wire ... metal ... fibre .... unique handcrafted jewelry and accessories for men and women

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

almost there and perseverance

Next project for my portable polishing kit (well, when I can put down the ever so portable knitting that is - it's socks now as I've finished my quota of scarves) is the ring on the left.

It's a kind of swiss cheese of a ring in copper. The holes need some filing with my needle files and then the whole thing needs a few rough edges removing so it will fit onto a finger without lacerating the flesh.

And finally a trip to the tumbler for a date with some stainless steel shot, just the like the ring on the right (isn't it shiny?).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

portable crafting knit style

I think I must have some kind of attention-deficit problem as I can't just keep one knit/crochet project on the go at one time. My problem was therefore that my various knittings were getting left all over the place or worse, that my scissors (and I have an extremely cute small pair just for yarn snipping) and tape measure were always with another project. It took an age to get out of the house with a suitable crafty occupation to pack in my bag.

Problem solved with a visit to IKEA for some gorgeous nesting baskets. I now have a little more order in my studio AND my knit/crochet has a home to live in while I'm busy on othr things (gasp! like housework boo).

My portable-ness is instantly solved by keeping the tape, scissors and stitch markers in my adorable meringue wristlet so I truly can grab and go.

PS: I find that keeping a notebook and pen in the fibre basket means that I'm more likely to note down yarn/needle size/pattern details rather than relying on memory.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

burning the (almost) midnight oil

catching a few moments to paint on some more ACS (art clay silver) slip onto a batch of leaves collected yesterday.

eventually they'll look like this fall front

not quite portable crafting, more like crafting to stay sane in, around and in spite of the family!

Monday, October 13, 2008

gigantic guinea pigs

gigantic guinea pigs, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Congratulations to the more astute among you - this is not a picture of Portable Crafting (unless the capybara are doing something artistic with their toes).

.... but this is the view I had yesterday when I took my knitting out and about for a family expedition around the zoo (also saw lions and tigers and bears but these guys were my favourites).

Just see what you can do when you get out and about to craft!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

nothing new here ......

.... but something useful here, thanks to a very worthwhile blog post.

If you are using Twitter to announce your current status to the world at large then this little tool, TwitterFeed, will be a great addition. Let Sixth and Elm walk you thru adding your Etsy shops and blogs to the automatic update schedule and make promotion just a little bit easier!
"skookumchuk" - miniature flotsam art brooch in wire, glass, freshwater pearls and fibre
available here

Monday, October 6, 2008

wavy shell crochet neckwarmer

The ultimate in portable fibre projects - crochet.

Only one hook to carry, only one stitch to pick up and if you're fast enough, a neck warmer to wear while out and about!

This is a really simple shell crochet pattern, comprising (and I'm speaking UK crochet stitchology here) trebles and doubles in an easy to comprehend pattern.

This scarf is crocheted in bamboo and silk.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ready to assemble

ready to assemble, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Well ......... the soldering certainly isn't portable but the next stages in the assembly of this ring most definitely have potential for completion on the run (unless you are averse to having grubby fingers).

The soldered bezel needs some more filing to shape it for a close fit onto the ring for the last soldering step. I have some cute and portable needle files for this job.

.... and the body of the ring could do with a preliminary tidy up by rasping the sharp edges.

Both jobs can be accomplished anywhere as long as I grab my portable polishing kit portable polishing kit before heading out (click on the photograph to see the labels).

Sanity is restored while on the move!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

crafted portably?

crafted portably, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

OK, I admit. This batch of wire crochet stars weren't really crafted portably while I was out-an-about but they do (IMO) fit the criteria of portable crafting.

They also show how much time can be wasted while at the computer!

I crocheted these little stars in between page loads while surfing the internet last night. There's nothing more infuriating than a slow computer and an internet connection seemingly thru treacle.

Crocheting these stars made the evening much less frustrating.

PS: I'm thinking of listing these in my etsy shop as christmas supplies

Monday, August 11, 2008

how do you craft?

So, how do you pull it all together and manage a few crafty moments in your day? How does it all fit together in your family life? Whether you're a stressed new mum following the 'sleep when the baby sleeps' mantra or the follower of a very active out-and-about preschooler it can be a real juggling act to try keep that ounce of sanity going by snatching a creative moment or two in the day's itinerary.

Recently I found some inspiration from an article run in the Etsy blog, The Storque where seller Nikki aka BabyBelle talked about her studio and how enmeshed in family life it is. Far from the usual unfeasible "Quit Your Day Job" (!) series, this article actually addressed the ins and outs of working at home and weaving it around normal family duties. It turns out that there are a whole slew of work-at-home mum articles available here ....... maybe you can find some nuggets of inspiration in them too!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

it's sale time!!!

Does anyone not know about the Saturday night specials available on Etsy?

It's when a bunch of sellers band together and promote sales in their shops which are only available for a limited time ie. Saturday night.

It was started originally by willowglass, who sells the most amazing fused glass supplies and creations. There is a thread here for the shops taking part in this promotion and a thread here for chatting (pssst! it also contains a list of shops with SNS secrets in place too).

Confused? see the SNS blog for further info

and without more ado, here are my specials for the evening ...


Saturday Night Specials (running August 2nd 5pm until 6am 3rd August EST)


at ebbandflo BOGO - buy one, get one at half price (discount applies to the less expensive item).

Further items will be discounted by 25% off. Just mention “SNS” in your message to seller during checkout then wait until I send a revised PayPal invoice.

at pomomamadesign Free shipping in North America on orders of two or more items (shipping at domestic rates for international buyers). Just mention “SNS” in your notes to seller at checkout and wait for the revised invoice in your email inbox!

Happy shopping!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

time saving hints for etsy sellers

This great portable crafting hint comes courtesy of a thread by littleputbooks who worked out how to save listings to finish at a later date. I use it when I have lots fo free computer time to stack listings up for days when I'm running on empty (as most of the summer holidays seems to be right now!).

Basically all you do is complete all the listing steps up until the final page, and then instead of hitting 'Finish' and seeing your listing go live you bookmark it! Then when you are ready to make the listing 'live' all you do is pull up your bookmarked url, and hit 'Finish'. The listing appears at the right place in the category page and is available for buyers to see. Simple!

Littleput's suggestion is to make the bookmarks portable by emailing them to yourself and then copy/pasting the url of each listing into the browser bar to complete the process. Mine are static as I just bookmark them on my computer in Internet Explorer or Mozilla but I'm thinking of using my Google Home Page bookmark widget to keep them too as occasionally I use a laptop rather than the desktop around the house (ooh luxury!)

Read all about it here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

there are some jobs which are not portable ....

guest model, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

.... and product photography is one of them!

I have a window ledge set up as my photographic studio. It's north facing so the light is usually bright but diffused even on sunny days. I use a piece of vellum to further diffuse the light over the item. This can work really well or flop about and be a total pain! Photographic sessions can also be accompanied by lots of swearing - another reason to only attempt them when the wee guy is out of the house.

Taking product shots takes (me) a long time. I click, I run to the computer with my batch, upload, check and re-shoot as neccessary.

.... and then there's the editing! Once I'm pleased with the pictures I settle down in front of the screen, notepad in hand, jotting down the files of the images I want to use.

Then it's off to the photo editing software. I use PhotoStudio 2000, a program which came with my scanner and it's worked well so far. I also have the Adobe Photoshop thing and have downloaded GIMP but just haven't had the time to play with and familiarise myself. One new program I am spending more time with is the Flickr-associated Picnik which is also available for free download as well as within Flickr (NB: you can now batch upload into Picnik for editing at the same time as Flickr Uploading!). I like its 'intuitiveness' as it means I won't have to spend ages working out how to complete my task list, and I like the results. There are lots of special effects!

Photo editing isn't really a portable task either but I am a little more mobile within the home since acquiring a new laptop and wireless internetting! If you see me lazing on the deck I'm probably lazing with the laptop these days.

Every little helps!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Portable crafting hits the beach @ Barnet Marine Park. Fun in the sunshine for all. Just don't tip your beads in the sand!

Portable crafting hits the beach @ Barnet Marine Park. Fun in the sunshine for all. Just don't tip your beads in the sand!

Monday, June 23, 2008


prep, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Hopefully this little lot will get me thru the week!

Each project has the bead mix, wire etc in a bag. All I need to do is grab my basic toolkit (pliers, snips and polishers) plus the beads etc and off the Wee Guy and I go for some fun in the sun (hopefully)!

His hat, sunscreen and shade are already waiting for us in the coat cupboard.

Maybe one day we'll be able to leave the house in less than 15 minutes!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

portable polishing kit

This is my portable polishing kit. I use it for polishing up sterling silver, copper or fired fine silver (I have slightly different polishing papers for the unfired art clay pieces and I have to make sure they are well padded for transit).

I can usually fit whatever I need to hand finish inside the tin and the emery file is strapped to the outside. All I need to do when leaving the house for the day is grab it and stuff the kit into my bag.

With the grits and files available I can bring most pieces up to a high shine, or at least start them off by hand so that the machine finishing (either tumbling in stainless steel shot or using a buffing pad with tripoli and rouge at home) is shorter.


PS: Now all I need to do is perfect the art of photographing shiny objects!

Monday, June 16, 2008

portable crafting and lunch


more portable crafting with circular knitting needles

but with the added excitement of a creamy mocha coffe and a pain chocolat

mmmmm! portable crafting rocks!

Monday, June 9, 2008

portable crafting; organisation

..... well, it's an attempt!

I find it's much easier to cram crafting into any spare moment if my kit is organised and stowed together. I group tools, etc according to projects and techniques so that if I need to pulla quick on-the-go project together I don't have to waste time hunting around for components. I started doing this when I used to sketch or paint during nap times (and oh boy does that seem like a long time ago now! naps are a definite thing of the past now!). I found I could get more done in a short period of time if I wasn't having to track down all that I needed for a project. If I could just reach into a box or bin and find everythig that I needed then my time was spent much more productively.

This is my art clay kit and tools, all conveniently kept together in a salad box. I like the salad boxes since it is a good example of recycling, and since they are transparent I can see what is inside each box when they are stacked (oh and they stack nicely too!). In addition, the lid keeps the smell of the oil paste inside the box and not all over my other materials.

I've also found that I can keep partially used packets of ACS on the go for longer if I double wrap them in the original art clay ziplocks in this salad box container. I add a damp piece of cottonwool into the outer package and seal it. I'm sure my last pack was still useable over a month after first opening it, and probably longer!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Portable crafting @ the kids swap meet

Portable crafting @ the kids swap meet

Portable crafting @ the kids swap meet

Sunday, May 25, 2008


i am a complete convert to circular needles for knitting on the go! stitches don't slip off and counting rows is a cinch.

the whole project compacts up at the end of a session
and best of all, if you adapt your pattern correctly, there's no sewing up side seams afterwards

seamless wrist warmers pattern on sale here

Thursday, May 22, 2008

a new batch of portable crafting projects

OK this has been blogged before but not here.

My usual work week entails entertaining a small 5 year old boy, and thus we visit the kind of places where it is easy to keep said small child occupied and happy.

I find most of these places tedious as I don't like endless games of hide-and-seek or sliding down the slide backwards, however I do enjoy seeing my little guy having fun (I'm really not that useless a mother).

I also find it difficult to make time for crafting unless I can do it all on the run.

Hence portable crafting projects.

When I've got a lot on the crafty to-do list I spend one day (or the freetime during one day) making up these portable crafting packs. Each pack, neatly contained in a zipplock or similar, will contain the exact ingredients and tools for one or two projects.

In an idea world they will be stacked neatly so I can 'grab and go' at the start of the day.

Usually I am cussing and swearing (quietly and under my breath) as we struggle to leave the house before mid-morning but the intention is always there and my organisational skills are improving.

Roll on September and kindergarten!!

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