Sunday, 17 February 2013

Peg Obsession

Maybe obsession is a slightly strong word, but having discovered some unused pegs in a kitchen drawer a few months ago, I have been discovering a number of different ways in which they could be decorated... after all, I live in a flat with no usable outside space except for car parking so I have no use for the pegs in terms of hanging clothes, but I do have a big metal notice board in my study so I can always use a few extra magnetic note holders.

I've gone with a little sparkle for my most recent up-cycled pegs...

Saturday, 16 February 2013

A First Attempt at Making Jewellery

Earlier this week, I went on a workshop with a couple of friends to have a go at making a bracelet.  It was a very enjoyable morning and while one of my friends and I took longer than everyone else to complete the task, I - for one - am very happy with what I achieved.  It was quite a challenge to make this, as one of my hands doesn't work particularly well, but then I find making miniature bears a challenge for the same reason... but strangely enough, small bears are easier because there's less fabric to manipulate - I tried making bigger bears years ago and found them almost impossible.

Its taken me several days to get around to blogging about it because its taken several days for my poor hands to recover, but I think the pain was worth it.  I would never have dreamed of buying such a bracelet for myself but I love it.  It makes lovely jingly sounds as you move and I love the colours.

When we began, we had to choose a bag of assorted beads.  The bags contained the larger Indian Glass Beads in co-ordinating colours, then we could pick out seed beads etc. to match.  I have to admit I did "borrow" one or two darker beads from my friend Mary as she was making a bracelet in slightly darker tones than me, but I did wait until after she'd finished.  We had to start each head pin with a seed bead as it would stop the bigger beads from falling off, but I decided I liked the look I got when I finished with a seed bead too - it wasn't until I came to trim and attach my pins to the chain links that I realised 
the seed beads at the top were all going to try and make a bid for freedom - sigh!

Being a person with a somewhat obsessive/perfectionist nature, I had to count the links (64) of my bracelet before I started attaching the carefully organised pins to every third link.  I had tried to make some of my pins in pairs so I tried to position those in such a way to give some balance, but none of the pins are exactly alike because there was such a variety of different beads in my selection.

My favourite pin was the very first one I made - the little fucshia-like "flower" (directly above the copyright symbol), sadly this was the only bead like this that could be found despite searching through some of the other spare bead bags.  Never mind, I still love my bracelet - just the way it is  :)

I hope they do more workshops soon, as I love learning new skills - even ones I suffer for!

PS.  If you'd like to see the bracelet my friend Clare made, you can find it here...

Friday, 8 February 2013

Sewing Machine 101

I can't really remember a time when I didn't have access to a sewing machine, but after a disastrous house move back in 1992, my machine got damaged and despite numerous attempts at getting it working properly again, I finally admitted defeat last year and replaced my machine.  The trouble is, its been so long since I was last able to successfully use my old machine, I've been putting off making use of my new one!  Finally enough was enough and I booked a one-to-one session at Kathy's Patch for me and my sewing machine to get to know each other.

Well I made it to my sewing machine 101 this morning, even though I was feeling more like crawling back into bed after sleeping badly last night. A lovely lady called Jo, took me through maintenance, threading, bobbin filling, all the stitches my machine can do and she finished up by showing me free-hand machine embroidery - something I've always wanted to try. The nice squiggly bit at the top was Jo's (she made it look SO easy) I found it a little harder to control but as my first squiggles looked a bit like a B, I had a go at my name. Jo said it was very good for a first attempt... I think I'm going to need a LOT more practice!  Marcus the bear came with me for some moral support as he enjoys trips out, meeting new people and having his photo taken.  Once the session was over I'm afraid I succumbed to a little fabric temptation, so I now have some beautiful fabrics for a couple of projects I want to try soon.  I also think it long be too long before I revisit this lovely shop!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Handmade Paper

I haven't actually made any paper for a few years, though I still have my paper making equipment... its in a box... somewhere in my loft!  I thought I was going to be moving a few years ago so started packing and storing some of my belongings all ready for the off.  When the move fell through, the boxes - and my paper making gear - stayed where they were.

Someone was talking about handmade paper today so I thought I'd scan a few sheets of mine.  Its about time I dug them out and made use of them in my card making anyway.  The rose paper was made with flowers someone gave me as a birthday gift, but the paper could possibly be used for something with a Valentine theme.  A bit late for this year really now as I don't have any use for a Valentine card, but worth thinking about.  Anyway, here is the paper I made...

I really wish I could remember the name of the company where I got my equipment from, their kit was so easy to use with really clear instructions.  I will post the details if I ever get around to unpacking those boxes!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Time To Make a Start

I've been crafting for pretty much my whole life in one form or another, I've never really written about it in a serious way before, but I've come to the conclusion that its time I got started with a crafty blog!

I don't know how often I'll have the energy to post but I'm going to do my best to add new creations on a reasonably regular basis.  Just don't expect my posts to be all about a single craft, I have quite wide interests which I'm going to let you discover over time.  However I shall start you off today with one I made earlier...  

Hope the Bear was made at my sister's request as she decided she wanted to raise some money for Ovacome as part of her 50th birthday celebrations.  Her original idea was for Hope to be a raffle prize, but in the end she auctioned the bear separately and  raised £110 with her.  I was so proud of my sister that day!  In total, she raised over £400, with her employers donating a further amount at a later date.  The photo probably makes it hard to determine size, but Hope measures just over 3 inches (around 8cm) tall.

I hope you like her too.