31 August 2012

New Etsy shop: Vintage craft supplies

A month or so ago my alter ego Retro Crafty Girl opened a new Etsy store selling vintage craft supplies and I have been meaning to metion it ever since.

I love vintage needlework kits, patterns, canvases and finished pieces from 'Grandma's craft basket' and really opening this store is just an excuse for me to buy more stuff and well if I can't sell them I will just have lots of projects to do!

These are few of my recent finds....

Vintage Margot Tapestry Canvas

Semco Novelty Vanity Set

Hummel Swan Embroidery Kit
I am having to fight the urge to rip open the packets and start stitching, it is like having an unopened block of chocolate hidden in the house....you know it is close at hand and very tempting!!!

So save me from temptation and vist Retro Crafty Girl and see if anything takes your fancy.

P.S I will be posting time to time about Retro Crafty Girl so I apologise in advance if it gets a bit confusing but I can only cope with updating one blog....thanks again for taking time to read it!

27 August 2012

Who doesn't love a $1 deal?

I love a good bargain and there is nothing like buying something for $1 that will keep you busy for hours.

That is why I decided that my Etsy store needed a new section.....the One dollar pattern section.

That's right now some of your favourite cross stitch/needlepoint patterns are available for just a buck (a US buck!)

Here are a couple of new Dollar patterns I added today.....

......... I haven't had a chance to stitch Mr Squirrel yet but he is next (ish) on my list!

If you are in the Christmas stitchy mood you can find  Toy Soldiers , Gingerbread Men and a Xmas Russian Doll pattern in the One Dollar section.

I will be adding more $1 patterns soon so stay tuned or like my facebook page to find when they are listed.

Happy stitching!

13 August 2012

Benny the Bunny...embroidery hoop art tutorial

Meet Benny the Bunny...isn't he the cutest!

Benny the happy bunny

I finished stitching him last night and framed him up today. I find if I don't frame projects straight away then they have a tendency to slip quietly into the 'unfinished project abyss'.

For me framing has to be simple and effective and able to be completed during a certain child's very short nap time!

So I thought I would share with you my hoop framing process...it is very easy, I promise!

Here are a few bits you will need...
... heavy cardboard ,scissors, fabric marker, pencil, piece of felt....and maybe double sided tape.

Grab the inside ring of your embroidery hoop and trace along the inside edge onto heavy card - I like to use nappy boxes as they are plentiful and sturdy....nobody needs to know there is a picture of Tigger on the back of it!

Trace around the card you have just cut out onto a piece of felt with a fabric marker or ballpoint pen and cut out. (The step is optional...read down to the end of the tutorial to see if you require the felt).

Next I added double sided tape around the outer edge of the inner hoop...this step is optional....I like it as it helps keep the fabric tight but skip this step it if you think you will want to remove your stitching from the hoop one day.

Depending on the width of your double sided tape you may need to fold it slightly over the edge which is fine as it helps stick the fabric.

Next flip your stitching to the back...and yes I am sprung, I am not a tidy stitcher at the back...I tie knots and leap from one area to another but shhhhhhh nobody needs to know.

Place your hoop sticky side down (if you are using tape) and position it to suit your picture.

Next I flip it over and loosely add the outer hoop just to check I have 'Benny' in the correct spot. And I am happy so I straighten my outer hoop and tighten up the screw at the top.

Next trim around off excess fabric all the way around leaving an inch or two to play with.

Delve into your embroidery floss stash to find some thread...as you can see my floss is neatly ordered and numbered (not!).....and I find a strong cup of coffee always helps with framing!

Using 3 strands of any colour cotton tie a nice big fat knot in the end and start a running/gathering stitch.

Stitch all the way around, pulling and gathering lightly as you go...

When you get to the start again tie a nice firm knot.

Lay the cardboard over the back and centre it...

Now the trick is to apply gentle pressure and squish (this is the technical term) the cardboard into the back....it needs to be a tightish fit so the cardboard won't fall out.

And you are done.........

.......or if you would like a slightly fancier finish and to hide the cardboard....
......centre the felt circle over the back and whip stitch it to the fabric.

Apologies for my bad cutting and dubious photography skills in the latter pictures!

10 August 2012

Small Acorns 2012 Peg Doll competition

Hurray! It's Peg Doll Time Again!

By that I mean it is time to dig out your paper/fabric/recycled materials, bells/bows/sequins and ribbons and glue and start decorating a wooden peg for.......

Enter Our 2012 Peg Doll Competition...

Visit the Small Acorns website for all the details on how you can enter. It has two categories, one for kids under 14 and one for 'kids' over 14 - the latter would definitely be my category!

Check out last years winners in the photos above.

This is my entry from last year.....

Miss Riding Hood
.....I will have get the inspiration flowing to come up with an idea for 2012... I love a good craft competition!

It is open to overseas entries too so check out the details and get peg doll making.

03 August 2012

Shiny new blog buttons

Do you like my shiny new blog buttons over there on the right...aren't they pretty?!

Need blog buttons where do you go? Etsy of course, Etsy seems to sell everything!

I waded through all the Social Media button packages available (of which there were many) and these were the ones that took my fancy. They are from the wonderful Natalie at Moxie Tonic. They were only $2US - that is a crazy price! It would have taken me years how to work out how to design my own so thank you Natalie for your creative talent.

Brown Web & Blog Buttons: 9 Social Media Buttons For Your BlogWeb & Blog Buttons:12 Social Media Buttons For Your BlogBlog Buttons: Mix & Match Your Blog Design With 10 Social Media Buttons

I had a hard time deciding which of these three I wanted but thought the brown matched part of my banner.

I would like to brag about how clever I am getting them installed (and working!) but all I did was follow the Moxie Tonic installation video....Yes that is right for $2US you get step by step instructions on how to add the html coding.

I just can't thank Natalie & Moxie Tonic enough as it made adding blog buttons such a stress free process.

Not only do they have an Etsy shop but you can check them out on Facebook and you have to visit the Moxie Tonic website and take advantage of the free marketing tips about building a successful crafty business. I have just signed up to learn the 7 keys to unlocking Etsy sales - I need it.

It is just so lovely to come across people who are happy to share their knowledge. Thank you Natalie, I certainly appreciate it!

P.S And thank you for introducing me to photobucket - how fabulous is it!

02 August 2012

Bambi, a Hedgehog and Wonder Woman

I have been busy stitching and embroidery hooping (that is the technical term!) and these are my latest creations.........

Who doesn't love Bambi?

I thought with a green polka dot ribbon hanger that 'Bambi' would be a great 'not too overtly Christmassy' Christmas decoration.

Then there is my old favourite....


Little Mister Hedgehog sheltering under some Mushrooms....he always seems to pop up in so many of my patterns...sneaky little critter!

And for something totally different...

Wonder Woman
I love this retro design... I can't claim this one, it is from a vintage plastic canvas book. It is a design I used to stitch about 10 years ago onto T-shirts. I still love it just as much now.

You can find them all in my Etsy store.