Sunday, 12 December 2010
I have to share this amazing dolls house with you, go HERE for details. It has been hand made by my friends Dad. I love it and I only wish I had some cash to treat us. I would love to furnish this beauty and can see a Coraline like character living here. Suzy makes the most amazing Polymer figures so you can really see that she has inherited her Dads talent It really does run in the blood I'm sure. x
Sunday, 5 December 2010
I am waiting to hear if I have done enough to have shadow work signed off, but to be honest if I need to do some more samples it won't be a hardship and I wouldn't even mind if I needed to break out the 'web of doom' again!
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Today we have been to a local garden centre where we chatted with Santa for a while, had a romp on the soft play/sipped Elderflower fizzy stuff (guess who did which!) and looked for some new Christmas decorations. We are having a particularly exciting Christmas this year as my family are coming for the first time 'en masse' and we want to make the house look really nice. I was really disappointed by the selection though. Everything was very co-ordinated and samey. I wanted something to hang from the ceiling and possibly a garland for the fireplace, but I refuse to pay £30 for a bit of plastic tree....(I am now officially my own mother!). I couldn't put my finger on why I was getting grumpier and grumpier trying to find something when I realised that at the back of y mind was that nagging voice..'Jenny, Jenny, you know you can make something much nicer than this Jenny'. So whilst the kids finished getting punched by other children, which seems to be the true point of soft play areas (don't worry they so enjoy being outraged it does count as fun!) I mooched off to the 'Works' which has a concession in the store and bought the worlds cheapest felt and some little bells to make my own garland. I thought I'd seen the idea on Bugs and fishes but can't find it there now, but it's worth popping over for other cool festive ideas!
Sunday, 14 November 2010
I have used the machine in ways I never dreamed possible to applique a large area with fabric snippets. I hate Bondaweb so the realisation that I could still achieve a quick and free background into which I could stitch and embellish was really liberating!
I showed you some samples of running stitch last time, but was challenged by one of my tutors to really let loose and allow my stitching to distort the fabric. I have made a tiny Kantha before but wanted this to be even more extreme so worked from all angles. I have so many ideas I'd like to pursue, and it's good to keep the momentum going. This week I am playing with shadow work, and completing some more design exercises on line. I am also mucking about with blanket stitch to try to get some more interesting samples together.
Oooo look, I've just scrolled down and found this little photo of some Assisi work- sort of reverse cross stitch- filling in the negative space. Honestly I have produced so many samples in just a few short weeks- goodness knows how much will have by the time assessment comes around! Still I am keeping it all neatly filled- and am looking forward to utilising it in some practical way when it's all finished with
Friday, 12 November 2010
The gorgeous new shoes....the devil made me do it.
Monday, 1 November 2010
Anyway this dolly has left the building as I made her as part of my swap with Maria, I do hope they get on well!
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Introduction to Making Cloth Dolls by Jan Horrox contains fully illustrated step-by-step instructions for making three different cloth dolls. Each doll is also shown in two different colour ways to demonstrate the variety possible from the basic patterns. I made the simplest doll, her face is flat, rather than sculpted and her hands are ‘mittens’ without separate fingers. There is plenty of advice on suitable fabric, thread and stuffing, so I felt well supported even though this was my first doll. I drew my face with fine line permanent pens a white gel pen and some watercolour pencils. I think my dolls features were a little too fine, the ones shown in the book are much more exaggerated. The dolls take only small pieces of fabric so I used some precious scraps for the body and legs. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the doll went together, her arms and hips are button jointed so that she can sit and wave! The dolls skirt is made of layers of sheer fabric and this was really good fun, building up colours and textures. The best bit had to be adding the hair, which really gave the doll her character, and allowed me to go to town with all the mad novelty yarns in the stash.
I didn’t have any specialist doll making equipment apart from a very long needle and although I have no doubt that some long tweezers would have made life easier I can’t say that anything was much of a struggle with just a usual sewing kit.
I thoroughly enjoyed making this doll, so this is another book with which I will not part! I can see myself using further dolls and making them in all sorts of weird and wonderful characters. I would definitely make the facial features more prominent in future, to balance up all the extravagance elsewhere!
I'll show my efforts next post!
Hope you are all well and having a good weekend. x
Friday, 22 October 2010
a very smooth and special angel, some ticking type ribbon, very swish and these dear chicken egg cosies. The children often have eggy in an egg cup so these will become a regular fixture on our table I'm sure.
the parcel was wrapped in this holographic, iridescent film which I have quickly ferreted away before any sticky fingers got to it. I'm sure I will use it in my course, but if not it brings back happy memories of 1980's Sindy outfits! A big thanks to Maria, I have enjoyed this swap so much and even more now my parcel is here and is so ace! I am now to make the decision as to where my hearts hanging should go so that it can cheer me up on a daily basis.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
The Right-Handed Embroiderer’s Companion by Yvette Stanton is the sequel to the left handed version. I am right handed but have a copy of the left hand edition which I have previously reviewed here. These books are exceptionally clear in their directions and stitches are shown worked in all sorts of different ways and in sample to really give inspiration for their use. I am finding
this book invaluable in my City and Guilds stitch samples. I have already got a few stitch dictionaries in my library, including the classics, but this is my first choice now as it is so bright and light
and well indexed. I would highly recommend this for other students and teachers. Both the right and left handed embroiderer’s companions are superb.
The samples pictures are those which I've completed for my running stitch exploration, showing traditional use and more free use. I have masses of these samples to complete for all variety of stitches so I can see my copy of this book getting well thumbed over the next few months!
Monday, 18 October 2010
Then I visited a lady specialising in sequins for Sari silk and...well sequins...lush!
I got a bargain bag from Oliver Twists which contains some opulent velvet and some new (to me) fibrous stringy stuff.
I also got some coloured pencil roving to have a go at some wild Italian corded quilting.
This is my purchase in response to the challenge to make the best use of a pound. These little squares are printed and are the zingiest colours.
I also bought a thread inspiration pack from Thredfairy who I have bought from on E-bay many times,the cocoons were from Steff Francis but I like the colours together.
Steff Francis also provided the opportunity to make up another inspiration pack based on some space dyes cotton felt. I added beads from another stall.
More cotton felt awaiting a quilting experiment and some sari yarn from the sequin lady which just matches beautifully!
I bought equipment too- pens and pipe cleaners for doll making and some transfer paints.
Finally I couldn't resist some £2 a metre cotton fabric. So the shopping was tempting enough, not too much which I hadn't seen before. I found it all a bit crammed n and again have resolved next year I will try to get to Harrogate instead. I had a task also to speak and to take notes from the showcase stands, this was a real challenge. Luckily the first lady I spoke too was very lovely and chatted about her work, I asked if I could take some photos and bought some of her postcards. Unfortunately as I progressed to other stands the reaction was very mixed. Some exhibitors were friendly and charming and gorgeous but others were very shirty and stand offish. I can only assume that as it was Sunday they had show fatigue, or that they had had some terrible experiences with visitors in the past. It was strange though that some people weren't selling postcards, had no handouts and didn't allow photography. I can't imagine that lots of visitors take a pocket stuffed with cash to buy art, perhaps I'm wrong, but how are visitors supposed to remember who's progress they want to watch, who they might want to have as speakers at their guild, who they might want to buy from in the future? Perhaps I am missing the point- but I do remember Harrogate being a darn sight friendlier.
Monday, 11 October 2010
I also had to produce a sample using Trapunto and Italian corded quilting. I used a complex Celtic knot work pattern and it was quite time consuming to sew the channels for the wool. but I think if this was stretched properly it would look pretty ace. I also really like the back where the little loops of quilting wool show every inch or less. I have so many ideas about further samples, but to be honest doing these three took nearly a week! I did manage to get my first stitch samples done. Here is traditional running stitch. I will be working on a contemporary sample when I next get chance!
Friday, 8 October 2010
Yo-Yo Quilting contains 27 projects which contain yo-yo’s or ‘
Sunday, 3 October 2010
I added beads to mine and could see it being used a diddy pin cushion. I hadn't done any cross-stitch for ages and it was nice to do some again- only one error- can you spot it?
The fabric postcard hasn't photographed very well but it is a felt base- put through the embellishing machine with a layer of red organza. I added flower cup red sequins, secured with french knots in a variegated stranded cotton and a scattering of chain stitch leaves as a foil to all the red. Edging it in green on the machine did cost me a needle when going over a sequin but it was worth it as I'm really pleased with the rich design. It has come out quite crunchy but if I was planning an extravagant wedding wouldn't a bodice in this look ace......but lets not get carried away!
Talking of getting carried away is anyone visiting the knitting and stitching show next week? I am going up on Sunday.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Knitted Mug Hugs by Val Pierce is another title in the 20 to make series so again is available at £4.99. As the title suggests there are twenty patterns here to make mug hugs, (think a mini tea cosy type affair to keep your drink warm) all are knitted with various embellishments and are shown in different colour ways to give more ideas. I must admit to being a little sceptical about the practical application of a mug hug, although I remember the early days of having children when a ‘hot drink’ was always enjoyed cold some time after I intended to drink it! I think what is nice about this book is that it would introduce a range of knitting techniques to a new knitter; cable, fair isle, i-cords, appliqué and gives an opportunity to make something cute with very little yarn needed, in super quick time. Maybe an older child would enjoy making them as gifts for Christmas? I also like the fact that one could make good use of all the cute novelty buttons that accumulate. There is no reason why these patterns couldn’t be knitted shorter as cool cuffs or wider and with more buttons as cafetiere cosies. I had a go at knitting a