Sunday, 29 January 2012

Challenge reveal an unsatisfactory bird watch and another jumper transformed

It's reveal day for the Monthly Challenge on Needlecraft Haven. This month we did a Russian Doll design from Les Chroniques de Frimousse. Mine is stitched using mainly Carries threads in Baby Teal, Peacock, and Gold, on Crafty Kitten fabric in Icicle, and finished fairly simply as a hanging decoration. I left off the snowflakes as I wanted to display it year round, and changed the text to read "from Russia with love".
The album with the other finishes is here.
A week or so back I saw this sweater makeover project from Tea Rose Home, and I thought it looked like fun, so off I trotted to the charity shop, where I found this pretty but plain cardi.
I pretty much followed the tutorial, adding some godets and a bias trim around the neckline using a small printer's sample of liberty print fabric I had lying around, and then added some lace, fabric yoyos, and a handful of vintage buttons I've been dying to showcase somewhere, and this is the result. I think it looks a bit like something from Per Una.
The RSPB great garden birdwatch was this weekend. I got  a very poor showing this year because Bill decided it was a good day to sit out on the patio and intimidate all the birds:-
Two each of sparrows, blackbirds, bluetits, chaffinches and magpies, and one solitary starling. No thrushes, wrens or goldfinches at all, even though I know they are there.
I'll leave you with a picture of Eloise, in full Harley Quinn mode, modelling her lego creation from last week. Linda, will recognise the transatlantic jeans which she very kindly helped us acquire at Christmas.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sun, fur and lego

We've had some beautiful clear mornings here in the last week. I thought you might like to see this view from our back bedroom of the sun rising over Bodmin Moor.
In creative news, I set forth yesterday armed with Issue 9 of Mollie Makes (yes I know issue 10 is out now, I've got plans for that one too...), a cheap and cheerful Asda cardigan, half a yard of faux fur fabric and my trusty sewing machine (which I secretly suspect is smarter than I am). 
I had to re-draft the pattern as the one in the magazine was cut for a cardigan with a higher neckline, but here is the result, a little bit of retro chic, plus enough of the fur left over to make a snuggly cushion at a later date.
I've been playing with washers and hex nuts again too, I might have something new to show soon.

And the lego, you ask. Well, I bought Eloise this book for Christmas, and she has been inspired.
Look at this necklace she created from Lego. 
Very Harley Quinn. 
(Note for Linda, it goes really well with a certain pair of jeans)

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Travelling Pattern, and a Tutorial

First up, the Travelling Pattern.
Here is my completed and framed version.
The next stitcher for the travelling pattern will be

(drum roll please)


Kate can you email me with your postal address please?

You might remember the hex nut bracelet I made a couple of weeks back. I've been having a play, and I think I've got them coming out how I envisioned them now. They are similar to the ones on, but since I started them and finished them differently to theirs I decided to write up a tutorial for the whole process.

You will need:-

a bag of hex nuts from your local builder's merchants/ DIY store. These are apparently M4 hex nuts, basically I just bought the smallest they had. They cost me the princely sum of 3p each. You'll need between 3 and 4 dozen depending on the size of your wrist and how tight you braid them.
Ignore the washers, they are for a different project.
Stringing material. After experimenting I found that the suede thong worked best, the nuts dont slide about on it as much while you are working. Cotton cord worked quite well too, but ribbon was a bit too flimsy.
A clasp of your choice, split rings to attach it with, and  a pair of the toothed jaw type ribbon clamp ends.

Cut 3 pieces of your chosen stringing material each approximately a foot long. (some of the length is taken up in the braiding & you need more than you think, better to have to cut a bit off at the end than not have enough)
Place them side by side in the jaws of the clamp ~ I like to put a drop of craft glue in as well for extra hold ~ and squeeze it closed with pliers. Using a split ring attach one part of your clasp. I don't recommend using a jump ring as the finished bracelet is heavy and it may pull open.
Plait the pieces together for about 1/2 inch.

thread a nut onto the next end to be plaited in and push it up as far as you can before crossing the end into the centre.

Repeat with the opposite side.
Continue as set, threading nuts onto alternate sides as you plait, and keeping them pushed well up
until your braid is around 1" short of your desired finished bracelet length, then plait without nuts for a short distance to match the first side.
This is the part where having an extra hand would come in very handy, but unless you are Zaphod Beeblebrox you are going to have to find something to hold the braid in place with. I used this tiny decorative clothes peg.
Once you have your peg (or Zaphod hand)  in place to hold the braid, snip off the excess, and again add a dab of glue before fastening on the 2nd ribbon clamp.

Ta da! Your lovely bracelet. They are so chunky and satisfyingly heavy to wear.

And here is a gallery of different styles
I love the effect on the turquoise one, which was made by alternating zinc and brass nuts.
The pale pink one is done with waxed cotton cord which, as you can see, allows you to fit the nuts much closer together creating a denser bracelet.
The white one is threaded in a completely different way, I'll explain that one another time.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Quick heads up

If you pop over to The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe she is having a give away for some beautiful hand dyed threads. To join in the fun just sign up as a follower and say I sent you (sounds like a line from a cheesy spy film).

Don't forget to comment on the post below by Sunday if you want to be the next stitcher of the travelling pattern

Monday, 9 January 2012

First finishes of 2012 and The Travelling Pattern

Doing a Happy Dance for my first finish of the year, Count your Blessings by Shakespeare's Peddler. This is the travelling pattern as started by Sharon (Daffycat).
Sorry about the pictures on this post by the way, it's a grey old day and I can't get the colours to come out right, it's nowhere near as dark and dull as this in real life. Also the house isn't really curved ;D

Do you want to join the fun and be the next stitcher of The Travelling Pattern?

These are the rules:-

1. comment on this post saying you would like to be part of the stitcherhood

2. by leaving the above comment you agree (if you are chosen) to stitch the design and send it along to the next person in a timely manner. if this means dropping eveything in your rotation to concentrate on this project, so be it. if you cant bring yourself to do this done sign up

3.  you must have a active blog to partcipate. if you have a blog but never post to it you wont be chosen to be the next stitcher.

4. this is a giveaway type traveling pattern. that means you must follow it from blogger to blogger to enter each time it is ready to send along. commenting on this post doesnt make you a guaranteed part of the stitcherhood.

the travelling pattern has been stitched by:-
1 Sharon of its daffycat Oklahoma USA
2 Karen of Karens Handiwork, South Carolina USA
3 Patty of Hanging on by a thread, Florida USA
4. Terrri of chocolates for breakfast, stitching for lunch USA
5. Lynda of a cozy little place for stitching, Oregon USA
6. Nataly of Natalys needle creations, Massachusetts, USA
7. Erin of fairy tales and french knots, NY USA
8. Jo of Serendipititous stitching, Suffolk UK
9. Mouse of tales of a a stitching mouse, South Yorkshire UK
10. Sally of stitchyangels treasures, East Yorkshire UK
11. Lesleyanne of Lesleyannes life of stitches, Northamptonshire, UK
12. Michelle of stitchercraftplace, Staffordshire, UK
13 Kath of kaths stitching heaven, Barnsley, South Yorkshire UK
14. Christine of The Alchymyst's Study, Cornwall, UK

I'll pick a winner on Sunday 15th Jan

In other news, I got tired of how sad and bare the house looked without it's Christmas finery, so; copying an idea I found on Pinterest  (yeah, I know,  I've got a Pinterest problem); I whipped up this  "decorative accent". All previous comments about the photographs apply but it's rather "me" don't you think?

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year

I hope you all have a wonderful healthy and happy  New Year. Made any resolutions? I've decided that I am going to make time to stitch, knit, or otherwise create every day this year. I could do with loosing another couple of stone as well, so I'm planning to continue with the 2011 healthy eating plan, (which has just had a fairly disastrous two week break) this year.
As promised last time, an update on The Travelling Pattern. I'd hoped to have it finished and sent on before the end of the year, but Christmas kind of  happened. This is where I'd got to yesterday, I'm a bit further on now, so hopefully by next week I'll be ready to choose the next stitcher.

And some of the crafty stuff I've been up to lately:-
Infinity scarves. I made a few of these as Christmas gifts, which is why I couldn't show them sooner, and making them is quite addictive.
Take 1/2 m of jersey fabric, fold in half, right sides together (raw edge to raw edge not selvedge to selvedge), and machine down long edge to make a tube.
Turn right sides out, starting at the seam, pin and machine selvedges together as far as you can go, then ladder stitch the gap closed by hand. You can put a twist in before you join the ends if you want to make a Moebius loop.
Ta da! Wear and enjoy.

I found a tutorial on Flamingo Toes (a great site for craft inspiration, with loads of fantastic tutorials) for a multi stranded bead, chain and fabric necklace, and this is my version, using freshwater pearls, bronze coloured chains, tiny pinecone charms and a piece of vintage lace. I'm linking this up to the Think Pink link party on the Flamingo Toes site.

and finally, I've been seeing these hex nut bracelets all over the internet lately. This is my prototype, it isn't quite how I planned, I wanted the nuts to go further round, but I ran out, still I'm quite pleased with it for a first attempt. Anyway once I've braved the sales at Trago  (hard to explain Trago, it's a Cornish thing, kind of a DIY shop crossed with an outlet store and it heaves on sales days) and got some more nuts I'll have another go and if I remember to take progress pictures I'll put a tutorial up.