Welcome to The Gingerbread Bunny! I'm Sarah, a textile artist specialising in crochet and felt based in Wigan in the North-West of England.

On my blog, you can find my day-to-day craft adventures and tutorials.

You can find details of my work for sale and workshops on my website - www.thegingerbreadbunny.co.uk

Friday, 31 August 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Look what I've been up to - Oswald the Owl

As the title suggests, I've been rather busy lately. My creative mojo is most defintley present and my head is full of crafty ideas for The Gingerbread Bunny. 

I have been planning my newest venture, Crafty Parties for children and workshops for both children and adults and am currently checking out venues to hold these in.  I am really excited about these as teaching is what I do.  I love sharing my knowledge and passion with others and empowering people to be able to do it for themselves.  I am hoping to hold my first workshop before the end of the year and then, come the new year, I can really get stuck into them.

I have also been working on some funky applique designs.  This all came about because I wanted a t-shirt with a russian doll on and I couldn't find one anywhere. So, I decided to have a go at making one.  I bought a vest and used the internet to find a suitable template and then set about using up scraps of fabric in my stash, some bondaweb, embroidery thread, felt and Suzie the sewing machine to put it all together.  I really enjoyed making it and loved the finished product.  My Mum thought I'd bought it! From this, ideas came into my head for other designs, including ones for bellydancers (my alter ego!) and it has taken off from there.  I have developed 4 designs so far, Rita the Russian Doll, Oswald the Owl, Fatima and Tania the Tribal Bellydance Doll.  There are plans in process for a Gothic Doll, a lotus flower and a yarn themed design.  So far, I am creating vests, tshirts and tote bags but again can see project bags for knitters and crocheters, children's tshirts and even babygrows in my applique future - if it stands still, it is in danger of being appliqued!

Rita the Russian Doll
I am still crocheting as well and have just completed a custom shrug for my aunty to wear to a wedding.  I used some lovely orange Sublime bamboo and pearls yarn which is so soft and has a beautiful sheen to it - ideal for a wedding!  The design was very simple and, to add a bit of something special, I bought 2 beautiful bamboo buttons from the Textile Garden which had branches and orange flowers painted on - they really finished it off.  I would highly recommend the Textile Garden for buttons, shawl pins, clasps and even funky ribbon. 

The new term brings lots of new courses to.  At the end of September I am starting a City and Guilds Felting Course with Artybird in Carnforth.  It involves me attending 1 weekend a month for around a year and I am so excited about it.  I have always wanted to learn how to felt and this is a great course.  At Woolfest examples of work and projects were out to look at and, I have to say, it was amazing.  I only hope my work is as good.

I am also hoping to do a 6 week dressmaking course starting in November.  My aim is to be able to make an A-line skirt out of the beautiful Amy Butler fabric I bought in the sale from John Lewis last month.  I am far to scared to take the scissors to it at the moment so this should, hoepfully, help me turn it into something I can wear.

And finally, at the end of November I am returning to The Tribal Sleepover (a bellydance event in Huddersfield) to teach 2 crafty workshops in Fabric Flowers and Art Journaling.  I have some exciting ideas planned and I am really looking forward to sharing my love of craft with others.

To add to all this, the full time day job has returned.  The summer holidays are officially over and my crafting has to fit in with my job as a primary school teacher.  For the time being, crafting is limited to evenings and weekends although change is on the horizon and 2013 is definitley bringing new starts and challenges for myself.  Watch this space!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

New look blog!

Hopefully you will have noticed that the blog looks just a little bit different!  I decided that I wanted a new look to it and, as I was browsing the templates on Blogger I found this one.  I love the simplicity of it and the cleaness - if a blog can be clean - and so set about to customise it in 'Bunny colours'.

I would have liked to have been able to add an image to the blog title, alas I can't do this (I hope you are listening Blogger) but apart from that, I like the look of it and the fact that my stand alone pages can now be seen and accessed much more easily!

To help you out with navigating the blog, here are a few tips!

1)  On the right hand side there is a black bar which, if you hover over it, opens up to include my links to the blog feed, blogs I follow and my favourite sites!

2)  To read the entire blog post, just click on the link on the front page and it will open up.  If you scroll to the bottom of the post, you will find comments - click on this and you can read any comments and add your own!

3)  Hiding in the top right hand corner is a search box (for some reason it doesn't say search on it and I can't add it either!)  If you want to find posts about crochet, just type in crochet, hit return and it will bring all those posts up!

Feel free to let me know what you think about the new look blog - do you like it or hate it?  Do you think anything needs changing?  Would you like to see anything else on her?

Thanks for reading!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Hills are Alive ... Part 1 - Golden Oldies

As Maria famously sang in, what is one of my all time favourite films (who doesn't love a film where the heroine makes clothes out of the curtains?) the hills are alive with the sound of music!  In today's case, they are alive with the sounds of those wonderfully brave people who choose to make the fabulous crafty podcasts which I could not craft without.  It has crossed my mind on more than one occasion to start a podcast but a few things prevent me from doing this:

1 - My accent is very, very, very broad and northern and I'm pretty sure people outside of the North of England would struggle to understand me
2 - The thought of battling with sound recording equipment scares me to death
3 - I hate listening to the sound of myself recorded and therefore would be unable to edit myself

Luckily, however, there are many,many brilliant podcasts well worth downloading and to suit everybodies choice of crafty chit chat.  I have no less than 10 different podcasts on my phone and so I have decided to share these with you - hopefully there will be something out there for you!

NB:  Due to the rather large number I have to recommend,this blog post I am going to keep the reviews short and sweet and this post will come in 2 sections - Golden Oldies (this is no reflection on the age of the presenter) and New Kids on the Block (relatively new podcasts).

iMake is the first podcast I ever listened to after being recommended by a friend.  The lovely Martine from Guernsey presents a very professional show covering all aspects of craft from soap making to baking and, the main topic of converstaion, knitting.  I love listening to her and have learnt lots about Guernsey, a place I am now very keen to visit!

Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep is also a fabulous podcast all about knitting.  When I first listened to this podcast I wasn't a knitter at all but I absolutley loved it and downloaded all of the back issues immediatley.  Hoxton Handmade is the easy to listen to presenter and The Sheep often crops up in his own adventures (usually involving gin and cake!) 

Caithness Craft Collective
Caithness Craft Collective is one of my favourite podcasts ever!  The lovely Louise from Caithness in Scotland presents a beautifully rounded podcasts covering knitting, crochet, sewing and spinning amongst many other crafts.  Her Scottish accent is rather relaxing to listen to and the Daisy laugh makes me chuckle every time.  Sandy introduces segments wonderfully and even her husband gets in on the act in 'The Drams Section' which, as you might of guessed, is all about whisky!  She has a very active group on Ravelry where you can join in knitalongs and swaps.

A Playful Day
A Playful Day podcast by Green Triangle Girl is a British podcast all about knitting.  Again, it is easy to listen to and full of interesting information.  Her recent features on designers and other crafty folk where fabuklous to listen to.  Well worth a listen!

The Knitmore Girls
American mother and daughter GiGi and Jasmine (and now there's even a grandaughter who no doubt will be a future presenter), present the Knitmore Girls podcast all about knitting with a bit of crochet, spinning and sewing thrown in for good measure.  They even have their own smartphone app where you can stream episodes straight to your phone.

Miss Elle Knits
Miss Elle is a rather funky chick based in the south of England.  She has a rather cute voice that I love listening to and she chats about her love of knitting and crafting and helping out in a yarn shop (super jealous!) I think I saw her at Wonderwool but I was too scared to go and ask if it was her (incase it wasn't and said random person thought I was a bit strange)

Yarns from the Plain
Finally, for this section, we have Yarns from the Plain.  This Cheshire based podcast is friendly and easy to listen to.  Covering many aspects of knitting, crochet, spinning and other textile based craft, we find out about our presenters wonderfully woolly escapades.  She has, most recently, been involved in Woolsack, the project to make cushions for all the athletes at this years spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games.

That's it for 'The Golden Oldies' of the crafty podcast world (no offence intended).  All of these podcasts can be downloaded from iTunes and the subheadings link directly to their blog, website or podbean site.  They can all be found on Ravelry and have their own very active groups to share ideas, projects, knitalongs and swaps!

Don't forget to keep checking for the second part, 'New Kids on the Block'!