Monday, 27 February 2012

An Experiment in Upcycling

I've been reading Mollie Makes again. I know, it can be dangerous...
This time I was inspired to take a couple of vintage tea towels and turn them into a messenger bag. I'm all about upcycling these days!
I'm not so sure about the Scenic Cornwall one now though, I think it will make me feel like a tourist when I use it. I may have another go using just the loud 70s floral design (I've got tons of them, they came from my Aunt's house). I think I'll adapt it so it has a fold over flap as well.
And shorten the straps, this one hangs somewhere near my knees. Mind you, so do a lot of things these days ;(

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Presents and Prizes

I've been single handedly keeping  the Post Office in business this week.
First it was dear Barb's birthday, and I sent her this little brooch I made (if you don't already know, Barb loves sheep). I embroidered the little sheep on a piece of linen, then used it to cover one of theose self-cover button forms and added a vintage fabric ruffle to the back before I attached the pin. I forgot to take his picture before I sent him off, so this is Barb's photo, and the beautiful Hardanger is hers not mine.

I have been lucky enough to win a couple of blog giveaways recently. The first was from Heidi and was for a gorgeous heart penny rug mat. Here it is looking quite at home on my new (old) sewing table, which used to belong to a very dear aunt, and has now come home to live with me.
The second was this wonderful  Homespun Elegance Needles and Pins chart which I got from Michelle, I don't have a stash keep to put it on, but I've got a tin which should be just about perfect for it.

Last, but not least, I received a gift from Barb during the week. This adorable little tweed coin purse with it's big, bright corsage is just so me!
Thank you all ladies, I'm feeling very blessed this week.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

A review, some stash and a knit-along

I received an email recently inviting me to review one of the cross stitch kits from Yiota's X-Stitch -  
I spent a long time on Yiota's website browsing all the different designs she has to offer. Something for everyone is a bit of a cliche, but in Yiota's case it is quite justified, the site offers a huge range of designs in a wide variety of styles, covering almost every subject matter you could care to think of.  There were several designs which caught my fancy, but I found myself coming back time and again to the William Morris designs. I've always had a thing for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Goes with my love of the gothic I suppose. I eventually chose a Morris design called Lily, and sat back and looked forward to it's arrival.
The kit arrived quickly and well packed in a sturdy board backed envelope, and is well presented and thought out. 
The chart is spread across two A3 sheets with a clearly marked overlap, and uses large, clear computer generated symbols, and full instructions are provided. 
The evenweave fabric (all the kits come with a choice of aida or evenweave) is generously sized, with a needle tucked into the corner so that the kit is ready to start right away, and the threads (Madeira) are pre-wound onto cardboard bobbins and clearly labelled by shade number, a real bonus when so many similar shades are involved in a design. 
If I had to change one tiny thing about the kit, I would have liked to find the fabric serged at the edges, but that is quite trivial, and doesn't detract from the overall quality of the kit.
The design itself seems to be a sympathetic conversion of the original artwork, with nice clean lines and subtle gradations of colour, and I'm really looking forward to stitching it. I've got a long train journey coming up next weekend and I think I will probably start it then, so watch this space for updates.
I also got some new hand dyed linens and threads this week from Sparklies, a company I hadn't used before, and I have to say I am very pleased with my purchases. The fabric colours are (clockwise) Black Dahlia, Rainforest, Vireo and Parchment. I particularly love the Parchment colour, I think it will be useful for a lot of things.
Have you seen the Knit-along Deramores are running in conjunction with Rowan Yarns? As soon as I saw this I knew I wanted to knit it, and ordered the wool (Rowan Alpaca Cotton). It came the next day and I started right away. The wool is cloud soft, and knits up beautifully, and I am totally besotted with this wonderful muted damson colour. This is my progress so far. Hope the cold weather doesn't end before I've finished, I need an excuse to wear this.