Saturday, 18 April 2015

FNSI - Applique cushion cover.

This is my first sign up, and thank you to Wendy for helping when I could not get my own link to load up.  My struggle with technology continues.
I may not have made quite as much progress as I thought I would as I was quite worn out on friday evening.
Anyway, this is a half made applique panel which is left over from a quilt that I made quite some time ago, and has been lying around waiting for something to happen to it.  So the applique was completed with satin stitch on the sewing machine.
It is not currently big enough to do much with so I had a search through my scrap fabric and managed to find a few strips which I think are left over from the same quilt.
I did not have enough of any one colour so I picked two blue gingham and two plain blue strips to widen the overall panel.
I think this will look ok and the plain blue picks out the blue of the heart applique as well..  Not sure if it will be big enough for the cushion I have so I might need another row.  Coming along though.
In fact there is rubbish on the television at the moment so I think I might pop off and finish it.
Let you know how it looks another time.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
xNext time I willmake something that is NOT blue........promise.

Joined FNSI

Last week with the help of Wendy, I have signed up for this months Friday Night Sew In but due to life in general I have only just posted it.
If you have heard of this and are interested then click HERE to find out more.
I will be back to post what I did.
Oh and I have started work on setting up some local Sewing and Textile workshops too which has taken up most of my spare time in the evenings this week.
Take care

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Cross Stitch in Blue - Opam April

I sometimes wonder how I found the time to keep making all these bits of work that I  am finding and spent time completing over the past months.  For example, the above must have taken ages to create and it would have been in the I can bearing focus much after 8pm on something as delicate as the above.
Anyway, I digress.  The above is a cross stitch piece on 14 HPI fabric which I am pretty sure was made before Sophie was born!  Last weekend I looked at it and thought "you know what.... it is time you became something better".
I am planning my first organised workshop (more on that later) and I was thinking about little items that could be made to learn how to use their sewing machine.
I also had some home grown lavender so I decided that by sewing some cotton fabric on the back and adding the lavender a lovely sachet could be made.
I added a loop of ribbon to one of the corners and it is now hung up in the back of my car.  I do not like shop bought car fresheners but this has been in the car for about a week and it is lovely.  Again,  out of the box and into the wide world for this piece of sewing.
Blue again as well....must work on something with a different colour palette!
Hope you enjoyed the good weather today.  It got to 24 degrees which is a little bit too warm for a classroom but it was good to see it in April.
Hope it lasts a little while and comes back in the summer months.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Royal Powder Compact - Collection

 Over the Easter weekend hubby and I dropped Sophie off with the in laws for a couple of days and we decided to pop over to visit a large antique fair.
Long time readers will know about my compact collection which I started before I was married and I have now reached the point where it is hard finding new additions.  In fact I have not bought one for a long time.
This one did catch my eye and did not cost very much at all.  I held my breath while I waited to be told.
It is a Stratton unused powder compact made in Wedgewood for the Queens Silver Jubilee in 1977.
Not only that it comes with the original presentation box and............
It is numbered!!
In terms of backed up history and limited editions this is the best example that I have been able to find.  I can not find anything wrong with it at all and the chap I bought it from was very nice, which is not essential but does help.
It goes with one that I have found for Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding in 1981 and one for The Queen mother.  I had walked round and round for does pay to be patient and I think that it will be even longer before I can find anything that can top this one.
One day my collection will go to Sophie and it is also something that she likes as well.  There is quite a lot of history around the humble powder compact.
Is there anything that you have to still collect?
There is something else I collect but on a much smaller scale.  More on that when I have taken the pictures.
Have a good week.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Patchwork Cushion - Le Challenge & Opam April

The April theme for Le Challenge this time around is Tradition.  I have not entered for several months as I have been a little side tracked with my printing evening class but seeing as it is the Easter holidays a little more free time has come my way.
So above is a sample of patchwork which I am really pleased with and was part of my City and Guilds course some time ago.  I have never really known for sure what to do with it.  I posted a picture of it on Instagram and JanesFabrics came back  saying the centre of a cushion panel.  
So on Thursday evening after dinner I did a rare thing of going to the sewing room and actually staying there for three hours!!!
Here is the result of my efforts.
The patchwork in the middle did in fact have raw edges as it was intended as a sample to show skill and understanding and not to be made into anything, so solving this took much of the time.  In the end a long piece of homemade bias sorted that out.  I then used a large log cabin square left over from another project which I cut in half for the two back pieces.  That just left the front which I added to the sample by using up matching shades of blue strips left over from making my blue and white quilt.
So two half finished projects and a bag of scraps were used to finish this off.
This is now sat in my chair which is also blue.  Much better now that it is being used rather than sitting in a box unfinished and I like the Tradition of patchwork designs.
What traditional skills and techniques to you like to create or have in your home?

Friday, 10 April 2015

Poldark Country - Botallack

If you live outside of the UK you may not have heard that we are watching a series called Poldark based on the books by Winston Graham.
I vaguely remember a series years and years ago on the BBC so this is a series of books which have not been over done with remakes.  Hubby is not a big drama fan (although he makes sure that he does not miss an episode of Downton Abby!) but he has enjoyed this series and suggested that we go and find a couple of the locations where the series was filmed. 
With a bit of Googling and armed with our National Trust book we decided to visit two places.
We have visited other Cornish mines in the area and we are not quite sure how we missed this one. There are several mines really close together and as you look back along the coast you can imagine the sight of all of them working in their heyday.  It would have been a very busy section of coastline.
So on a gorgeous day we set off and I was armed with mobile (which has a camera better than my camera and my Samsung Tablet which I use much more since February.
The colours of the sea and sky were the best that I have seen in ages.

The Ore was heated to remove Arsenic and sulphur which was collected in a labyrinth of little tunnels and arches shown above, to leave just the metal.  The chimney at the top helped to suck the air through those little tunnels.
There are several mines in a very small area and the one shown on your left is Wheal Owles and some bits of it was used in the filming.  It does look different in the series so some aspects must have been added to temporarily  make it look like it was in current use rather than as you see it here.
This is the view out to sea and along the coastline.  Dangerous work but this is a stunning area.  Bet it was not quite so nice on a stormy day mind you!
I wonder how on earth they managed to build these mines.  On the other side it is literally straight down!  You have to take it very carefully walking down and my hip did manage it as I took a painkiller before I left but how  women of the day got up and down there in long skirts I will never now. (This is not an area for anyone with sticks, or not steady on their feet.)
 The pathway may have been better then as much appears to have worn or fallen away or become damaged by the elements.  Again on a Stormy windy day this must have been a dreadful place to be and dangerous above ground as well as below.
Sophie asked lots of questions and was able to link the series to an actual area that she lives in.  Sophie also asked about the books as well so perhaps in a year or two that will be next.
The lower mine is much further down that it might look and is no longer accessible.  The day was fascinating and it was good to link it to what is a fictional story but is also linked to a past where there is still evidence of a living that is no longer happening.
If you get a chance to visit Cornwall go on the National Trust Website and there is lots of information there linked to the Poldark series, go along and soak up the history.
Love this Instagram App for multi pictures.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Hooky Happiness

Two days of lovely weather meant spending time outside to rediscover the garden.  So what about the third day?  Well an impending dental appointment due to a broken tooth sustained whilst watching Home at the cinema last week was one activity, but apart from that nothing too drastic.
I started the day by sitting outside and doing some work for the day job which went very well and it always does when the sun is shining and you can sit out in the garden to work.
Once that was done, for the mean time, I wondered what next.  Now going into the sewing room was one idea but the blue skies and sun meant sitting outside some more was more appealing so Crochet seemed more appropriate.
I am working on my black edged Granny square blanket which is my long term project and I work 10 squares then add a row of black wool as I join them together.
I am using Style craft soft double knit and it is one of the colour bags put together by Attic 24.
I want to have an even spread of colours and make sure I use all of them, even the ones I am not quite so keen on.  Above is a colour combination that Sophie put together and I liked it so much that I made two squares.  I think that if I get stuck again Sophie will be called in as my colour coordinator.
The blanket itself is gradually growing and I think that the black really shows up the colours.  I did make a scarf in this style a few years ago that some long time readers may remember.
I like my little crochet pouch where I keep all of my hooks, scissors, tape measure etc.  It is the one that I made for the project that I submitted to Sewhip Magazine and was printed, it has been really useful.  I want to make some bigger versions of these at some point.  Add that to the list.  I also like to line up my colour combinations to get an idea of what they will look like once they are worked together.
I keep it all in the large wicker basket that I have had for years and years.  Makes it very portable for taking around the house and garden.  It has had many uses including storing magazines, books and fabric at various times.
I spent a lovely hour or two outside and added to my square tally, wonder what the weather is doing tomorrow?
Does anyone else have a project on their Hook at the moment?
PS Dentist said problem was not as bad as I thought it was and it got sorted out in about 15 mins!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Scarf Done - Opam April

This is my first Opam offering for April and hopefully I will complete more than last month.  March was a busy one.

Here is the completed scarf which should be the right length whether it is wrapped around or just wrapped round the back of the neck.  I think it has turned out well.  Here I have teamed it with a black coat because I have a black frock coat at school plus a nice black hat from the local fancy dress shop.  Teamed further with a zany tie, trousers and possibly a waist coat.
 Tomorrow I shall be taking up some hems on the Dorothy dresses and I need to look at some cushions for the sofa.
Tonight, however is Poldark night!!
Hope you all had a 
Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!!

Hope you all have a lovely day whatever that might be.
The year is galloping by but today is a time for slowing down and enjoying.
Plus also time for some sewing and making fun as well.
Take care.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Wizard of Oz - WIP Costume Alterations

When I go back to work I think things are going to get a little bit manic.  First day back is day one of my year 11 GCSE Art Textiles exam (the next is on the Thursday of that week) and the costumes for the school production need collecting, altering, checking and listing on my running rail which I used to have my clothes on when I was at college but is now my wardrobe department rail.

Above is a costume that we are borrowing and I am going to have to raise the hemline and it is too long but I shall only tack it so that it can be let down again before we give it back.  I do have permission to do this and it will save me a lot of time.  I am going to make a little net underskirt as it is a little straight up and down and it could do with a bit of definition if you are sat at the back of the audience.
The girls wearing the two Dorothy outfits are providing some of the other bits as well which is making it easier and fun for them too.

My Wizard scarf is coming along nicely and I am going to have to decide when to stop.  I had plenty of wool in the end and might even had some left over.  Quite a nice activity to do in the evening as well.
There is a fancy dress shop locally which has been a great help and last weekend I went and collected two lion outfits.  One  of them I will need to take the head off and the other I need to reduce from an adult size down to a  child!!!!!!!!!!  Not exactly sure how I am going to get away with that but we shall see.  I shall post more costumes here as they are completed and any ideas that I come up with.  I am now on the look out for a wand and crown idea for a 14 year old student to wear.  She has found a dress on Ebay during the holidays and it is ideal.  The students taking part have been great getting involved with this side of things.  I also have half of the Tin Man outfit done I just need to make the jacket and trousers and I was given the idea of using silver ironing board protectors which ASDA sell quite cheaply, plus I have a costume to model it on but is not the right size.
I am using extractor tubing for the arms which is very lightweight and fits both boys playing that part and we have already added Hammerite paint to a bright red funnel for Tin Man to wear and Sophie has made a felt heart with a clock face for the Wizard to give the Tin Man.
  It should look really good in the end but you now what it is like, at the moment we have bits of every main characters costume done but not one is fully finished yet.  As for Munchkins I think they are getting most for the costumes themselves, with the boys wearing ties and waistcoats if they have them and the girls wearing dresses.
It is all good fun.
I have already been told what next years production will be..................
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Thank fully I did this years ago and can still remember what we did and can adapt it all to bring it up to date.
My poor machine will need a service before we start that, I think.
Happy Easter!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Branching Out- Creative Monthly Challenge Group -March

Creative Monthly Challenge with Jennibellie for March was Branching Out and this time I was determined to finish it in the right month!  
So on Monday I did a little housework (well it had been staring at me since Friday) and then rewarded myself with a couple of hours putting the above Art Journal page together.
I started by adding a sheet of tissue paper with text on it then a layer of Gesso which i moved around with a damp cloth.
I needed to get some more brown paint after using most of mine up for my A level exam (can not believe it is nearly a year ago since I did that).  I was certain about the background but not so sure after that so I decided to get out a cheap sketchbook and do a bit of doodling.
I felt that some sort of tree was needed as I felt that was the right thing to do but not what it looked like.  I came with a couple of ideas and then moulded a couple of them together.
I wanted to use my Midori Travellers Notebook for this challenge and when it is opened up it is nearly square in shape.

I lightly drew on the tree and painted it with brown acrylic.  Sponged on some blue in the background, making sure that some of the Gesso and text tissue paper showed through.  I added words along the branches with a fineliner to journal my own link to the challenge and added both water colours paint, soft pastels and oil pastels to give further detail.  These were are linked to the additional changes and challenges that my day job has included this year.
Not all of it shows up in the photograph and I nearly forgot that I added some skeleton leaves which I had in my sewing room for some time and I added texture by running pastel along the veins.  White pencil to lift the brown areas and at this point I decided to stop as the voices started to say "stop before you ruin it...." began to kick in.  Does anyone else get those voices?

I am really pleased with this and whilst doing a load of washing etc during the making it took about two hours which is pretty quick for me.
I wonder what next month's challenge will be?
I really want to make the Flag that was one of the tasks for the Birthday Bash on Inspiration Station but I was away visiting and did not have anything with me.  Wonder if it is too late?
Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Instagram V Blogging

About a week ago I decided to sign up to Instagram and I have finally figured it out!  I have some followers already and I have started following some in return.  One of them is Instagram itself and there are lots of lovely images, but there are also some quite wired/odd/not sure what is going on,  images as well.  But that is social media for you I suppose.
I would love to find some of my blog friends too if you have an Instagram account so please let me know and I shall switch on my phone.
Just type in 
Or click on the icon at the top of this blog.
Did not want the odd dashes as they are in fact spaces but it came up as this, typical.  I have kept the blue flower logo which is easier to find!

I do like how easy it is to load up pictures and be able to comment and Like what people have added.  At the moment I fail to see how it has possibly taken users away from blogging.  It is ideal for on the go with photographs etc but so far I do not feel the same inclusion that I get with my blog.  One follower has pleaded that I do not stop blogging now that I have joined chance of that even though my hits and comments have rather dropped through the floor over recent months but that might be linked to my post content as it has shifted slightly with my interest in Art Journaling and I do not post everyday. There is a good reason for this and maybe this holiday I shall reveal that reason.
I like blogging even on the days when I can not really think of anything worth while and perhaps skip a few days until I do, or several days in some cases.    Bloogging without obligation was a badge that went round blogland a few years ago.  It is in my side bar if you would like to pop it on yours.  Sorry but I can not remember where is got ir originally.
I like being able to look back on posts to recall certain memories, such as the fact it will be Toffy's 5th Birthday next month, we have it recorded the day we brought him home for the first time.
Our trips away, family issues, crafting successes........... and failures!
I love the  comments left, the blog friends that I have made and yet to make.  Even if I find Instagram fun I do not feel that I can walk away from a blog that helped me to become involved with swaps, competitions, learn new skills, find out about new crafts and helped me to get involved with social media and has taken 8 years to build up.  Well my 8th blog birthday is in September so perhaps 7.5 years be fore accurate.

Much of the above can also happen with Instagram as well, there are swaps and competitions, but Indigo Blue started here and will continue, it has just diversified a little..................
I have also found a handy little Instagram app called InstaFrame which enables you to load up a multi framed  or collage version of the photograph.  I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini but I am sure it works on other phones as well.  Quite good fun to use.  I have also been playing around with a 15 second video facility which is not easy as 15 seconds goes nowhere but I have added my Art Journal as a 2 part flip.  I have several pages to go but I have very nearly finished my first Midori Sketchbook.

For now I am enjoying the challenge of using a new platform and at the same time using my camera phone a lot more.
So if you wish to follow me and see what I am doing then I would be delighted to see you.
Take care and have a good week.

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