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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Coptic bookbinding attempt

A bit more book binding this week - this time using proper bookbinding stitches. I have always admired the exposed spine books that are all the rage but was too intimidated to give it a go. Last week I bought a little notebook by Kate Bowles as I was needing something to cheer myself up. When it arrived I was so enamoured of the beautiful stitching that it encouraged me to try myself. Kate has nothing to worry about as my stitching isn't a patch on hers but I really did enjoy making it and I now have a little 8x3 inch notebook to use for my work notes. The paper is from an old pad of K & Company paper. I added some hand painted elastic in green and cream and made a thread wrapped button specially for it in matching colours.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Welcome to Indy

A non-creative post this week as my sister has just become the proud owner of a new dog. Her name is Indy. After Stanley died last October we all felt like there was a massive rottie shaped gap in the family. By chance this little lady fell into my sister's lap.

Indy has already made herself comfortable in the garden here and is just wonderful. She will never replace Stanley but she will definitely help make his loss easier to deal with.

Here she is guarding the scones in the oven:

And wrestling with a giant marshmallow:

I was actually trying to make her a new bed out of an old duvet but she seemed to like it just the way it was.

And here she is contemplating mischief:

I spent the last two days puppy-sitting her and she is a really good girl. She is quick to learn, does as she is told, very clean (mostly) and was no bother. I can't believe how well behaved she is. The only downside was when she was told off for getting on the sofa. In retaliation she went to the kitchen and peed on the carpet. She told me she was sorry afterwards though.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Kanzashi flowers part 2

Just a couple of pictures today. A few more kanzashi flower samples that I made for Gina-B Silkworks:

A - Handbag charm
B - Phone charm
C - Bookmark

D - Photo frame
E - Decorated pillow box

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Vintage notebook

I had this week off from work - a rarity for me. Apart from doing some of an Italian course that I signed up for I have done very little - and it has rained all week. So there has been a lot of internet surfing, particularly on Pinterest. There I came across Christine Plummer's vintage books. I have seen these little books before and it was one of those 'I must try that' things that got pushed further down my 'to do' list. This week I gave it a shot - with the help of some YouTube videos and some bookbinding books.

The cover is made from brown paper packaging from an Amazon order that I scrunched up and then ironed. It was reinforced with medium weight iron on fabric interfacing that had been in lying unused in my sewing drawer for two years. The rest of the decoration is ordinary coloured paper from scraps in my scrap horde, some lace ribbon, vintage buttons and some waxed linen cord with seed bead dangles.

The signatures were stitched using waxed linen thread a chain stitch.

The inside pages were made using a variety of papers, from more of that Amazon packaging to ordinary white copy paper. I am not sure what I will do with it yet but I am sure I can find a use for it. Perhaps I could use it as a vocabulary book for some Italian?

Saturday, 11 June 2016


Everything is so lush and green here at the moment. Flowers are everywhere and the smells are divine. It has been a dull, grey, wet spring (and autumn and winter) but the plants seem to like it.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Tote that bag

This week my Mum asked me to make a shopping bag for a relative. So, I hit Google and came up with this little tutorial on Make It, Love It. It's true. I do love it. It's great! Simple to follow with lovely clear photos and instruction. In four hours I stitched up this little number in greens and blues (with a kind of off-white background).

The main fabric is one of my favourite fabrics EVER - I Love Puppies Grey Argyle by Henry Glass. The green is Kona Lime. I don't buy much fabric in one metre lengths but I have both of these and have just reordered another metre of each. I hope my relative will like the bag.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Mr Thunderstomp

Meet Mr Thunderstomp. I bought the book Edward's Menagerie recently because I saw a giant version of the rhino pattern and fell in love with it. I have been crocheting for a few years now but have never felt like trying amigurumi before. But the rhino stole my heart as soon as I saw him.

I had some problems figuring out the pattern but thanks to a search online I found that it used a shorthand version of crochet instructions. Once I figured that out the crochet made up really quickly. Each leg took about 40 minutes to crochet. I used Cygnet Seriously Chunky yarn and it was lovely to use. It's acrylic but much cheaper than the yarn recommended in the book - and for such a large animal it would have cost a small fortune to make him in anything other than acrylic.

He is almost 16 inches (40cm) high when seated. I used seven 100g balls for the body and part of a 100g ball for the horn. So it's quite a lot of yarn. But I do love him. I already have plans to crochet another animal - a rottweiler. Although the book does not have any dog patterns they can be easily adapted for anyone with a bit of crochet experience. No doubt I will post the finished article once I get round to making it.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

New beads for warmer days

Some new beads this week - with a sea theme. One set has sailing ships. The other has starfish. As always, they can be found in my Etsy shop.

And on that warm weather theme - the swallows arrived yesterday so summer must be on its way.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Kanzashi flowers

Gina_B Silkworks has some new products out this month. Kanzashi flowers are little flowers made from fabric that originated in Japan. You can find out a bit more about it here or Google to find some fabulous pictures. They are super easy to make with a few folds - rather like origami for fabric. My desk has been covered in flowers this week as I wait for them to dry. Very springlike. Needless to say I made a few samples using the new kits:

A little sewing kit/needle case made from a pair of old jeans and a little treasure chest...

 and some of you might remember this bag from a few posts back.

There was also a little pendant that I forgot to photograph. So in absence of that photo, these are samples for Gina's previous button show that I forgot to share too: a thread catcher for sewers, a bookmark, a little pod bag and a pin cushion.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Fabric and patchwork!

My new Janet Clare Wordsmith fabric arrived today. I love the fresh greens in her collections. Now to decide what to do with them.

Some might end up as part of the Splendid Sampler quilt I am making. This is my first attempt at a proper quilt. In fact it's my first proper attempt at proper patchwork. It is a steep learning curve but I am getting there. By the end of the year I should have a nice quilt to snuggle under too. The photo below is the blocks I have stitched so far.

This is one of this week's block. Designed by Janet Clare and made by me using Janet Clare fabrics by Moda.