Sunday, 30 March 2008

We're Back!!...Surprise in the post...

We have arrived back from our few days away and the weather was awful everyday! The holiday house that we stayed in was very cosy and everything was in walking distance so it was nice not to have to use the car all the time. My other half went off to sort out jobs etc as part of his new job role (made redundant and has decided to take the plunge and go self-employed) so Sophie and I occupied ourselves and had a look around with a very nice lady called Hillary. We even had the chance to go out for some nice meals and as a parent of a 5 year-old, it is possible to take children to restaurants and they can behave.
Went to a charity shop and found a nice pale blue leather bag for the summer for £3.50, I know I can make my own but not easily in leather, it can be a bit hard going with a domestic sewing machine.

The surprise in the post was this...
I happily won this bag as part of nannybird's blogaversary competions which have been running throughout March. I so rarely win anything that this is a major thing for me! Nan was worried that the bag was not very exciting and was concerned that I had missed out. Not at all I say, Nan has given me the go ahead to put in a lining and embellish if I wish. The fact that it has come all of those miles away and not gotten lost is a miracle in itself so I may give it the 'indigoblue' touch but I shall have a think about it first. Thanks again Nan and I look forward to your 222 competition in the near future.

I visited Inkberryblue a few weeks ago and she was looking at drawing and sketches and on other blogs questions have been asked about how the owner comes up with ideas etc. With my Btec, degree and City and Guilds background I went and had a look at my stuff. Well it is amazing how much had accumulated, but I also looked at how my ideas develop now that I do not have to satisfy a course tutor but just do it for myself.
So for April at least I am going to have "Sketchbook Sunday". I am going to feature some sections of my sketch books, where the ideas came from, why, what I did with them and the final item outcome. If anyone would like to join in email me with an attachment of a page or two and say a little about it and how it all turned out.. Feel free to add your blog or website so I am encouraging a bit of self promotiom here as well. This is purely for interests sake and not a chance to copy, also it may help those of you who have a fear of drawing or think that you can't! They can be sketchbook pages, doodles, scribbles, sqiggles, whatever. goes..

Bag Competition at the local Village Fayre..1997 (I think)
Decided to use the lovely hedgerows that I needed to go down to get to the heart of the village and my house at the time, it is only the width of one car in most places. Started off with taking some photos of my fav bits. Then with pens, pencils and paints etc I picked out the parts that I liked the most especially the colours. At this point I am not sure what stitch method I am going to yse or the bag shape/size.
Due to the type of flowers that were in the hedgerow I decided to use small stitching and as embroidery may have taken too long machine embroidery came to mind. To keep with the hedgerow theme a green bag seemed the obvious route. I looked for inspiration elsewhere and played around with some smaple stitching which you can see in the photo above. I love doing this bit and can get carried away with this.
I also looked at hand stitching to embellish further and a shape for the bag started to emerge. I do like making samples and even the mistakes are kept for future reference. I think that this is were my training has shaped my approach to this sort of thing. Notes help for future reference and tells me why I did a certain thing at the time.
This photo does not really show how bright the green and the embroidery is but it is quite densely stitched which helped to give the bag some firmness. I did use one stitch pattern that was programmed in the machine because at the time I had only just got it and I was itching to use the 'fancy stitches'.
This is the final bag and I hope that you can see how my idea went from photo to bag. I made the cord and the tassels on the ends. Not very well at the time and I have improved since!
This was my first machine embroidery project and since then I have been on a couple of courses, bought a proper machine foot and hoop. But we all have to start somewhere.... Now it is your turn, any contributions I will post throughout the week. Email is in my profile. I and everyone else looks forward to what happens. Can be a past or present idea.
PS. My bag did win first prize but I can not find the certificate.


Joanna Butchart said...

cor your talent is amazing. i just to carry a notebook around for ideas to write about, people i had seen etc. I now carry an ideas book around. I am creative to a degree but not to your standard. that bag is amazing and the drawings are super

"t" said...

glad to have you back! your bag is gorgeous and deserved to win first prize...=)

picciolo said...

hi! glad you enjoyed your few days away despite the weather. The green bag is beautiful, the hedgerow inspiration and the little flowers look gorgeous. I'm not surprised you won!
: )

MarmaladeKiss said...

Wow, what a lovely bag!

Joanna said...

Wow this is just amazing. What a talent you have for this kind of thing! I use a sketchbook for my applique designs, but not nearly to the extent that you do. You have indeed inspired me!

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