A Creative Catch Up

It’s been some weeks since I’ve been here,I’m ashamed to say I’ve been neglecting this creative outlet. I’m committing a lot of time to my other blog The Puffin Diaries but this part of me is just as important, this is my creative haven. So in order to bring everything back in line, into the present, I thought I would share a creative catch up with you.

So before Christmas I finished crocheting the baby hat for my new little nephew LSJ. I was very proud of the creation, in navy blue merino wool, with a little peak to the front, another item from Nicki Trench. You will however have to take my word for the brilliance of my work because I forgot to photograph it, but it is exactly as the picture below without the flower, honest.

babyhat

Like I said navy blue minus the flower…

The kids and I also made Christmas tree decorations as gifts for school teachers, it was fairly easy and pain free, actually we had a bit of fun. We used air drying clay, cookie cutters, lace fabric, gold spray paint and ribbon. Quite straight forward as you can see from the pictures. Bit late to do a post now but if you are desperate to know the details leave a comment, failing that I’ll try to remember to post December this year.

xmasdecs

Top left – the cut out shapes with pattern pressed in, Top Right and Bottom Left – Sprayed gold, Bottom Right – on the tree

My greatest achievement recently I’ve saved until last. This has made me so very excited……… I crocheted round a stone. This is a project I discovered and pinned it last year. As we visited the seaside in the New Year it was an ideal opportunity to attempt this project. So I did, what more to say other than here it is.

crochetstone

Very clever don’t you think?

Just as an aside I also rustled up seven skeleton outfits for our local Pantomime which I enjoy helping with. So not a bad creative patch. For the future I will finish making my sons curtains, I’m so close now. And on Monday evening I’m hosting the first meet up of a wool crafting group I’ve started. I will feed back on news from the Woolly Heads, knitting, crocheting, tea cake, chat and inspiration what is not to like.

What creative things have you been up to? Let me know below….

Advertisements

Twisted Fabric Earrings – Tutorial

A kind friend recently donated two beautiful African print swatch books to the cause which is “Freda and Me”. How I oohed and aaghed at the beautiful prints that touch my heart due to my African birthplace. Of course I tingled throughout with the creative possibilities before me, the countless ideas for making. In the end I decided to start with something I had already worked a little on and develop it further, so the twisted brooches I’d already devised (see here)  have inspired the twisted fabric earring. The African prints are exuberant and a delight to work with but any smallish print or plain fabric can be used.

Materials/Tools you Require.

A small piece of fabric light to medium weight, not silky.
Earring Hook.
Needle and Thread.

1. cut 2 strips of fabric approx 25cm x 4cm. They do not need to be perfectly neat, rough edges don’t matter.

2. Tie a small knot in the end of each strip.

3. Take one of the strips and twist the fabric from the knot up until the piece is twisted too the end. It should not be twisted too tight or too loose, see picture below. Once the piece is twisted start step 4. directly.4. Now coil the twisted fabric around the knot and hold in place with a pin. Repeat step 3 & 4 with the second strip.

5. Select which is the front side of the earring. Using a needle and thread stitch through the circle to hold the twisted fabric in place. It can be very difficult to push the needle all the way through the centre of the fabric so I tend to use small stitches on the reverse of the circle, trying to conceal the stitches as best as possible. Ensure all layers of the circle are secure.

6. Once both circles are stitched place them side by side and decide which way you want them to hang and then stitch the earring hook at the top.

7. Finished, there you have a pair of  twisted fabric earrings. If you make the strips longer then the circle will obviously be bigger and thicker fabrics will also effect the size of the earring.

Of course if you do not have the inclination to make your own I have a selection for sale here

Inspire Me 29/10/2012 – Still Crocheting

Inspire Me 29/10/2012 – Still Crocheting

This new found skill has me all in a flutter with ideas, I’ve already blogged about becoming hooked. I started crocheting a circular cushion, shown above and suddenly I could see all sorts of possibilities. The first round of stitches … Continue reading

Colouring Books

I know it’s everywhere in interior magazines but I could not resist, I’ve colour coded our books. Now please don’t be thinking I’ve got too much time on my hands if this is what I do in my spare time. I have had all the books off the shelves anyway so I could paint the wall behind the shelves. I’ve also painted all the other walls in the lounge just in case you’re concerned. So as I was having to restake the shelves anyway I thought we should have a change and here it is. It was very satisfying place the spines in rainbow order and standing back to behold the spectrum. I’m not sure how easy it’s going to be to find our favourite books, although I can recall the colour of most of my cookery books, however it looks very pretty.So pretty I’ve started doing the CD’s, which I think the other half might see as a step to far….

Spanish Treasures

Whilst perusing a small vintage shop the other day I spotted the Spanish dancer. Skirt all a ruffled and striking a pose of intensity, with the elegant curve of her back, her flamenco prowess on full display. Amazing isn’t it that I got all this from a needlepoint tapestry, but it was love at first sight she drew me in the moment I saw her. You see the art of Spanish dancing is woven into my very artistic, dramatic being.

In my early years I used to do a little bit of Spanish dancing, Spanish dancing you understand not fancy flamenco. My wonderful nana, Betty, she taught me. In the Monk’s Chest in here hallway (now in my hallway) was an assortment of Spanish treasures, castanets, Spanish dresses, shawls even a mantilla. On our weekend visits my sister and I would unfold the seat of the bench to reveal the mass of lace, fringes, frills and bright colours and with excitement we would layer ourselves in these beauties. Then, gathered in the lounge, nana would raise her arms above her head into a soft but firmly set arch, twist her upper body and tilt her head to one side. Her prodigies would do the same, of a fashion. Nana’s face would set into a passionate, wanting glare which my sister and I would reproduce as pouting lips and wrinkled eyes.  Her foot would then flick up behind her returning quickly to the floor in a stamp, we would follow suit and soon we would all be pounding around clicking our castanets, flouncing our skirts  and shout “Ole”.

Nana was not Spanish, in fact she was half Italian half Irish born in Egypt but she too had been doing Spanish dancing since she was young which made her a perfectly qualified teacher. Here she is in her teens with her handsome matador.

My Spanish dancer also has a matador and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even notice him, so transfixed by her was I.  “She’s part of a pair?” I exclaim head twisting around searching for more ruffles and colours. Above a cupboard stood in the dark is the solemn matador, up there on his own I’m not impressed. He is brought down, dusted down and placed down next to the senorita. Instantly the two speak to each other and I can see these hot blooded lovers belong side by side. Sold and home they come.

It’s not just the subject matter that drew me in but the craftiness, the handmade brilliance of the pictures. Needlepoint tapestry is something I’m yet to try but I’m sure when I do I will love it. The neat little rows of stitches in tonal shades, bright shades, light shades, dark shades which all add depth and contrast to the image, intrigue me. How one tiny stitch with another tiny stitch and another with a little bit of patience creates something so beautiful.

Not entirely sure where they are going to go, maybe in the lounge that I am currently half way through painting, where ever I will need to let the husband see them first. Not braved that one yet.

P.S on the same shopping trip I also bought these…..

Blouses

I love a good blouse, there is something so grown up and chic about them. Apparently they originate from peasant dress which doesn’t quite fit with my lady of the manor blouse and pearls idea.

However the Victorians brought separates to woman’s wardrobes and a skirt and blouse became  acceptable  day wear.

From there on in designers and dress makers have conjured variations of this ladies shirt,embellishing with lace, embroidery and beading, The collars have rounded into a 60’s Peter Pan style, sharpened for the 70’s disco look and at times softened  into a kitten bow. Button front or back but I would say usually with a sleeve cuff. The variations are endless. To me the difference between what I consider a ladies shirt or a blouse is that a blouse has a touch of femininity.

My favourite way to wear a blouse is with a good pair of jeans, heels for the evening, pumps or trainers for day. Now I know this is not fashion rocket science but it works and you know what they say, If it ain’t broke…

And any of the following vintage finds available from Freda and Me would rock this look.

From Humble Beginings

For my first post I thought I’d share some of the lovely things I’ve made over the last couple of years.

This clutch is made from some curtain fabric that came from my grandmas house. It’s an original 50’s print fabric and I love the design so much I have cushions on my sofa in the same fabric. This was one of the first bags I made and I included a little matching purse. The gold buttons come form a year I did working for Jaeger during my degree, maybe keep that a secret.

I love old linens and these beautifully crocheted pieces I imagine as vase mats or on an old fashion dressing tables. These days people don’t have much use for them and I find lots in charity shops and at markets. I hand appliqued the pieces to an organic linen to make  a couple of cushions, finished with vintage buttons on the reverse. There is still one left in my Etsy shop.

This necklace is made from a crocheted flower which I beaded and sequined. All the materials I use are up cycled, remnant pieces of wool, old necklaces for the beads and sparkly tops for the sequins. I love the idea of making something beautiful from peoples unwanted items. I’ve made lots of these over the last couple of years, people seem to have liked them, this one is still in my Etsy shop.

This was a bag I loved and was very sorry to see go when I sold it. I was filled with delight when I found a bag of old zips in a charity shop. I hand stiched them all on because it gives a cleaner higher quality finish. The lining is an Aboriginal print fabric. I think I still have some left I’ll maybe do another.

Finally this corsage, made from bits of material, up cycled beads and a vintage button.
More of the things I make are shared on my Pintrest Page and items for sale you’ll find at Etsy .