28 January 2014

Silver Tree Jewellery

Good morning sunshine!! You look so pretty today!

I'm thinking that 2014 is the year I try more. I'm trying to do more socially, I'm trying to do more blogging, and I'm also trying to look more 'put together' for work (Sunday mornings are a different thing all together!!). Most of my new team wear jewellery to work - I've never really worn a lot of jewellery but I can really see how it pulls an outfit together, and makes you look more 'done'. As my Nanna left me some money last year (which I saved - yay me!) I though that a special piece of jewellery would be a wonderful way to remember her, and additionally help me in my quest to not look like a scruff bag at work!

One of the first places I looked at was Lancaster's Silver Tree Jewellery. It's a family run shop in Lancaster (just down to road) which also has a swoon-worthy website; this is where my search began! One of the things that immediately impressed me about Silver Tree is that they offer free delivery on all orders as well as a free gift wrapping service! Perfect for Valentines day! Hint Hint Martin!!

A quick browse of the website shows that they stock a variety of designers including Pandora, Michael Kors, Swarovski and Vivienne Westwood among others. I spent a couple of hours browsing their website with my sister who is looking for a Pandora charm for her bracelet to remember our Nanna by.

I was immediately drawn to the Vivienne Westwood jewellery, having seen the wonderful Helen wax lyrical about the range a while ago on her blog. Silver Tree have a wide range on their website, from necklaces and bracelets to watches and earrings, most featuring the classic logo which I love.

My Nanna always wore pearls, so I thought about buying myself something featuring pearls. A quick search of the website brought up a page full of beautifully presented jewellery with lots of stunning photos for me to click through. Let me tell you that trying to narrow down my choice to just one piece is proving pretty difficult. My sister is currently trying to decide between two of their Pandora charms - a difficult decision she tells me!

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I'm still looking for that one special piece, but I know that once I have found it, the staff at Silver Tree will ensure that it reaches me quickly and beautifully presented with their free gift wrapping service. Gift wrapping something you buy for yourself, Anna?

Well why not treat yourself to a pretty parcel? I'm going to!

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All images are from silver tree jewellery, but all opinions are my own.

20 January 2014

A Peek Inside My Sketchbook!

Happy Monday to you lovely people!

I though today that I could give you a little sneaky peek inside my sketchbook, if you fancy? It's a Moleskine Sketchbook that I bought a few years ago and didn't know what to do with. I found it last year and thought it would be perfect to use as my little felty loveliness sketchbook. 

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My main way of working in this book is to make really rough, quick pencil sketches when an idea strikes. This is partly because if I don't get it down quickly it is quite likely to fly out of my head, and also in part because when Zoe is about, I only have a few seconds before Zoe spots the pencil and paper and wants to join in!!

You can see below a couple of pages where I have been working on some ideas for mobiles to sell in my shop. Do you remember the mobile I made for Zoe? Well I would like to work on that idea and develop the little critters (as some of them look a bit... wonky!) and I've also had a few ideas for other mobiles too.

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This little bunny girl down there has been in my sketchbook for a year or so now - I keep looking at this sketch - I really want to make her, but I'm worried that she won't look like she does in my head!

I usually spend quite a bit of time working on the final design and pattern for any of my products. So for little bunny girl I will re-sketch her, trace her, try out different ear lengths, paw placements and so on until I think she's perfect. Then I will draw up a final pattern, cut it out, and make it up in felt. If it works, great! If not, it's back into the sketchbook I go to refine the pattern and try, try again!

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You can see in the photo below how i worked on my owl pattern. Starting on the left side there sketching different shapes and so on. He was originally going to be on a card with a little quote, so you can see some of my 'owl-ful' ideas there too!!

I came back to Mr Owl quite a few times before I had the final pattern you can see in blank pen below. Oh look, I even wrote up the method to make him up, what order to do each step. Maybe I was preparing to make him into a tutorial?

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Of course, sometimes inspiration strikes and I just pick up my felt, some scissors and needle and thread and start snipping and stitching away - that is how this elephant brooch was created - no pattern, just snip snip stitch!

I think she turned out pretty cute!

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Would you like to see some tutorials on the blog? I've got one already - a washi tape card if you want to have a look? I'd love to make some more for you!

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13 January 2014

Book Review - Felt Friends From Japan

Happy Monday folks! Monday? Moan-day more like!!

To help beat those Monday morning blues, I have a colour-filled book review for you today! I'll (hopefully) be doing more book reviews this year, as I have quite a collection and some of them are so amazing that I need to tell the whole world!!

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Felt Friends From Japan by Naomi Tabatha is an A4 sized paperback book, with an emphasis on cute! Naomi includes a whole heap of super cute kawaii inspired animals to make in felt. These take various forms, including soft toys, bags, coin purses, and small softies that you could turn into key-rings or brooches.

There are a variety of animals as well, from woodland animals (such as the deer on the cover) to amphibians like the little frog I made, elephants, rabbits and little people too! Here's my little froggy friend that I made for my mum last year:

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Meet Fernando! He was a little bit fiddly to make as some of the pieces (the arms and legs for example) are a lot smaller than I am used to working with and I sometimes struggled to see the teeny-tiny stitches! I would recomend starting off by making one of the larger projects, such as the elephants.

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One of the things that I like about this book is that a lot of the patterns are actual size so there is no need to seek out a photocopier (you can see an example of the elephant pattern in the photo above). All of the instructions are hand drawn (I think) which adds a lovely touch to the book. The directions are simple and clear, and are easy to follow.

This book is full of cute things to make, and it would be super easy to adapt any of the projects, to change the size, or even create something completely unique using the inspiration and techniques in the book!

You can buy this book from Amazon here

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9 January 2014

Inta-update #1

Happy Thursday friends!

I thought I would do a quick little update of what's been going on this week, accompanied by some Instagram photos. You can find me on Instagram @walkthedust

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Exciting thing of the week - my Tatty Devine necklace that I won in Becky Bedbug's giveaway arrived! Woot!! I've been lusting after one of their name necklaces for months (am v. jealous of Jo and Jen who have lovely collections of Tatty jewelry). If you haven't visited Becky's blog, go and do it right now, because she is the bloggy queen and if you don't I will send Zoe round to sort you out!!

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This week I also sent out my very first Post Crossing postcard. I'm a member of #PostCircle as you know, and have done a few postcard swaps on swap-bot. I had heard of Post Crossing on Instagram and thought it was time I had a go. This postcard is on its way to Russia. How exciting!! 

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What else? This week I have started my project for the year - a #52week crochet blanket. The original plan was to do a square a day - hmmm, not enough time for that I think. So then I thought a square a week, I can manage that! But going by how big my squares are, and how big I want the blanket to be, I'll need to do 3 squares a week. So that is what I will do. But as you can see, it is week 2 and I have done 2 squares.

So I am behind already. Sigh...

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Oh, and Zoe and I took some selfies! Think we need to practice a bit more!!

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3 January 2014

Happy Birthday Blog!!

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear blooooooooggggg!! Happy birthday to you!!!

So this time last year I made my first blog post, writing about my new year resolutions. Since then I have written about things I have bought, our trip to Whitby for Gene's 70th birthday, and when I got to meet some fellow Cumbrian Bloggers in April.

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I also have had regular monthly and weekly feature posts including my 'What's Been Occurring Wednesdays' and 'Etsy Finds Fridays' and my mini 'Bloggers of Note' series. Also in June I had my 'Other People's Houses' month with guest posts from Sunae and Joanna, as well as a tour of our little house!

In a crafty related manner I blogged about my adventures in felting, the mobile I made for Zoe before she was even born, #PostCircle, as well as the day I baked some fairy cakes. If you want to see all the things I have made over the last year (most of which are hidden in What's Been Occurring... posts), they are in the posts tagged imadethis so you can go and have a look.

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May was my birthday month and I held a giveaway which was loads of fun and I am planning on doing the same this year. I also got an award, and another award, and another award!

In August I only managed to write three posts including a book review, as I was pretty busy planning our wedding. Yes there was our wedding too (that I am still to blog about properly), and the honeymoon. And then Zoe's first birthday too! It was pretty crazy! Then work got crazy and I haven't really been able to blog much.

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That is what new years resolutions are about, yes? I AM GOING TO BLOG MORE!!

So you should see me around a bit more in 2014. Thank you to everyone who is still reading my little blog even if it is pretty sparse at the moment.
I've enjoyed this little post recap :)

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