A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: clouds

After a very challenging summer term, which included changing jobs (which has gone horribly) and moving house (which has gone well) I decided to treat myself. I’ve had my eye on a Tatty Devine rainbow necklace for an age. I’ve always loved rainbows and I feel that this necklace really captures how beautiful and fun they are. I tried the sample on at my last workshop  and knew the necklace had to be mine.

And now she is!

I really enjoyed this workshop. Since I’ve done so many, I whizzed through the construction.

I was a little more apprehensive about adding the crystals- this element is what makes the workshop necklace unique and I can never resist a bit of sparkle. Putting them on took some serious glue.

I kept my crystal placement quite close to the sample and I’m happy with that decision.

And here is the finished item

We had a bit of a debate at the workshop about whether these necklaces are really ‘handmade’ or simply assembled (my view).

The fact that the workshop took place on pride weekend got me thinking. First, I thought that I am a sucker because I bought both rainbow doughnuts and a rainbow bagel as I walked down Brick Lane.

Secondly I started thinking about taking pride in a range of identities. As a mixed race woman, it has taken me many years to take pride in both sides of my heritage, especially spending my time predominantly in the company of white people. People tend to be black-or-white thinkers, struggling to hold on to complexity when the pull of easy stereotypes can be so irresistible. It felt pertinent to see this quotation from Harriet Tubman for the first time.


Within 24 hours of returning to London, I had sewn my first piece of clothing. I was very naughty and ordered some fabric just before I went away, and I got back just in time to collect it from the sorting office before it was returned to its sender.

Bit of sky camouflage


I have a mild obsession with all things related to the sky, so I couldn’t resist this adorable cloud print jersey. One metre was plenty to make a second Lark tee.

Following what I learnt from my first Lark, I removed 4 inches of length from the body. People don’t believe me when I say I have long legs and a short body!

Here’s a pic where you can see the whole shirt. Overall this was another pleasingly simple make.

Pattern: Lark by the Grainline Studio

Fabric: 1m of cotton jersey

Cost: £15.50 (fabric + postage)

(Got pattern for free and re-used it)

This is one of my very favourite quotations from the late, great Maya Angelou. Over the past few years I’ve been rediscovering the feminist beliefs I held so passionately up until the age of twelve or so, but that were totally crushed out of me by the patriarchy. Damn patriarchy.

Anyway, this is a message that really resonates with me, and I try to take it on board in life wherever I can. I wanted to share it with a close friend who has been having a difficult time.

My process was the standard, starting with a sketch. I couldn’t decide to do with the dots of the ‘i’s so at first I left them off.

As I copied the design onto tracing paper, I added a few final changes when I reversed it onto the white card stock I would be cutting. This included the addition of the little kites.

Next it was time to cut. You can look here if you want to see my process. A surprisingly tricky bit was cutting the tracing paper to fill the word ‘air’. Very fiddly.


I only recently remembered about the existence of shrink plastic. I remember having some as a child and really liking it but it hasn’t crossed my mind since. But then I noticed that quite a few people seem to be making cute jewellery out of this stuff so I had to rush out and grab some. Well, go on Amazon and order it. Same diff.
Here’s my favourite thing I made.

Clearly I was in an unusually positive mood as I gave my clouds silver linings. Look how happy the one with the rainbow is! The 5p is there to indicate how teeny these things are. The only thing I would change is that I forgot about the whole gravity thing, so the raindrop hangs upside-down. It needs to be heavier on the bottom.

My first attempt at jewellery was these sketched mushrooms. Before…

… and after


Mushrooms, shiz changing size, smiling things… it was all Alice in Wonderland in my crib last night! I really like the mushrooms but they’re a bit big for my taste. They came out at about 1.5cm, which means they don’t sit nicely on my earlobe. But I did learn that pencil leaves quite a thin and cute line on the shrink plastic, that metallic permanent marker shrinks really well and that white coloured pencil on transparent shrink plastic shows up beautifully.

Now I just need my acrylic sealer to turn up so I can wear these babies out.