25 Oct 2010

handmade spotty cotton eco tote bag

I have finished adding the decorative applique and hand stitching to the eco bag I started last week (accidentally stayed up til the wee hours to finish it and now I'm paying the price with 4 crazy monsters in the house!)

The advantage of using bondaweb to attach the applique details is that they are already firmly adhered, exactly where I want them, nice and stable and flat, so I can be more decorative and random with the stitching...

See this in my folksy shop at www.maytreelane.folksy.com

23 Oct 2010

old trunks

Not the swimming sort with the dodgy elastic - I mean wicked old storage trunks.

My mum saw one in a home magazine today and it reminded me of the one we had in our first house. It was a huge wooden trunk, painted black gloss - and gorgeously battered and worn.
We used it as a bench, storage box, coffee table, nightstand and even a step when we couldn't be bothered to fetch the ladders! I think it had a home in every room in the house at some point in the three years we lived there.

I bought it on the day we moved in for £20, from "Lennie's house clearance" - the shop next door to us. I believe Lennie is still there, with his leaky ceiling and draughty doors!

It somehow got left behind in the back of the hall cupboard (still full of some of my favourite art books) on the day we moved out, and the horrid landlord would not give me the keys back to get it out when I realised weeks later. I often lament the loss of my favourite junk shop find.

I have never seen a great old trunk in any of the charity shops, house clearances or salvagers I have roamed into (not that I could afford anyway!)

So I'm going to make my own. Oh yes, I am. I was tempted to buy a good, strong storage box in unfinished wood, and then add all the decorative hinges, locks, corners etc, but the ones I have seen are very disappointing: overpriced, poor quality, tiny, covered in cheap veneer, or sporting useless flimsy legs...

So the hunt will continue for a big old trunk, and if I can't find one soon, I'm going to damn well D-I-Y

15 Oct 2010

friday again

well here we are, the end of another week (0ne i'm glad to see the back of after a friend's funeral). i did promise myself a folksy friday blog - and i even picked a theme and gathered my favourite folksy items, but that's as far as i got, and now it's almost midnight it seems a bit late.

since hubby is working looong hours lately, and with 2 birthday parties (9yo and 4yo) to tackle next week, i have not had a lot of time to dedicate to being creative - apart from inventing new swear words, where my creativity knows no bounds :)

i have managed to make tiny amounts of progress on the eco tote bags for folksy, and i thought i would share my steps so far:

1. hand draw hearts on the paper backing of bondaweb (i like mine asymmetrical)
2. cut out with a 2mm border (ish)
3. iron onto chosen fabrics - i've gone dotty for this one, and recycled denim (goes without saying)

4. cut out hearts with nice sharp fabric scissors

5. position the hearts, right side up, on a cotton tote bag you have previously made or shop bought, and peel off the backing paper once you are happy

6. press each heart with a hot iron (use the highest setting for the fabric) for about 5 seconds, until the fabric won't peel off when tested

7. now that all the fabric hearts are held in place and stabilised with bondaweb, i am ready to start hand applique, with good quality embroidery floss.

more on this next week, because i still won't have finished it!

10 Oct 2010

5 Apr 2010


i have delved into the fashion world and followed a trend with my latest projects.
nautica has gone crazy and i can see from browsing high street shops with my spending partner in crime (mum heehee) that it is HOT this summer.

navy has never floated my boat (bad pun alert) but i found some navy fabric in my stash with white dots and loved it, so i made some nautical brooches in heart shapes.

vintage navy and brass effect buttons look so cute on these -
i'm tempted not to part with them!

i made four but only have one left so i put it in my new folksy store. you can see it here at www.maytreelane.folksy.com

26 Mar 2010

non identical twins

i was asked to make ten different flowers for a friend ,
so i decided to make them in pairs.
they are twins but not identical,
so you could use them as pairs if you wanted,
but each still has its own personality!
my collection of new and reclaimed buttons is fab -
i delve into it at every possible opportunity.
it sits on my desk in a clear plastic box
and inspires me every day

11 Mar 2010

first flower brooch i sold

i sold this flower to a nice lady on ebay - i hope she is enjoying it!
this one is a bit more grown up than the pink and denim flowers i have made for friends and family, which are more funky.

here's how i did it

drew three different sized flowers on card and used them as a template
drew the outlines of the flowers onto bondaweb
(fusible webbing with a peel off paper backing- wonder under in the US)
cut around them leaving a small border
chose 3 co-ordinating fabrics and pressed them (boring but essential)
ironed the bondaweb onto the wrong side of each fabric
cut out the flowers along the pencil outlines - sharp scissors needed
peeled the paper backing off the flowers and pressed them onto brown felt with a hot iron
once fused, cut them out leaving a tiny border of brown fabric showing
(or a huge border - depends what look you are after)
used good quality embroidery thread to stitch each flower to its felt layer by hand
stitched a vintage button to the centre - giong through each layer to assemble the flower
stitched a brooch fastener to the bottom flower
tada (about 3 hours work)
i love them and i wear one every day - on a jacket, bag, or pumps

10 Mar 2010

round petal flowers with suffolk puffs

i made these from fabric squares that i bought from a vintage supplier.
they are lovely on my little girls' school coats - although the shade of the pink coat clashes horribly!
but they love them and tell everyone mummy stitched them - bless my little angels.

how i did it
cut 6 3" x 3" squares of fabric (matching, co-ordinating or a crazy mix up)
fold each into triangles and press with a hot iron
stitch a loose running stitch along both open sides leaving the folded side as is
hold the corner you started at and pull the thread to
gather your petal into a nice round shape
without knotting or cutting your thread,
start your running stitch on the next triangle
when all 6 are done attach the first to the last petal and knot your thread
cover the centre hole with a button, badge, fabric circle
or whatever you can find

i used reversed suffolk puffs (yoyos in the USA) for the centres of these -
the right sides looked too fussy
i slipped in a circle of craft foam to keep the shape
as i stitched it to the edges of the petals

for DD1 flower on the pink coat i used 3 different patterned fabrics from the same range
and put the same petals opposite each other on the flower
for DD2 flower on the white coat i used 3 different patterned fabrics again
but put 2 petals the same side by side in 3 groups
i can't decide which i prefer, and since the fabrics are very similar
it is hard to tell on these
maybe i will go crazy on the next one and pick 2, 3 or even 6 very different prints
and see how that looks

9 Mar 2010

the story so far...

i have tried jewellery making, cross stitch, embroidery, weaving, french knitting, scrapbooking, card making, painting, sculpture, paper making, graphic design, drawing and probably other things i can't even remember. the problem is i loved them all - although i can't say i was good at them all *ahem*

i go a bit loopy if i don't have a creative outlet so this is therapeutic.

here i am at last

welcome to maytree lane.

i'm may and i'm excited to be organised - finally.

i have a fine art degree from liverpool hope university, and i am a qualified college tutor in psychology and art.

i have always been artsy - it runs in my family on my mum's side.

i design and handmake all sorts of little things for myself, my 4 kids and my family and friends.
i am hoping to share some of these little things with the big wide world, so i hope they will be loved and looked after!

my head is buzzing with ideas and bits of inspiration, and i fill journals with them on a regular basis. to save the trees (and desk space) i will try to keep them here instead, and hope they get nurtured into more finished designs.

follow my crafty journey...