eklectikfish by kateepie

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

blog badges

Following the advice of the lovely Haptree I have been busy making some badges to go in her new Craft Directory.  If you would be kind enough to put a badge or two on your own blog or website that would be lovely :-) One is for my Etsy shop, the other is for this 'ere blog.

The badges are available in the sidebar, or below, just grab the code and go!

Click to Visit

Click to Visit


Tuesday, 27 April 2010

loom update

Well, I've taken the plunge and accepted... so will be taking delivery of the loom within the next couple of weeks - thanks Joan and Steve!  Really looking forward to getting my teeth into sorting it out and having a go.  My mum just gave me a book about it, so have been scaring myself half to death!

Will post more photos once the loom has arrived :-)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

weaving loom - to go for or not to go for?

As some of you may know I have signed up to do a weaving course with the magnificent Margo Selby down in London later this year.  As luck would have it, I managed to buy a couple of small table looms from my local auction room (I know, serendipity or what?).  One is a simple plainweave loom which I plan to pass on somehow.

The other is more interesting.  Needs a bit of work doing to it to get it workable, but should be ok.  Its a four shaft table loom, not sure who by as the label has disappeared.

Ok, so the serendipity keeps on going... we got a phonecall from a friend saying that they had a loom in the garage which had been sitting there for years and hadn't been used in all that time and would I like it.  So, question is, do I take them up on their incredibly kind and generous offer?

The loom is a six shaft floor loom, measures about 4ft by 3ft and appears to have all if not most of the bits there.

I know it all needs a good clean and a certain amount of reassembly.  But I would appreciate some advice as to whether this would be a good thing to go for?

New banner for etsy and folksy shops

Well, here it is, I can finally unveil the new design for my etsy and folksy shop banners!  Thanks to all who made suggestions, it was very helpful in making my final decision.

The fish is made from my favourite Japanese cotton and the bubbles are from a salvaged pearl necklace!

Hopefully this will now give my shops more of a professional feel and a recognisable 'look'.


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Some Etsy favourites - stripes and birdies

Here are some of my favourites from Etsy - mostly with a theme of stripes (you can't beat them) and pretty little birdies...


Hope you like them too x

7 things you didn't know about me... and an award!

Toniann over at KnotJustJigs very kindly sent me the Kreativ Blogger award yesterday, and tagged me to offer 7 facts about myself.  Very proud about the award, but just a little bemused about what to say about me.  But, without further ado... here goes.

  1. I am an historian by training and have just finished writing my PhD about 18th and 19th century church music in the East Midlands.
  2. I have a scar between two of my fingers from when I ran into a radiator, aged three.
  3. I once tried to learn the violin, and the guitar, not very successfully.
  4. I am a cheesaholic.
  5. My pets as a child were two cockerels, Earpie and Humphrey.
  6. I love growing things (I guess you knew that already), but only found that love when I had a first floor flat... with no garden.
  7. I am passionate about animal welfare issues and the environment.
Phew, all done!  So... I now have to pass this award on to seven other bloggers. If they want, they can also take up the challenge, which is:

1.Copy the award to your blog
2.Insert a link to the person who nominated you
3.Tell seven things about yourself that you haven’t told before
4.Nominate seven other bloggers for the award
5.Link to their blogs
6.Tell the nominees about their award

Sunday, 18 April 2010

cosy sewing and sewing cosies...

I bought the Lis iphone holder pattern from Flossie Teacakes' site last week and after going and raiding the fabric shop for some nice linen-y stuff and interfacing I settled down to some sewing.

It took me a while to get all the pieces cut out as I decided to make two in tande-m rather than going through the whole process again after I'd finished one.  It took rather longer when I realised I had my perspex cutting guide the wrong way up so I had cut some of the pieces out too long (which can obviously easily be rectified) and some pieces too narrow (which can't).

The instructions were really clearly written and the photos were helpful.   The only trouble I had was that on one of the holders the accent fabric didn't come down quite far enough, so I ended up having to make it all a bit smaller when it came to sewing the whole thing up... but it is the perfect size for a small camera, so can't complain really!  I think when I make the next one I will make that piece a little bit longer to compensate (its probably just my sewing...).

So here are the finished holders... only took me 3 or 4 hours, so not bad going!

I'm really pleased with how they've turned out: the pattern is really nice, and I like the way the fabrics contrast.  I'll definitely be making more of these, thanks Florence!

Thursday, 15 April 2010


A long time ago I had an ebay account which I called eklectikfish - I wanted a name that was quirky and summed up the randomness of the things I was selling at the time.  Whilst casting around for a name for my folksy shop, I remembered the name and thought it might be a go-er.  Following SheDraws advice on UK Handmade about the importance of having a 'brand' I thought this might be one of the reasons why I haven't had any sales yet - the shops are just not distinctive enough at the moment.

So, here is my initial thought for a brand look.  Any feedback gratefully received, I'm still pretty new to this game!  This is sort of intended for a label... but could also be part of a banner too.

I need to redraw the fish to make it my own, but the concept will be similar.  So, what do you think?

it's the little things...: "Brown paper packages, tied up with string..."

it's the little things...: "Brown paper packages, tied up with string..."

Well my little package was well received! I hope this post will prove that the craft swap *is* genuine - I know some of you out there are convinced it is a pyramid scheme - but it will only work if people sign up (I won't get anything back until anyone I recruit has recruited someone). It was a really nice feeling to get such a positive response to my little gift, so, even if I don't get anything back I will be happy to have shared.


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Patchwork quilt progress report

Just thought I would post some pics of the first section of my patchwork quilt, as I managed to get the whole top portion of it finished last night.  Sorry if the pics are a bit crummy, the light isn't very good in the bedroom - I'll try and take some better ones at the weekend.

The structure of the whole quilt will be the same throughout - 9 sections of three 6 cm 60 degree diamonds fitted together, but the pattern will change in each section.  This one is tumbling boxes:

I have all the material cut for this section now, and have been stolidly sewing the pieces around stiff paper on the train to work - I tried machine sewing pieces together, but it was actually less stressful to hand sew the lot...

I blogged about the fabric I received for some of the other sections yesterday, but here is one I got a while back.  I only bought a small piece because it was *very* expensive (gulp), but hopefully I can work it in somewhere.  It reminds me of Japanese kimonos.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Fabric delivery

Just received my next lot of fabric for the patchwork quilt I'm making.  I'm making it in 9 sections, with a border in between them all.  One of sections uses the Amy Butler Martini fabric I used for the passport covers I blogged yesterday, along with a soft solid green oxford cotton.

These are the fabrics I received today:

Two by Alexander Henry:

This one is Spotted owl and I think is my favourite.

Then there is Starling:

And finally Charm Bracelet Flowers by Windham Fabrics:

Not sure if I will use them all together yet, or mix them with more solid colour fabrics.  Excited though!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Weekend sewing

It was a good weekend, this weekend, lots of time in the garden, and an equal amount of time at the sewing machine.

This is what I came up with for my swap item - a passport holder/cover in Amy Butler's Martini fabric.

And the inside:

Hopefully the recipient will like it!  I have still had no takers for my part of the swap - so if you fancy receiving some random crafty goodness (you only have to make one item to send off) then please contact me.  It would be a nice to keep the thing going :-)

I made a couple of other passport covers too, one for me (the trial version) in my japanese rooster and tulips fabric:

And another in the reverse colorway of the Amy Butler material, which is destined for my Etsy shop.

The other job I managed to get done, which has been hanging around for a while, was to make a bag to transport my clothes in to work (I cycle part of the way).  I had been using cotton shop bags, but wanted something a bit more personal and a bit more cheerful to hang up in my office.  I got some lovely striped material from John Lewis:

And simply made a lined version of the bag I had been using - much prettier though :-)

And with the rather dramatic black lining:

All in all, a good weekend I think!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Spring Bouquet

Walking around the garden today I spotted some Euphorbias which were sooo zingy I had to cut some to bring them in the house.  Thought I would share them with you :-)

I also thought the hellebores were looking particularly fine today

Hurrah for spring and the warm sunshine!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

International swap shop

Thanks to Yvonne at Sketchstitch I am taking part in an international arts and crafts swap and am now on the look out for six people to take part with me and become the next links in the chain.

So what does it involve? You need to make one item to post out - any craft you like: paper, textile, etc. etc. - then, in return you should receive 36 items from around the globe...

If you would like to take part (and it sounds like a good deal to me), contact me below and I will send further details.  Send me a link to your folksy or etsy shop if you would prefer me to contact you that way.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Chair makeover

Its been a busy Easter weekend so far!  One of the projects I got stuck into was helping Robert's mum, Rosemary, to revamp a chair I had bought for her from our local auction.  Actually we bought two chairs as one lot (for the princely sum of £4), the other will need to be reupholstered... another day!  They are both very dainty Edwardian bedroom chairs.

The one that didn't need reupholstering (above) did need a new seat, and we choose twisted rush as the material.

It was quite tricky as neither of us had done it before, and the pretwisted rush had a tendency to unravel itself at the most inopportune moments... but, we were getting somewhere.
Here it is in the fairly early stages.  As the seat is wider at the front than the back we needed to do the front first, tying each length of rush to the side rail.

A bit further forward.  It got really difficult near the end as we kept having to squish the rush bands that were already on to get the next ones in the gap.

Here is the finished (bar neatening up when dry) article!

It's probably not what you would call a *professional* finish, but pretty good for a first attempt we reckon - certainly it is now a functioning chair, just right for an old bear :-)


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