Friday, 28 May 2010

Folksy Friday - Flower Power!

Friday is here again! Apologies for being awol this week - it's been one of those weeks. However time to concentrate on what I've found on my weekly browse through the Folksy shops. I hunted out floral itmes this week and there were lots of Lovelies to choose from. This is my selection, aren't they fab?!

The wonderful applique brooch can be found in Applique Original's shop, the pretty Cameo Brooch is from Pirate Treasures and the delicate Flower Bracelet is by Kim Jewellery. I think the Fabric Flowers by Love Letters are such fun, and the Copper Frame by The Owl and The Pussycat is stunning and would make a lovely gift. Finally the Jar or Tin Fabric Wraps by The Cotton Potter are a fantastic idea and look great. A click on any of the above will take you to the Crafter's shop, would love to know what you think of this weeks choices.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Folksy Friday - Traditional Craftsmanship.

It's Folksy Friday again and my chance to show off some of the fantastic work available on Folksy. This week I've continued my blog theme of Traditional Crafts, these items are truly handmade from some very talented Folksters:

The Coiled Basket from Scrap, Wrap, Coil is so unusual, it is just fabulous. The Handwoven Cushion from Sue Wright Handknits shows modern style in a tradional craft, Treecycle's Pot is just amazing and the Vase by Menear Ceramics is such beautiful colours. The handmade Glass Coasters from Gemmapops Shop are available in various colourways and would make a wonderful gift. Finally the hand crafted bangle from Handmade by Trudy speaks for itself with it's classic appeal. Please visit these shops if you have time, they are full of fantastic wares.
Would love your comments on what you think of this weeks choices!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Basketmakers Association

I have been so interested these past few weeks learning all about Heritage Crafts, my reading has led me from one site to another, as it does, and I've been reading up on Basketmaking! The Basketmakers Association says:
"Our aim is to promote the knowledge of basketry, chairseating and allied crafts; their making, study, collecting, teaching and use. To set standards of teaching and quality of workmanship and to encourage original design." 
There has recently been a real revival of interest in basketmaking. Courses held to learn this craft are in great demand, and exhibitions such as "Contemporary International Basketmaking" and "Crossover" are well attended by people from across the country.
Why such a renewed interest in this traditional craft?  As we know hand made items are growing in popularity, the natural materials used in basketmaking such as willow are also enjoying huge popularity and a lot of the buying public are against huge imports from the far east for example.
As well as traditional makers producing a wide range of beautuful and functional wares, there is a growing number of artist basket makers who are making really exciting work.
Reading about this Association led me on to The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers! What a fabulous title, The Basketmakers Livery Company was established in 1569 to control the manufacture of baskets within the City of London. This actually followed on from the Guilds of Medieval times I was blogging about a while back. Until the mid-eighteenth century the Company controlled the manufacture of baskets in the City, confiscating any which were below standard.(what a shame no such power is held today!) For information on The Worshipful Company of Basketmaker's visit their website, more information on The Association of Basketmakers can be found here. Thank you for indulging me again in my interest of all things traditonal! Di x

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Lions of Bath 2010 and King Bladud's Pigs!

I spent the morning having coffee and a wander around Bath with a friend. We went past lots of statues covered in packaging, very strange we thought until we remembered that this Summer Bath is to be full of life size Lion sculptures.
A giant pride of 100 individually decorated, life-size lion sculptures, will be taking up residence in and around the city of Bath from the end of May to mid September to raise funds for local charities and bring a smile to the faces of residents and visitors alike.
The lion sculptures, sponsored by businesses, local communities and individuals, are being decorated by artists and craftspeople. Here one of the Lion of Bath sculptures is inspected by the real thing at Longleat!
The 100 lions in the pride will be decorated by 100 talented artists, and will be on the streets of Bath at a rate of 5 per day from the end of May. Here is one artist at work on one of the Lions, who were an original design of Bath Sculptor Alan Dun, he was asked by the Lion team to come up with a lion sculpture that was neither too civic, nor too Lion King. He was also the Sculptor responsible for King Bladud's Pigs in 2008, a similar scheme where Bath's Streets were filled with decorated pigs! The legend of King Bladud: In 863BC. Bladud, King of the Britons, had spent much of his youth studying in Athens where he contracted leprosy. Returning home and realising that an imperfect prince could not inherit the throne, he left the royal palace in disguise to take a job as a swineherd in an "untravell'd part of the country". This was certainly the Avon Valley, as Bladud drove his pigs in search of acorns he crossed the River Avon.
Bladud's pigs had also contracted his disease but were cured when they rolled in the hot mud around Bath's springs. Observing the miracle, Bladud also bathed in the hot murky water and he too was cured. Returning home in triumph he went on to become King. In gratitude for his cure, Bladud founded a city at Bath. Here are a few of those 106 Pigs who were auctioned off and raised a huge amount for local charities. I'll update with some decorated Lion pics as soon as they are loose on the streets of Bath.
Thank you for dropping by!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Folksy Friday - Green & Blacks!

Hi all and welcome to Folksy Friday. A day when Folksy Folk take the opportunity to showcase some of the great work available on Folksy. 
My theme this week is Green and, not the chocolate although I could do pages on my favourite chocolates! No, I've decided to have a colour theme this week and chosen some favourites to fit in with this. Here they are:

Amanda at Once Designer Jewellery has this lovely green and black bracelet for sale, next to it is Moody Cow Designs (don't you just love the name!) beaded black bag, very stylish. One Stop Pamper shop has these sweet votive candles in lots of different fragrances, and the Dottery Pottery (another great name!) has this stunning black pendant in her shop. Bonbi Forest's Owl Scarf took my eye ages ago, and finally Sweet Talk Cosmetics offers Lip Balms in different flavours, with all natural ingredients. A click on the photo will take you to the Crafters Shop, enjoy looking!

Race for Life 2010!

I am entering The Race for Life 2010 next month. This time last year I was undergoing treatment for Breast Cancer and made it my goal to enter this race. I will be doing more of a Very Slow Walk for Life but I will do it! If anyone would consider sponsoring me to support this wonderful cause, however small it would be so appreciated. I have just opened a fund raising page, the link to which is on the right here. Thank you in anticipation, Di x

Tiny Totes and funny dogs!

Hi all, another week flying by! I spent yesterday completing a bag I eventually called a 'Tiny Tote', it's 8" x 10" rather than the large shopping style tote and has a really Summery look to it. I originally made the blue panel with patchwork, ribbons and some bead work as a small cushion cover but when I came to make it up decided on a bag you do. Here is the finished article:
Yesterday my OH decided to make some bread, he has made white bread previously but wanted to make a wholemeal loaf. Those breadmakers amongst you will know how much harder the kneading of this is, while he was huffing and puffing at this, our 2 dogs Dex and Louis looked on mesmerised, they looked so funny I snapped a photo of them. The bread was delicious - I should have photographed it but it wasn't around long enough so here are the boys instead!

Can we have some pleeeeeeeease?

Monday, 10 May 2010

How did I get started?

Hi all, I have been having a good read of some excellent blogs tonight and came across the same question on a couple, how did they start crafting to sell, and where did their name come from?
In my case, I've always loved any crafting, from learning to crochet at my proverbial granny's knee to playing around with my new Cricut machine! Last year was a pretty rubbish year as my OH and I we
re both made redundant and I started treatment for breast cancer, this wiped out most of the spring and summer but we got through thanks to the wonderful help from family and friends. As I started to feel better, I started making a few cards to keep myself occupied, my lovely niece took some into her office to sell, another friend took some to her work too and it carried on from there really. I stumbled across Folksy on the Craft Forum, I admit I'd never heard of it but I loved the feeling of the site so opened a little shop on there and have been lucky enough to have some sales. I couldn't come up with a name I liked so my OH suggested Adien Crafts as an anagram of my name Diane and it just seemed to fit. I'm only 4 months into all this and it's all new and exciting, however most things technical I muddle my way through, and take all the advice I can from the seasoned experts on the Folksy Forum. My first love has always been sewing and embroidery so I hope to explore that area further now I have the bug! Thank you for listening to my ramblings, Di x

PS. I do like a photo on a blog post so as I hate photo's of me here is one of my dogs, Louis being his lazy self...pretty random I know but
funny :-)

Friday, 7 May 2010

Folksy Friday - Celtic Inspired...

Having spent a week reading all about traditional crafts, I wanted to continue the theme into Folksy Friday. For anyone not familiar this is a chance for members of Folksy to showcase some of their fellow Crafter's work on their blog. I thought 'Celtic' fitted in nicely with the traditional theme and have found the following gorgeous items amongst the shops on Folksy, these items all take real skill and craftmanship to produce, I'm sure you'll agree they are stunning :

First is a lovely Celtic Knot pendant by Welshy's Pyrography, next the Celtic Wall Clock by Gelert designs, such a lovely colour and design. Hamespun's Celtic inspired bracelet is one of my favourites, the wedding Goblets by Bodrighy Woods would be a real gift to treasure and Crafty Folks Leather Bottle shows real Craftsmanship. Finally Thornless Rose's Celtic Stars Earrings were far too pretty to be left off the list. I would be thrilled to receive any of the above, thank you for looking, click on any of the photo's to visit the Crafters shop on Folksy.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Somerset Guild of Craftsmen

Following on from yesterdays exploration of the Willow Craft in Somerset I came across The Somerset Guild of Craftsmen. The Guild was founded in 1933 and embraced a range of crafts: in 1949 The Guild included builders, plumbers, photographers, an organ builder, potters, engravers, thatchers, weavers, blacksmiths and stonemasons. There were stained glass makers, and workers in wood and leather. Today, some of these old crafts are considered to be trades but the current craft list still covers many of the above and includes furniture restoration, fabric design, stained glass, calligraphy, embroidery, silk painting, glass blowing, jewellery and musical instruments.
All Guild members makers are skilled, dedicated craftsmen and women who have undergone strict selection to become a craft Guild member. Situated in the ancient heart of Somerset, the Guild has a membership of over a hundred and seventy members.
The Guild's Gallery, the Courthouse at Somerton, is open Mon - Sat showcasing and selling members' work. With up to as sixty members exhibiting work, the range of skills displayed in the Guild's gallery is very diverse. Many makers use traditional techniques to create contemporary work ranging from pottery, glass, metalwork and wood through to furniture and textiles. I have made a note to make a visit this summer! For further information visit:

Monday, 3 May 2010

Somerset Willow

Hi all and hope a great bank holiday was enjoyed by all despite the weather. I have been continuing my interest in traditional crafts and thought I'd tell you a bit about Somerset Willow as it's local to me.
The low floodplain of the Somerset Levels has always been ideal for willow growing.Willow has been found woven into prehistoric track ways and into baskets and hurdles on Iron Age and Roman sites in the region. In the 19th century thousands of acres of willows were planted on the Somerset Levels to meet the growing demand for baskets in Industrial Britain. Basket-making became an important trade in and around Taunton, Bridgwater and Street.
Today there are still families who traditionally farm willows and basket-makers who weave shopping baskets, pigeon baskets, laundry hampers and cribs for babies. Willow growers continue to grade their willows by hand and now send bundles by courier to customers world-wide.
Basket-makers have expanded their repertoire to include willow coffins, conservatory furniture and contemporary structures and hurdles for the garden. Willow sculptors create monumental willow effigies, the most notable being The Willow Man on the M5, as seen below.
Somerset's deep relationship with willow began thousands of years ago and today’s willow growers and makers continue this unbroken tradition. Below is the link to The Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre, the home of P. H. Coate & Son, founded by willow grower and merchant Robert Coate in 1819, and still run by the Coate family today, for more information and details on how to learn this traditional craft!