Sunday, 30 September 2012

Knitted Cotton Dishcloths

I have had a really busy week and blogging has been a bit thin on the ground this week.  With the darker colder evenings starting the need to get my knitting needles out began.  I crochet some dish cloths a few years ago and decided to have a go at making some knitted versions.  I looked around the internet and found a nice little pattern at Maggies Rags.
I can easily knit a square but I wanted to try a new stitch pattern as well  and seeing as the square would not be too big I felt that my limited knitting skills could cope and I would not have enough time to ruin it.  Unlike making a jumper!
I started off with the really easy one and used simple stocking stitch with 100% cotton yarn for making dish cloths.
The above pictures shows the stitch created using Maggies Rag pattern.  Very quick once you get the hang of it and there is only four rows to make the pattern which are just repeated.  This is a pattern that I would use again.
Then, just to finish off the edges I crochet around them using treble stitch.
They have turned out nearly as large as my crochet dishcloths but they are a looser shape which I think will make them easier to fold and use.  They are certainly better than buying throw away cloths and nicer.
We have spent most of this weekend re-flooring the living room and the internet was switched off half way through my posting!! So the date is a bit out but never mind.  I shall post a few pics and hubby has done himself proud again with Sophie's help.  For a nine year old she listened really well, was very fussy about how everything looked.  She has learnt a lot this weekend and this is how I learnt some being shown by my Dad.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Sketchbook Started

I was lucky enough to have much of Sunday afternoon to work on my homework for my evening class.  I am off again tomorrow but thought I would show you what I have been working on since last week.
Above is another poppy seed head using a more colourful background and ripped edges.
Our other task was to start to think about how are sketchbook would look.  So I ripped the first front pages and put it over on the right using a masking tape hinge and them added colour across the two pages.  I made my own printing block for my lesson as school and used that.  Hope that is ok but much of it will be covered anyway.  Just trying out ideas really.
My printing block as diluted coffee.
This picture has tilted on its side but you can see the front page and the hinged ripped pages over lapping.  Something will be seen through the gap making you want to turn the page. (Hopefully!)
We then need to do some more bigger drawings so I used a lotus flower seed pod which I have had for years.  I draw the whole thing then moved on to doing a close up drawing.
Blendable pencils and black pen.
I really need to do another one so once I have done some tasks for the day job this evening I shall see what I can come up with.  I thought maybe the inside of an orange.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Evening Class - Art Textiles

I have been a bit preoccupied this past week or so and for good reason.  At the end of August I decided after much thought to sign up for an evening class.  I used to like to do one during the winter but over the past 6 years the day job has just taken off to such as extent that every evening seems to be spent doing work.  Well the past year has taught me that you should not put things off and I am certainly not going to spend so much of what is really my unpaid time working.  What is essential will of course be done but I want my life back, my spare time to do what I want.  By signing up for an AS Level in Art and Design Textiles I shall spend my time doing something I really enjoy, hope to learn more and hopefully at the end of it get a qualification.
I am teaching more and more types of art at work plus a new textiles course so it will come in useful for there but I am doing it for me as well.
So the first week was spent on the course introduction and then we were asked to start thinking about natural forms and creating backgrounds.
So above Yo can see some papers that I stained.  Some I have ripped the edges for.  It is funny because I ripped pages for my sketchbooks during my BTEC and degree and that is some time ago now!
As regular readers will know I love dried Poppy seed heads so of course that had to be my first scribble drawing.
Blogger has sadly tipped this the wrong way and the shading should be facing downwards.
I then moved on to a pomegranate which is a new area for me to draw but the sketchbook that I was working on in the summer by following an on line course by Alisa Burke has helped me to try this sort of thing more easily.
This has turned out a little shiny but I think you can see, one half has the many seeds and the other side is showing the skin.
This is just the top half of the pomegranate and I prefer this one.
Then the good reliable pepper!
I think I prefer the black pen drawing here but even the pencil drawing looks better in the flesh.  It was good light for taking pictures by the time I got home today.
I have always liked drawing in pen and rarely feel the need to rub out anything or have thoughts that it does not look right, unlike with pencil. 
I had the second session this week in which we had our drawings looked at and we started some simple samples of free machine embroidery but it is not ready to show just yet.
This weeks homework is to spend this coming week adding to the drawings but looking at different natural forms this time and using a wider range of media.
Plus, to start adding what I have made already to my A3 sketchbook.  Plenty to do and I am really enjoying and as intended, I am finding and making the time to do it.  I am so glad that I decided to sign up for this  and I really look forward to my two hours of structured fun and tasks set for homework.  To tell you the truth I miss being a student ans if I could afford it I would really like to go back to college......well maybe one day but for now I am happy with this.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Quilted Pink Heart

A friend of mine has been making these quilted fabric hearts at our sewing group nights for some time and thought that I would give it a try.
I decided to use free machine embroidery to create the quilting ans some nice pink cotton fabric with  white polka dots.
The heart is stuffed with toy stuffing and I added a little lavender given to me by my Mum's neighbour when we popped back to see her.  I have spent nearly a month drying it out.
I added ribbon to tie the two ends together and to use it to  hang up the heart. I think that next time I will use wider ribbon so that it shows up more and has more shape to add to the overall appearance of the heart.
This was quick and fun to make and I can see more variations of these being made over the coming months.
Many thanks to those of you who left comments with suggestions as to what I could do about my laptop problems.  I have not been able to solve them but \i m up and running on my back up laptop which I have not used much since my last session of exam marking.  I shall sort out the other laptop in due course. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Art Journal Travel Kit

Whilst looking for ideas for my travel book that I want to do when we go away at Christmas I stumbled on some You Tube videos by a very talented young lady called JenniBellie.  If you type in her name as it is shown here you will find her channel where there are about 93 videos to watch about all aspects of Art journaling.  JenniBellie also has a blog you can follow.
One of the videos caught my shows what JennieBellie takes when travelling and how she stores all of the bits and pieces needed to jounral when away from home.  You may want to pop over to You tube and watch the video called Art Jounral Travel Kit and then come back.  Could not set up link ( I am using my other laptop and the black one is still poorly.
JenniBellie uses a multi compartment handbag.  What a good idea rather than the sorry looking item I use now.  So off to Ebay and I found the above Antler travel make up bag which cost me the total of £3.49!
There are three compartment with further sub-sections.  Perfect for the job plus the whole thing is fairly leak proof.  Good strong zips too.
It is amazing just how much you can fit in this and still do up the zip easily!  In this picture there are a few items that I have moved around since taking it but it gives you the general idea.
On the inside of the first section is a zipped pocket where I have decided to put tags, paper, patterned papers etc for adding to my pages.  These are for Christmas as we will be away on the Oceana.
Also in this section are some glues and double sided tapes etc which I have put in a zippered pocket.  I recycled it from a much bigger zippered pouch and taped the sides and bottom with some fancy tape.  I have since added a single hole punch a roll of mini tape with cupcakes on for adding to the journal pages.
The middle section is stuffed with all sorts of things to add colour. A blue cloth for cleaning brushes and anything else. It can be hand washed and dried.  A mini stamp pad and another home made zip pocket. Also in this section are some small pockets.  The secret to this bag is the width that each section can open up to.
This is one of the pockets with some little recycled paint pots which I am going to use for Acrylic paints.  They have good lids and hold quite a bit.  There are two small pockets used for these.
Also in the centre section I have room for a small water colour pad, and some die-cuts.
They had paint boxes reduced in the sale at The Range, so I treated myself to a new mini paintbox which also goes in the centre section.  Sorry about th picture but Blogger had other ideas as to the angle the picture should be. A new set of mini alphabet stamps which I found on Ebay.  As I was adding these items I was stood amazed at how much I was fitting in!!
The third and final section has some built in pockets shown above and here I have filled with a range of tools.
Just like the middle section there are two more slip pockets and here I have some glitter and mini sharpies, plus some cotton wool buds for smudging.
The other pocket has some ATC cards which I could use for all sorts of things.
Due to this section expanding like the first section, I was able to add yet more tags and bits to add to the pages.  Plus some ribbon for tying things in.  Honestly I just kept adding items and I still have some room left!!
I even managed to put in some metallic pens for the Christmas season, but I am going to now leave the ruler hole punch at home.
So... there you Art Journal Travel Kit inspired by JenniBellie seen at You Tube.
What do you think?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

I am Back.....well almost.

I have nearly sorted out my laptop problems but not quite.  I have had to back up and swap the contents of my little black laptop to my pink one.  I have restarted my black laptop and tried some of the advice left in the comments for the last post but to no avail.
Many thanks for the advice and we did try them.  One idea very nearly worked.  It almost seems like there is soomething stopping Goolge from linking with my black laptop but that is now replaced by the fact  that after three years it no longer can connect to the wireless internet in our house!!
We are both very busy at the moment and a little cheesed off with nearly a week of this that I have decided that until I can figure out what is wrong I shall keep using the pink Sony computer instead for work and blogging etc.
Normally we can sort out problems like this which seem to crop up at least once every 12 months, but not this time.  So hopefully Indigo Blue will be back to normal tomorrow.  I have a post to show you, a giveway to organise and something I have signed up to do, but you will have to wait for a few days for that one.
Now I can at least access the internet I shall be replying to the comments left over the past week.  They were much appreciated.
Why the picture?  Well a post needs a picture and some of you may not have seen the wheelbarrow pincushion that I made in 2008 for the Pincushion Challenge.  Whatever happened to that?  It sort of fizzled out, what a pity!  I used to enjoy making something to meet the theme.
Take care.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Help....Blog problems!

After posting about my Zentangle mug yesterday I switched off my  laptop.
Today I switched it back on and nothing is working.  My blog layout has gone to the way it was eight months ago .  I have about 1 inch to view and type in, all of  the tabs to help create a post are miss from the top line.
I can not access google at all and I have been trying to sort it out all day.  I have done just about evcerything I can think of and I have some work that needs doing for Monday which needs google.
I am doing this post to see what happens when I try to make it go live.
I may not be around for a while and I can a trip to PC world taking place tomorrow.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Zentangle a Mug...

Yes, you did read the title to this post correctly.
Above is a Zentangle that I drew and painted some months ago and I have always been quite keen on it.  During the summer holidays I got to thinking what else I could do with these zentangles other  than just putting them in a sketchbook........then I had a thought.  Maybe not a very new one but one that I was quite excited about.  
I had a plain white mug hanging around for a while.  It was part of a mug painting kit but the paints were so runny and awful that I cleaned the paint off the mug and threw out the paint.
I tried a black sharpie pen on a plastic wallet and once dried I tried to wipe it off with a cloth and it did not budge.  Next I tried adding some pen on the base of an old white cup and it stayed put .  I did not try putting it in the dishwasher but I bet the pen would indeed come off so I will use this mug and then hand wash it carefully.  So if you wish to try this then you might want to experiment further with its resistance to washing off,  but I wanted to get on with designing the mug.
I gradually worked the design from the handle round the front to the other side using the black sharpie pen.
I was lucky to find a colour pack of Sharpies on sale, which prompted me to try this, so I began to carefully add some colour.  I did need to wait for the black pen to fully dry before adding the colour as it was prone to smudging.
I highlighted some areas by going over the lines several times to give some thickness to them and a 3D look.
I am surprisingly pleased with my "Tangled" Mug, I really did not know if it was going to be any good at all.  I have not actually used it yet and if the possible washing off factor is an issue then you could always tangle an object that does not need washing all that often such as a pen pot.

Now what could I try next...............?
Bye for now.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

OPAM August Round Up

Here is my OPAM August round up!
I made a total of 5 items last month.  I seem to have missed off a picture of a basic scissor case that I made.  I found a strip of quilted fabric just the right size.  Folded it into three and put a velcro fastening on it.  Nothing cleaver really, but still very useful to hold my largest scissors.
My favourite make in August has to be this patchwork and quilted pencil case which I have now filled with my drawing and painting supplies.
I am back at work now so I do not know how much sewing time I will have but I always seem to have less time during the school holidays than I do during term time(?).
Tomorrow I am off to my little sewing group and I shall start making another case.  My friend was so impressed with her new pencil case that she has asked for another version to use as a make up bag!
It is nice to be asked to make something like that.
Take care all

Monday, 3 September 2012

A fresh start...........Another Quilted Pencil Case.

It was my first day of the new school year today.  No students, just us staff having meetings end sorting things out.  You really do need this time so that the first day back for the students runs a smoothly as possible.  This will be my 18 year and I really do not know where the time has gone.
I like to make something for my colleague every now and then and this year we meet up again to work in the same Year group.  I decided last week to make her the above pencil case which she can use for any pens or for those that you use on a white board or even storing memory sticks.
Kirsty is a very good friend nit just my head of Year this academic year and she loves Purple!
I made a purple quilt for Kirsty's Wedding anniversary some years ago and that too was in shades of purple.  It was also my first quilt so she was very brave to ask!
So I used the same approach as my out sized version ( I have still not told you why it was so large but I will next week).
Strips of fabric patch worked together and then quilted on to woollen interfacing to add thickness and strength.  This time I added some machine embroidery designs along the seams.#
I could not resist adding some free machine embroidery.  I wished that I had added some to my version....only after I had finished it!
Again, I added fabric strips at either end of the zip to make it easier and neater to stitch.  I am definitely converted to this method of adding a zip to a pouch or pencil case.
I made the final length just a bit longer than one of Sophie's pencil case and then finally a lilac lining.
I think that I am going to have to make some more of these.....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...