Monday, 28 February 2011

Beads beads everywhere...

I am so proud of myself. No really, I am. I managed to succeed in completing... no projects this week. Well not quite 'no projects'. I completed nothing for myself, and challenged myself in no way, shape or form. Which for me, is a pretty lame week.

I was asked to create a couple of bracelets for someone. But other than that, those are my makes for the week. I just couldn't find the get up and go I needed to complete anything. I have so much I want and need to do, yet I pretty much spent all free time in bed, or wishing I was in bed. And to make matters worse, I started looking for a certain bag of beads this morning... only to cover my living room carpet in hundreds of clip bags. Even my hamster, Pokemon, is looking at my beady mess with disdain. Don't you just sometimes wish you never started something?

Better still, I can't stop laughing to myself. I went to a second interview the other week, and during my time in there the interviewer got the impression I was a super organised person. If only he could see me now.

So I thought I would share a quick pic of my customs, and I hope later this week I will have something a little more interesting to share with you. I am currently working on a light-catcher, but that is some fiddly work. Plus I need to finish some designs for a new jewellery 'box'. I can't cope with my baskets of mess any more. But one thing at a time right ;)

Whilst I remember, Monday's aren't all bad. Wendy is once again hosting Handmade Monday over at Loads of interesting reads can be found over there. Go and check out what other crafters have been up to, and show some support!

Right... back to the bead pile *sigh*. Why me?

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Jewellery and Nuggets

My credit card is now frowning at me, but I am one happy bunny. February is nearly over, and March will have soon begun. And with the turning of the month comes some a new pay packet. 

Okay, okay... and new bills. But again with the 'we only live once' routine ;)

I would like to dedicate this post to two people.

The first would be Mick at Shpangle Jewellery. Remember the blog post about poop? Yeah, I went ahead and got me one of those. And I have to say, it was a great buy. I love to be different, and there is nothing better than going into work and your boss saying 'Interesting pendant, but if you don't mind me saying, it looks like a lump of, er, you know?' How often can you turn around and say, 'it is!'. But more than it's comical value, I own something that the earth has preserved (yes, even if it is poop), and something that very few people could ever imagine the cycle of. 

And yes, of course, I had to buy something else. I noted a lovely pendant. Heart shaped, clear and with a collection of washers and screws set within. Working in a DIY retailer I couldn't think of anything that would set the scene more, so to speak! 

So thank you to Mick! I would love to post photos, however, been a busy bee today and they would do the jewellery no justice! However, I implore you to visit the link and I bet you will be struggling with your will power! (Bring on March!!).

And I would like to thank Jenny who's Folksy shop is full of cute cute wonders! Will be going back to get some gifts me thinks. Helloooooo Christmas shopping,

I would love to be able to knit or crochet, but I can't. After reading about Jenny's' Bunny Nuggets I knew I had to get one. And yes, I am a sucker for anything cute. I asked for something in a purple shade, but nothing too light. A custom Nugget! Anything I can own, that only I can own is mine. Well yes, of course it's mine, but you know what I mean. Just mine! I was bouncing like an idiot when I read a post that feature my Bunny Nugget (My nugget). 

I was so happy with both of my purchases, and the fact that these two people went out of their way to send their crafts off so quickly, allowing me to enjoy beautifully made products quicker? Two excellent crafters that deserve more praise than I alone can give! Thank you both for your hard work and effort. May you see more of my money in the future ;)

He has been named 'Nugget', and he stands guard of all those that may steel my books!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Pop Culture

I will be the first person to put my hand up and say 'I am a fashion victim'. When you look at me (and no, I don't have any current photos ;) ) I am not your typical near 30 year old. I mean the grown up ones, which I am told there are a few. No, I dress against the norm for the area in which I live, but I dress normally for say a trip out to Camden Town or your local cemetery - which is to state, I wouldn't look amiss amongst the cast of say, Glee. I have a history of doing geeky things. Those of which have been noted by the Cthulhu critter, the fact that I get my five a day from the internet and my film and book collection is worth more than the house I live in (and currently I'm not joking). So as you can tell, I'm a woman of the world.

That is the world of Pop Culture.

I have been surfing the waves in virtual intelligence, and screening page after page of blog input. At the end of it all I am proud to say, that as crafters, the businesses we create are those that are truly inspired.

I am more than aware that I have woken up one morning, thought about what I am going to produce that day, only to find the finished product looks like it should be a Blue Peter reject, but strangely resembles some theme of the days T.V. watching. As a result I go back and tend to re-draft the item and come back with something better.

As I look closely at the things I create, whether they be beaded, felted, wooden or painted I see before me a selection of items that have all been created from the images that flood through my vision daily. And sometimes those visions come from our very own Popular Culture.

Yes, this is a randomling... So where is it going?

I was asked a question years ago - "How can you draw a business off of someone else's idea?"

Simple! I am not drawing a business off of the idea that you, or anyone else has ever had. I am drawing on the fact that that product/film/song/book/T.V. show has inspired me not to breach copy right or annoy the creator, but in fact, to celebrate in an idea that has affected my life! To create a statue of another person is seen as art, even if that person never wanted to be made immortal. What we do is create immortal ideas through the visions that are shown to us through the presence of media. This is not worship, just the creation born of imagination.

After all if there are no such things as original ideas anymore, who would you rather change them? A crafter with passion, or a Politician with poison?

Monday, 21 February 2011

Handmade cthulhu

Okay, so everyone is  aware of the wonderful week I had last week. The breaking down and the shaking caused by a severe lack of internet availability. Thankfully that was fixed and whilst I wouldn't say fixed in a reasonable time, fixed it was.

So I spent most of the weekend catching up on everything I had missed out on through the beginning of the week.

Which is to state I haven't been overly crafty.

However, thanks to the lovely Wendy, Handmade Monday is on again. You know the drill, hop on over and check out every ones creations for the week!

Like I said, I haven't been too productive this week. And after all the hearts and flowers of last week I needed to get back to my roots. My boyfriend and I have a love for all things Lovecraft. Since some time after my birthday last November he has been bugging me to make a Cthulhu plush for him. So whilst I couldn't deal with the thought of digging out my sewing machine and creating patterns, I did go to my over flowing bag of felt and created this little guy.

His belly is a little lumpy, but then Cthulhu, creature of pure madness and all... don't think it matters too much. Besides, the other half seems to like him!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Netaholic: Randomling 2

Hello, my name's Kat, and I'm a Netaholic!

Wow, I know my internet only went down on Monday afternoon, but that was one loooooooong week. Felt like I lost my arm. I never knew how much I needed the internet. I was shaking and everything there! The best bit is, I still get charged for not using it for a week. Our internet providers must understand that when we cannot access, you should cut the bill. Seriously! I could have made my way to one of those caves. You know, the ones with the real bad lighting and they charge you to sit at what they call a computer. It isn't actually a computer. It's more like cruelty to old chips. The 'computers' that cough and splutter, and throw up virtual word vomit on your screen from time to time. But that would be fine. An internet cafe would be great... Well would have been if they still existed. The last one I saw was just up by where my mother lives. Opens for like two hours a week and is literally out in the middle of no-where.

However, not all bad. I couldn't spend money. This, right now, my bank card is thanking me for. Plus I had some time to create some odds and sods. Things that I must post pictures of.

But is time truly a blessing? I went in search of those wine glasses I posted about in a Randomling. I think I passed out in fear at one point. All I wanted was to take snap, with my new camera (kid in a candy store still lol). But noooooo, even that was denied. I thought I had lost them, or better still I thought the boyfriend had broken them and not told me. It wasn't until I had a conversation with my mum that I realised that I had taken them to Derby so I wouldn't break them when moving things in prep for the wedding. Funny since the only other thing she has is a selection of beanie babies and a number of books. Shows where my prioritise lie right?

But most of all here is why I am a Netaholic. I have an interview to attend at 1:30pm today. Rather than getting nervous (already that so I don't need help there), or sitting not really watching tv, or catching up on some sleep (I did an over night at work last night, didn't get home to 6am and still haven't slept), I am catching up on peoples blogs and wondering what I'm going to buy next. So as you can imagine, my interview may not go too well and part of me doesn't even care. Just want to sit and surf all day.

Bad isn't it?

Oh well... could be worse. I could have lost my arm or something ;)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Quick Sorry

It would appear as though the second month of the year is simply not my month. My internet connection went down on Monday leaving me with a limited mobile access. I can see a randomling in the future. I just want to say a heart felt thanks for all the lovely comments people have left over Handmade Monday's post. And a huge sorry for everyone I am yet to visit and check out their handmade goodies!
I will be back to the world of virtual living in the next day or two, so you can be sure I will be paying you all a visit. And hello to all my new followers :) Not ignoring anyone. I feel totally cut off from the world lol.

So again sorry to everyone and I expect lots of blog posts to read when I 'get back' :D

Hope there are no major typos here... My phone won't let me check hehehe.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Handmade Monday

So is it just me or has everything gone heart shaped?

Heart in the road
Even going to work the other day I noticed a heart shaped oil stain. I think this is getting beyond a joke now ;)

So it's Handmade Monday again, and yes I've already started my blog hopping at

Unfortunately I haven't had time to do much in the way of crafting this last week, so I thought instead I would share a couple of photos of customer orders I completed. Whether it's because it's the year of the rabbit, or people just have a sudden fascination with rabbits, these little felties have gone like hot cakes over the past couple of weeks. 

And this I made just because I was bored, and I had a load of heart templates knocking about!

I hope everyone has a lovely day. I'm off to try and read a manual on how to use my new camera. Both excited and truly confused. But nothing new there. I wouldn't mind but the booklet is really thick... and is all in English. Why is nothing ever easy?

Friday, 11 February 2011

*Sigh* Delivery idiocy

Okay, I need everyone to give a huge cheer. It's Friday people. At long last.

Just need to get through today and then off for two days. Finish some wedding invites, get some more felties together - ones that aren't Valentines influenced.

So this week all in all, not a bad week. I finished my orders yesterday afternoon, so was happy about that. Ordered my camera the other day, so happy about that. Survived another week at work, if only just, so happy about that too. Over all... you have one happy Kat!

Happy Kat

Not so happy at my idiocy and Royal Mail idiocy.

I ordered my camera after days of deliberating. I got a really good deal on a body, lens kit, memory card and case. Wasn't my first option, but after everything I was bouncing around when I clicked the 'checkout' button. I was so happy with my buy I asked for express 1-2 day delivery. I never do that. I don't see why I should spend yet more of postage and packaging than I have to. But hey... camera... c'mon! I'm allowed right? Well I got up early thinking I heard the door bell go. Sprang out of bed, stood on my hair brush (yes that did hurt), rushed to the front door... and... nothing. No one there. My own bloody imagination. Best thing is I was as red as a cherry even though there was no one there to witness my stupidity. Just checked my email... to realise I sent the camera to my boyfriends parents house. No major issue, I can get it tonight... but how stupid do I feel now?

Then to make it all better, I had a parcel delivered of felt and some other bits when I was out on the 4th. I went to the post office to pick it up yesterday. They couldn't find it. Phoned up today, they still can't find it. I have to go back on Monday and put a claim in. So I now don't have what I need to continue with certain projects. I need to replace the order and start all over again. So not happy with Royal Mail now!

Having just gone to the door they have just made me laugh though. I ordered some sheets of acetate with designs on. The person sent these in an envelope that says "Please do not bend". So guess what? Yep, they bent it. Grrrrrrr....

However, I shall not let this get me down...I will keep my chin up and quietly plan my revenge on both myself and the Royal Mail. And possibly spiders... just because I don't like them! And maybe people that stand in the middle of aisles in supermarkets talking to their next door neighbour, just because that's really annoying!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Randomlings: Part 1

Randomlings: otherwise known as Random Ramblings.

Part 1: because no doubt there will be a follow up or two on this. Randomlings occur often.

Follow up: when all I have going round my head is Randomlings.

Today's Randomling is about why handmade is best (it will take me some time to get there! ;) It's a Random Rambling afterall).

I am, I must confess, a complete and utter Christmas freak. Love it. No better time of year. I have already started my Christmas shopping, my decorations go up in the first week of November, my food shopping is completed two weeks prior to and from around mid August I run around like a kid on the original blue Smarties, going on about how many days and hours are left. No, I am being serious! And I know I am not alone out there. Anyway, I was online, going through the usual suspects, picking up some bargain DVD's and music ready for the end of the year, when I started to wonder what I was actually going to get my mother and sister. Now, my mum is one of those people who is close to retiring and has everything. My sister is modest and never knows what she wants, so no forth-coming ideas. As a result I was drawn the blogs and websites of those who craft for a living.

Whilst you will never, ever pull my purse away from the likes of Forbidden Planet, Play or Amazon, the decision is finally made. Unless they ask me for a microwave with the ability to make tea and coffee, or a washing machine that will hoover, they are both going to get hand crafted goods. Now this might not seem like such a big thing, however, here was my train of thought whilst looking at a lovely hand-blown wine glass set seen in the Jubilee Market in Covent Garden.

"I should buy her a jacket? No, she has 7 already. I should get her a new set of kitchen plates? No, she loves what she has already. I should buy her these wine glasses? She doesn't drink wine though. But they are lovely glasses. Reasonably priced too. She does drink gin. Could you drink gin from a wine glass? I could drink gin from any glass, but mummy dearest wouldn't. Maybe she could display them. Maybe I could ask for a custom design and then display them. Why would you display custom wine glasses? Because they are custom! Better than going to a department store and buying something that was made in a sweat shop in India and is owned by half of Blighty. But if I don't buy sweat shop made glasses those people that make them are out of a job. But if I buy them I am supporting sweat shops - stupid cow. Why would I support slave labourers. You already work for one!... These look really well made. I drink a lot of wine. Not buying for myself though. Buy these and you will be supporting a craft artist. He lovingly made these and he could make you some lovingly made custom ones... could make YOU some lovingly made custom ones... Supporting local talent. Show off their art and get friends and family to buy from the same guy... A worth while cause. Plus I drink wine, and mum has shelves..."

By the way, I need to point out, I am not an alcoholic! Just love wine... and beer... and spirits hehehe
Needless to say I purchased some wine glasses. However, these wine glasses are a lovely black with red and silver trim. And he only made 8 in that colour range. I own 4. Someone else now has 4. I guess that means we rock, because who else right now, has those glasses :)

If I had gone to that department store I would be no better than the next person without a clue. After all, where is the harm in supporting true talent and paying good money to own something that so few people have even seen!

Going off to raid your sites now... want me some Christmas prezzies!!!

Monday, 7 February 2011

It's Monday

Well after one horrendous week, we start another. Only I am hoping that this week will be start of good things to come. I spent last week making and catching up with orders for those that forgot what the 14th heralds. I have a funny feeling that things aren't going to change that much this week. Between writing action plans and getting my interview head on I have a number of projects to complete by Friday. I can see a number of late nights just waiting outside of my front door, patiently waiting to be let in.

And thanks to Wendy, it's Handmade Monday again. Check out what people have been up to by clinking the link and start blog hopping: 1st Unique Gifts

So in the hectic race that was last week I managed to make head way with one of those boxes at the very least. Some touch up work needed on the inside, and a layer of varnish. Over all I am reasonably happy with the effect, and I think it will look just fine on the book shelf, home to all my needles and loose threads. The box was given to me when someone couldn't do much with it. It had been painted heavily in emulsion and needed stripping down and the hinges needed to be replaced. All that considered I am surprised it turned out the way it did.

I guess when I get a minute or two I should look at finishing the other, though I am not holding my breath for a spare minute just yet ;)

Okay, now to tackle the list of gifts sitting on my coffee table *sigh*. I hate Valentines :) Wouldn't mind so much if they were all for me, hehehe.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Lights, Camera... er, no? It's a buyers market.

Whilst so many of us are running around doing the typical last minute job of trying to find the right Valentines gift, I now have to consider the inevitable. First and foremost, I don't do Valentines. Never have, so it is unlikely I ever will. Having been with the other half eleven years in May you would have thought by now one of us would have done something a little more romantic than a quick kiss on the cheek before running out the door for work. I think in all those years only four times have we considered and followed through with any plans. However, going to the local for a quick drink or opening a mass produced card is my worst nightmare.

Secondly there is that little factor of money. I won't be buying him that new PS3 game he is so trying to convince out of my pocket. That money will be spent on me, myself and I! I guess for so long I have tried to get away with what I have at hand. But no longer can I deal with one simple fact...

...My mobile phone takes better photos than the only remaining working camera in the house.

And when your phone is only dealing with 3 mega pixels, you know you have a problem.

I know, it's a crime against all photos. It's that age old scenario - something breaks, you have a spare, though not as good and think, 'Why spend the money? This will do'. Right?

Wrong! Perhaps on some level I am a photo snob. But without a kick ass photo of your item, even if you don't want to sell it, how is anyone ever going to see the true crafting behind it? All that hard work and your point and click Fuji, Cannon or Olympus will just miss the finer detail. No, regardless of a number of articles I have read in the past, for me the point and clicks of the world just don't do it. Sure, you want to wander the streets looking for inspiration? There, they cannot be beaten. Fit in your pocket and no one is any the wiser (apart from the pick pocket standing a couple of feet from you). But nothing can rival a picture taken by a true camera. Not even a professional. A semi-pro will do me fine. A semi-pro SLR and we are away.

So whilst for the next couple of days you run around (or maybe just scroll away), trying to find that perfect gift, I will be searching for that perfect camera, at that perfect price. After all, this recession may be bad for our businesses, but it has at least created a buyers market!

Now if only I can get a great camera with a lens in the deal. After all, who said the lens should cost more than the machine itself? Evil is afoot here ;)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Doodle days

Trying to steer clear of the paints at the moment. Every time I try something I end up getting covered in one colour or another. Besides, even in the eighties where anything went, that splatter look was never a good one.

Nope, instead I have taken to picking up the pencils again. So much less mess than anything else.  

A couple of samples from my sketch pad:

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Thanks to Monday - you made it less grey!

Well yesterday on the whole was horrific. I couldn't get in the mind to do anything. The sun didn't come out until I was on my way to work, which meant I couldn't take any good photos. I had to return to work after a week off. And then when I got to work I have one of those conversations. You know the ones. You get dragged into an office, your boss sits in front of you all casual like. Then it begins. 45 minutes of sitting there bobbing your head 'yes' like one those annoying car dog thingys. The round about conversation where you are told you aren't that good at your job and you need to start thinking about your future. Am I working the right hours? Managing the right department? Tying my shoe laces correctly? You get the idea right?

So by the time I left work and got on the bus to come home I felt about 2 inches tall and totally miserable.

Normally straight to bed. But nope, I thought I would be rebellious and turn on the computer and spend a bit of time surfing the virtual tide of blogs. I remembered the Handmade Monday event set up by the lovely Wendy and thought I would meander a look at my own blog. I was so surprised to have found new people following and having people interested in what my trinket boxes will look like when finished. So what I am trying to say in a round about way: 1st, thanks to Wendy for such a fantastic idea! 2nd, thanks to everyone who has decided to follow my blog! 3rd, thank you for all the lovely comments. You made yesterday seem a little less grey! Thank you so much. I have returned the favour to each and every one of you.

Lets hope today will reveal the silver lining.

But at least this morning I had time to do some more work on my trinket boxes. Just need my motifs to come now *bounce*. Can't wait!

Until next Monday (or maybe tomorrow when I get bored of cleaning and the computer starts is daily calling).