iMake
A Guernsey girl shares her love of everything creative and handmade. Episodes cover a wide variety of crafts including knitting, food, photography and much more. The show also includes a generous helping of Guernsey culture too. So go on, join in - share the handmade love and celebrate the sheer joy of making stuff. Show notes can be found at www.imakegsy.com.

A few minutes of audio to update you on my latest project :-) Go to martineellis.com for more details.

Thanks so much 

Martine XOX

Direct download: a-little-news.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:05pm UTC

Welcome to episode 87 of the iMake podcast.

This is going to be a tough one! I’m just going to say it - this is the last episode of the iMake podcast . After a lot of thinking and talking (mainly to myself!) and a lot of unscheduled podcast breaks, I have made the difficult decision to finish the iMake podcast.

The first episode of the iMake podcast went live on 17 August 2010 (find it here) so the show has been going for 5 years. I have loved every second of podcasting. The highlight has been meeting podcast listeners - both virtually and face-to-face. It’s the most incredible community.

This has been such a hard decision, but I’d rather stop now than just podfade. I feel the podcast needs an end - it deserves that. 

Podcasting takes a lot of time and, over the past 6 months, for a variety of reasons, I have been finding it more and more difficult to find the time and energy to sit down and record. This has got to be a sign! I desperately wanted to offer my listeners regular shows, but it just wasn’t happening. I did not even have time to listen to other podcasts.

As many of you know, I have gone part-time at work so theoretically this should mean more time for podcasting. However, that’s not really the reason for the change. For years I have wanted to run my own part-time creative business - I have talked about this a lot on the show. Now is the time to do that. Whilst I have made a small income out of the iMake podcast, it has invariably been poured back into the show. There are people out there who make a living podcasting - but this is not something I want for iMake as I feel it would compromise the integrity of the show.

So I have started experimenting and learning about surface pattern design. It is my hope that I can have some success in this area and this can be my creative business. It might sound like this has come out of the blue but if you look at my Instagram feed you’ll get a sense of my gradual shift towards illustration and pattern. I have been drawing for years but have never really put the time in to honing my craft. Pattern design combines a deeply creative process with technology - my dream combination. And it’s part of the craft industry - I could be designing for anything from fabric to washi tape. The more I delve into it, the more it feels like a perfect fit.

So he plan is to immerse myself in this new venture. It’s really scary telling my loyal listeners about it as suddenly - I am accountable. But I need that!

If you are interested in my new creative endeavour then check out my website martineellis.com and follow me onInstagram and Twitter as martineeellis.

In terms of what happens with iMake now - I intend to keep the website live as there is a back catalogue of 87 episodes on there. If this becomes financially unviable at any point, it will go, but I don’t expect that to happen. Any knit and crochetalongs will carry on as normal - the iMake Ravelry group remains open for this. This will be the last month of the book club I am afraid. The iMake Facebook page and Twitter and Instagram feeds will remain live as that’s all me! How else could I keep up with everyone? I suspect the Facebook page will go a little quiet though - I am unsure. 

If I start really missing the talk stuff - you might find a few recordings from me on Audioboom - so please do give me a follow. But no promises.

So I think that’s it! It’s a sad day for me, but also an exciting one as I am starting to forge an exciting new business.

All that remains to be said is thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for engaging with the podcast and being so encouraging and supportive. I still intend to be a big part of the craft community but it will be mostly through social media channels for now.

THANK YOU to everyone.

This is the iMake podcast signing off. 

Direct download: Episode_87_Just_The_Beginning.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:46am UTC

Welcome to episode 86 of the iMake podcast. This episode is an autumnal crafty catch up - let’s celebrate the onset of autumn by wearing hand-knitted socks and shawls. Hooray!

Today’s show is kindly sponsored by the nice folks at Eucalan. Anyone who owns anything hand-knitted or crocheted should know about Eucalan as it’s a wonderful no rinse, delicate washing liquid. It was invented with woollens in mind. You need this in your life! Find them at eucalan.com.

Mentioned in today's show:

Crochet Sunflower Blanket by The Mercerie

My colour board on Pinterest

Shinybees

Sweet Caress by William Boyd

Direct download: Episode_86_Laundry_Day.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:22am UTC

Welcome to episode 85 of the iMake podcast. I'm back after a brief, totally unplanned break from podcasting feeling energised and creative. Today's show will include recent creative exploits, some news and a fair bit of free stuff, as well as an iMake Book Club update.

This episode is kindly supported by CreativeLive and they have kindly offered iMake podcast listeners another discount coupon. Listen to the show for more details.

Links from episode 85

Guernsey Triangle by Brooklyn Tweed in Toft Alpaca Fine Yarn

Knitted Patchwork by iMake in various yarns

iMake Ravelry Store

Happy Crochet Blanket by The Mercerie

Crochet Sunflower Blanket by The Mercerie

Pebble Rug by Inga Hamilton

iMake Ravelry group - PebbleCAL thread

Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits

Highland Wool and Textile Fair

CreativeLive offer:

IMAKE25

  • Handlettering 101 with Annica Lydenberg
  • Introduction to Calligraphy with Bianca Mascorro
  • Create Digital Products that Sell While You Sleep with April Bowles-Olin

amazon.co.uk: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

amazon.com: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Additional Instagram and Twitter feeds:

Martine on Instagram

Martine on Twitter

Penny on Instagram

Book club:

amazon.co.uk: In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

amazon.com: In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

iMake Facebook page

 

Direct download: Episode_85_Find_Your_Style.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:59am UTC

Welcome to episode 84 of the iMake Podcast. Today’s show is a short, focussed episode, not in the usual format. It covers just one topic - decluttering. You might be thinking, what has this got to do with living a creative lifestyle? Well you might be surprised.

This episode is kindly supported by the nice folks at Craftsy - if you’d like to check out their courses just visitimakegsy.com and click on the Craftsy logo. They have over 600 courses on sale at the moment and one of those that interests me in particular is Watercolour Cards Made Simple. Please check out Craftsy.

Let’s get on with the show.

Today’s show notes will be a series of bullet points and links as I want the format to be very off the cuff - just me sharing my thoughts on a topic.

Stuff

I have too much stuff.

What are the effects of having too much stuff?

How does this stifle my creativity?

What is Konmari?

amazon.com: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

amazon.co.uk: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

What I didn’t do:

  1. Talk to my belongings!
  2. Simply throw things away.
  3. Do it all in one go.
  4. Tear up books.

Key points:

  1. Keep things that make you happy - throw away things that don’t (I prefer “donate” or sell!)
  2. Declutter by category, not room (e.g. all clothes) and bring all items to one place.
  3. Learn to fold clothes properly.
  4. Like with like - a home for everything.
  5. Fancy storage is not the solution.

I’m half way there - what are the effects?

Wrap up

I think that’s it. Thanks for listening and I hope you’ll tune in next time.

Direct download: Episode_84_The_Stuff_Episode.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:41am UTC

Welcome to episode 83 of the iMake podcast. It’s my pleasure to welcome Charles back to the show. In true Charles and Martine fashion, this episode is really just us, chatting about creative stuff. As always, Charles shares a number of pearls of creative wisdom including an interesting recipe for, what sounds like, the world’s worst chocolate mousse. You’ve been warned.

This episode is kindly sponsored by the nice folks at CreativeLive (creativelive.com) and I will be telling you more about them later as I have been working through some of their courses over the past week or so, and they are amazing. I am totally inspired, so listen up for a major dose of enablement shortly.

So let’s get on with the show. First up, there’s a creative catch up, then I am going to chat briefly about the CreativeLive courses I am working on. Then it’s over to Charles. You know the drill - get outside in the sunshine (here’s hoping) with a cold drink and a creative work in progress. Let’s chat.

Recent Creative Exploits

There’s been more monogamous knitting - The Pebble Beach Shawl (pattern by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade) is now over 50% done - I cannot wait to wear it.

I’ve been doodling this month - a lot. If you follow me on social media you will have seen some of my painted pebbles (varnish = Mod Podge) as well as my hand lettering.

Thanks to those of you who’ve enquired after my progress with My Listopia. Just to update you, this project is currently on hiatus as I am working on something top secret and time consuming right now - but I know you’ll love it. So please, watch this space!

And finally, lovely Jo from the Shinybees podcast has encouraged me to rediscover Periscope.

Periscope is a live video streaming app for iOS and Android developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein. The startup behind the app was purchased by Twitter for a reported $100 million in March 2015. On March 26, 2015, Twitter officially relaunched the application on iOS under its own App Store account. Later, on May 26, 2015, Periscope was released for Android.

That’s what wikipedia says anyway, so it must be true! I did my second ever ‘scope this morning and it was really fun with lots of interaction. So I think I will be doing lots more! I’m on there as Martine under my Twitter handle iMakeGuernsey if you’d like to give me a follow.

Love Learning

It’s no secret - I love learning, and if I can combine that with creative stuff I am a happy camper. That’s why I am so pleased to have this episode sponsored by CreativeLive. If you’ve not checked out their creative online courses - you must! Let me tell you a bit about them…

CreativeLive empowers the creative world to learn what they want, when they want. Founded with the belief that world-class education can (and should) be available to everyone, CreativeLive connects photographers, crafters, musicians, and entrepreneurs of all walks of life with top-notch learning from industry leaders. Whether a weekend crafter or the newly full-time freelancer, CreativeLive gives students the tools and the encouragement to make it happen, whatever "it" might be for them. Anyone can watch their live online workshops — for free — and interact with instructors in real time. The future of education is interactive, free, and live now.  

So the streamed courses are free - you only pay to download or stream and watch at your leisure. Isn’t that fab?

Discount: get 35% off all CreativeLive courses and using the discount code imakecreativelive.

I’ve finished one course already and I am working through 2 more at the moment. The first course I did was Hand Lettering 101 with Annica Lydenberg.

I am working through Create Digital Products That Sell While You Sleep with April Bowles-Olin and Introduction to Calligraphy with Bianca Mascorro.

Shout outs

It is the final few months of the #YarnNotesFromAssynt yarn club , more information here - ripplescrafts.com.

Me and Charles

Here are any links we mentioned:

Avocado chocolate mousse recipe (not the same as the one Charles used but similar)

How to make cashew cream

DIY Craft Projects on Facebook

Food Matters website

Achica

My colouring book - Just Add Color: Geometric Patterns by Lisa Congdon

White Lady recipe

Raspberry Cosmo recipe

Haut Maison - podcast interview with Catherine

Bluebottle Gin

Hedge Veg

Next photo cushions

Wrap up

I think that’s it. Thanks for listening and I hope you’ll tune in next time.

Direct download: Episode_83_Perfection_is_Overrated.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:52am UTC


You’ve made it to episode 82 of the iMake podcast. Today’s show includes little techie stuff, my recipe for perfect sausage rolls, the August iMake book club announcement, a new crochet website and lots more. So settle down, relax and enjoy some creative chatter.

Craftsy Logo

This episode is kindly sponsored by CrafstyCraftsy offers over 800 creative online classes hosted by some of the world’s best instructors. I’m currently coveting one of their knitting classes called Plug and Play: Custom Scarves and Shawls, hosted by knitty.com founder Amy Singer. Thank you for constantly enabling me, Crafsty.

Creative chatter

Knitting wise I’ve been surprisingly monogamous, concentrating on my Pebble Beach Shawl. This is a lovely, simple semi-circular shawl pattern by fellow podcaster and knitwear designer, Helen Stewart aka Curious Handmade. I’m knitting the shawl in the most heavenly yarn - it was a gift from the lovely Kate and it is a silver skein (literally) from one of The Golden Skein collections. The yarn is 50% merino, 50% silk and is hand-dyed by Yarn Garden.

Post-recording note: it’s Damask by Kitman Figueroa!

On the subject of yarn, I might have accidentally acquired a skein of self-striping watermelon patterned yarn by Etsy sellerArtisticYarnbyAbi.

I’m missing crochet and must get back to it! I’ve discovered a new pattern website which is likely to make this process a lot easier - http://www.topcrochetpatterns.com/. Do check it out!

I’ve also picked up my ukulele again - having time is just so wonderful!

For those of you who asked, Penny puppy is getting on really well thank you and still enriching my life enormously. We are taking her on holiday to Devon in a couple of weeks so I am really excited about that.

Foodie

Because I am on summer holidays now, I have a sudden compulsion to bake. Here is my recipe for the best and easiest sausage rolls EVER…

Ingredients

  • 8 square sausages
  • 8 squares of frozen puff pastry
  • Sauce of your choice (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • A splash of milk
  • Flour for dusting
  • Salt

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C or equivalent.
  2. Lay out your puff pastry squares on a surface that has been lightly dusted with flour.
  3. Squirt the sauce of your choice on your pastry square in the area where you will be placing the sausage meat (lower half of your square).
  4. Grab your square sausages - fold them in half and squeeze them so they fit your pastry squares. Pop them on top of your lines of sauce.
  5. Fold the pastry squares over the sausage meat using the milk to seal (I just dab it on with my finger). Grab a fork to crimp the edge shut.
  6. Put the sausage rolls on a lined baking tray and glaze with a beaten egg.
  7. Sprinkle with salt if you wish.
  8. Cook for 30 mins or so until golden brown and cooked through.

Tech

If you follow me on social media you’ll know I love technology - both the physical stuff and also things like apps and software. I have a worrying obsession with productivity apps.

I caved in and bought myself an Apple Watch. This is the one I got: Apple Sport Watch (38mm). I love it!

Things I use it for:

  • Telling the time, date etc
  • To do list
  • Shopping list
  • Activity
  • Text messages
  • Reminders

iMake Book Club

This month’s book has been chosen by LoriCrafty and it’s called All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

If you’d like to get prepared for August’s club, I am happy to announce the book now. It’s Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott. Here’s a teaser courtesy of Amazon:

How far would you go to hold on to the people you love?

When Olivia Brookes calls the police to report that her husband and children are missing, she believes she will never see them again. She has reason to fear the worst; this isn’t the first tragedy that Olivia has experienced. Now, two years later, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas is called in to investigate this family again, but this time it’s Olivia who has disappeared. All the evidence suggests that she was here, in the family home, that morning.

But her car is in the garage, and her purse is in her handbag – on the kitchen table. The police want to issue an appeal, but for some reason every single picture of this family has been removed from albums, from phones, from computers.

And then they find the blood…

Has the past caught up with Olivia?

Sleep Tight – if you can. You never know who’s watching.

Here are the book links:

Officially we start reading this in August, but obviously, feel free to read it now if you cannot wait! The discussion will be live at the end of August.

To join the club please download the interests.me app or visit imakebookclub.interests.me.

Shout outs

2 lovely creative blogs:

Also hello to Isla from brityarn.co.uk - who is launching the Scollayalong KAL.

Finally a big hello to Louise F and Lori SB from Facebook - ladies thanks for all your lovely comments on the page, it is really appreciated.

Alongs

Join in! There’s..

PebbleCAL (a crochet-along with knitted options)

Other ‘alongs on the iMake Ravelry group

Wrap up

I think that is about it - thanks for listening, TTFN.

Direct download: Episode_82_Eat_Craft_Read.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:30am UTC

Welcome to episode 81 of the iMake podcast. Today’s show includes a creative catch up and a bit of a puppy update. I’ve been thinking about the health benefits of craft, along with the health benefits of a 6 week holiday (sorry non-teacher friends!) There’s some knitting chat, interior design chat and an update on the iMake Book Club in this episode so please join in.

Introduction

Hello and welcome to episode 81 of the iMake podcast. Happy fathers’ day to any fathers who are listening. I’m on the countdown to summer holidays now and I could not be more excited. There is SO MUCH I want to achieve over the summer and the vast majority of it is creative, fun stuff. I see many podcast episodes in my future… and yours, if you want them to be. Let’s get on with the show.

Creative chatter

Knitting wise there has been quite a bit of work on my Knitted Patchwork thanks to the inspiration of new yarn (yarn swaps). Also a very close friend of mine is pregnant so I have decided that if I can make the blanket baby sized before she gives birth, it’s going to her.

I’m obsessing over knitting stripes at the moment. If you read my column in Let’s Knit magazine, you’ll find out more in August’s issue. Stripes are concentration-less colourwork. Despite the warm weather I decided to make it my mission to find the best striped fingerless mitt pattern on Ravelry. If I couldn’t find it, I’d design my own. The problem with knitting stripes in the round, is, of course the dreaded jog. However, the pattern I am knitting changes colour every row, so if you fiddle around with your tension a bit, and twist the yarn at the back on the colour change, the jog is barely noticeable. The pattern is Jenjoyce’s Pinstriped Fingerless Mitts and it’s free on Ravelry. I have not got to the thumb gusset yet but it does look rather nice. I’m knitting the mitts in an incredible yarn - it’s Orkney Angora St Magnus DK and it was a gift from the lovely Kate. It had been sitting in my stash for a while simply because (as with all yarn Kate buys me) it’s so lovely I wanted to right pattern to match it too. Also the colours are incredibly vivid, so it would not be suitable for certain accessories. I knew the yarn would end up striped though as one ball is bright purple and the other is vivid pink.

In other craft news… I made puppy blankets! It was good to be sewing again. My adventures with bias binding have made me want to sew more over summer.

Did someone say summer? A teacher’s favourite time of year. I’m excited to have more time on my hands. Next academic year I will have even more!

It’s not really a creative exploit, but here’s a quick puppy update. Thanks so much to everyone who asks about my lovely puppy Penny. She is doing really well. She was 6 months old this month and the vet says she is growing well. Training is a challenge but we’re getting there. Summer will be a bit of a training bootcamp methinks.

Perhaps it’s time to knit a doggy jumper…?

Personal stuff

I don’t normally do very “personal stuff” on the podcast but I think this is relevant as it definitely relates to living a creative lifestyle. I’ve been having some health problems over the past 12 months - thankfully some resolution is in sight but I am not sure on timings yet. It strikes me that without my craft, in particular my knitting, being in this situation would have been really difficult to manage. I cannot sit still, but I need to sit still quite a lot right now so if I am knitting and listening to an audiobook, I am perfectly happy. At the moment, this is my favourite things to do (it’s why I get through so many books). As well as resting, I need to do gentle exercise, so Penny has been the perfect companion to this relaxation. She walks between 30 and 45 minutes a day and there is also lots of play in the back garden. My Fitbit tells me I now average 12,000 steps a day (16,000 on a good day).

The medicinal effects of knitting are becoming more frequently documented - particularly in relation to mental health and also things like arthritis.

Have you noticed any health benefits from your chosen craft? Tweet me.

In addition to this personal stuff I am excited to share with listeners that hubby and I are planning an extension to our home. This is going to mean lots of creative, interior design stuff coming up…

iMake Book Club

June’s book club discussion is now live on imakebookclub.interests.me (visit the website or download the app). This month’s book was The Red Room by Nicci French.

Our July book has been chosen by LoriCrafty and it’s called All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

To join the club please download the interests.me app or visit imakebookclub.interests.me.

Shout outs

Shout out to Hello Homebird on Twitter - her blog is hellohomebird.com.

Alongs

Join in! There’s..

Wrap up

I’m on the look out for a new podcast sponsor. Know anyone? Email me imakegsy@gmail.com. Thanks!

Direct download: Episode_81_The_Dreaded_Jog.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 12:34pm UTC

Welcome to episode 80 of the iMake podcast. Today’s episode could be a list, really. My creative mojo has not just returned, I think it has exploded (all over my house!) I have the compulsion to make, make, make!

Introduction

Hello and welcome to episode 80 of the iMake podcast. It’s a stunning Sunday morning in Guernsey and I am enjoying one of the benefits of being a new puppy parent - getting up early. It is a benefit, honestly. Today’s show is going to be a show of enablement (according to Wikipedia, this is a thing - it’s the provision of opportunity - the act of enabling). So settle down and prepare yourself for some serious enablement…

Creative chatter

Today’s show is all about my recent creative exploits. CAN’T. STOP. CRAFTING.

Knitting wise there has been a bit of work on my Knitted Patchwork and hexipuffs. But for some reason, over the past week, all I have wanted to knit is my Hot Pink Cowl. There is no pattern, it’s basically a plain cowl knitted in the round (cast on 100 stitches and join then knit, knit, knit). It sounds like the most boring knit in the world, however, the yarn is making it joyful. I am knitting with hot pink Rowan Kidsilk Haze (colourway Candy Girl 606). I know this type of yarn won’t sit well next to everyone’s necks, but I’m not too sensitive (literally) so I am loving it.

I do need to get back to my Crochet Happy Blanket - whilst I have not crocheted any more squares, I am in the process of making a blocking station for them.

In other crochet news, it seems that my lovely crochet stones accidentally got red wine spilt on them so rather than be cross, I have opted to rediscover crochet stones and make more. I have decided to have a go at adapting some doily patterns - watch this space…

A few episodes ago, I mentioned using up some scrap leather - I’ve made key rings and some might end up for sale in my Etsy shop.

The sewing machine is out - I will be using it this afternoon to hem some cut off jeans (does this make me an old person?) Also, I plan to use my newly acquired bias binding foot to edge some fleece for puppy blankets.

As if that was not enough, for some reason I’ve been doodling and filling the doodles in with watercolour.

AND I’ve been creating little cross stitch motifs to frame in miniature embroidery hoops - they will make lovely pendants. The hoops are made by Dandelyne.

When I have a spare second there has also been a little mindfulness colouring in. Recommended book:

My Etsy shop definitely needs to re-open…

Techie talk

I’ve not got regular access to a GoPro video camera so, aside from strapping it to the dog, I thought it might be an idea to start making some crafty videos over the summer. What do you think?

iMake Book Club

June has kicked off with a book by Nicci French called The Red Room. There is still time to get involved as the discussion does not open until the end of this month. We’ve also agreed a book for July on the suggestion of one of our members (LoriCrafty) called All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

To join the club please download the interests.me app or visit imakebookclub.interests.me.

Shout out

Brit Yarn’s online shop is now open! Visit: brityarn.co.uk.

Alongs

Join in! There’s..

Wrap up

I’m on the look out for a new podcast sponsor. Know anyone? Email me imakegsy@gmail.com. Thanks!

Direct download: Episode_80_Enablement.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:29am UTC

Welcome to episode 79 of the iMake podcast - it's a mini-episode in which the June 2015 iMake Book Club choice is announced. If book clubs aren't your bag then I honestly won't be offended if you skip this episode... I promise!

The Red Room by Nicci French on amazon.co.uk

The Red Room by Nicci French on amazon.com

The Red Room by Nicci French on audible.co.uk

The Red Room by Nicci French on audible.com

Nicci French website - it looks like this does not exist anymore, so you can check out their Facebook page here.

Join our private book club chat room here: imakebookclub.interests.me.

Download the Interests app here: Interests app.

Contact Martine: imakegsy@gmail.com

Direct download: Episode_79_Book_Club_2.0.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:41pm UTC