Sunday, 27 November 2016

Volunteering at Walford Mill Crafts: Chapter 6

Christmas is now all set up at the Mill and looking fabulous! Here's a few pictures:

Looking pretty splendid indeed! Most of the hard work and graft was down to Krishula, Christine and Mel, although I wrapped most of the presents under the tree, and helped with decorating the smaller christmas tree and shop displays that can be seen in the last two pictures! I haven't ever really been involved in creating retail displays to this standard before, so I'm learning a lot as I go along and the staff have been very encouraging and helpful, which is lovely. I've been working in the gallery shop a more the past couple of weeks and have come to terms with the till and general day to day happenings now. I think!
This week I was helping Debby with jewellery creating again; using her beautiful hand painted papers to make unique pieces which will be finished with resin. Here are a few that I was working on this week:

In the foreground and left you can see a few that have been finished with the resin; I'm really pleased with how they turned out! The blue-green triangley one in the front there is my favourite one of all because the textures and colours work really well within the shape.
After that it was time for Creative Academy (aka kids' craft)! This week the teacher was Debra Zebra and we were making mixed media Supermoon pieces. Here's Debra's version:
And here's a few made by the kids:

I think they all look great and they all put their own unique style into the work; with some more abstract and unruly and others more meticulous and neat. But all of them turned out equally spooky and atmospheric which was the aim of the game, hurrah!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Lizard Queen

Now that my nephew has had his first birthday I can finally write about what I made him; Karma the Chameleon [pattern by Janine Holmes]. This is the most complicated thing I've crocheted to date, although I have been crocheting for a few years now (mostly squares for a never ending blanket). I actually found it a lot less complicated than I thought I would and enjoyed making it which leads me to believe that I should be doing more crocheting than I currently am!
Here it is not camouflaging particularly well with its surroundings:

I made a change to the pattern in the sense that I used a self-striping kind of wool instead of using remnants to create my own stripes (mainly because I have no excess yarn stash). Although it's not as colourful as the original I like the way it turned out. The yarn I used is Euro Baby Maypole in Sapphire Blue. Ooooh!

The original pattern [as I mentioned] is by Janine Holmes of Moji Moji Design, and her website is well worth a look as it's full of fun characters like Karma Chameleon. Here's a link; here.
It's also got a page of amazing freeeee patterns, my favourite of which is Freddie Mercury:

Janine Holmes
How awesome?! There's also other unique, clever characters to make in her Etsy shop. If ALLLL of that wasn't enough for you to go and check out her work... she also has two cats that she regularly posts photos of. So why are you still here?! Go!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Volunteering at Walford Mill Crafts: Chapter 5

This week at Walford Mill Crafts we began taking down the Fire exhibition to start setting up the Christmas at the Mill exhibition! This is very exciting and obviously involves quite a lot of work for all staff so it was all hands on deck this week. Along with my usual full Wednesday, I put in an extra couple of mornings I had spare to help out.
On Monday we began packing up the Fire exhibition; my main task was to pick out the items from the gallery that had been sold during the exhibition, pack them safely in bubble wrap, add contact details for their new owners and put them to one side ready for collection. I also helped to pack up jewellery and other bits n bobs that hadn't sold to be sent back to their maker(s).
David Walker Ceramics
Some of the exhibits from Fire were big and unusually shaped like the above ceramics by David Walker. These are a bit challenging to wrap up but very beautiful of course.
On Tuesday morning I helped out again, this time with a stock check in the gallery shop because everything had to be accounted for before the big changeover to Christmas. There are hundreds of really beautiful objects in the shop but this is one of my favourites:
Flight of the Bombus - Heidi Warr
This is a huge dish by Heidi Warr Ceramics; being a huge fan of Op Art and also bees I think it's the Best Thing Ever! Unfortunately a little out of my price range to say the least but I can admire it until some lucky person snaps it up.
On Wednesday I was (wo)manning the gallery shop most of the day. I had to learn how to use the till and various other skills as I went along but luckily I'm quite good at working that way. I also did some pricing, unpacking deliveries and meeting and greeting customers and makers who popped in. Not in that order.
We had a delivery of new stock from Elm House Studio which were mini, big and extra big bowls like this one:
Elm House Studio
Ooh! These come in a few different colourways including blue, aqua and yellow (above). Very 1970s-ish in style I think; lovely!
After lunch I helped in the gallery for a while: screwing things into walls, arranging and re-arranging mostly. Then Mel and I began to rearrange the stock in the shop to fit in the new Christmas goodies. This was the shop at the beginning:
And this is the shop at the end of the day when we left:
Not finished, but looking distinctly more christmassy! I was responsible for the table there in the foreground and also for the shelves of Christmas cards on the right. I shall be excited to see how it all looks when I go back next Wednesday.
And here's the gallery amognst all the boxes and deliveries and plinths:
Obviously not finished here either (although it is now). I'll be posting photos next week after I've been in and seen the final results!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Walford Mill Crafts Volunteering: Chapter 4

This week I was helping out with the beginnings of putting together the special Christmas exhibition in the gallery. The first job of the day was to wrap up some of those pretend fake presents that always look so much nicer than any actual real presents. This was quite fun, as I actually enjoy wrapping gifts, plus it's amazing what you can do with just a little bit of brown paper and ribbon:
After that I spent quite a while carefully unwrapping deliveries, checking them over and pricing them before wrapping them all carefully back up to be stored until the changeover to Christmas. Most of the goodies I unwrapped were ceramics and here's a couple of my favourites:
Jessica Thorn
Super cute cups, jugs and spice shakers by Jessica Thorn, white outside with coloured seams and insides. Very yummy indeed!
Alex Allday
And very pretty, delicate ceramics by Alex Allday with overlapping surface patterns and textures, giving them a sort of 'lacy' effect. So clever!

After much oohing and aahing over those, it was time for the kids craft club again! This week we were making toadstools from paper mache... no pictures as they aren't finished yet but here's some from previous weeks:
The G is silent
Monster munch
Finished gnomes from two weeks ago and a Frankie's monster pumpkin head from three weeks ago! These were painted pumpkins with faces and features embellished on. Very nice and also a bit silly.

Next time: Christmas Mayhem!