Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Thursday, 15 December 2011
I only had a single lesson (35 minutes) with Year 10 today so I chose to make one of my simplest cards with them. They all did very well with several completing the stitched Christmas tree on gold or silver card, mounting it on black paper before gluing it onto a white card and embellishing with a holographic star. I don’t have any photos of the actual cards but they are based on the following design, which is one of my own…
I produced a powerpoint to talk them through making the stitched tree so I thought I’d also share the instructions on here for anyone that’s interested. I originally made the template by drawing a triangle and measuring equally spaced holes on each side with the left hand side holes sitting in the middle of those on the right hand side. To place the trunk in the correct place I constructed an angle bisector to be as accurate as possible but measuring would be fine for anyone that’s not an over enthusiastic Maths teacher!
They seemed to enjoy the activity, many of them stayed well into break to finish it. One noted that this was like a “knit & natter” session, they really are old before their time! I also had a request to do the string art with them later in the year, which I blogged about in the summer when I did it with my current Year 11s. I really do love spreading my enthusiasm for crafting!
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Friday, 25 November 2011
Friday, 18 November 2011
Tuesdays are fast becoming my weekly crafting night. I don’t really feel like working in the evening after Year 7 have sapped all of my energy in the afternoon so crafting is my only option.
This week I needed to make a birthday card for Neil (whose birthday is today and hence the delay in posting, just in case he spotted my networked blog news feed on facebook). I thought I’d have a go at something completely different. I cut a couple of motifs from some of my trusty ikea fabric and stitched them directly onto card adding the odd bead to embellish them. You can’t really see my stitches and I wonder whether using a contrasting thread so that you could see them might have added something to the overall design but there is always next time!
So, happy birthday Neil…
Monday, 14 November 2011
My fabulous Nan is one of those incredibly difficult people to buy presents for. She’s diabetic and has skin that’s irritated by just about everything. She can’t keep plants alive and thinks that flowers are a complete waste of money. On top of that, I’m not that keen on giving vouchers for Christmas to anyone other than Mum – we always have a day out to spend them together, which makes it so much better! So, every birthday and Christmas presents a dilemma. I’ve now come to the conclusion that the very best thing that I can do is to make things for her. She really does mean the world to me so the idea of spending about three weekends working on these pieces doesn’t phase me. She’s worth every single moment.
I’m intending to make two small, simple patchwork cushions (like the ones in my last post) to adorn her sofa over the next couple of weeks. In addition, I spent this weekend completing a cross-stitch for her. My friend, Steph, gave me this kit a few years ago having decided that she wasn’t too keen on it. I started it from scratch on some left over fabric. The kit’s designed for 16 count canvas but I’ve done it on 14 I think so it’s a little more sparse than intended. I’m used to stitching on 18 holes per inch with hundreds of colours these days so it seemed pretty simple to be honest. Having said that, it did take me the whole weekend. I’m going to mount and frame it in a simple 6 by 4 inch frame then she can get it out every Christmas to celebrate the festive season.
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Yesterday I was chatting to Dad on the phone when spotted a picture of a fabric hippopotamus on my notebook that I thought I’d attempt to copy and make my own stuffed hippo. I have made a mistake by doing the whole lot in the same material because it’s hard to distinguish the head from the body but again, I’m learning, and I am generally happy with the result. David says he can’t take the fabric seriously so I think he’ll like my cushion better when he eventually makes it home tonight.
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Monday, 31 October 2011
After 85 hours of hard work I finished the red kite itself on Saturday…
I then somehow found another 5 hours on Sunday (neglecting all the school work that I probably should have been doing but hell I’m still on holiday!) to devote to beginning the stunning background…
The colours look a bit washed out in this photograph but I assure you that they are vivid and beautiful in real life. Good enough to get a very big “WOW” from David when he got home at any rate! I think my best guess for the completed piece is still 120 hours but we shall have to wait and see.
Sunday, 30 October 2011
|On our first morning, Katryn found my beads and decided that she’d like to make some ear-rings for her Mum. Sarah was surprised that they were actually quite pretty!|
|Next job was a touch of marbling. We played around with this a couple of times and decided that it definitely looks best if you only use a couple of different inks at a time.|
|We spent the day in Hyde Park and took a quick trip to John Lewis on Oxford Street where Katryn bought a princess Hama bead kit. That evening she spent ages putting the beads on the pegboard only to pull the whole lot on top of herself and have to start again! More care required!!|
|On Monday we made this sock bunny that came in kit form from John Lewis. It’s from a company called Sock Creatures. Having had a quick look at their website I like all of the other creatures better but nevermind! We made this for Great Nan who was 87 that day. The kit came with an insane amount of stuffing so I’m looking forward to making my own toys in the future. Katryn was a great help cutting things out and helping me with the sewing machine.|
|On the topic of Nan’s birthday we decorated her a cake and as you can see, we found time to do a little face painting too…|
|It was John’s 30th birthday this week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there to help him celebrate but Katryn and I made him this card and sent it to John via David.|
|Back in Wales we organised a party to cheer Mum up. We made a gorgeous banner, tissue paper balloons, party hats, paper flowers, a board game and a pass the parcel. It was great fun!!|
Sunday, 16 October 2011
Can you get RSI in your thumbs? I’ve often wondered this after a weekend stitching but after a good night’s sleep they always seem to ache a lot less. Anyway, I’ve managed to devote another 11 hours to the wonderful kite this weekend, bringing me to 75 hours and 40 minutes worth of work on this piece…
I don’t normally pick up my pace on a piece until it’s nearing it’s completion, which this one is not. I’m quite impressed with my own motivation this time. However, I have Katryn here next weekend so I’m going to have to put it away for a week or two now.
I just about had time to do one other small craft piece yesterday for hubby’s 30th. The stitching that holds the three pieces together could do with thicker thread but it did take less than 20 minutes to complete so I can’t complain!
When I was much younger, I used to mess around with cheap paints trying to marble but this is the first time that I’ve ever owned and used my own marbling inks. I decided to treat myself when placing an order for my Brownies from Crafty Crocodiles. I’ve used them a couple of times now and really have to praise their service. They dispatch and delivery much faster than other large online craft retailers that we’ve used and the quality is great considering they’re significantly cheaper than competitors.
Anyway, down to the marbling… I’ve definitely not perfected the skill yet but you basically fill a bowl with clean water, drip the inks in one drop at a time and mix it up. I tried using a bamboo skewer to mix them up at first but that didn’t work so I ended up blowing the surface of the water to create the marbled effect. Next, drop the paper in, lift out and allow to dry. Simple!
I used quite thick paper to try to avoid it curling up when drying, which seems to have worked thankfully. I have then made a couple of the marbled pieces into simple cards to celebrate a couple of birthdays this week. The numbers are raised off the cards using small sticky foam pads. I’m sure I’ll get better at the marbling and I think I may generally avoid using the black because I think it just makes the papers look dirty but for now…
Happy birthday Paul and David!!!
Sunday, 9 October 2011
After another 8 hours stitching this weekend I’ve made it to a total of 64 and a half hours working on my red kite now. Whilst David was away I decided which bird cross-stitch I’d like to do next but that seems to be a very long way off at the moment. I have some easier kits stashed away that I think I might do first. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the current state of play…
Saturday, 8 October 2011
Penblwydd Hapus i Archie!!!
My sister’s really not a fan of handmade cards but she’s going to have to lump it this year. I forgot to buy one at Sainsburys so hastily put this together on Tuesday for my gorgeous nephew who turns 1 today.
Wishing the whole family a lovely day and sending lots of love and cuddles…
Monday, 3 October 2011
Thanks to Katryn for holding it up for me!
Should you have anything that needs framing and are within reach of Chirk in North Wales give him a try. He’s open 9am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday…
Compton Framers, 10 Station Avenue, Chirk. LL14 5LS.
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Sunday, 11 September 2011
This may not actually be an “exciting” update for many but I’m thrilled to have completed the red kite’s head after 51 hours and 30 minutes of work. I think the head is absolutely beautiful and well worth sharing.
It’s worth noting at this point that one of the unusual things about these kits by X-stitch birds is that they are created entirely of full cross-stitches. No half stitches, no three-quarter stitches and absolutely no back-stitch. Considering this simplicity in pattern, I think you’d have to agree, the result is stunning.