Sunday, 31 March 2013

Gifts, A Challenge, and Upcycling Denims

I got two lovely gifts through the post this week. The first was this adorable little pocket from Jo, a prize from last year's Easter blog hop. It is just gorgeous, and as you can see, full of chocolate. Thank you Jo, it's just beautiful.
The second was an exchange gift from the Needlecraft Haven Easter exchange. We had to stitch an egg shaped ornament for this exchange, it was  anonymous so I don't yet know who to thank for this sweet little Easter Chick, but whoever you are, thank you anyway. It was accompanied by a really pretty beaded bracelet in spring colours, but that has already migrated upstairs to the jewellery box and missed the photo shoot. I can't show you the ornament I sent out as I forgot to take its picture. Perhaps I'll be able to add one later if the recipient posts one.
It is also reveal day for the Needlecraft Haven monthly challenge. This month we stitched Souvenir de France from Blackbird Designs.  I stitched mine on raw linen using a blue and beige overdyed floss from The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe, and used some French chambray fabric to make it up into a cushion, then trimmed it with some gingham ribbon and a couple of vintage buttons.
The gallery of  other finishes is here.
Eloise picked up these rather sad denims in a charity shop and we've been working on customising them.
Here are the finished shorts, shorter than they were and decorated with a horror print fabric and ric rac,
and here's the back view.
The jacket is still a work in progress. Watch this space...

Friday, 29 March 2013

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop

Happy Easter
and welcome if you have just arrived here via Jo's Easter Blog Hop. 
Please stay and have a look around if you like stitchy, crafty, geeky things. You can stay and look if you don't like them too, but you might not enjoy it as much ;D
Here are some lovely fresh Cornish Daffodils for you. I made the little Hardanger runner many years ago, I think it's a perfect colour for spring.
Your letter for the Blog Hop is 

And your next stop is Linda at Such is Life
Have Fun!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Of Dolphins, Captains and General Geekiness

Look what were playing in the surf when we went down to the beach on Wednesday! I thought they may have been orcas, but my friend who knows more about these things than I do says they are Atlantic white sided dolphins. Whatever they are, they are gorgeous.

You are probably aware that Capt. Jean-Luc Picard is one of my very favourite Captains. Definitely Number One in my All Time Top Five Captains list.
The other four are, in no particular order:-
Captains Sparrow,


and a recent newcomer to the top five here, Hook.

I digress.

I discovered a cross stitch chart for an adorable mini Jean-Luc by Black Lupin on Deviant Art, and had to stitch him right away, but what to do with him then? I thought of putting "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot" underneath and making a coaster, in fact I may stitch him again and do just that, but then inspiration struck, and I added the little insignia and collar pips, some snowflakes and a caption, and made a little snowglobe ornament, backed with the fabric shown and edged in gold ric rac, because gold ric rac just screams Star Trek.
I can hang him on my increasingly geeky Christmas tree with my TARDIS, Golden Snitch, and LoKitty ornaments.
If you check the link you'll find the entire crew. Lt. Worf is particularly stinking cute, and I shall be making one of him just as soon as I learn how to write Happy Christmas in Klingon

Monday, 18 March 2013

Bringing a Little of That Spring Indoors

Since the garden was feeling all "springified" I figured the house could do with it too. This is my beautiful Sylvac jug full of tulips. There is a story relating to the jug. Many years ago, when my Mum was unmarried and still living at home (probably around 1948) my Grandad happened to go into the big department store in Sheffield, where they had a large and carefully arranged pile of jugs on display with a sign advertising "any jug" at some cheap price. All the jugs were plain white except for a tiny number of coloured ones at the very bottom of the pile. Yes, you've guessed it. Grandad dismantled the entire display to get to the coloured ones and bought three, one for Grandma, and one each for my Mum and my Aunt for their bottom drawers.
I love that jug.

I made this spring runner after seeing an idea on Flamingo Toes. Mine is made from pieces from a couple of vintage sheets and some 60s or 70s fabric from my Mum's extensive stash, the only thing I bought was the pompom trim. I have decided that I LOVE pompom trim, but I hate sewing it.

And finally, my spring mantelpiece, very simple with a felt flower garland (bought, shame on me!) and a few little eggs

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Spring Garden Notes, with Additional Commentary by the Immortal Bard

I was drawn into the garden yesterday by a cacophony of croaking, to discover a huge number of these little chaps, basking in the sunshine in the pond. 

"Eye of Newt and toe of frog"
I counted at least 29 frogs, though it's hard to be sure as they kept diving and resurfacing, and it is not a large pond. (It does have a lot of duck weed though. I really must try and do something about that).  
I didn't see the newts, but they are there in the ooze at the bottom.
Anyway while I was in the garden I thought I'd see what other signs of spring I could find.
 " I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, 
Where oxlip and the nodding violet grows"

No wild thyme, mine is all cultivated, and the violets aren't out yet, but a clump of oxlips are in bloom

and dafodils

"Daffodils that come before the swallow dares,
And take the winds of March with beauty"

and primroses

"Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads"

and crocuses (croci?)

"Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
Diffusest honey drops"
and the rhubarb is starting to sprout

and I'm pretty sure Shakespeare didn't have anything to say about rhubarb, (lets face it, the last two were stretching it a bit), but I'm willing to be corrected. 

Edited: Thanks to Gillie who found this quote from  The Scottish Play:-

What rhubarb, cyme, or what purgative drug,
Would scour these English hence?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Some More Upcycling

I've been attacking some of my horde of vintage textiles with a pair of shears, and remaking them into new things, namely bags.
Here is my new shopping bag, which as you can see used to be a souvenir tea-towel
And here is a handbag. The front panel of this is cut from a vintage tea towel, the rest of the shell is made from one of the lovely pieces of vintage feed sack fabric Katherine sent me, and which I showed in the previous post.
Both bags are lined with fabric cut from vintage pillowcases.
I made some other ones as well, and they are now listed in my new shiny Folksy Shop, Brimstone and Quicksilver.
Naomi has been busy as well, customising t-shirts. She's got a Folksy Shop too, hers is called The Word on The Street.
Linking up to Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes