seeing stars :-)

20140227_000449 20140227_000457

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!

20140325_173330[1]20140325_173341[1]

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

cat_card[1]

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 :-)

nec_2[1]

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…

craft_aid[1] craft_aid_2[1] craft_aid_3[1] craft_aid_4[1] craft_aid_5[1] craft_aid_6[1] craft_aid_7[1] craft_aid_8[1] craft_aid_9[1] craft_aid_10[1] craft_aid_11[1]

The rest of the project focused on mythical creatures…

craft_aid_12[1] craft_aid_13[1] craft_aid_14[1] craft_aid_15[1] craft_aid_16[1] craft_aid_17[1] craft_aid_18[1] craft_aid_19[1] craft_aid_20[1]

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…

craft_aid_bobble[1]

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!)…

cancer2[1]cancer[1]

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…

nec_sew_bee[1]

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…

history[1] history_2[1] history3[1] history_4[1] history_5[1]

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

klimt[1] klimt2[1]

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

les_mis4[1] les_mis3[1] les_mis2[1] les_mis[1]

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…

michele_rose[1] michele_rose2[1]

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…

button_it[1]

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!

bracelet[1]

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…

pyrography[1]

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!

20140318_171034[1]

20140318_171043[1]

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

20140319_171214[1]

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 :-)

20140318_183609[1]

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™‚