything.
I had to hold myself back from buying loads of fabric, but I went around and touched and oo-ed at everything. I was looking at the cotton bedding - not from a 'I need new bedding' perspective, but from a 'I can cut you up and make you into something else' perspective.

I was eventually fairly self restrained and spent about £15. I bought a stack of tea towels and napkins (100% cotton and excellent quality) and I will be using them in mini quilts/embroideries and the like. I also bought a nice roll of wallpaper, some of which I have already used in the paper flowers I made at the weekend
On Friday I have the day off work to finish up some last bits for the stall, but also because our lovely little Stevie has to go to the vets, for the operation.
She and Mellie are scrapping a lot lately - maybe Mellie is jealous that stevie is attracting all the young boy cats? - and yes there are a lot of them hanging around. I feel so bad for our little baby cat, and I would love her to have some kittens but all these boy cats howling at the door and scrapping in the house are taking their toll. I took this pic of stevie on the window sill at the weekend. She was just basking in the sun and being lovely - as usual

Sunday, April 27, 2008

In bloom

I was supposed to be making monsters this weekend - it was on the to do list. I didn't get around to the monsters but I did do a few other things on my to do list - and it seems I'm feeling floral, because this weekend was all about flowers.
I've recorded the first couple of episodes of 'pushing daisies', and I watched them this weekend - it's really great - each episode is like a mini film and it is really kooky (best word I can use to describe it). The sets and the colours used/filters are fab (see pic) so if you haven't seen it I would definitely recommend it. I was also impressed with Anna Friel - she does of great job of an American accent - not bad at all for a northern lass.

I need to make a few more cards and I've been wanting to make some paper flowers to go on them, so I made these:
and then I couldn't stop and made some fabric ones too:
I think I have caught the monkee maker disease of editing my photos - I've aged and cropped this pic because I just liked the colours:and I had a go at making some labels for the things I'll be selling at the craft fair next weekend (no picture editing this time):
I also found the most marvelous thing on Saturday - a Laura Ashely outlet (discount) shop has just opened about 2 miles from my house - needless to say I spent a little it of money and got some great stuff - will share that with you later in the week.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

are you getting bored of this yet?

yes I am still going on about brooches and I think I'm boring myself now. Please bear with me and this post on brooches - they're not all mine this time.

First up is this zip brooch - I just thought this was such a clever thing to do with a zip - it came from hereSecond was a lovely surprise for me - Sarah from pink petal designs contacted me after seeing one of my brooches to tell me that she wanted to send me some buttons - how could I refuse such a kind offer? The buttons arrived yesterday along with this pretty crochet pink brooch, thanks so much for your kindness Sarah, yet more evidence that bloggy people are lovely
Some of my latest brooches - a black, white and grey version which looks great on my black coat, and a colourful WIP:
Mr Monda thinks that this one looks like a cake - I'm inclined to agree with him, maybe was thinking about cake at the time (?) - perhaps I should sew on some sides and a bottom and make it into a pin cushion
Today and tomorrow I have monster making on the agenda - not a brooch in sight :o)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

busy busy

Just a quick one from me today as I'm still busy making. First up this lovely new stash of fabric I can't wait to cut up:It came from the little fabric shop, and my purchase was entirely the fault of this person for showing the fabric she had bought, Thanks Katy :o)

Next up, more a rosette than a brooch, or maybe a rosette brooch:

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm really enjoying this

It seems I am on a brooch making frenzy, and I'm really enjoying it too.

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has commented and given their opinion so far - it seems like the flowers are still the favourites but nice to know that people would buy the square ones too. I guess the stall will be a real test of what people like/don't like. Quite scary really.

Anything that I don't sell on the stall will go into the shop. I suppose if the stall is a flop, at least I will have a nice full etsy shop.

Next up, I've varied the square theme slightly and gone round (that would be more than slightly - it's a whole different geometric shape!) Both of these I would buy if I saw them in a shop - I love the raggedy style of the red and denim one - I'm definitely going to make more of these because I want one for me, and I think it's about time too as I don't usually make things for myself - What better way is there of promoting my wares? Well, maybe 'as seen on Kate Moss' or something but I guess this is unlikely - could you imagine Kate Moss sitting at her computer of an evening trawling the pages of etsy? She really should though - she'd pick up lots of unique lovliness and it would keep her off the streets and out of trouble too - LOL.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What do you think?

Today I've been making brooches - a couple of my flower design: and some new squarer ones (below) Re the new design - I think I like them, but I'd like some feedback. What do you think? Comments and constructive criticisms welcome:I sometimes struggle with things like this because if I saw these brooches in a shop I might not necessarily buy them for myself. Everything I produce is a reflection of me and my style. I know I can't assume that just because something is not my absolute favourite then other people won't like it - and I do enjoy the making part anyway so maybe I just shouldn't worry about it too much.

I've picked out a load of felts, buttons and threads to make some more, which I'll make a start on after I've cooked the dinner - roast beef and yorkshire puddings. mmm.
In unrelated craft news, I've had a snotty nose and a sore throat all weekend - I've been dosing up on cold and flu remedy and drinking plenty but I'd really like it to go away now because it's making me feel lethargic, and I have way too much to do to feel like this - I've only got a few weeks (and only one weekend) left before the May Day Fair which I have a stall at - along with my sister, who incidentally now has a blog, and indeed an etsy shop (not open just yet) - yes, she has caved into the pressure - she's very new to all of this so please be kind to her :o)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

sewing like crazy

I have been sewing like crazy trying to get stuff ready for the stall I have in a couple of weeks.

This is a pile of finished chicks:A chick in progress (along with 2 other chick wips not pictured):I also made thisit's a phone/ipod sock, but it went quite wrong when firstly the birds beak was too big and secondly when I burnt it on the iron, so this is very much a prototype

I've also taken pics of the felted blanket bundles, measured everything and stacked them all into envelopes to make sure they stay nice and clean (or so my cats don't try to sit on them)
If I have time tonight I'll pop them into my shop, otherwise it will be tomorrow. I need to go off and do more sewing to make sure I finish everything on todays list.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

on my desk on a wednesday

well this is kind of cheating because this is not my desk - but it is my ironing board!I've finally got around to cutting up all the blankets I have felted - I have kept half of everything for my own crafty endeavours - and half of it is cut up and portioned into bundles ready to go into my shop - I just need to go off and measure each piece in the bundle. Each bundle will contain 5 colours.

In answer to a question by Lucy (which I couldn't respond to directly) I get wool blankets from all over the place - you have to be fairly lucky to find them in charity/thrift shops though as they tend to get snapped up pretty quickly - unless you make friends with the charity shop assistants. You can buy from ebay too - but then you have to pay pretty hefty postal charges. In a couple of days you will also be able to get blanket bundles from my esty shop :o)

After watching my bro running in the London Marathon on Sunday I was totally shattered and felt like I had actually been running a marathon! This is my bro at 24.5 miles (he looks really well doesn't he) I think the people at the vittel water stand (in the background) were really laughing and smiling because we were making such a massive noise cheering him on We trecked around London and watched and waited to see him. I spent the best part of 45 mins on my tip toes on the step of a pub doorway trying to see over the masses of people, and at another point I was standing on a 4 foot high wall clinging onto railings with one hand and waving madly with the other (not to mention a few screams thrown in for good measure).
Being a supporter is quite exhausting, but it was a really good day, and well worth going to cheer on the people doing the running - you could tell that they appreciated it.

This pic shows the masai warriors - apparently they thought it was easy - especially as they didn't have to worry about Lions chasing them as they do at home!

The most disturbing/funny thing I saw was a man running in a Borat thong and nothing else. For those who don't know what a borat thong is, here is a pic:
Crazy indeed!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My PIF recipients are...

Thanks to the random number generator - the 3 chosen numbers were: 1, 9 and 10
So this means the PIF recipients are:
Ladies, I promise to get your PIF gift to you at some point during the next year (as per the rules of PIF). Once you receive your PIF gift from me you must them pay it forward to 3 more people (within a year from when you received the gift from me). Please can you all email me with you addresses - I think you all have my email address (?)

a couple of pics to share with you. This is what happens when felt goes wrong:This is needle punched wool felt which I tried to wash in the washing machine - I had to forcibly stop the washing machine after 10 minutes when it broke up into little balls.

and something much nicer:Some new moo cards, and 2 books moo sticker books. I'm going to be stickering everything!

No more crafting for me this weekend. My crazy brother is running in the London Marathon tomorrow so I'll be spending all day in London trying to pick him out of a crowd of millions of runners whilst shouting a lot and waving my arms, like all good supporters should :o)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pay It Forward

Some time ago (I forget when exactly) I put my name down for a Pay it forward (PIF) on Amy's blog, Lucykate Crafts
Yesterday a package arrived and inside was this lovely little hedgehog, as yet without a name:Amy's work is amazing - the quality is immaculate and the little details she adds really make her creations special, so I do feel very lucky to have been one of her PIF gift recipients. Thank you so much Amy.

The onus now falls to me to pay it forward to 3 more people. Thankfully as per PIF rules, I have a year in which to pay it forward which is great because I am really busy at the moment - although I do envisage I'll get my PIF gifts made well inside a year.

If you would like a PIF gift from me, all you need to do is leave me a comment on this post - along with a suggestion of a name for my new little hedgehog (that last bit about the name suggestion is not in the PIF rules, I'm just not feeling that creative today)

To make it as fair as possible, I'll pick the names of 3 people out of hat (albeit an electronic one) to select my PIF gift recipients. You have until 12 noon on Saturday (BST) to leave me a comment - quick, go do it now!


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How to trade via etsy

I thought I'd share my recent trading experience with you. Having never traded before I was somewhat of a trading virgin - fortunately my trade partner was very patient with me and helped me learn about how to trade via etsy (just to be clear here, when I say trade, I mean swap).

It all started when Zsuszi found me on flickr. I love to see who links to me so I went to have a look at what she does, and I was quite taken by surprise because glass is not usually my thing but I love the colours and shapes of her glass work so popped into her etsy shop and bought this lovely hair pin:
Zsuzsi then convo'd me in etsy to see if I wanted to trade and of course i did!
This is how it works:
  • contact the person you would like to trade with to ask if they want to trade with you (helps if you already know that there is a mutual appreciation of each others work)
  • decide what you would like from that person and find out what they would like from you
  • the value of your item(s) and their item(s) needs to match - or near enough match
  • reserve the items they would like in your esty shop - by putting a note in the description/header saying something like 'reserved - only purchase if your name is Monda'. Your trade partner does the same in their shop.
  • to make sure etsy get the fees, you and your trade partner need to purchase via the etsy shopping cart (we all like esty and we want them to get their fees - it's bad practice if you don't do this). You do not need to make an actual payment via the company that handles payments (no names mentioned) - although you can if you wish (bear in mind there is a fee there).
  • trade completed - send off the goods as you would with any order via etsy, and leave feedback for your trade partner.
I hope this all makes sense to everyone who hasn't traded before, and for those who have traded via etsy - did I get this right?

This is what Zsuzsi wanted:And this is what I got in return:so all in all a very happy trading experience - I'm off now to leave some feedback for Zsuzsi :o)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

so what happened to the snow?

I woke up this morning fairly early, and in my usual zombie fashion I made it to the bathroom with my eyes virtually closed. The bathroom however was just a bit brighter than usual - a very white light, we finally had some snow! I took some pics from my bedroom window because it looked so pretty:View from my bedroom window
snow on rosemary
Snow on spring buds
It was mighty cold too - but Mr Monda went out to throw some snowballs at me - I was comfortably ensconced behind the window in the house however laughing at the spectacle that was my 32 year old Mr Monda outside in his PJ bottoms, T-shirt and flip flops!

The sun started shining at lunch time and hasn't stopped and now all traces of the lovely snow are gone and it just looks like a dry and bright spring day again.

Apart from snow balls, making mix tapes and going to the supermarket, I have also been doing this:You can see more here


I just found this great mix tape application on orange you lucky and I couldn't resist sharing it with you. I should have been going to the supermarket to do my weekly shop but I got totally stuck into this.
Here are a few tunes that monda loves. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

recycling and repurposing

In my never ending quest (or maybe now I can admit it is an obsession) for thick wool felt I have found a compromise which is just perfect. I have purchased a fair few wool blankets over the last few weeks and washed them at very high temperatures in the machine, then dried them (some in the tumble dryer, some naturally) and then ironed them. The result is this:I will be selling some of this in my shop as I have way too much of it here for me at the moment. I much prefer the idea of recycling or repurposing old things into new things. Blankets become felt, felt becomes monsters/brooches/softies which then become a much loved (I hope) object.

Speaking of recycling/repurposing - here are a couple of pics of something I treated myself to recently. This mini quilt was made by Syko using linen from a dress which she had bought but never worn:Apart from obviously being a lovely piece of art, it has also made use of an old piece of clothing which for me just has much more appeal. This is the kind of thing people used to do in the days before the throw away society we now live in.

We are all becoming more conscious of what we need to do to save our planet. At home we recycle quite a lot of household waste, we recycle our garden waste too, and we're seriously considering getting a compost bin for the garden to put our veggie peelings and the like in. As a designer/crafter I hope I'm also doing my bit with using repurposed fabrics and findings where I can. I don't really want to quote one of the big supermarket chains here, but in this case it is appropriate and very true that 'every little helps'.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

one of the best things I've seen in ages...

just a quick one today. I've got a lot to do because me and my sis have put our name down for a stall in her village May Day fair - so I need to start making lots lots more and I have just a month to do it. A month sounds like a long time but if you take away the time spent at work and the time spent sleeping then that really doesn't actually leave that much time. eek.

one of the best things I've seen in ages is this, it's called ABC3D.
I must have watched it 5 or 6 times so far and I'm still not bored of it. Enjoy:

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

and the secret project is...

design a dozen

This is what I have been working on/thinking about the last few weeks - one blog clearly was not enough for me, no siree, so I have another one - which really is more of a project and a play along project at that, with a fancy flickr group too.

Go and take a look (click on the image above).