Craft Project: Knitted Poppy

With Remembrance Sunday close and in many of our thoughts why not knit your own this year. You can wear your knitted poppy with pride and even make them for friends and family and donate the money with your local poppy seller

Materials

  • Red Double Knit Yarn
  • 4mm Knitting Needles
  • Black Button
  • Brooch Back
  • Wool Needle

Key

  • K = knit
  • P = Purl
  • SS1K1PSSO = slip stitch 1 stich, knit the next stitch then pass the slipped stitch back over the knit stitch
  • st = Stitch
  • K2TOG = Knit 2 stitches together

 

Step 1

Cast on 74 st

Step 2

K1, *K4, P4, repeat from * to the last st, P1

Repeat 3 more time

Step 3

K1, *K1, SS1K1PSSO, K1, P4. Repeat from * to last st, P1

K1, *K1, SS1K1PSSO, K1, P3. Repeat from * to last st, P1

 

Step 4

K1, *K2TOG. Repeat to last st, P1

Repeat once more

Step 5

Cut  a long tail and thread the needle. Run the needle and tail through the st on the knitting needle taking them off the knitting needle.

Pull the thread to gather the centre of the poppy and stitch together to secure.

Using mattress stitch technique sew the edges together

Step 6

Using the red yarn sew the black button into the middle of one side of the poppy

Step 7

Using the red yarn sew the brooch back onto the back of the poppy


Tips: You can use the same tail of yarn to gather the poppy, sew the edge, attached the button and the brooch back.

Interview with the Maker: Cornwall on Camera

Father of four Marcus started his photography business just two years ago and we managed to find a few minutes in his busy life to have a chat about his work.

 

 

Tell us a bit about what you do?

I am a landscape photographer concentrating on the beauty and diversity of the Cornish landscape from sunsets and seascapes, moorland and beaches to our ancient sites and the remains of Cornwall’s industrial past, as long as it’s in Cornwall and it interests me I’ll photograph it.

How did you get started as a photographer?

I’ve always had an interest in photography I can remember as a child playing with a camera that had belonged to a great uncle, it no longer worked but I was fascinated with it, all through my childhood I always had a camera and I’ve always loved taking photos so when in 2017 I was made redundant I decided to seize the opportunity and try to do something with the photography and so Cornwall on Camera was born.

What inspires you?

Inspiration comes in many forms, as a proud Cornishman I have a strong connection to my cultural heritage and a deep love for my homeland and it is from this that I draw my inspiration, Cornwall has such a diverse landscape that there’s always something new to be found and especially so in familiar locations the challenge for me as a photographer is to find it….there is beauty wherever you look, you just have to look. 

What is the biggest challenge that you face as an artist and how do you overcome it?

The biggest challenge for me is in actually making an income from my work, as fantastic as a nicely framed photo on the wall is its a luxury item and not a necessity as a result of this there is a need to branch out into other products and services such as running a workshop or finding new ways to supply my images, it’s a challenge but I do love a challenge.

 

What is next for Cornwall on Camera?

Next up is to continue building my portfolio of images, increase my product range, prints, greetings cards etc and I’m currently looking into supplying canvas prints I’m also looking to take on some commission work and maybe….just maybe in the future run the occasional tour or workshop. 

Interview with the Maker: Lost Post

With her amazing brand and eye for something a little bit special creative Carriann Featherbe is the owner and creator of Lost Post and we grabbed her for a couple of minutes to answer a few questions.

1. Tell us about what you make?I repurpose cutlery I’ve collected over the years into wearable jewellery, as well as metal stamping pieces to make special keepsakes and gifts. I handstamp cuff bracelets, ring and keyrings and offer a variety of items that can be customised for any purpose or occasion.

 

2. How did you get started?

LostPost started 5 years ago. I had finished my A-levels and had a summer before I started my Art Foundation at College. I was deep in the creative process experimenting with laminate art,. paper cutting and making various collages out of found and collected materials.

At this time i was also writing letters to people around the world and collecting vintage items. I began using my vintage typewriter in my work and packaging and realised I loved the aesthetic. LostPost is not just one thing, its a collective of interests and it all stems from my love of old, lost and forgotten things.

I collected spoons for many years before finally realising they could be made into usable items, instead of sat in a jar on my desk where I occasionally looked at them in wonderment. It was then that I realised I needed something to use them for and bought my first Dremel. It’s all grown out of trial and error and a love of pretty durable wares.

3. Where did the name LostPost come from?

I can’t remember exactly why I chose this name. I do remember opening a notebook and writing a page of names that seemed the fit the feeling of vintage, nature and the feeling you get when you receive a package in the post. A wonderment of what’s contained inside. I guess I was trying to find a name that fit the feeling when you open your post, and its something you didn’t expect (whether a gift or forgotten order) LostPost seemed to fit that feeling.

 

4. What inspires you?

I’m inspired by a wide range of things, mostly the ever growing knowledge of patterns and designs of vintage items, the attention to detail and durability of these old items. They feel loved and age well. That inspires me to create items that continue to have a use and are just as beautiful. I’m inspired by the Reuse Reduce Recycle movement and being able to be conscious about waste.
 

5. What is coming next for LostPost?

I have my first ever 2 day event coming up in late November, a couple more Christmas Fairs, but most importantly… new products.

I’ve been working a lot of how vintage cutlery can be worn further. I’ve made the move into earrings, and my most favourite ‘spoon rings’ which is an exciting time and has been something I’d hoped to do from the very fist time I picked up a spoon with the intention of turning it into something.

So exciting things ahead!!

Shop online Now Lost Post 

Craft Project: Paper Flowers

Create your own beautiful paper flowers in this months super simple craft project.

Materials

  • Selection of paper
  • Pencil/Pen
  • Scissors
  • Round template
  • Kebab Skewers
  • Glue Gun

 

Step 1

Draw around your circle template onto three layers of paper

Step 2

Cut out the circles

Step 3

Cut through the three layers of circles making a spiral

Step 4

Starting from the outer edge begin rolling the spiral in on itself

Step 5

Add glue to the base and use the past part of the spiral to create a base and secure

Step 6

Use a pin to create a hole in the base of the flower

Step 7

Poke the end of the skewer into the hole

Congratulations you’ve created your first flower.

Now go make a whole bunch!!!

 

 

The Craft Collective Anniversary

Happy Birthday to us!

Last week saw us celebrate our third birthday as a business. Where did those three years go? The day that we opened our doors I had no idea what to expect? I was so nervous and excited and had arranged for our then Mayor Henry Biscoe and the President of the Redruth Chamber of Commerce to come and open our new venture. To my utter delight the West Britton even sent a photographer, and by 11am as the Mayor cut the ribbon and offically opened the shop we had a crowd of well wishers, and new customers outside. I loved every minute of that day.

Opening with (left to right) Deborah Reeve, Manny Hernandez, Rob Harrison (owner) Annelie Wood (owner) Henry Biscoe, Alison Biscoe

Our first sale

Since that opening day we have grown from strength the strength, and had some truly memorable moments, with record breaking sales, finalists in the  Muddy Stiletto Awards for the last two years and some amazing community events. It was always our aim to create a business that was community focused. We wanted to give the community in our area an opportunity to sell their creative makes in a high street location, but also to give them the control over what they sell and how much they sell for. We opened the doors and invited them in and wow hasn’t it just worked so well.

Our Late Night Christmas Event

Make and Take Sessions

We are overwhelmed with the support our community has given us in the last three years and can not thank them enough.

Take a look at some of the images from our three years here in Redruth.

 

  

Heres to the next three years!!!

The 7 Benefits of Learning to Crochet

Did you know that there are some amazing benefits of crochet?

According to allfreecrochet.com there are 7 benefits of being able to crochet.

1) Crochet helps with Insomnia; the repetitive rhythm is so soothing that it helps calm the mind making you sleep ready

2) Crochet reduces stress and anxiety; taking some time for yourself each day to be creative and take your mind off those things that cause your stress

3) Crochet eases depression; going something you like releases a chemical called dopamine, this effects our emotions and can help make us feel better

4) Crochet reduces the risk of Alzheimers; yes, this is true and it can help reduce it by up to 50%

5) Crochet builds self esteem; the achievement in overcoming a challenge and making something becautiful makes us feel proud of ourselves

6) Crochet classes and clubs are like group therapy; we know this so well and have an amazing weekly craft club where we talk about everything under the sun, whilst working on projects and learning new skills. For more information on our Craft Club head to the website. 

7) Crochet gives you control; You pick the yarn, the hooks, the patterns the design. You make the things you love to make

To read the full article including links to youtube videos on crochet and stress head to the allfreecrochet.com website

Learn to Crochet

Join Crochet teacher Annie in one of her 3 week Crochet course at The Craft Collective

Workshop dates

Tuesday 7th May 6pm
Thursday 6th June 6pm
Tuesday 23rd July 6pm

How to Make Money from Your Crafts

By Rob Harrison
So you’ve worked hard perfecting your craft, mastering your art, you’ve put the hours in.  A few people may have admired your work and even asked to buy things for relatives.   That’s made you wonder, can I make money from this?  If you’re wondering how to start a business in Cornwall, you’d no doubt see the huge quantity of independent artists and creators who have the dream job, doing what they love while making enough to get by and think this could be for me.  If they can do it why not me?
Regret’s a funny thing.  If I could go back in time and have a sit down chat with myself at the young age before my first start up, when I was deciding what to study and do with my life, I’d no doubt tell the inconvenient truth.  In the creative arts the odds of there being a job out there that is right for you are so small they are negligible.  You’re going to have to create that job for yourself.  To do that you’re going to have to learn about business.  The time, effort and money I might have saved myself.  Could I have learned this in a way other than the hard way? I don’t know but I’m pretty sure I could have done it quicker.
What’s more, if you emulate the vast majority of small struggling creative businesses you will most probably succeed in creating a small struggling creative business.  The ones that succeed without depending on luck, are the ones that walk the road less traveled, break the rules and shun the status quo.
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One of the realisations for me was that you don’t have to study businesses in your sector.  An understanding of business can be applied to any industry and there are a lot of industries that are much better at this than in Arts and Crafts.  There are many who are quite happy to make a loss because they get so much enjoyment from the work itself.
So what should I do?  Is there a checklist to follow or a book to read?  I’m afraid it’s not quite that simple.  Business is a science not an art.  While techniques can be learned and it helps to be well read, both the questions and answers are different for every business and everyone.
You already know your plan is based on hypotheses.  I think X% of people will like my product.  Of those X% will buy.  The best name for my business is …  I think my customer is X years old and is the kind of person I can reach by doing…  These are the kind of assumptions which would come together to form your first business plan, if you have bothered to write one.
You may have realised by this point what I’m getting at.  Like it or not you are basing your next move on assumptions.  Before you reach for the life savings and get building you should realise that these assumptions can be tested.  Some can be tested without even developing a product, while some will need you to get out there and make some sales in order to test.  You shouldn’t worry about finding you are wrong in some of these assumptions too.  The odds of you being right first time are stacked against you.  The odds of getting your product right first time are equally small.  For this reason you shouldn’t be afraid of getting it wrong.  Each time you are it is a valuable opportunity to learn.  The moral is to get out there and start testing.  You won’t know until you’ve tried.
Many invest all that they have in an attempt to make a big splash.  The ‘build it and they will come’ method.  Hoping that come launch day they will blow away the competition and carve themselves a niche customer base which will keep coming back for more.  Emulating big businesses who have tried and tested business models, huge resources and tested engines of growth does not end well for the small start up.
Know what assumptions your business is based on, formulate tests to back up those assumptions and get out there and start testing today.
The Craft Collective offers small sales spaces and a professional sales team in order to help you test your products in a low risk way.
We are also running the ‘Start Your Creative Business’ one day course in Cornwall on 10th of March 2018.
Business Workshop A4 PDF

Top Ten Crafts for 2017

A new year often require a challenge and perhaps a new hobby. For me this year I really want to Knit more and I desperately want to have a go and number 9 on our list.
So if your looking for a new hobby or just want to keep up with the latest trends then here is my list of what’s Hot to Craft in 2017.

1. Bullett Journals.

I write a lot of lists in my home and work lists. sometimes I have lists that merge from or into another list and sub-lists and side lists- its a lot of lists. The Bullet Journal helps you to organise all of those lists. It works as you calendar, your task list you remember to look at later list it can do anything you want. It keeps you organised and that is something I love!!
The Bullet Journal is the brain child of American designer Ryder Carroll and is a must for anyone with a stationary problem and a love of a good pen!
Here you can watch as Ryder himself explains how to use and get started with your own Bullet Journal.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm15cmYU0IM]

Bullet journalling does not have to be so black and white though, and a quick search on Pinterest can show you some of the more colourful things you can do with your Journal.

2. Macrame

When ever I hear the word Macrame I am immediately taken back to a young age creating some knotted art on the back of my mother dinning chair. If you were born in the 70s or early 80s you may even remember seeing macrame in the shape of an owl hanging on your parents living room wall. It was everywhere then and now its back, with a more modern twist.


Macrame is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. You use a variety of knots to create a variety of pieces of work.

3. Crochet

No longer just for our grandmothers Crochet is back with a bang as the second of our revived crafts. Crochet is at its most popular right now with workshops being fully booked almost instantly. The relaxing ability to pick up you work and take it anywhere with you and create blankets, clothes, toys and much more is its main pull as a craft.


 

4. Jigsaw design

Towards the end of 2016 I started to see the Jigsaw pattern in more and more items. Most recently I have seen it in Jewellery from Designed by Brett and Leni, where they take the smallest jigsaw pieces and turn them into silver stud earrings or necklaces. You can even pick up Jigsaw die’s for use with Cricut or scancut machines which can cut card, paper, fabric and many other types of material into perfect little jigsaw pieces…. Oh the fun!!!!
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5. Lino Printing

Printing using lino has been a practice since the early 1900’s when a german company used it to print wallpaper. Now thousands of artists all over the world use this technique to create simple or very intricate designs.


Using (carefully) a lino cutter and some soft cut lino, your imagination can create some beautiful prints.
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6. Needle felting

A trend that just keeps on going! This year the enquiries for learning to undertake this incredibly therapeutic and yet slightly dangerous hobby has sky rocketed. 2016’s The Handmaid Fair at Hampton Court saw hundreds go buzzy bees being made to adorn the tree, and I think that this might just be one of Kirstie Allsopps most loved crafts.
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Its so easy to just have a go, but make sure that you stay safe.

7. Willow weaving

Another trend for 2017 that keeps popping its head up is weaving willow into baskets, or plant holders, trays or wreaths.
christmas-wreath
The whole process of softening the willow and then twisting and knotting it into another item is great fun.

8. Yellow and Greys

 
In the last part of 2016 I saw the yellow and grey colour combinations everywhere, and it isn’t going away!!! Yippie!! From Clothing to art this amazing simple and elegant combination works in so many ways.
stephanie-croydon-image-1


 

9. Pyrography

The art or technique of decorating wood or leather by burning a design on the surface with a heated metallic point.
Wow! Just that one sentence makes this craft sound exciting. Pyrography dates back to the 17th Century and reached it’s peak popularity in the 19th century. It is an accessible craft to try with pens costing as little as £10 and wood you can pick up anywhere.
This is certainly my craft to try for 2017!!!

10. Super sized Crochet

Let’s make it massive in 2017!
It appears that the trend for everything bigger and better. With giant Crochet hooks available and giant balls of fabric or wool to buy why not make something in a much bigger size!!!


In fact in this months Mollie Makes magazine there is a really wonderful pattern to hand crochet a giant pear or apple!!!
giant-fruits-in-mollie-makes-75
This is on my list of things to do this month!!!!!

Interview with the creator – Mike Caulfield

Mike Caulfield started his creative business after years of working in the City as an Insurance Broker. Putting the years of suits and ties behind him the moved from London to Sydney and finally to the beautiful Cornish town of Marazion, with St Michael’s Mount as its backdrop. He ditched the suits for shorts and started his company Marazion Oak.
marazion-oak-logo
Creating beautiful pieces of homeware from salvaged oak and cast iron his work has a unique and identifiable look, not surprising then that he was featured in Cornwall Today!
Here Mike talks about his journey and why he loves what he does.
Describe your typical working day
I start my work day with a ten second commute to my workshop. I tend to spend the mornings and early afternoon making the oak homewares such as bottle openers, coat hooks and racks, herb gardens, thermometers, utensil racks, tea light holders, signs and plaques, etc. Each piece is individually cut or split from solid oak timber waney edged boards, sawn to the required size, then sanded by hand and oil rubbed before a final wax finish is applied. During this process, great care is taken to ensure that as much of the wood’s natural form and imperfections are maintained and enhanced. This ensures each piece has character and is unique. Once the oak is ready the iron and steel work is added. Depending on the weather (it has to be sunny), late afternoon is when I photograph those pieces that will be sold on my. Evenings are often spent catching up on the paperwork with a nice glass of wine!

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Mike’s Home Studio


What inspires you?
I’m always looking for new pieces of oak. It is a different journey every time, to start with a raw piece and then shape it into something beautiful which hopefully someone will love is a true pleasure. I like to think that people who see my work will be browsing and suddenly find exactly the piece that they have been looking for to suit a particular place and purpose in their home or as an ideal gift for someone special.
How did you get started with art/craft
I made some coat hooks and candle holders for our new home and friends kept telling me that they were really good and I should sell them. I have always wanted to work for myself and one day I thought – why not? If I don’t give it a go, I’ll never know!

What made you start your own business 
I have always had an appreciation for wood, and enjoyed working with my hands. After many years as an insurance broker in London and Sydney, a move to Cornwall gave me the opportunity to work creatively with wood and turn what had just been a hobby into a way of making a living.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt
Different markets attract different audiences. What might sell well at Fowey, may not necessarily sell well in Penzance or vice versa. Having a range of products to attract different customers is key to success. You need to talk to your customers to receive their feedback on what they like and how things can be improved, craft fairs and markets are ideal for that.
When did you get started?
Late 2015, just in time for Christmas.

What three things would you go back and tell yourself?
1. Nothing is easy, just keep trying.
2. Don’t try to understand why a particular item sells really well in the shop one month or at one craft fair and not at all in the shop the next month or at another craft fair. You will go mad if you spend too much time thinking about it.
3. When you are a one man band, making the items is only a small part of the process, other things such as finding suitable sales outlets, photographing and marketing items, maintaining the website, general admin and paperwork or even sourcing the best oil or wax to bring out the grain in the wood, all take up a significant amount of time.
What has been your biggest achievement in your business
Having a feature article written about me and MarazionOak in Cornwall Today magazine.
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What is your favourite thing to create?
I really enjoy making the Filigree Thermometer on Oak Board. When the oak, metal and glass are combined they create a really striking piece.
thermometer
Where do you see the future of your business going?
This year I’m on course to double my first full year’s sales, next year I hope to do the same, after that who knows may be it will be time to transfer the business to Australia’s sunny climes.
For more information on Marazion Oak head to the Facebook page or Etsy store.
 
 

Interview with the Creator – James Powell

jim-image-1
James Powell is the power force behind the brilliantly named Jimagination Creations. A business formed form his love of woodwork, his imagination (and his name). From the interior of VW camper vans to lazercut key rings his work is beautiful and bespoke.
Here we chat to Jim and find out about what inspires him to keep his imagination ignited.
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Describe your typical working day

My typical working day varies a lot depending upon what commissions I have on at the time. My workshop and laser studio are both at home so I admit I do often have a more leisurely start to the day, but that balances out as I work until late, usually 9pm, later if I have a show coming up or a commission with a deadline!
My workshop is organised chaos – pretty much the norm for a woodworking area! Even though I expanded it significantly at the beginning of the year, from a 10ft square space to a 30x10ft area by knocking through some walls, there still isn’t enough space. The woodworking is often noisy with the machines going and dusty, so I spend a lot of the day with ear defenders on and a dust mask, and the air filter system going, so it is usually pointless even having music on.
I enjoy being out in my workshop as it is hands on making stuff and designing stuff myself. You can’t beat the smell of wood being cut. Although I would happily live without all the sanding that needs to be done. Usually after my evening meal I leave the workshop and start in the laser studio (in the winter it is too cold out in the workshop!) which is nice as I can put on spotify on in the background and have some tunes. Most of the laser work is computer based, so it is a lot if designing in Corel Draw which I can do while another project or commission is cutting. While the laser is going I often take the time to catch up with business emails. When I finish in the laser studio I am still not finished for the day as although I may go and relax with the tv on I still have accounts to do!

What inspires you?

Cornwall inspires me. My surfboard furniture range was inspired by doing it when I was younger (and had time!) and many of my more creative woodworking jewellery boxes are animal themed or nature inspired. I like quirky pieces, so often I see something and think – how can i make that into a…? Like my bookcases in the shape of trees.

jim

How did you get started with art/craft?

I’ve always liked art. I did art GCSE’s at school, and my mum is an artist – a painter – so it’s always been around me growing up. I kinda stumbled into woodworking later on in life. I made a few things for fun, liked it and carried on from there really. I was never formally trained in woodworking. So being self taught was a slow process involving many mistakes along the way, but you can learn by trial and error and by just reading about the subject, or even these days by watching YouTube videos! It is actually only the past 2 years that I have had any kind of training – I studied Furniture making at Cornwall College Camborne – more to see if I was doing things the right way beforehand, turns out I was!

What made you start your own business?

I had never planned on being in the creative industry. My degree is in teaching secondary school sports. But it never really captivated me. So after working in America for seven summers in a children’s summer camp and several less than exciting winter jobs, I decided I needed something more permanent. My first full year at home after quitting America I made all my friends and family wooden presents for birthdays and special occasions, just to get their reactions. They were all so positive that it gave me the boost to try it as a business. I actually eased into running my business full time, slowly cutting back my hours in my other job over a few years. Less of a shock that way! I could also judge whether my business was working or not and so worth going for it full time that way. Now I wouldn’t want to go back to working for someone else. The freedom and happiness you get from having your own business is the best thing ever.

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What is the biggest lesson you have learnt?

I am still constantly learning things, not just in woodworking but also in business. I guess with every artist and businessman the biggest hurdle is always believing in yourself and what you can do. Artists and designer/makers especially are always so overly critical of themselves and their work – you have to learn to just go for it!

when did you get started?

I registered my business in November 2008. During a recession. So I knew if I could keep a business going then I should be fine.

What three things would you go back and tell yourself?

Have the courage to be as creative and as quirky as you can. Take the support and help when it’s offered and needed – don’t do it all on your own. Expansion and diversification is good! Do it sooner!

What has been your biggest achievement in your business?

Just running a successful business that is growing each year in strength, following and finances is an achievement in itself. But when I started out I never thought that I would have my work in national magazines (my VW campervan interior work), or even be good enough to exhibit in galleries, or do the big show events…but here I am!

What is your favourite thing to create?

I actually really like making my animal bandsaw boxes. My favourite so far has been a jewellery box in the shape of a hedgehog – spines and all. You have to pull its head out so that its body will pivot up to reveal a small hidden compartment inside it for small delicate or precious items.
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Where do you see the future of your business going?

I have big goals for my business. I very much want a bigger workshop and space, ideally with my own gallery so I can make it and sell it all one site! perfect!
If you want to find out more about Imagination Creations head to the website, or Facebook page.