WAIT, DID YOU MEAN "Maragold, the band?"
They are here: www.maragoldband.com
And now back to me:
A heartfelt confessionI've been making things for a long time. I just like the idea that something can become something else at my command... now that I think on't, what other reason is there for creating except to control change?!? The satisfaction of a good design is immense. The relief of a finished product, like giving birth. And the money is going to a good cause, too. OK I'm spending it on Italian cinotto soda, but that's neither here nor there.
And now I have a new love (and webshoppe) - cross stitch patterns designed by yours truly:
All the pictures below are available as PATTERNS or KITS. I don't do the stitchy-stitchy for you, darlings, I have a day job. Sadly.
This was one of the first ones I designed, and it still retains its happy glow:
Sometimes the creamy-cupcake side of me comes out and the result is pretty things like this:
An hour and a half of stitching and you'll have this to mount on a card, stick to a fridge magnet or sew on a tote.
Below is the creme de la creme of daft - over 2K stitches in this one, so I haven't even thought of stitching the sample (any volunteers?). I've lurned many things on the internets, like the fact a good joke only benefits from some discreet illumination:
All of these designs are available for sale as pdfs, paper patterns and (gasp!) kits. Really.
Merlin Malloy - he really likes fairiesComing soon to the Daft Craft shoppe! I have a sideline in fairy poop, easily done on a lap tray while Radio Dismuke truffles away in the background: www.radiodismuke.com Do you believe in fairies? Merlin Malloy does. It might be the neighbour's hamster passing plasticine, or it might the Fair Folk fouling, but my imaginary friend Merlin would like you to decide for yourself. Beautifully mounted on card with glitter glue, this unscented evidence will be for sale at a very reasonable price. Discarded fairy wings and unicorn tears will also be available on Merlin's rickety table for your perusal and purchase.
I will make a PennyFancy bag occasionally for the fun of it, of course - I do loves my bags. I am considering selling kits for those too, with original patterns and directions written by yours truly. Ask! and ye shall be answered. In email of course.
Options, we'll have options
Soon to be offered: cross-stitch patterns on paper bound in plastic comb bindings so they lay flat. You chose which and how many you want, I bind 'em up and you can has. Great stuff!
There will also be calendars with a Daft Craft design on each month. Oy they are pretty. I really kvell over the calendars, it's like a year-long daftness binge.
But why be daft? it ain't safe.Now that the Gnome has my back, I have enough self-esteem to think Eff You! to the haters and well-meaning idiots who infest life. Self-belief is critical to creation; if I take all criticism to heart, I am no longer a creator but a fun-house mirror. I'll never be bolshy, but I now know the difference between someone's considered opinion and control-freak comments/soul-crushing criticism. It took me nearly 50 years to sort that out. I know - I'm slow. But I grew up thisclose to one of the biggest chemical dumps on Earth... it had to have some effect!
How software makes that little differenceAll I need to design wonderfully original cross-stitch patterns is software the Gnome spotted in a charity shop for £1.99. I am aware there's newer versions, but this does what I want without making my Windoos hack into the Kremlin. I can use my lappy in bed (and often do) to churn out the needful. Kind of like Barbara Cartland, without the fake eyelashes and landed gentry hubby.
Before the software, I was trying to use dots on graph paper and slowly going paralysed and blind, as well as frustrated with the geological slowness of hand-drawn design. I also have a small library of cross-stitch and embroidery books that show me motif sources from historical examples, as well as composition and colours to avoid at all costs. Very helpful, that last bit. Not all samplers are created equal ....! Like this one, inspired by a personal story of redemption and persistent ant survival. Yes I stitched this one. It was so lovely I did it twice:
And now the Gnome has provided a USB drawing tablet, so I can draw my stuff and have an instant jpg. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT FUN THIS IS. I draw right-handed but mouse lefty, so this has been instant joy. OH FANCY I HAVE MISSED YOU. Once a constant citizen of white board country, Fancy, Gnome and Boy had gone to the shadowlands! Fancy's back, and brought her befuzzled boss with her, Mr Rowle. I DID OWLS BEFORE THEY WERE HIP = 2005.
And now a word from our mantra:
If you want to do something creative, explore it as far as you can and enjoy the hell out of it. I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying it is to have an idea then make something so amazing that even years later when I see the crappy photos I go "YEAH! good 'un".
And to answer the inevitable question of why if I'm so brilliant why ain't I rich from crafting (I work full time in an office) here's a selection of answers:
1) There aren't enough hours in the day
2) Repetive Stress Injury
3) Short attention span
4) No car
5) Repetitive Stress Injury
6) No workspace/storage
RSI is listed twice because it's repetitive, see? Ha. Ha. Also, I did time studies on how long it takes me to make stuff and the figures are ten hours a day, seven days a week, 365 per annum to make ends meet - and that assumes they all sell. This is craft, not art BTW - I cannot charge hundreds of monies for one item because that would be fraud. Sadly, selling at fairs has been a disaster for many reasons, including no car. I threw my back out the last time I loaded my roadshow suitcase on the number 17 bus. But I am proud of my roadshow, I can set up a table in 15 minutes. And then spill coffee all over it - multitasking! Finally, I have a 35 inch wide workspace now .... so becoming a first-world factory is not gonna happen. But I can design and make kits for you, that part's easy-peasy.
I include a super-brief how-to in each kit and pattern. Most of the patterns are simple as hell, and between libraries and magazines for you luddites, and the interwebs for the rest, you can find tutorials EVERYWHERE. So. What are you waiting for? Make something!
* Rough translation: Making beautiful things annoys people. ;-)