31 July 2014

7 tips on finding materials

Although I am relatively new to blogging, I am most certainly not new to art and crafting. Obviously, we all do something as kids, but for me, lets say around about mid-teens I started creating things that were a little bit more than random cuts of paper or endless threads of basic crochet (which I would wrap around my wrist and pretend it was super hard to make).

However, unless you have an endless supply of funds (yeah right), getting the right materials is kinda expensive. Even if you simply want to produce some handwritten A4 prints, you still need to have a variety of good quality pens, variety of good quality papers or cards or whatever. Oh and unless you want to constantly produce them until your wrist gives up, you should really get a good quality printer....and so on and so on...

I know all this sounds like preaching to the converted, but lets be honest, we've all been there (and heard the "HOW MUCH are you charging!?" comment).

So, a while back I created a list of things that I would do in order to get materials that are good quality AND cheaper.

And not all of them are internet based ;)

1. Let's get the obvious out of the way first - EBAY. Thing is, I don't necessarily look for specifics. There's a lot of people out there that either misspell or aren't sure what to call something. And when I'm "on the lookout" I'll create some generic searches which I can then follow. One of those is simply "Vintage", I made sure it's in order of Ending Soonest, so every day I'll have a quick scroll through while I'm waiting for my lunch or having 5 minutes off the desk to see if there is anything interesting. I found a gorgeous collection of brooches like this and about 8 of these lovely old pieces cost me a couple of £.

Or, if you are in a hurry for something, try misspelling what you're looking for. You never know.

2. Charity shops = good for the charity and good for your pocket.
Recently, I went to a local one and found a range of silky scarves for about £1 each. As a scarf they were never going to be used. They were really old fashioned, slightly torn or washed out. I got a few - cut them up and created lovely little flowers out of them. You'll be able to see some of them eventually, when I get to taking photos.

You'll find frames with terrible artwork, but ones you can use for your own after a few brush strokes of paint. Faux pearl necklaces and such things that girls buy, wear 3 times and then give up are gorgeous for tearing apart and getting you some cheap beads.

3. Your friends - maybe they're having a clearout? Maybe they have kids who have outgrown certain things? Maybe they have some cheap canvass pictures they don't like any more and you can re-cover and re-use?

4. DIY stores. Oh yes. I went to B&Q a few weeks ago and went to the chains display. They had a lovely selection of thin brass, copper and silver chains - and they are made to last! Yes you'll need some pliers and the such, but they look so pretty and you can get a metre length for about £1. And let's not forget, you get the free wallpaper samples anywhere - and no you should not take advantage of this too much, but a few bits here and there are ok if you wanna make little tags or wrap stuff up.

5. Sales - in clothes shops, accessories shops, arts & crafts shops.... be open minded. Just because something is built up in a certain way, doesn't mean you have to use it as such. 

6. Salvage yards - although it may sound an obvious one, I'm not talking about the little pretty antique stores with a bit of a yard of scraps at the back.
A number of them will have things like old knobs off olf chests of drawers, old tiny windows in their original frames, bits and pieces of metal/stone/whatever, cute little period tiles, old style massive keys....... at bargain prices.

7. Go to handmade and craft fairs. But also, go to the wedding shows or any kind of fair where there MIGHT be something of interest. If for nothing else then for inspiration - I'm going to a cake and sugarcraft fair in near future, just to see what's new with the colours and techniques used... you also might get some freebies.

Extra inspiration?:

For inspiration we have Pinterest, Instagram, and various other sites we follow religiously these days. But don't forget books. There is a huge collection of older or self published books on Amazon, for example, which are completely FREE. And you don't need a Kindle, just the Kindle app. ;) I have recently downloaded several free soapmaking books right onto my laptop... beautiful :)

And if they're no good, who cares, you didn't pay anything!

Do you have any tips you wanna share? This isn't just about your profit, but also about being able to have enough materials to create what you love without spending silly amounts of money.


29 July 2014

Colours and Changes

I know, I changed it again. But I like it better now. It was ... as you'd say "work in progress". I may change it again at some point but right now, we're good.

Today I have reserved a printer to pick up tomorrow. I am actually excited about this, as it means I will be able to transfer my doodles onto my laptop and make sure they are perfect for sending away to all the lovely people that may like them. Also, I like gadgets, but we'll get to that at some point in the future.

What I'm really excited about is the colour trends that are coming up for our colder months... especially the Tints! Or, as the lovely report from Pantone states "Soft sage, cameo pinks, palma violet and muted pale blue were favorites in the mix of boy-girl silhouettes and precise minimal pieces."


How gorgeous is this?

Excited much!

28 July 2014

Monday blues

This is how it starts

With a blank page. 

And quite a few ideas. But which one is first? Do you choose by how easy something is or how much time you have or how much you want to put something on paper?

The latter doesn't apply as I have little patience really. I wanna do everything. I need another 5 arms if you have some going spare, please.

Thank you.

I found this and loved it :)

27 July 2014

Easy like Sunday morning

Ok, afternoon - but it's morning somewhere in the world so the title is still relevant.

Today is the day when I get busy. I've had a great night out on Friday with my friends and my man, and a very very relaxing Saturday with my dog and my man. Can't complain.

Today, I'm firstly doing this...

Then, I've got a few ideas that I want to try out. I'm unsure as to when I'll start showing my work and the such, but it's soon coming. I cannot wait to open my little shop.

Anyway, I have decided I am going to ask you for a favour - recommend some good books. Now, apart from biographies, I will read pretty much anything. I grew up reading classic literature (my fave still is Emile Zola's "Germinal"), I love Edgar Allan Poe and Guy de Maupassant. I also have a sft spot for Nick Cave, Bukowski and from the "gentler ones" Dan Brown....

I could make a huge list of all the books I loved, but to be honest, that would be a very long and boring list to read. So, instead, tell me what your faveourite's are and why and I will get onto them. Nothing better than a good book and a tea in the evenings just as you're winding down.

Speaking of books, can someone please get me one of these 

How sweet is that?! I promise I will take care of it and love it so much.

I feel lucky to be here at this time, with all the technology and the rest, I love my laptop don't get me wrong, but that sound of the typewriter has something special about it. And the little blemishes in the type itself has character. 

I suppose I can always find the copy-type to download :-)

I'm off to read up on the The Healing Nature of Craft in my Mollie Makes copy and finish off my coffee. You have a good Sunday, all.

24 July 2014

Things that make you procrastinate. volume 1

One. Bloglovin'
Two. Pinterest

I have spent about 2 hours now simply reading through all the blogs in my feed. I don't get to do it much over the day so ones feed fills up! And of course, if you go and read one post, you kind of go and have a look around and then that moment of "oh, that looks interesting" happens and you are pulled in, without even realising what had happened.

I had this plan that tonight I'll do some sketching for the logo of the shop I'm planning to open on Etsy in August (note to self - August is next week...), throwing some ideas out for the layout, type etc.

Did this happen?


That notebook, sketchpad and pens are exactly where I've put them about 2 hours ago. At least I remembered to drink my tea before it went cold. I mean, you try and stay away from One Sheepish Girl.

Pinterest is no better! I am sometimes overwhelmed with the amount of amazing ideas people are coming up with, it's almost scary - I don't have the tiiiiiiiiiime to make and cook and decorate everything I like. 

But I'll pin it anyway...just in case...of course.

Pinterest however lead me to THIS gem. If you are one of those people who, like me, for whatever reason does not have a blender/smoothie maker (lack of space for me...) you can make one of these! Awesome! I can feel its goodness already.

So, I'll put my little notebook and sketchbook away and call it a day I think. Weekend will be better...right? :)

23 July 2014

Inspirational Wednesday - what I'm reading

A couple of years ago I was working for a design and print agency. Although I was familiar with the workings of a design place, I haven't really had any real experience other than some readings on the subject and a few magazines.

So, as one that is already a fan of all things design, I found myself falling in love with typography. As in - fonts themselves as well as the art. And then I found THE BLOG ILOVETYPOGRAPHY

The name itself appeals. To be honest, I found it while I was looking for a great desktop background for my big ol' monitor at work. There's plenty of free ones to download, my personal fave being this one:

I won't go into too many details as I'm sure you're dying to go and browse through their archives, but what I will say is that what I always go back to is the article about the importance of choosing the right type - not only for what its looks are, but for the ease of reading, it's function and if you're combining several - that becomes quite difficult. Not all typefaces are the same, nor should they be mixed without thought.

This of course includes blogs. I spent most of my time scrolling through what's available and I'm still not fully satisfied with it, but for now, I'll see how I feel after I've set up my routine. Any opinions on this?

Speaking of typography as an art, I have recently stumbled upon this:

A great way to sketch out some words of wisdom. Nourish your creative mind, keep track of where it's taking you - ALWAYS keep a notebook and a pen with you.

It's so simple isn't it?
Do you have any favourite typefaces?

22 July 2014

There is always a first

It may not be my very first blog, but it is certainly first one which makes sense to me more so than others (ever did one of those "that will do" jobs? you get what i'm saying then). I have a fault. I sometimes get overly excited and want it all, now, immediately, no matter what. So I get an idea and go with it... oh well, we all do it sometimes.

I am hoping for so many things to happen through this medium but...start small. Always start small.

I am really excited! So come along, say hi and let's share.