by Carla Louise | Nov 8, 2012 | Collecting, Creating |
Another fab guest post today – I know that many of you are crafters, thrifters or hoarders of small beautiful things… and it’s always good to share ways of keeping these collections under control. (Is it just me, or are any of the rest of you completely shocked when you actually discover how much stash you own?!)
So, over to Drew…
It’s that time of year: the last two Sundays I’ve spent the evening sewing missing buttons onto my winter coats to get myself ready for the colder weather. Luckily, I’ve tamed my sewing paraphernalia (it wasn’t always the case – I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve skewered a finger on a needle) so here are some storage tips to keep your crafty bits and bobs in order:
(photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosapomar/45412314/ via Photopin)
· The best way to store buttons is to have two separate systems: one for regular "common" buttons (in empty jars, for example), and one for "special" buttons (putting them onto a piece of fabric on the wall for easy reference).
· Plastic (and transparent) multi-drawered cabinets are great for buttons. Some shops like Muji offer great solutions, but they can be costly. Craft stores are a good place to look for cheaper options (hardware stores too). Clear shoeboxes can be used, as can lens cases and plastic pill organisers.
· Once you’ve sorted regular and special buttons, segregate them further by colour or material.
· A ring binder filled with business card sleeves can be useful. Most pages will hold ten or twelve buttons, and several pages can be put into a single binder and still allow it to close. Use a binder with clear plastic sleeves too (just make sure they don’t tip out from the open top end).
Sewing Tool Storage
(Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/andresrueda/3217505972/ via PhotoPin)
· Peg boards are great for tools such as scissors, rotary cutters and tape measures – taking up less of your work surfaces.
· Small baskets are great for storing sewing tools and gadgets.
· Standard plastic business card holders are good for needle holders, holding about fifteen boxes of needles, standing three across by five deep.
· A purchased scissor block (similar to a kitchen knife block) from a sewing specialty store works well, otherwise hang them on a hook. Mark your scissors "fabric only".
· Thread gets brittle and breaks when it gets old and thread exposed to sunlight and heat will break down more quickly. Storing thread in airtight containers, such as Ziploc bags, will keep it from drying out as quickly.
(Picture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/tweedledeedesigns/4776025810/ via PhotoPin)
· Open shelves are fine if you frequently use your fabric. But longer term, exposure to dust and UV radiation will degrade it. Similarly, cardboard is a bad idea for storage as it’s acidic.
· Before you organise your fabric, get rid of anything you’ll never use and then sort by colour, size and fabric content.
· Stackable clear boxes are good for shelves. For large drawers, shirt boxes keep fabrics neat and tidy. Don’t use wire hangers, since they can stain over time. Long tubes (to avoid creasing) are great if you have the space. Make sure to label any boxes or tubes clearly.
· Larger boxes are great for projects and keeping fabric and patterns stored together (supermarkets often have a cheap range of clear storage boxes).
Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage. For information on large storage lockers (sizes from 9 square feet – or the volume of half a phone box), perfect for long term fabric storage, see their website or blog.
Disclaimer: I am not paid or otherwise compensated for guest posts. I only accept those which I feel fit my interests and therefore those of this blog. The content of guest posts does not necessarily reflect my own views or opinions. All images from PhotoPin and link back to their original sources, used under Creative Commons licensing.
by Carla Louise | Sep 22, 2012 | Uncategorized |
So I posted and scheduled this, or at least thought I did, last week. However, it has failed to materialise so I am trying again!
To date, I have done two previous swaps via Popular Crafts magazine (who featured me this week – squeee!) My first was the Union Jack swap, followed by the Polka Dot swap. I signed up for the strawberry one with much excitement and absolutely no clue how busy August and September would turn out to be – oops!
I was partnered this time with lovely Lynsey, who blogs at The Diary of a Novice Crafter and while we are both super-busy and rather stressed out, we have managed the odd email and tweet which is great – I love to meet fellow crafters and stay in touch beyond one project! (I have to say though, she’s not a novice, she’s bloody brilliant!)
Now, I have just about got there with my makes and will sneakily post them here once they are safely with Lynsey, but I couldn’t resist posting photos of what she sent me when they arrived yesterday – terrible lighting as I was out and didn’t get back till really late, but look how gorgeous it all is!!!
Here’s my parcels, prettily wrapped:
And inside, here are all my beautiful bits… hand knitted strawberry gloves (I adore these and will be wearing them to work the moment it turns colder); a beautiful cross stitched card that has pride of place on my mantelpiece; a strawberry lavender bag (destined for my clothes rails – it’s too pretty to go in a drawer!); and strawberry bunting for my bike basket! I squeaked when I saw this – so exciting! Pics of Bluebell suitably adorned asap 🙂
My treats are just as exciting – two dainty little pots of strawberry jam, Body Shop lip balm, which happens to be one of my favourites, and gorgeous strawberry stickers 🙂
Thank you so much Lynsey – I adore it all and it made my weekend! I hope you love all your pressies as well when they eventually wing their way over to you!
Aren’t I lucky? Did any of you take part? Post your links, I’d love to see what you sent and what you received!
by Carla Louise | Sep 8, 2012 | Collecting, Creating, Photography, Thrifting |
EDIT 23/11/20 – I’m getting fairly regular requests for the manual for this machine – I’m so sorry, I gave it to a friend when I moved house in 2015 so don’t have the machine or the manual any more 🙁
Quite some time ago, I broke the little portable sewing machine my Gran gave me. The tension has gone, and when I took it in to be fixed they told me, gently but firmly, that it would be significantly cheaper to buy a new one.
So I have existed without one till now – not critical as I plan a lot of sewing and rarely get round to actually doing it, and have been able to beg, steal or borrow machines to use when I’ve needed to make things like the parrot costume.
However, lovely Kim at work gave me one quite a while ago, and only its weight and bulk stopped me from bringing it home till now. One very long day, a sturdy suitcase and a few pulled muscles later, and here she is, installed in my studio… isn’t she gorgeous?
Joining my Singer and my Jones (meep, that means I now officially have a collection of vintage sewing machines), but superior in that she has an ELECTRIC PEDAL… she’s very heavy, but threaded up and whizzed through the test piece very smoothly. I have bobbins that fit her, so will get some new needles tomorrow and we’re off!
Here’s to a long and happy relationship!
PS Pretty sure Kimmy doesn’t read my blog – but if you do, a million thank yous, I’m in love!
by Carla Louise | Jul 23, 2012 | Creating |
I signed up, at the very last minute, to the Popular Crafts Union Jack swap a couple of months ago, and very naughtily, haven’t blogged yet! I was paired with the lovely Virginia of Virginia Creeper, and I must admit that when I first got her details through I just spent quite a lot of time gawping at the beautiful things she makes… 😀
It was my first swap, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but had a fab time making a needle case and cross stitching a Union Jack heart (in pink and baby blue!) for the card to go with my parcel, plus choosing treats. Was very excited when my parcels turned up – here are all my bits, aren’t I lucky?
The sock cat is now proudly sitting on my bed awaiting a name, the scooter cushion on my desk, the corsage on my favourite black velvet jacket and the ribbons and sequin shapes added to my ‘for me’ craft stash 😀 Thank you Virginia!!
by Carla Louise | Jun 4, 2012 | Creating, Personal Development, Photography |
Rediscovering my pointe shoes…
Makeup trial for the wedding (done by me) – this is look one, neutral eyes with sheer-ish red lips. Shocking phone photo and my glasses obscure my eyelids, I know. More of these to come before the actual wedding. Skin’s looking clearer though – Nars illuminator is magical stuff!
Challenging myself to sew something for the Popular Crafts Union Jack swap… here’s my finished needle book 🙂 Will be posted with a treat and a cross stitched card!
Munching the cake I bought for a friend’s BBQ that was abandoned due to rain. I suspect the diet will be back on when I’m back at work, I’m maintaining weight but there’s so much yummy food involved in this week… lol! These cakes, stocked in our local Wyevale (Colchester Stanway and Braintree) are my favourite fallbacks if I don’t have time to bake, they taste homemade!
Sorting bookshelves and installing a ballet barre *cough perfect height clothes rail cough* in my living room – if I’m going to be ready for this burlesque cabaret in October, I need to strengthen my long-neglected dance muscles and improve my flexibility. Removing my glove with my foot is, as expected, somewhat trickier than it looks on stage! My intention is to try to do 10-15 mins of stretches and barre work each day even if I manage no other exercise. Combined with burlesque each week and hopefully cycling when my bike eventually arrives, plus skating which I do whenever I can but usually once a week, I should be trimmer, fitter and more flexible in no time. Yeah. I live in hope. But I’ll at least enjoy myself in the process!
Also managed to paint my toenails (my feet are not fit for photographing so here are the colours I used) and ogling the Pashley Poppy on the front of this month’s Homes and Antiques. Cannot WAIT for mine (it’s the blue, rather than the pink, version) to arrive – hopefully in a little over a month. Squee!
Footnote: I’m aware that wearing pointe shoes while not a trained dancer can damage your feet; I’m also aware mine should have ribbons attached for support. They’re mostly decorative and I intend to wear them for a photoshoot. I doubt I will ever again dance that level of ballet!
by Carla Louise | Jan 3, 2012 | Creating |
I love everything Narnia and think I always have done, but having caught the end of Prince Caspian on TV this evening, I am seized by a sudden desire to make Susan’s farewell dress (so called because it’s the last time she appears in Narnia, and it’s the dress she says her goodbyes and goes back to England in).
I’ve spent some of this evening scouring the internet for inspiration, cosplay, photos, descriptions and patterns, and have started a Pinterest board of some of the things I’ve found. Kim told me today the sewing machine she’s giving me should be in the office by next weekend, so fingers crossed this can be a 2012 project! Then I can have a Narnia themed party for my birthday… maybe my 27th… 🙂
I’ve also learned what cosplay is – you really do learn something new every day!