85. the one with the mummies

mummies “the journey”
**as always, this is not a “how to” or a tutorial so please do NOT share on m**$*%effing pinterest. thankyouplease :) fiona t mummies mar14

for a while there,  i had to take myself off into internet-seclusion due to ongoing personal kerfuffles.
i find that just sitting in front of the telly, “not working”, is usually the best time for coming up with new ideas. and with no orders or other projects going on at the moment, i was able to keep playing and tinkering with these until they were just as my brain had described them to me.

i’d doodled some veeeery rough ideas back at the beginning of the year… for valentine’s day, mother’s day and easter… never knowing if i’d find time to develop them further
initial idea mummiesterrible drawings

(i’ve sneaky-pixelled out the easter things ^ just in case i get to them, and the valentines day pandas – which i was super happy with – are long gone. i never even blogged about them because there are only about 3 hours in the day at the moment)
red valentines panda
romantical valentine’s pandas

the next stage when i’m making something new, is endless fails.
if i was sensible, i would just draw the detail onto fabric with biro while i work on shape & construction (thus saving all of the cutting, sticking & embroiderering hours).
but i’m 1. not sensible, and
2. unable to visualise things exactly until they are right there in my eyes & in my hands

mummies product development
lumpy long legged fail mummies

after that stage, it’s back to the drawing board.
many, many times.

mummies redraw
super technical final drawing

next i build a “rough copy” that i’m happy with…
first mummyfirst mummy 

*whispering* at this stage i sometimes like to confer with my art-friends.
“is this rubbish? i think it’s funny and good but what if it’s rubbish? is it a crap idea? …and should i go with multi coloured bandages or keep it traditional?”
it’s good to have a small, trusted group that – for just 18p! – will give you honest feedback & suggestions before you unleash potential insanity onto the internet :)

next, i spent a fun day ruining my best pyjamas in the pursuit of the perfect hand dyed corpse colourdyed mummies50 shades of grey-blue (or, 8. 8 shades of grey-blue)

and then just 4837457989 hours later, presto! 4 dress rehearsal mummies embroidered, sewed, stuffed ‘n wrapped!
fiona t mummies mar14_2

kerfuffle circumstances allowing, i’ll be starting work on a small batch of these this afternoon so that they’re ready in time. of course, mummies are for life – not just for mother’s day.
**edit: there are still a couple available here


82. the one with the elves

in 5 days time i’m hanging up my sewing hands for the year, packing up mah precious stuffs, and putting on my hardhat. it’s time to tend to my tumble down house & get on with the building works.

but before i start moaning blogging about DIY hardships again, i thought i’d post about my last sewing project of 2013 – festive christmas elves :)

(***this is not any kind of “how to” – please do not copy and PLEASE do not pin any of my photos onto effing pinterest. thanking you.)

when i was a kid… at christmas, we had these slightly cool / slightly creepy christmas elf decorations of mom’s that came out every year. (i think they were from germany from when she was a kid… mom? and pictures?)
anyway, my half-remembered mind-picture of them was my sort-of inspiration for these…

christmas elves

i knew before i started them, that they’d be my last project of the year, so it was a conscious decision to build them really, reeeeeally slowly and add all the teeny tiny details that make them so fun (for me to make).
instead of worrying that at 23746368576587 hours they weren’t really economically viable.

product development.
(although, tbf, i was also finishing off other projects during this time) = supernatural, season 5
design development
(it’s hard to believe how much polyester fluff fits inside such a tiny creature!)

cutting & sticking.
(i spent EPISODES hours cutting out miniature eyeballs,buttons & little pink cheeks. i didn’t end up using the green buttons but i can’t bring myself to throw them away)
cutting & sticking

knitting & stitching.
once i’d made up the hat pattern, they were kind of addictive to knit – they looked so pretty in a heap :) i tend to hoard wool, so i had plenty to choose from – i think the teal ones were my favourite, a super luxurious merino / cashmere blend.
i made far more than i’d need = grimm, season 2
elf hats

i screwed up loads of these at this stage – i blame senile collie dog (lack of sleep. for me.) and the winchesters (the end of season 5 is hectic).
elf face

there’s quite the sad little pile of unfinished rejects that didn’t make the ocd-cut

elf buttons

by this point i was back in the zone. and *suddenly* part way through supernatural season 6
elf limbs

sometimes i have to do hand sewing at the window where there’s better light. i hate having my back to the tv. i had to suspend supernaturals while i did this bit.
sewing up eyeballs

this is the worst part (if they don’t turn out right)
this is the best part (if they do turn out right)
elf birth 01elf birth 02elf birth 03elf birth 04

teeny tiny backpacks for elves to carry gifts of chocolate = house, md season 1
elf satchels

finished! elves have occurred!
chocolate elves

i’d hoped to watch supernatural seasons 7 & 8 too… i wonder if i should make a few more elves before ripping out the fireplace?

72. the one with the fancy zombies – giveaway now CLOSED

after a busy couple of weeks, i took a few days “off” to work on something new i’ve been wanting to get to for ages.
since march, in fact. when my sister, little black heart, had given me a new drawing to embroider.
i’d also been hoarding some beautiful hand dyed silks that caroline rose art had given me a couple of years ago, that i’d been saving for “something special”.

it may’ve taken me years months to get started on this, but once i did, i let my obsessive nature take over and spent all weekend sewing *bliss*

zombie lady purple
(embroidered canvas available here )

it’s been lovely working with silk for a change – it’s given the zombies dresses a gorgeous sheen – and i love the subtle variations in colour of caroline’s hand dyed fabric.

zombie lady pink

( 5 x 5″ canvas SOLD here )

the colour palette of the fabrics is quite muted, so for a change i used grey cotton to embroider the detail – i think it’s given them a lovely corpse-like pallor :)

zombie lady blue purple
(similar 5″ embroidered hoop available here)

and i enjoyed having a tinker with various sizes, formats & colour combinations

fancy zombies

another happy-making thing that occurred last week, was on facebook

so to say thankyou to my loyal customers and facebook likerers, i made this fancy zombie in a hoop just for you.
well, for one of you.

zombie lady blue

*** GIVEAWAY ***
now, i’ve just been so busy lately, i’ve been neglecting my tom hardy tumblr-stalkering obsession. to be in with a chance of winning this lovely zombie lady, just tell me, who is your secret celebrity crush?
don’t be embarrassed, it’ll just be between us – no one else will know, honest.

the winner will probably be chosen at random by my canine daughter, anakin.
competition closes on sunday the 23rd of june at 12 noon.
and i’ll announce the winner right here next monday morning.

thanks and good luck!

67. the one with my routine

when Husband was off work for a couple of days, i realised how much i cannot function if i don’t stick to my normal work day routine.

i don’t work every day (though usually i do. just because i love it, plus it makes the voices in my head shut up), and sometimes i work on a weekend day (and pretend i’ll take a day off in lieu during the week).
it doesn’t bother me which days i work, but if the plan for that day is sewing then sewing is what i have to do.

i know i’m obsessive, but my day literally falls apart if i can’t do what i want follow my usual schedule.

working from home requires structure & discipline, and it’s very glamorous so i thought i’d tell you all about my day(s).

1. no matter what time i set my alarm clock, anakin will wake me up an hour earlier than that.
alarm clock

by going, “mmmmmMMMMMMmmmmmmm” whilst leering over me.
“5 more minutes, collie dog!” buys me 5 more minutes, but then it’s a more persistent
“mmMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm-RAH!” and she stands over me, pawing at my face.

time to get up.

2. i boil the computer & the kettle on my way out for a ciggie, and then settle down with tea to do admin things, such as facebook and stalking.


i also try to answer messages, emails & address labels for orders that’ve come in overnight but it goes various amounts of badly depending on how sleepy i am.

3. after i’m washed ‘n dressed (i use the term ‘dressed’ very loosely – it’s a version of pyjamas but with a bra) housework is next.
yesterday i accidently left out the bra part, and *for shame* i bumped into my neighbour while i was in the front garden – she was all perfumey and dressed up proper, and i was asylum hair, sock-ed feet, fag in mouth, dumping an armful of beer bottles into the recycling bin.
i will try harder to remember about a bra in future.

4. coffee time!
this is the best bit of the day – entering my beautiful, clean, well ordered workspace and figuring out what i’m going to make that day.


at this point it’s not even lunch time so i know i have many wonderful uninterrupted sewing hours of creativity ahead of me and…

“what’s up, anakin?”

*go back downstairs*

she’s alerting me to the fact the washing machine cycle’s finished and it’s time to hang stuff out on the line. (she wouldn’t actually care, except she gets to carry the peg bag out for me which means a REWARD)

helper collie / anticipation of biscuits.

5. i finally get to start work.
sewing bums

i had some zombies that just needed sewing, turning, stuffing & stitching so i thought i’d get them finished off first. stuffing & handstitching is good on the days when i’m enjoying whatever dvd series i’m currently working through. it’s the gilmore girls at the moment.

the last 2 episodes of season 3 look like this

miniature zombies are slow going but satisf…


6. i usually work through lunch, catching up on more of my very important small business related stuff
more admin

7. and then it’s back to the gilmore girls work until Husband comes home.
yesterday, i spent all afternoon cutting out hundreds of body parts for future zombies, but i overdid it, kinda.


once i’ve told Husband about my day, i usually go back up and do a bit more work, or important computer things, but yesterday, too much tiny & too much hunched over = migraine. so i stopped work early and we watched tom hardy films until bedtime.

normally, every day is similar to that ^
but today i slept until 10 and i’ve done nothing at all – i didn’t even bother getting dressed – Husband is due in from work, so i’d better go and select a tom hardy dvd for us to watch this evening. structure & discipline.
^ *achievement*

61. the one where i don’t blog for a month

1. moaning about ailments is becoming tiresome – even the voices inside my head are shouting “this is SO BORING now!”
2. nothing much has occurred in terms of building jobs or diy
3. i’ve done loads of sewing, but i’m reluctant to show ‘works in progress’ pictures here anymore because of them being shared on stupid effing pinterest.

and what else is there to talk about?

1. dust allergy. sinusitis. fever. exploding head. irrational thoughts. exploding ears. general mentalness.

2. we cut the kitchen table in half (“it will make my life better, Husband”)
and made some holes in the bathroom wall (“how will it make my life better, Husband?”)
wall punctuation

3. i made 327846785788768 zombies.
fiona t zombies

which are lovingly stuffed with tiny polyester fibres.
(my sinuses do not know the difference between dust and tiny polyester fibres).

i watched ‘my so called life’ twice.
yes, two (2) times.
my so called packaging

and left the house once (yes, one (1) time) to post the zombies off to their new homes.

i’ve also made a start on stock for a new shop that’s opening < somewhere, sometime >
fiona t works in progress

(i’ve deliberately blurred this photo, so that it doesn’t end up on a ‘how to’ or ‘things to copy’ pinterest board)
(or i might’ve just taken a really shit photo by accident)

also in april:
amongst other things, i watched the killing 3, borgen 2, season 1 of boardwalk empire, game of thrones 1 & 2 (again), freaks & geeks (again), my so called life (as discussed), all of my judd apatow films and all of my patrick swayze films.

i would say that my real achievement for april is in the field of dvd viewings.

54. the one with some kind of giveaway – now closed (& WINNERS)

2012 was punctuated by crap for me, but so much good stuff also occurred and i sewed so very many things (to make the voices in my head shut up)


to say thankyou (like a bribe) for sticking with me, for supporting me and for buying stuff from me, i wanted to have a little giveaway when i hit 400 sales in my folksy shop, or when i hit 2000 likes on facebook.


but because i’m a bit rubbish (look, i had 7 seasons of supernatural to watch. it’s all about priorities) i’m just getting round to it now.
better late than never, eh?!!


my new year resolutions for 2013 were simple:
1. get my s*** together and sort my life out.
2. stop using the floor for fabric scraps & snipped threads. use the bin.

it’s only the 7th of january and so far i have failed in both.


what was your new year resolution, and – most importantly – have you failed yet?

the prize is that i’ll make the winner something nice. whatever they want**
(**DISCLAIMER: to keep it in the realms of reasonable, either a sketchbook or a gadget case or a purse.  and to keep it within the realms of possible, an existing design – zombies? flowers? zombie flowers? squint at the tiny images above, or have a look through my sold items on folksy for ideas)


the winner will probably be chosen at random by anakin.
competition closes on friday the 11th of january at 12 noon.
i’ll post the winners name here, and be in touch shortly afterwards so we can discuss your prize.
if entering my giveaway from outside the UK you agree to pay postage.

thanks and good luck!

***edit  friday 11-01-13
congratulations BIGFATBIFFA (i know who you are) and AMY AMES AMY – i had to pick 2 winners after a great response like that. thankyou everyone x
winner 1

i’ll be in touch later today so we can figure out your prizes!winner 2