Monday, 28 April 2008

Swappsies anyone?

There is a girl where I work who is VERY likely to have her second baby VERY early and during a general chat mentioned that she had no one to knit for her and that her first child (now 2) has never had a hand-knitted item. My colleagues seemed alarmed when I screeched 'What?!' Like she'd just admitted to beating him but's just WRONG. I have these two pattern books for little babies and want to knit something in 4ply in a gender-neutral colour; white, yellow or turquoise. I was just planning a trip to a wool shop when I stopped and thought.....'I wonder?'

What I wondered was this;

Do any of you have some nice soft baby 4ply in the above mentioned colours that you might be prepared to swap? I have nearly a whole bale of 'non-tickle' lilac wool in 4ply and could swap this ball for ball or maybe there's something else you're needing that I might be able to help with.

If you're wondering why I'm doing this just glance back a couple of posts at my work room......see???

Bargain Books

Well who would have thought a trip to a nature reserve would have netted me 7 new books? No really it did; we saw a grass snake and beatles and orchids and everything but my new reading material still has to be the most exciting thing that happened right? 'Toys you can make yourself' is for my Uncle Ben who is very handy at making wooden toys. The others are MINE. There are three books on doll making and dressing. I haven't tried making dolls yet but with a little girl with a birthday coming up I fancy giving it a go. One is a book on beaded bags which actually is a lot on beading techniques and the instructions are really clear. The most lovely is, I feel the book of crewel embroidery designs where someone has been studying original crewel pieces and transferring them onto grids with stitch direction indicated for re-production......hmmm the mind whirrs. The last book, which was the first one I picked up is a bit of a funny one, depending on whether or not you are a believer in kismet. Before I had the children I started my City and Guilds Embroidery with Opus. This slid for many reasons; cost, needing human contact and encouragement, not being able to get to see original textiles and lack of belief in my own ability. The module I have currently got stowed away is on Elizabethan embroidery. I found it really difficult to find any source material to work from, had a paddy shoved it in a box file and regretted my quitting ever since. That little book on the top of the pile is a fabulous book on....Elizabethan is some one trying to tell me something?

Saturday, 26 April 2008


An award, how lovely! From the fab Daisy, (who's had a literally poo week so let's all cheer her up!) just to prove how lovely she is; when Daisy made me this award I had to mail her to ask her how to get it on my Blog and she didn't call me dumb ass or anything! I think I'm meant to now declare my undying love for five of my bestest Blogs ever (please someone tell me if I'm getting this all wrong!) Right her goes.....I love popping in to gasp at Karen's Contemporary Embroidery, gain inspiration from Incy Wincy, encouragement and more inspiration from Snapper and the Griffin, chuckle at the silliness of Ethel and Edna (and admire her softies), enjoy the down right niceness of Purple and Paisley (she's a bit lovely-mad too.....hurray!). That was really difficult! I have 48 blogs on my delicious list and I think some of them are just so totally perfect in every way that I just spy on their beautiful lives. Am I a pervert? So if you are on this list it is not because you aren't equally perfect and beautiful but maybe that you are just very friendly and approachable with it!

Work room

As the house is

actually about as tidy as it gets I thought I'd let you see my crafting space. This is the dining room, no really, there is a table and chairs and everything.It is also where I keep a lot of my stuff. There is also a wardrobe on the landing filled with thread etc. I do not live in a big house and this.......god awful mess is a symbol of just how tolerant Simon is of my hobby. He loves curios, little gizmos, puzzles, optical illusions etc, like some sort of mad Victorian anthropologist in a smoking jacket but I'll photograph the living room another day!


So you may be wondering why the frenetic creation of little fripperies. Well last night I hosted a fundraiser at Chez Chaos. (I have the hangover to prove it!) There is a local girl who has some problems with the formation of her oesophagus and she has problems eating or breathing or both. (That is as much detail as I can go into without risking ridicule from anyone who has the faintest clue about the bits needed to make a person!) Anyway the parents of this 2 year old sweetie spend a lot of time checking on her at night and it is obviously exhausting so they thought a blood-oxygen monitor would give them some relief and help them keep a check of their dear dot. This piece of kit costs about £1,000 and the local playgroup have helped them raise over £900 of this but I really wanted to help with the final push. My friend sells Phoenix cards so I booked her for a party 10% to go to the fund. I decided to sell wine and cake and sell some of my bits and bobs. Suddenly people started popping in with donations; raffle prizes and tickets and more cake than even I could eat. Will helped me make fridge cake, Palmieres and coffee and walnut sponge and I CLEANED MY HOUSE! (this was the hardest part of the whole thing. We had pre-orders for cards from everywhere and 11 people came to my tiny house and ate and drank and were merry. We raised over £100. I am so pleased, thanks guys.

Friday, 25 April 2008

More dream bangles

So I carried on and made some more, because they are fun! I tried to make a rainbow with only missing red and pink and have managed to make them all different shapes so far. All my threads and ribbons and beads are sorted into colours in big tubs and I love just getting a tub out and discovering forgotten treasures. Looking forward to re-discovering 'pink'!

Can I wear these myself?

I finally got around to having a go at making these;
Obviously the originals are much neater and classier than mine but even so I'm pleased with these little loves. Obviously as they are covered in felt there is scope for embellishing my felt first, I did buy some bigger hair clips too so may make some with those. I particularly like the way they look displayed on my Moo cards. But can I, can I, can I wear public?

Peruvian pouch

I have been experimenting with knitting with and felting tapestry wool again and have come up with this little pouch. I knitted some basic fair isle patterns in a strip about twice as long as it was wide and then lost a stitch at each end of each right side row to get a point. I ran it through the embellisher ad then bunged it in the wash. After going through the embellisher a bit more (and eating TWO needles!) I embellished up the sewing required. I just need to add some sort of antique silver south American type bead things and maybe a tassel or two and I'm away. This really is kind of tiny so I might pop some lavender or jewelry in it. I came across huge amounts of green tapestry wool so might make a larger more usable version, and hope it's easier on the machine!

Polka dot baby

I realise that it's not clear from this photo (when you pick up a camera Anna runs towards it so always ends up a bit bleached) but my baby has the pox.....Again! Feel totally cheated as she had some poorliness and spottiness on holiday in France last year so for her to have it again is just mean. As you can see she has tried to remain cheerful, but has sent a lot of time telling her affectionate brother to 'off' as she is a bit sore.

Bless you!

Firstly, I'm sorry if this photo looks a bit dodgy; I a experimenting with a lower resolution to make things a bit qucker. This fluffy little animal is a tisuue cover, I knitted about 28 stitches with big wool on big needles until it looked like it would wrap 'round a packet of tissues and then added some pretties. It has ended up HUGE, this is definetly for people who carry gigantic bags where tissues get lost!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

#I'm a dingle dangle dangley thing#

Guess who's been playing again? After making those ATCs I wanted to carry on in a similar scale. (I am sick of feeling like I'm getting no where with Annas' massive quilt!) and decided to look out those bangles that I got cheap at Claires the other week. Mum had been to a Jumbly on Saturday, (lucky lucky lady) with the express purpose of hunting for chiffon. This was after I whinged that our 'charity' shop was asking £1.50 each for chiffon scarves. She really came good finding lots of skirts with chiffony type overlays and I got some samples in the post. I played with a mostly purplish floral print on purple felt and some eyelash wool on top. Mum had also put some dear little lilac and yellow sequins in, cause she's nice like that! So it all came together and I made a tiny star to hang in a lilac bangle. All the offcuts got meshed onto another piece of felt and that too has come out really nicely. Next I played with a kind of shot bright orange on yellow and laid some fibres over that too. This time I embellished the thread that the circle was to hang on in between the circles, which hopefully will make things simpler.

Whew well I had great fun and I think the results look pretty.....but.....I'm not really sure what they are for. (I do like to make sort of useful things.) I did think of a few possibilities;

Make them scented as hangers for the wardrobe/bedroom.

Just make them in festive colours for the tree.

Make them in all the colours of the rainbow and in different shapes to hang in a child's room.

Make them is plainer felt and add an initial.

Try to hang a group together off a frame to make a larger mobile.

Make a silhouette of felt with a transparent fabric in the middle as a sun catcher.

Write it all off as a bad lot and give the rest of the bangles to the kids to play with.

What do you think?

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Sprinkle it with sparkle!

Wanted to do some more embellised ATCs and decided to do a large piece to be cut and individually embellished. I used a base of some very '80s stretchy green velour and layed scraps of jade scraps over the top. Finally I let some sari waste wriggle around on the top and some scrap of wool top softened it all and made sure it was all meshed together.

The sari waste made me feel these needed some sequins and Anna loved playing with my sequin tub and helping me choose which to use. I had to pop into Deal and found myself in the craft how did that happen? They had a massive basket of lovely novelty buttons at 25p per card of two, I only had £2.75 on me so...I got 11 cards!! I was so pleased with the wizard and he made the ATC perfect for Dad. The other two are for some lovelies who have been supporting my new adventures to fibre land so and , I hope you both like them! See if you can spot more of the little buton beauties popping up, and if you have a particular fondness for; gnomes, pansies, polar bears, mice or wizards let me know and you never know what might come through your letterbox!

Monday, 7 April 2008

Golden sunshine

My friend Barbara came 'round to play the other day. We are organising a card swap circle, just to get some nice post, (if anyone is interested in joining just let me know) and made a pop-up card together. She also bought round some gold and red organza she'd been given lovely! It took about 10 minute for Will and I to find some yummy colour fabric and twiddle it through the embellisher. Because we only used a cotton underneath the organza is not firmly attached but step two is to secure it with some hand stitching and beading. We had such fun.
(this photo has not shown the true texture of the piece- here it looks like the blistered skin of some space lizard in an awful sci-fi film!)

The title for this came to mind and then so did the rest of the little rhyme;

'Golden sunshine kiss your eyes, smiles await you when you rise, hush little baby don't you cry and I will sing a lullaby'.

Really like this and would like to find a way to get it on something for one of the many new babies my friends are expecting.

A garden for the Griffin

As promised an ATC for the Griffin who suggested I should embellish a flower garden, (did you realise that an ATC is only 2.5x3.5''?) I really enjoyed using the silk sari waste and the embellisher liked it too! Everything comes out very hazy through the machine and I needed to add the hand stitching to give some definition. I'm sure when I get the hang of it the haziness will give a sense of perspective.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Felted fairisle

I was all prepared with a book from the library (Embellish and Stitch) and a new sketchbook to mount my samples in and good intentions galore. Like I think I mentioned before-I have NO self control. So what did I 'embellish' first? Quite literally the first thing I could lay my sticky mitts on......a tiny bit of knitting from tapestry wool (which I hoped would felt up in the wash but didn't really) How exciting put it through face up and the back went all....well felty (picture 1) I turned it over and ever so timidly...Shoved it through face down, I want to cut it up now and make, something from it, but have decided to slow down and enjoy the moment a bit. (Florence if you are reading this the second picture is taken on my hall floor boards, just for you!)

She's here and shes a beauty!

Here she is, my little embellisher, she's sleek and light and lovely. (just like me!?!) Scared the Parcelforce man with my jumping around and squealing. The timing was perfect with Will at nursery and Anna down for nap. So here's a request; leave a comment with a tip or challenge for using my embellisher and I will send you an embellished ATC using said comment. What do you think? What shall I get the little beauty

to do for me?