Wednesday, 28 March 2012

On the fringe

Hey, how ya doin'? I would be even better if Blogger would upload all three of my photos not just this one! These are a glimpse of my fringing samples. Can you see the four way spilt plait knotted number? That was hardcore fringing. It was just like lace making actually, and I did get into a similar rhythm and apparently knotted fringing was indeed the fore runner to bobbin lace- cool. I haven't made lace since I was a teen and wouldn't mind having another crack at it but hey I think I have enough on my plate right now. I am seriously giving the C&G my all at the moment. I'm not even breaking to watch all of Bargain Hunt- I mean this is commitment! It is very satisfying to watch things slowly getting ticked off my course list but I admit to getting a bit jittery about how much is still left to achieve. With the kids and Simon about to break for the Easter holiday things will have to go on hold for a couple of weeks. Perhaps I can get back to it a bit more zen after that.
Have a fantastic Easter all, hope the bunny brings you some springy sunshine and stuff.

Friday, 23 March 2012

A charming turn

I have a couple of books awaiting review at present, but due to the pressures of the course work I find it hard to fit in actually trying books out, which is what I like to do. Last weekend though Anna was bored and I'd finished the washing up with some time to spare so we settled down with '100 beaded flowers, trinkets and charms' to give it a good go. This book has the charms all photographed against cute backgrounds in little scenes which meant I could easily direct Anna to the fairy and fairytale pages to choose something which I felt sure would appeal. I had a necklace which I had previously beaded but wasn't quite the right colour to take further so we decided to add a charm to this- nothing much to loose. The book gives directions for using fine gauge wire to make charms which are clearly charted and ranked by ease of construction. I didn't have any such wire to hand so winged it using beading thread. This did actually work fine though keeping everything flat whilst I sorted out the tension was a bit fiddly. It did mean however that my charm is soft enough to not scratch the skin and is very light. 

Although Anna chose colours and read the chart for me I don't think she could have quite managed the threading but I think a young teen crafter would love this book to pieces. The charms are quirky but nicely detailed and like I say the themes mean that putting together a project using several charms would be really good fun. I'd love to do a hair comb with the gnomes and toadstools. I can certainly see Anna and I adding further fairy like figures to this necklace and making it really special. The book is £10.99 which with a few packs of beads and some wire mean that you could acquire a new skill and some mighty cute little fan-dangles for less than £20. Pretty good huh?

In other business I also had my rouleaux tubes signed off. They were fiddly to turn until I found a trick with a bodkin. I know there's a special tool but as this is my first turning of Rouleaux I wasn't sure I wanted to invest. I am coming to the end of a few projects so should have plenty more to show and tell soon, hopefully including some more book reviews.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


I do respond well to a deadline. It's a fact. I HAD to get my kitsch creations ready for Wednesday- you can't host a swap and be late. So that is what I did, and when you're in 'the zone' it's amazing how much else follows on. I have now had handmade tassels signed off. Tassel making is not going to be my future career- a simple bound tassel? Bring it on! Cover the head in button hole stitch you say? Jog on! I'm just no good, still it's good to know ones limitations, yes? 

Also signed of is reverse applique on the machine. I used back velvet as the top layer so it has stuck to all the little bits of fluff created by cutting back the layers beneath, this has irritated me, but I know that I can sort it out with some sellotape. I am itching to get stuck into this sample with some hand stitching once the course is over. I really want to strengthen the plant stems and add some beading.

Finally faux chenille. I love this technique and have always done it with scraps of fabric before, but the course called for nice neat layers all the same size so that is what I did. Since taking this shot the sample has had a trip through the wash so it's now fluffier then a fluffy thing and twice as pleasing

So, would you like to see what I sent to my blogversary draw winner; Gill? I collected a budgie tray cloth, a shell rabbit and some dyed shells from the charity shop. I bought the flamingo and the glittery hearts and found inspiration for my 'made' piece in Molly Makes magazine. The cuckoo clock was featured in he mag as a stitchery design but I cut the pattern into felt pieces and appliqued them onto some mad fabric. I turned this into a wall hanginf,  though I realise that it might be hard to find the right spot for it in a modern, tastefully decorated home!  

I sent a similar package to Maria. She also received a cuckoo clock hanging and some glittery hearts on sticks. I also found a glittery hanging cake- made a hamma bead battenburg cake coaster (words I never thought I'd put in the same sentence)! A fat quarter of kitten fabric, a cherry dangle- with diamonds- let's use our imaginations here! Finally the charity shop offered up a tiny bag of cute little plastic buttons and charms. These parcels gave me the most fun I've had in a long time. I think I have a strong taste for tat and it was great to indulge it without having to persuade Simon that all these wonderful things really did deserve house room! Thanks for taking part ladies.