I spent a blissful day yesterday working with canes - I haven't returned to them for a while now, and I wanted to experiment with some different techniques - will post more about that later.
I had lots of fun last night! With thanks to Gemma (aka Cosmiceden, who sells beautiful jewellery on Folksy), I was commissioned to make a Ninja Cat and a Pirate Cat. I've been planning a few character kittens for a while now, so this was the perfect excuse to get going!
The Pirate Cat was initially going to just have an eye patch, but as I got into the spirit of things, I realised that the fashionable Pirate Cat about town really couldn't be seen without also having stripey trousers and belt, a cutlass, black boots and a natty skull and crossbones hat. He stands 5cm tall (to the top of his hat) and 3.5cm wide
He stands 5.5cm tall to the tip of his antlers, and is 3cm wide. He'll be appearing at a number of craft fairs near you soon, and might even find his way into my Folksy shop. And now that he's been domesticated, I have no doubt that a herd of Reindeer Cats will be appearing soon...
All three cats are broadly the same size - about 3.5cm tall - although Blue stands a little taller and Bob is a little fatter. Funny the way their personalities appear! I had lots of fun bringing these wee mites into the world - and I know they're going to a great home!
I started a new job today as New Business Development Manager with Artsmix, so my days of spending over 12 hours a day at the kitchen table are sadly over (well, at least for week days). But I'll still be making lots of wee beasties and will post my latest creations as they are born - watch out for Reindeer Cats, Sleepy Cats and Snowmen!
I had such a great time at the Ilkley Arts Market on Saturday 10 October! It was a lovely day, the venue was perfect, with lovely natural daylight and fantastic homemade cooking by Trufood Catering. It was so nice to meet such amazing, creative people (click here for details of all stallholders - Lynsey (aka Swirlyarts) and STACS Designs are pictured below), and the whole day had such a lovely atmosphere that I know this will be a successful event for years to come.
My wee beasties seemed to go down well - all in all, I sold nearly 40 pieces, and I completely sold out of Highland Cows! I heard the phrase "stocking filler" a number of times throughout the day, and the keyrings and mobile phone charms proved to be very popular. I was up until 1am making more stock for the following day's craft fair at Pudsey.
See you there!
These range in size from 1cm (Tiny Owls) to 1.5cm (Tiny Rainbow Cats), and the Tiny Piglings are somewhere in between. The hardest thing was keeping the shape as round as possible for the Piglings and the Cats, and I managed this by placing the eyes first (which distorted the ball of clay), and then rolling it back into a sphere. And making the rest of the wee creatures was fine - everything was just on a much smaller scale!
These will be making their debut at the Ilkley Arts Market on Sunday 10 October.
In the end, for the small yellow cat, I used the santa hat template (essentially half a circle rolled into a cone), and then rolled up the eges to form the woolly rim, and cut off the point to flatten it. Having the ears poking through the hat completes the look.
For the tall cat, I cut out a full circle from thin clay and then smoothed it down to form a dome, I added a thin strip of matching clay around the rim, and indented it to look like a ribbed hat. The fact that the hat covers his eyes was a happy accident!
Christmas is inevitably approaching, so if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! I spent quite a lot of time working out how to do the hats properly - I tried a number of approaches, including making a baked cone template from scrap clay, but in the end (as often happens), the simplest answer was the best. I rolled out a very thin sheet of red clay and then cut out a small circle. I cut this in have, and then rolled each half into a cone. I folded over the tip, and then put a white pom-pom at the tip, using liquid polymer clay.
I had really wanted to use fluff for the white band, and I experimented with two different kinds of white wool. However, it proved to be too much of a faff, so I ended up cutting out a band of white clay and then patterning it with a pen lid to make it look more 'fluff-like'. I think the end result works pretty well.
After a dubious attempt using a dark green clay colour for the cat itself, I decided that using more natural 'cat' colours works best for the Santa Cats. It also opens up possibilities for accepting cat commissions!
I'm in two minds whether to bring them along to the craft fairs this weekend. I do feel quite strongly that the run-up to Christmas shouldn't start until November at the earliest, so I may keep them in reserve until then.
They are about 2.5cm in diameter, and by using thick clay for the ears and liquid polymer clay, not to mention a couple of coats of satin varnish, they are pretty robust. I'll have a go at making Wee Pigling Keyrings, and I think the Wee Owls lend themselves very well to charms and keyrings too.
I decided to make these Cats in pastel colours, and to make the scarfs in contrasting bold colours and stripes. Again, the possibilities are endless and I will experiment with different kinds of scarfs - I could do a range of football scarfs (not for me, I hasten to add), and I'll try out some floral millefiori ones too. Any ideas or suggestions would be most welcome! (My favourite one is the green cat).
The Pumpkin Cats will make their debute at the craft fairs this weekend in Ilkley and Pudsey, and I've also listed them for sale on Folksy and Etsy.
How chuffed am I?! I had a fantastic day at my first craft fair at The Treehouse Cafe in Bradford! An intimate affair, with five stallholders in total and a lovely cosy setting courtesy of The Treehouse Cafe. Great food, great company - what more could one ask for?
The craft fair was organised by Cat, aka MrsSewandSew (left picture), who had originally posted a thread on Folksy.com way back in July asking if anyone would be interested in having a stall at a craft fair in the Bradford area. And yesterday was the result, and hopefully the first of many!
Also at the Craft Fair were Pam (aka Pamdas/Buri Boo - bottom picture, and who makes beautifully delicate handcrafted cards and jewellery) and Tracy (aka RubySpiritDesigns - on the right, with her gorgeous selection of handmade jewellery), as well a number of children (Cat's, I think) and many family and friends supporting the day and the Cafe. I sold some of my wee creatures, as well as quite a few cards, and all in all, it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
I learned a lot from the day, and one of the key things is planning. Having done the trial run of the stall display a few days before (see 'Twas the night before...) really helped give me an idea of what worked beforehand, and I was also able to plan the packing of the display boxes and stock. The banner looked great, and I am SO glad I bought the length of black leatherette fabric for the table cover (wipe clean - very handy!) Amazingly enough, I didn't forget anything crucial (although it would have helped to have had some carbon paper for the duplicate receipt book), and I've got lots of ideas for the next weekend's craft fairs. I'm going to try my hand at some Pumpkin Cats in recognition of the forthcoming Halloween festivities. And Santa Cats will also be making an appearance soon!
Wow, I never realised just how much work was involved in preparing for your first craft fair. Or then again, perhaps I've just made it more complicated than it needs to be ;)
I really wanted to do this properly. So, the A1 poster for the back of the stall, along with the 4 foot banner, were ordered from EPS (fantastic printers, good price, quick turnaround - ask for Simon if you're interested, he's been a complete star), and yesterday was spent in a very Blue Petery way with black paper, boxes and miles of double sided sticky tape! I had the most fun making up little field enclosures for the Piglings and Wee Sheep (see below), complete with wee gates! The postcards are printed (thanks to overnightprints.co.uk for that - £10 for 100 high quality cards), and Moo.com has delivered the goods as usual in the form of mini moo cards and stickers!