Welcome to this week’s Handmade Monday blog, you can find out more about Handmade Monday and how to join in over at Handmade Harbour, a blog thats well worth reading in itsown right too! And if you’re not a blogger yet….. pop over and be inspired by a wide range of crafters from across the globe, its worth it
I like to feature work from other crafters on my blog from time to time and from the feedback I’ve had from my readers they like it too. So today I’m going to concentrate on weddings.
I’m part of a Hampshire Crafters Co-operative, Inspire, Create and Celebrate, and as well as a lovely new website designed by Sharon and Jackie, we also have a facebook page, set up and maintained beautifully by Kirstie. Our aim is help people add a personal touch to celebrations that doesn’t cost the earth and to share ideas, hints and tips that mean people can still have a wonderful day, but on a lower budget. So as well as making to order for Brides, we also upcycle, recycle and I think most importantly run taster workshops where we can start passing on our skills. Our first wedding workshop is Saturday 8th September in Southampton and if you’d like to come along, please pop across to the website and sign up.
Our talented team: Jackie, Kirstie, Sharon, Maria and myself bring a wide range of craft skills as you’ll see from the photo’s and info below:
Jackie is a fantastic florist, who not only creates wonderful displays in both real and silk flowers but also passes on her skills via regular floristy workshops and taster sessions across the city. Her facebook page is an excellent resource for brides and full of Jackie’s personal top tips to help you plan and organise your special day. I first met Jackie at a “start your own business” event when we were both taking our first steps to setting up and its been really great to see her business grow and flourish, as she juggles it with the demands of bringing up her family.
I met Sharon following on from a newspaper feature about how I use crafts to overcome the symptoms my spinal condition causes. She contacted me because she too was recovering from a long term illness and wanted to know more about starting her own crafting business, so I popped round for coffee and the rest was history! When we had our first ICC meeting Maria came along too and wowed us with her beading. Sharon specialises in paper crafts, sewing and knitted headbands.
Sharon recently shared her feelings and inspiration for becoming involved in ICC and wanting to make peoples’ celebrations special:
I’ve been to a number of weddings over the years and the ones that stick out in my mind the most are the ones where the Bride and Groom have added their own finishing touches. I couldn’t tell you what the brides dress looked like but I can tell you that the bunting and the little pots of homemade jam favours and the twinkling trees to hang our best wishes on to, were all wonderful finishing touches to a contemporary cottage style wedding.The weddings with a theme tend to be well thought out too, another wedding had a Safari theme where the tables each had a picture of a wild animal on them and the children played games and had their face painted (if they wished) to carry on with the theme. The 1st song to get everyone on the dance floor was Tiger Feet!Yes the bride wants to look a knock out on her big day and she has every right too, and yes the compliments will flow, but long after the day people will talk about the small finishing touches, that part of ‘you’ that has gone into ‘your’ day, that’s what sets your wedding apart from high street.Helping friends and relatives making up collages, putting slide shows together, making wedding stationery that shows a part of their personality that’s the part I enjoy most.
Kirstie is another team member who uses craft to help her overcome the symptoms of chronic pain. Like me, she has had to make the difficult transition from nurse to patient and also struggles with the all too common lack of understanding people show to those who look well – total disbelief that anything can be wrong. Kirstie devotes her time to both fundraising for local charities, running a facebook charity and fundraisers group and helping at the local RSPCA clinic, often bring sick and injured animals home to hand rear, joining her extensive menagerie of rescued parrots and parakeets. Her jewellery is simple but stunning and she has taken courses in silver smithing and silver clay too. All Kirstie’s profits go to charities, so by buying your jewellery from her, not only to you come to own something beautiful, you also help keep 4 charities afloat: the local RSPCA vet clinic, Down to Earth Community Farm in Southampton, Birdline and DEBRA.
Kirstie’s inspiration to create arises from the car accident that changed her life:
The name PandoraStyleJewellery came about due to my love of Greek Mythology and as I was starting this hobby as a point of focus in my life to help me with me rehabilitation following a car accident, so at a time when I needed ‘Hope’, I felt the inclusion of the name Pandora was fitting given that Hope was the only thing left in Pandora’s Box; and all I had!
Here’s a selection of her beautiful creations:
Bev Newman – Bits and Bobs Crafts
My passion for creating special occasion accessories and clothing has developed from a love of vintage. I discovered the antique pattern library a few years ago and found a whole world of beautiful crochet and knitting, most of which was hidden from the world as it was part of ladies’ lingerie. I’ve been experimenting with lace crochet and knitting ever since. I also remember when I was a bridesmaid for my cousin Irene – her oldest daughter is getting married next week – my Aunt Joyce was a seamstress and made all our bridesmaids dresses – I still have mine somewhere! I remember her making the head dresses too as I was a “dummy” for the little bridesmaids and have fond memories of an evening, not long after Mum died, trying on hairbands and juliet caps until the decision was made. I also inherited a now far too tempermental singer sewing machine, one stitch only, made in 1924 from my great aunt. It had been her neighbour Ethel’s before and she had made “umpteen” wedding and bridesmaids dresses for local ladies over the years. So I suppose the idea of handmade weddings is somehow ingrained too!
I’ve been working on crochet decorations so far but am starting a new project this week, upcycling a basic white top and skirt with vintage style crochet lace to make a bridal outfit. I’m also designing a 20′s style bridal handbag and am just finishing a lace wrist cuff.
I love the concept behind ICC – especially as we get to work with brides and their families to pass on skills and who knows where that may lead for them too in the future!