Scatterbox Originals on Etsy

Monday, 25 February 2008

Nice Monday things

Ever since I designated Monday as my official Don't Do Much day, I've been feeling a lot better in myself, less run-down, more relaxed - ahhhhhhhhh. I've been pottering around at home, rather than venturing out into this:

(view from my skylight window)
Its that kind of drizzly rain that doesn't fall down properly but floats around and just makes the air damp. Some kinds of rain I like, mainly the kind of rain that makes a tinkly sound when it falls onto metal, and the kind of rain that isn't wet at all, but made out of screenprinted calico loveliness. Ladysnail makes these fantastic little dangle-able rainclouds, among other things, and completely out of the blue, recently sent me this fellow

I actually let out a little squeal of excitement when I opened the parcel. I have named him Nimby, and I smile every time I see him dangling from the hook on my attic-room-ceiling-beam.

Mr Postman has been bringing me such lovely things lately. Nimby from Ladysnail and a dvd from my mum last week, and today some fabric I ordered has arrived in a big fat parcel. Grinning like a loony, I laid it out on my patchwork quilt to inspect it, and I realised there are certain colours I seem to be a little fixated on lately...

Dark blue, sky blue and white flannelette. I'm really pleased with the dark blue especially, which I haven't used before. I have a definite plan in place for that fabric, and here's a little sketch I did today of two of my ideas:
The bag I've drawn at the top will probably be the next one I make. I'm still deciding on the best way to do my 'haloed' moon for bag idea number 2, whether to make it like the moon on the coin purse I sold recently, only extending the swirl of stitches out around the felt, or with a button centre...
You can click on the images to make them larger, if you're having trouble deciphering my scribbly handwriting!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

You can never have too many...

I've been working on some more tote bags. One is now finished, going in the shop very soon, and the other should be finished this week. This is good timing since one of my trees tote bags has just sold! I'm really pleased with the contrasting cotton straps, so I plan on using them a lot more in future. The fuzzy brushed cotton straps that I used in my older bags are lovely too, but they're considerably fiddlier to make!
Here's a sneak preview:

There should be some similar purses and pouches following in the near future. I've also got plans for some bags using other colours of brushed cotton. I really like the white backgrounds for their versatility, but I know a lot of people prefer a darker colour. There are a few ideas bumbling about in my brain that I'm eager to try. (watch this space!)

In between bag-making, I've been working on this fellow:

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Have I told you lately that I heart you?

Well, "V-day" came and went with the usual distinct absence of red envelopes...but I do still have some hearts to celebrate, in the form of one nice round number, and one that pleasantly reminds me of 'number 99 icecreams' :-)

I'm surprised, thrilled and flattered to have reached this milestone, and I want to say thank you to anyone who's ever 'hearted' me. It means so much to be given that little thumbs up from someone I've never even met.
It has spurred me to take another look at my own etsy favourites, old and new. Its easy to click 'add to favorites' and then go away and forget about the wonderful things you've found.
There are so many shops on etsy that I love, I couldn't possibly list them all here (my favourite shops list has so far run to 18 pages, and that's not counting the people I hearted whilst logged in to treacle toffee!) but I thought I'd mention some of them, and share the love.
For the sake of not infringing photo copyright, I'm not including pictures here, just links. - a fellow Brit, Kate has very sweet little pin badges with simple but effective line drawings, and fantastically quirky plush toys (I especially like the partially eaten 'gingerbread men') - gorgeous monochrome illustrations, inspired by nature and printed onto lovely linen things. - beautiful little ceramic bowls and wooden stationery - lovely handknitted items and ceramic jewellery impressed with leaves - if you haven't already discovered Jen's innovative use of pencils and colour, I very much recommend that you discover them now - bold designs, silkscreened onto pillows and bags in delicious saturated colour - wonderful art prints - combining handprinted fabric designs with applique felt accents

...I could go on, there are so many great sellers on etsy.
If you haven't browsed through your etsy favourites list lately, why not take a look now, and rediscover some handmade things you love?

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Blue sky, hello...but sky blue, where'd you go?

I finished the aforementioned bag (complete with care label) a few days ago, and I've been looking at it trying to decide what it is about it that's missing.
I decided more sky blue was off I went in search of sky blue buttons, specifically the 'matte' colour ones, not pearlescent. Three different fabric and haberdashery shops later, I was forced to conclude that nowhere has any at all! There aren't nearly enough sky blue buttons in the world.
I do, however, have a stash of white and cream buttons from charity shops and salvaged from old clothes. And I have a LOT of dylon dyes.

1) Take some white and cream buttons and give them a good wash. (those pictured below aren't the ones I dyed but similar)
2) Put a sprinkling of multi purpose dye in an old bowl you don't especially care about getting stained, and add some boiling water.

3) Add the buttons.

4) Leave them in the hot dye-y water for a bit, and test them every now and then by scooping them out with a spoon to see what colour they are.

5) When the buttons are the colour you're after, scoop them out and give them a rinse, then rinse them again.

6) Leave to dry on some tissue

Some buttons didn't dye at all, and some slurped up the dye more than others. It will take a bit of practice getting used to which buttons dye best, but its definitely something I'll try again - dead easy

Thursday, 7 February 2008


On Tuesday I went on a big fabric buying mission, and came back laden with white brushed cotton, printed cotton, dusky red linen, white, green and beige felt, pipecleaners, buttons, fabric tape and a few ideas.
One of the things I'm making with my monster-sized fabrics haul, is actually a monster...well, sort of.

The yeti is a much misunderstood creature, and will be arriving in the attic shelter for troubled felt animals sometime in the near future.
I've got just about enough brushed cotton for two tote bags - I would have got more but it was the last bit left in the fabric shop. Now I need to decide whether to first make another tree bag, a bluebird bag, an elephant bag...or something else.