Category Archives: crafty tricks

Egypt: inspiration

embroidery

The first thing I notice in any new place is the colours, designs, textures and textiles – like this gorgeous cushion in the villa where I was staying in Hurghada. chain stitch embroidery

I’m assuming this is a chain stitch done with a machine – do you think so?

I really like the effect.

And I would have loved to have brought home some of these mandala decorated ceramic bowls, but I didn’t think they would survive the trip

mandala decorated ceramic bowl, Egypt

ceramics

So I contented myself with having my breakfast muesli in them each morning.

Just look at the colour combinations in this woven table runner

faded colours

I see Stylecraft Special Dk : Duck Egg, Buttermilk, Pale Rose, Raspberry, Mushroom, Storm Blue, Parma Violet, Clematis, Pistachio, Lincoln, Blush and Vintage Peach

Makes me want to rush for my hook – but no – I must not start another new project ….. ……… ¬†ūüėČ

There was an interesting mix of art on the walls of the villa collage

I have a bit of a thing for zebra stripes at the moment, and would love to be able to carve out some time for making more collages

Here is one of my own zebra doodles

rainbow zebra stripes

Don’t be surprised if you see more in another post – as another mini-obsession takes hold.

(you can see more on my Instagram Page)

There is inspiration for doodling everywhere you look – even tiles in a public toilet!

marble tiles

And how about this as inspiration for a Valentine’s or Anniversary card

your smile makes me smile

I’m thinking it would be a fun on a Never Ending card, like the ones I made here and here

My friend and I went to the shop that sold the ceramic bowls, Wood U Like

to see what else they had to offer – oh so many interesting things – sorry for the quality of the photos (taken on my friend’s phone)

 

The wooden cabinets were made of a wonderful jumble of decorative wooden off cuts. And although I did not particularly like the style of the bags, I loved the combination of needlepoint on canvas, with leather. I have lots of needlepoint I don’t know what to do with – so maybe they could be turned into bags …. hmmmm – now to find somone who works with leather.

Hanging in the hall of the villa was this beautiful piece of Arabic calligraphy

arabic

Apparently the meaning it conveys is something to do with love – but I can’t remember exactly what. (I have just sent a message to my friend to ask her and will edit in the meaning later)

 

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Scrap Happy February

I am having a serious sort out of all my yarny WIPs and UFOs.

In 2016 I made¬†a blanket to send to Syria for refugees, inspired by Mrs Snail’s method of joining oddments of yarn with a knot and leaving the knots as texture in the work – with no ends to sew in!

My daughter, asked for another to throw over an armchair for her farmer husband to sit in when he came in during the day covered in all manner of mess and muck. In the box where all the UFOs are stored I found these

usig up oddments

I can’t remember what they were for – maybe I was going to make cushion covers, anyway, I decided to unravel them and make another blanket for myself. I have been unravelling lots and lots of abandoned bits – it was such a relief to come to this decision.scrap blanket

The yarns are a mixture of cotton, wool, and acrylic. some is from my Mum’s stash, but mostly it is from old abandoned projects of mine. Plus oddments left over from finished projects.

All are tied together with reef knots (left over right, right over left).

What a haul ….

upcycled

and there’s plenty more to come!

I’m using a 5mm hook and started with a few rows of chunky weight turquoisescraps pf yarn

I have been keeping my bits and pieces, left over from sewing in ends a bag in a drawer

but when we met in West Bay for our Sweet Pea Gathering, one of our group told us she is storing her ends in a glass jar and then posted a photo on FB – oh they did look pretty – so now ….

yarn ends

I’m sorting my ends into colour jars – it makes sewing in ends much more fun!

A friend I met on the Collage Workshop in November, says she uses ends like these when she makes paper out of fabric off cuts. I’m not sure what I will do with mine yet – but for now I’m enjoying them brightening up the windowsil.

Joining in with Kate and her happy band of scrappers in her regular Scrap Happy post.

Photo Challenge: Yellow

Welcome!!! It’s the Monthly Meet-Up Photo Challenge, which happens on the first Tuesday of each Month.

I had a happy time looking through my files to find archive photos featuring

YELLOW

This is Miss E with her Dad enjoying a bouncy castle a few years ago

A friend in a yellow silk dress at my daughter’s wedding, 2006

A postcard made for iHanna’s Postcard Swap 2016Collage waiting to be turned into a greetings cardPainted¬†garden potsCandlelight at a wonderful surprise party thrown for me by my lovely kids and their partnersBig Sis at playgroup when she was 3 (she will be 8 this month)Swiss chard stalks from the gardens at Esalen, California – such happy memories from November/December 2008I was there for 6 amazing life-changing weeks on a Workstudy Course, working in the gardens and doing Creative Expression and Process Artacrylic paintHave you ever tattooed a banana? No – really? See here how to do ittattoo a banana

A plasterer’s bucket from when I was having my fabulous new bedroom createdmixing plaster

A happy sunny yellow trip down memory lane for me – I hope you enjoyed coming along.

If you would like to see last month’s entries you can see them in the Comments in this Post.

Couldn’t resist including another blast from the past

To join in please post a link to your photos of YELLOW in the Comments. Archive, or current, all are welcome.

You can see all the prompts for the year on my Photo Challenge Page

For May the prompt is

FLOWER

 

Patterns and Pineapples

….. continuing the story of my Sunny Sunday with Noelle and Alison

After meandering through the gardens Noelle led the way into the buildings of the Bishop’s Palace …. we were wowed by the way the sunlight played with the stained glass windows in the chapelBishop's Palace Wells

light play

chapel

There was even a Stained Glass jigsaw jigsaw, stained glass

and more spectacular patterns in the wallpaper on the staircasegriffin, handprinted wallpaper

wallpaper

and then joy of joys – Pineapples!pineapple wallpaper

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows I have a bit of a thing for pineapples, you can see more here, here and here

Although the wallpaper in the photo looks grey it was, in reality, a rich blue

pineapple wallpaper

Seeing my delight in the pineapple pattern, Noelle hatched a plan …. and on her way home she popped into the shops to buy ……

a pineapple

Noelle then showed us this marvellous way of carving a pineapple to get rid of all the spiky brown bits AND to make the pinepapple look spectacular – a fabulous ‘Crafty Trick’¬†cutting a pineapple

just see how spendid it looks

pineapple presentation

Alison and I were in for a treat

A delicious lunch awaited us in the oh-so-cosy conservatory

homemade soup and foccacia

Home-made soup and foccacia. I felt thoroughly spoilt – it was a day to please all the senses.succulents

I can’t leave this post without showing a close up of Noelle’s knitted jumper – her knitting is superb and in such soft yarn and gentle coloursknit

It makes me want to get back to knitting again.

The warmth of the day stays with me – thank you so much Noelle for your wonderful hospitality.

Before posting I checked with Noelle that she was happy with my photos and she told me of more delights she has in store for you on her blogs:

Here is Noelle’s Pineapple Chutney

and

Pineapple Carving

Enjoy!

In a Moss Ball on Monday

kokodama money plant, moss ball, succulent

Joining in with Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday

A rooted cutting from a ‘Money Plant’ or Crassula Portulacea (I think?), just right to make into a piece of Kokodama as a gift for a fellow blogger with a penchant for succulents.

I had the most brilliant day yesterday – all due to commenting on Noelle’s¬†Snowdrop post¬†a couple of weeks ago. Following an exchange of comments and Noelle’s generous invitation, Noelle, Alison and I all met up at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells for the¬†Snowdrop Celebration.

snowdrops, Bishop's Palace Wells

Bishops Palace

carving-1

snowdrops and crocus

The day was cold but the sunshine bright

Bishop's Palace Garden, Wells

Look at that sky!

Wells, Somerset

So much beauty to seehellebore

and Cathy – so many wonderful witchhazels

 

We had the best time – more photos to share in a future post

So, thank you from the tip of my toes to the top of my head to Cathy for her fabulous Monday meme which brought us together, Noelle for the suggestion and generous hospitality and Alison for joining us to make it such a wonderful day.3 angels, Bishop's Palace WellsNoelle  ~  Alison  ~  Me

Felted Acrylic Coasters

Timorous Beasties, felted acrylic coasters

Inspired by this fabulous material, I made some more felted coasters.

They started out like this, made in Stylecraft Special DK and a 4.5mm hookcrochet coasters, Amanzi

I blocked them as usual, under a damp cloth, on my poor old ironing board.

DSC_0237

Then put them on a piece of card on a low wooden table, placing another piece of card over them and with the iron on the hottest setting applied as much pressure as I could, circling the iron for about a minute.

DSC_0240

The result was these silky looking coasters

felted crochet acrylic yarn

felted acrylic crochet

The pattern is the centre of the Amanzi Block by Jen Tyler.

felted acrylic yarn, crochet coasters

Timorous Beasties, felted costers

Now I’m wondering about some placemats to go with them …..

Crochet Coasters

felted crochet coaster

The pattern is the centre of the Amanzi Block by Jen Tyler.

The yarn, Stylecraft Special DK (acrylic)

The colours: Petrol, Bright Pink, Lime, Turquoise

The hook: 4.5mm

I wondered if this would make a good coaster, but it was too bouncy, thick and unstable

Amanzi Block, crochet, acrylic, coaster

So I flattened it at the highest temperature my iron could muster. I put a piece of card covered with a cotton tea towel on a flat wooden table, then, under a damp cloth, used a good deal of pressure and circled the iron for a good minute.

DSC_0231

It looks like a little mosaic mandala and has a pleasing silky sheen which does not show in the photos.

DSC_0233

I’ll be making some more.

Update: I did make some more!