Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Mixed metal bracelet

Silversmith class is now on a break for the summer.  I managed to finish off a piece I was working on before we broke up.  Originally this was going to be a necklace, but it morphed into a bracelet.  I am NOW working on the matching necklace!

I showed you in a previous post how I made these rings.  I made soldered rings in copper and silver, then make a series of jump rings from 1mm silver and copper wire to join them together.  I have not copper plated the solder on the copper rings (it would copper plate the silver too!), but I don't think it's that jarring.

I made the toggle clasp from a piece of 2mm square silver wire which I left unhammered to create contrast with the hammered rings.  I soldered half a jump ring on the back and attached it with rings.  It slips through the end circle on the bracelet to do up.

This is the second bracelet I've made from large links and I love it!  It goes very well with my Adidas Superstars which have copper stripes!

I've assembled most of the necklace I'm making, I'm just soldering the jump rings (and there are loads!), but it won't be touched again until September.  Hope I don't forget about it!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Cross stitch bird in tree

This little kit is on my 17 kits in '17 list.  It is, despite it now being July, the only thing that I have touched this year from the list!

I had made a mistake on the border, about halfway through, so I had to do quite a lot of unpicking to sort it out!  You can see the mistake in the photo above, the left hand side of the top line.  I was going to leave it but it bugged me, so out it came!

The stitching is now finished... now to make it up into a pincushion.  I think I'll schedule that for 2021 at my current rate!!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts Show

At the weekend I went to the Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts Show at the NEC Birmingham.  I was given free tickets and invited to a Blogger's event. so I felt very excited and important (though clearly I'm not!).  We were given endless coffee, tea, croissants, muffins and food, and 2 craft activities to try.  I was lucky enough to end up sitting with the lovely Julie from Sum of their Stories, it was great to meet another UK general craft blogger.

The first activity was a tapestry brooch with Tina Francis.  This was the perfect stitching project as it was done in tent stitch and it's small scale meant that we could actually finish it at the event.

We were each given a kit with the pattern (erm no, I didn't follow it!), the brooch finding, a needle and some canvas.  There were piles of Anchor tapestry wool on the table for us to chose from.

Tina (who is fabulously friendly and helpful - take a class with her if you get the chance!) encouraged us not to think too much about colour choice, but to just grab something we were drawn too.  I started with a bluey-grey and added a reddy-purple.  This picture does NOT show the correct colours!

For my third colour, Tina pushed me towards an acid-green.  It was perfect.  I randomly chose orange for the final grid colour and I'm loving my choices! 

I managed to get the brooch finished, despite taking the time to drink about 6 cups of coffee, or perhaps because of the coffee!  Then I moved tables to have a quick go at the papercraft project of the day.

We were making paper houses with Cathie Shuttleworth (apologies, that's a Facebook link, her website seems to be doing something odd right now - but it's here if it comes back up).  We were given the templates and I got cutting out.

As the first group were still making theirs, I didn't hear the instructions and so just wung it.  Cathie would have, and did, help when I asked, but hey, I like to do my own thing!  This meant that I did the ribbon slot on the roof wrong and I also put the house together inside-out!

Ah well!  I didn't have too much time so the decoration is fairly minimal.  It would have been nice to have had a bit longer as there were some lovely papers and punches and papercraft bits and bobs to play with.

It's been a long time since I did papercraft and I really quite enjoyed it!

The top flap of the roof lifts off so it's a useable box, and ties with the ribbon.

To sum up the workshop - a paper house, 2 tapestry brooches (one was my friend Laura's, she'd accompanied me in her capacity as my "assistant" - i.e. pass me the coffee....) and a muffin!

AND... most excitingly, we got a goodie bag!  It's a proper canvas tote that I forgot to take a picture of, and it had all this inside!  Above is paper and card.

Beads, glitter, glue, dies, a papier mache monster (that I love!), liquid pearls and a block printing kit.  What a great goody bag!

I did a little, but not much, shopping.  My entire house is in disarray due to the renovations I'm doing and there is craft stuff everywhere which put me off buying more.  I did invest in a House of Zandra kit though.  I've wanted one forever and this was on offer for £15!  

Next we came across the Powertex stand.  I've seen this product advertised, but don't recall ever seeing it demonstrated at a show.  It was amazing!  Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us take photos (other than this mannequin), so I'd have a bit of a google as the stuff is amazing!

We were invited to add to the mannequin, I added this heart on her knee and also a W on her bum!  Forgot to get a picture of that...  I bought a starter kit as I have an idea to Powertex the side of my outdoor toilet wall....  watch this space!

Monday, 3 July 2017

A quick note...

Just a quick note to tell you two things:

1. I intended to post today, but Photobucket is playing up and I can't add photos to posts!

2. If you're on Blogger and have embedded comments, I can't comment.  In the comment box is your entire blog post and I can't type!  No idea what's going on there... not sure if it's Blogger or just my computer playing up...

I will try both again tomorrow!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

3-weekly SAL update

Good morning, it's time for the 3-weekly SAL update... but... I have nothing to show!  I've been spending every second of my free time recently renovating my house and garden and I've had no time to embroider - and my fingers are too sore!!

I might show you pictures of the renovations?  It'll be slow going as I'm doing it all myself but I'm really enjoying it.

Anyway, enough about me, go and see the other participants of the SAL, I bet they've been more productive than me!

ClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary MargaretTimothy

If you'd like to join in, please contact Avis

Friday, 9 June 2017

The freedom quilt

I have been working on this mini quilt for months, and finally it is finished and hanging in my living room!

I think I might have shown it to you when it looked like this... but maybe I forgot.  The words are improv pieced (my favourite technique and one I'm teaching tomorrow at the East Midlands Modern Quilt Guild) in shades of blue Kona solids, and the background is scrappy low volume.  

I put a 2" border around it using each of the colours I'd used for the words.  I then auditioned a potential scrappy low-volume border v. a blue binding.  The blue binding won. It was at this stage I realised I'd made the border to the exact size and it would change as I quilted it!  Off it came and a new border went on.  Yes, my pjs have sheep on them.

It was also at this stage that I realised I'd forgotten something rather important....

Credit.  These lyrics are from She Bangs The Drums by The Stone Roses, one of my favourite bands ever.  I embroidered the names of the two co-writers using the fonts on my Janome Atelier 5.

I bound the quilt in a blue Alison Glass print and added hanging corners.  I then got my Dremel out and cut a piece of dowel to size.  It's hanging from some yarn - I need a better solution than that!  I completely forgot to measure it, but from memory of doing the borders, I believe it is 33" wide x 39" long, so bigger than Silent Scream.

I took down Silent Scream from above the mantlepiece and put up The Freedom Quilt in its place.  Silent Scream was how I felt during depression.  My depression lifted shortly after my husband left so this Freedom Quilt is an expression of freedom both from him and from it. 

This seems to be the only close up picture I took to show the quilting and the binding.  I was planning on free-motion quilting it, but I just couldn't decide what I wanted to do, so I had a go at straight line quilting instead and quilted a grid.  It was fairly quick and easy, but I have to say I prefer the look of FMQ.  

I have a confession.  I didn't bury the threads.  In fact, I didn't even cut them off on the back, I just left them there.  This is, after all, a quilt whose back will always be facing a wall!  Don't think I'll be winning any quilting awards any time soon....

Now to decide on my next lyrics as I'll be starting a new quilt tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Mellerstain Parrots #9

I almost forgot to post for the three-weekly SAL!  Luckily I read a post and remembered, so here we go. There has been some progress!

I have been working on the wing of the left parrot, you can see the progress in the picture below.

I'm pretty sure I stitched this the wrong way round.  It is long and short stitch so I think I should have stitched from tip to top rather than from top to bottom as I did.  Maintaining those points was tricky.  I also didn't use the right colour for the third stripe from the bottom, there were 2 colours missing from my kit and that was one of them!

Wonder if I'll ever finish this parrot!

I'm stitching along as part of a SAL where we all work on our WIPs, you can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:
ClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary MargaretTimothy

If you'd like to join in, please contact Avis