Thursday, 26 February 2009

Mean anything?

I've been chatting to a crocheter struggling to finish the Nico dress in Vintage Crochet. I loved her comment!!!!
“So you crochet, so shall you undo.”

Monday, 23 February 2009

Shop windows

I'm spreading my wings a wee bit as you'll see. As well as having online shops with notonthehighstreet and Etsy, I now have a shop at Da Wanda and an 'exhibition' at papernstitch. Although my products pretty much are carried by all of the companies, as an experience they are all completely different and are great to visit for retail therapy or as a way of realising how much talent there is globally! We've never had it so good. To be able to go from high street to main street to whatever street in whichever country. Wow, that's some adventure.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Bags of fun - Lisa Stickley

Despite the gloom I've been shopping. Only a teeny bit because we've all got to be a little 'sensible shoes' at this moment but anyway... A lovely shop in my local cathedral city is having to close due to the recession, Baby Love (they're online so I don't have to be completely deprived) and so I rushed in there before the final day and bought my beautiful project bag for all my...projects!!! They're stocking lots of lovely bags from Lisa Stickley which they'll be selling through their new venture, LinetheNest, in the Spring.
Lisa Stickley is someone I've clocked before for her style and sensitivity and her website is a joy. And I can go shopping there too!!! Virtually or by hopping on a bus south from Charing Cross. Hurrah! But if that isn't possible then there's online. It'll be the saviour of us all if the rents go up and the shops close.
My projects are now very happy but haven't disappeared. There's a hat for Fiona and a hooks bag and sewing kit for Rose and Susan. There's a pinafore I'm making from a Japanese book in Mericash which is also what I'm using for my Sunday Morning gloves which are in a heavenly blue and a pious (I'm carrying on the Sunday theme!!) brown.
I don't think my pussycat liked being snapped. He's such a divo!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The woods are alive

Bio-diversity isn't a speciality of nature alone. It's alive and very-much kicking in crochet!!! I found a wonderful designer through the wonderful blog Lime and Violet. I love it's sub-title, The Daily Chum! Let them speak for themselves. 'Lime and Violet is a mostly-weekly podcast about life, yarn, and knitting (in that order), started in June, 2006. In August ‘06, it was expanded into a message board community, and in May ‘07, an online shop.
Now, there’s a centralized place to come to online every day to find the newest books, yarns, and media reviews to enrich your knitting life.'

Whilst there, I spent a happy half hour or so just browsing their 'crochet' link and found a gem to pass onto you. Under their 'Freaks of Nature' post I found this amazing designer, Elaine Bradford.
So I grabbed my butterfly-net and went a-hunting on her web-site. Her vision of animals and nature in a state of change or distortion isn't frightening and really gives rather a warm, fuzzy image. As she says in her own statement, 'My sculptures are both sad and amusing, straddling the line between reality and comfortable, warm nonsense.' As readers to the blog know, I'm very happy to study all the multi-flavours crochet comes in, the small, the large and the weird. I've got a nice little collection of building projects to share so I think that'll be coming up shortly.
Until then, enjoy the wonderful world of Elaine Bradford and watch out for bears!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Blogs we like

I just wanted to shout about two blogs that I really like and thought that they needed signposting to you crocheters. Both are great for seeing the thought that goes into making something and I'm sure will ring some bells for all of us. We may not take pictures of our work in progress but we can all identify with the many ways we consider what to do next.

First up is from Denmark and is written by Mette an art director and crocheter. Mettetations is a meditation on crochet and very readable.

Next is withoutseams which has some fascinating stuff to look at - not least free patterns which are fabulous for a soggy winter's morning. I'm hoping that Michelle will submit herself for a chaincreative interview in the near future!

I popped in a picture from my gallery of projects to illustrate today's post. Meditations on a beach cover-up!!!!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Designer interview - Cheri Sanders (mother) and Tracey Galloway (daughter) from Cosy up

Yes, I know I said that I would post this interview yesterday but suddenly there were orders to get out and I wanted to finish everything in the Bee@Home inbox. This got me to thinking and it leads neatly into our Designer Interview. Working from home is a wonderful way to earn a little money but, more importantly, fulfill a skill and dream you may have. It's made even better if you can share some of that with another member of the family and our interviewees today, Tracey and Cheri of cosyup, are perfect examples of that family spirit of co-operation and mutual respect. Tracey shows how wonderful it is to learn a skill from her talented mom and I'm sure alot of us have mothers to thank for their crochet abilities. I think the Camille Capelet at the top of the post is beautiful.

Describe your various creative skills.
Tracey: My mother and I have always been creative in one way or another. Our home growing up was filled with mom’s lovely creations, from handmade tables and stools, to dolls and doilies. She was always making something to make our house a cosy home. In addition to crochet, I enjoy painting and scrapbooking and taking photographs of my adorable baby nephew.
When did you start to crochet and who taught you?
Cheri: For me it would be when we lived in El Paso and I was pregnant with Danielle and had no car in the beginning to get around. I couldn't cook because I was always sick so decided to teach myself macramé, knitting and crochet. I kept it up when we moved to Georgia and was making mostly doilies for the house and doll clothes for Barbie and Cabbage Patch dolls.

Darby Cowl
Tracey: Most of the items in our shop are made by my mom, but shortly after we started selling her creations on Etsy I asked her to show me how to crochet. Since then I’ve been addicted and have added a few pieces here and there to the shop. It is such a wonderful (and therapeutic) hobby that has been a special craft my mom and I can share.
The name of the business is interesting. What was the inspiration behind it?Tracey: I was trying to help my mom start up her business on Etsy, I knew if she could get her work seen by more than just friends and family that the public would love her work as much as we did. I was brainstorming for some name ideas and had been reading an article about ways to cosy up your home, and the idea of “cosy up” just stuck with me. It seemed like the perfect way to describe mom’s scarves, handmade goodies to cosy up your closet!

Carly Mini-scarf and flower
What influences your style and output? What are your inspirations?
Tracey: I think the biggest inspiration for our shop is the yarn itself, we both could spend all the money we make on all of the different and beautiful yarns out there! The gorgeous colors and textures just beg to be made into something lovely.
What are the most important aspects of your work to you?
Cheri: I guess that would be the end result. I'm always amazed at the beauty of each piece and that I was able to accomplish that.

Darlene Capelet
Which project or piece of work are you most proud of?
Cheri: I think each new piece is always my favorite and I can't wait to begin the next one.
When are you most happy when you’re working?
Tracey: I think I can speak for us both in saying that we are happiest right in the middle of a project, sitting quietly and feeling the softness of the yarn between our fingers, knowing we are creating something comfy and cosy that will hopefully find a perfect home with someone special. xo,
Tracey and Cheri

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Friends fantastic

My wee blog is doing just what it says on the tin. It's chaincreative!!!!! Nearly every day now I take a peek at who has been visiting and increasingly I can see that there are new friends joining in and they, very kindly I must say, mention me on their blogs. As I said in an earlier post these are really good places to visit and get new ideas and when you go travelling you some times get tempted off into all sorts of new avenues.
Today, chaincreative was visited by a crocheter from London who I met in real time too when she came to my crochet classes. Now she's all grown-up and has a blog of her own, Angel Treats, and that certainly makes be twinkle with pride!!! It's a lovely, friendly place and there's crochet! Amigurumi to be precise.
Another visitor is Hook and Scumble, and there is crochet jewellery there too!
Amigurumi. Jewellery!!? These are my two choices for summer workshops here in Kent. Isn't that just synchronicity!

Tomorrow is interview day here at chaincreative. I wonder who it will be??

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow crackers

I know, I know, that alot of you have enough snow to keep the whole world in snowballs and too much of the stuff is really annoying but...We love it here at chaincreative as it comes only once (if we're lucky) a year and doesn't stay long enough for us to bitch about it!!! Anyways, the start of it was very fortunate as all my kids and their wives and girlfriends were home and they had soooo much fun. Even the snowman was a bit of a dandy with his jaunty hat. He'll have a scarf today once I've kitted myself up in arctic wear!
Anyway, once that's done and the birds have something to get their beaks into instead of ice crystals, I've got projects and this is just the tip of my crochet iceberg!!
I love this as an opportunity to focus on all those little niggling crochet jobs that need doing but get put to the back of the pending cupboard. That is, however, after I've gone to play in the snow!!