Friday, October 28, 2011

Following your creative dreams – the next step!

Creative dreams!

Doesn’t it make your heart flutter just a wee bit - reading those two very poignant words?!  Yes?   I know – mine is fluttering too!

Bunting kerryanne

We are all individual, and our dreams will all be different… but for us creative souls there is a common ground, for we are always thinking about POSSIBILITES!  It’s the nature of a creative mind… to seek out, to explore… and then to stay awake all night because we’ve stumbled across a new idea that is just way too exciting!  The hamster starts running on its wheel, the cogs start turning, and the idea develops! As far as sleep is concerned - it’s game over!!  I bet I’m not alone, right? *smile*

As your mind explores the creative universe you may come up with ideas of your own.  Perhaps you have friends and family telling you that you should sell your original works or designs?  If you’re still doubting yourself, I can tell you now that if you’re receiving encouragement – GO FOR IT!  What is there to lose?!!   If you have been thinking about taking the next step, then I’m very excited to let you know that there are answers to the questions that you have spinning around in your mind… 

…They are contained within the beautiful pages of this book:

Creative Mumpreneur front cover

The Creative Mumpreneur – How to take your craft addiction from the kitchen table to creative business - by Kerryanne English

(of Woodberry Designs/Shabby Art Boutique)

This beautifully presented E-book takes you through all the key stages of setting up your own creative business.  Primarily aimed at Work at Home Mum’s (WAHMs), this book is also perfect for ANYONE looking to start up a business from home.  Written in Kerryanne’s friendly and professional style, you will learn everything you need to know – the nuts and bolts – of starting out on your business venture - from inception, to maintaining a happy work-life balance!  The topics covered include:

*  Preparation, research, and understanding your ‘product’

*  Business basics –  from understanding the legal jargon to organising your time and workspace

*  Branding – developing your image – and marketing your brand (YOU!) and your product

*  Maintaining a happy balance, dealing with creative block,  and where to next?  All explained!

Kerryanne gave me a pre-release copy of this book to read and review, and I have to say – once I started – I couldn’t put it down!!  I honestly can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone wanting to start out in this wonderful creative industry.  The advice is professional, succinct, wholly appropriate and in my opinion, invaluable.  After absorbing the wisdom of Kerryanne’s 20 years’ experience in business (no mean feat!) you learn more about the lovely lady, herself… I particularly enjoyed reading the story of Kerryanne’s own personal journey, it was just so inspirational!  Then of course there is the project – the artful  ‘Business book project’, designed and USED by Kerry herself!   You can make your own journal to assist with keeping you organised and on-track… quick and easy to make by printing Kerryanne’s original artwork and subsequent templates.  A very thoughtful bonus!

On a personal note, although I have taken a few of the steps in starting my own creative business, I know that this book will be an invaluable tool for me to refer back to on particular topics, and I’m sure it will help enormously with keeping me on track!  I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of Kerryanne’s friendship for several years now and it was she (my painting tutor at the time) who encouraged me to start blogging and put my designs ‘out there’.  Kerry set up my blog and kick-started my journey. I’ve had the benefit of her advice, given so generously, over the years and she is an absolute star! Reading Kerry’s book is just like sitting in a room with her and chatting over a hot cup of tea.  A real pleasure!

If you would like to enjoy this book for yourself, it can be purchased in Kerryanne’s web store HERE

Oh!  Oh!  Oh!  And as if I could forget!!!  Do you remember how wonderful Kerryanne’s ‘Simply Christmas’ was last year?  Well – she’s hosting it again!  Simply Christmas 2011 kicks off on Tuesday 1st November – just a few days away – and I know you’re in for a treat!  I look forward to seeing you there!

Simply Christmas 2011

On a separate note – a quick update on my free BOM, Angels playing Happily!  I haven’t forgotten that my third and final instalment is due and want to reassure you that it will be published on my blog soon!  I shall be offering another free angel design in December as an extra gift because they have been so popular – and because I LOVE angels (and now I know that you do, too)!!! 

Till next time!  Vikki xoxo

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Handmade Country Christmas and stitching progress!

I’ve been thinking about Christmas a lot this week, planning gifts to make and getting excited as I’m seeing the glitzy decorations fill up the shelves in the department stores!  In my book, Christmas can never come too early!!

I guess the weather in Melbourne of recent has certainly got me ‘feeling’ Christmas too… it’s been so cold and blustery that it could be mistaken for a December day in the northern hemisphere  (okay I exaggerate – it’s way colder in England  - but the ‘feeling’ is the same!!!)

Today however, Spring has come back for a visit and I’m hoping that this time she’ll decide to stay  :-)

I took some photos outside this morning, and snapped this one of Kayla enjoying the freshly cut lawn and soaking up some sunshine…

October Kayla

… can you smell the sweet scent of the grass?  It made me smile this morning taking Rosie to school because she exclaimed, “I LOVE the smell of the weather!”  Kids put their thoughts in to words so well don’t they?  I had a second smile to myself after having a discussion with her about her teacher’s new puppy.  On pondering what breed the dog might be, Rosie thoughtfully announced, “Well, I think it’s either a girl or a boy…”

Yep – gotta love kids!

Back to the garden, and the photographs I was taking.  Now are you thinking exotic plants and amazing water features????  He he he… well in my garden, there are magazines!!!  A magazine bush – wow – wouldn’t that be good????  Each new issue of our favourite magazines produced each month is a bio-degradable cellophane wrapper to keep the snails from nibbling!  I think there is an equivalent, it’s called a ‘subscription’ or something like that – but a magazine bush would be much more fun don’t ya think?!

Today, my magazine bush flourished with the latest issue of Handmade magazine, the Country Christmas Crafts issue (Vol 29 No 8)

Handmade Country Christmas mag fc

I have a stitchery project published in this issue, let me introduce you to Pudding Cheer

Handmade pudding cheer

A Christmas pudding full of festivity… gifts, a bulging stocking, a reindeer and snowman all enjoying the swaying baubles as they listen to their favourite Christmas tune!

There are some cute projects in this issue of Handmade including some cute decorations by Michelle Ridgway:

Handmade M Ridgway

A sweet table-runner by Jenny of elefantz:

Handmade Jenny

And this pretty wall-hanging by Val Laird:

Handmade Val Laird

I have been enjoying the Christmas Fun BOM by Lynette Anderson, and my needle turn applique is improving… unless I’m chatting with friends and then it all kinda gets a bit wonky!

Christmas Fun bear

This little bear looks right at home on top of the plum pudding.

Christmas Fun reindeer closeup

While this reindeer patiently waits to have the love heart stitched to his antler!

Christmas Fun santa sleigh

It just remains to start loading up that Santa’s sleigh with toys!!!!!

Are you as excited about Christmas as I am????

Till next time – hugs! Vikki xo

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How to bring a vintage toy sewing machine back to life!

To this…

Little Betty front side after photo

… from this:

Little Betty before colour

I’m still obsessing about vintage toy sewing machines!  I picked up this Little Betty off eBay, and it wasn’t in the best condition… but I was determined to preserve it!  It took a few attempts but my determination prevailed!!

I started off my journey with an internet search on “removing rust from metal” and came across a home remedy.  The DIY Professional on the video suggested mixing Bi-Carb Soda  with either vinegar or lemon juice until it developed a paste… and then applying that paste to the rusted area for several minutes before wiping off.

Little Betty baking soda ingredients

So I gathered the ingredients and materials – including rubber gloves… and gave it a go.

Little Betty baking soda 1

After the clock had ticked by a few times I wiped the paste mixture off the machine with kitchen wipes, and then attempted scrubbing at the rusted surface with an old toothbrush.  There wasn’t much rust-loss so I increased the abrasion by using fine-grade sandpaper.  It shifted some of the rust, but not to any great degree as you can see in the photo below.

Little Betty baking soda result

Next up was WD40… I saturated the rusted surface and left it for a few minutes, then scrubbed with the toothbrush…

Little Betty with WD40 2

That method didn’t prove to be effective either!  But then… just as I was giving up hope that my Little Betty would shine again… Mr SUDs came to the rescue with his ‘over the counter’ rust removal product!

Little Betty with rust cleaner

Lots of sandpaper…. and lots of elbow-grease… and the result was awesome!

Little Betty after

I cleaned the plastic casing with some ‘sticky stuff remover’, shined up the base with the same product, and then oiled the plate with some 3-in-one oil to prevent any further rusting. 

The machine works – and it’s clean!

If you’d like to see a gorgeous collection of Casige vintage toy machines, go visit Debra and read this post… I am in love!!!!!

I’m off to write up a pattern!  Till next time – Hugs!  Vikki xx

Note to self:  Did I really just write a post about the trials and tribulations of rust removal?  Oh boy!  I think the ole’ grey matter needs oiling too!  Next you’ll be looking for hairs growing on the palms of your hands, Vik… once you’ve finished talking to yourself of course – DOH!!!!!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails