Getting ready for Christmas

Yes! Christmas 🎄

Soon comes round and here it is looming again ! I am looking forward this year our grandson joes three now and knows all about Christmas so very excited. Even organised with some pressies normally a last minuet person.  Go me !

Every year I make Christmas Sockmonkeys but mainly to order this years different. I will be making some small ones just to sell already bought the socks. Going to be cute starting them this week hopefully. So watch my Facebook page for them. Only doing a few !

Gingernut from last year

So much to do ! Tidying the craft room to make space for production it’s only small so can’t swing a cat never mind a monkey. Funny when I first decorated and made it mine I thought how much room I had, But I soon filled it with crafty things now I can’t move. So today’s action was getting organised.

Packing

I would like some space under the table when sewing would be nice. Filled with boxes for posting, display stuff etc … So may have to go in the loft when the Christmas tree comes out. I haven’t done any craft fairs for a long time. But you never know so I will keep hold of them for a bit longer just in case.

One of my craft fairs

Have thousands of beads so a big task of sorting through them as I now make monkeys. I still have my eBay so be selling them and lots of other things I have, some new. That’s a job in its self but has got to go ! Out with the old in with the new. Some of my socks will be going to ones I can’t use. I will share on Facebook if interested.

Doodle

so hopefully be lots of room for my handmade monkeys. I am working out a better way to take pictures. I normally use my iPad because it’s Easy !  I do have a good camera and be taking some christmas pics. Also not decided what pictures I am useing for my calendar this year need to get that done so lots to do! Before Christmas let’s hope I get it done. I will be doing a blog about taking pictures so please keep watching .

Pictures making up my calendar for 2017

thankyou for reading Julie

forgot to say I will be having a Christmas giveaway this year so  anyone registering will get this information when it happens .

 

 

 

A breath of fresh air

we don’t seem to have many days of sunshine this year in the uk but we try and make the most of it ! I suppose that’s why most of us go abroard to get the sunshine ☀️

Me and my hubby had a lovely walk, well you could say climb up rivington. What beauty we have on our door step. Fresh air, sunshine what a lovely day it was! Hard going the further we climbed the steps to the top but worth the effort and want to do more. We made it to the top and celebrated with a lovely picnic. We saw other people walking with there dogs some hiking rucksacks and boots on. I can see why may be a bit out of breath but what satisfaction making it to the top.

Steps to the top just some of them !

View from the top breath taking

Sunny days Been taking a little time out ! Took my sock monkey to the park . We had a lovely day our local park is gorgeous. I take my grandson on the park all the time he loves the slide and swings,roundabout. But this day was me time! Oh yes and chance take pictures of my monkey and as there was no one on the park did some videoing. I wrote about this in a previous blog what July means to me . You can find the videos on my Instagram and Twitter as well.

Monkey picture it was a gorgeous day

we often visit another park in the next town Pennington park I took lots of lovely pictures of my monkeys Here last year. There’s a band stand and lots of flowers very pretty. Lovely children’s park and aerobic section. Also have a little tea room cafe. Lovely on a sunny day. Here’s  couple of pictures.

Look at that sky

Pictures I took was the best !  flowers in full bloom used this one for my 2017 calendar.

I am hoping there’s still going to be a few more days to take some good pictures for this years calendar . Maybe another trip up them steps only take the monkeys this time thanks for reading.

julie

Every Stitch I Make

Every stitch I Make

not just one stitch thousands of them – – – – – – little tiny things

Every sock monkey I make is a lots of hand sewing call it the creative bit a part of me. love to hand sew takes me a while and have been known to undo the stitches if not happy. Lost count of the amount of times I pricked my finger. Trying to be careful not to get blood on my monkeys ouch!  Looking at my work and looking again is it right do them eyes look level did I do that stitch the same? You know it didn’t matter I didn’t want them the same. All my monkeys are unique and special.

So Every stitch I make is not the same. Every days not the same creative people can’t always turn on the tap of creativeness or other things get in the way. As well as the fingers the head has to be in gear to. Don’t worry I won’t cut my ear off but can be very frustrating at times. I try to make what people want put my heart and sole into what I make. crafty people will say the same every stitch or craft nearer to that perfect creation.

Some do it for the fun just because they can and love sewing. Satisfaction of making your very first item. Then you have the dedicated sewers who make the most wonderful items I bow in admiration. I love creative people   This includes anyone who can paint,draw,knit,crochet,sew etc … truly blessed with amazing talents. Done lots of things my self love to draw but except for a few doodles these day don’t do a lot only making my sock monkeys.

I always encourage people to try and make a sock monkey them selves. Often get asked how to make them. The basics are easy making it your own is another thing. When they ask I guide them to look at the many tutorials on you tube. How I learned to make one at the very beginning long time ago. Who would have thought I would make and sell them.

so many different stitches you can do !  Machine sewing has taken on a new world of sewing . Embroidery machines that do intricate patterns and words. will say I don’t like sewing machines but they do a strong stitch. So my monkeys are part made on my simple janome sewing machine . She can play up a bit but works fine most of the time.

My sewing machine

Stitch in time saves nine. Also a lot quicker on the machine hand stitching takes forever. I made sock man he had whiskers on his chin each one sewn by hand. Now I am seeing ladies sewing sequins on beautiful dresses the time that must have took or takes to do. Satisfaction when completing second to none (you missed one). That one stitch that can save many +

I read about a lady so busy sewing she swallowed a pin. ( ooooo nasty) caused no end of problems so be careful don’t put pins in your mouth. Also try keeping your back straight so you don’t stoop in later life. Don’t sew in the dark your stitches work out wonky ~~~ haha. Threading the needle can be tricky ! Why are the eye holes so small. Wearing glasses when you get older for seeing your work can be frustrating when you can’t see and realise you haven’t got them. So valuable sewing time is taken up looking for them so check you have everything before you start! Like I don’t. The amount of time I waist going up and down stairs because I forgot something when doing sewing down stairs. Then dropping them going back up when it’s bed time. Having to search for pins on the floor Leaving the scissors in bed ? isn’t a good idea ether ( guilty). Tales of people getting needle stuck in there fingers when sewing on machine frightening ( Arhhhhh). Sounds dangerous this stitching business.✂️

makeing things some don’t work out some do. Not sure how long I can carry on stitching ? But I love it 😊

Thanks for reading please comment

julie

I will put some connections on to tutorials and stitchie things so please keep looking welcome to comment 😊

Heres another blog I wrote has a video of how to make an original sock monkey 😊

Making Sock Monkeys

DOING CRAFT FAiRS Buying and Selling my Experience

Craft fairs

I often here crafty people saying my craft fair was a disaster only sold one item or didn’t sell anything. Dont know why this happens, is it because it’s not organised or advertised properly it’s a mystery. Oh no my items are not good enough 😩

The crafter is looking for a good craft fair, at a good price for a stall to sell there makes. Need to pay out for liability insurance. relentlessly to make as much stock as possible stay up late to get ready for the big day! it can be such a disappointment if you don’t sell anything .

Going back when I first did craft fairs when I sold bag charms and jewellery. one of my first was in a church hall situated at the back of the church,so I just hoped it was advertised well . Very quiet but everyone was friendly which is one of the positives of doing craft fairs other crafters like you. I was in a good spot at the door so thought good place bit chilly but good . I didn’t have a great deal of stock even though I hadn’t had any sleep the night before making I got worried I wouldn’t have enough.  My Daughters helped me on the stall and reassured I had plenty . Bought some vintage beads crystals very pretty and made a few items out of them. Unforchanatly I had been put at the side of a stall with lots of jewellery,and in front of me someone selling crystal  necklaces and bracelets . I had said I made bagcharms so that wasn’t organisers falt but did notice a few selling jewellery so a bit of competition .  My stall looked empty to the others with its white cloth a few false presents with Christmas paper and a couple of small round mirrors . At the bottom of the hall was a sweet stall with every sweet you could think of and was busy also a jam ,chutney ,cake stall near another door that led to the cafe had people just popping in and buying seemed to be familer to them they had been doing craft fairs for years . At the other end was a long stall very full of mix of things but she did bag charms and bracelets to think I had seen her page on Facebook we all exchanged cards like you do ! Then like them later . Then there was a little table in the corner selling brooches and things other corner tombola wheel . Other stalls had paintings ,knitted ,crochet items ,cushions , one stall had less than me because she’d been ill and didn’t make anything but had still come along .I was very surprised to see someone with new stuff saying it was handmade very bad. But you can tell . Most of the customers headed for the sweets and jam a couple walked by tried to get there attention smiling saying hello I do have the gift of the gab so managed to sell something . Lot of older people  a lady liked a green bracelet and I said the beads are vintage and  she ended up buying a few so quite pleased I sold anything . We all kept saying it will get busy soon but just went quieter. Thought the organiser was going to get lintched so she disappeared. In case any body asked for money back . We was all getting fed up when we herd an almighty crash the shelf with the sweets on fell off the wall sweets every where I found my self scrambling under the table to catch them so funny . Broke the ice and I could here a few titters . Then the girl on the stall In the corner shouted everything going cheap on this stall so stall holders flocked and bought things off her as she said she was giving up she’d had enough who could blame her . Giving up the handmade business and got a job so wouldn’t have time.

This craft fair had just started making monkeys and had a mix of sock monkeys and bagcharms jewellery . Me and my daughter

This was my first craft fair with more sock monkeys sold them all and took orders for collection great craft fair few years ago now.

Not all craft fairs are the same I think the best ones are the school ones when they are raising money and you give a donation you just give what you can . Also done some really well organised ones but you can pay a lot more for these . Even if it’s quiet you learn a lot from the other crafters  the experiance is second to none . Also gets you out it can be a lonely world being a crafter . Only done a few craft fairs since I started making sock monkeys my first main one I sold out .Good idea is to take crafty things for sale with your makes as the other crafters will buy as well as things you make specially if it’s quiet   You at least make some money to cover costs .

my experiance as a customer I went to a craft fair in a local hall to buy a decoration to put in my bedroom I walked in after having to pay £2 at the door but I seemed to be the only customer . Lots of lovely handmade lots of choice . Even a stall with sock monkeys I felt like eyes was on me please buy from me . Felt I had to buy something even though I make things my self but just couldn’t find anything purple ! Spotted a blue heart with purple embroidered house on it she seemed very keen to sell it for £5  so after looking on other stalls went back and bought it didn’t want to leave with out buying something . This can put people off having to pay before they go in so they just don’t go in .I think this is different where ever you go but if a craft fairs quiet everyone should get in free.

This is the heart I bought from the craft fair special 💕

Perhaps things need to change people need to realise that handmade unique things take a long time to make and are special and a lot of love goes into them . It’s true you do pay a bit more than in the shops but they make thousands of them . I love crafting and often share other people’s work some fantastic crafters make some beautiful things . If you are a crafty person and want make a living out of it ! Not impossible it can be done just have to work hard .I know quite a few successful crafters who I admire . I think you have to work on the product you make and get it right   Before you try selling it ! Good photos is vital specially if selling on social media . Also good displaying on your stall attracts people to you being chatty and telling people how you make things with a smile 😊

If you would like to chat about this subject looking at it on all points crafter,customer,organiser, display just leave a comment below . I have had a lot of spam  regarding this post I ONly post honest answers with no attachments this is my honest view on this subject.

Thanks for reading Julie

LOVE COLOUR 💜

Just Love Colour Bright colours have always been an attraction for me .

(our creativity puts colour in the world spins magic in our minds) quote

( red and yellow and pink and blue orange and purple and green I can sing a rainbow to) rhyme 🌈

I often said I should have been an interior designer I often do the decorating in the house when I get chance . Just last year painted my cupboards in my kitchen a lovely teal turquoise colour with bright yellow door knobs it took me a while but love it . So it’s nice to have a vase of yellow flowers to match you don’t mind spending time in the kitchen so bright and pretty . Flowers are also a thing I love most of the wall paper in the house are flower designs. Bedroom has purple roses one of my favourite colours as I do most of the decorating I get to choose . I am a fan of Laura Ashley paper and did my craft room in a lovely green flowered paper with a butterfly theme. I am a bargain hunter and got the paper in the sale so also have it on two walls on my stairs in a different colour .

My kitchen cupboards and one of my paintings
My craft room

I must tell you about the orange wall paper still in wrappers I bought off eBay! Found in a lady’s loft been there for years very retro and very Me.Was so excited to get it couldn’t wait to put it up enough rolls and a bit left over for the fire place wall in the living room . Unforchanatly there was only me like it so it didn’t stay up very long sad . When I had the tank taken out I managed to put some in the cupboard but it’s hidden.

My orange wall paper

me and hubby love vintage and went for a mooch at a vintage fair came back with a red old electric iron love it . I thought be a great prop for a vintage type pic I want to take  with my Rockford vintage monkey all ideas at the mo . When I saw it I just had to have it don’t know why it needs renovating cleaning bring back the colour .

Old electric iron

My work making sock monkeys reflects my artistic talents for mixing and matching colours it’s what I like to do with all my work .  Also love to draw and  hope to take up painting again? My claim to fame was selling a large sunflower picture many years ago ! But I do think you really have to be good to sell your work but you never know. I am working on drawing as I want to design some cards but it’s a slow process as I need to get it right! Yes they will be full of colour and feature my monkeys.

My scribbling

Even this little website blog is very colourful and bright I just can’t help my self I’m colour crazy. I look at others and think mine maybe a bit bright but I like it and until I think of another design ? Will be just the same because it’s mine and I love colour . You must get the drawing desk app it’s great you can draw colour such fun . My little grandson joe loves it   And I have found I love to doodle and scribble all the time and put my little creations on Instagram and Facebook not saying they are always great but something I enjoy doing. So many fantastic illustrators who are wonderful artists but if you feel like drawing doesn’t matter how good you are I say do it .

My doodles done on drawing desk

Love taking pictures specially the ones I took in summer of the monkeys out and about . Nothing like a summers day bright flowers and trees blue sky’s lovely. So now looking forward to summer then I can take more of the same . Managed to take some in January even though it was cold the sun was shining it was a lovely day. We want pictures and colour we just have to get out and capture it . My pictures take up a lot of my space on my iPad never want to delete them the wonder of pictures . We live in the world of social media we crave for pictures and colour of people and how they see things we love browsing .

Summer out and about at Pennington flash

Thankyou for reading my blog I could probably go on about colour but I will be some where over the rainbow   Having tea with Alice in wonderland and watching beauty and the beast and singing along In my colourful world haha . That’s another blog .

Julie 😊

How to make a tutu for a sock monkey

welcome to my blog

Today I would like to show you how to make a tutu for a sock monkey .

Things you will need

1/ Tulle or netting spools any colour 

2/ card board /pen

3/sharp pair of scissors

4/ round jar or tin

5/elastic /safety pin

6/needle and thread

7/ruler

8/ small piece of tape

First of all measure two pieces of cardboard the same size 8″x 8″/20cm to make a 4″/10cm tutu if you need tutu bigger make larger . Stick the two pieces together with a little tape top and bottom leaving open at sides

Take the end of your tool and stick with your tape a little bit over the end to secure . Keeping the two pieces of card together.

wrap the tulle round the cardboard not too tight as each end has to be cut.You can use all tule or as much as you think you will need . When done cut between the cardboard at both ends keeping tight hold.


Once cut you have a pile of squares ready to make your tutu .

You can use normal elastic or thicker wrap round your monkeys waist for size and mark and cut . Once you have your peace pin ends together and put round jar stretching slightly . I find a jar easier but you can use other things what evers best for you .

 

Take two pieces of tulle ruffle together and fold in half making a loop in middle .

Going  under from top putting loop under and thread rest of piece over and through loop pull to make a knot .

Keeping pieces together carry on all round elastic till full . You can always add more later .

Try round you monkey for fit .  Then sew elastic together on machine or by hand . Filling any gaps with  another tulle knot to hide elastic . Make sure it’s even cut any odd pieces make it level .

Your tutu is finished fluff up once on monkey or pull knots tighter😊

Tutu monkey

Enjoy tutu making  thanks for reading

Julie 🌼