Thursday, 24 May 2007

A few people have been asking me about my badge machine, so I thought I'd share here.

This is the beast itself:

Although it looks like some kind of kinky torture device, this particular machine makes 1 inch badges. You can buy them in many different sizes, and even one with inter-changable heads to make a variety of badges on one machine, but I read somewhere that those ones aren't as robust as a single-sizer. We bought ours off ebay a couple of years ago, along with enough gubbins to make 3000 badges, although the guy we bought it from also as his own website you can order from here. (It's in German, but you can easily translate everything using babelfish or similar.) I think it cost us around £200 for the lot.

These are the bits and bobs you need to make a badge:

It's very easy to use, if a bit tiring on the arms. The machine has two sections, part 1 and part 2, which are on a pivot. You put the badge back (the piece on the left here) in part 1, lay your artwork, or whatever, over that, then place a piece of "mylar" (in the roll on the right) over the two. You then put the fixing ring (the piece in the middle here) in part 2. Then you place part 1 under the handle, pull it down hard - like pulling a intransigent pint - then pivot it around so part 2 is under the handle and give it another pull. All you do then is insert the pin or magnet in the back et voila. Un insigne magnifique.

We also bought a circular paper cutter - which is the black circular thing with the handle in the background there - to make things a lot easier. I wouldn't like to even consider cutting every badge out by hand with scissors! With the circular cutter you can tape two or three pieces together and cut out more than one at a time.

Well, there you have it. Me and my badge machine. I'm off to make some more!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

I've been having quite a productive sort-things-out time recently. I've designed my logo, banner and business cards for my etsy shop, and even finally got around to setting up the shop itself. Of course, there's nothing on there yet, but I'm feeling very confident that come June the 4th I actually will have something to sell. I made a start on some badges last week:

Not the best photo, but you can catch my drift. I love using my badge machine. Everything looks amazing as a badge. Who would've thought that stretching a bit of fabric round a metal button would look so stylish? Or adding just a tiny piece of film over a flimsy piece of paper could give it a whole new lease of life? I'm just waiting for the backing cards to come from Vistaprint and I can start dividing them up into collections of five or six ready to upload.

And my Mummy and Baby monster is finished:

She's called Daphne. The baby is Erkle. Not idea where that name came from, but I think it suits him. Next up, a five-legged, three-eyed green monster with an antenna.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Whoa! What a crazy/busy ten days it's been. The new kitchen is finally in and is looking fandabbydozy. I can't tell you enough how fabulous it is to have an oven again, and such a brilliant one at that. Check out Sunday night's Runaway Yorkshire Pudding:

I have never wanted and enjoyed a roast dinner more. And it was made all the more delicious by the fact Lovely Jon and I had been working our bums off in the garden all weekend. We now have two enormous new beds freshly dug by Lovely Jon's own fair hands. (Aright, not his hands exactly. We hired a cultivator and got that to do all the hard work for us. But LJ was very proud of himself, and I am too. Bless 'im getting all excited about manual work.) Here is Enormous Bed no.2 next to Normal Sized Bed no.1 where the potatoes are springing up nicely:

The little path there between the two beds will eventually be bark-chipped. You can just about see Enormous Bed no.1 at the bottom of the garden, too. There will be more garden and kitchen photos on our house blog as soon as I've uploaded them. Should be tomorrow. (I hope)

I spent today wandering about in my painting gear with my grease-ball hair back in a scraggy bun and a look of the un-washed about me. I gave the awkward bit above the freezer it's third coat of paint - honestly, can someone please tell me why all walls in this house require at least three coats of paint, if not four? - and started on the woodwork (Ditto the amount of coats of gloss/satinwood on the woodwork), then spent a good couple of hours re-potting tomatoes and herbs on the patio. I'm knackered! And I promise that I have had a bath now. Squeaky clean, and I've even blow-dried my hair to avoid the crazy scarecrow-lady look I usually go for when I've been to bed with damp hair.

Right, I think I'll get on with a spot of knitting. A fabulous day.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

I've had a go at a double-sided monster, pink and orange stripes one side, blue the other:

The idea is that you flip it over and you have a happy monster on one side, and a sad one on the other. The legs become horns/feelers/ears/whatever you fancy. I'm not sure about him/her, though. I REALLY don't like sewing separate pieces together as it just never looks neat enough, but I couldn't figure out how to knit in the round with the two separate colours on each side at once, so it looks a little lumpy. Maybe I should consult my Stitch 'n' Bitch book - the knitters' Bible - for advice.

But anyway, onwards and upwards! I've publicly said I'm aiming for a 1st June launch for my etsy shop (although that's a Friday, so it'll be the 4th) so I'd better get on! A mummy and baby monster next, I think....

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Dartmouth, on a grey Monday morning.

One-Eyed Wilhemina

She was very quick to knit up after using Willie as a prototype. It was a shame I couldn't find anything suitable for eyelashes, but I think she looks nice and girly in pink anyway. Willie likes her at any rate!