Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Have you read this book?

Has anyone read this book?
My sister in law passed on three books to me back around February time and suggested that I read this one first.  A new author for me and the title did put me off a little, 
"The Hundred Year Old Man who climbed out of the window and Disappeared"
by Jonas Jonasson, quite a mouthful and a title not to be attempted after a couple of glasses of wine!

Anyway itt actually turned out to be quite a page turner and it looks at the present day life of Allen Karlsson but also his past and as far back as the 1920's.  How the author planned the storyline of this book I will never be able to start to fathom  as iy goes back and forth with each chapter but I did not find it confusing at all.  So if you get a chance to read this I would certainly give it a go and do stick with it.  It made me laugh and groan in a I" do not believe it! way all the way through.  It cleverly links it real events and people with Allan's life and how he may have influenced  those events.

Ironically just after I had started it a colleague at work came out of her room with a copy of the same book and was going to pass it on to someone else in her department.  She also enjoyed it and thought that the story line was very original.
It does take me sooooo long to read a book but I did manage to start the next one of the three my sister in law passed on last evening, but more on that once I have finished it.

Many thanks for the lovely comments regarding my finally completing my A level evening class and exams. 
I will not get the result until August but I hope to take part in some online swaps (anyone now of any?)  and make a set of curtains for the living room  and generally be around blogland more often.  I still need to continue my 2014 resolution of progressing with my crochet skills and I wanted to do a mini Spring swap but work stepped up, Ofsted visited and I broke my finger, so I had to postpone it.  May be I could try again.
Best go as I need my beauty sleep it has been a very busy day and my hip is just reminding me that it is still there!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

I survived!

Well.........it is all over now!
It has taken two years, four sketchbooks, 2 pieces of course work practical and two sets of practical exams totally 20 hours.  Lots of evening class sessions, a few hundered miles driving  ( mostly in the pouring rain), lots of homework tasks, lots and lots of photographs, double sided tape, paint, fabric galore, several thousand words  for written work, numerous now blunt scissors, pritt stick (I need shares in this) and yards of masking tape to name just some of what I have needed to design and make over the past two years.
   However at  approx 4pm this afternoon I officially completed my A level Fine Art textiles course as I handed in my last sketchbook which took 10 weeks and a broken finger to put together plus my practical which took just under 12 hours to make over two days.  Phew!

It sounds really awful but it has in fact been great fun if at times a little over whelming.  I have extended my drawing skills in such a way that I am now able to draw almost anything (almost) and my sketchbooks have already proven to be a very  valuable teaching resource at school.  I have discovered new fibres and fabrics which I will be sharing over the coming weeks, and the combining of materials that I have not attempted before.  Plus I have made three new friends.
I come from a fashion background but my Fine Art Textiles course has taken me in a new direction and I would so love to be able to follow this up with another degree but I am afraid that the mortgage needs paying!
What next?
Well, I really liked learning how to mono print and make collographs so I am looking to do a class on printing, but this time without the exam content............I would like to do it just because..............

As you can imagine I am a little tired. 
Google images and Peg @ Happy in Quilting
 Due to no weekend next week is going to be a little hard going but I have asked our Technician if she could pop over and give me a hand as all my groups are due to complete their own practical work as well.
I have taken pictures of my exam and coursework projects, but I can not able to show you anything until after the results have been issued.
Having looked at my blog I do not think that I ever completely posted about last years work so I shall do that until results day instead.
In two weeks our group is going to meet up for a final session to say good-bye properly as it has been a bit full on this weekend, so that just abut gives me time to sort out a handmade teacher thank you gift and a card.
What has been keeping you busy this weekend?

Friday, 25 April 2014

It is all in the preparation.....

I can not believe that it is Friday already and even though it has been only a four day week it does seem to have been longer in some ways.
Well the title of this post refers to a big event that is taking place this weekend and I mean all weekend..
It is my second year A level practical exam which is 12 hours long and spread over two days.  I have been working on this  course for nearly two years and I had an exam this time last year at the end of the first year, but not as long.
I started preparing for the exam  approx a week before I injured my finger  (February) and it was looking like I might have to pull out but sheer determination and a bit of stubbornness and I have got there.  I am not allowed to show you anything but I thought that after the weekend I would show you work from last year as I do not appear to have blogged about it.  
Since getting home I have dyed some scrim using onion skins, laid out everything that I might need on the kitchen table, and I have managed to fill it!
 I now need a bag big enough to put it all in.

I have been drawing, cutting, sticking, painting, stitching.....well....you get the idea,for weeks which is why not much other crafting has been happening and many of my OPAM projects have been quite small.  I have really enjoyed this course but it will be nice to have some of my free time back.  
Having said that I am looking at doing a much shorter printing class in September without the added commitment of an exam but I wanted the qualification for future career possibilities.
I need to now start loading the car and I do still have a few things to stick in my sketchbook and then an early night is in order as I will need to get up as if it is a work day so that I get there in plenty of time to set up.
My poorly finger will be put to the test but I have packed some pain killers and I am in fact looking foreword to a blissful day of being creative with out any interruptions.
Have a good evening and I shall let you know how I got on.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Scissor Keeper - OPAM April

Over the Easter Break I did manage to complete a little kit that I was given one Christmas.  Lucky I got my new specs as clear tiny beads on white thread is not a good combination to see in the evening!

A cute little scissor keeper with a straightforward pattern to follow on a chart using what I would call fine Crochet coton.  It made up quite quickly and after the first row there was no need for the chart any more.
I decided to use all of the beads and stitched them to the cross sections of the pattern using clear thread.
I then over sewed the edges and putting some stuffing.  The final task was to create some hand made cord to attach the keeper to the scissors.  I used the full width of the canvas given so it turned out a bit bigger than the chart, I just repeated the pattern more.
This is now sat in my little sewing box that I shall be taking to my A level practical exam this coming weekend. 
More on that later this week as I have my last official evening class session tomorrow.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sophie's First Tutorial - Beaded Brooch

Last Thursday Sophie and I sat down and she carefully showed me how to make the above beaded brooch using small safety pins and some seed beads.
I happen to have some purple safety pins and I do not know why (?) plus some seed beads which have been hanging around for years and used for so many little projects.
If you can do the above then you can make these brooches.
Sophie made the two green ones at Guides plus the red and blue one shown above.
I am sure that you could make these with bigger safety pins and larger beads so that younger children could do this activity.
If you would like to try this out here is the link to Sophie's Blog and any clicks on her link or via Goggle would be appreciated to move it up the list.
Sophie sat down with a piece of paper and carefully worked out the instructions and even took apart one of the green brooches so that she could take step by step pictures.  Then sat down and typed it up after I showed her how to upload the pictures.  It looks pretty good for a first attempt and definitely one of those slushy Mummy moments.
So HERE is the link and I hope you had a lovely Easter!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter Everyone! Spring is nearly here..........

Happy Easter everyone!
As usual it has decided to start raining but for the past two days we have been giving the garden a little TLC as we have not really done much to it over the past couple of years due to personal events going on.
My herb garden has been fending for itself since last summer and seems to have better green fingers than I do and is "blooming" so to speak!  Added some Basil to the box which we use a lot of.
A very healthy borage plant which is growing very well......but not where I planted it!
The bees and butterflies like it as well.
The Bees absolutely loves this japonica and it has flowered at just the right time.
The rest of this plant is still firmly in bud with little sign of any flowers just yet and then suddenly the above flower burst open!  It is still the only one to bloom but is it gorgeous.
More colour in the flower beds.
For-get-me-nots growing everywhere.  I know that some people see these as weeds but I love their little blue flowers.
The sun on the petals.
My apples trees which grow flat along the back fence, are also starting to bloom as well so hopefully the rain will not be too hard and knock them all off.
These were purchased yesterday and will all live in a patio pot over the summer.
We are hoping to have a summer where we can enjoy the garden and make it an extension of the house and spend much more time in it.
Last year was so much better than in previous years..........can we possibly hope for a repeat or even better?  At the moment I will just settle for dry.
Hope you all have a great Easter.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

OPAM April - Cushion Sample

Just before the start of the Easter holidays I was given quite a few metres of good quality curtain fabric and I thought that this might be a good chance for my textiles club to have a go at making a cushion cover.  If they can bring in the cushion pad then they can make the cover to fit.
I have found with experience that it is better to have a sample to show what the material can look like.
So on Tuesday I quickly rustled up this cushion.
This picture gives you an idea of the fabric.
I used the existing cover to create the dimensions as I did use this cushion to display corsages and brooches at craft fairs.
I decided to create a simple pinwheel by using the front panel of the old cover and dividing it into 4 then adding a seam allowance all the way round which I then cut into a triangle and I measured it directly on to the fabric.  I added some cream cotton as a contrast.
I then used one of the built in stitches on my machine to add some detail and help to keep the seams flat.
 I felt that the centre of the cushion needed a little something and I do have one of these Yo Yo or Suffolk Puff makers.  I thought that some of the students could add these if they liked them.
I have made Yo Yo's without one of these for years but it does enable you to make them all the same size and it is a bit less fiddly.
Found an odd wooden button in my sewing box and stitched the whole lot in the centre of the front panel.  Hides any misalignment of the patchwork  ( which I am proud to say was not the case) and a focal point.
On the back it has a simple envelope opening and I hope that this gives the club members an idea, which they can then interpret in their own way  and at the same time can see what the material could be developed into.
Not bad for 1.5 hours of playing -  sorry I mean working!!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Hillary's Blinds Competition Entries

If you would like to see the wonderful range of ideas that were made by other competition entries then do click HERE.
You can see the winner here plus some highly commended designs HERE.  I enjoyed this competition and I hope they do another in the near future.  The variety of ideas that everyone had was amazing!
Have a good week.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Le Challenge April - Bright Colours

When the current Le Challenge ,challenge was released I thought I have something I could do for that.  Which is the first time ever and had to go and find it.  Well two days later and a rather messed up sewing cupboard later I found it.  The above is a bag that I started a very long time ago after having made one for a present and like many crafters I got side tracked with other projects and family life but it was still there is at the back of my mind and was waiting to be re-found and finished off.  I do not usually make more than one of an item but on this occasion I really liked it and giving the first one away was hard!
It is made with knitting ribbon that has double knitting wool through it and then stitched together to form a large circle.
The back circle is made from a double sided circular fabric with free machine embroidery on it.
Hand made strap and twisted cord.
The front was then embellished with fine coloured cord and some beading.  The button is made of glass and I made some more twisted cord to create a fastening.  Unfortunately after taking this picture I dropped the bag on a hardwood floor and broke the centre glass bead so I am going to have to re-do that bit....never mind.
I am glad this challenge title came up as it got me to finally a project that has been in bits for ages and is perhaps much more colourful than my pictures show.  Hope I am still within the rules and i really look forward to seeing what the next challenge is. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Orla Kiely Organiser

A few weeks ago I saw via Philofaxy a Youtube video by Organised Like Jen and she was featuring a travel wash / vanity bag by Orla Kiely.  Jen uses her to transport her paperwork and filofax when she travels as part of her job.
It looked like it was going to be ideal for what I was looking for so after a little search on Ebay I located one in America.  The price was right and in as little as 5 days it turned up and I was very impressed.
The outer metal zip does not catch in any way and on opening the inside left hand side there is a thick mesh pocket with a full width zip. Opposite, a see through flip pocket with elasticated sections.

Plenty of room for pens and scissors etc.
I really did not think that my A5 work planner would actually fit in........but it did and with space to spare.  My planner is quit full but the zip was not struggling at all, in fact it was no where near the Malden at all.
I found this A6 post-it note pad in Paperchase which I use to add larger notes to my lesson planning pages and this.....
easily fits into the zip pocket which is on the other side of the elasticated pocket.
Here I have popped in some supplies in the mech pocket and pens and scissors in the flap pocket.
So, in here I have an A5 Malden, supplies, pens, scissors, post-it notes etc and it is still not full!  A very deceptively large bag.  Sold as a travel wash/vanity bag.  I do not have this much make up etc ever, let alone when travelling.  However the possibilites for carrying work, art or sewing supplies is endless.
I am going to now swap all of this for materials for my Art Textiles evening class for when I attend the practical exam at the end of the month.
Thank you Organised By Jen, a really useful and pretty item which I shall have in constant use from now on!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...