Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Bank voles

As promised in my last post, I managed to get more painting done. I have been watching the bank voles in the garden scooting back and forward to the birds' feeding station. They are amazingly cute but I can't help but admire their ability to always keep on the go. I could do with some of their energy.



As usual, these two guys are available in my Etsy store.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Badgering my creative self

Finally badgered myself to paint some wildlife. Everything is coming alive here now and I really have to get more painting in. Baby bunnies everywhere, spring flowers in full bloom, horrible weather - but we can't have everything. I even rescued a toad this morning from a watering can and the bank vole has been running around like a mad thing, picking up the loose bird seed. Surely I can find something to paint among so much activity?


Friday, 1 May 2015

Zombie bear

I finally got around to sewing a zombie bear kit that I bought a few years ago. It's wonderful - has all the fabric you need, is easy to sew and very cute. He even has removable intestines. Mind you, I think he looks a bit more surprised than scary.


The kit is from DIY Fluffies on Etsy. You can also buy the digital pattern on its own so you can make it out of your own choice of fabrics.

Friday, 24 April 2015

New beads

It just occurred to me that I haven't told you about the new bead styles in my Etsy store - Vintage Italy, London and Frida. The pictures are below:





Monday, 13 April 2015

Adventures in dressmaking

Well, strictly speaking it's not dressmaking but skirt making and French knicker making. I signed up for (yet another) Craftsy course - Sew Ready: Garment Basics with Brett Bara. It was BRILLIANT! It concentrates on skirt making and the skirt pattern is included in the price (it took 2 or 3 weeks to get to the UK from the USA) but it is a thorough and simple course taught by an enthusiastic teacher. You are taken through each step of making the skirt, covering things like cutting the pattern shapes, seam treatments, adding facings, darts and the simplest instructions for adding a zipper that I have ever seen. I used calico/muslin to make my skirt and made it shorter than I would usually wear (just because I'm cheap and didn't want to waste good fabric if it was all going to go wrong) but it is undoubtedly the right shape.



The French knickers were not quite as successful, mainly due to my elastic sewing skills not being very good. There is too much stretch in the elastic after I'd stitched it in so the knickers won't actually stay up. Not the ideal pair of underwear. However, it hasn't put me off dressmaking. I have now signed up for Pant Construction Techniques so no doubt I'll be writing about how that course goes soon.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Bag it!

I bought a host of small bag frames recently. It was one of those purchases where you can see the possibility but actually getting round do doing something with it is another matter. Well, I finally did something with a couple of the frames this week. Unsurprisingly I made bags. I am not a lover of handbags. I have two - one small, leather bag for official events and a second world war ruck sack that I use when I need a bag to carry things. So a love of handbags was not my motivation for these projects.

My first attempt was based on a tutorial on the Serious Craft blog. It's a super simple tutorial that makes a really nice clutch bag. I used silk dupion for my bag and lined it in some gold lining fabric I had in my stash.The gold lining doesn't really go with the silver clasp but who's counting?



  My second attempt used a piece of fabric that I blogged about back in January. It is so bright and colourful that it seemed a shame that it was left to gather dust. It just so happened that it fitted one of the smaller bag frames. So after much wrestling with creating a pattern this was the final result. My only complaint is the little bit of red lining fabric peeking past the frame. Live and learn, live and learn.



Friday, 20 March 2015

Eclipse

There hasn't been much creativity going on over the last few weeks as I've been feeling under the weather. However, today the UK was treated to a partial eclipse of the sun. It was brilliant. It's always a privilege to see the wonders of nature. While cloud is usually a nuisance when there is something happening in the skies, today it was a help. With the light cloud cover we were able to take photos of the eclipse without having to use expensive filters. Marvellous!


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Bag of Klimt

A few weeks ago I bought a bag making tutorial from Angie Hughes on Etsy called Bags of Klimt. I'd had my eye on it for a while but, you know how it is, so many lovelies to look at, not enough funds to buy them all when you see them. So I finally got around to purchasing one and got stuck into it with my sewing machine. Nice clear illustrations and instructions meant that it was all really simple to follow and I was introduced to a few new techniques along the way. This was the final result:


Not quite as pretty as Angie's (free motion embroidery isn't as easy as it looks) but it's a first attempt.


I did actually skip a few steps (impatient to see the end result - ahem!) but I liked the effects that I could create. No doubt I will make a few more and I will certainly use some of the techniques on other projects.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A little fabric addiction

I have been replenishing my fabric stash this month. There are lots of pretty fabrics out there that I can see myself having a use for. Too many, in fact. I'm currently struggling with whether or not to order a few more fat quarters. 'But do I really NEED them?' I keep saying to myself. To which my self replies, 'Yes! Yes! Yes, you need them!' I think I may have a bit of a problem.






Monday, 2 February 2015

Badger, bee and rabbit from me

I don't do an awful lot of painting or drawing these days. My 'get up and go' got up and went a while ago. However, I drew a few pieces a couple of weeks ago and they have been on Etsy for sale. Sorry for the bad photos. My scanner has been playing up and refuses to give me nice graphite images. I suspect a few hours of tinkering with the settings is needed.