Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Phew just made it!!

January 31, 2014

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I did it! I finished my January page before the end of the month – just!!  It’s not amazing but I’m pleased I did it.  It’s better than last year as that didn’t happen at all.  I’m determined to take part in the 365 Calendar challenge this year so I’m really happy that I haven’t fallen at the first hurdle, as it were.

And for those of you that are interested I did manage to write the instructions for sewing a cube bag last weekend.  The recipient of the present was extremely pleased with her kit and instructions! After she’s tried them, I will probably post them here for other people to use.  I will need to take more pictures though.

I was given the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary collection of books for Christmas, I never thought I would read a Doctor Who book but I’ve actually really enjoyed them.  I love watching it but wasn’t bothered about the books.  There are 11 in the collection, 1 for each regeneration of the Doctor (excluding John Hurt’s War Doctor) and I’ve read numbers 6 to 11 so far.  I’m reading them in reverse order, working towards the ones that I remember least from the TV programme.  A fair amount of Doctor Who knowledge is assumed, they don’t really explain who he is, or what the TARDIS is but if you have ever watched it, I can recommend them as a light read.


Why do I have these stupid ideas?

January 24, 2014

I have a friend who is very difficult to buy presents for so I usually make things as then I know she won’t have them. This year I’ve decided to give her a kit and now I have 2 days to write the instructions for making a cube bag like the one in my previous post!!! Aaargh why do I do these things to myself? I thought it was a brilliant idea but now I’m really not so sure.
I’ve got some New York fabric, red lining fabric, a red zip and red cotton so I just need to package it in a nice way and write the instructions. Wish me luck!!

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Finding My Mojo

January 19, 2014

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year. Right time for an update on all things mixed media and arty.

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[Clockwise from top left: 2012 calendar title page, finished December 2012 page, January 2014 in progress, February 2014 in progress, Kate Crane Dvds in my new Brice Bross box]

2013 was a bit of a disaster from a creative point of view for me, I didn’t do a single month of the 2013 Calendar Challenge and only made a few birthday cards.  I did do some knitting and sewing but I didn’t play as much with paint and inks as I wanted to, so this year I’m determined to make up for it.  I got Kate Crane’s Art Journalling 5 & 6 dvds for Christmas and I finished watching them today.  Watching Kate make a junk journal using bits of cardboard, tags and other junk inspired me to finally sit at my desk and have a play myself.  So here we are with January and February 2014 pages in progress.  I used Japanese style papers for the days on February as I thought I should use them.  I’m very good at buying paper pads and then just looking at them, in 2014 I plan to use some of my stash of craft goodies – yarn, fabric, paper, ink, paint, ribbons the whole kit and caboodle.

The Brice Bross box was a present from mum, it’s my surname and she thought it would be useful for storing crafty bits in.  I’ve put it by my tv for the current dvds that I’m watching/going to watch.  I googled Brice Bros and it turns out it was a real fishmongers in Billingsgate Market in London.  Dad’s family is from Kent so they could even be related to us.

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[Clockwise from top left: Felt Snowman decoration, Knitted Moustaches, Christmas Pudding hat, Owl Cube Bag]

2013 sewing: Veil for my best friend’s wedding, laptop sleeve, snowman decoration, owl cube bag, felt bird decoration, Japanese owl, shortened two pairs of pyjamas and customised some shorts to go to see The Rocky Horror Show.

2013 knitting: Camelot shawl, teal socks, Calorimetry hat, Smockie dress, Christmas Pudding hat and knitted moustaches for Movember.

I also made some Alice In Wonderland themed stitch markers for my friend Alice, Japanese lino cuts that turned out quite useful for embossing paper in my cuttlebug.

I’m really proud of the knitted moustaches as I raised £35 for Movember by selling them to the girls in the office so that they could participate too and it was great fun.  Becky loved her wedding veil and wore it all day. But I’m NEVER making another one (sewing netting to a hair band is the most frustrating thing I have ever done and I was up until the wee small hours getting it done) it was so lovely seeing her wear it when she got married.

2014 is looking like it will be quite difficult at work (they have announced that the business will be closing in 2015) so I need to be creative outside of work even more to balance my life out.  I don’t really make new year’s resolutions but my plans for 2014 are to spend more time making art and playing with inks/paints and to have more fun!!

Columbus Day & Frome

October 18, 2013

Hello is there anyone there?

I know I’ve been away for months so you have probably all given up on me and gone home. I’m sorry I haven’t written since January, there have been a few reasons why but the main reason was that my archaic laptop just couldn’t cope with anything and I got fed up with it taking an eternity to do anything. To be fair, it has been very reliable but it’s just too old, I got it in 2004 which makes it about a hundred in technology years.

So finally in September I sorted my life out and ordered a new laptop which arrived this week, and you won’t believe how happy I am with it. It’s like Christmas and my birthday all at once!

It’s become a tradition that I take this week in October off work to do crafty things.  I go to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace on the Sunday and then spend the week making things while I’m still in a creative mind space.

Ally Pally was as inspiring as ever, even though the weather was horrendous, and I bought some wool, fabric, lace zips, ribbon and spent the coach trip knitting socks.

On Monday I celebrated Columbus Day in the same manner as they did on The Big Bang Theory (series 3 episode 4) because I thought it was a fun idea.  I watched 4 films directed, written or produced by Chris Columbus and ate pizza.  It was brilliant, the films I chose were:

The Goonies – awesome and one of my all time favourite films.  Watching it always brings back memories of seeing it in the cinema when it was first released and seeing Jeff Cohen (Chunk) interviewed by Terry Wogan and talking about the Truffle Shuffle.

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone -my favourite because it’s the first time we see all the little details of the wizarding world. Diagon Alley, wizard chess, chocolate frogs, Quidditch and I love it when Harry goes to Ollivander’s for his wand.  Also, I love the soundtrack by John Williams.

Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief – reminds me of my job at Ottakar’s when I first read this book.  It’s a good adventure and I really enjoyed it.  I can’t wait to see the sequel.

Fantastic Four – chosen predominantly because it has Chris Evans (the sexy one not the ginger one from Radio Two) in and I like looking at him and because it’s a good hero action film.

The Columbus day marathon started at 1pm and we finished watching HP1 at 10.30pm which was the best film to finish on!

In Country Living (November 2013 issue) I read that Mary Kilvert had opened a shop for her sheep designs on Catherine’s Hill which is one of my most favourite crafty streets.  It’s a lovely cobbled hill in Frome, Somerset and it’s full of crafty, artistic shops.

St Catherine's

Clockwise from top left: spiral staircase, Herbs On The Hill, counter in Make And Mend Vintage, St Catherine’s sign, inside The Garden Cafe.

We had a wonderful lunch in The Garden Cafe (brie, cranberry and celery toastie and lentil & spinach soup) which is an eclectic cafe at the bottom of Stony Street that sells artisan bread and organic veg.  As the name suggests it has a nice garden and they even supply blankets and throws so you can sit in it when it’s a bit chilly.

Frome craftiness

Clockwise from top left: Marmalade Yarns, Frome flag holder (or possible Christmas Tree holder as we saw a few of them), Millie Moon, haberdashery section of Millie Moon, Hunting Raven Books, lovely autumn foliage.

Then after lunch it was down to the main reason for our visit, all the lovely shops in St Catherine’s.  I bought a 5 inch charm pack of Moda Road 15 fabrics from Millie Moon Haberdashery Boutique & Sewing School and a fat quarter that looked like a map of Manhattan.  I don’t need more fabric but I just couldn’t resist the Road 15 fabrics.  I plan to just sew the 42 squares together in a 6×7 rectangle and make a hanging of them, nothing too complicated or I won’t get it made!!

We had a look in Marmalade Yarns but didn’t buy anything as mum and I had both bought yarn on Sunday.  The lady that runs it is really nice, last time we were in she recommended a wonderful local butchers that sells Tomato Sausages just like mum used to get in Lancashire when she was little.

And then we found Mary Kilvert’s shop at the top of Catherine’s Hill, it’s a lovely shop and her husband was really helpful and friendly.  Mary was apparently preparing lots of stock for the Country Living Fair in London at the end of the month so we didn’t see her.  But we did get a card of her Colourful Sheep that mum wants to frame.

The last shop we found was Hunting Raven Books on Cheap Street, it’s a wonderful independent bookshop, with a brilliant Children’s department.  I always judge a bookshop on the children’s and craft sections and Hunting Raven did not disappoint.  It’s tiny but is absolutely crammed with shelves and books and obviously has a someone who loves books doing the ordering.

It was a really lovely day and I must remember not to leave it so long before we go again!!  (and I won’t leave it so long to blog again!!)

More Orange And More Birds

April 15, 2012

I liked the birds I’d been making for cards so much that I made a brooch.

I coloured a piece of calico with Dylusions inks and acrylic paints. I added more layers and texture using Stewart Gill fabric paints and stamping with Archival Jet Black Ink and backed it with some vilene using bondaweb.

I used my sewing machine to edge the pieces, made legs with jewellery wire (24 gauge), backed the whole thing with a piece of fabric, added an eye, beak and a brooch back and have been wearing him on my green coat ever since.

And look here are some friends of his that are works in progress….

I am just loving Orange at the moment!!


June 5, 2010

Look what I got today!! It’s so awesome. It’s a copy of Really Wild Tea Cosies by Loani Prior. And even if I never knit any of the tea cosy designs I still love this book as it makes me smile. The designs are just really good fun. I only have a small tea pot and I have made it a very functional cosy but I am really tempted to make it one of Loani’s now. But which one? there are too many to chose from. I may end up making some of them into baby hats instead as they don’t care what you put on their heads!!

I also got this wonderful bag made by my mum.  I chose the fabrics from her huge stash and she’s made it for me.  It has pockets inside for my phone and iPod and loops to tuck pens into so they don’t disappear to the bottom all the time.  I chose a turquoise lining so that I could see inside it –  I hate it when bags are all dark inside and black straps so they won’t show the dirt. 

It’s got a strip of multicoloured scraps down the middle that are a mixture of modern and older fabrics.  One was from a dress mum had, one used to be a shirt and there’s even a piece from a dress I had when I was little.  I can’t wait to take it to Amsterdam on Monday!!


May 8, 2010

Since my week off I’ve started back at college on Tuesday evenings doing my sketching and drawing – this term focussing on my mark making and possibly doing some linocuts.  I’ve started a course on Thursday evenings at the local arts centre learning to make silver jewellery and have made a simple silver ring already.  I’ve had a stinking cold and felt completely crap. 

I’ve just finished reading Beads, Boys And Bangles by Sophia Bennett, which is the sequel to Threads. Two books about Nonie and her friends and how they discover Crow a young fashion genius. I loved the first book when I read it last year and I’ve just read the second one today and love it just as much. Nonie’s best friends are Edie who wants to save the world and join the UN, and Jenny who has just become a famous teen actress. But what is great about them is they are normal teenagers who have to go to school, do their GSCEs, have boy trouble and mum’s who say they can’t stay out late. I love Sophia’s descriptions of Crow’s designs and all the fashion. I wish I had read these books when I was at school!

Active mind

August 1, 2009

Does anyone else wander around almost all day thinking about things they could make if they weren’t stuck at stupid work?? I do.  All of the time. 

On Sunday I watched the dvd of Twilight and was extremely taken with Alice Cullen’s wardrobe.  She wears a long sleeved lace knit black shrug in one scene and I have spent all week trying to figure out if I could knit one, in what colour and what yarn.  I’ve looked on ravelry and not really found a pattern so I’m now toying with the idea of designing it myself.  I’m thinking I could either do a provisional cast on at the back centre and then knit down one sleeve and then knit the 2nd OR knit two sleeves and graft them together at the back with kitchener stitch.  I’ve found out that the shrug from the movie is knit in  a v-shape lace stitch but I’ve got a yen for one with flared bell shape sleeves so I’m thinking that a feather and fan pattern would make a nice wavey edge and a lovely pattern.  I’m was considering black as it would be suitably gothic and would go with everything but then I thought I’d like it to be light and lofty and I have some raspberry coloured lace mohair so now I’m thinking about that.  I’ve considered that I should use a big ish needle size so that it’s not too tight and will use less yarn as I have only one skein of the raspberry.  And I haven’t written a word of this down until now!

I’m also thinking about attacking a white shirt that I got for a few quid in Asda.   It’s made of really cheap thin cotton so it isn’t as opaque as I’d like so I may add a ruffle or some lace detail around the neckline/buttons.


June 20, 2009

Ok so I haven’t blogged for a while AGAIN – I am sorry. My laptop is still suffering from lack of space and it’s making it a real pain to do anything so I’ve just been doing the bare minimum for it.  And good heavens I mustn’t even think of using iTunes at the same time as anything else as then it slows down to a standstill. Anyway, enough whining about technology.

While I’ve been absent it was my birthday and I got quite a few things you may be interested in, I had a week off and I’ve done some knitting so I shall get on with telling you about it all.


For my birthday I was given two books on making Amigurumi, Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden (a.k.a Needlenoodles) and Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Amigurumi by Tomoko Takamori. They are both quite similar in that they have the basic instructions and patterns for making Amigurumi animals/creatures only Needlenoodles book is much more me as it’s all Zombies, Ninjas and other creatures of the night as it were. I’m not saying I won’t crochet any of the cute animals in the Kyuuto book but when given a choice I went straight for the creepy creatures. I’ve started making a mini Cthulu (wikipedia link) as I couldn’t resist!


I was also given Socks From The Toe Up by Wendy Johnson as I’d seen how fab it was on Jane’s blog. I had some leftover Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Wild Cherry colour from when I knitted my second Demeter so I have cast on the On Hold pattern (just noticed I’ve knitted them in a very similar colour to Jane!) as it was the one that required the least messing around with to fit on a sock with the number of stitches needed for my little feet. They are progressing nicely and I love the stitch pattern.


I also got Handmade Embroidered Purses by Jenny Rolfe as it was on my birthday list too. I have the Handmade bags book and wanted the purse ones. I have yet to make anything from either book yet but I will one day and they fill me with inspiration.

Other crafty goodies I got were: vouchers for a local bead shop, packs of scrap material by Jennifer Trollope, Lucy Neatby’s 2nd knitting essentials dvd and a pack of oil pastels for my art course.

Fabric Squares

December 27, 2008

At the Knitting and Stitching Show in October I bought these fabric squares.

My mum (a quilter) was given a box as a challenge by a fellow quiltmaker and made a little landscape quilt with the squares.  When we saw the german lady selling these (she dyes the fabric and sells it but then uses the offcuts to make these little boxes, which she sells for a couple of quid) at Ally Pally, mum told me of the challenge and we thought it would be an interesting thing for me to do.  So I bought two boxes, one green and one white/black.  Over the last couple of months I have examined the green selection several times and then, not being struck with an inspiration they have been put away again.  This afternoon I did the same and finally the light bulb of inspiration went off – ping!

This is the result so far.  I have sewn them together in columns and then sewn the columns into a block and I’m going to add a border of an indeterminate colour for quilting at a later date.  I shan’t tell you what it is yet just in case I change my mind.  But it is a picture of something…