Sunday, 27 February 2011

Featured on Flickr!

I love Flickr and think it is a great tool for having your work seen by lots of lots of people. There is a feature over there called Galleries and I came back from holiday to find that my work had been featured in 3 galleries :)

Gallery one - Gene the button chicken is off to the right at the top and how cool is that Button Bouquet?

Gallery two - my ever popular Cheeky Chicken gift tags are included in this one.

Gallery three - my Emil gift tags are featured here but they have since sold as part of the big wholesale order I completed last week.

And the bonus part of being featured in these galleries apart from new people finding me? The names of the galleries are Button Goodness, Upcycling...Trash into Useful Items and Recycled Crafts. Just the market I want to get myself into so its great that people are finding my work this way!

Oh and by the way - we have just come back from the huge jumble sale in my home town (£3 per black bag that you can fill with as much stuff as you like!!!) so be expecting a few posts over the week about the goodies we got!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Naughty chickens!

It seems that some of my naughty chickens snuck out at some stage and went to visit one of those old fashioned photo booths.

Naughty chickens!!

Created using Big Huge Labs photobooth.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Badge machine

For years I have had a children's badge machine which to be fair, only ruined every other badge it made! I finally bought myself a decent machine and it arrived today. Matt was very excited too as these pictures show.

Using book pages

The magic machine!

The machine comes with 3 interchangeable sized dies - 58mm (the purple badge) 38mm (not shown) and 25mm (the blue badge) The 58mm size is big enough to be turned into keyrings, mirrors etc but they make great badges too. I wore one that size this afternoon :)

Shown for an idea of size
Shown for an idea of size (and 'cos it's funny!)
 I already love it and it will get a great deal of use including for a range of badges to go to a shop I love in Ilkley! Yeah! Oh and Matt has agreed to take over as Swirlyarts badge maker if I need an assistant!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

My Creative Space

Today is all about finishing off the lavender hearts from yesterday (and they will be finished today!) If I get some extra time then I am going to continue with some Christmas presents I have started. I'm determined to get organised this year as I ran out of time last year. 2011 will be the year for being organised (hahahahahaha!)

I won these little fabric squares in a giveaway and I'm pretty sure they were from Jo at A Life In Lists but I'm not 100% certain. Anyway, they are going to be made into very simple patchwork quilts for the girls teddies. The girls themselves are getting quilts for Christmas (when I start making them) and I thought these scraps would be perfect for mini teddy quilts.

This is as far as I have got so far - not far at all but it's a start right? For more Creative Spaces, head over to Kirsty at Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

On my desk today

Some gorgeous fabric cut into hearts waiting to be sewn and stuffed with lavender and teeny scraps of fabric.

A bag of fabric scraps waiting to be chopped up into teeny pieces for stuffing the hearts. It is sitting on a nice pile of cardboard that is waiting to be turned into tag backs!

And in a complete Blue Peter moment - here are some I made earlier!

I have a lovely swatch card from paper-and-string so I can get round to choosing some felt colours for an idea I have!

They were also having a deco tape sale so I grabbed some for me and did you know that Santa also shops there? Apparently he bought some tape for the girls stockings. He likes to be organised that Santa!

And of course no desk would be complete without a stuffed cow called Moo-ey!

Monday, 14 February 2011

How new products are formed in the land of Swirly!

Firstly it starts with my ideas book that comes everywhere with me in my handbag. If I know I am going somewhere where my handbag isn't needed but my ideas book might then it still comes with me!

It's a Paperchase book that I got from a church fete for 20p. The paper inside is lovely to write on.

Here is a page of gift tags ideas I drew the other day. I'm really not a good artist which is why my finished designs are quite simple. They are also simple as I draw each gift tag by hand so they need to be fairly easy for me to draw over and over and over again!

I like adding little notes to myself too as to what needs changing. A tick next to the idea means that I like the idea and I can start to draw it - just like the sheep has on the photo above!

And here is the sheep gift tag! He couldn't stay white (or cream in actuality) as he didn't show up at all hence why he is a grey sheep.

The sheep idea grew into a hippo idea - I'm not sure which shape I like best yet.

And the hippo idea grew into a pig and a lion - bizarre 'friends' I know but that is how my mind works!

The owls were something I have been trying to do for a while but I just couldn't get the shape right. I've got the shape but then the colouring wasn't quite right. The owl above is a homage to the queen of pink and orange, Ms Curly Pops!

Now the colouring on these is a lot better (the alternate stripes work better than one big block of colour) and I really like the colour combinations of the pink/orange and the green/blue.

These tags above are from random pictures that I have drawn in my book. I love the idea of weather gift tags but so far I have only done the two above. I tried drawing the sun several times and they all turned out appallingly! The houses are cute and I like the style of the butterfly but not the colours. I'm really not sure about the bee as I think his wings are wrong.

Anyway, that is what goes on in my head/ideas book. I would love to know what you think of these tags - which ones you like and which ones you don't. Please don't be shy and really do tell me if any are rubbish!

P.S. Blogger you really need to sort out your templates as the spacing between pictures/words is just being really random at the moment even when it looks fine as it is written.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Sunday afternoon

This is what we are doing while we wait for a friends baby to wake up so they can come and visit us for something to eat - Matt is cooking gammon and roasted veg!

The girls decided to play on the DS's. Tara's fringe looks awful in this photo but we are growing most of it out and the rest is in need of a trim!

Matt is working on his computer and I am turning lots of catalogue and junk mail flowers into stickers ready to go onto cards tonight :) I like lazy days!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Last Saturday

The girls were invited to a fun day at the local indoor play centre which is attached to a pub. They were invited as part of the dance group they go to and they got to try out the new menu, got balloon animals and a chance to play on the equipment as some new things had been added. They also got their faces painted.

Tara wanted to be a leopard so she could match her leopard print leggings :)

Anya wanted to be a cat as they both have a thing at the minute about being cats!

I got time to sit and draw lots of fat robin gift tags much to the bemusement of some of the other parents. Most are used to seeing me crafting every Saturday morning while the girls dance but some don't go to that session so I got lots of questions about what I was doing :) Business cards were given out!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

My first creative space of 2011!

And sorry that it's a bit of a boring one!

I am using some maps today (not these specific ones) to make 2 sets of envelopes for a possible order and 20 North Yorkshire map badge sets for the wholesale order. If the envelope order doesn't come off then at least I will have some stock in :)

For many more exciting creative spaces visit Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Craft Tonic

There is a new online magazine out there called The Craft Tonic and in the first issue they have featured me :)

My recycled London Underground stickers were featured in a great London themed article. Thanks guys!

P.S. The wholesale order is progressing nicely so I should be back to regular blogging again after the weekend!

Friday, 4 February 2011

New Stockist!

If you follow me on Twitter you will have known that this week I was finishing off lots of items to go to Handiworks in Keighley. Handiworks is a brand new shop that sells handmade items with some vintage and sewing accessories thrown in - the perfect shop for me really! I dropped my stock off there yesterday and Elaine (the lovely lady behind the shop) let me take some photographs so I will let them do the talking!

The front of the shop - note the nice big windows and pretty bunting
Pretty hanging hearts
Pretty display ideas
Nice deep shelves which are perfect for rummaging through!
Deep shelves from a different angle
Select your own beads and a necklace will be made for you. Oh and pretty Liberty dressing gown!
More pretty storage
More shelves with goodies
 The whole shop was very pretty and nicely laid out with a good selection of handmade goodies. My things (doorstops, pincushions, cards, gift tags and envelopes) should fit right in! As you can see from the first picture Handiworks is right next to the big church (Shared Church?) in Keighley. The address is

29 Church St. 
BD21 5HT

There is parking in the street outside which is free for 1 hour so you will have plenty of time to browse! Let me know if you pop along and see my work displayed!

I'm a third of the way through a wholesale order at the moment so don't expect lots of fabulous posts for a while. Unless I sew and make very quickly :)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Retrash website

Exciting! Guess who is the featured artist over at Retrash? Bet you'll never guess!!

Oh yeah - that would be me!!! Pleased is not the word :) Thrilled more like! Head over there to read in more detail a little about me and why I choose to used recycled/upcycled materials.

Thanks Nathan :D

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I love my local Post Office because.... sells second hand books which for a book lover such as me is fantastic. It's £1 for a hardback book and 50p for a paperback book. Children's books are 25p-50p. All the money raised goes to Pendleside Hospice.

So this morning I went to post some parcels fully intending to come back with one or two books and I came back with these instead!

A pile of 31 craft magazines! Some are from last year and some are from as far back as 2003 but they are perfect for looking through and sparking ideas. Some of them are card making mags so will be going to Ruth if she fancies them. And how much did these 31 magazines cost me? £1 for the lot :) Steve the post master (is that even a post office title?) spotted me looking and said I could have the whole lot for a quid. Oh ok then!

And of course I didn't leave without some books. I very rarely do!