seeing stars :-)

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With my stepdaughter’s birthday fast approaching, Im very relieved to have finished her present. I have loved the design of this for a while now but never had the excuse to stitch it, but took prime opportunity when her birthday loomed. Despite the colours being quite samey which I normally struggle with, I really enjoyed making this for her. The main of the background was half stitch using a single strand of thread which I initially thought would look a bit wishy washy but I now like its subtlety. The main colours in her bedroom are yellow and purple so am hoping this will fit right in. They are also my favourite colours so Im hoping to do a lot more pieces for her abode! Thats obviously as long as she doesnt mind… πŸ™‚

oh bee-have!

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My mum’s mothers day card is now finally complete, her love of all things orange and bee related led to the design. The hive part took the longest. I cut out the hexagons from orange themed fabrics, all of which were fabrics donated to me by my mum for my patchwork blanket so hope she doesnt mind the diversion! After placing the shapes onto a solid backing fabric, I sewed them on leaving a small gap between each of the shapes in order to sew beads around each one. After doing this on a few of the hexagons, I really disliked it and found it detracted from the fabrics which were pretty on their own. So I unpicked the beading I had done and chose to just sew them on to the outer edge of the hive, adding a single bead to the centre of each hexagon. I added orange wool just to the sides of the card that the hive was on, adding a single wooden bead to the corners. I loved making the little bee. I cut the shapes out of felt, I purposely shaped the wings to look like hearts and sewed them all together. I used beads for the eyes and added a little nectar to the bee’s bottom in the shape of some more beads (I went bead crazy). After I put it all together, something was missing. So I added the iridescent sequins. I hope it gave it the right buzz… get it? Hehe πŸ™‚

Chairman Meow

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As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I always try and make something for my aunty on Mother’s day as she doesn’t have her own children and quite frankly, she is like a second mum to me. I have already made her gift and completed this card for her earlier on today. It is an understatement to say she loves her pet cat, so chairman meow seemed the way to go. I created the shape using felt and stitched around the edge to make it neater. Then added eyes made of felt and two single wooden black beads for pupils. The nose was a large pink bead with the rest of the mouth stitched on. I added gold thread for the whiskers and a lime green button to match the background on the tummy. A really enjoyable card to make, nice and simple and I didn’t even get stressy with the metallic thread. Win πŸ™‚

Kid in a sweetshop :-)

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Today we went to the creative stitches and hobbycrafts exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham. It goes without saying that I was like a kid in a sweetshop. Everything was absolutely fantastic, I couldn’t stop looking at everything with oodles of ‘wow’ and ‘look at that’. Needless to say, I became very camera snap happy. I thought Id share with you some of my favourite bits, which were difficult to narrow down as it was all so awe inspiring. I will start with the amazing section called ‘giant textile books’ which was to collect for Craft aid and Great Ormond Street Hospital. The idea for the project came from a team of two ladies, Alison and Ann Murray, taking them 9 months to sew together. I was greatly humbled by how charitable these incredible women were and the talent that clearly oozed from their very fingertips. Most of the display was knitted, with the odd piece of other sewing skills shown including cross stitch. The following are examples of their seasons work…

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The rest of the project focused on mythical creatures…

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After feeling so massively small in the world, my humbled self could only purchase this cute little hair bobble from the accompanying stallholder and make a donation. Seems a bit pathetic of me considering the phenomenal and life changing work these awe inspiring ladies produce…

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Another charity stall was in aid of Cancer research. The couple running it, who were such genuinely lovely human beings, had created these little ‘cheer up kits’, selling them for just Β£1. As well as this, these little rabbits that housed a cream egg. Needless to say, they were gobbled up by my stepchildren hours ago (I dont blame them one bit!)…

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I also met stuart from the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee, who was giving a talk on customising clothing. He was good enough to pose…

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One of my favourite things I saw was a collection of sewn pieces based on historical dress and characters. My particular favourite was the Anne of Cleves design…

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This was very near to a Gustav Klimt themed area, in which the work was stunning…

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Of course, one of the main advertised selling points of the sewing section of the exhibition were the costumes from the Les Miserables remake…

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I also now have a new artist to add to my list of works I want to own one day when I sell my kidneys/win the lottery. Her name is Michele Rose, she works with textiles, all of which are very sweet and beautifully created…

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I have since discovered her website www.michelerose.com.

I fell in love with a stall called Button-It, I was there for quite some time and I was certainly not alone, the stall was brimming with people. All of us with a little bowl filled with their laser cut wooden buttons and embellishments. I couldn’t resist these…

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As it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, my very lovely other half treated me to a belated birthday present. I absolutely adore it and have wanted a tape measure bangle since I saw one at a craft fair two years ago. He even managed to get me a yellow one!

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On the way out, we stumbled upon a pyrographer who was incredibly talented. I have never tried this art and always been fascinated by it. She had worked her magic on a number of items, including this wooden spoon which I simply had to get as a gift for my Dad, who is a patisserie chef. It seemed fairly logical…

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So all round an amazing day! I don’t think I have had a day where I felt so inspired to create and learn from others as I have done today. We saw some amazing artists, oggled at breathtaking masterpieces and my other half and stepchildren even got to try out one of the free card making workshops. I was too busy picking my jaw up from off of the floor… πŸ™‚

 

 

I like to mauve it mauve it!

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Apologies for the poor joke, but we all needed a little cheesiness to cheer us up now and again don’t we? Mother’s day card number 2 now complete, this one for my Grandma who again is a lover of all things purple and this time I know that is fact. I think this one took a lot longer than it looks like it did. I used a purple fabric for the background with a sequin ribbon surround. The actual butterflies were taken from a printed skirt. They are what took the main of the time as I sewed around the edge of the wings to give them definition and then sewed tiny pink beads down the body, adding wooden beads to the corner of the top wings. I was initially trying to create a V shape (her name is Veronica) but it looked more like a lop sided L. So, I changed my mind and decided to try making them look like they were flying. Leaving themΒ  as they were looked a little boring so I decided to use some pink wool to outline the flight pattern. At the end of it, I was surprised how long it took for the results but was pleased that the butterflies looked more sparkly and pretty than beforehand. I also managed to give myself a blister on my fingertip mid sewing as I didn’t realise just how much force would be needed to get through the felt and fabric, time for some new sharper needles I think πŸ™‚

Karma coma

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My Dad and stepmum, Dee, have a stunning mango wood table with elephants carved into it. Last time I visited them I was oggling it so much that it gave me the idea to make this for Dee for mother’s day. I must say that this is my favourite card I have made so far, mainly because its of a style I dont normally do and I tried to challenge myself with it. I took it from a blackwork pattern I found and adapted it, making the stitching multicoloured rather than being all black. According to my little sister (who will be held accountable if she was fibbing ;-)), Dees favourite colour is purple. So naturally, I tried to put as much purple in the elephant and the mehndi sun as I could. I used different thicknesses and tensions of silks in order to give it more depth and used enough gold thread to put Midas to shame. I also added tiny beads throughout the whole design and finished it off with a double stitched border, keeping it simple, as I didnt want to detract too much from the Maharaja. As well as being my favourite card I have made so far, it also took the longest. I do hold myself accountable for this though as I did use a lot of very small beads which took a long time to sew and even roped in my other half into helping me laboriously rummage though my threads to find ‘the’ perfect colours for it. The only part of making him I didnt like was the metallic thread which kept snapping and unravelling. At the completion though, I saw that it, in my opinion, was worth the hassle and now I love metallic threads. Well, I say that, but I bet my next project involving them will again resort to having to have a ‘timeout’ from them to cool down πŸ˜€ The title of the post by the way, was purely because I couldn’t get karma coma by Massive attack out of my head while I was stitching this.Β  That certainly wasn’t a bad thing πŸ™‚

 

Im a jammie dodger :-)

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I received this gorgeous pyrographed keyring and card in the post today. As soon as I found out Id won it I was eagerly anticipating it so was chuffed to bits when it arrived today. The picture doesnt do it justice being as Im pretty camera illiterate. Biggest thanks to squarebird who so kindly created the competition as well as this super cute jammie dodger. When you get a spare few minutes, please check out her blog, a good read and provides plenty of treats for the creative eye. Thanks again squarebird, very humbled πŸ™‚

The sun has got his hat on…

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yay! Its sunny for a change! I even ventured out today without my coat on, what a daredevil πŸ˜‰ But in what way can I embrace the new temperatures? Have an ice cream, bask in the sunshine, go for a stroll along the canal… Nope, I decided a better way to celebrate the fine weather of the past few days is starting a new cross stitch. Yep, you read right. Whilst most sane people were catching the rays, I began the beach hut design by Bothy threads. After only stitching the above shown, I feel I made a wise choice. It is a delight to sew, such gorgeously bright colours and best of all, being a beach hut image, Im hoping it will be the start of a cheerful spring. I feel like Im in Mablethorpe already πŸ˜€

Liebster awarded! :-)

Ive found out I was nominated for the Liebster award by youngatfifty, it is an understatement to say I was surprised! I never get nominated for anything other than making a round of tea’s hehe. I am chuffed though as well as being quite humbled. You should all check out her blog as it is a great source of the many ‘wow’ and ‘I wish I could do that’ gushes that come out of my mouth! Anyway, in order to continue this I have to answer some questions left by youngatfifty, as well as nominate 11 other people for it and set another 11 questions for the nominees to answer. As far as I can see, the nominating other people part will be the problem. Not the lack of people to nominate, but the exact opposite. I have found myself really chuckling and being very inspired by so many blogger’s posts that it is hard to narrow down my list of people I want to nominate! So I decided to compile a list of the top 30 that I enjoyed the most, and then randomly selected (by this I mean closed my eyes and did eeny meany miney mo) to select my favourites.

So here it goes, my nominees are….

1. squarebird

2. funkybdesigns

3. sewing beside the sea

4. knitsbysachi

5. squirrel Picnic

6. Kay gets crafty

7. My time stitching

8. Cedar creek quilts

9. Lime green lady

10. frilka

11. little button diaries

Best of luck to you all, in my opinion all of you and many more deserve recognition πŸ™‚

Next, answering the questions…

1. Why do you blog?

I mainly blog in order to get feedback on things I make so I can hopefully get better. I also find it a good way for me to look back on my progress and get tips from others that I am in turn inspired by. I love looking at others peoples creations too, makes me want to try new things πŸ™‚

2. If there is one daily chore you hate, what is it?

I hate cleaning the floor. At home, its a necessity but it is a futile one. I clean it, it gets mucky in 5 seconds again. Grrr πŸ™‚

3. How easy is it for you to get out of bed in the morning?

I don’t find it too much of a problem, I have to be up early to have my insulin and breakfast anyway, has been that way for 21 years so its second nature now. It is nice at the weekends getting woken up to a cup of tea though πŸ™‚

4. Do you judge a blog by number of followers, likes or content?

I certainly don’t judge it by number of followers, its always about content, usually photo’s. The more they make me giggle or make me do oooooo noises the better πŸ™‚

5. Do you read the About page of a blogger? If so, when?

I usually read the about section if I have been interested in multiple posts, so most of the time! I usually read them and think wow, these people are a lot more interesting than me! πŸ™‚

6. What do you think of copyright issues? How serious is it for you if you found somebody copied your idea?

For me personally, I would find it flattering if somebody copied an idea. This is probably because at the moment, I don’t sell my creations publicly. I totally understand why somebody selling online etc, would be rather flustered about it. If somebody used my idea, Id like to be told purely so I can have a nose! πŸ™‚

7. When do you write blog posts? When you have an idea or as a schedule? daily/weekly

Its never to a schedule. If it was, I would fail miserably at it! It is usually when I have finished a creation or when Ive got something interesting I want to share. I do want to start posting in progress posts but seem to be so engrossed in what Im doing that I forget *slaps own hand* πŸ™‚

8. What are your other hobbies?

I like being busy and need to entertain myself at all times so I have a fair amount of hobbies. Sewing in various formats is my main vice. I adore making gifts for people, reading, baking, charity shop shopping (chopping) and having cuddles! πŸ™‚ My main passion though, other than sewing, is my quest for knowledge. I am a bit of a history nut, love visiting historical sites and finding out oddities of times gone by πŸ™‚

9. Do you read all your posts on your reader everyday?

I certainly try to, if I don’t I catch up the next day πŸ™‚

10. How do you discover new bloggers?

Its usually via the recommended section, or if I see a comment on a post that I am commenting on that I find interesting or funny I check them out πŸ™‚

11. How do you search for new content of your interest?

In the frame of wordpress, I would put keywords in the search section. Outside of this, I am a member of a craft forum that provides plenty of inspiration and ideas πŸ™‚

And for my questions to the nominees…

1. What first started you off blogging?

2. Do any of your friends or family blog (not friends you made via it)?

3. Have you ever received a comment you found offensive?

4. Do you think of ways to attract people to comment on your posts or are they purely from the heart?

5. What do you think your next post will be about?

6. Do blogs you follow have a running theme? (like mainly about crafts etc)

7. Would you consider yourself a blogging addict?

8. Would someone profile picture or name influence if you looked at their page?

9. Do you reply to every comment left?

10. Has anybody ever reblogged one of your posts?

11. Do you enjoy answering questions on yourself? hehe

Now the rules for new nominees…

1. Link back to the blogger that awarded you

2. Answer the 11 questions from that blogger

3.Β  Ask your own 11 questions

4. Nominate 11 other bloggers and let them know of their nomination in their posts

I would like to say a big thank you to youngatfifty not just for nominating me but also for guiding me with this post. I am somewhat of a novice so needed a helping hand and she was kind enough to provide that. If any nominees have any trouble with questions, answers or nominating others then don’t hesitate to contact me and I will try my best to help. No promises though πŸ˜‰

The most computer savvy gran around :-)

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My gran is so technically savvy she puts me to shame! In amongst her kindle, her Ipad and all the other things I would be useless at using, her pride and joy is her Iphone 4. So for Mothers day, I have stitched her a case for it, using her signature colours, purple and pink.Β  I must admit, Im glad this project is over. The plastic aida was 18ct and made my eyes feel like they were burning the whole time. Because the aida was coarse, the threads frayed and split easily too. But all’s fair in love and war as they say and I love my Gran to bits so the war was worth it πŸ™‚