Friday, 7 June 2013

My Craft Library ..

.... the 'periodicals section'.

I have several times referred to the amount of craft-related stuff that is stored in our house. Some of it is equipment, much of it is materials but a significant amount is my 'library'.

Recent photos, some tutorials, blog references etc are now digital, but I still have a real need for physical sources of reference. I have books on needlecrafts and other craft subjects, some stored amidst my covered boxes on these shelves -

the remainder being housed on shelves in the conservatory. I have reference books on wildlife, flowers etc; and others on 'travel', mainly in the UK, and photographic collections - both featuring landscapes for reference and inspiration. Since all these are 'general references' I get away with storing them on the various family bookshelves - we have many! Recent craft magazines are kept in the conservatory and every so often I have to have a 'weeding out session'. I keep scrap books of inspirational cuttings from craft and other magazines.

There are, however, some 'magazines' which just can't be cut up/disposed of/damaged (well caused any further damage - some of them are very well read). These are kept on my 'periodicals' shelf in my craft room. Still not tidy enough to show you the entire space, but I have mentioned before that the room is really very small. When we moved into the house we had a local joiner construct fitted units to make the most use of the space. The largest dimension is a little more than the length of a standard single bed - in our case built in 'cabin style' under the bay window. The shelves pictured above are constructed above the foot of the bed. The wall opposite the bed contains the doorway. Running the length of the wall, from some cupboards above the desk, to the wall  at the foot of the bed is a shelf which sits just above the picture rail. Added support is provided by a shelf bracket and although the shelf dips very slightly it is nowhere near as bad as these photos suggest - I took them balanced on tip toe with the camera above my head and couldn't manage to hold it level!

The boxes in the first photo contain: rubber stamps, fancy papers, gift ribbon and some book end boards and 'pages' - ready cut for 'projects in waiting'. Then we have the archive boxes. Dress patterns, Burda magazines, a couple of other collections which I'll show you some other time, and these ( my oldest and most precious)

I haven't counted them, but I have two boxes probably containing more than 50 editions. The oldest in the photo is from the mid 50's. I think I may have one or two older than this. They originally belonged to a great aunt. I love the old adverts, both the fonts and the old style of type-setting, the fashions but, most of all, I love the needlecraft techniques which are demonstrated. Irreplaceable to me and worth constructing a shelf for!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Early Crafting Memories

When did you start crafting? What are your earliest memories? Please leave a comment - I'd love to hear about them.


A number of items have come to light whilst on my current 'tidy up the house' project. I do tend to hang on to stuff - not a hoarder in the clinical sense now featured on TV - but I do find some things hard to part with. I have recently developed a liking for disposing of excess clutter - neatly bagged for recycling - seeing the process more as one of 'gaining space' rather than of losing possessions. However, there are some things for which I must preserve a home and this is one of them - just look at the packaging!!! 

I'm not sure whether this was a Christmas or birthday gift and I don't have any photos or any other way of referencing the year in question. I do remember making a pair of shorts for my favourite teddy and would guess I was about 7 or 8 years old at the time. I'm not going to tell you exactly when that would have been but probably around the late '60s. I wish I could show you something I made on it. It chain stitches, the tension is temperamental and the stitching easily pulls un-done. It was actually quite frustrating to use and its a wonder I progressed to the adult version at all.

As an indication of scale - here it is posed next to my embellisher machine:

Although carefully wrapped in tissue paper, and in a bedroom cupboard rather than the attic, I was sad to see some rust marks on it. Both my two played with it a little - but fearing it might not be strong enough, I bought them both modern, battery-powered alternatives - neither of which proved as robust as my original!! Incidentally both of my two - my 19 year old son, and his sister, can use a sewing machine if they need to - although they have not taken to it as I did.

How were you introduced to your craft?