Thursday, 30 April 2009

Creative Swap Challenge Runner Up

After the voting had finished this quiltie by Cynthia Zdanukas was voted the most creative. I was delighted to find out that I am a runner up with three others. Pop over and take a look plus all of the other entries. I really enjoy swaps but I find these challenging as they can be very open in terms of what I might design. Sadly it will be a while before Lenna will be organising any more swaps as she is in the process of selling and moving house. I do have the ATC swap to set up but this week has not been good to do that. A persistent cold, GCSE coursework deadline, a bed to still have delivered ( we have made progress with this tonight) and after school workshops. However, this weekend I intend to make a start on it as next week is going to be even more hectic at work.
I would like to say many thanks for the numerous new visitors that have popped by this month. Please do not be strangers and I hope you will continue to find things of interest on this blog.
Must go and sort out my work bag as I simply threw things in today that needed further attention.
Back tomorrow, it is my evening in of peace and a DVD. What shall I watch, any suggestions?

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Seed Sketchbook continued

I have taken some pictures which will be used in the sketchbook and I thought I would show them to you. Feeling very full of cold today so I have not yet done anything with them They are of a dried Allium which grew on my In-laws allotment and has been sitting in their living room since Christmas. I am really pleased with this first one, a lovely day so I just held it up in the air. Not very scientific but it did the trick. Quite pleased with this one.

This is the whole bunch together. Love the colours here.

A single smaller flower.

This picture shows the little black dots of the SEEDS. I have taken a risk and planted a few, well you never know do you? Lovely spiky look to these flowers once the petals have gone.

Spiky, spiky. I can think of lots to do with these images and I have decided that once Sophie is tucked up in bed on Friday evening and hubby is out I shall finish some marking and then have a play with some ideas in my book.

Another shot of this pic simply because I like it so much. Hubby thinks that I should make this into some cards.

Bye for now I need a hot cup of tea and an early(ish) night .


Monday, 27 April 2009

Sketchbook Monday (Sunday)

I usually do these sketchbook posts on a Sunday but I had a lot to do yesterday and never got that far. I have been a bit under the weather as my cold is now two weeks old and my inhaler suddenly ran out onSaturday morning. I had been to the Dr's Friday to order another but I can not pick up the prescription until today. So today has been a bit of a struggle and at one point I needed a TA to come in and help me 0therwise I may have expired right there and then. I shall pick up the new one after work so hopefully I shall be back up to speed tomorrow.

I am going to show you some of the research, photos etc that I am putting together for this project which is to run for a year. I am a member of the Cornwall Embroiderer's Guild so this is going to hopefully go into one of our future exhibitions.One thing I definately do with my sketch books is get rid of the white page by putting a colourwash over it. I usually do this just before I go to bed then it is dry for the next day. With the theme of seeds I decided to go for pale browns, creamy colours, yellows etc. I anticipate this changing as the book progresses. I then began with looking around the word SEED and started using a dictionary, looked in my books upstairs, gardening books, the school library etc and just gathered bits and bobs for most of January. I out them all in a fabric zip up wallet that I found in ASDA months ago.

Finding key words linked to SEEDS gave me the spidergram idea which I decided to do as I began to feel that I would never actually get started. I did leave the very first page blank for the time being. I added to the interest by adding a few small pictures from books and Google. Dandelions came up via this research and I remembered how much I like the feathery appearance just before the wind blows it all over the place, that I had forgotten was that they were seeds and the wind helped to scatter them!!
At last, I had found my starting point.

I then began to search for Dandelion pictures. I found some by accident on a clipart CD I had at work for a computer design software for Textiles garments! There were several Dandelion plants in the garden which had very kindly decided to grow at the right time so I kept an eye on them then got the camera out just at the right time.

I am quite pleased with this photo. It could be better but considering I do not really have the right lense for this type of picture I was lucky to get this.

I then sketched small sections of the Dandelion head and looked at it from different views. This is not finished at all but I will then stitch up little samples using the pictures and sketches as a starting point.

I have a long way to go and as I have said before my sketchbooks usually evolve via my own interests rather than a set theme, so it will be very interesting to see how this goes. I shall try and post about once a week on this, partly so that you can see what I am doing but hopefully it will help me to stick at it too.

Anyway best be off, I hope the week has started well for you so take care for now.


Sunday, 26 April 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy....

This is my 291 post so a 300 post giveaway is looming. I shall start to think about it. Today started with staggering downstairs to make that all important first cup of tea, feed the cat and put the bread maker on. Then put some washing on that got forgotten yesterday, tut tut.

Then to put Sophie in the shower, breakfast and then to swiftly move onto housework. We are up and at it today because Hubby wants to see the F1 race today because the weather means that putting the last coat of paint on the garage is unlikely today. I also want to finish some marking, look at a scheme of work and then have some me time. If you have smalls and watch 'Me too' you will know that they have a song about finishing a task on time and it is a bit like that here.
Last night two more felt chick egg cosies were purchased which I am delighted about as I wondered if now that Easter has gone they would sit there doing nothing.

You can give them as gifts anytime. So they need packing and sending tomorrow. I also need to update my shops and take some pictures for a sketchbook project that the Embroiderers Guild is to run for a full year. Sounds along time but that slips by quickly doesn't it?

SEEDS Sketchbook Project

When I was told that the theme for the sketchbook was seeds I inwardly groaned because it did not exactly fill me with inspiration. So I sat on it so to speak for a few weeks but during the Easter break I did manage to make a start. I have more to add but I have not photographed it. I have been a bit slack with pictures this week! I want to do some stitch samples to add to the sketchbook too. The final intention is to have all of the sketchbooks as part of our next exhibition so I want it to be reasonably good. Normally I do sketchbooks just for me and I sometimes show them here but not deliberately for people to see so we are all making a bit of a shaky start!

The ATC's information I shall try and scan again today as it did not want to know yesterday (technology is wonderful, but only when it works!) and as I said before I am looking for 6 people but give me a chance to post the info before you say yes! They are small, you make them all the same as they go to the 6 people.

I also want to spend some time with Sophie who has just started cutting up boxes etc to make something! I have not got a clue what she is making but she does so that is want counts. Yesterday we bought her very first pair of trainers. My little baby is growing up too fast!! Slushy Mummy moment.

So off I must go and try to reach my goal and to catch the light so photos to be taken.
Enjoy the rest of the day,

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Felty Fun...

Just a few pictures to show you what I made during the Easter Holidays. I noticed that several of my bookcovers were leaning towards some colours and stocks were running low, so I decided to try out some new colour schemes. I love blue anyway and I was surprised when Sophie said how much she liked this one.

However, I still could not abandon the popular pink and green either. Now, the next problem. Etsy or Folksy? I may have to flip a coin.

Bye for now


Friday, 24 April 2009

Creative swap Voting...

Over at Lennas blog I found this morning that you can view all of the entries and then in the right hand side bar vote for your fav. this is only possible until Monday 27th. If you are not sure what I am talking about see previous post. It is not intended that you vote for mine, but I thought you might like to pop over and be involved. Only 13 people have voted so far. There is another link in my side bar called Creative Swap Challenges. Once you have visited you may wish to join in a swap yourself!
I have a busy night with work ahead of me so that I can have my weekend free so I shall be back tomorrow.
Have a great weekend.
PS. I will post about the ATC swap this weekend too.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Creative swap entry...

My entry into the latest Creative Swap in America hosted by the very hardworking and lovely Lenna has arrived and is posted on her blog. I am on the current post there, but my name is also in the side bar. If you scroll down and click on my name you can view everything that I have entered over the past two(ish) years. There are lots and lots of other work to look at too. it is worth popping over and taking a look.

I want to put it here too.. It is a theme that I have used before for my City and Guilds but it is a colour scheme and them that i never get bored of...
I took this picture outside but I am not sure it really does the colour justice. The background is fabric painted and some salt has been added to get a mottled effect. Machine embroidery is then added to the fabric. Using a combination if fabric manipulation and beading further detail is then added...I have some fabric that is pre-folded if sewn in a circle will then fan out and then stitched here and there to keep it in place.

The last few pictures do the colour a little more justice. I also used handmade felt which I had made a little while ago. Plus some heated/melted Tyvek, which is pretty weird to use, and stitched that down lightly as it is prone to cracking. Then some Angelina fibres which is created during a day class but I can not remember how!?

Anyway, I was pleased with the outcome and it survived the trip to America. I now just need to wait and see who receives my creation in the post.

I have been sent info about an ATC swap from a friend of mine in Australia so I will post about that at the weekend as it might be a good intro to these as they are very small and I only need 6 people to take part. I might need to send some details by snail mail for you but I will see if I can scan the pictures I have as they would be a good start to get the ideas flowing.

Many thanks to the new visitors to my blog since the weekend. Two of you do not have a way for me to reply to you which is a pity so maybe you could email me instead as I would like to reply.

Back tomorrow with some more goodies.

Take care


Monday, 20 April 2009

Clutch Change...

In my last post I mentioned that I was going to try the above project out of my new book, "Bend the Rules".
I decided to use leftover curtain lining to try out the pattern.

The book uses stretchy cord which I do not have and I am determined to use what I have rather than buy more. So I have used a large loop of thin ribbon into which I had put a knot. Partly to make it a tighter fit around a button, but it can be undone to give more expansion, but the very end knot will also give it something for the user to hold when un-looping the bag open.

I then wanted to come up with my own version so I looked at creating a curved edge to the clutch bag with the idea of making it into a new make-up bag.

The bag is fully lined and I found a large pink button in my button tin.

I then made another version. I used some of the gingham left over from Sophie's curtains, plus a white FQ with butterflies on.

The curved flap when folded down will show some of the lining so this could be made quite plain on the outside and quite a bright flashy lining could be used on the inside.

This is quite a big button, one of a set of three. I bought it last October whilst visiting my Mum. The other two are blue based and green. These buttons caught my eye and as is always the case I decided to buy them with the 'I will use those for something' approach! I really like this button and when I visit my Mum again I hope that the shop will have some more.

I like working with this gingham, it irons nicely, finger creases well and gingham always looks so crisp and fresh. I am certainly going to make some more of these. I have a couple of birthdays coming up and these would be ideal especially as they will need to be posted.

Back at work today and all went well, lovely weather but this cold is still with me. It has gone down to my chest and I spent most of the day trying to catch my breath. So an early night with my book tonight I think.


Saturday, 18 April 2009

A sneaky peek...

Twiggy asked if she could see inside the 'Bend the rules' sewing book by Amy Karol, (the cheek! seeing as you asked so nicely..) well as requested here are a few pictures.I had a go at this clutch last night and came up with my own version. I shall post about them later because I want to make one more first.

A little wallet for coins, notes and cards.

Different types of totes and bags with step by step instructions.

I think that this bag would also look good as a mini version.

Straight forward quilts for anyone who has not tried on before. Good for using up all of those lovely scraps that many of us have tucked away.

Items for the kitchen such as tea cosies, coasters, place mats etc.

I will finish my clutch efforts and post those tomorrow. I am in the middle of marking another set of files and I want to finish those first.
So Twiggy.... tempted? Go on treat yourself or maybe someone else will. I do not think that you will be disappointed, it is a book that you will come back to again and again.
All the best to you.
PS. Josie wonders if anyone has bought 'Sewing in no Time' to make projects in a weekend and is it worth buying? Leave a comment if you can help. I would be interested too. Would be nice of we could help each other with this type of question. Twiggy, you may have started something here.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Something Old Something New

Yesterday Sophie and her friend played really nicely together and gave me a chance to finish the curtains quicker than I thought I would.
Firstly I would like to show you something old which I moved to take the curtain photo.

Meet this old fella who used to belong to my Uncle when he was small (sadly no longer with us) and then was given to me when I was a baby. My uncle died in his mid-forties and I am going to be forty this coming Christmas so this is one old little bear. I passed him onto Sophie and he is not for playing with due to his grand age but I thought you might like to see him. By today's standards he is made of quite coarse fur, he has movable joints and toy eyes. He does not have any labels so certain age or where he was bought can not be determined. I do not think I ever gave him a name, he was simply Teddy.
His nose is a bit off centre, I think one of our family dogs had a bit of a go at him one day but he was repaired. I bet this little fella could tell some stories if he could talk.

Anyway back to the curtains, I needed this..

100% pure cotton fabric all the way from France. Cost about £5.99 plus 4 metres of 3 inch curtain tape for £1.50.

All very important, especially that mug of tea!

I have had this machine for about 10 years and it is brilliant. i can buy all sorts of attachments for it, a Husquavarna Lily.

Sadly it is no longer made, but parts and attachments for new machines still fit mine. I wish all companies thought ahead like that...

...and hopefully you end up with lovely curtains for about £15.00. I did take more photos but the flash kicked in and they did not come out properly. They are not quite as full when shut as I would have liked because I was recycling the blackout curtain fabric from the last set and that really 'fixed' the size for me. they look really good closed, (honestly) and Sophie is delighted with them. There is some gingham left over so I am going to buy a plain white single duvet cover and decorate it with the gingham. I have managed to make or embellish bed linen for Sophie ever since she was born. The pink quilt I made her last summer will go on top and will still be used for really hot nights instead of the duvet. Sophie has insisted on that bless her.

As for the bed, well, can I have a little moan please?

I rang up on 2nd April to enquire about stock, delivery etc and all was ok. Rang back two days later and it was out of stock. Ok, so when will it get to me?, well they will not be in stock until 14th April and then we can deliver. Well, we were going to be away for a bit so we said ok and I have not been able to find another bed that fits the bill, needs storage underneath etc. Tuesday 14th rang again, they had arrived but were being checked, rang again today still being checked and another delivery van will not be coming to Cornwall until 30th!! For petes sake, Cornwall is attached to the rest of the country, also why was the van situation not mentioned before? Also Sophie's old bed has been taken apart, she is in the attic which is not ideal for her (too complex to explain here) I shall be spending quite a bit here yet there seems to be no speed or urgency to get their hands on my money!! How b****y long does it take to check a bed for scratches or whatever it is. We were told there are 50 of them, but as I pointed out I only want ONE bed. So we are in limbo, so much for getting her room decorated, bed in shelves up etc before school starts! This is going to roll into next week. I would have preferred to have been told what was going to happen because their website, catalogue and my phone call all said a couple of days to be delivered, not a month.

Hay Ho!! But the curtains look great!!??

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Wedding Anniversary

On the 11th April it was our Wedding Anniversary and this year we decided not to do anything in particular just yet. All possible babysitters were busy so we have put any meal etc off for the moment. We have also been busy with things around the house too.

However we did go into Waterstones in Truro and Hubby treated me to these:

There some lovely ideas here which could be used as starting points for your own ideas.

I also got this book too. I have tried wet felting with Year 7 at school and they enjoyed it. Year 10 have felting on their syllabus so I thought this might give me some ideas and methods that would work well. Some lovely pictures and instructions to follow.

I also got the Amy Butler "In Stitches" book but I can not find the picture for it! I read that in bed last night and I have many items that I want to try out. Firstly I must finish Sophie's new curtains which I hope to have to show you tomorrow. I felt to awful yesterday that I did not go to my sewing group so the quilt is in one bag and the wadding is still sitting in another so no progress there at the moment. Sophie has a friend coming over to play in about 45 mins and the weather is much brighter today for them. Hubby is off to Dartmouth to do a stability test on a boat and I need to do some more marking. So a busy day ahead of me I think.

Has anyone made anything from the books above at all? What did you make and how did it turn out?

Well have a great day, I am off to decided which of the above to do first.


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Recycled Quilt blocks.

Oh what to do with some left-over quilting blocks? Hmm well in this house there is usually a long things that need to be done and finding another bed for Tiger, who moults fur for England, has been on that list for some time.So, during some after school sessions I started to pin a few blocks together. After school I am not generally needed (sounds sad doesn't it?) the girls just need the time, space and advice when they get stuck, being exam work I do have to be careful how much I do. After several weeks of hovering, asking if they needed any help etc I decided to do some sewing instead. I do not remember seeing any of my teachers do what they taught and I am a firm believer that you should be able to do what you ask of others. I did not finish it so I brought it home and finished it before I went away last week.

I divided the blocks with some yellow strips that were in the bag. Now this bag was given to me about a year ago by a friend who was having a turn out. There is lots left and I am going to take them to work for Year 10 to have a practice on. " Waste not want not"! I will confess to not measuring anything, much of it was already cut to some degree. Sophie did ask if Tiger liked yellow or not which I thought was sweet. He did not seem to worry about the last blanket being bright orange!

The quilt stayed on the sofa for about 5 minutes before he settled himself down for a sleep. He is a little camera shy so this was the best picture i could get.

A happy cat on a new mat!

My posting has been a bit scant recently due to having problems installing my new computer anit-virus software. However Hubby has done it again and solved the problem! I knew there was a reason why I married him!

Back tomorrow.....


Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter everyone!!!

I can not find my proper Easter image so hopefully this will do. Happy easter and I hope you all have a fun day. Not sure what we are doing today so back later.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Cath Kidston Brochure..take a look

This arrived just before I went away. Gosh I could spend a small fortune very easily!! Since ordering from them last year I now get sent these lovely brochures which are more like magazines. These will not be thrown out any time soon and the pictures are beautifully styled and taken. It is almost worth emailing them for the brochure alone. However you do run the risk of weakening and buying something! I have picked some of my favourite pages for you.
To spend money buying a purse to store your money in seems daft but who said shopping had to make sense? These look like they could last along time.
I do like snap purses too. This pink paisley pattern would suit any age range.
Don't they look lovely hanging up like this?

My breakfast table never looks this nice. More chaotic in our house I would say.All I can say is yum, yum fabric!!!Could sewing be any more enjoyable? Well maybe yes with some of these sewing bits.


Ooooo bags , bags glorious bags. I think I feel a little faint best get a cup of tea. See more here.

Have fun


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