31 Dec 2008

New Years Eve - Bring on the party frocks

Well another year is nearly over and a New Year will soon be dawning. I hope 2009 brings you all joy, health and fulfilment. As this year wanes many of us will be out having fun and welcoming in the New Year with a dance, a glass of bubbly and chorus of Auld Lang Syne. So before you rush out the door to celebrate why not take a look at some of the gorgeous handmade gowns you could be wearing.

For those wanting fun and frivolous flirting this tutu dress from Ouma is just perfect. Who could resist twirling around and around in this dress to watch the skirt float about. Let your inner child out and spin around until you have to sit down deliriously dizzy.

gougoloft made this filmstar glamour dress. Can't you just imagine Audery Hepburn wearing this dress in Breakfast at Tiffany's? It's simple but sublime design just scream out good taste.

How annoying is it when you turn up to a party and see someone wearing the exact same dress as you? Well with this one off, beautiful ballgown from Glamarita that is never going to happen. It's stopped me in my tracks when I was looking for dresses to feature. Simply stunning!

Makool created this pretty pink ruffle topped dress. The slight puff balling of the hem adds to it's cute charm. Defininately a dress for the young and the young at heart. If pink isn't your thing Makool will custom make this dress in a colour that is.

Vrreis has made the perfect rock chick frock to party in. This sexy little number is just perfect for a girls' night out on the town. Just hope that your friends aren't looking for attention because if you wear this, you will be getting it all!

To finish with today we have Highfashion's floaty pinafore shaped dress. It has such fluidity because of all the fabric gathered at the neckline that flairs out into a full skirt once past the silver grey sash. It is so dainty and airy I'm sure floating across a dance floor in it would be a breeze!

I hope you all have somewhere special to be tonight and that the New Year grants you all your wishes. 2009 is going to offer us all new challenges, some good, some bad. However, we hope there are many more good than bad, and that 2009 will be better than 2008.

Jon and Lynne would like to wish you all the very best wishes for 2009.

Written by Jon and Lynne of Hyperloop Hoops and Pirate Pixie Crew

30 Dec 2008

Faery Folk

Ever since I was a very little girl I have been obsessed by Faery folk. I was given many of Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairy books and used to love looking through them at all the pictures. Every Christmas eve I would try to stay awake so I could ask Santa if he could magic me into a faery. I never managed to stay wake long enough to see him. When I grew up the love of faeries never left me. I found the work of Brian Froud through films like the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth and just became more enamoured with the wee folk. I took a trip through the web this morning and found these faery goodies.

Earth and sky fine art caught this pretty little faery resting in the sunshine and painted her portrait and now you could have a little print copy of the portrait to make your day a little bit more magical. The moss detail on the tree trunk and the faery wings are gorgeous.

Are you in need of a bit of a wash and clean up? Crazy K Bath and body's fairy embossed goats milk soap can help with that. You can choose the scent you want in the soap but I'd say as she is the Strawberry flower fairy you really should choose the strawberry aroma.

Even fairies need to have a cosy bottom sometimes and these fabulous fantasy panties from Bitchcraft are just perfect for the job! Jon was particularly glad I picked this item to feature and he spent a lot of time proof reading this bit for me. Cute bottom missy model.

Now all good faeries need a tiara to wear on special occasions. Thyme 2 Dream made this one and it is absolutely stunning. The pearl, garnet crystal and pewter mix work so well together. It could grace the head of a Queen and not look out of place.

This wee man was found in a lump of clay by Hobnell. His name is Juno and he looks like he is searching for something. So far he hasn't told us why he has a shrunken head on an electrical coiled cable or what the medallion on his chest is about. Maybe when he gets to know you he might trust you enough to tell you.

I doubt my love of faeries and wee folk will ever leave me as it has always been with me and their magical world entices and excites me. I am drawn in by the sparkle, mischief and sometimes dangerous fun.

Written by Skully of Hyperloop Hoops and Pirate Pixie Crew

29 Dec 2008

Butterfly award

Well I'm very pleased to say that our blog has been awarded the blog butterfly award by Rebecca Crabtree of Fired Silver. Thank you so much Rebecca. It's lovely to know people like our blog and read it regularly. You may have noticed on the left hand bar of our blog we have a list of people that follow our blog and I'm very glad that so many people have listed us on their follow list. Every reader is very important to us and we are so pleased to have you all on board.

Accepting the butterfly award means you have to comply with the following rules:
  1. Put the logo on my blog
  2. Add a link to the person who awarded you
  3. Nominate outstanding blogs you follow
  4. Add links to those blogs
  5. Leave a message to those nominees on their blog
So I've done 1 and 2, now it's time to nominate some blogs I feel are outstanding.
  • The Beautiful Baldylocks - Jon and I adore this lady for her openness, honesty and sense of humour. She says it as it is and has won both mine and Jon's respect with her fabulous writings.
  • Mithi's Creative Journey - this is another blog that I visit a lot. Mithi is so fabulously talented, you will be wowed by her work. She is fabulously lovely too, we are lucky enough to know her in real life not just on-line.
  • Etsy Bitch - I follow this blog to find out what is going on with Etsy. There are a team of writers there that keep their finger on the pulse of some of the things Etsy would prefer us not to notice.
There are so many more blogs I can list but I'm guessing it's better to not get carried away. Thanks again Rebecca for the nomination. It has reminded me that I need to link a whole lot of blogs on my follow list. I better get on with it.

28 Dec 2008

Artisan of the Week, Nics knots

If you are anything like me, you will own countless items and materials that you use to craft your wares. As we all know, these threads, paints, fabrics, needles, wires and others need to be stored somewhere and what better somewhere than in a beautiful bag made by Nicola of Nicsknots. These finely crafted holdalls are perfect to help you organise your crafting consumables. However, this crafter also makes bag to order, just get in contact with her and say what you want! We hope you enjoy this week's choice for Artisan of the Week!

Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
I'm Nic, I live in Lincolnshire, UK and I make needle rolls, bags and various other knitting and knot related textiles on Folksy, Etsy and through my friend KraftyKoala

What led you to take up your craft?

I have always sewn and been around sewers. My Mum and Grandma used to make soft toys for a local business when I was growing up and its just carried on from there. I was thinking only last week that it quite a co-incidence that now I am the Mummy sewing while her daughter watches and dreams of the day when I will teach her to use the sewing machine.
At secondary school I remember getting in trouble for not following the patterns to things we were making in textiles lessons and I famously made five patchwork cushions in the third year, finishing my own then being 'commissioned' by the boys to finish theirs for them.

Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
Creating new designs, the design evolving from what I had in my head and then what I end up with after ironing out all of the things that don't work and I don't like to something that people comment on and want to have. And my little girl getting all excited for me when I sell something...my husband and son don't share my excitement when something sells but Lou is my little cheerleader (and namesake for my dinky bags).

Which part do you find hardest?
Lack of time to get everything that I want to get made, made. I have about a years worth of work in my head, ready to be made but where is the time? And even though I studied business and accounting at Uni, the paperwork. It always gets left until tomorrow.

Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
Practically? Still selling my bags and bits, people still loving my things and hopefully earning enough money so that my husband doesn't send me out to do a 'proper' job because my little girl will have started full time school. In a dream world I would love to be in France or Canada, living in the countryside, surrounded by my little family doing something outdoorsy with my sewing machine not far away.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Learn to say no. Have I ever followed that advice? Of course not, that's why I am still looking for that extra couple of hours in the day.

Could you name other artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
A couple that I don't get to buy from very often at the moment because I haven't the time to knit and I already have a too large stash but
Gemma at Krafty Koala sells lovely hand dyed yarn
and Sarah at babylonglegs really captures great colours.
In my fav shops list on Folksy, I have Amidesigns, I love her bracelets, they are on my Christmas list.

What is your favourite sandwich filling?
Tuna and cucumber on crusty bread with cheese and onion crisps.

How awesome were they?! The next time I need a bag, I know exactly where I am going to get one from! Thank you so much nicsknots for allowing us to feature you as our Artisan of the week.

Thanks for reading everyone! I'm about to polish off the rest of the mince pies!
Happy new year everyone!

Written by Jon of Hyperloop Hoops

27 Dec 2008

Kitty Christmas

Jon and I have 2 cats that have spent Christmas eating food and running about being loonie toons. All the wrapping paper, baubles, and tinsel has gone to their heads. If Weapon X has badoinged his way around the room once, he has done it a million times. Widget has been a little calmer, but even the lovely 12 year old beauty has leapt to his feet every time I go past his basket into the kitchen. In their honour I thought I'd do a bit of a kitty themed collection today.

This fabulous cat portrait is Christina Lyon's kitty, Guinevere. What a stunner she is! I hope both Christina and Guinevere have had a fantastic Christmas! Lots of catnip toys and bits of string to chase.

If you don't have a kitty of your own and would like one, why not buy this pattern from GultCoastCottage and make yourself a Miss Ginger Greeneyes. She looks like the kind of cat that wouldn't scratch your sofa to bits.

This little pendant from Art by MAR is a must for kitty lovers. I love the contrast of the blue with white of the cute cat. I used to have a 3 legged white cat living 2 doors down from my family home when I was small that looked just like this one.

This colourful cat collage from aegeansea is a tiny work of art. It measures only 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. Small but perfectly formed. My favourite of the 4 kitties is the second one down with his flowery cheeks. I wonder which one gets the fishie!

This photo made me giggle so much! Charlie (BowWowzerZ spokescat) looks to me like he has eaten as much as he can this Christmas. That last slice of catnip chocolate cake just isn't what he needs right now. Maybe a bit of Pepto Bismol is what he wants.

We love our cats to bits, but sometimes they can drive us nuts with their freaky behaviour. We wouldn't swap them for the world. It looks like a bunch of other people feel the same way about cats as we do.

Written by Lynne of Hyperloop Hoops and Pirate Pixie Crew

24 Dec 2008

Christmas Eve and it's time to be merry!

I hope you are all having a wonderful festival season so far. Here at Hyperloop Central we are pretty much ready for tomorrow. I still has a mitten to finish and some baking to do, but things are pretty much under control. The weather is chilly but we have a fire in the grate and thick socks on to keep our toes warm. Lets hope that we have all been good enough to feature on the right list this year and that Santa brings us each a tiny gift for joy tonight.

This beautiful photograph was taken by Jennifer Squires

I'd like to take the time today to wish all of our readers and all the people that have contributed to this blog a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! I hope that 2009 brings you all health, happiness and peace.

This cheeky chappy was captured by FosterBK

For most of us Christmas day is full of fun and food, but take a few moments out today to remember those people that might be alone at this festive time. Maybe a quick trip to a neighbour, that might otherwise be alone, with some mince pies or a few cookies. Would it be hard to fit another person at the table tomorrow for Christmas lunch? Take a trip to a local nursing home and visit with someone that has no living friends or relatives. Take them a card and a smile... That's really all it takes to make someone's Christmas more special. Trust me, it's not a one way thing either. Seeing someone smile, really smile with delight, at a wonderful surprise is worth a million dollars!


22 Dec 2008

Flickr Finds!

A few days ago I started up a new Flickr group to run along side the Autonomous Artisan blog. The group is a way for people to show off the beautiful handmade goods they make or find other people selling. Feel free all you Flickr users to come along and join the group. Both buyers and sellers are welcome. If you find some fabulous handmade goodies out there you'd like to share with us, link us to them on the group. If you make gorgeous items that are for sale, share your talent with the world of Flickr! We will be using some of the selections people put on there on the main blog.

This lovely heart was one of the first photos added to the group. It's so bright and colourful I just had to show it off on the blog. Vintage Town has created an item that made me smile as soon as I spotted it. I also love her tea cosies.

This linoprint from Carol King really grabbed my attention. I adore the subtle colours and the texture of the handmade paper. We used to have a ficus tree in our garden when I was a child and this print just took me back to long sunny afternoons in that garden.

Bumbling B added this photo to the group. A new line in her shop, Cup cosies! What a fabulous way to keep your tea/coffee warm for a bit longer and stop you from scolding your hands on a hot cup.

Mea Culpa Body & Bath makes this zen garden hand and body lotion. If you have the winter blues, why not try out some of this lotion to soften your winter chilled skin.

This unusual pendant was posted to the group by DBVictoria. I liked the iridescent colours of it, kind of like the feathers of a kingfisher that lives on the canal down the road from our house. The blues and greens flash so beautifully in the sunshine and I'm guessing the same will be true of this pendant. Beautiful!

So come along to the Flickr group and find even more fantastic hand crafted goods. There really is a huge number of artisans out there pouring love into their craft to make gorgeous goodies for everyone to share in.

Written by Lynne of Hyperloop Hoops and Pirate Pixie Crew

21 Dec 2008

Artisan of the Week, Heidi Moon

This weeks Artisan is so amazingly talented. I just had to share her very beautiful work with you. She weaves, sews, crochets, works in clay, illustrates, paints, recycles, designs... she is an all round very skilled person. Her shop has an eclectic mix of stunningly gorgeous works in it that make me smile just to see them. Imagine how much joy they would bring if you owned some of them! So who is this lady? It's Heidi of Heidi Moon.

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
I live in the Highlands of Scotland, amongst beautiful trees and hills, with my partner and four children. I make clothes and accessories out of reclaimed and recycled fabrics, jewellery from clay and found objects, and larger one off clay vessels and sculptures. I am very inspired by organic forms and nature.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
I've always made things. From an early age I made clay pots and animals, and I was constantly drawing. I come from a very artistic family, so it kind of rubbed off onto me!
Art and creativity is a huge part of my life!

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
The thing I enjoy about what I do is the freedom I have to express myself in whatever material I wish and to be able to create something that is individual and handmade.....I also love connecting with other artistic people and I've found many on-line friends through Flickr and Etsy!
The fact that I'm selling my work is a big encouragement and it makes me happy that people are wearing and enjoying something that I've made!

4. Which part do you find hardest?

The hardest part of my work is not having enough hours in the day! I'd really like to be able to stay awake through the night and make things. Apart from that my work is easy!
Being a mother is the hardest work I've ever had to do!

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
I try not to think about the future too much, as I take each day as it comes, but in a year or so I'd love to be a bit more organized , be making more, and selling more...and for my family to be happy too of course! I've also had a dream to have a fashion show...but that's maybe a bit too ambitious!

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
I've often been told to listen to my intuition and my heart, and to be true to myself....to be individual and not a clone. My partner gives me advice about the business side of things, which I appreciate because that's not one of my strong points!

7. Could you please name other artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
How many can I list?
As many as you like
I have to put some of my friends in ....who I love!!!
Secret Superheros - Illustrator
Red 2 White - Fibre artist
Aileen Clarke Crafts - Cards and Fused Fabric Artist
and a few etsy shops I think are FAB!
Scrap Dannymansmith - Recycling artist and clothes maker
Nesting Emily - Potter and clay artist
Round Rabbit - Porcelain jewellery artisan
Art to Wear Diva - Bags, Jewellery and hats
Kat Wise - Recycled Clothing designer.
Irregular Expressions - Free-form fibre artist
Folk - One of a kind clothing, accessories and art.

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
I don't eat many sandwiches...but when I do I like a big crunchy salad one with lots of mayo and seasoning....olives, spinach, rocket, maybe some cheese or hummus...as much as possible on seeded bread!

Thank you Heidi for joining in with our blog and sharing your beautiful work with us. I'm not sure when you, as a mother of 4, find the time to make all these amazing pieces, but I'm very glad you do. You work is stunningly beautiful! I've loved the links you gave us to all your favourite shops. You have introduced me to many more fabulous artisans, thank you! I look forward to seeing your Fashion show... because I have no doubt you will have one. Maybe we could arrange an independent artisan fashion show for recycled clothing and goods. You would definitely be on the top of my list of people to invite to show.

Written by Lynne of Hyperloop Hoops and Pirate Pixie Crew

20 Dec 2008

For the love of Warcraft!

Morning all!
One of, nay, probably my most favourite pastime is playing World of Warcraft. If you don't know what World of Warcraft is, I can only assume you have been living in a cave in the most remote part of the Afghanistan desert , or you have no interest in computer games or just don't move in computer gaming circles. For those of you who don't know what it is, let me fill you in on the details. For those of you who don't care, just skip the following paragraph!

It's a MMORPG ( Massivly Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) - this means it is Online only (you NEED an internet account to play) in which you can play with up to thousands of real life human players somewhere in the world. There are two sides, (Alliance and Horde) who are "at war" (sometimes they stop fighting each other to fight together against a common enemy). There are quests to do (One of the computer characters tells you to go somewhere and do something, usually involving the repetitive killing of umpteen computer controlled monsters). You start by creating a character at level one, and you then proceed to do quests in order to get to level 80. The harder monsters you kill, the better gear you receive from them, in order to help you kill harder monsters (and so on). There are so many more details I could say about it, but you get the general idea. The most important thing, is that this computer game, has 11 MILLION accounts (people who have/ are paying a subscription to play this game) - that is a *huge* number, and shows just how popular the game is.

All of today's items are Warcraft related, and they are all from Etsy. Don't worry if you don't understand some of the jokes (well... I'll try a few jokes), just appreciate the goods for their craftsmanship!

What an awesome idea, even if it is a little old (I still have my [Carrot on a stick] in my bank I think!). Made by ellaenchantedshop this is a great gift to give to the WoW player in your life to help erase those RL (real life) writing mistakes!

In my opinion, you are never too young to get in to the WoWcraft, and with one of Teedious' Tshirts, you can show your love! I'm a big fan of 'private' jokes (if 11 million can be classed as 'private'!) and this Tshirt is a fine example. Most people who saw you wearing this wouldn't know what it was about, however, if just one person walks past and laughs, it made the purchase worthwhile as you both realise a shared common interest! Who knows, they may even be on your realm!

I have one of those boxes in that background (I also have the WotLK one too!) - These awesome looking hearthstones are made by ManifestedDreams - I really hope they actually work, it would make getting home after a long day in the office (if you do that sort of thing!) so much easier, rather than sitting in traffic.

M'urgle ewerigleuuuuugl mutrrggol M'urgeglle m'urgugl weutil keriml ReallyBadKitty mutrrgil ewermil wekeirgmil wekelee mutrrglee meerlee kermel weutlee uruglugrlmil. Gurrle, wekelee gurrle, Muterlee mminl mumiml werinl mutrrglee M'urgeglle Muterlee im'chugrllee (werlgugrlmil weutule "Meerigleinl werlee memmml mutrrglee M'urgeglle" muterigleil wekelee Werlguuuuml muteremugl!) wekeemml, gurrrlle ewermil mutrrglee M'urgeglle Muterlee uruglo'l! Werinl im'chmoil gurrmooglule meeril mutrrgmil werle mutrrglee urglil m'urgemugrlinl m'urgmorlle, wekemil werle gurrrlle!
(Go here to translate from Murloc into English!)

All WoW players have been there: PvP vs a Warlock = Psychic Scream + DoT+ DoT + Life drain + DoT + DoT + Mind Flay + DoT = You dead. What better way (other than starting another thread on the WoW forums!) to show your support for the nerfing of 'locks than by wearing one of many badges made by ablesisters? The badges this Artisan makes are superb so buy one today!

Right.. I can't take it any more. I'm off to bop a Gnome on the noggin'! (Im a level 80 Female Blood Elf Hunter on Scarshield Legion (EU) if you want to know), have fun everyone!

Written by Jon of Hyperloop Hoops.

18 Dec 2008

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

In honour of Christmas I thought today I'd find some beautiful stars to twinkle on our blog. As many of you regular readers know, I'm not a big fan of neutral colours, so I picked out some bright beautiful and fun stars to showcase. So as the song goes "Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are."

Over on Dawanda we have these fabulously colourful star earrings from Glamasaurus. This Swiss lady's jewellery is novel and fun. Her shop is full of cute cookies, doughnuts, bugs and birds. You're sure to find something there that will make you smile.

I just adore this pack of cards from Jumping Jack Designs. The expression on the snowman's face is just priceless. The utter simplicity of the design is what makes it so special. As they say, less is more.

Well I had to have one silver star, it is after all Christmas! This is such a gorgeous key chain I couldn't pass it by. It's for sale in the Unkamengifts shop. This shop is a real family run affair as the profile shows.

Now please don't try this one at home. I just had to feature this card from Peppermint Daydreams because it made me laugh so much. Jon and I have spent a couple of days trying to stop Weapon X (one of our cats) from trying to unwrap presents. Maybe we should strap him in a star costume to the top of the Christmas tree instead.

Last up for today is a must for all small boys and girls (and not so small girls and boys), a Superhero cape! Go and check this one out from SkedaddleKids. It has the most fabulous lining to it. Kapow! Off to space we go! I wonder if SkedaddleKids will make one of these big enough for Jon... hehehehe

Well I have to go now. I still have 6 Christmas presents to finish making. We are going with handmade gifts for all this season. I better get a wriggle on. Have a fabulous day whatever you are doing.

Written by Lynne of Hyperloop Hoops and Pirate Pixie Crew

17 Dec 2008

Snow business

As Christmas is approaching I’m really starting to feel wintry. It’s taken me a couple of months of cold and rain to finally embrace the season and get out my bobble hat. As there are limited posting days until Christmas I’ve chosen some wintry goodies to cheer you up in the new year.

This little gadget case looks so warm and cosy, if I was small enough I’d crawl inside and sleep. But then I’m having one of those days. The designer fabric is amazing – like little snow flakes. It’s lined with soft fleece, ready to keep your gadget all safe, and probably warmer than you. I think you’ll agree that thejunebride has achieved a winning combination of luxury and comfort.

I just adore this photo. It perfectly captures that sense of excitement that I always feel when it first starts to snow. This photo, taken by Jérémi Savoie in Quebec is definitely on my wish list for next year.

Am I allowed to have these fingerless gloves on my wish list too? Please. They look so soft and lovely. And ideal if I’m ever brave enough to sew outside on a cold day. Not very likely but a good enough excuse. They have been hand knitted, by Myfiberstudio from Devon, UK, then felted to make them even softer.

I found these four cute little badges on folksy, illustrated by Amy Blackwell. Perfect for brightening up a natty woollen jumper, however they are such a great set altogether it’d seem a shame to not wear them all together. I’m guessing that’s not fashionable, but what would I know.

Lastly here’s a gorgeous little necklace. I’m not much of a jewellery wearer, but occasionally I fall in love with a piece. Lisa Hopkins’ snowflake pendant is one of those pieces, simple yet amazingly pretty.

I don’t know about you but I’m really hoping that the rest of the winter is going to be cold and crisp. Preferably with snow – a fairly good helping of it. To finish here’s a snowman I made earlier… well, last winter in my garden. I think he’s rather smart, however I’ve already forgotten his name.

Article written by Rose P of FeltGiraffe

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