Printing fun

The handprinting continues with a bit of combining of the linocut print and the screenprint. I’ve done this in two different  colourways and will be adding more.

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To add to the handprinted items are some tote bags (screenprinted) with pretty linings (shop bought), complete with an inner zip pocket. I took one of these on holiday and found it so useful!

Finally, I’ve been having fun with pretty fabrics to make girl’s hair accessories (headband, bow and elastics) and a summer dress for my daughter.IMG_1500240954689Studio_20170628_182551

Now that the summer holidays are coming to an end it back to thinking about markets and get stock ready for Christmas! It always seems a long way off but comes around too quickly!

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Etsy, bags and hats

In January I re-opened my Etsy shop. I had first opened it in 2013 but had no idea how to use it and after a few months stopped doing anything with it – and had no sales. This January I thought I would give it another go and stumbled across a great group on Facebook called ‘Etsy Resolution’. Led by group of experienced Etsy makers we were given weekly homework, plus a couple of seminars on building our businesses and learning more about who our audience is. I must admit that doing Craftee Fox alongside a 4 day a week job means that I don’t seem to have time to think about my audience or growing Craftee Fox, but I did learn more about how to use Etsy to sell.

As well as learning more about’search engine optimisation’ (SEO), the importance of tags and titles, the most enjoyable (and difficult) was photography. Clean photos look good on Etsy and there is a real skill to taking them – one I haven’t mastered yet, but I hope I’m getting better.

Since January sales have been up and down but I know it can take time to build up sales and have been excited to send goodies,including bespoke ones, internationally.  I am continuing to do markets and had a really fun day at this years Walthamstow Garden Party as part of the E17 Designers group – now there’s a group of talented artists, designers and makers!

So apart from playing with Etsy I have continued to sew. I often think I should be more focused with what I make but then I enjoy the diversity and playing with so many different fabrics. Below are some of my favourite makes, including a bag with leather handles – South African shweshwe one side and upcycled denim jeans the other. Of course, I continue to make brolly bags! I’ve also been making some clothes, so I’ll post that soon.

 

Upcycled trousers

A while back I was clearing out my son’s wardrobe and found a few pairs of trousers that had holes in the knees. Instead of chucking them out I’ve cut them up to make bags. There isn’t enough fabric to make them into a bag on their own, so I’ve used the fabric in pieces, like I often do with my bags, and teamed it up with new fabric. I’ve been very pleased with the results and also love that you have ready made pockets to add to the bag. I’m now on the hunt for old trousers and am looking carefully at my son’s current jeans. Here are the bags…..IMG_20151002_140910IMG_20151023_120734PhotoGrid_1444995466138PhotoGrid_1441917961348

Hopefully customers will like them and find them fun and funky. The denim with blue fabric and denim with flower fabric sold quickly, so I hopefully the others will go in the markets that I have coming up.

Spitalfield Market and recent makes

spitalfields 7 June

On Saturday 7th June I shared a stall with another crafter at Old Spitalfields Market, in London. I was excited about attending such an established market, and had no idea how much stock to make or take. I spent many, many nights sewing, with a focus on handbags. While it meant sewing every night after coming home from my day job, I became engrossed in making bags, and designing news ones. By the time the market came, I definitely had enough stock! Sadly, the day didn’t go well and I know it wasn’t just us, as I spoke to other stall holders around us and they said it was a quiet day and that people weren’t spending. It rained in the morning, and was sunny in the afternoon. I don’t think it was our products that meant we didn’t have sales. There were times when there was no one passing our stall, and while we had interest it wasn’t as much as we had expected. I made three sales all day (two fox sock toys so making more of those!), which just covered the cost of the stall. Oh well, better luck next time!

Spitalfields 7 June 3Spitalfields 7 June 2

 

On the plus side, I did manage to make a lot of stock, which can now be used for other markets, or to sell online. So here are photos of some of the new bags I’ve made lately.

watermarked-Chicks and blue watermarked-R & D 5 watermarked-fox with bias watermarked-Grey dot 2 burgundy grey and turquoisegreen leaves

This next bag was an order made for a customer who wanted a bag to take to the allotment. Made in ripstop, its waterproof and can be put down anywhere!

watermarked-red tree ripstop

New market in Walthamstow

In January and March this year, I had a stall at a new craft fair in The Mall in Walthamstow. This market is being organised by the shopping centre, to try and enable local crafters and small businesses to sell their handmade produce. The money from the stall is being donated to charity. Walthamstwo March 14

Waltham mar

The markets has been fairly well attended, with lots of shoppers coming to have a look. As the market becomes more known, hopefully there will be repeat customers, but it’s early days and the organisers are hoping that it will expand.

At both markets, I had lots of different makes – handbags, aprons, sock animals, knitting/ crochet caddies and needle cases.

 

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The March market was on Mother’s Day, and it was lovely to see a few of the products being bought for their Mums – in one case with the Mum there who said she’d prefer a knitting caddy to the coat her daughter had just bought her!

Walthamstow March 14

Needle cases – with little zip pockets inside. Perfect for little bits and bobs

Keeping crochet thingies tidy

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Last year I started to learn how to crochet, and found that I kept putting my hook down and then not being able to find it. I didn’t realise that you could buy crochet rolls – to keep all the hooks together, so thought I would design something myself, that suited me. This resulted in me making my ‘crochet caddy’. Its a clever little bag, that has pockets for yarn, lots of pockets for hooks, and smaller pockets for bits and pieces. Its is slightly padded, and opens up fully, making it easy to find things. It can also be hung up, open, making hooks etc. accessible. I then made a knitting caddy. This has one less little pocket, as the needles are so much longer, but still has the pockets for yarns and bits and bobs.

The crochet caddy

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The knitting caddy

This caddy has to be my favourite. Made with Amy Butler ‘With Love’ fabric, it’s gorgeous!

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Bags, bags and more bags!

I love bags, and I particularly love pretty bags, with different patterns and colours. Big bags, small bags and ones inbetween. Here are just a few of the bags I’ve made over the last year, apart from the first one, which I made a few years ago and is still my handbag.

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This next bag was made as a change bag and was also bought by some-one to use as a sports bag

owl bag collage2

This bag is made from South African schwe schwe fabric which is a wax print. When it’s new, the fabric is stiff, but once washed, it is lovely and soft. Lots of great patterns.

Shwe shwe collage

These next few bags were based on my bag but with pleats.

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summer bag

And just a few more….

kerry bag

black and red collage

And finally a few with oilcloth.

biege oilcloth collage

owl oilcloth collage

So, many bags with different uses, different sizes and different fabrics, but all practical and fun to make!

(If you’ve seen a bag you like, or a style you like but you don’t like the fabric, just send me a message at crafteefox@gmail.com and I would be happy to discuss what you would like)