About Me

My photo
I love to write, I love to read. I love to sing and play with my daughter. I love to learn new things, I love profound thoughts and random ones. I like making new friends and love rediscovering old ones. Most of all I like quality and variety.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Whoops! I've moved.

Hi all,

If you are looking for The Butterfly Hobbyist you will find my new blog here. It is brand new and improved and I hope you enjoy it. I would love your opinions and ideas for future features for the three categories, Tuesday Review, Flitting With The Hobbyist or The Crafty Crafter.


Monday, 30 May 2011

Goodbye Blogger?

I've just started a brand new blog http://thebutterflyhobbyist.wordpress.com I'm very excited. I plan to have 'Tuesday Reviews' - reviews of crafty literature, tools and events on Thursdays 'Flitting with the Hobbyist' - will be looking at current projects and plans for my homemade christmas and what I'm doing in my shop and Fridays will be 'Fabulous Friday Finds' with pictures and links to some of my favourite handcrafted items and perhaps interviews (? if anyone would be interested) with the crafter/artist. A page will then be in place that links to shops/websites that have been featured in the Fabulous Friday Finds of that month.

If anyone is interested in being featured/interviewed please subscribe to the blog, by just going to the blog and entering your email into the subscribe box, you'll get updates when new posts are made, then email me at thebutterflyhobbyist@gmail.com to let me know you are interested or leave a message on my FB Page - this Friday's theme is summertime.

I'll also be setting up a page of bloglinks and hope to start my own quarterly blog hop soon. That said as the blog has only just gone live I'm afraid there is a dearth of subscribers and I hope to build this up with interesting articles and crafty bloghops. I know a number of you have followed my blogger blog. Unfortunately, blogger has had quite a few bugs lately, not allowing comment and hiding followers, this has been going on for over a week now despite clearing my cache and all the rest of it. I think perhaps Wordpress may suit me better. I do hope I don't lose you and you still wish to read me. I do think it will be a better blog, with structure and interest.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Bit of a Moan!

Sooo frustrating these last couple of days.

I'm browsing my favourite blogs and stumbling on some fabulous blog hops and I can't comment because there is a problem with the thingmajig and its preventing me signing in to have my say. Now I know good old Blogger are working on it but I like to get my neb in and make myself known. So after four whole days of only being able to look - I'm having a little moan. *sigh* that feels better.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Themes & Inspiration

I started to think over the last week about my process when I'm designing something. My earrings so far have been designed by sitting at a bead board and then looking through my stash to see what went well together. So far that has worked for me and I've made items I'm happy with and look really pretty, but after deciding to do amybeads bloghop I had to really sit down and think about what I wanted to produce.

As I sat contemplating all my green and pink beads I remembered the lovely clay beach themed beads I bought from artist Lisa Boucher's shop Clay Works on Etsy recently. This gave me a theme and I created my item (not earrings either!), adding bits and subtracting them. I'll show the finished item and talk about the theme and process more on 7 June but I really enjoyed working to a theme and started to look at what beads I had to create my next set of earrings.

It was when I looked at my beautiful Botswana Agate beads that inspiration hit. They look just like storms caught forever in 12 mm globes. Quite breath-taking. This prompted me to think about how the sky looks when the sun is caught behind dark grey rainclouds and you get that beautiful silver lining. It took a bit of experimentation but I finally came up with a freeform design I liked where the sterling silver wire enhances the natural beauty of the agate gem stones without overpowering them.

I'm so pleased with the final results and I'm currently casting about for my next theme or inspiration. Working this way really did make a difference. Perhaps it's the writer in me and all the recent coursework I've done on themes, symbolism etc. is paying off in a totally unexpected direction.

Do you craft? If so how do you work? Do you wing it or work to a theme or colour scheme?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

A Twist Twist Here an a Twist Twist

Soooo glad I decided to take things slowly and concentrate on a couple of techniques at a time. My poor brain was getting so crowded with thread types, and elasticity and perfect necklace lengths. None of my bracelets or watches fit. What a nightmare!

So I sat down and had a think and decided to start simply - wire wrapping and earrings first. I'm so glad I did, the things you can produce with wire are unreal and I've actually produced some lovely bits I'm not afraid to offer for sale. Let me know what you think.

Also loving working with the sterling silver. Although I'm a bit tentative with it. I suppose its because I know how much it costs. Looks lovely though. I'm going to try wrapping individual stones etc to make pendants next and a bit of bead stitching. Who knows where my latest obsession will lead!

Sunday, 15 May 2011


I've done it! Taken the step and popped some of my pieces on Folksy to sell. I have my very own shopfront! I'm so excited.

I remember when I did a stall in Southamptons Artists Market for my painted glass and how well that went so I'm thinking about doing the same in Northampton this year.

I'd love to get your feedback on the pieces I have for sale and my branding.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Look what I got!

I feel like I've found a whole new world. Surfing some of the indie artisan crafters and beader shops I came across Pink Chihuahua Kisses . Susan McCormack who owns this store on Folksy makes the cutest clay pendants, buttons, frames, candle holders.

I was very excited to receive these pendants just two days after I made my purchase. I was worried they wouldn't look as nice in reality as they did on the web but I needn't have worried. They are so funky and nice and chunky.

I'm playing with ideas now ... thinking maybe a chunky watch or simple cord necklace. Any ideas? What would you match them with or make? I might even send one as the focal in a bead soup.

Will be getting buttons later on in the year to decorate some hand knitted hats for The Duckling (my daughter), nieces and nephews as part of my homemade christmas (oh yeah - still doing that!)
The best part about buying direct from the artist is that at a completely affordable price, I have 7 unique pendants. No-one in the whole world will ever have them. I find the idea and exciting and full of possibilities.

If you are in the market for something truly unique. Perhaps you're knitting a cardi, or want something a little different for your newest photo or some buttons for a knitted wire cuff. I truly recommend Pink Chihuahua Kisses.

If you are interested in handmade items of all descriptions I would definately recommend Folksy they are a website dedicated to promoting British handcrafted goodies, its free to register and for you British artists and crafters out there - free to set up shop. Best of all while the emphasis is on British arts and crafts you can sell to anywhere around the world and Folksy will display the local currency to your customer. If you want to look further afield check out ETSY . This has a wider array of products with sellers providing products that are handmade, vintage, retro and just plain funky. ETSY is an American site and has sellers and buyers from all over the world. Beaders who want a treat should plug in handmade beads or handmade lampwork into the search engine - my oh my - I've just bought some fabby pendants from there but I'll keep that for another post when I have some photos.

Now I'm off to get my sketch book to see what I can make with them!