Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Fabric, Dye, Bead and Stitch 4

Another stitched piece. This one is the end result of playing around with dyes in the kitchen. it was definitely bucket chemistry, as my husband called it at the time, I had sheets to follow so that I started with certain colours and by adding more in a certain order I gradually expanded the colour range and took a sample of dye at each stage. With these different colours I dyed whatever was not glued down! There are even some old cotton bandages (unused I must say) in that piece.

I really enjoyed this task and once every dye colour had been made and a sample had been taken by dipping a piece of white cotton into it for my sketch book. The rest of dye I used up as it could not be kept.

The stitched panel is what I decided to do with my dyed pieces of fabric etc. it is more colourful than the photo suggests and just like yesterdays post I am going to see how I can better frame it.

Swap will be officially launched tomorrow. OOOH this is exciting.

See you tomorrow


Monday, 29 September 2008

Fabric, Dye, Bead and stitch 3.

I have another piece of work from my City and Guilds folder.
The drawing seems to have come out rather shiny and I think silly billy here did not take it out of the plastic wallet. Never mind, this piece was based on flowing water, I did seem to focus on watery themes quite a bit. i really like the colours that water creates. I also had to show how my design could be transferred to fabric with paint and threads. I colour washed the backing fabric which is only cheap curtain lining. Once it had dried I then used my stitch book to find stitches which would link well with the theme and I could use. I also used home dyed fabrics of different textures and thick threads and wools. These were then couched on to the top of the fabric, twisting and flowing them like water.
The piece is about A4 in size and at the moment it is stretched over a bit of card. At the moment I am finding my stitched work and re-framing them properly whereas before they were framed for posting rather than to show it off properly.
Below is a close up of the stitching.

This was one of the first samples that I did and there was certainly a colour theme which I re-visited during the course.

Details of swap partners on Wednesday. I still can not get through to Da Crafty Lady and time is pressing so I have a reserve who I have contacted and waiting for a reply. If I do hear from this blogger then I will simply swap with them but I want to get this swap officially started on 1st October.

Have a lovely evening,

PS. I have some info for the knitters out there so call back once I have clarified that info.

Best wishes


Friday, 26 September 2008

Christmas Swap....nearly there.....

I only need to hear from two more people, one of whom I can not get in contact with so if anyone visits Da Crafty Lady then please step in and ask them to email me, thanks.
Thank you for the lovely comments about the button and that should go to Kitty and we are both delighted that you like it so much.

In the meantime feast your creative eye over these lovely ideas featured on google.

Many ideas shown here , sorry about that last one it looked much better before I uploaded it. On Sunday I am going to Exeter to visit Creative Stitches which is basically a big Craft Fayre so I am hoping to pick up some ideas there and maybe some fabric etc, plus some bits for my students. Three of us go every year (apart form the year I was having Sophie) and it is a great day out.
Have a great evening,

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Christmas Decoration Swap button and update....

The swap is full!!!!

We have 20 keen ladies with needles, machines and fabric at the ready to create a little bit of Christmas for someone else. I am just waiting for some more details to be forwarded, so see the post below to see if I have recorded your information. I would like to let you all know who your partner is for the 1st of October then you have 2 months for your lovely decoration to reach its new owner. Sounds a long way off but time whizzes by. I cn not get in touch with
Dacraftylady so if you read this could you please email me your details because your comment link will not take me to your blog. Thank you.
On Monday evening I sat for ages trying to make up a button for this swap so that you had something Christmasy to put on your blog (and to remind you perhaps as well). Well I was that fed up with the struggle of trying to get anything to work because some Christmas images were on my old laptop and my new laptop would not let me upload, download or any kind of load. I swapped to my husbands computer, tried his memory stick..........well you get the idea.

However, a fellow blogger came to my rescue! Fanfares of trumpets and a lot of grateful bowing from me, Kitty designed and emailed four designs using my photo. How kind is that? Without getting too slushy it is acts like this which makes me like blogging, sharing ideas, receiving comments etc as much as I do. In fact my husband sees how much fun I have that he has joined a blog club for his car.

It was really hard to choose which one but here it is and please copy it for yourself.

So copy and paste to button that is in the margin as it should also have the link with it. Then please test it and let me now if there are any problems. The button is great isn't it!

Best wishes.


Saturday, 20 September 2008

Christmas Decoration Swap....

Okay, here goes..

I have checked back through all of my comments for September and my emails and so far I think that 19 people (including me) have signed up for the Christmas Decoration swap. If your name is not on the list below and I missed you out then leave a comment and I will add you to this post. I am thinking of 20 max to keep it manageable.

1). April -Cake makes the World a better place. Details recieved

2). Chocolate Cat Details recieved

3). Kitty - Kitty's bloggy Bits Details recieved

4). Country Bliss Details recieved

5). Nan - NannyBird Details recieved

6). Primrose Corner Details recieved

7). Jennie - Falling Down the Rabbit Hole Details recieved

8). Nihal - Crossroads Details recieved

9). Fairy Child Heirlooms =Details recieved

10). Twiggy - The World of Twiggypeasticks Details recieved

11). Lynn - Garden Lynn Details recieved

12). Indigo Blue =Details given

13). Julia B- Marmaladekiss Details recieved

14).Gina Details recieved

15). Gin - Keepsake Moments Details recieved

16). Susan Details recieved

17). Deb= Calcrochet Details recieved

18). Sandi = A legacy of stitches Details recieved

19).Monique Details recieved

20).Debbies English Treasures Details recieved

21).Summer Sadie Details recieved

22). Janice = Mom of 2 gr8 Kids Details recieved

From everyone I will need you to email me with the following:

*Your name

*Email address

*Full postal address

*Website/blog details

*Colour scheme guidelines.

When we set up home 13 years ago we decided to limit our collection to Red,Gold and Dark green in any combination. We have sort of stuck to that as time has gone on. If you have no preference then state that as well. It gives everyone an idea of what you might like.

The idea is that you design and make a christmas decoration suitable to go on a tree or hang from a door handle. Nothing too big or heavy. Any medium or technique can be used but do think about postage. A christmas card is then included (handmade or shop bought?) so that the swap/ gift is complete.

I did see an idea in Stitch magazine a couple of years ago which was organsied by The Embroiders Guild where they made stars using a set template which were sent in and then a swap was sent out. I also make basic decorations with my younger students at school and they really enjoy it.

If you wish to add anything else to your swap it is entirely up to you as it is the decoration that is the main element here, but it is fun, so I will leave it up to all of you.

Taking the UK half-term into account when families may be on holiday etc, I thought that your swap should reach your partner by the end of November at the very latest. It will miss the Christmas post chaos and if there are any problems I can step in. If anyone feels that they are not able to fulfill the swap please let me know by email asap and it will be sorted out. Please do not just leave it and let someone be disappointed, things crop up don't they?

I would like to make this an annual event each year swapping people around and hopefully have new people taking part.
There are no places left but I still need some details (by the end of September please). Meanwhile have a look at these ideas to get you thinking.

I have set up a Flickr Photo Pool for all of your lovely creations so that we can all see what you have made wherever you are. You can add other examples after that if you wish I will keep it open. It is inviatation only at the moment but after the swap I will open it up.

Wow! I think that is all at the moment I just need your details by the end of the month so that I can swap them around.
Many thanks for your kind words about my health, I am usually fighting fit but lately it has been the opposite. The cold has nearly gone but as I feared has gone down to my chest so I shall see how it goes.

Anyway, bye for now, back tomorrow.


Friday, 19 September 2008

The Giveaway Winner is......

I used a number generator to pick the winner of my giveaway. I wanted to put a print screen here but it did not like that and would not let me. Anyway, it produced number


as being the winner and I calculated that as being Purple and Paisley!!!

Yippeeee...congratulations and celebrations da da da da!!

Congratulations, could you please email me your full postal address and I will send your new bag and purse asap.

Well now that is all over and I am into the 2nd year of my blog I shall now get on with organising the Christmas Decoration swap. I shall get in contact with all of you who have expressed an interest and add you to the list. I have another reason for wanting to organise this, it is my birthday on the 23rd December and I want to have a blog celebration of that as well as a happy, family time. Sophie loves Christmas, mainly the lights etc. She thinks that it is a pretty time as well. Typical girl! She is only five but has a basic understanding of what the occasion truly means and this gets more detailed every year. Decorating the tree is a job that she loves and as she gets older it will become her job when putting the decorations up. So there are some of the reasons. I need to draft some rules/guidelines for this swap. As it is my first if anyone sees any snags then do email me and I will correct it.

On the sewing front I have finished a couple of WIP's that I have had waiting for a while. Firstly

I am still on my cupcake trail by making a book cover using this theme. I have added a strip of felt with a plastic popper to develop the design from previous book covers. This will go in my Etsy shop where I have a cupcake section. I have also completed another purse/make-up bag...

I never get bored of making these pouches. Again I have increased the size and will be listing this as a purse/makeup bag. The bigger size is attractive and very useful and washable which I think is needed in a makeup bag.

At my sewing club on Wednesday I made these little pincushions. I decided to skip the August Craft Fair but I think I will give the Christmas Craft Fair a go instead. It is in November so this time I am going to make items for £5.00 or under, although I will take some of my bags along just in case. These were fun to make and it was Sophie who sorted out the fabric and the colour combinations for me to stitch. I think that she did a very good job!!

I will make some Christmassy items of course so this year I should be more than in the Christmas spirit by the time I get there.

It is Friday again, hence my grinning caterpillar, and it has been a long week. I went to school for two lessons and then had to come home due to a really bad cold which took hold the night before which meant that I could not breath at all and got no sleep. I felt better today and managed to last the day at work.

I do not get colds very often but when I do they are good ones and trigger off asthma, so the tight chest and non-contact time meant it was more sensible to go home than stay and make it worse. I never had any problems like this until 4 years ago when I caught Bronchitis, had two lots of antibiotics to shift it and 3.5 weeks off work. As a result every time I get a cold it takes a hold, the inhaler has made it controllable, but still not a health development that I was expecting, so I try to be careful. I still felt guilty leaving work early but I was on my last legs, I have pulled out of the AGM meeting that I am supposed to be attending tomorrow as well. Never mind eh!!

Hope you are all fighting fit and if not then virtual hugs to you from us all.

Enjoy the weekend what ever you have planned!

Take care!


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A New home for Bug and Giveaway Deadline...

Many thanks for your lovely comments about the last two posts, there are more to come but for now I had to say a fond farewell to Bug...

This little chap is winging (via airmail to save his wings!) to America to his new home with Joanna. I shall miss him as he has sat on my sewing desk since I finished him. He is going to pastures new, I wish him luck and I hope Joanna will be pleased with him once he arrives. Had a bit of a run an pincushions lately and I only have two left!

Thursday midnight (UK time) is the deadline for my giveaway and I will do my utmost to post the winner Friday, I have to go to work so it will likely to be once I get home. So leave a comment on tht post only please.

I am thinking of orgainising a little Christmas decoration swap. Keep it small, perhaps 20 people. Would anyone be interested? You do not have to have a blog but a reliable email address would be needed. Let me know on this post. I have taken part in swaps and they are fun to make and great to recieve!

Well my right hip is giving me alot of problems at the moment so I am off to bed with a cup of tea and my book.

More stitch and show later.

Take care and bye for now.


Sunday, 14 September 2008

Fabric, Dye, Bead and Stitch 2

Creating for yourself is great but I do find that when I have a specific reason it does seem to concentrate my mind. So here is another creation from my City & Guilds work. It is one of my favourites.

The theme for this piece was The Sea. I had already used Cornwall for a previous project so I needed to look elsewhere. Then a postcard from my sister-in-law on holiday in Australia. The postcard was of the Great Barrier Reef, or certainly part of it. Annoyingly, I can not find the postcard but if I do I will add it, but it inspired loads of drawings, experiemnets with paint, crayon, pens and adding water it them! Got all a bit messy at times, but in the end I came up with the above.

Now, this is a sample piece, the final item was in fact a trip -tic wall hanging.

Above is a close up of one of the panels. It is backed with blue silk and I made my own silk binding. I used pelmet vilene to give it strength. I then painted a dowel rod to match the bluey colour of the silk and made my own cord and tassels.
Where is it now? Well it is in my kitchen dinner, and is admired. I can see it every time I sit down for a meal. It is standing the test of time very well and is one of a favourite pieces.

Since then I have made another version for a postcard competition with STITCH magazine which is published by the Embroiderers' Guild. Sadly I did not get anywhere, but it was sent back to me and I framed it.

The frame is actually metal which was a great find! I tried many frames and this was really the one which showed off the colour, texture, beading and stitches.
This piece of work was planned unlike the last one and not long after this I joined the Embroiderers' Guild and now have another avenue to work towards and friends to swap ideas with. It has been a while but i have found two more of these silver frames and I am thinking that a re-visit to this theme and colour pallette could be on the cards.
More tomorrow, bye for now.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Fabric, Dye, Bead and Stitch 1

One of my favourite City & Guilds pieces was a complete accident in terms of planning. I had randomly dyed a piece of cotton fabric previously at an evening class. The theme is used was flowers and it was to conclude a module on using creative stitches. I also used a piece of very roughly made felt. Thankfully I am better at felting now but in 2002 I did not really know what I was doing!
Take a look.....what do you think?

You are probably wondering what the accident was. Well the top square panel is in fact the back. The tension on the bobbin must have been wrong but it gave a lovely stitch that looked a little like an over sized button hole stitch. So I carried on and turned it over as the front!

This is a close up of the stitching and if you click on it you will be able to get even closer. This week I have neatened the edges and stretched it over a small canvas so that it can be hung up rather than being stuck in a box. I have some other pieces which need the same attention.

More tomorrow.Enjoy the evening. I'm off to stitch and watch a DVD. This one...


Friday, 12 September 2008

More cupcake fun & Giveaway reminder...

Yippeee, it is Friday!!!

Right, well I have got that out of my system lets look at some things I have been making. I am still on my pincushion trail, they are fun to make and something that I can do in front of the television, and of course it is the The Tudors again tonight at 9pm so I must be settled with something to sew by then. I have completed some more cupcakes and I have sold one of them on Etsy already so I am now down to just two of them...

Whilst on holiday in August I came across a lovely cook shop in Lewes that had these mini white fluted dishes which sang out cupcakes cases to me. So I bought three and now wish that I had bought more!! One cupcake has flown off to a new home last week.

This flower shaped pincushion is a fun one to make as well with quite small amounts of fabric and lovely buttons. I like to make the two sides different.

I have even managed to find some boxes for the more breakable pincushions for them to be packed snugly to go to their new homes. I have just started my annual pincushion project at school and showed the students my wheel barrow and sewing machine pincushions that I made last year..

I had a few others that I have made over the years, including a hamburger with felt cheese slice etc. So that got off to a good start and I will post their creations once made.

The week has been hectic which is why I have not posted since last Sunday. Good luck to the 22 bloggers who have entered my giveaway, another week to go until results day. Come on everyone join in, tell others, borrow the pics and put them on your blog etc.

At the top of this blog is a follower section which is the new gadget from blogger and I have a follower, Nan from Nannybird over in America. I am delighted she is the first as Nan helped me alot in the early days, welcomed me to join her giveaway and has helped me since with questions. Add yourself, let me visit you and others to find you. Last week I had 49 people visit, why not say who you are? Just click on the comment icon at the bottom of each post, if you do not have a blog you can sign yourself as anonymous. Honestly anyone can leave a message. Or email me if you need a bit of help. A visitor came from Ely. I went to Ely Sixth Form so that brought back some memories.

My thoughts now need to point towards my entry for the Camper van swap, I have collected a few things but still not sure what item to make!! Arrrrgh I did not think it would be this difficult. I have found a few pictures though...

UUmmmmm, now what to do next?

Ballet starts its new term tomorrow so an early start in the morning.
Back with more tomorrow.
Take care
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