Thursday, 30 December 2010

Sketchbook Challenge

After adding my sketchbook post yesterday Fenland Textiles told me about a blog site that many of you may like to take a look at.
Lots and lots of jaw dropping inspiration to get your own work started or to simply ponder the question "how did they do that?"
Take a look.
The 2011 challenge starts on New Years Day or there abouts, and seeing as I have just about finished the SEED book I thought that I would like to take part. For the days when getting the sewing machine out is not an option or I am between projects.
Anyway, I thought that I would see how it went, I have one month to tackle each of the themes.
Many thanks to all of you who came to look at my last post, which was quite a few of you!
Take care

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Seed Sketch Book Update

It has been a while since I featured any of my SEED sketchbook pages. It was due to be finished for The Embroiderers Guild Christmas Meal which was unfortunately cancelled due to the weather. Leading up to it I really tried to add more pages. Usually sat down with a cup of tea when I got in from work to help unwind, might be a good resolution to keep this up!
You may remember that the group theme was on SEEDS and this did prove to be difficult to get going with. I have made good progress and move from page to page with a different idea as it comes to me or if I find something to put in. I have been trying to add a bit of craft in it if I can but it was not a requirement of the sketchbook.
The crochet daisies seemed like a good idea to give another dimension to the pages. I was also learning how to make different versions of these at the time. I also had a flower punch for card making which I used down the side of the page. Sophie loved this bit!

Last summer whilst visiting my sister-in-law in Seaford I watched her gather some poppy seeds! I am an odd creature because I immediately good really excited and dashed off to find my camera!! So these are pictures that I took. These are the pods which hold the poppy seeds and I think that they are a lovely shape.

There are tiny holes around the top and it is through these holes that the poppy seeds come out. There are lots of shapes to be gained from these pictures which could be used in various ways for stitching etc.

We did carefully cut open one of the pods to see what it looked like inside. See picture on your left at the bottom of the sketchbook page. Lots of little chambers for the seeds to collect in.

I also like to put watercolour washes on the pages first to reduce the stark whiteness of the pages. It blends the pages in better and does not distract from what is being put on the pages.

We managed to collect quite a few pods with the stems and ended up with many seeds which we then used in a bread making session! The pods and stems are very hard and we thought they would travel well so I brought them back to Cornwall and I intend to have them in a vase along with some other seed and seed pod examples when the sketchbook goes into an exhibition in February, if I can get the book to the exhibition because it is taking place in Bude when I am at work!

There are still a few pages to do, but not that many. A group challenge which did not start off very well has turned out to be quite enjoyable and did get others on board who had nothing to do with the actual challenge but got carry along for the journey, such as my sister and mother-in-law who found lots of things that I could add or photograph. Even one of my birthday cards which arrived last week has plants with seeds on it so that will go into the sketchbook too!

As you look through the book I think that you can see how my approach to it has changed as I got more ideas and got used to a theme which, to be honest, did not appeal at the start.

I now need to think about a sketchbook for 2011.


Monday, 27 December 2010

Pom Pom Scarf

You may remember that our small knitting group wanted to have a go at making some pom poms and creating something out of them. Well, I made some pom poms, more than shown here, and then thought about how to string them together. Our last session before Christmas we had a go at putting our scarves together.
The above picture is being modelled by "Rose" and I think that I need to add some more. It shows up well on the black sparkly top. I used up some left over wool from making my Granny stripe blanket earlier in the year.

I will be honest, I think this scarf is more of a statement item rather than for keeping you warm. I think that my pom poms could have been a little bigger and not so dense, then they would have been easier to wear. Well we live and learn. You can wear it different ways and is eye-catching. We also had fun making them and it did the students good to have an idea and then actually make it. I have seen other versions of this on the Internet, not for a while mind you, and there are pom pom scarves in the shops at the moment too.

In the New Year we are going to tackle the knitted Cloche hat which is featured in the sidebar of this blog. I thought that I would make one for my Brother-in-laws wife as I have found my purple one to be very useful this past weeks. With that I need to revise how to crochet a flower to go on it too.
I have also started a new crochet project this week but I want to work on it a bit more before showing it here.
A bit warmer today but dreadful rain, gloomy and very misty!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Quilted Gift Revealed

I was asked by my Mum to make a couple of cushion covers in pastel colours to go on her new sofa. Discussing this over the phone you always hope that your idea of pastel is the same as the other persons!

Using my favourite quilt block book I decided on the design above and used four fabrics.

I backed the front design with some thin wadding and did a little quilting on the front panel to give a bit of paddedness. I then added a zip at the back with some white fabric which has a white on white floral design on it.
I then tested it on various cushions in my house for fit. It measures the right size but you always have that element of doubt when the cushions that they have to fit are over 500 miles!
I enjoyed making these and due to work and illness these turned out to be the only handmade gifts from me this year. I hope to change that in 2011 by starting some Valentine and Easter items in the New Year.
This afternoon we are going to see some friends for a bit to eat and some chat. Hope you all had a great day yesterday and many thanks to those of you who visited over the past few days as well.
Take care and keep warm.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

A quick interlude between presents and dinner to wish everyone a Happy Christmas to all bloggers, those who I know, those who visit now and again and those who visit but I do not know who you are. Perhaps in 2011 more will leave a comment so I can in turn find you.
So many thanks to those of you who visit and look at what I have blogged about. Some weeks it is a bit thin on the ground but hopefully there is something worth looking at every now and then.
The decoration above was made by Sophie, started last year and finished yesterday! Well we like to take our time.
It is very cold here, -5, bright sunshine and blue skies!
Take care and have a great time.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Birthday Time ....again.

I really do not know where the past year has gone. it was my birthday yesterday and a year since we spent my 40th in Florence Italy. So this year I have now started the slippery slope to my 50th yipee but I think that will be the last time I shall worry about it until it arrives!
So, yesterday was a slow start with Christmas tea from Whittard's, in bed and unwrapping presents. Sophie loves this bit and really has to contain herself even if it is someone else's birthday.
I need to finish my current read because this was one of my pressies..........
Just when I think that I have read everything by this author, another book appears so this will be next on my reading pile.
I also received some lovely fabric, Cath Kidston and some buttons too.

Two very different designs here.

The flash has affected to colours a bit here but these are Cath Kidston fabrics that you may recognise. The buttons are in the centre. The ribbon came with the parcel and some others. Purple has featured highly this year! I shall now have to think carefully about what I shall make with these.
In the afternoon it was off the see Sleeping Beauty at the Hall for Cornwall which was very good. It was a last minute idea as Sophie and I are having trouble shaking off our colds and I have been left with a chesty cough. I did manage to keep it under control during the performance.

It was a good performance and Sophie really enjoyed it especially some of the slap stick fun which reminded me of Laurel and Hardy. But then many youngsters will not have seen that type of humour before, all harmless mime stuff.

Next off for a quick bit of shopping and I mean quick, then some light dinner at an Italian restaurant then home for birthday cupcakes.........
I used my usual mixture in large cupcake cases. I added a bit of fruit to keep it a bit festive, when you have a birthday this close to Christmas it is best not to try and fight it! I found some paper cupcake covers in black and white.

I have seen tutorials for making these and down loadable PDF's as well. after I had bought these, typical. I also found some edible flower petals which I thought would make a nice change. Sophie was not too keen on these. I also bought some wafer flowers, shown here in the centre, now I was not too keen on those!

We then spent the rest of the evening teaching Sophie how to play Monopoly. This game was suspended and shall resume again tonight after dinner. She is a fast learner and giving us all a run for our money. We like traditional sit-down TV off type of family games like these.

So, there goes another birthday with lovely pressies, a fun day out and a warm fire to come back to. Can not complain at all.

Visited Lanhydrock this afternoon and got out of the car to sheet ice for much of the walk to the main house. Took if very carefully and soon came home, it is blooming cold. I did take a few pictures with my new little camera, but more on that another time.

Have a great Christmas and keep warm.


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Festive Hats - the final instalment..........

Here is the final batch of my students festive hats.
I managed to some how drag myself in to work coughing, sneezing and wheezing my way through the day. I feel awful in the morning, get through the day and by the evening I am feeling dreadful! However, all of the hats are now done and here are a selection of some of today's finishes!
The above hat is fantastic and I really hope that this student takes Textiles at GCSE next year! The puddings are hand cut and she did all of the stitching herself! Very talented young lady.

Unusual colour for Christmas perhaps but then it could be worn all year round!

A cute reindeer hat.

Buttons and stars.

Hearts and sparkles.

Not long to go now!

Still got a few things to do, but not much is happening until I start to breath better, I am sure that I should not be needing my inhaler as much as I have this week. May need to do the impossible and try and get a doctors appointment!

Take care


Monday, 13 December 2010

Christmas Tree Quilt Block

One of the key needs of this block was that it needed to be a tree. The size of the block is only about 15cm square, which I think is one of the smallest so far. This is a tree that I have not used for ages and I am tempted to do it for the next block, but full size.
It has been stitched down with an iridescent metallic embroidery thread which glistens in the light! Nice and Christmas like I hope.
It has been a bit of a week or two in this house. Plenty of sick people about! I dragged myself into work on Friday and managed to get through the day. Went to the works do in Saturday and was fine until Sunday evening when I started to feel unwell. Got up this morning and well, I can only say that I have not felt this bad since I had full blown proper flu about ten years ago which has left a lasting impression on me. Could not face breakfast,
left hubby and Sophie in bed (Sophie is unwell and not been in school since last Thursday) Felt really rough but got through the lessons that I had this morning and then after lunch I had to admit defeat and go home early.
Hubby made me a hot water bottle and I went to bed at 2.30pm. Got up at 6.30pm to have some dinner. I am trying to stay up so that I go to sleep later but I still feel awful. My students want to finish their hats tomorrow etc, hopefully I will be fairly ok tomorrow to drag myself in again. Why oh why is it that you become ill at the most awkward times!!
Sophie is still very poorly, so no school again tomorrow, very unlike her as she can normally shake off a bad cold within 24 hours, quite a strong cold this time I think. A pity as she was due to sing in her school carol concert in the local church and being in the evening I would be able to go as well!
Hope you are all feeling better than me, keep warm.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Festive Hats

I thought that you may like to see some of the Christmas Hats that my students have been making this term.
The above hat had liquid tube paint drizzled all over and then left to dry over night. The pom pom is hand made and the fur band just ads to it.

Non traditional colours were also used a lot and the sequins have actually shown up well in this picture. The hearts were hand stitched on and cut out of fleece.

This is a really fun hat and the amount of time and effort that went into cutting and making the characters on the front of this hat. Again the hand made pom pom and the fur band to finish it off.

Lots of pink here!!! Buttons have also been used a lot this time around and HO HO HO was been the most used phrase.

All of these hats have now gone home and everyone has promised that they will be worn on Christmas Day and probably New Year as well. There are more in the pipeline and some even went home and managed to dodge my camera!

Hopefully some more to show you next week when they are due back in by classroom.

Anyone feeling festive yet?


Saturday, 4 December 2010

Scarf addiction

I have been at it again!
This yarn is similar to the Can Can yarn, but is called Flamenco wool. The photo is a bit bright, it is actually a deep wine colour, lovely!
The actual frill is not quite as wide as the CanCan wool.

I really love this colour and I am tempted to keep this one but I have some more wool to make another one, so this will be listed with a nicer picture. I am going to try again tomorrow but today it has been dull and raining, it is just not going quite my way with photos at the moment.

These scarves are very soft an flexible. What I also did was made a skinny scarf version with some wool which was left over which I have been wearing indoors, a bit like a necklace if you like. Has been commented on too. It just looks nice and a bit interesting without looking odd.

The weather has been very cold indeed, where I live the snow has been very localised and where I live has missed out completely, much to my daughter's disappointment!

I do now of at least someone who is not too bothered by the cold weather..... long as there is a regular meal and a nice warm place to sleep!

Keep warm


Friday, 3 December 2010


I accidently left my laptop at work yesterday so the post that I had planned was never posted. The photos were never uploaded so nothing new to see!
Due to my daughter's Christmas Fair tonight I think I shall be back tomorrow. Sadly due to the weather my first Christmas dinner has had to cancelled, pity but the right decision in the end.
It has been jolly cold though, hasn't it?
Think I shall watch my Geisha DVD tonight whilst wrapping some presents to send tomorrow.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

White snuggly Can Can Scarf

I have had terrible problems getting decent pictures lately. These are taken outside at the weekend during the day and still they are a bit dull looking. Anyway, I hope you can still see them fairly well.
The above is a new scarf that i made for the last craft fair that I took part in. it is made using the new Can Can yarn and I really like it!! Google it for your nearest stockest.
This is an off white and it has a can can frilly look when it is finished. It is a lot of fun to make and I have another one waiting to be started.
I have put it on top of my black winter coat (which I bought with some birthday money last Christmas and it is the best coat I have ever bought!) to give you an idea of size etc. I also made the felt brooch that you can see as well.

My model ROSE looks quite comfy with this scarf on and it is surprisingly warm too.

Eventually I shall list this in my Etsy shop once I have been able to take a decent picture, in fact I have a bit of a backlog with this but you can not put rubbish pictures in an on-line shop! I am pushing it a bit putting them here but I like to try and post something every day or at least every other day.

I am making slow progress with making these..............

these. I decided to cancel my knitting group after school today due to the bad weather we have been having. it has been a bit unpredictable lately and I decided they would be better off getting home on time. So I have another week to add to this lot.

Best go got some work to look at before bed.

Thank you for visiting


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Quilting by the Book

Above are just some of the blocks that I have made recently and I do have to thank this book for helping me.

I have had so much inspiration from this book. One of the things that I like about it is that it suggests different ways to use the same block, either by changing the colour combination, sequence of using the block or how to combine blocks together. It is also very easy to follow and there are useful photocopiable templates.

Very colourful pages and you can see at the bottom of the page the various combinations.

Clear instructions ans measurements are given and so far (touch wood) I have had no trouble what so ever in making each of these blocks up first time. They also enlarge very easily to produce larger final blocks.

Now, I dare say that most of what I have written here is not new to some, but every so often out of all of the books you buy, one just pops up as a "I am so glad I bought that book, I use it all the time!" This is one of those books.

I completely recommend it, especially if you are learning to do patchwork, or if you would like a lovely book to look at and gain ideas.


Saturday, 27 November 2010

My current Read

Memoirs of a Geisha.
by Arthur Golden.
I have read this book before, about 6 years ago. I borrowed the book from a friend, read it and gave it back, I thought no more about it. I then stumbled across it again recently in a charity shop and decided to read it again.
It is now on DVD and it sticks pretty well to the book, but as always I think that the book has the edge.
It is a very good book and covers a topic which has a mystery about it and for all of the wrong reasons.
It follows the true story of a young girl who is taken from her family and is trained to a a Geisha. The journey for her is long and difficult and she achieves something that no one before has been able to. What is that? Well I do not want to spoil it for you.
Well, Sophie was pretty poorly last night and was sent to bed with a hot water bottle, a dose of Calpol (brilliant stuff) and was propped up due to a very blocked up nose. Discussions of not going to this party were covered if I felt she was not well enough or if we had snow!
Got up this morning and Sophie woke up smiled and went back to sleep again, not normal for her so I left her for a bit. Then with the worst case of 'bed head' I have seen in ages croaked "I am fine, I'll be ok once I get there" That's my girl! So we jumped in car (once I had sneaked in a blanket, flask of hot water, de-icer, spare food etc, well come on I had flooding last week!). There was nothing to see in until I got about 8 miles from Newquay and everything went very white. Quite a thick covering of snow on the road and the motor cyclist in front of me was not taking any chances, he had to go so slow at some points that he had both feet on the ground as he went along! Ice was a bit of a problem, especially in sections where the sun had not got to it on the very winding road to Newquay. This was about 10am and the sun was blazing down but it was still very cold.
We eventually got to Dairyland and their car park was really covered in it and we were about the 7th car there. I decided to reverse into the parking bay as I would rather slide out of the parking space seeing where I was going on the way home, rather than backwards!
Despite the snow etc we actually arrived 5mins early. Two weeks ago Sophie had her party here and it was roasting in there, but due to the cold outside and the severe lack of people, me and five other Mum's sat for three freezing hours! Luckily we did manage to get a heater near us.
Sophie was very tired at the end of it and once we had driven back (snow still everywhere) and stocked up on more Calpol it was a sofa afternoon watching Shaun the Sheep and eating some cake!
Tomorrow I have LOADS of marking to do and Sophie has another panto rehearsal. Hopefully Hubby and I will be able to sneak off and do a bit of Christmas shopping with her out of the way.
So, take care and keep warm.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Keyring Madness

What is mad about a bunch of keyrings? Only the creator who thought that they would make good stocking fillers at the local craft fair and only sold one!
The above are all hand cut and hand stitched. Some have been made before and I have sold many in my Etsy shop, but after attending a fair a few months ago, the keyrings generated a lot of interest and I did sell a few. So I decided to make some more.

This is probably my favourite and the idea came about whilst watching CSI Miami! Must have been all of the flowers I saw in the gardens that were featuring on the show at the time.

I do love this button version. I have cut out a pink version to make up too.

I also made some plainer new ones, for an alternative design.
I made quite a few of these and I have taken some to work and put them in the tin of cards that I have there for those who want a handmade greetings card instead of trudging to a supermarket.
Most of these will eventually end up in my Etsy shop and some will be used as stocking fillers.
The beginning of October has seen the re-start of my knitting club at school. We have ended up with some older students this time and one of them saw an item in a shop and as a result we are all making these:

I need to make quite a few more of these. What do you think we are making?


Last week it was flooding and this week it is snow! I was told last weekend that a friend of mine was two cars behind me on the day that I had to drive through deep water when it flooded in my area in Cornwall. She said that is was to the top of the wheel arch of my car! I have also been told since of all the other possible outcomes I could have had that day and I think I shall not dwell on them. That was last Thursday.

This Thursday I woke up to a couple of inches of snow and wonder what the journey to work would involve.................... thankfully the trip was uneventful, but I had a phone call when I got home from work from Hubby who had to deliver a boat to East Anglia and on the way back the M4 was blocked so took a 2 hour detour to Seaford and is staying the night at his sister's house.
Better than being stranded on the M4 over night! One or two people arrived late to work because they live near/on Bodmin Moor, but basically the day went without incident.

The weather forecast is saying more snow in this area and other parts of the UK and tomorrow guess what Sophie and I are supposed to be doing? That's right, going to a birthday party in Newquay! We shall see,as the Newquay road is not that great, it has LOTS of windy bends, just right for sliding out of etc.

Gosh I can't wait for next Thursday to come along, (said with rolling eyes) I wonder what the weather has in store for us then?
Best wishes
and keep warm!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Button Envy....

I found this picture here and I just love it! I could spend ages just looking through all of those jars!!
Took part in a craft fair on Saturday..............well I may as well have watched paint dry! Just before Christmas I was told that it would be very popular...mmmmmm. Very disappointing really but there you go.
More craft news this week, just having problems getting any decent pictures with these dark evenings.
Take care

Friday, 19 November 2010

Little Bunch of Monsters.

I thought that you might like to see the results of a recycling project that I have been doing with my Year 10 GCSE Textiles group. The aim was to use recycled fabrics and to create a monster using their own original design. They are still quite new to the course but their self confidence is starting to grow with each project.

First of all a group photo needed. I asked the students (14 girls and one lad) to decide on the group arrangement, well it took almost as long as actually making them but we got there in the end. 15 bright and colourful monsters made using, t-shirts, scraps of felt, buttons, felt, paint, ribbon and stuffing. everything was recycled and it cost us nothing to make them!!

My name is Berry.

Each student was asked to research into plushies and softies once they had been given some websites to look at. The ideas were brilliant and once I have managed to get them scanned then I shall try to upload them.

My name is Dumpling

I think this one has a lovely expression on its face. It has that Friday feeling look.

My name is Hubert.

This fun monster looks just like the original drawing. I have still got them as I have to assess them, but I am delighted with the outcomes and we all had a lot of fun along the way making them.



Have a good weekend everyone.


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