handmade key ring with beads and jersey fabric

Creativity has been on my mind recently. The role it plays it my life, the way I use it... or sometimes chose to ignore it. How different types of sewing/crafting affect me. Wondering "what do I get from creating/sewing/hand stitching?" and "is it (the act of making/the product) meaningful?".

My mind fills up with these types of questions and I try to unpick how I'm feeling, to work through some things and get to a place of inspiration, motivation and satisfaction.

One of the best things to do when I'm in that state of mind is to follow Cheryl Arkison's Morning Make practice. To create something just for the process. It doesn't have to be a finish because it's the play that is important.

I had some neon pink jersey fabric (not sure why) and these beads, both from ebay and decided to make a key ring for myself. I had seen this key holder by Ina Seifart and thought I'd make my own version. A bit more rock and roll.

handmade key ring with beads and jersey fabric by Charm About You

It was really calming; threading beads, knotting and creating.

 handmade key ring with beads and jersey fabric by Charm About You

The colour doesn't show up so well in pictures, it really is neon pink. Kind of silly, playful and it makes me smile. It's very tactile and I can now find my keys easily too, bonus!

handmade key ring with beads and jersey fabric by Charm About You

It helped. That tangible play, even for a few minutes, made clear how using my hands is really important to me. I am out of sorts when I don't do any hand stitching or making. It's not that machine sewing doesn't satisfy me, it absolutely does and quick projects or even lots of machine piecing brings its own joy. There is something different when it's the slow, quiet, mindful process of hand sewing though and it is this method that connects me to my creativity in the deepest way. Maybe because embroidery was the first craft I fell in love with when I was young.

Modern Folk Embroidery Zweigart Linen

I plan on getting back to more hand stitching. I bought a couple of PDF patterns and some linen from the talented Modern Folk Embroidery. One of them will be my first project for 2019 and it feels nice to have a new project to start the year off (let's just ignore the fact that I have lots of WIPS).

And to stitch you need thread... ok I have plenty of that too but it doesn't hurt to have a few more pretties! I discovered Lakeside Needlecraft - an online shop full of stitchy goodness, it is a family run business and, even though it's not a bricks and mortar shop, it is based not too far from me. 

The Gentle Art Sampler Threads Simply Shaker

While these might not all make it into my first project of 2019, I picked out my favourite colours of the Sampler Threads by The Gentle Art. They are stunning, I think mustard seed is so pretty with its gentle variation in tones.

The Gentle Art Sampler Threads Simply Shaker

The new DMC Étoile threads are so soft and might just be the nicest metallics I've ever touched. I haven't sewn with them yet so I will let you know how they stitch. The colour range isn't massive but I'm happy with the neutrals (the two on the left are the same) and a lovely berry shade. I suspect I will be ordering again from Lakeside Needlecraft since they stock so much and the price was reasonable, quick postage too!

DMC etoile metallic thread

I had more happy deliveries recently, these gorgeous ribbons from Anna Maria Horner. They will be embellishing some of my makes next year hopefully!

Anna Maria Horner decorative ribbon

And another subscription box of Signs of the Sewdiac, this month is The Sewing Machine. Filled with lovely star goodies, a banner to make and cute sewing machine card, print, sticker and pin. I am so pleased I signed up for this subscription as it really makes me smile and everything is put to use!

signs of the sewdiac

Finally a little bit of inspiration I saw at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, I popped in there with my husband recently. These spools, a game set out to entertain kids I think and a large barrel. I don't really know what they will inspire me to do. Either sew curves or make something with wood!! I can't tell you how many pictures I've taken randomly because I liked something about it so much it made me want to sew. I possibly won't ever use any of them but it's just nice to have that spark isn't it?

sewing inspiration Manchester Science and Industry Museum

sewing inspiration Manchester Science and Industry Museum

This week is that final push to get presents made. Actually in all honestly it's not a final push, it's a push to get started!! I have two quilts to get made and just one to finish. Wish me luck!! Once those are done I can get back to making a couple of little sewing projects I really want to do :)

Does anyone else still have gifts to make?

modern fabric Charm About You