Friday, 29 January 2010

A different kind of swap

I have to be honest, I am questioning whether I can really call myself a blogger anymore, since I don't actually seem to be blogging at the moment. Hmmmm. But if I start to question why I blog, or whether I should just call it a day, meetings with lovely fellow bloggers usually do the trick to get me back in the groove again.

So it has been recently. Most of you know Emma from Silverpebble - lovely, clever, sparkly, silvery Emma. But did you also know she is a patient and enthusiastic teacher, and bakes a mean blueberry muffin? She had the marvellous idea recently of a skills swap - and over the last two Wednesdays we have made it happen, with just two 2 hour sessions. She has opened the door for me to the bewitching new world of silver artclay and enticed me in with encouraging words, lots of reassurance and just the right number of excited squeaks.


LOOK! I MADE THESE! ME!

I tried to be brave when Emma set them on fire, and stopped my bottom lip from quivering when she started scrubbing at them with a steel brush but lookie, lookie, they really are silver! I should warn you that if you've ever used polymer clay, or indeed Playdoh, you are going to find silver clay HORRIBLY beguiling. Bank managers beware.


She even showed me how to make figure eight loops for necklace closures - I've done a fair bit of jewellery making before but always with cheapo beads and tarnishing wire. Oh dear. I think I'm really in trouble now.

In return I helped Emma to set up her inherited sewing machine which, all praise the sewing gods, started up first time, had well behaved tension and more even stitching than mine often does. We threaded it, we wound bobbins, we had a few thready tangles but sorted them out - and it's good to see those horrible bobbin related knots early on and realise they're not terminal, right? We made a little calico bag, and will be moving on to more ambitious projects on both sides very soon, I hope! (And this us where I really lose the right to call myself a blogger, because do I have photos? No. Fortunately Emma does ...)

So, Emma's idea, and it really is a good one, is to encourage crafty bloggers - yes, that's you - to find people who you might like to swap a skill with. It doesn't have to be silver jewellery making, it could be how to make your trademark scones or cakes, how to plan a veggie garden or what to do to get spuds ready for planting, how to crochet a granny square, how to arrange flowers, anything! It only takes an hour or two, some refreshments - which don't need to be fancy or indeed home made - and you'll be in for some fab chatting and something lovely to take home at the end! And if you're really lucky, a cuddle with a couple of tiny Pebbles - though to be fair I can't guarantee they'll be able to attend every swap.

28 comments:

  1. I am still on a high from our swapsie. My little bag is tweeting at me as I type. Next stop, a skirt, from calico, with bits of doily stitched on.

    Now I shall skip off as I have eleven silver birds and seven silver flowers to make before the day is out. Goodness knows who will do the washing.

    Let's do MORE!
    xxxxx

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  2. Also, thankyou for your kind words about my teaching but I do seem to remember that at one point I said 'I know it looks rubbish and ragged but we will file it and all will be well.' Not very encouraging, although LOOK WHAT YOU MADE!!!

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  3. Oh I LOVE the idea of a skills swap! And I have some extremely useful skills to share, like eating crumpets, hoarding sewing patterns, and dithering over the loveliness of all Mr Boden's cardigans.

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  4. what a fab idea!! i wish i could find someone to help me bake cakes that look edible :0
    Im going to have a look at silverpebbles pics now :-)
    Lx

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  5. loved the things you made when I read Emma's post! gorgeous. and such a great idea. now who is there this far north ??????

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  6. That's such a brilliant idea, although not quite sure what skills I could trade! Love your little silver trinkets - so sweet!
    Rachel x

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  7. I thinnk it is a wonderful thing, this is why reading blogs makes me happy!!

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  8. bloggy-friends...they are the sweetest, aren't they?! And I love this idea of battering/sharing skills between friends--brilliant! Sadly, I have no blog-friends living near met to meet up with...but even somehow swapping/sharing online is a good thing. My blog friends make my week so much brighter. As does visiting here, DottyCookie... Those metallic clays are fantastic, aren't they?! Happy Weekend :o) ((HUGS))

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  9. what a great idea... and well done... the jewellry is a triumph!

    x

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  10. Didn't you do well? They are so pretty, I so love silver. Skills swapping is a brilliant idea. I'm lucky enough to live in a very crafty neighbourhood where we often swap skills like knitting, upholstery and sewing as well as sharing tools and equipment etc. It's so much more satisfying to make things from scratch that are completely one of a kind.

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  11. I live near no-one, and know how to make nothing.

    But, you know, go everyone else. I'm not bitter.

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  12. I'm sooooo jealous! Two of my favouritistist bloggers meeting up and making fabby things! Sooooo jealous! Locket xx

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  13. You did very well, if that was my work I would be very proud. The sharing skills idea is brilliant.

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  14. What lovely jewels you made you clever thing you! I was most upset to be working and not joining in! I'm up for swapping skills though... especially when there's cake involved!

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  15. as i said to Emma, i wish i lived near you gals!!! such a fun idea, i would love to make such beautiful jewellery!

    xxx

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  16. Beautiful! I'm so impressed. And I love the idea of a skills swap. Tracy is teaching me how to crochet, but I can't think of anything I could possibly teach Tracy...

    K x

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  17. What a brilliant idea, I've never met another blogger, not sure who lives my way but would love to do it. Chatting and making sounds a perfect combination and I have a little one on hand for cuddles too!

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  18. You're still a blogger Val, even if you're not posting too often.

    Because it's the soul of a blogger that leads to such exchanges.

    And all that playdoh time has obviously paid off - your flowers are beautiful!

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  19. What Ali said!

    I think it is such a wonderful idea - we should discuss further at our next meet-up!

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  20. I like that comment that you have the soul of a blogger to be doing this swap. When I read about it on Emma's blog I thought what a great idea. A really lovely way to spend the day.

    Enjoy it if you're going to keep on doing it.

    Lisa x

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  21. What a great idea! I think I'll follow your lead -- I want to do a skills swap with .... you two!!! Whaddya think? Why should that lil' bitty ocean between us be a problem???

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  22. Love what you made. What a fab idea!

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  23. Love your creations Val - it's very exciting to learn something new and have something so pretty to show for it at the end! Love the idea of a skill swap - I'd trade my knitting knowledge for a crash course in crochet!

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  24. Didn't you do well? And what a great idea. I can offer a masterclass in ...erm...let me think.....

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  25. What a wonderful idea to swap skills! I love the pieces you have made.

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  26. I'm SO impressed. What a wonderful idea!

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  27. My goodness Val those are gorgeous! I'm so impressed. I love the swap a skill idea too.

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