Keeping busy…

I have found my creative mojo. There’s no telling how long I’ll keep it for this time so I’m making the most of every day!

As you know, I already design my own patterns for my larger embellished birds, like the peacock, swan etc. Lots of trial and error goes into those birds, even after I’ve used the pattern many times I’m still tweaking and adjusting.

swan main

But with my little birds, it was pure laziness that kept me going back to the fabulous pattern that started all of this, the Ann Wood Handmade pattern.

I had a massive clean up of my craft room, which had (to my shame) got in a bit of a state in recent months. It meant that I rediscovered so many different fabrics that I knew I needed to start using them or it was just a waste. It was this that got me fiddling around with paper and fabric to work on my own pattern. It’s very basic because I prefer the decoration aspect rather than the construction.

I know that my larger birds are out of the price range of many people (me included to be honest) but because of the sheer amount of work and hours that goes into them, I can’t realistically charge a small amount. I wanted to make a bird that can be affordable to most.

My first diversion with the birds has been to use fabric with lovely images on and incorporate them into the design. I had some gorgeous butterfly and peacock fabrics which were perfect.

Unfortunately I have a limited amount of these fabrics and the fabric shop that I use is low on them as well, so I’ll be sourcing more of this type of pattern.

My little ‘Birds and the Bees’ range has come into being purely by accident. I managed to find a shape that I was happy with and was messing around with putting embroidery on the bird itself when I realised that maybe the wings would be a better canvas. This resulted in my first, a vibrant green bird with a little ladybird on the wing.

ladybird 1

This has turned into quite a collection of birds with embellishment as you can see below.

Both of these collections have sold very quickly and I know that some of you have missed out. I will be making more of different fabric and embroidery combinations but if you see a design that you like, send me a message on Facebook (you’ll also find more images of the birds on there) and I’ll see what I can do. Remember, it won’t be exactly the same, the shape will differ and I will make the embroidery slightly different so that each bird retains it’s uniqueness.

You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter and of course on my Etsy shop, where I currently have a few birds and where I try to upload a bird on a regular basis at the moment.

So, make the most of my creative mojo, it’ll likely be moving on soon!!!

It’s been so long….

since I posted anything!

We are still trying to tackle the garden of this beautiful house that we moved into last year, so whenever there has been a lovely day, I’m out there, if not weeding, then sunbathing 🙂

I managed to finish a small Snowy Owl, he’s still available on my etsy shop by the way.

I may not have made very many birds but tried a few new techniques. I know that my work, especially the larger pieces can be quite expensive so I really wanted to make some more affordable pieces but still retain the artistic and unique elements of my work.

I played around with fabric paints, there was a disaster which went in the bin, then a lovely robin, which gave me a little more confidence.

IMG_0949

Then I tried a flamingo, a lot smaller than the usual ones and bloody hell that was tricky doing that neck and beak! He’s ended up as a giveaway prize as although he’s lovely, I didn’t feel as though I could charge anyone for him…

IMG_0961

Then another Robin but this time with some embroidery elements, taking it back to my embellished birds.

And the most recent one, a Blue Tit!

 

Both of these birds are available on my Folksy shop 🙂

I’m not sure where I’m going next. It’s really hard to get motivated at the moment with so much else going on. It’s a strong consideration to wind the business down at the moment as well. Registering as a sole trader, having to do those bloody tax returns takes a lot of joy out of creating for me and am entering CBA (Can’t be Arsed) mode again.

I’m such a child! LOL.

Have a great weekend!

Exciting times!!

If any of you follow my facebook page, you will know (because I never shut up about it) that we are in the process of moving house. Continue reading Exciting times!!

Me and my big mouth…..

As I approached 2,000 likes on my Facebook page, I regarded it as  such a momentous number that I wanted to give something a little different than another one of my little birds. I did a post asking if there were any particular types of bird that someone would like to see me have a go at. I suggested Crane and it became very popular. So that was that, a crane it was.

The crane I had in mind was the lovely large white ones with the flash of black and red on the head an neck – see below 🙂

Japanese Crane

Isn’t he lovely? Anyway, I also offered an alternative bird, one of my small ones in a beautiful dark grey and cream, if they didn’t fancy this one.

black and cream give

Then I set to work. Three attempts later and after a lot of hair pulling and turning the air blue with words that would make an oil rigger blush. I had the basic bird…

Then I set to decorating.

So, here is the finished bird.

crane closer

Finished Crane

finished crane 2

finished crane 3

He stands at 30cms tall with a wing span of 40cm.

He’s stunning and I’m wishing I could keep him. Remember my wasp? The one I made and couldn’t bear to sell? Yes, that’s the feeling now. With my birds, I have worked and worked at getting them exactly how I want them to look but there’s no escaping the fact that they are made from someone else’s pattern. I know I say this every post about them but if you want to have a go, head over to http://www.annwoodhandmade.com and have a look through her patterns, you won’t be disappointed.

I love those little birds.

But this one is different. Do you know why? Because it’s the first one that I’ve made from a pattern I’ve created. I screwed up bits of paper, erased, redrew, shouted, redrew and then did practically the same with calico and thread. It was a labour of love. With my bugs, I’ve always made them up as I go along, every one is different, every one was made differently. I sort of got used to doing things that way.

The more I decorated this bird, the more time I put into it, the more I loved it. The giveaway runs until Sunday the 15th of February – 5pm – and if you want to enter, head to GIVEAWAY – there are currently 370 likes and 195 comments. You need to comment for me to be able to give you a number that will be entered into a random number generator. NO COMMENT NO ENTRY! So far there are going to be a lot of disappointed likers, you need to comment, not just like.

Whoever wins this beautiful bird is getting a piece of my heart, not to mention a lot of hours of work. Be gentle with it!

Next for me are two wedding commissions (I’ll show you photos in my next post or head to my page to have a look at the cover photo) and a large bird commission 🙂

Have a great week!

Blog? What blog?

Oh, this blog!

I have been busy crafting little birds. It was not my intention, in fact once I had finished Tilly’s bird, I was intending to start on a new bug but it went slightly bonkers after I put up the 3rd bird. He of the little red breast and the spindly legs. A dear friend from the US (and one of her friends) wanted some. I pointed them in the direction of some amazing bird makers on Facebook (I’ll list them at the end of this post) but was told by my friend that she only wanted one by me. I ain’t that good but I agreed. She wanted one each for her grandchildren (5) and so I carried on, including an extra one for her friend Randa.

I’m apologising before you get them Karen, they are still my early efforts and there may be a wonky leg or a squinty eye. I’m not registered as a business, nor as self employed so I didn’t ask for money. I don’t want to get on that roundabout just yet!  So the other day, I parcelled up those little birds and they started their little flight across the pond to the USA.

This is the Randa bird 🙂

Randa 3

Then I made one for my daughter’s friend – here is the ‘Ashley’ bird below.

Ashley 1

So now this is where it’s all going a bit bonkers. Since the 2nd of November (ten days ago) I’ve gained over 150 new page likes on Facebook (see link on the right). I’ve networked a bit on some brilliant pages including Handmade in the UK, UK Hand Made etc but no more than usual. It’s lovely to have likes and comments, it can confirm you are doing a great job or not which is always a good thing. The most disturbing thing of all is the request buy them. I had fully intended to start selling them in an etsy shop this week but after trying to work my way through the maze of registering with the HMRC and all the other very important stuff, I’m going to have to put that on hold until I’ve decided one way or the other whether I actually want to sell my birds.

It’s easy to get carried away especially as I seem to be doing a much better job with each one and I’m not bored yet which is always a good thing. I already have plans for lovebirds leading up to Valentine’s Day and Easter Chicks etc. It’s another thing entirely to devote time to bookkeeping, admin and all that stuff that I don’t have to worry about right now, which would take time away from doing what I love, which is crafting and messing around with fabric.

longer cover photo

I really didn’t realise I would get the overwhelming response that I have and I am pretty humbled by it, so thank you all.

So here’s the decision. I am going away for a lovely break for my birthday next week. The husband and I are going to discuss my options. I’m then going to speak to someone about all the financial and legal nitty gritty involved. I will carry on crafting little robins because I will be handing them out instead of Christmas cards this year to those I really like 🙂 *evil laugh* and also so that I have some in stock to etsy bomb you with if my decision is to start trading 🙂

There are traders out there who aren’t registered and I do NOT want to be one of them. It’s too much hassle when (notice I don’t say ‘if’ – ‘cos there is NO ‘if’ about it) you get caught and if there’s only two certainties in this life, it’s death and taxes. If you are a trader who hasn’t registered yet, I suggest you get your arse in gear and make it legal.

silver bird

I know that’s probably not what some of you wanted to hear but you’ll know the outcome by the beginning of December (while there’s still time to post the wee birdies).

So on that note, here are some truly talented bird crafters on Facebook, that sell their beautiful creations. Be quick tho’ they are hugely popular.

https://www.facebook.com/AnnetteMackieHandmade

https://www.facebook.com/MadebyDi

https://www.facebook.com/daisychaincreations1

As you know, I use the brilliant pattern by Ann Wood, please take some time to head over to her page and take a look at some of her stunning work. I’m a massive fan of her owls, they are perfection.
COPYRIGHT:
The Little Bird pattern was designed by Ann Wood, copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

https://www.annwoodhandmade.com/shop/little-bird-pattern/

P.S if you got all the way through that long ramble, pst, here’s a secret……

I’ll be doing a giveaway when I get to 1000 likes, let’s hope it’s before I take my break next week! Shhhh….don’t tell anyone.