Friday, August 22, 2014

Ribbon Weaving

I run a craft group from my house every Monday, here is one of the crafts our group made. It is ribbon weaving which we then turned into a pendant. If you'd like to give it a go the instructions are below. 

Equipment and Tools
  • Four spools of ribbon, preferably no wider than 1/8”
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic seaming needle or just a pin to weave the ribbon.
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Iron
  • Plastic or metal covered button kits or badges up to 1-1/2”
  • Cotton for threading
  • Sewing needle

A note before we begin
If you would like to try this at home, it would be best to do your weaving right on your ironing board, as it's quite challenging to move your finished work from your work surface to the ironing board. However, today we will be working on our craft table covered with suitable material to iron on.

Step 1,

This project begins with masking tape, since it is slightly sticky it can tape things down and then peeled back up without damage. We'll need one long piece of tape about 6” and two short pieces about 3” in length. The long piece needs to be facing sticky side up and the two short pieces are to be sticky side down fixing the long piece in place.

Step 2,

Cut 5 pieces of ribbon, each measuring 7” in length in two different colours so that you'll be left with 10 pieces of ribbon in total. Place the ends side by side onto the sticky piece of tape, pressing them very gently to stick them to the tape. Try to make them close together and straight. However, the ends don't need to match as they will be cut later.

Step 3,

When you have all 10 pieces stuck in place on the tape, peel it up and turn it over. Cut the two short ends off and stick the long piece of tape down sticky side down, trapping the ends of the ribbons underneath. Press the tape down firmly with your fingers.

Step 4,

Using a second piece of masking tape about 7” in length anchor the open end of the ribbons down. So, flatten all those ribbons out as best you can so all the ribbons are all running straight and side by side, making sure the tape picks up all the ribbon. When you're satisfied with how they're laying, press down the tape at either end firmly with your fingers.

Step 5,
Using two new colours, cut 5 pieces of ribbon, each measuring 6” in length so that you'll be left with 10 pieces of ribbon in total. For future projects, you can use any combination of coloured ribbon, but I would recommend using ribbon that are no thicker than 8mm otherwise the total of ribbons needed may be more or less than 20 pieces of ribbon required per project.

Step 6,

Thread the first ribbon on a seaming needle and weave it in and out. Alternatively, use a pin to weave in and out.

Step 7,

When you've woven your first piece of ribbon all the way through, push it up until it's snuggled against the tape. Thread another strand of ribbon onto the needle or use a pin and weave the ribbon in the opposite manner to the first one, and snuggle the second piece right under the first.
Continue in this manner until you've woven all the way down to the second piece of tape. Be sure to straighten and groom your work as you weave.

Step 8,

Cut a square of fusible interfacing the same size as the weaving, and fuse it over the ribbons. You can iron over the masking tape briefly without damaging your ironing board. However, be sure to cover all pieces of ribbon as some ribbon will melt if come into direct contact with the iron.
When you've fused the interfacing to the ribbon, carefully remove the tape. Then, iron the ribbon again. It is critical that you get the interfacing completely fused to the ribbon so it won't fall apart when you're making covered buttons. So, iron and iron again

Step 9,

Once you're satisfied that all the ribbons have fused to the interfacing, place the fabric ribbon side down on your work surface. Put the top side of the button blank in the middle and cut a circle from this fabric that's about 3/4” larger on all sides around the button blank

Step 10,

Sew a running stitch around the circle. Then place the dome side of the button back in the middle of the circle and pull either end of the running stitch together which will cause the ribbon circle to gather up around the button blank. Use your fingers to wrap the edges of the fabric around the button top. Wrapping tightly. Then, press the back of the covered button to the front. Following the package directions.


Using either buttons or badges will determining what you want to do with your finished product. Buttons can be turned into a pendant which can be hung from a ribbon. Badges could be used as brooches, and both can be transferred into hair clips. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

UK Handmade Summer Showcase

I am sooo excited to have one of my products showcased in the UK Handmade Summer Showcase. I am also shocked but pleased to have my Forget-me-not flower pendant displayed on the first page. 

The showcase is essentially a look-book displaying various products created, designed and made by artisans living in the UK. 

I am so happy to be part of a showcase that is supporting and promoting artisans living in the UK. As the creator of Momatuvi, it is my main ethos to only source materials to use for making my products within the UK as an attempt to boost the British economy. For many years, we here in Britain have imported and exported, this is a normal strategy for many countries, especially when it concerns food. Lets face it, we can't grow bananas naturally here, so we have to purchase from abroad. There use to be a time when buying 'British made' was the thing to do because the quality and safety of a product was widely known and exceptionally good. However, with cheap labour, cheaper materials and cheaper importing costs, we started to buy from abroad as the cost of the product to the consumer became considerably cheaper. We all like a bargain. But cheaper products ultimately turn into expensive products, because we have to replace them more often. 

In recent times, manufacturing has decreased in the UK due to customers buying from abroad. Many of us have stopped caring about quality and safety in favour of spending less and as a result more and more British businesses are shutting down because we want to spend money abroad. This has had an impact on the British economy, for which I could go on and explain my views, but for now I'd like to promote to the consumer to buy British and if possible buy local. 

The more we spend back into the country, the greater our economy will grow and the prices for products here will eventually start to come down.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A passion ignited?

Met a stranger today, a lovely lady who shared something truly personal about her life. As I sat listening to her story, I suddenly felt overwhelmed with sadness, and thought I might actually cry, right there in front of her. It's been quite a while since I last listened to something so horrifying. However, I clawed back the tears with my own sense of realisation that this is about her and not me and continued to let her off load.

I'm not going to share what she told me or why I was overwhelmed as it's not appropriate right now, but I'd like to share what I learnt from today. I feel a small passion igniting inside and that maybe I could get back into counselling and anger management and offer my services once more. 

I do feel as though my passion to help people emotionally has always been like a pilot light, on all the time, but that was just it, a pilot light. A pilot light can't heat water or warm a house, it needs gas to fire it up so it can do its job. 

Maybe the conversation with this lady was the gas I needed to light my passion again to set up an intervention service for emotional well-being. 

I'm not sure.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Successful breastfeeding?

Out of the four children I have, my eldest son is the only one I didn't try to breast feed. I was quite young and the shock of having my body taken over by raging hormones, extra fat to carry and a foreign body inside me, completely freaked me out and prompted thoughts that the continuation of sharing my body through breastfeeding after my baby was born, filled me with dread. So, I had already decided to bottle feed as soon as he was here. 

Fortunately for me, I wasn't in the company of other mothers who breast fed and my support network didn't express their feelings that breast was best either, so I didn't have any shame or guilt for not breast feeding my new baby. Bottle feeding him allowed me to have my body back, well, a modified version of pre-pregnancy. It also empowered my husband to bond with him, especially during the night feeds. Yay for me. 

However, by the time I had my second son, and felt a little less selfish, I decided to try and breast feed him when he arrived. I found it distressing as he didn't latch on properly, which was also quite painful. I also wasn't sure whether he was having enough milk, therefore I lasted just two days before turning to bottle feeding. 

Then, by the time I was pregnant with my third child, experts had expressed that breast was best. I was also part of a group of mums who all breast fed or was breast feeding. I felt it was important to really try and breast fed this time and when my daughter was born, the first thing I requested was for her to latch on, (I had read before hand that this was important to increase the chances of breast feeding successfully). However, I wasn't very successful and when my milk came in three days later, the pain was so unbearable that I reverted to bottle feeding again. 

I had very supportive friends who had reassured me that the first three days of breast milk, called colostrum, were the best that my baby could have anyway. This comforted me, by I felt like a complete failure.

Then, during my last pregnancy with my forth child, I once again decided that I wanted to breast fed. So I immersed myself in books, literature and conversed with a friend who was also a breast feeding mentor on the best techniques in successful breast feeding. I felt confident at the prospect of breast feeding my last baby.

When she arrived, I encouraged her to latch on. I was so sure it would work this time. But again, by the third day, when my milk came in, I was overcome with the pain in my breast.  My breast were so large, that positioning her was also difficult. I would have preferred child birth than breast feeding, so once again, bottle feeding it was. I felt like I'd truly failed and became envious of other mothers who could do it. 

It's not all bad though, my children are very fit and healthy, so bottle feeding them did them no harm. If I could do it all again, I would still try to breast feed and I'd encourage all new mums to try to. Encourage is the appropriate word here, and not to judge. It is the mum's decision what's best for her and her baby, but for those who do decide to breast feed, I have made a breast feeding reminder bracelet available here which is easily transferred from wrist to wrist with one hand (so mum can continue to hug baby). 

I have been told by mother's who've breast fed that they often can't remember which breast to use next, therefore, they are my inspiration for the bracelet. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In a magazine

I've been a subscriber to a magazine called Craftseller for a months now and every time I receive the latest issue in the post, I like to take my time in reading it so to try and make it last the month until the next issue comes. I'm still reading the last issue and received the next issue yesterday so thought I should get on and finish the last copy. 

Little did I know, that there is a small article about me regarding some pinking shears my nan gave me. I've had that magazine the whole time and didn't even know I was in it.

A couple weeks ago another writer of the magazine contacted me to do a feature of me for the magazine. She interviewed me and I sent her some recent photos of myself and my products, so hopefully I'll be in the magazine again in the future with a little more detail about me and Momatuvi.   

Monday, July 15, 2013

A crafting community??

Being part of a community gives me an enormous sense of belonging. I am part of my own family community, I am a member of my local church community and I've also found myself becoming part of a crafting community. 

Although, I don't know many of the other crafters personally or intimately, sharing a common interest in crafting brings us together as a community. And since we have the internet, we are able to share, support and encourage each other virtually. Whether that be through reading each others blogs, communication through relevant forums or even dropping each other a 'like' on a Facebook page. 

However, I can't help but wonder how much of it all is sincere. I mean, it's all very nicey, nicey. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but my real-life friends tell me the truth about my work, in a, "hmm-yes, that's nice" (to which I interpret that as 'what the heck have you made?' by which I can say to them, "you don't really like it, do you?" and then they nod and it goes on from there until finally we're talking about something else and our friendship remains the same) 

And at other times I get the "flipping heck, that's amazing, you're so talented" and I go away thinking, it ain't that great, gees. I don't think that my real friends appreciate what I've made quite the same as my virtual friends in the crafting community. Are my real-life friends just jaded by the fact that they already know me quite well? We've already infested time into each other and our relationship is good. Perhaps they are seeing things through a loving perspective rather than a realistic one. I don't know.

I believe my virtual friends are sincere, it's almost like an unspoken nod in agreement or virtual pat on the back when we leave encouraging messages. How can we be so nice to each other? But every now and then, the written word can be misconstrued and what one person might be trying to say, gets interpreted incorrectly by another. I've noticed this happening on certain crafting forums where someone gets upset and takes things the wrong way, and then other members take sides. It's amazing how us humans have the ability to take sides with people we don't really know. 

I try not to get involved in those sorts of disputes as I'm not very good at putting myself across correctly in a literal manner, and also, I can't hug it out over the internet, which is what I'd prefer to do. 

One of the main things I love about a crafting community, we all share the desire to express ourselves artistically, creatively and maybe, we all want our work to be at least appreciated, if not liked.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Friends forever.

These are my buddies from school. It's amazing that we are all still so very close. The guy in the middle is my husband. We married when we were teenagers and he is still my best friend. We are together at another friend's Mexican theme party.

These sheriffs are looking for a Mexican impersonator. Sadly, they never managed to find her. Probably because one of the sheriffs leads a double life as an impersonator.
WANTED - Mexican impersonator.