Turning Green

I have always had a passion for environmentally friendly action, and have had a few items within my shop that would fall within this category, such as this red riding hood bunting, made on organic cotton.

019But I recently decided that I needed to make the whole shop as eco friendly as possible.  This means a lot of restructuring.  I have a lot of fabric that simply does not fall within the remits of eco friendly, so will be holding a fabric sale in the next week or so, to sell off the larger pieces of fabric.

My focus will, therefore, now be to create items from second hand/vintage fabrics, scraps or waste fabric, or organic or fairtrade fabric. Along with some innovative uses of wool.

I have recently also been creating artwork.  Needlefelting onto a wool blanket with ethically sourced merino wool.  This has been a wonderful creative outlet, on which I would like to expand.  This piece, was recently in an exhibition for eco friendly art, in Banks Mill Studios, Derby.  beepicture

I have been able to turn some of them into blank cards, which would suit a myriad of occasions.

sunset card4I have also been creating artwork, from the small bits of yarn left over from previous handspun projects.  This woven wall hanging was inspired by the layers of earth, and has been finished off with snowflake obsidian beads.     weaving3

I have also had access to fabric that would have been destined for the bin, from the retail industry.  Using these scraps, I have been able to create various bohemian style garlands, which have proven rather popular. raggybunting5The creative floodgates are now open, as I will be creating more one off pieces, and looking at fabrics in a completely different light.

Being eco friendly, does not, of course, stop with the products.  The packaging is just as important.  So my packaging is now recycled, or biodegradable.  But I want to go one step further.  I want to work towards being a zero waste business.  I am not sure exactly how close I will be able to get, as there are things like the plastic strips from the biodegradable polybags, that I will have to contend with, and the plastic spools from spent cotton reels, but if I can work imaginatively, hopefully it will be something I can ultimately achieve.

There will be some of the previous designs still available, whilst I use up the fabrics that are not in quantities that are sellable, but I am hoping, that within the next 6 months I will be have made the change over completely to being an eco-friendly business.  My products can all be found over at my Etsy shop, but also over at www.eco-create.co.uk , which is a wonderful gateway to products all with an eco-friendly quality.

Geek fest

Recently there has been a bit of a theme to the bunting I have been producing.  A bit of a geek theme.  It all started with some weather front bunting.  I’d been looking at the weather forecast, and it struck me that the fronts on the maps looked like bunting.  It had then been at the back of my mind for a while, and it got to a point where I just HAD to make it!  It’s made out of ripstop fabric, which makes it weather proof too!  It can be seen in full over on Etsy.

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It then progressed onto the geekiness of computers.  Finding this keyboard fabric as a discontinued remnant made it even more alluring to make, knowing that this would be my only chance.  Combined with circuit board fabric just compounds the geek factor!  When my sons saw the bunting, they wanted it there and then, but I have denied them this for now, and put it for sale in the shop.

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Finally I found this fantastic range of fabrics by Robert Kaufman. It immediately appealed to my inner geek, and again I just couldn’t let it sit in my stash for too long, before turning it into this bunting, which is already proving very popular.

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I think I have got the geekiness out of my system for now, but if I find some more brilliant fabrics that appeal to that side of me, you can be assured that I will get creating with more geeky bunting.

 

Alice in Wonderland Story Bunting

I have recently created a new story bunting.  Having found some beautiful silhouette Alice bunting, I set about creating an Alice in Wonderland story bunting.  An 11 flag bunting, it has snippets of the story in pictoral form appliqued onto white and red flags.

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We have the white rabbit, and I love the little clock charm that acts as his pocket watch.

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Some drink and cake, along with the key (again, another charm) to let Alice through the door.

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A rather manic looking Cheshire cat!

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A hat for the mad hatters tea party, along with a little teapot charm.

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A mini deck of cards.

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And a crown for the Queen of hearts

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I was delighted when I’d posted some pictures of the bunting in progress to find that a previous customer was very interested in it as their daughter was due to be having an Alice in Wonderland birthday party.  Even more delighted to be shown a picture of the bunting in it’s new home, over the party table.

 

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I have more of the Alice fabric in stock, so can replicate the bunting again should anyone else be interested.  It can purchased via Etsy or via UniquelyUK.

Nautical bunting

It all started with an idea, as these things do.  Making personalised bunting using the maritime signal flag code.  So I made up a display one, so that I had something to advertise.  This is the first one, it spells out JACK, and is now on display at the Old Needle Works in Redditch, along with some order forms, in case any local people want to order one.

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So, I listed it on Etsy, and very quickly got a few orders from it.  This one was one of the first orders, and spells out ADRIEN.

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And another, which spells out SHANE.  Sometimes I know the destination of the bunting, other times I don’t.  The Shane bunting was for the room of a yet unborn little boy in America.

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JESSICA is another of them.  Lovely to think of it going to a girl.  019

A request for a couple of buntings to go on some boats down in Australia.  This one was 13 flags long, and will be used for festivals.   010And this is other Australia bound bunting, spelling out CHARLOTTE. 018

Each of the flags are made by me, through patchwork techniques, with some applique as well. They are then strung on some lightweight rope, and knotted either side of the flag.  The ends are then eye-spliced to add to the nautical feel and create a hanging loop for the bunting.008

I have listings for various lengths of flag, but if there is a length you require that is not there, you just need to contact me.  https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/153433107/nautical-personalised-bunting-signal

More nautical bunting is being made at present.  To my knowledge, the ones I have made so far have been used for going away presents, baby showers, to decorate a nursery, as a banner for a wedding, and to decorate boats.  And I’m sure there are many more uses for it too.

Getting ready for Halloween

Trying to work a little in advance, and created this themed bunting after finding some lovely printed halloween fabric.

Using my usual style of felt appliqued to the flag, I have created pictures on a halloween style, and interspersed these with the printed fabric.  So we have a pumpkin lantern…

…a witches cauldron…

…a spooky ghost…

…and a bat.

Perfect for a halloween party.

I have more fabric, so will probably make some more on a similar theme.  And I have lots of ideas for other themed bunting, so watch this space.

This bunting is available now is my Aisling Designs Etsy shop.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

This is what I have been reminding myself these last couple of weeks.  About 10 days ago I hurt my little finger.  Just bent it the wrong way but gosh, did it hurt!  And it is still hurting.  I can’t crochet, as I use my little finger to create the tension in the yarn.  It tends to be hurting only when I put it under pressure, so I can still spin, and the yarn I have produced is so wonderfully soft and squishy (alpaca/merino three ply) and such subtle colour changes.  This is destined for a cushion cover for the guiild competition, but I think I will have enough fleece and fibre to make some more for sale.

My sewing machine is poorly at the moment, so all things sewing had been put on hold.  However, after a plea on facebook for a recommendation for somewhere that could do a sewing machine service, my aunt stepped in and gave me her machine that she no longer used.

Not only that but she gave me all of Grandma’s threads that she used.  Grandma was a very talented lady, and would often make gorgeous outfits for herself, as well as collages and sewn birthday cards, so I feel very honoured to have such things that were hers.  I just hope I can do them justice.

The final silver lining, after feeling that I was such a tiny fish in Etsy, and not being able to get any sales.  I was recommended to join a team, full of British sellers, and they are a wealth of knowledge for all things Etsy.  They support each other and help to promote each other.  I still don’t have any sales other than commissions from friends (which I’m not knocking in any way whatsoever, I LOVE doing commissions) but I don’t feel so alone doing what I do now.  And in the light of promoting others, here is the link for CraftBritannia’s shop of the week.