Saturday, 22 December 2012

It's the end of the world as we know it.......or possibly not!

So......this is the last post of the year from 2 Crafty Birds and I feel it will be a bit of a reflection on the year just gone.

So the things I have learned:

1) I can sew!
2) I can sew quite well!
3) The vast majority of crafty folk are fantabulous and ever so slightly bonkers
4) Booking a craft fair 3 days before Christmas is the stupidest idea ever
5) Generally anyone that's negative about what you do, cannot do what you do, they just like the sound of their own voice!
6) Running your own business is damn hard, exhausting, leaves you with no social life, money or anything else but is infinitely better than anything else
7) Fabric glue sticks rock (thanks Handmade By Mrs H)
8) Putting pins in on an angle does mean less breakages (again thanks Mrs H)
9) My sewing machine hates upholstery fabric
10) I hate shot taffeta
11) Spray starch is my best friend (Mrs H again!)
12) Outside craft fairs are a bad idea, especially given the British weather!
13) My mum rocks!
14) My mad spaniels will eat absolutely anything, including gloves, zips, magnetic snaps and cotton reels
15) My kids are the best and make me proud every day
16) There really aren't enough hours in the day and Christmas starts in July when you're a crafter!
17) Strictly Come Dancing = too much ice cream and chocolate and is very bad for your health but Artem more than makes up for it!
18) Singing the Proclaimers at the top of your voice tends to give you a very sore throat
19) Sleep is good but at this time of year very scarce!
20) The end of the world didn't happen, I'm still here, 2 Crafty Birds lives to fight another year! Yay!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Bad Birdie!

Oops, it's been ages since I updated this blog.  I can't promise I'll get any better but I promise I'll try!

So what's been going on in the world of the crafty birds?  Well we've been working like trojans the past few months, getting ready for the Cardiff City Crafty & Hobby show.  It went really well and we'll definitely be back in May 2014.  I've decided to take a step back from the jewellery making as it's really, really hard to make a living from my woven stuff, I can't unfortunately charge what the pieces are really worth, given the current economic climate.  So for now, it's commission only pieces and I'm moving on and concentrating on my obsession with handbags.  For someone who was never going to sew I seem to have caught the bug :-)  I absolutely love making them, at the minute I'm making a lot of fabric ones, but I'm also experimenting with felting.

So today's experiment involved knitting two pieces, 32 stitches by 60 rows on the knitting machine.  The first piece was wet felted, rolled 50 times vertically, 50 times horizontally, 4 times in total.  It was then shoved under a hot tap, then the cold four times and thrown into the tumble dryer.  After 5 minutes it was shocked under the hot and cold tap and put back in dryer for 5 minutes.  This was then repeated with a ten minute spell in the dryer.  Following that I put it back under the hot tap, added a little hand soap, rinsed with cold and then 40 minutes in the dryer.  Phew!  After all that it had shrunk from 17cm x 19cm to 12cm x 14cm which is great but sadly it just hadn't felted enough in that the stitches were still quite visible.  So the second piece has been put in the washing machine on a quick wash programme, mini load at 70 degrees with three towels.  The results to be announced later!

I've also been having a go at some wedding tiaras and hair combs, not sure where I'll go with it, one thing's for sure my fingers seriously need to harden up!

Crafty bird No.2 has been busy designing her first original LindiBears teddy bear and very cute it is too!

Well that's it for now, I'll report back later with the results of the washing machine felting.........

So the results are in..... although I have less control over the shaping of it as it felts, the washing machine wins.  The original piece was 17x19cm, it's now 12x7.5, strangely it's shrunk more vertically than horizontally, I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around?  One thing I have discovered when machine felting is that the seams always end up really clumpy if I sew it together first, so my plan is to knit up a square, felt it down and then cut it into the shape I want and sew it, not ideal, would much prefer a seamless look to it, I may try needle felting the seam down slightly, if it doesn't work then I've not lost a great deal!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Well it's all go here this morning - completely forgot about Craftfest so just had a manic half hour submitting avatars, forms and such like, just the album to finish now.  I've been given a knitting machine so have been very impatiently waiting for my new wool to turn up, which thankfully it did this morning, Botany wool so lovely and soft - hopefully if I can figure out the machine I can get started on a new range of felted bags :-)  In the meantime I'm working on a netted collar using some lovely silver top drilled crystal bicones, very punk/goth looking, I've also got a cellini spiral necklace on the go but that's going to take me AGES!

Looks like it's going to be a busy few months for the crafty birds, we have a bellydance Hafla in September, the Cardiff City Stadium Craft and Hobby Show in October, a jewellery party (possibly two) not to mention keeping the shops stocked up and ready for where did I put that other pair of hands?!

You can find us @ and also Crafty Bird No. 2 is @

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Just a quick post!

Well it's all go at 2 Crafty Birds - both myself and Crafty Bird No. 2 (aka Mum) are having major clear outs prior to the big shake up, I think we can safely say that our logo of 2 magpies is entirely apt!  Mum apparently has got rid of 16 bin bags of stuff from an 8 foot by 8 foot craft room and I've managed to collect 3 kilos of beads ready to sell in the great destash!  Listing that lot will be fun.  So nothing vaguely creative appears to have taken place and judging by the to do list, it's not likely to in the next week :-( However it's all in a good cause and we'll be back and cooking with gas with a new streamlined look and feel to the company in just a few short weeks :-)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Business is........

deathly quiet!!! Still trying to reorganise everything, get on top of listings, sort out my stash and now this week we have a small school fayre and a business course to attend, on top of which I just realised that my previous business is still registered with HMRC, the new one isn't and I've forgotten my log in details lol.  When someone invents a new day in the week or at least a few more hours in the day my life will be so much easier!  Feels like my brain is chock full of different ideas and tasks to do, one more thing and I'm sure I'll just explode.  Might just have to write a list to remember it all.  Hopefully it'll all settle down by next week and I can start getting back into a routine or at least something that resembles one lol.  Haven't created a great deal in the past few days, just a felted frog and sheep ready to go onto calico bags, a pencil case and what appears to be a lot of mess!  Ah well, no rest for the wicked!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Computer says Nooooooo!!

Well what a day!  Far from being creative and getting more beads destashed and listed on Folksy, I've spent hours trying to rip out a horrendous virus from my sons computer.  Just a warning if you get a box pop up that looks very legitimate called Data Recovery, it most definitely is a virus, do NOT click anything!  Instead pop over to and just follow the instructions.  You might find that you're locked out of starting in safe mode, in which case switch your pc off halfway through loading up and then reboot, it should then give you the option to start in safe mode.  The saga is not quite over for us unfortunately as their screen keeps kicking off and forcing us to restart every 15 mins!!!  Looks like I'm in for a very long night :-(

On a crafty note, I ordered the botany selection from World of Wool (selection of wool tops from their waste products) and they're fabulous!  The felt is currently reduced to 1.75 a metre as a well, bargain!  Hopefully I'll get to do something tomorrow with it, in the meantime, this is a bag I finished a couple of weeks ago, I absolutely love it, so meet George the needle felted owl!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Oooo I've been neglectful!!

Just realised it's been ages since I posted a blog (mind you I said at the beginning that I struggled to keep a diary...), whoops!

So the story so far, well we did the big show in Cardiff City Stadium in May.  It was a bit of a mixed bag really, the first event of this kind run at the venue so there were some teething problems, usual thing of too many jewellery stalls, resellers sneaking in etc but we made our fees back so I think we'll probably do it again.  We've done a couple of smaller fayres, but to be honest I think we'll knock them on the head, unless you're selling stuff for under a fiver they don't tend to go very well, more's the pity.  It's prompted us to have a bit of a rethink about our business venture and some big decisions have been made.

Essentially we've decided that we've been trying to do too much, as in too much variation in the things that we make, which is leading our stalls to look far too cluttered and jumbled up.  So what we've decided to do is to still keep 2 Crafty Birds as one over-arching business but with separate brands on separate sites, so we'll end up with the LindiBears brand (mums mohair artist bears) with their own exclusive website and I'm going to ditch the fashion jewellery and concentrate on more of a niche product line, primarily bead weaving and bead embroidery.

If we do any fayres, then we are more likely to just stick to the fabric crafts for those, smaller ticket items such as needle felted tote bags, handbags, aprons and the dreaded bunting (sorry but I loathe and detest the stuff!!!)  So with all that in mind, I'm busy sorting through my bead stash and listing it on Folksy - currently got some miracle beads, copper coloured beads and some beautiful shell pendants listed on there at far lower prices than some of the stuff you can get on Ebay and if you combine an order you only get charged an extra 20p postage!

So that's it work wise at the moment, oh apart from a small business course that we're on next week, which I'm looking forward to but my mother is dreading lol - keep telling her she can't just do the fun bits lol

In my other life, the kids have finished their first year in college, have signed up for year 2 (that was a relief I can tell you), Hamish McBeth (aka scruffy spaniel) has managed to steal 2 balls of felting wool, whilst Harri Mac (aka kleptomaniac spaniel) has just about stolen everything else, including a felting needle which I found him carrying around in his mouth earlier on.  Normal service resumed then!