Thursday, 14 August 2014

stitched postcards

some of my rubber stamps
For the most part since packing away the sewing machine I have been dabbling with things more on the arty side.This has been quite enjoyable in a messy inky finger sort of way although not everything has been successful....but then is anything ever really successful.I have decided that the way to continue with the things I produce is to embrace the imperfections as unique design concepts.
an old sheet being sprayed up with inks and a stencil made with a hot glue gun.
 Anyway,I got side tracked in to the world of  Mail Art which is basically an excuse to send and receive's always nice to get something other than a credit card bill or reminder that your teeth are due a drilling...and post that is nicely decorated too.I decided to join in with some of the swaps on Mail Me Some Art  and one of the swaps falls into the category of Postcards with Stitching.

fabric stamping with one of my doodles.
 This also coincided with me discovering the addictive past time of making your own rubber stamps.I won't go into too many details about how this simple activity can start to take over your life but will just say that if you fancy the urge to be a carving addict ( and I do like to be an enabler in these things) then you can do no better than grab yourself a copy of "Carve,Stamp,Play" by Julie Fei Fan Balzer or just look on her blog and read this tutorial here.

 I have never had too many stamps before as the designs of most of them available to buy just never seemed to appeal to me but by making your own you can have something truly unique ....this is where I have learned to embrace the imperfections by the way.I am a complete novice at this....not so much a carver more of a gouger.

flower design courtesy of Dover publications.
 I "gouged" some rather large ones because I like flowers and florals and I like the scratchy background look that is reminiscent of wood block prints.Some of the designs are from my own doodles and others I have adapted from a Dover publication of floral designs available for artists and crafts people (not that I can include myself here!).

 So to cut a long and tedious. yet ink-ily interesting,story into something slightly less long and tedious,I grabbed an old sheet,sprayed it with some home made spray inks adding contrast with some home made stencils ( can you detect the home made theme going on here?),whacked a home made rubber stamp on it,dragged the sewing machine screaming and kicking back onto the table and cajoled it into stitching around the edges adding a bit of dyed lace on some in the process.

 Then I attached them to postcard blanks with some heavy gel medium (not home made) which seemed to do the trick.

I also produced some using old book papers which show off the wood block look.

Well the fabric ones have been sent off to be included in the swap and I hope that they arrive safely.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Woolly Stuff Catch-up ......

Another war time many buttonholes but fortunately you make them as you knit up the front.

Well there can be no excuses for having been silent for so long....just excessive laziness and the desire not to do anymore sewing for a while.Having had a run over the winter of sewing disasters I put the sewing machine and its obstreperous comrade in arms, the overlocker, away and apart from the odd skirmish when I want to sew some paper up they just sit there gathering dust at the moment.

looks complicated but it isn't really
 I have been making things and doing stuff but not of a sewy-clothes nature.I also started at the new year another 1940's pattern with an interesting bobble pattern which I got on quite well with despite not understanding the instructions on how to make the bobbles their way....I just winged it and they came out alright.When I got to the shoulder shaping though it looked too long ( because I used any old wool and didn't check the tension) so it has to be unpicked and started again.
Needless to say I couldn't face doing that at the time and that also has been put away....but in a less dusty place.
I didn't try it out for size on a bed until AFTER I had finished it.If I had I would have made it another few inches to have completely gone over the pillows.Pattern from issue 18 of "Simply Crochet"
 Mostly,apart from art dabbling,I have been crocheting and some of the things I have made are here others I didn't take photo's of at the time.
I made a big striped blanket out of cheap acrylic with a cushion to match for my daughter....
pattern as for blanket above

 ....another smaller blanket out of the same stuff for my sister.....

 ....two small lampshades out of bits and leftovers......

 and another larger lampshade inspiration for both of them being  found here.

So there has been a fair amount of activity going on even if I have not blogged about it.Hopefully it will not be another six months before I post again.

Saturday, 8 February 2014



a faithful friend,confirmed eccentric and willing tester of rugs.
A grand old lady who will be very much missed.
21st June 1999-7th February 2014.

Rag Rug

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Printing and a Pie

An Urban Rustic original print!
 In an effort to be more spontaneously creative, as opposed to just following instructions as with my sewing,knitting and crochet I have tried to be a bit more arty and crafty.This has had limited results because while I have been able to produce something I am quite pleased with,like my snowmen gift tags,I have still had to follow instructions provided by someone else.Well perhaps one day I might come over all spontaneous ...but it's not happening just yet.

my pile of prints starting to amass.

 My Christmas painting exploits were all due to the expert guidance and encouragement of Lindsay aka The Frugal Crafter and recently she very kindly uploaded a video tutorial on printmaking.I say kindly because she did so following a request for printmaking tips I left  on her blog....what a generous soul to share all of her knowledge so willingly!
One of my blocks made from craft foam,the design pressed on with one of those embossing tool and inked up
with inktense blocks.
 I am not going to go into all of the gritty details here because you couldn't do any better than to watch Lindsay's tutorial (here) if you fancy having a go yourself.
Does anyone else work with all this clutter going on?
 It really isn't at all complicated,is GREAT fun and is absolutely ADDICTIVE.I spent a very happy morning and ended up with a small forests worth of printed paper....not to mention very grubby fingers.Then again I am sure the saying "messy fingers happy mind" must have skittered at some point through the mental processes of the like of dear old Leonardo and his chums.

At the risk of being boring here are more prints...just humour me please!
 Anyway,it might look amateurish to some out there but I was pleased and I even managed to cobble together a card for an upcoming family birthday so win win all round!!

The one and only card so far produced from all of that effort.
 And what of the pie I can hear you all demanding to know? Well as some of you know I don't cook I at best partially incinerate.But! This week end I excelled myself and produced a pie....from Christmas/New Years leftovers...and it was edible!!Yay good times.
Veggie version of a Chicken and Leek other words a Quorn and Leek Pie
                                                                       A big
                                                                   "Thank you!"
                                                               to the wonderful
                                                                 Frugal Crafter
                                              for taking the time to answer my query.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

1950's Fashion Knits from Paton & Baldwin

Front cover of 3rd edition possibly 1957.
Pearl trimmed scoop neck jumper.
I just love this outfit.
 A few weeks ago I gleaned from The Nice Lady on the market two Patons and Baldwins knitting books both from the late 1950's for the princely sum of a pound each...which I thought was a steal to be honest.

"The Seven Eighths Cardigan"
I love this cardigan.Why the name I don't know but just think of all the discarded sweet wrappers you can get in pockets that roomy.
 One is the third edition,dating from 1957 as far as I can work out,and the other is the fifth (1959-ish?) both are full of lots of goodies.I just love looking at the pictures in these knitting magazines and these two are quite Vogue-like in their style.
Ski sweater, plus hood, plus mitts
 Patience Horne,the "Editress",in the opening blurb is keen to emphasise the haute couture aspect of these designs and that they "show the very latest Continental and American influences".To prove her point this collection was filmed along the Cote D'Azur apparently and the fifth in Portugal.
I love this too...but square necklines look awful on me....grrr.
 Further to this, just to sort the chaff out away from the wheat I reckon,she declares many of the patterns whilst "in the scope of the average knitter" (because they have simple classic lines apparently) others are
 "definitely more specialised and not intended to be knitted by the amateur,or worn by any but those who like their clothes to have that special air of something different,spotted at once by all eagle-eyed followers of fashion!"
Edition number five was proud to boast the inclusion of several designs intended purely for machine knitting.
 I think that safely counts me out.

The rose and white fair isle cardigan,bottom left,is what I really want.
Would I match up to the skill levels expected by "The Editress"..???
 Anyway,the pictures are nice to look at and dream over and these have nice little interesting snippets about the film locations too which can only be a bonus on a dull and gloomy day.
A nice picture....but I find the young ladies feet disturbingly odd.Or is it just me?
 Whether or not anything gets knitted from these is hard to tell.....I am unfortunately only an amateur as you know.
"Rough Textured"
lovely elegant dress.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Seasons Greetings....

One of my hand painted cards.This is from a tutorial by a wonderful lady called the Frugal Crafter...
I am a devoted acolyte....look her up!
 Well a very belated merry Christmas to everyone and I hope that,if you were celebrating the occasion that is, that you all had a very nice time.I know I did.

Another Frugal crafter tutorial.I liked my snowmen but some definitely looked a bit more evil than others!
 I have been very remiss in not posting anything again for several months and a big thank you to anyone of my followers who have been hanging on and are still following me despite my seeming lack of productivity.Inherent laziness was not entirely to blame because I was without my laptop for several weeks...again!
You guessed it...this is all down to the Frugal Crafter!
This was especially annoying because after eighteen months of my overlocker refusing to work properly I sat down one day issued forth the ultimate of ultimatums (I think it involved an axe)........

Tissue paper parcel toppers.Easy to make and cheap too but looked really nice.Tutorial here.
....... and got it to work!!!Yay there was much rejoicing and gaiety in the house that day.Thankfully for any nearby fatted calves around at the time I am vegetarian.

A lace stole I crocheted for my friend in Debbie Bliss Rialto lace.The colour was supposed to be Citrus but looked more like mushy she is a Northern lass it seemed to work!
 Unfortunately within 24 hours I dropped my laptop.The house once more returned to a vale of mist and tears.Strangely the overlocker had an aura of smugness about it.

  This meant that I lost all momentum with the Fall Essential Sew Along.I did make a couple of dresses and,believe it or not a suit,but due to one thing or another they were uninspiring in the extreme,not very well made and everything seemed to be brown for some reason which didn't encourage inspiration.To cut a long story short I gave up.

Jumper knitted in King Cole Aran for my son.I think he likes it but have not seen it in action much to verify.
  By the time my laptop was fully resuscitated I was full in the swing of making things for Christmas and obviously this involved secrecy.

First big aran project I have knitted for some time and realised that I had forgotten how much I like knitting cables.
So easy but look quite impressive.
 I must admit that I feel completely all sewn out when it comes to making anymore clothes...I feel like I am just making them for the sake of making them which isn't really what you want.

Jumper for my daughter in a chunky wool by James C. Brett, which was lovely to use,but the pattern by Wendy.
 Anyway I resolved to make everyone a Christmas present this year,which I did for the most part,and I made all my cards,paper tissue present toppers,crackers and even painted all my tags....

Although I have not taken a photo to prove the point I think with these two jumpers I actually cracked how to sew them up neatly . the time Christmas Eve dawned I was all christmassed out and feeling particularly Grinch-like.

Yorkshire Puddings!!!! Perhaps not the usual festive fare but who cares...I was cooking so we had them.My favourite with Sherry gravy..
  I didn't take photo's of all of the things I made but here are a few of the ones that didn't get away.

I was a good girl and ate all of my dinner up.
 So a big thank you to anyone who might have been wondering where I was.I have a few things in the pipeline to post about but future posts might be rather sporadic.
New Years resolutions for 2014 might include therefore an attempt to be more creative and less lazy.Watch this space!

It was all too much for someone.
So to finish I would firstly like to thank Sunny on Flickr for sending me such a nice message and prompting me to get off my backside and write this post and secondly just to say.....


Sunday, 6 October 2013

What a Hoot Winter Bloomers.

Those readers of a nervous disposition look away now....

Some of you may recall my threatening to make a pair of these as part of my contribution to the Fall Essential Sew Along 2013.....

75 cents well spent back in 1970 if you ask me
....................... Well I Have!
These sturdy little beauties only took about half an hour to make up and as far as I am concerned it was a half hour well spent.

functional rather than slinky
 Now I will be the first to admit that these are not the number one choice in lingerie to wear if you are looking for an evening of sultry seduction neither are they what you might want to be caught wearing if you happen to be unlucky enough to be the subject of an unforeseen emergency hospital admission...BUT! I am greatly impressed by them.And what is it that impresses me most I feel you all clamouring to enquire...comfort,pure unadulterated comfort.

don't mention the Rump Droop
 Due to the fact that I regarded making these as a bit of a joke and some light relief to break the monotony of an otherwise relatively mundane week end I just used some rather loud leftover jersey fabric that I had kicking about.It was too big a piece to get rid of or use for rag rugs but not big enough,seemingly to make anything worthwhile out of.I had just enough to cut these out though.I got a bit muddled up at first with the gussett instructions in the leaflet but abandoned the suggested method and used the one I normally use when making knickers.Fairly straightforward otherwise,

lots of flexibility and room for movement!
All chortling and hilarity aside though I am really pleased I made these.They would be fine to use as nightwear with a t-shirt type of top for one thing.Then I had this great inspiration to try wearing them under a pair of trousers I had made ages ago that score a particularly high rating on my personal Itch Factor Scale (a good 8 out of 10 in this instance).These trousers have lain unworn ever since being made because they are to me just so itchy which is a pity as they are a pretty colour and I made them so well that the fit is just about perfect...they just make me itch far too much.However,with these little lovelies on the itch factor is reduced considerably... so result!
No more unpleasant winter draughts on frosty mornings when bending over for me as I have several more pairs of these planned to make up in the coming weeks!