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Monday, 2 April 2012

Easter Blog Give Away!

This months’ blog post give away is an amazing craft give away. Before we forget we’d like to say a big thank you to Stepney City Farm for donating this prize.

This is Trixie the sheep and along with her friends, Jake, Jacob and Tallulah, they are all the stars of this months’ blog post. All four sheep live at Stepney City Farm and with an ingenious way of recycling or upcycling and craft, the farm have created an amazing felt slipper craft workshop, using the wool from the sheep,(let me hear you all say Ahhhhhhh).

During this one day workshop you will learn how to clean wool, card it and felt it into slippers to perfectly fit your feet. Spending a day at the farm sounds perfect to me, i’ve already booked my space. 

To Win a free place worth £50 on one of the next 2 workshop dates available just leave a message on this blog post, on our Facebook group stating why you would love to win this prize or simply return our Tweets! Yes it is that simple!

For more information about this workshop or if you can't wait for the competition to be drawn you can book onto one of the 2 dates, on their website Stepney City Farm The two dates available are: 21st April or 12th May.

Winners will be announced on Friday 6th April.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Gone on Holiday

We're taking a break we'll be back in 3 weeks....

See you soon.
The SW Craft Club Team X

Monday, 20 February 2012

Handmade By You in Kew

Finding a new place in South London to attend a craft workshop is always exciting and I recently found a little gem. Tucked away in Kew is Handmade By You, a quirky craft little company, situated on the high street.

In preparation for Valentines, Handmade By You ran a Valentines themed workshop, unusually we were making both a valentines card and shampoo and it was only when a few people had mentioned to me that is was a strange combination of crafts, that I thought it did sound a little odd, but you should have been there, it was refreshing to do 2 completely different crafts and total value for money (I absolutely loved learning how to make natural shampoo)

After a weekend of snow it was great to get out of the house and enjoy something creative. Our night started perfectly with heart shaped scones, stuffed with jam and cream, my body is a temple mantra went out of the window!

Our card making tutor was Jessica Aldred, Co-author of Adventures in Needlework. I was slightly in awe, Jessica was great, she gave us a selection of 4 of valentine’s cards to pick from, I chose the very pretty button heart.

The time flew by, Jessica was the perfect tutor, chatty and helpful. We managed to finish in the allocated hour and then onto the chemistry of making shampoo, with essential oils, presented by Alice.

I was terrible at chemistry at school and I think left to my own devises I would have been equally as awful at making shampoo, but thankfully Alice was on hand to teach us the importance of the PH balance, the combination of different essential oils and the benefits of making your own natural products versus buying products from the shops and there are loads and not just to the environment but also to your hair, but don’t just take my advise, contact Alice for more info. @handemadebyyou

I loved my finished products, one valentine card and 2 different shampoos , needless to say these were too nice for Mr Big and I’ve kept them for myself.
At the end we were handed more lovely goodies, remember the lucky dip bags from when we were kids?!? A pretty paper bag, filled with surprises, only when we opened ours, there were no sweeties or small toy, far better, ours were filled with, vintage threads, pretty beads, embroidery threads, a Handmade By You broach making kit.

The very small touches that Handmade By You have added to their workshops make a huge difference to the customers experience. The workshops are a great gift or like me you could just save it for yourself. 
The next Handmade By You workshop is Jewellery making – Vintage Charm Bracelet 26th Feb. 
Find Handmade By You on twitter and Return the special tweets to win a free place. But if you can’t make it to Kew, the lovely Alice who runs the workshops is also in Hammersmith too, here’s what Alice had to say:

"I run The Make Something out of Nothing Craft Club every Tuesday Night in Chiswick/Hammersmith.  We craft in Pantry at The Hampshire Hog and Pantry, King Street, Hammersmith from 7-9 every Tuesday.  Each week, we have a mini workshop where we upcycle and refashion vintage, pre loved or seemingly useless objects into beautiful homewares, accessories and treats. Want to make a tie into a necklace, a tea cup into a pin cushion, some fabric into some cufflinks?  Then this club is for you!  Club members can either bring the object we are refashioning or purchase one from me for a small fee.  All club nights are cosy, fun and informal and a great way of meeting new, crafty people.  Joining the club is free and you just pay £10 for each night you attend."

You can find a full list of the Handmade By You workshops listed on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHandmadeByYouShop
Website: http://www.handmade-by-you.co.uk/
Twitter: @handmadebyyou

Monday, 13 February 2012

10 Minutes on the Couch with Urban Cross Stitch

We are massive fans of Urban Cross Stitch and after 6 months of stalking Phil Davison the founder, he has now given in and agreed to give us an interview. Here’s Phil’s 10 minutes on the Couch.

Tell us about Urban Cross Stitch?
Firstly, I am flattered by The Couch’s enthusiasm for my work. It is an honour to be featured on your site; thank you. Urban Cross Stitch is all about “urbanising” the classic craft of cross-stitching. It is a revival of the traditional art form from a twee pastime to a more modern graphic medium. The Urban Cross Stitch kits are inspired by street art and popular culture, and contain everything required to create contemporary, hand crafted cross stitch pieces.

What makes Urban Cross Stitch different from any other cross stitch company?
Urban Cross Stitch appeals to a broader selection of individuals, from the cross stitch skeptic, who adjusts his views after appreciating our alternative designs; to the staunch traditional stitcher in search of a challenge. It is true that we have a strong fan base of younger stitchers who want to create pieces that they can proudly display, pieces that make a statement and reflect the progression of modern art and our communities. But there has also been increased interest from the more experienced stitchers who are drawn to our more intricate creations/designs.

What do you love about cross stitch?
I love that something so simple can bring about such rich results. Cross stitching is very therapeutic. It takes you away from the stresses of everyday life, and at the end of it you have a piece of art to be proud of.

Dare I ask, where do you get your inspiration from?
Libby Purves from Radio 4’s Midweek described me as "the Hitchcock of cross stitch" because I sometimes draw inspiration from my deepest, darkest thoughts. But generally, I am inspired by life, but whatever is happening around me. For example, I am presently working on a few pieces inspired by all things British, in celebration of the Queens jubilee.

Which has been your most popular pattern?
This may come as a surprise, but our most popular pattern is the mini “bollocks” design. It caused more than a few raised eyebrows when it was released in 2008, but it has since become a regular (vulgar) visitor to our order books as it seems to have been embraced by the majority of our fans. I think it is the combination of the juxtaposition of the traditional cross stitch border with the somewhat offensive text that results in this particular design being a cross stitch cult classic. It is also a very simple design to stitch up and even the most inexperienced stitcher can craft it within an hour or two. 

Have your patterns caused controversy?
It would be an affront if they didn’t! However, the controversy is never profound and is always short-lived, as people appreciate a bit of humour; which is precisely what the so-called controversial pieces aim to achieve.

What’s the deal with Blue Moon?
Blue Moon is an American beer, which has recently been introduced to the European market. The Beer is uniquely flavoured, handcrafted, or as they say, artfully crafted. As it is not your usual run-of-the-mill beer, they wanted a unique, non-conformist artist to promote it. And who better to do so than Urban Cross Stitch!
We heard you are bringing out some new designs, what should we expect?
You can expect even more “controversy”. But in different forms: there is a new T-shirt kit range with which you can stitch up your own wearable Urban Cross Stitch projects, these range from graffiti slogans to bloody stitched stab wounds, as seen in our recently released book, Twisted Stitches..

The Couch is getting an exclusive preview of our 2012-inspired pieces. This is such a huge year for Great Britain, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, that I have created a few designs to commemorate the occasions. These designs will be revealed to the general public very shortly.
There are also a few more exciting projects in the pipeline, so watch this space…..
They sound cool where can we buy?
All our products can be purchased directly from our website www.urban-cross-stitch.com 

Oh we’re due for a work day out, do you have any more Urban Cross Stitch events coming up?
In the past two years various projects and commitments, such as releasing the Twisted Stitches book, the Blue Moon campaign and a smattering of festival appearances have taken up a lot of my time which has led to a backlog of new design ideas and sketches. This has resulted in me not having much spare time to release new designs for our loyal fans; so I am currently trying to make a dent in that backlog and get a few new kits ready for all those itching for a stitch of something new and interesting... Unfortunately this has had a knock on effect and has delayed planning the next of our now infamous Cupcakes! Cocktails! & Cross Stitch! events. But I can assure you that they haven’t gone away, they are just presently on hold.

Ummmmm…. Are you going to come to South London too? If not, we defo need to collaborate and bring something to the south Londoners…
Being based in East London as we are, we have tended to stick to our own turf for events in the past, but during the Blue Moon events we were invited to various locations around London to entertain the masses with our cross stitching craft. On these travels we did a few events south of the river which were awesome and it really opened our eyes to the variety of great bars and venues all across London.
We would definitely be up for collaborating on a few events south of the river, especially with the benefit of Craft Clubs local venue knowledge, so any suggestions or ideas are very welcome.

Could you describe Urban X Stitch in 3 words?
Unorthodox, revolutionary fun!

Finally do you have a joke or funny story to share?
I would think that most of my stories probably are not suitable for public consumption, but I will say that the last cross stitch joke I heard had me in stitches. 

Click on the box and check out Phil's book

Valentines Tutorial – Part 2 The Gift

I’d like to say that this gift idea was mine, but i was actually inspired by another blog and I’ve now made my version to hopefully inspire you. Like the part 1 Valentines tutorial this isn’t just for valentines it can be used for any occasion and you can customise it in any way.


Second-hand picture (the bigger the better)
Spray paint – for the frame
Paint colour charts
Glue – ideally spray mount and pric stick
Masking tape

This was a really fun project to do, the best part was picking what colours and shades I was going to use – Tip: you may need to visit a couple of shops to steal the colour charts and fill up your boots, I used a lots and often changed my mind about which shade to use!

Start by selecting your shades and cutting up the colours
After cutting up the colours needed, arrange them on to  the image you are replacing or the backboard of the frame, you could mix up the colours, select them to go from light to dark (like mine) or just have lots of shades of the same colour.

When you are happy with the layout start to stick the shades with spray mount: Tip - This stray needs lots of ventilation and is ultra sticky. I've suggest removing the colours as you had placed them, cover the board with spray mount and then quickly stick onto the board.
Whilst the colours are drying on the board, spray your  frame. When I brought mine (From a charity shop at the top of Brixton Hill) it had an ugly black and gold frame, so I sprayed it white.

Picking the words to go on there should be easy, keep it short and sweet and will look really effective. I stuck the letters with pric stick (Spray mount is far too sticky).
When the frame, letters and colours have dried, put the frame back together and use the masking tape to hold the back of the frame in place.
Finished - An original piece of art work, hopefully for a happy recipient. 

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Monday, 6 February 2012

Valentine's Tutorial - Post 1/2

Valentines day is less than 2 weeks away and as I’m not fond of the commercial stance the day of Lurve has taken, I’ve spent the last few weeks making the gift, card and a special little table decoration for a romantic meal for two.

This week’s tutorial is a quick, easy and will look good on any table, not just for valentines, but any occasion.

I’ve been dying to try frosted glass spray and Romantic centre pieces seemed to be the way to go, it’s very easy to use and I think I may have been a little too experimental with my attempt, but below is another example to give you a clearer image.


Frosted glass spray
Glass – I used old jars, which I washed the labels off. But the spay can also be used on drinking glasses, mirrors and windows etc.
Scissors & paper
Pric stick 

Start by designing and cutting out an image to go onto the glass. In my experience the more basic the better, I chose True Love and a heart but the words didn’t come out as clear as I would have liked.

Pric stick is the best glue to temporarily stick the paper to glass. Pric stick doesn’t stick to glass but it will hold your image there long enough to spray the glass frosting over.

As not to gas myself whilst spraying the jars, I sprayed mine outside and they needed 3 or 4 coats of frosting to get a really good frosting effect.

Here are mine, a heart and the word Love - sorry not as clear as I would have liked as I was trying to set the scene on my table but it’s a dark, below is another example.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

February Blog Give Away

Thank you to the Camouflage company for donating 4 chic utility boxes for our February give away. We know you've been looking for ways to store your projects or keep your crafts tidy, balls of wool, threads, needles, paints or baking accessories. Whatever it is, enter our competitive to be in with a chance of winning one of these very pretty boxes.


To Win all you have to do is....
Return our special competition tweets on Twitter or leave a post on the this blog,Facebook or Google+ telling us what you would use your utility box for?

Entrants must live in the UK to take part and win. Winners are selected randomly by Random.org on Friday after 1pm. 

Monday, 30 January 2012

Beginners Sewing Supply List

We found these great sewing tips and instead of stealing them, we want to say thank you to Cold and Warm Crafts for putting them together.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

January 2012 Stitch Give Away!

Don’t let January give you the blues, we have a great January give away!

Do you have an iPhone 4? And do you enjoy stitching?

Four lucky readers or tweeters can win one of our iPhone 4 Cross Stitch phone covers. At the moment this is the ultimate crafter gift, you not only get to enjoy your favourite past time, you also get to decorate your iphone with your stitched design.. 

Here’s a few we found earlier...

Source: purlbee.com via Kim on Pinterest

It’s simple to Win!

Just Return our special competition tweets on Twitter or leave a post on the this blog,Facebook or Google+

Entrants must live in the UK to take part and win. Winners are selected randomly by Random.org on Friday after 1pm. 

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

We predict 2012 is the year of oilcloth, forget the plastic tablecloths we remember as children and acquaint yourself with the new fashionable oilcloth with gorgeous prints.
My love of oilcloth started last summer at the SW Craft Club pop up summer events. I brought 20 metres of oilcloth to cover each table for the event and besides being a protective cover it also needed to look pretty.  

Fast forward to the winter and I have 20 meters of oilcloth gathering dust in my home, I’m all about recycling and upcycling, so I researched the fabric further and what it’s capable of and other than being referred to by lots of different names, I also learn it can be waterproof, it’s wipeable,  it’s durable and I think fun! This Christmas my nearest and dearest received oilcloth lunch bags and they look amazing! Even one of a male friend has asked me to make a manly version for him (see below)

Still not sure? Checked out the latest ranges from Cath Kidson, Boden and Lisa Stickly and you’ll find very pretty bags, in all shapes and sizes, mobile phone holders and aprons etc.
Like I said 2012 will be the year of the oilcloth and here’s how you can get involved. I have to be honest, I’d like to pay homage to Martha Stewart, from where I originally found this no brainer of an idea, for the lunch bag but her tutorial isn’t as detailed as I need it, see below:

Cut main piece 29 1/2 by 8 inches and two side panels, each 12 1/4 by 5 inches.
1. Fold long panel, inside out, into U shape with 5-inch bottom.
2. Make 1/4-inch cut at bottom corners of side and middle pieces so bag folds smoothly. Sew-in side panels, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance.
3. Turn right side out and top-stitch all around, 1/8 inch from edge.
I’m not sure if you are like me, but I need images or more detail, either way, Martha you were a bit sparse on this occasion.
Below are my additional tips and images to help you to help you to make your own oilcloth bag:

Finished. One waterproof manly oilcloth lunch bag
Here's two I made earlier

...and we found more great examples on Pinterest

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