So this year Chris and I are absolutely brassic. With my drop in work hours, paying work back for over-payments, and trying to save for a boat we just got nothing to spare. With all this is mind, we decided it might be nice if we made everyone something this year. We worked it all out and had 30+ people to buy for. After doing some math’s we worked out I could get all the supplies I needed for that many gifts for around £100. This is obviously a lot cheaper that spending around £20 on everyone!
Craft of choice this year was soap making! I’ve never done it, but I figured like, how hard could it be!
I went with the old melt-and-pour option, a Shea Butter option. This is purely because me and Chris are scared of lye, which I think is a healthy fear to have considering it’ll melt your face off if given the chance. And we don’t have time to wait for everything to cure, which I think can take months. And I have no idea how to actually make cold process soap. So there’s that.
Immediately I snapped a knife in half trying to cut it up, so switched to a bigger knife. That helped.
Basically everyone gets their own smelly. I was going to felt them, so they’d be all pretty and self-flanneling, but I tried it with a couple and it just takes too long. I had been standing for about 3 hours by this point as well, and for those of you that don’t know, I’ve been diagnosed with ME/CFS by my GP (though that could change again in March as I have a Rheumatology specialist appt ) but I’ve been struggling a lot with leg pain, and nothing I take seems to help. So that idea got scrapped. It does mean now I have a kilo of wool roving and nothing to do with it. Typical.
I made these cute little labels a month or so ago in inDesign. I think they’re cute. I wear glasses and he has a big ol’ beard, together we make 1 whole hipster, hence the images on there.
I’m relatively happy with the turn out. There’s 3 I need to re-do but the rest are ok. I feel bad since they’re so small, but I’m hoping people will understand our plight and appreciate that they were hand made.
How’s everyone else’s Christmas planning coming?
If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m sort of in to wood work and wood crafting. Whilst my current living situation (fiance and I are at my parents ) limits what I can learn, I try and learn as much as I can with the tools and space I have. If you’re here you should already know I do a lot of wood burning and pyrography. I’ve done this for years but have only recently started selling bits and pieces online. I’m very unsure of myself and have zero confidence in my abilities, so the fact that people are actually paying money for my work is awesome! Admittedly I don’t do an awful lot of it anymore. And my shop might get one new item every month or so, but I do it around work, studying for a degree in Illustration and having a (potentially) chronic illness. More on that in a later post.
Something I’ve always wanted to try, but have never gotten around to, is wood carving. My Uncle Ian is a well established and successful wood sculptor, and some of his work is amazing. Check it out here. We don’t talk very often unfortunately. He’s a busy man and has some very young kids so we see him maybe once a year. I’ve tried reaching out to him a few times about going to wood carving festivals with him, or sourcing good wood for wood burning, but I never get anything back from him. I know he’s not really a techy person, so I don’t take it personally. He’s just probably not seen my messages. But irregardless of all that, I figured I would just give it a go!
So despite today actually being my fiances birthday, we went to our local Axeminster and got me a couple of knives. Chris grew up in the country so whittled as a kid and knows his way around axes and knives. He’s going to show me how to sharpen them properly, and what wood is good to use. He’ll also show me the basics and how to do it safely so I don’t immediately cut my fingers off. Chris is very skilled in, well skills, but confesses he lacks the creativity to actually make anything with them. He’s super supportive of me though, and thinks that me eventually leaving my job and crafting/studying full time is a great idea. I doubt I would ever actually do that though. Not having a guaranteed income terrifies me haha.
I’m looking forward to trying something new. And am hoping it means eventually I can expand the contents of my Etsy Shop to some hand carved pieces. I already have a few ideas for some simple necklaces and keyrings, but I’m trying not to get a head of myself just yet.
Progress may be slow, but I am still here. Still crafting. Still working. Still living.
“You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?”
This hand burnt, Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask inspired box was made to protect your jewelry, trinkets, or dice. Or Rupees. Heart Pieces. Anything you can find.
The box is a hexagonal pine box with a brass clasp, measuring approx. 16cm x 14cm x9cm and is lined with a dark green felt. It’s finished with a clear layer of Plasticote.
You can see some of the creation of this box here: https://youtu.be/w5oUhnDOWPs
If you have anymore questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
AVAILABLE NOW: http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AshaFreemantleArt
Back in August (I think) I was approached after finishing my Marauders Map box with the idea of a Zelda box for a friends daughter. Luckily Zelda is something I love so I actually had some idea’s already on the back burner.
We had a chat about what aspects of the games her daughter liked, and we selected the image for the front. The cover image is the cover illustration from the Ocarina of Time, Part 1 manga. I chose this particular image as Ocarina of Time holds a special place in my heart, and I wanted to be able to transfer those feelings to wood for this gift. The images on the sides of the box were drawn by myself. Just a few images to include various aspects from different games.
Cara had this to say about her commission:
Commisioned this for my daughter and i honestly couldnt be happier
Asha was great talking through the design and working out what i actually wanted, she is utterly commited to providing what her customers want
My daughter loves her Zelda box too
Thank you Asha i’m certain i will be back for more 🙂
I’m so pleased that Cara and her daughter loved the box, and I’m looking forward to making more in the future.
If you’d like to commission your own gift, you can contact me here, or head on over to my Etsy Page.
I’m currently working on a new design for another HP themed box. Another Hexagonal one like the Marauders Map, and thought I’d share my progress with you!
I’m not very good at like, drawing out plans, and basically come up with a whole design in my head and just wing it from there. But I like using InDesign so figured I’d use it to map out box designs. Works well as I can create everything to scale and figure out how much space I have to work with.
Anyway, what do you think?
After the popularity of the Marauders Map box I did for my sister, I decided it might be worth grabbing a few more boxes and doing some other designs for my Etsy store. The last box I got was from The Works. We have a pretty store in town so I wandered down and grabbed…. a few.
I got 9 in total I think? And it only set me back 20 beans. Admittedly the quality isn’t great, and sometime in the future when I can afford it I would like some really nice solid boxes, but these will do for now. They burn nice enough, and are fine for the nerdy/geeky stuff I plan on putting on them so that’s good.
I then spend the next hour or so measuring them all up and creating simple graphics for individual boxes, so that can be included on Etsy with any I put up. And if people want to know in general.
This is a bit of a rubbish blog and doesn’t really serve much purpose other than to prove that I have been doing stuff. I also work almost full time, and have a few health issues I work around as well. Not excuses, just reasons why I might not be as active as I would like.
I’ve also been working on a commission for the last week or so that has tied me up. Was a good one!
Anyways, where do you get your stock from? Are there any good online sellers of box blanks for burning?
Let me know!