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Red and Rosy

Discover my handmade, unique, bespoke creations. Lovingly crafted with felt, fabric & yarn. They make amazing gifts for all ages. See what we have that can make you the best gift giver of all time!

Older Posts, Page 3 of 14

The End of a Chapter

A note written by Rose Henderson on

So I’ve finally done it (well, I did it two weeks ago, I’ve only just got round to writing this post). I’ve closed my business officially with the tax office. Red and Rosy no longer sells creative, bespoke handmade gifts and can no longer make any money of any sort. It’s quite refreshing to be honest, I thought I would be really upset but I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

I’m not going to lie to you — it’s been a tough few years. I’ve only had a handful of negative experiences, but I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting many lovely crafters and customers and I can honestly say it’s been a pleasure.

So — for those of you who didn’t know we are off on a big, new adventure. My husband has a new job based in San Francisco and we are moving to Marin, which is just over the Golden Gate Bridge. I will eventually get Ed (the Web Superhero) to amend my website to make it less "selling" and more "family adventure". We are still in the UK, and still visa-less for the moment but we have finally sold our house after 16 months and four buyers having to pull out, and we are almost ready to go. Our home is slowly getting emptier, and in the next month or so we will be leaving our home and moving into temporary accommodation until we leave.

It would be lovely you would like to follow our adventure — in addition to (trying) to Blog more you can also find me on Twitter (@redandrosyhq), Facebook and if you are on Instagram come and say hi, you can find me at @redandrosy. Right now my Instagram is full of pictures of the kids and our “final visit” to places around Edinburgh & East Lothian, but soon it should be full of San Francisco, Marin and our many new adventures (Disneyland is the first promised place to vacation to!)

Thanks again to everyone who have left comments, interacted and purchased items from me and here’s to my family’s big new adventure!

Teeny tiny sewing machine

A note written by Rose Henderson on

Way back at the start of April, my lovely, trusty, 18 month old sewing machine decided to give up on me. On the weekend I ran a promotion for my Name Banners, meaning I had 38 to make.

It just wouldn’t work — the hand wheel was very stiff to turn, the needle kept sticking and an error message kept coming up on screen that indicated that the bobbin was tangled, when there was no problem with it at all. I spent four hours trying to figure out how to fix it — I cleaned out the bobbin case, I was only able to remove part of the needle plate to clean underneath, I switched it off and back on again (after all, it’s computerised and isn’t that how you fix computers?) and nothing. All the Name Banners were cut out and piled up neatly on my dining table and I had nothing to sew them with.

I was about to send my husband to Argos to pick up a spare machine for £150 when my lovely Facebook friend Lyndsey suggested the little Hobbycraft Machine, which was for sale at £24.99. Desperate, Hubby was sent there instead and came back with this:

Hobbycraft machine v’s brother machine

So yeah, it’s tiny. Teeny weeny. And reading the one review on the Hobbycraft website, it really wasn’t going to cut it. But I gave it a go and instantly hit a problem — you made it stitch by switching it on and off. There is a pedal, but like the machine itself its weeny and it didn’t really matter what pressure you put on it, the machine had two speeds, slow and slightly less slow. So to stitch, you hit on and to stop, you hit off. Which is great for Jack (but more on that later), but for me, urgh! It really did take some getting used to, for those of you who machine sew out there you will know that you get to know your machine, you know exactly what pressure to apply to the pedal for the speed you require without even thinking about it. Getting used to a new machine takes time, and I just didn’t have time with this, I wanted my old machine back!

I eventually managed to get the Name Banners done, and fortunately my machine broke at a time where I was planning to have some time off from work anyway, as Ed was in San Francisco for a week. So I popped my old machine on my desk and tried to put it out of my mind for a few days.

Having the little machine in our house was wonderful though, because (I am sad to say) the boys don’t get to touch my sewing machine. For one thing, reaching the pedal is a problem for them all. And it goes really fast — too fast for little hands. But the little machine meant that all three of them were able to use it, and make something entirely on their own. And that’s for tomorrow’s Blog post.

I did eventually brave going into a small, independent sewing machine repair shop a few miles from where I live who told me the machine could be fixed by just putting oil inside the holes located over your sewing machine and that would fix the problem — DON'T DO THIS! I didn’t, it just didn’t seem right, and having read a bit online it just wouldn’t have worked. No, what I did was manage to take off the whole of the needle plate with a little more patience and I was amazed at the amount of fluff under it. I gave the bobbin mechanism a little oil and things appear to be back to working order again, hoorah!

However, if your thinking of taking up sewing and don’t want to fork out £100+ on a machine, it really wouldn’t hurt you to give the little Hobbycraft one a try. It is frustrating when your used to a full sized machine, but it really does do basic stitching perfectly.

Bunting Tutorial

A tutorial written by Rose Henderson on

So there are hundreds of “how to make your own bunting” tutorials online and plenty of ready made kits that you can buy to help you along the way, but I figured I was making bunting for my dining room so why not write a tutorial while I did it!

Materials required are:

  • Fabric (I decided to use red, white, red gingham and red spot fabric)
  • Bias Binding — I used 18mm gingham available from Crafty Ribbons
  • Scissors
  • Chalk / Water erasable pen or whatever you have to draw on the fabric
  • Bunting Template (cut out of an old cereal box — this one measured 5.5inches wide and seven inches long)
  • Sewing Machine!

Bunting materials required

First, fold your fabric in half right sides together. As you can see in the photograph’s to follow, I didn’t do that! This way will save you a little time.

Fabric folded, draw your template on the fabric leaving a 15mm (or more if you prefer) seam allowance.

draw round template

I cut out six of each fabric (technically 12 of each as I didn’t fold my fabric first!), which gave me 1.5 metres of bunting

Bunting before sewing

Now we are ready to sew! Make sure that you have two pieces of the same fabric, right sides together with the side you drew the template on facing up.

Ready to sew!

All you do is sew down the two long sides, I was able to just run them all through the sewing machine in one go by lining up the next flag just before the first one was finished.

MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THE TOP OF THE FLAG OPEN (sorry I felt the need to shout that but it is quite important)

Keep the top of the flag open

Trim round the edges.

bunting tutorial

And turn the right way out, using a skewer to poke the corner out to a point.

bunting tutorial

Now you will have a pile of flags looking a little like this:

bunting tutorial

and the next step is to iron them all flat.

bunting tutorial

My most hated job of all!

When they are all lovely and ironed, take the Bias Binding and fold in half, and about an inch along place the first flag into the folded Bias Binding. Place into the sewing machine and stitch along the edge as shown.

bunting tutorial

Keep feeding the Bias Binding through the machine, inserting a flag as you go along until all the flags are used.

bunting tutorial

Once all of the flags are sewn, sew the remaining Bias Binding back on itself to make a loop, then go back to the start of the bunting and repeat on that end.

bunting tutorial

Then your finished! All your left to do is hang it somewhere that need’s to be made pretty — in my case my bare dining room wall.

Hope this makes sense, please feel free to ask any questions should you have any.

Rule, Britannia!

A note written by Rose Henderson on

A little sneak peak of of my up and coming Rule, Britannia! range. I’m very excited!

Rule, Britannia! promo picture

New baby gift

A note written by Rose Henderson on

Before reading this post please note the irony of me being unable to think of a new baby gift when 90% of my orders are for newborns!  Let’s just say it’s a good job I have lovely customers who appreciate my work, rather than lots of people like me. I’ll begin…

I really struggle with new baby gifts (see, I told you so!). What I mean is, if a friend of mine has a baby and they aren’t a really close friend then I’ll whip them up a Name Banner and feel all clever that I have given them something I know they aren’t going to get from anyone else, instead of a packet of babygrows or a rattle. (Apologies to people who buy these items, I got lots when having the boys and they really were useful!)

But the gifts I remember are the personal ones — a fantastic example is my friend Debs. When Toby was born she sent me the most fantastic Nappy Cake, I’d never seen a Nappy Cake and the fact that someone was considerate enough to send ME one (yes, I know it really was for Toby but he couldn’t open it so it was really for me) was wonderful. Then she trumped herself and pretty much anyone else in the history of gift giving in my eyes with these when Noah was born:

Team Hendo, Jack (1), Toby (2) and Noah (3)

Even now looking at them, I well up at the thought behind them. Deb’s knew (probably though me boring her to death with constant and continual photographs) that I am one of those Mum’s who have to take a photograph of EVERYTHING. I mean, if your friends with me on Facebook then I can only apologise, the invention of a mobile with a built in camera that also allows you to upload to Facebook means that every day you will see a photograph of one of my children in some sort of pose. So for me, with our family website Team Hendo, this was one of the most perfect gifts.

(And we did get professional photographs done, this was a dry run attempt with Ed attempting to stop Noah from looking at his toes and pulling his sock off.)

Anyway — these are the sort of things I always want to try and do for close friends and family, but usually I fail as I get so wound up in the pursuit of perfection that I don’t look at what is right in front of me. I mean, my nephew didn’t get a Name Banner until he was one as I just didn’t think of making him one!

So, good friends of ours had baby Kitty at the start of January, when we were on holiday. Yup — that’s over a month ago and to be fair, her gift was made about a month ago and we were due to visit, and Noah was rushed to hospital. Which seems to be the way our lives go at the moment, we are destined to just never meet up with friends through illness or work commitments, but that’s a post for another day. Anyway, on Saturday we were finally able to take the gifts up and meet Kitty. And when I say we, I mean everyone but me as I was snowed under with orders :-/

In hindsight I should have made a really awesome Felt Box Frame. It would have been fantastic. But I didn’t, as I didn’t think anyone would like it. So instead I made something I hadn’t ever attempted before that took me twice as long as a Felt Box Frame would, irritated the &*@! out of me and I still don’t think looks right.

Pink Kitty Name thing

I have fiddled with it for ages, tweaking bits and moving bits…

Pink Kitty Name thing (close–up)

…and trying to get those flowers to look like they should look…

Pink Kitty Name thing (super close–up)

…and, well, it’s fairly safe to say I will never make another one again! So it is a complete one off original. Never to be repeated.

In addition to the wreath we also had a picture for them, at the start of the year Jack wanted to start drawing again and raise more money. I was very against this, last year was nuts in a wonderful and frustrating way and I just couldn’t have another few months of that. However, Ed mentioned on Twitter that Jack would like to do one picture and Kitty’s Dad replied asking if Jack could draw a picture of Kitty with her big sister Olivia, and made a generous donation to Jack Draws Anything (JustGiving). However, this one is different in that it’s one of the very, very few pictures that Jack has drawn where we have not kept the original. Natalie Cassidy has one, Practical Parenting Magazine auctioned off another and now Kitty and Olivia have a Jack Draws Anything original hanging in their home.

Jack Henderson original for Kitty

I’m seriously considering just getting Jack to draw all the new baby gifts from now on.

However, I can recommend a Name Banner or Felt Box Frame for a new baby, they are very pretty and the feedback I get from them is fantastic. And if your a friend of mine (or a family member) due to have a baby can you please just tell me if you would like one of my products as a gift otherwise I’m going to get myself all in a muddle again.