Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween Pumpkin Fun

Last year we seemed to miss the whole pumpkin carving fun so this year we decided to make sure and we bought ours a week or so ago.
Last evening we were all sat around the kitchen table drawing the designs on to the pumpkin with pencil and then using an array of tools we set to work carving out our designs.
We shall start off with hubby's pumpkin which had a very unusual nose shape which was achieved first by drilling a large hole and then cutting a point on the top of it.  He also added "hair" to his pumpkin  along the top using a small penknife (carefully!) and this worked really well.  This year the pumpkins were really firm and well shaped for doing this and the insides scooped out easily.  I remember one year struggling so much that I was really glad when it was all over...took a bit of the fun out it.
Sophie drew on her design and I helped her to carve it out as I was scared that she may end up with a digit less on one hand.  The idea is completely hers and the eyes were again drilled using an attachment normally used on wood.  Cleaned up very carefully too and worked really well but I still think that was due to the firmness of the pumpkins in the first place.
You can see in this picture that I added some "Harry Potter" style lightening flashes to the lid of the pumpkin and they turned out pretty well when the candle was added.
The little tea lights that we use give of a surprisingly good amount of light and shone through the carved areas well.
We took these pictures outside in the garden once we had finished and Sophie is delighted with the outcome and it really is fun to go back to our own inner child as well. 
For the first time I was able to gather enough pumpkin seeds to dry and bake in the oven.  I found an idea on what to do on the Internet and then crossed my fingers.  They tasted good, they are golden brown and not much to look at but with a dash of salt we were quite surprised at their taste.  Last time I tried this it was  rather a disappointment as there was only have about 10 seeds...hunted for more in the pulp but only 10 seeds were found!!!
We have kept a few seeds unbaked as Sophie would like to try and grew some for next year.  Not so sure on the success of this but I am willing to give it a go.
We hope to go to Eden later as they have some Halloween activities going on but we shall see what the weather is doing and maybe take our lanterns with sone battery operated fairy lights inside instead of candles.  They will then sit in the window for a while and then off into the garden.
Have a Happy (and Safe) Halloween

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Wool Blanket - WIP

Well it is Saturday and Sophie has been dropped off at a Brownie holiday weekend and we do not pick her up until Monday.  So as promised here I am with my first half-term post.  The above shows a wool blanket cushion that I started at an Embroiderers Guild day workshop last yea,r just before my Dad died, and I never went back to it.  So last night I dug it out and did quite a bit to it.
I love hand stitching and especially french knots.  There is no particular design plan to this at all but just following the guidance and advice of Madeline Millington who ran the workshop and specialises in items made from recycled wool blankets.
I did have some scraps which I had bought from her when she exhibited at Westpoint in Exeter some years ago, so I have always liked her work.
The main cushion is made up of a crazy patchwork style base and then shapes are hand stitched on top using a variety of stitches.  Plenty of stitches too, this is also a good way of using up odds and ends of knitting wool too.
I do have a Bigshot and a few dies that will cut fabric so when I got home I cut a few shapes using the machine but on the day of the workshop I hand cut some random shapes as well.  
 This is still very much a work in progress and along with my Chookyblue Swap item I hope to complete both if these this coming week.  I like the thickness, colours and randomness of this cushion and the fact that you can simply make it up as you go along and use such a wide variety of wools and stitches.
Great fun!!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Festive Shopping - Visit Indigo Blue Designs

I am still here but I have been working hard at the day job and working equally hard on my Art textiles evening class.  Tonight I shall be handing my in first project for marking then I hope to get back to some blogging.
I also need to finish off my entry for the Chookyblue Christmas swap this coming half term break, which brings me on to online shopping.  I have been purchasing more from the Internet since taking on my evening class which generates homework.
So I thought I would be cheeky and put my webshop link here.  I will be honest that I have not promoted it in a very forceful way and I have had a sale on Etsy today, which I have all but given up with the site.  So I shall list a few now items ready for the festive season.
So here is the link:
See if there is anything that could make an ideal one-off present or even a treat for yourself.
If you live in the UK I will accept a private cheque but it will have to clear before I sent anything, the same as you would for Ebay.
Has anyone finished their festive shopping already?
I have my cards ready to write but I will simply not do that until at least November so those going abroad will get there in time....but not before!
As I said I hope to be around more this coming week and to do my belated 5th Blogaversary giveaway which I clean forgot due to being up to my elbows in paint, sketchbook, fabric and threads.........bliss!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Texture - In search of....

I have been so busy this past week  (or month even)  that I have been very neglectful of my poor blog.  Weekend before last we all went off in search of texture for my Art Textiles evening class in the form of photographs.  here are some of my favourites.....................
Peeling bark.  Love this one!
Lichen absolutely everywhere!!!
Even more tree bark with lovely texture just waiting to be stitched.  Can you tell that i enjoyed this little trip.  I took over 50 pictures and had to really slim down my choices.
The leaves are starting to turn colour and I love Autumn colours.
Felt and machine embroidery perhaps?
Plenty of rain equals plenty of fresh, bright green moss.  Lots of hand stitching for this one I think.
I have printed off what i consider to be the best and I shall be adding them to my sketchbook which at the moment is with the course tutor for a bit of assessing.  I had my written piece of work marked last week and I got an A+!!   Did not think that after these years something as simple as getting a good grade for a bit of writing could feel so good!
Tonight I have printed it out properly on some nice cream card and with then present it on my sketchbook this coming evening class.
So it is back to the work table as i now need to start another sample by painting and then stitching into it. I have one that I completed yesterday but I now need to take some pictures so that I can post it here.  That will have to wait until another time.
Take care all and I hope to post more this week.....hopefully.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Quilted and patchworked make up bag

I came home this afternoon determined to actually finish this make up bag which my friend at work ordered a week or two back. 
This is similar to the pencil case that I made her at the beginning of term so I added a Suffolk puff or Yo Yo to show the difference between them.
 A tab to either  pull on to open the zip or to hang it up.
Some free machine embroidery to quilt and add design.
 I added my tabs at either end of the zip which I am so glad that I now do. It makes adding the zip neater and much easier.
 I shall take this in tomorrow and pop it on her desk as a surprise.
I would really like to make some more of these as they are fun to work out what colours to use.
Any way,  must dash as i have some sketchbook work to do for my evening class on Wednesday.
Bye for now.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Refurbishing a Living Room

Well, it took a systems restore to sort out whatever the problem was and I am about a week behind with my posts so here goes.
Last weekend we spent the day re-doing the livingroom floor and here I have some pictures of where we are so far.  We are waiting to take a trip to IKEA but need to borrow my inlaws bigger car so we are looking at maybe going nest weekend.
So above shows part of the room with the kitchen door behind me.
This one I am standing in the corner by the window as shown in the pic above.  This is the arm chair I mainy sit in.
 I am still standing by the window but viewing the opposite side of the room.  On the sofa you can see the log cabin floor cushion that I helped Sophie to make a couple of years ago.  She now uses it alot now that we have our new floor.
Here I am standing by the sofa.  Not a huge room but we now feel that it is brighter, bigger looking and now easier to clean.  This is our main through route to get to the back of the house and after two carpets we have now decided to a different flooring to see how we get on.  We did go and look at some curtain fabric today but we are not too sure just yet.  I shall keep you posted as we hope to get this room finished asap.
Back tomorrow...I want to get some more posts in before my laptop plays up again!!
I do have some updates about my evening class.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Here we go again!!!

My work net book is still at PC World and no call to say it is sorted yet.  Then tonight I can not load any pictures for posting here.  I click on the link but it stalls before going to the upload page!!

Perhaps I should take up tiddlywinks or scrabble may be as thsi blogging lark seems to be jinxed, well for me any way!

I am off to watch the first episode of Strictly Come Dancing and I shall try again tomorrow.

Monday, 1 October 2012

OPAM - September

Not been such a good month for OPAM.  been so busy back at work and of course signing up for my evening class as well.
So................. only..
A  quilted pink heart and....
...two knitted cotton dish cloths................
Pitiful isn't it?  Would it be good to know that I am half way through a patchwork make up bag and trying to crochet handles for a bag that I started in January?  Plus I have started my Chookyblue Christmas swap entry as well?  
Started is not the same as actually finished I know,but I do wish my days would not fly by so quickly so that I can fit in all I have to do with what I would like to do!
Anyone else feel the same?

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