Welcome to Fenchurch Crafts.

My first blog! I’ve always considered myself reasonably IT savvy, having worked in IT, but it turns out that 8 years off to have children not only turns your brain to mush, but also means that your cutting edge knowledge is now considered only suitable for the dark ages. Life it seems  has moved onto the web. I’ve learned a lot in the last two days about blogs, RSS feeds, Twitter etc. You’re nobody unless you broadcast to everyone!

So why am I here? Well my eight years off haven’t just been spent looking after the family, in between the running around, I make things – too many things. So how do I get rid of them?

Well craft fairs seem like a good start, so I set myself a target of 3 bags per week. This I managed for about 4/5 weeks, but bags are a low return option, I enjoy making them, but they take a lot of time and at the end of the day, I’d rather use them than sell them! So I switched to scarves. This is better; I discovered a means of making a loopy scarf out of fluffy wool that ends up looking a bit like a feather boa with the advantage of not leaving a trail of feathers behind it. So I have yet to do a craft fair, but I’m on my way to being able to fill a table with goodies.

What I want to do is to be able to cover the costs of my crafting hobbies. The trouble is I get carried away, so when buying a new sewing machine I started out looking at a basic model, progressed onto machines with embroidery stitches and ended up with a machine that allows you to design your own stitches as well as program in, for example, words. I love my sewing machine, but could (probably) have spent less money.

My newest purchase is a digital cutter. I have had a die cutter for a few years, I started off with a sizzix machine, which was upgraded to a big shot, with a sidekick on the, well, side. A digital cutter is the next stage. Instead of applying pressure to a die to make it cut through card, these machines look like a printer, but cut the shapes for you. I started off looking at a cricut, actually downgraded my expectations briefly to a craft robo, before discovering the idea of a pazzles and from there I’ve just ordered a 13” cougar. This machine will connect to my computer and using a piece of software called inkscape, I will be able to cut out any shape I can design in any size (well, up to A3) on any medium from vinyl, through vellum to paper, card and even chipboard or metal (up to 1.5mm thick). No more dies for me, although I suspect I won’t be able to make myself give up the shelf full of dies I own given that my original machine is hiding somewhere, unused and unloved, just in case.

So, I’m currently looking forward to making 75 Christmas cards (why we send cards to people we’ve not seen for 8 years, and are unlikely to see in the next 8 is the subject of another discussion), and I’m hoping to add a card section to my craft stall – I only need to make few pounds or so to cover 7 years of craft purchases….

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