Friday, 10 July 2015

Free Mini Art Batt Giveaway!

To mark the opening of my new shop I am having my first giveaway! This months giveaway prize is one of my yummy hand blended mini art batts which are now available in the shop! Hand blended by yours truly on my Ashford blending board, these batts are great for spinning on a wheel or drop spindle or can even be felted.
If you would like to win a mini art batt from one of the following; Autumn TimeCrest of a WaveDon't Mess With My Tutu or Dragons Breath please leave a comment on my new shop blog stating which batt you would like in the comment form and remember to add your name and email address!
Please don't leave a comment here as you won't be entered. Click here to leave a comment!
One winner will be picked at random on Friday 17th July.
Good Luck!
Mini Art Batt Giveaway

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

From ArtyThreads to Artyfibres

A while ago I decided to rebrand my small business from ArtyThreads to Artyfibres. I have been running ArtyThreads since 2009 and when I first started out it was to originally sell my hand embroidered artwork. Little did I know that I would get the knitting bug again and that my creative life would start to develop in a whole new direction!
My love of knitting started many years ago when I was six or seven having watched my mum and grandmother make mine and my brother and sisters school cardigans during the school holidays. I guess I was bored as the hols were dragging and I wanted something to do, so I asked them to teach me how to knit! Being the only right-handed one of three sisters I picked it up quickly and soon was happy knitting pullovers, leg warmers and dresses for my dolls!
As I got older I started to make myself jumpers, scarves and gloves etc. and loved nothing better than visiting the yarn shop. At the same time I discovered embroidery and began to cross stitch and later create my own freestyle embroideries on items of clothing. This I decided was the career I wanted and I went to study for a degree in Embroidery. I have worked on many embroidery commissions, got a teaching qualification, created the Hand Embroidery Network, wrote a book, The Needlecraft Stitch Directory which was published in 2012 and started ArtyThreads. 
When I was pregnant with my children I started knitting again and made them baby items with pride. It was then that I got the knitting bug again! To cut a long story short I considered knitting as a hobby while I created embroidered products which I sold at a local gallery and occasionally online. I was diagnosed with arthritis and fibromyalgia and carried on for awhile despite having trouble holding a fine sewing needle. I decided to take a break and rethink things and started to work on a blanket to brighten up our new home, it was then that I decided to try and make a living out of selling my knitted creations full time!
In the last two years I have taught myself to crochet and hand spin, rediscovered hand dyeing (something I learnt at uni) and developed a love of everything woolly and so this is why I decided to rebrand my business to Artyfibres
The new shop will include a range of my own handspun yarnhand blended mini art battshand blended rolags and my knitted and crocheted creations. I still have a passion for embroidery and continue to run the Hand Embroidery Network. With this in mind I am developing a range of hand dyed embroidery threads and creative embroidery packs which will be available soon!
I am currently stocking the shop so please sign-up for my monthly newsletter at the bottom of the shop website for product updates, special offers and latest news. I will be also announcing a giveaway on the shop blog at the end of the week!

Monday, 11 May 2015

New Handspun Yarn and New Packaging

After finishing my cross stitch sampler I have been busy hand spinning some new yarns for my Etsy Shop. My husband who is a graphic designer (lucky for me), has also created me some new packaging material as well, which I think has turned out great. I love the new design and I have been busy tagging up my new yarns! I now have a new business card, postcard and stickers thanks to my super talented husband!

My new packaging material

Now available in my Etsy Shop!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Finished Sampler Number One

Finally finished my first cross stitch sampler! I think it has come out really well but I still haven't found a vintage frame for it yet! I think I will have to put it in a modern one for now until I find the right one.

I just realised I haven't posted anything since the last week in April. I have been keeping my head down finishing off my sampler, working on a few designs and also spinning some new yarn for my Etsy Shop. I have about four yummy new yarns to add to the shop this weekend, they are a blend of merino wool, silk and bamboo.

I'm looking forward to starting on my next cross stitch project as I really enjoyed working on the sampler. I love the black thread on white so I think my next piece will be in a similar vein.

Here's my finished sampler and a few close up photos as I love close up images of hand embroidery!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Busy Weekend!

Well it was another busy weekend what with the usual weekend shopping with the kids at Tesco! Lol I have to laugh at that actually because my husband did the shopping with the kids and I stayed in our camper van with my feet up working on my cross stitch! I was actually keeping my Border Collie Benji company, he suffers from separation anxiety when he gets left at home so we always take him everywhere with us. I volunteered to stay in the van with him, giving me the opportunity to finish off all the letters and numbers of my cross stitch sampler. This is how it's looking (see below), it's a bit creased but I think it's looking pretty ok. Just the border to do now!

We went out on Sunday as the flea market was on again and there are some good antique shops where I live too, so we went to a couple of them on the look out for a vintage frame and a coffee table. The coffee table we had was glass and metal and I hated it, which was no bad thing as the leg went wonky and eventually fell off the other week! Hooray! I'm on the look out for an old oak one with draws in so that I have somewhere for my fave stitching and knitting mags. Anyway I'm rambling on!

On another note I have started designing my own sampler so hopefully I will have images of that soon. It's Game of Thrones tonight on the TV, so the kids should be asleep and I may work on the border of my sampler if I can tear my eyes away from the box that is! Just thought could watch Game of Thrones, work on the sampler during Silicon Valley and then watch Thronecast lol. This is making me sound really sad now! Anyway I hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Flea Market Finds

Today has been a gorgeous sunny day and as planned I headed down to my local flea market to look for a frame for my cross stitch sampler. As usual it was busy and there was lots of stalls to get around. I didn't find a frame but I did find a lady selling hats and embroidery books! What a stroke of luck, I found one by The Embroiderers' Guild on Making Samplers for £1.50 so I was pretty chuffed! It is perfect and will give me lots of ideas and inspiration for creating my own samplers.

I also managed to pick up a wooden mushroom darner from the local knitting and craft stall in the indoor market. I have been trying to find one for a while since my husband put a hole in the socks I knitted him. He wears them so much he has practically wore them out! At least I know they are appreciated! I'm in the middle of making him another pair!

After a trip round the market me and my husband, who was taking a quick break from his amazing overload of work, took a trip to the local country park and had lunch and walked our border collie Benji. We forget sometimes how lucky we are to live where we do!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Getting my Stitch On!

Yesterday I got out my cross stitch fabric and threads and started work on a sampler in black thread. I haven't done any stitching for quite awhile so I am easing myself back into it! I have been wanting to make some samplers for the house for ages and I'm hoping to find a vintage frame on the local flea market to frame it in once it's finished.

This is my progress so far (see below)! I had forgotten how relaxing I find stitching and cross stitch is really addictive once you start! I have been picking up the sampler on and off all day while keeping my little one busy, who was having a day off due to no water at school!

The cross stitch sampler I am working on is from an old needlecraft book I have and not my own design. I love samplers and I am always on the look for vintage ones at the flea market. I hope to design a few modern ones of my own based on my interests. I love Game of Thrones and would love to make a Game of Thrones inspired one!