Friday, 20 November 2015

The makings of a Fox !!!!

It's that time of year again........

The design of the Christmas Window is always an exciting and challenging time for Mr. Fox and co. This year he has decided to step out of the limelight (or should we say spotlight?) as he and Mrs. Fox have their hands full with the little ones. They arrived on the scene as a young, happy couple in the Summer of 2013, graced our window in December 2013 in their delightful woodland home, and again the following year with their young and playful cubs.....aaaah :x

This years window? We hope it will be a lovely surprise, can't say more than that as we are all sworn to secrecy, but all will be revealed this weekend!

Did you wonder how we made our fantastic Mr Fox ?

Well it started like this,  we wanted an extra special window for our opening (our official opening that is, which was two years after we opened!).

A lot of planning and time went into this window display. We wanted a woodland theme so we went on a mission to find the perfect tree and set about making the foxes , toadstools and getting all the little extras to make it just right.

Paper Mache to make the heads 

Under coat applied 

Colour is added 

Mr fox is getting there 

Ohhhhh ……Mrs Fox

and then there were 2

Mr & Mrs Fox

Ahemmmmm!!!! Mrs Fox

That's more like it !! 

A lovely vintage lace collar is added

At this point all that was needed was head attached and, hey presto, Mrs. Fox was ready for our window. Mr. Fox went through a similar transformation, he was attired in his fabulous country tweed jacket and corduroy breeches.....quite the country gent don't you think?


Well really have to get back to work.....Talk soon x

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Creativity = Balance

Hi! Julie here and it’s my first time blogging! I’m on an antique laptop that has just taken little over twelve minutes to get from switching on to here! (Oh Santa I’d LOVE a new laptop!)
Anywho, as my first entry for The Crafty Fox I wanted to show you my new workspace/sanctuary/girlie craft haven! I’m soooo excited to have her and I can’t wait for her to be completed so I can move all my crafting clutter into one neat little hub of creativity and out of my kitchen!

It all started a couple of months back when I began losing my mind (again!) because I was fed up of having to spend half an hour pulling bits and pieces out of different cupboards to start making something lovely.....then an hour clearing away in between cooking dinner and homework because we needed the kitchen table until my next window of crafting opportunity arose!

Although I am really lucky to work in the field of crafts and creation, I still needed to be able to do my own things away from the shop, as well as experiment with new ideas for Mr Fox’s workshops. 

I learnt a few years ago , with the help of a wonderful NLP trainer and beautifully kind person, that if I didn’t express my creativity regularly and feed my imagination, I would feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious! But it is SO important to allow time to get creative, whether it’s crafting, painting, gardening or baking, fishing, writing or ferreting. Your creativity doesn’t have to fall into any specific genre, just as long as it is allocated its own slot of time and devotion.

lovely fabric from The Crafty Fox

Buy lovely fabric here

So that’s when I decided I needed my own space (something I hadn’t had since I was in my twenties!) where I could sew, craft and create, then close the door and leave the mess until I was good and ready, dipping in and out of projects and ideas at will instead of in between a spaghetti bolognaise, homework as gaeilge and wiping toilets seats!

My hubby, Ciaran, has been most supporting in this (mainly because he can see a benefit to not having the antichrist as his Mrs!) and we dipped into our Christmas savings to purchase my beautiful cabin!

She isn’t too fancy but fits my needs and budget perfectly.....and she is all mine!

So far I have her wired up for electricity, and a fancy globe 100 watt bulb was purchased in the Homebase sale (bargain at €3.93) and I painted the little picket fence outside in white. I’ve also made her some bunting and  bits to hang inside whilst waiting until the insulating job was done.

My friend Alan, together with Ciaran,  are going to insulate her next Saturday then all I have to do is paint her, move all my stuff in and away we go!

I have threatened to put a hammock in there to escape my boys and their mess and dribbles but in fairness, at only 8ft by 6ft I think I’m being a little unrealistic! I’ll keep you posted and put up pictures when she is finished!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Meet Our Tutors - Julie

Meet Julie,

Julie hails from the North of England and attended college in Wales. She moved to Ireland for love 16 years ago and now lives near Drogheda and has two young sons about whom she entertains us with many funny stories!  

She is qualified in Design Crafts and Silver Smithing and makes fabulous, handmade jewellery which we sell in the shop. 

In addition to teaching jewellery making, she also teaches general crafting, and can turn her hand to felting, button art, fabric corsages and bouquets, rag art and fabulous Christmas and Wedding creations. She has a fun attitude and a wicked sense of humour which shows in her wonderful and quirky creations!

Here are some of Julies felted creations. She loves using felt, both wool and acrylic but her favourite pastime is working with gorgeous soft merino wool, sheep's wool and angelina, using them to "paint" a work of art. It looks fabulous when framed and is a very relaxing and rewarding hobby.

We have made oodles of Christmas crafts over the years, including funky table centrepieces, wreaths and baubles to name but a few. Julie has some great plans for 2015 too J

Julie also makes cards for all occasions, and lovely button art. Although we don't have button art on the Autumn schedule this year, it is sure to pop up again in the spring, in the meantime you can Book Card Making here

Finally here are some of the wonderful wedding ideas that Julie has taught to hen parties and lovely brides-to-be. From bouquets and headdresses for the wedding party, to colour customised table seating plan boards, favours and sweetie trees for the PROPER wedding party! If you'd like to DIY your Day and could use a little help, then contact us for ideas and dates. It's a great day out for all involved!

We could waffle on about our wonderful Julie for hours, but all good things must come to an end, so taking a leaf out of her book...Tah Rah! See ya later J

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

It's All About the DRESS!

We fell in love with a picture…yes a picture of THIS gorgeous Summer dress….

It conjured up so many lovely, nostalgic memories of carefree, sunny summers.  The retro style dress made with the quirky cotton fabric was stunning….we immediately ordered the pattern and the fabric.

The pattern arrived first and in our haste we decided to make the dress with some other lovely fabric which we felt would do it justice and look good in our window display for the town’s annual Maritime Festival….

The pattern used for this dress is Buttericks B5603 Misses Dress.

Unfortunately we have sold out of this fabric but we do have the sunglasses fabric on the original dress and a pretty pink flamingo one too!

You can purchase this at: riley blake sunglasses fabric

SPECIAL OFFER: Until the end of JULY you can receive 15% off the price of either of these two fabrics when you buy them online using the discount voucher BLOGJULY15.  Please feel free to share with your facebook and twitter friends :-)

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Meet Our Tutors - Joyce Anderson

Meet Joyce!

After gaining her degree in textiles, Joyce Anderson travelled extensively and designed woven fabrics in the airline, car and fashion industries.  She has a wide-ranging knowledge and love of all things textile, their properties and characteristics.  She came to Ireland to work in the weaving industry and did so for many years.  Joyce is meticulous in her work and fabulous at sewing, cross-stitching, knitting and anything else that she puts her mind to!  

One of Joyce's knitted creations...

Joyce teaches our Beginner Sewing classes and the all the dressmaking classes.  She has a wry sense of humour and a great Scottish accent!  She is extremely capable, unflappable and always goes the extra mile with our students to ensure they have all the help they need. Since before we even opened our doors Joyce has been a pivotal member of the Crafty Fox team, and we are delighted to have her!

Fantastic Summer Dress made by Joyce.....

When there are no dressmaking classes on Friday evenings Joyce holds a sewing clinic, if you are interested in joining these clinics please call us on 041-9873616.

Here is the Simple Cotton Top that Joyce will be making in an upcoming workshop.

This timeless and flattering A-line Skirt, 4 week evening class, is suitable for beginners and improvers.  You only need to be able to use a sewing machine!

                                                                    A-Line Skirt Class

Is there anything Joyce can’t do?  Well she hasn’t got hooked on crochet ….yet!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Meet Our Tutors - Eilleen McNulty

Textile Artist Eileen McNulty has been sewing and creating since childhood.  Her earliest memories are watching her mother as she sat sewing in their home.  Throughout her life she has found inspiration in many places, particularly with nature and the changing colours of the seasons.  She is rarely seen without her sewing machine and has even thought about taking it on holiday with her, to the horror of her husband!

She is highly artistic and creative and is a member of the Craft Council of Ireland.  Eileen has had her work exhibited in the RDS on numerous occasions and has had a fabulous feature written about her in Ireland‘s top home magazine “Irish Homes and Interiors”.  Her work is currently on display in the "Art Walk"  gallery in the Beaumont Hospital  and is one of only 20 artists selected for the exhibition!

Eileen sews, designs and paints, and her enthusiasm is infectious!  She is also a very generous spirit, and happily shares her knowledge and passes on her skills and designs in classes and workshops.  She is the tutor on many of the sewing workshops from free-motion embroidery to fabric art, table runners to tote bags, applique to wall hangings!  She also tutors the six –week quilting classes and sewing basics.

We change quilt designs regularly, for the current schedule click here: Sewing Classes

Eileen has been a pivotal member of the team here in the Crafty Fox since before we opened our doors in August 2011 and her motivation has not waned one iota since then.  She always delights when a new consignment of fabric arrives in the shop and she opens the package, full of colour, pattern and texture.  She immediately sees the potential in any new trims and laces that arrive and has an idea in her head before they even reach the shelves!

Eileen shows us more than how to use a sewing machine, she encourages us to be creative with our sewing machine, you just have to look at some examples of her work J

Free-Motion Embroidery:

Some of the many "students" who have learned the wonderful pastime of sewing with us at The Crafty Fox in our Den of Creativity!

If you like our fabrics but can't make it to the shop, then visit our online shop Puddle Crafts by The Crafty Fox for a select selection of our fabrics including the fabulous scandi designed Tilda fabric and lots more besides :-)

Bye for now!

Monday, 13 October 2014

                                                   Granny's Apron 

            I don't think our kids know what an apron is ….

The principal use of Granny's Apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven and so much more.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears , and on occasion used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold Granny wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls .

In the autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. 

When unexpected visitors drove up the drive , it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of minutes.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old time apron" that served so many purposes. 

Remember ,
Granny used to set her baked apple tarts on the window sill to cool, her granddaughters set theirs on the window to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

        I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron .

Here are some of our pupils in their gorgeous aprons

To learn how to make an apron why not book into one of our Basic Sewing classes here 

and you never know when that apron will come in handy !!!