Saturday, May 2

Spring Summer Fabrics, Tilda & Life lately

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Tilda fabrics / Tilda Stoffe

Hello everyone,

high time I dusted off this little blog of mine! First and foremost I truly hope that you and your families are well and safe. This is a challenging time for all of us and I acknowledge that it is more so for some than others. Please don't despair and please let's be kind to each other.

Back in January my friends in Hong Kong alerted me to the fact that there was a deadly virus coming out of mainland China and that the original whistleblower had been detained and information suppressed. (no surprise there). So I told my close friends and a few family members - but I don't think I was taken very seriously. Regardless, I kept monitoring the situation closely and noticed that more and more cases were being reported from around the world. At some point in February I decided to order surgical face masks. They never arrived. I was able to secure a few from the local pharmacy, but they told me there was a severe shortage everywhere. By March, with the devastating news of virus-related deaths coming out of Italy and the new "hotspot" in Austria...well, by this time no one, at least in Europe, doubted that this was a pandemic. By the end of March Germany finally issued a stay-at-home order (way too late in my opinion) and obviously all big events, including the annual tradefair that I had been attending for the last 10 years, were cancelled. Followed by school and shop closures. I think April is the month when the rest of the world finally woke up that this was deadly serious and afforded a global effort to combat.

This moment in time is a test for humanity. Will we become more nationalistic? Will there be class warfare? I think it's up to each of us to maintain a standard of decency within our communities. It's also wise not to put too much faith in our respective governments. As seen in the last couple of weeks some of our so called leaders are not invested in the welfare of the citizens. Best to rely on your own common sense. I live in the state with the second highest infection cases and rising. Our MP insists on opening up the schools/shops/public spaces right now. Our MP doesn't know how to wear a face mask. He wants to become the next chancellor?! Well, not with my vote, that's for sure.

handmade face masks
While things look dire economically, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate consumerism. Perhaps focus on quality rather than quantity? How about raising wages for essential workers? When all this is over (fair warning = it's going to take longer than you think) we, as a whole, must understand that our previous way of life is no longer sustainable. There are a lot of good people out there who have been trying to implement changes for the better, but it's a slow process. Plus it's the politicians/governments that make the big decisions - that ultimately affect us all. If you are lucky to live in a country that (still) allows voting - don't waste this privilege please.

Shop News

As I already mentioned in my newsletter as well as in my Etsy shop, unfortunately due to the pandemic shipping to USA, Australia and some areas of Europe has been temporarily suspended. This is because the postal service is not working at full capacity at the moment. I am checking daily to see when it's going to open up again. Fingers crossed it will be soon. 

We can all use a bit of cheering up! Cute unicorn stationery available in my online shop

Stationery



Since most of us can't get ahold of face masks a lot of people (myself included) have been sewing them. Some of us have been sewing batches of fabric face masks for hospital staff, children's cancer units, care facilities etc. What an amazing joint effort. Check out Pinterest for plenty of free patterns. There are several types of fabric masks: simple rectangular ones with loops for attaching to your ears, the curved ones with either fabric ties that go around the head or elastic loops.
Good news for all those who want to sew up a batch of face masks, but don't have time to trace the pattern. Sometime in the next two weeks I will be getting in fabric panels with the masks already printed on them! The kit includes the elastic. The masks are double layer and feature funky prints including a rainbow one and a solid color lining. Simply cut and sew. Yay!

coming soon!

I've also received some new whimsical fabrics by Daniela Drescher for acufactum. They are based on her children's books and feature all sorts of sweet details.

acufactum fabrics


And here are some more new arrivals. Pretty pastels in pink, robin's egg blue and natural.

Rue 1800

And lastly, some items I made in the last month or so...


Oh, and one last thing. I think we should refer to social distancing as physical distancing. Describes it much better, don't you think? Thank you for reading along and wherever you may be in the world please take care, stay home and stay safe.
#standwithsmall

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Sunday, November 10

Tilda fabrics, Paper Goods & New Sashiko Threads

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Tilda Old Rose

Hello dear readers!

This year has gone by so fast; I can't believe Christmas will be here in 6 weeks. Looking back I have  spent a good chunk of my precious time in doctor's offices, so a lot of my planned projects had to be put on hold. I am one step closer to figuring out what is causing my persistent symptoms, so there's that. A while ago I decided to focus less on the physical pain and more on the things that bring me joy. The Tilda fabrics seen in the picture above definitely make my heart skip! There are matching buttons in two sizes and woven jacquard ribbon with rose motif as well. I made some Christmas decor using the small red rose and the large grey rose fabric.


If you are looking for unique Christmas cards, check out these vintage-style card sets from April Rose. They come in sets of 8, with two designs and include a white envelope. There are four sets to choose from! Premium quality printed in England.

April Rose Card Sets

Jot down your Christmas gift or to-do list on these fun and practical Christmas-themed note pads from German paper goods supplier Krima & Isa. Matching pencils available too! Apart from these, there's a fun range of Christmas postcards, gift bags, tags, ribbons and advent stickers.

Krima & Isa

***

New in are these sweet and romantic fabrics from well-known Japanese fabric supplier Lecien. I had ordered these a long time ago, and I have to admit it's becoming increasingly difficult to acquire these fabrics. The bulk of fabrics usually go to the huge craft stores - independent stores like mine are at the bottom of the list. I'm lucky if I even get half of what I ordered. Nevertheless I love these floral prints from the Antique Flower 2019 collection!

Antique Flower in Pastel

Speaking of Japan, some of you might be familiar with Sashiko, the simple stitching tradition of northern Japan. Sashiko means "little stabs" creating little stitches that look a bit like rice grains. Originally this technique was used to mend and recycle garments with white thread. Nowadays Sashiko has developed into richly patterned and often brightly colored designs. I have been studying and practicing the art of Sashiko embroidery for several months now. I am still learning, but I find the results of the mostly geometric patterns quite satisfying. And now that we've entered the winter season, those long evenings at home are perfect for some meditative Sashiko stitching! You can find the original Sashiko threads in several colors in my shop. I especially like that they come on practical cones. To get started all you need is a long needle with a large eye and some fabric with an open weave, like linen, jeans fabric, cotton flannel etc. You don't require a hoop for this embroidery technique.

I am working on traditional pattern - Shippou

Mini Tutorial using Sashiko Thread


Apart from traditional Sashiko stitching, the thread is suitable for crossstitch, crochet and other crafts, such as tiny tassels or these wrapped beads - Here's my little tutorial for making a Sashiko thread bead necklace!


You will need:


wooden beads with large hole (as used for Makramee)
Sashiko thread
needle with large eye
glue
cord
small wooden beads (optional)

Cosmo Sashiko Thread

How to:


Thread the needle with a very long piece of Sashiko thread, double it up and tie a knot at the end. Dab a little bit of glue on the inside of the wooden bead and press the knotted end of the thread into it. Then start "wrapping" the bead with the thread, carefully pulling it through the hole. Make sure that all areas of the bead are covered. Weave the end through two or three threads on the inside and snip off. You can add a tiny bit of glue to secure on the inside. Make two more. 
Cut a piece of cord to the length you wish your necklace to be. Thread your Sashiko beads and (optional) smaller wooden beads and tie the ends. And you're done! Enjoy :)


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Tuesday, September 10

New fabric line, Handmade, Life lately & more fabric!

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Hello lovelies!

true to my new motto of "blogging without obligation" this happens to be only my second blog post this year. I admit it feels kind of weird after blogging three times per week for years. If you follow my business account on Instagram you'll find that I have been working on several projects which I'm excited to share here on the blog.
US fabric designer Tanya Whelan, who switched to a different manufacturer last year released a new collection - Janey. These fabrics have such a happy vibe and feature her signature nostalgic rose bouquets in fresh aqua, vibrant pink and red plus fun rose cameos on gingham. It took a while for these to arrive over here in Germany, but when they did I couldn't resist making a little something.


I honestly wish I could sew more, but since I'm still experiencing pain almost every day in varying intensity I can only do as much as my body will allow. As you can imagine I have seen one doctor after the other, sat for hours in stuffy waiting rooms and argued with (at least) one of them. It's frustrating, but I've vowed not to let this, whatever *this* is, become the focus of my attention. Nope.
We've had a weird summer, alternating between relatively cool, rainy days and exceptionally hot days. And two weeks in July were absolutely scorching. Every day I had to fill those water bowls that I had placed in shadow-y areas in the garden for the thirsty birds. Speaking of garden. Earlier this year we decided to turn ours into a low-maintenance one. Right now it's a pretty muddy mess - Leo loves it :) Ever seen a cat roll around in mud?
Also our upper balcony is getting a make-over! I know I mentioned this around three years ago, but you wouldn't believe how difficult it is to find and coordinate contractors. So far we've had a new balcony door and the electrical stuff installed, but the big part, the actual renovation is only going to start early next year. Still, I'm so glad we've made progress and finalized our design.



Over the summer my illustrator friend Siobhan and I collaborated on a cute new post card range!Check out these vintage style numbers cards. Coincidentally, I turned fabulous fifty this summer and I spent my birthday weekend in my favorite city Amsterdam. Too bad it was raining, but I enjoyed the scenery, the flower market and the food none the less...and how cute is that hotel kitty?



In additional fabric news, I don't know how I could have missed out on these whimsical fabrics by German company acufactum for so long. Particularly as the company headquarters is only about an hours drive from my home! These are selling really well in my shop. The delicate motifs featuring dainty girls, pretty flowers, birds, magical fairies and little mice are original illustrations by Daniela Drescher. There's also a matching range of satin ribbons. It's all so cute! I made a little zip pouch and tried my hand at stitching letters by hand.


Coming soon, hopefully beginning of October is another new fabric range, which has gained a huge following in Europe in the last ten years or so - the popular Tilda fabrics designed by Norwegian Tone Finnanger. She has published a number of craft books and is known for her sewing patterns for soft toys, home decoration and colorful quilts. Super excited to be receiving "Old Rose" this Fall.


There's some other items coming this Fall as well, but I'll keep that under wraps for now :) Take care everyone and thank you for reading along! Till next time...


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Saturday, April 6

Hello again!

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Amberley by Brenda Riddle
We're four months into 2019, so I guess it's a bit late to wish my dear readers a happy new year, assuming you are still reading my blog! I have an excuse for neglecting my blog all these months. Early January I had a major set back healthwise and ended up in hospital, not once but twice. I'm still not feeling all that great, so blogging is really the last thing on my mind right now. I apologize. 

Also, ever since the implementation of all these new rules and regulations effectively censoring online activity, it's become a lot less fun to blog. I remember back in 2008 (!) blogging was a mix of creative writing, journaling, sharing and exchanging information, the occasional promotion and link building. It was casual, easy, and fun! These days I have to weigh each word carefully and linking is a tricky business. Frankly, it's not worth the risk being fined. There are people out there being paid to scan (German) blogs for even the tiniest of "mistakes". And the fines are hefty. It sucks.
I have been a little more active on Instagram. But even on there I have to be careful what to post and how I formulate the description.


This year I didn't get around to sewing much, even though my fingers are itching to complete a couple of projects. I do still have a few of my foldable shopping bags available at Etsy. Heads up - international shipping has gone up this year, so it pays to buy more as it's a fixed price up to 1 kg.


In between hospital stays and work commitments I have collaborated with my illustrator friend Siobhan on a wonderful design project for my main shop. Check out this gorgeous collection of postcards with vintage/shabby chic illustrations. There are 10 happy designs to choose from. Printed in UK on high quality, matte finish card. New in are also lovely "Thank You" and "Birthday" greeting cards with envelopes included. Below are some of my favorites.


Last weekend I managed to visit the trade fair in Cologne after all. This fair is important in my line of work, and although it was quite exhausting I was glad I got to meet up with some colleagues and preview the latest fabric collections. Here's a sneak peek of Tanya Whelan's latest "Janey" due to arrive in May. So pretty!


Easter is only two weeks away, can you believe? I'm hoping for some milder weather. It's been quite chilly and rainy these past few weeks. I generally feel better physically and emotionally in warmer weather. A bit of sunshine can do wonders. 
Wishing you a wonderful weekend, take care and enjoy every moment. Love,



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Friday, December 14

Paper Stocking Garland - Easy Craft

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Hello lovelies! đź’— Hallo ihr Lieben!

Here's a fun little paper craft project just in time for the holidays. It's been really dark these past few days, so the pics aren't the best quality. 

Hier zeige ich euch eine einfache und schnelle Deko-Idee. Leider war es in den letzten Tagen so dunkel, dass die Bildqualität nicht die Beste ist.


You will need // Ihr braucht

Assortment of Christmas-themed cardstock // Scrapbook Papier mit weihnachtlichen Motiven
Various bits of trims // kleine StĂĽcke Spitze, Zackenlitze etc. zum Verzieren
Thin double-sided tape // DĂĽnnes doppelseitiges Klebeband
Twine // Bastelgarn
Scissors // Schere
Needle with large eye // Nadel mit groĂźem Ă–hr
Pencil // Bleistift
Awl // Ahle





Download mini stocking template (see link above) and print. Cut out the shape. Use this template to trace as many stockings as you wish your garland length to be. Then cut them out. Since I don't have a lot of space for hanging mine is a small one with just five stockings. 


Die Vorlage downloaden (siehe Link oben) und ausdrucken. Entlang der schwarzen Linie ausschneiden. Diese Vorlage mit Hilfe des Bleistifts auf das Papier übertragen und soviel Socken ausschneiden wie die Girlande lang sein soll. Da ich nicht viel Platz zum Aufhängen habe, habe ich eine Mini-Girlande mit nur fünf Socken gebastelt.



Step One
Mark the holes on each stocking. Then use the awl to gently punch the two holes.

Step Two
About 1 cm beneath the holes stick a strip of double-sided tape. Peel off the backing. Attach a bit of trim to it and press well. 

Step Three
You can customize your stocking as you wish, for example, add one or two more rows of trim.

Step Four
Thread the needle with a long piece of twine. Starting from one end, thread needle through the first hole from the back and down through the second hole. Up through the back of the next stocking and down again through the second hole until you have threaded all stockings. Space them apart equally.


Schritt Eins
Die Position der Löcher markieren. Dann mit der Ahle je zwei Löcher pro Socke machen.

Schritt Zwei
Circa 1 cm unter den Löcher ein StĂĽck doppelseitiges Klebeband befestigen. Dann ein gleich langes StĂĽck Borte, Spitze etc. abschneiden und fest andrĂĽcken. 

Schritt Drei
Je nach Wunsch könnt Ihr die Socken mit weiteren Borten verzieren.

Schritt Vier
Das Bastelgarn in die Nadel einfädeln und von einer Seite beginnend von hinten durch das erste Loch führen, dann von vorne durch das zweite Loch, dann in das erste Loch von hinten von der zweiten Socke und wieder von vorne durch das nächste Loch...bis alle Socken aufgefädelt sind. Die Socken gleichmäßig auf der Schnur verteilen.


And now the garland is ready for hanging in your favorite place!
đź’—
Und nun ist die Papiergirlande fertig zum Aufhängen!

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