Category Archives: crafty tricks

In a Vase on Monday: Happy Birthday

It was my daughter’s birthday last week and I picked some asters and cotoneaster to pop in a jar for her.

The bees are going crazy for those asters but the birds are not eating the cotoneaster berries yet. There is a Mrs Blackbird tucking into some pyracantha berries just outside my kitchen window – so they must ripen earlier.

I used an old doodle book of the children’s to make the birthday card

The book had been filled and discarded so I took out the centre to reuse the neon pink cover

I could easily reuse the holes for sewing in a new centre.

With a bit of neon yellow embroidery thread. My daughter loves a bit of neon!

I came across something called ‘block writing’ on Instagram, so I had to have a go.

When my daughter was born, I was reading a beautiful book about Native American practices: Voices of Our Ancestors. by Dhyani Ywahoo.

A was born at 3.45am and when I got back to the ward, the light of dawn was beginning to glow in the sky. I looked out of the window, feeling so happy and relieved and grateful to have a healthy baby girl, and I saw one bright star, which I now realise must have been Venus.  I gave A a Native American name ‘Bright Morning Star’- a secret name – just between her and me.

For her birthday I gave her a rooted fig tree cutting that I bought in the market – hope it grows well and tucked a note in the card for her to go towards her lunchtime meal at The Station Kitchen, West Bay.

I am definitely going to try and take some cuttings from my fig tree next year.

My daughter lives just across the field from me, so I walked up quite early to give her the card.

This was the scene over the village as I walked back – autumn mist in the distance.

Joining in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday.

In a Vase on Monday

Self-seeded Calendula and aster with ripe and ripening pears.

It is a challenge to catch the pears at the the right time to pick them before the wasps get to them. A good crop this year.

Joining Cathy and her joyful meme: In a Vase on Monday

I am completely replanting the bed behind the espalier pear trees. Everything has been taken out because the ground elder and marestail had taken over.

Looking from North to South

I dug it over, took everything out, and dug it over once a week for 4 weeks in the hope of getting every bit of weed root out. I saved all the bulbs and have replanted them in a completely random fashion and planted new and old irises

Looking from South to North

A rogue sunflower which grew in the pot I had the tiny fuschia (Jollies Nantes)  in.

I have also scattered seed from Nigella, calendula, cerinthe, aquilegia, foxglove and purple loosestrife.

It will be fun to see how this looks in Spring.

The daughter of a friend of mine is just starting her garden and liked my scattergun way of creating a border, so I have collected seed for her to try it out.

I found this You Tube clip

 

made some little seed packets out of a Gudren Sjoden catalogue

I loved making these, I like the way they are in the shape of little flower pots.

Joining in with Cee’s Flower of the Day

 

Scrap Happy: Weaving

It is the last month of The Stitchbook Collective and this month’s box of goodies is all about weaving. handmade loom on old fence wire

Helen has sent us a kit to create a loom on cardboard but, you must know by now, it’s all about rust for me! So what better than some old rusty sheep wire to create my own little loom.

rusty old wire, rustophile

and as if by magic

weaving on wire

it fits perfectly on the Stitchbook page.

slow stitch withe weave

It needs a backing to cushion the spikes of the rusty barbed wire.

As I was doing the weaving with yarn, I wondered whether it would work with just bits of metal woven through linen thread. I have to admit, I am thrilled with this one.

woven wire sculpture

I am not quite sure how to mount it, but I am just enjoying it as is for now.

When Little Miss M (8) saw my weaving she asked if she could have a go, so I made two more looms for our afternoon by the lake.

wire loom and linen thread

We collected reeds and other bits and pieces, and she sat on her paddle board to weaveweaving with reeds

and together we made our diptych entitled ‘An afternoon by the lake’

art with natural objects

I am planning to mount them in a box frame when they have fully dried.

Joining Kate and her merry band of scrappers for Scrap Happy Day

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

 

Twinchies

 

I have long wanted to make a collaborative piece of textile art and there are a few members of the Stitchbook Collective who are also keen to join in.

calico squares

Between us we have lots of ideas, so it is going to be a fun challenge to decide where we go with it. Early days.

Somebody mentioned Inchies and I went to Pinterest to see what they were talking about. Cute! But I thought a one inch square is too tiny – hence Twinchies– also to be found on Pinterest.

To get us going I have been doing some experimentsfabric collage

A 10 inch square of calico, allows for 16 twinchies. I am making them appproximately 2.5 inches square to allow for creative eventualities.

pinned

I laid some scraps of fabric on the calico, pinned them and ran some machine stitching through, with the stitches at the longest settingprepping twinchies

Then measuring about 2.5 inches, I cut them into strips

fabric collage - twinchies

and then squares

squares

As you can see – not accurately measured or cut! I know that will drive some people mad, but I like the randomness of it. Others might like to trim them to an exact square.

They will all get jumbled up in any final arrangement

twinchie starters

The idea is to send these little fabric collages out to a few people for them to decorate as they wish. When done they will all be reunited and mounted as a piece of textile art.

I don’t know if anyone else will want to join in with this particular method, I am interested to see how my fellow stitchers react to my rather drunken twinchies.

A little bit of recycled sari ribbon will be sent with each one, to be used or not.

fabric scraps

What do you think? Could you cope with randomly sized ‘squares’ to work on?

Have you ever made an Inchie or a Twinchie?

EDIT: This project is just for our Stitchbook Collective splinter group which is called Stitched Together (a closed group). I’m excited about Crafty Creek’s comment below, so if there are more of my blog followers out there who would like to join in with another wonky twinchie project let me know in the comments and we can see where we go with it.

A Bedspread Reborn

Back in February 2015 I made a bedspread for Little Miss M

DSC_0179

She loved it but sadly it got too close to something hot and looked like thisIMG_5166

I could not bring myself to throw it away so I folded it up and put it in a bag and forgot about it …. until now. In my new bid to sort out WIPs and UFOs etc I washed it in the machine, dried it and chopped out the damaged bits.

IMG_5169

The rest, I have unpicked and rolled into balls. It is making its way into another scrappy blanket. Inspired by Mrs Snail, I just tie the ends together with a reef knot and leave them showing.

Scrap Happy crochet

Little Miss M now has this blanketMandala Madness, crochet blanket

You can see more photos of this Mandala Blanket on my Throws Page.

The pattern is Mandala Madness, by Helen Shrimpton, a free pattern.

~

Joining Kate and other Happy Scrappers for Scrap Happy Day, the 15th of every month.

Kate Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
MoiraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, PaulineSue L,
Sunny and Kjerstin

 

Textile Tuesday: July

couchingWe are edging towards the end of The Stitchbook Collective year, in August we will receive our last kit. Was there ever a better timed project! There are 150 of us in the Collective and it has been a wonderful creative community to be part of over the last few months.

Our June box was all about Laid Work and Couching, including how to couch lettering.

Of course I had to include a bit of rust dyed fabric – Rust Dyeing has been my favourite process of the whole course – I love the magic, alchemy and serendipity of it.

The Laid Work was a real challenge for me

stem stitch outline

I like to be messy and abstract and fairly free with my stitching

pineapple design

but Bayeux stitch is not any of those things – keeping within the lines is what is required, (and as I am writing this, I am already creating a design in my head of a messy, borderless piece, but still using some of the Bayeux stitch technique…. ooo .. but no … I have to finish writing this post first – ‘inspiration’, a blessing or the opposite?! sometimes both)

embroidery, Bayeux stitch

I searched online for an Art Deco pineapple design (you might already know how much I like pineapples, here is just one post about them, but there are loads more and if you want to see them, just type Pineapple into the Search Box top right) and created the above from a wallpaper pattern.

After all that control, my inner rebel needed to get messy again so time to experiment with some eco-dyeing

eco-dyeing

An old calico curtain pickled with mould spots has found it’s time to shine. Soaked in soya milk, and then wrapped round a rusty nail, encasing leaves soaked in rusty water.

steam dyeing

In they all go to be steamed

I like the look of the bundles as much as I like the dyed fabric. There is something intriguing about the mystery they hold. (Argghhh! another idea …. project of bundles as the art work themselves, on a theme, so wrapping pertinent pieces of memorabilia in a bundle and then working on the outside to hint at what it holds ……. noooo … get back to writing this post!)

To speed up the process of drying, I sat them on a wheat-filled heat pad that is heated in the microwave

drying bundles

But even that wasn’t quick enough for me, so I later put them under the grill on a very low heat.

I also tried printing the leaves onto paper

eco-dyeing

I was a bit disappointed with the results at first, but there are definitely marks to work with …. I wonder where inspiration will take me.

Although there is a tinge of sadness that The Stitchbook Collective is coming to a close, there is also celebration as our books are going to be exhibited at the Kniiting and Stitching Show in Harrogate in November.

Even better news! Anyone who would like to be part of the next Stitchbook Collective can be. Helen is running another one next year – I can highly recommend it! Suitable for beginners and experienced stitchers alike. You can subscribe for a whole year or buy the individual kits.

Must go, I have messy Bayeux stitch to figure out and a few bundles to make.

~~~~

If you would like to share any textile related posts in July, just pop a link in the comments below, current or archive, anything textile related,  are all welcome.

 

Dragon Balaclava

knitted dragon mask, balaclava

My Grandson, Little Bro, became 8 yesterday. He had asked me to make him a dragon mask some months ago and was so sure that is what he would be getting. I heard him telling his Mum and he was so excited!  At first I had no idea how to begin to make a dragon but he seemed so confident in my abilites that I felt I must take up the challenge.

I found this pattern on Ravelry: Dracoclava

I can’t say I can recommend it. It is a genius design with absolutely terrible written instructions for the pattern. If it were not for the notes of other intrepid knitters who had paved the way, I would have given up. The notes that helped me the most were these by a member of Ravelry from Chicago.

The pattern asks for Aran weight yarn. I didn’t have any in dragon colours so I used two threads of Stylecraft Special DK and an 4mm needle.

The colours: Claret for the main part, Burgundy for the i-cord and a scrap of Tomato to sew round the nostrils.

The neck part is made in the round in the pattern, but if I were to make it again (eek! I really don’t think I could face it!), I would make the front and back as two pieces.

I don’t enjoy knitting in the round, all that fiddling around with the loop of the wire in between, I would rather sew some seams.

However I did discover The Magic Loop, which helped a lot.

Another useful new skill I learned was to make an attached i-cord. There are several You Tube clips for this, this clip has a few other tips and tricks in it.

the back and top

I did not make holes for the horns, but marked where they were to go.

The i-cord for the brow is an 8 stitch icord, and I stuffed this with crocheted chain of 3 chunky yarn threads together with a 6.5mm hook. I attached a big safety pin to one end and threaded it through.

knitted dragon mask, balaclava, halloween

The ears are knitted separately and will form part of the side of the head.

Following the notes of other knitters, I made the bridge of the nose just 5 sts wide.

The pattern suggests that you knit the bridge of the nose together with the brow when doing the i-cord. By this time the pattern was giving me headaches enough, so to keep it simple I left them separate so that I could sew together later.

construction of dragon mask

balaclava construction

Luckily I have a polystyrene head the I can pin things to. This helped enormously in getting the placements right.

ear attachment

knitted dragon mask

at this stage I had a FaceTime meeting with Little Bro to ask if he would like the ears sewn flat to the head/neck as in the pattern, or with the bottom curling out. I wish I could share with you his face beaming with awe and joy. It made all the days of trial, error and headaches worth while!

He wanted the ears flying free at the bottom and so that is how I have made them. I always like the children to have some say in the design, but with lockdown in progress it has been a bit trickier.

I did not get it to him for his birthday but at least he was able to see it complete and he absolutely LOVES it.

 

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along.

 

Textile Tuesday: Kunin Felt

Kunin Felt, the Stitchbook CollectiveThe Stitchbook Collective, organised by Helen Birmingham of Untangled Threads couldn’t have happened at a better time. Each month a box of delights pops through my letterbox and new little textile project is born, full of learning, peaceful stitching and an opportuity to share it with the others in the Collective.

If you are looking for a small slow stitching project, I can highly recommend Helen’s kits, which come with full tutorials and all the materials needed to produce a piece of textile art.

May’s box of goodies was all about Kunin Felt and playing around with candles and heating the felt to form flowers or other shapes that took your fancy.

I was a bit stumped to start with and could not work out a design I wanted to create, so I turned to Pinterest and found this post which inspired my design.pinterest, felt, B Zwickler

I laid out some pieces of shiny cord included in the kit an added my own Sari waste cord which I got from YarnYarn, and couched them onto the black backing felt.Yarn Yarn, felt

and gradually built up the design.

felt design

A fun month with bright colours and playing with fire, fabulous!

Have you been playing with textiles this month, or maybe you have some archive posts about textiles you would like to share. Just pop a link in the comments, I would love to see them.

Textile Tuesday happens on the first Tuesday of each month.

Textile Tuesday: Tyvek

Is anyone else losing track of the days, weeks, months?!

Here just one week late is Textile Tuesday

Tyvek

In The Stitchbook Collective we have been having fun with Tyvek.

Each month we get a pack of goodies to experiment with

The Stitchbook Collective

It is always a wonderfully exciting moment to open the parcel to see what is inside

IMG_8886

Colours I would not usually choose to work with, all carefully chosen and lovingly put together. The kits are still available if you go to the Untangled Threads website, and a pound from the sale of each kit goes to the mental health charity, Mind. So far Helen has raised and donated £2,489.50.

Tyvek is a synthetic fabric that reacts to heat

IMG_8878

IMG_8879

Creating great bobbly textures

This one was painted with a tester pot of Dulux emulsion before hitting it with the heat gun

painted tyvek and heat gun

Here is the piece of fabric collage I will put on a page in my stitchbook

textile collage

Now onto the next parcel to open, which is all about felt.

Have you been working with textiles or found any interesting textiles or textile art recently? If so it would be fun to see what has caught your eye in the world of textiles. Just leave a link in the Comments.

 

Textile Tuesday: Chindi

slow stitching on chindi rags

This is one of my samples to go on April’s page of the Stitchbook I am making, as I follow Helen Birmingham’s wonderful guidelines.

This month’s kit is a particular delight.The Stitchbook Collective, April

And includes a small piece of Chindi rugchindi rug, rags

Pulling out the fabric pieces and ironing them is like finding treasure

rags

all those disparate patterns, all harmonising together

tacking

The serendipity of finding the patterns within the rug intrigued me so much I bought another by mail order

chindi rug

and found these patterns inside

chindi rug scraps

Very different but no less exciting. I am going to have fun stitching on these.

I am loving this 12 month course, each month offers new techniques and ideas. Each kit is still available in Helen’s shop.

Do you have any textile adventures to share with us this month?

Please leave a link in the comments to your Textile posts – current posts or archive are all welcome.

Scrap Happy Box

machine embroidery on crazy patchwork

I made this piece of crazy patchwork in 2013 and although I have photographed it and have tote bags and cushions made from the ensuing fabric, I have never made anything with the fabric itself.

Another little fabric box seemed just the right project for it.

Still using canvas left over from my needlepoint days, I cut the sides 3″ by 2.5″ and the base a 3″ squarebox structure

making a fabric box

I lined the box with an old T-shirt, the hem at the top.

recycling an old T-shirt

Here are all the layers, ready to be stitched together.

pieces ready for assemblong, fabric box

The base is T-shirt fabric on both sides.

After stitching the layers together with some runnig stitches across the pieces, I blanket stitched the edges

fabric box

Then sewed the pieces all together to form the box

IMG_8239

Using some 2ply crochet cotton left over from a dreamcatcher, and a 2.5mm hook, I did a chain stitch all round the top into the blanket stitches, to make a simple shell stitch edging.

fabric box with crochet edging

Lots of Scrap Happiness to join in with Kate and her merry band of Scrappers on Scrap Happy Day, which is on the 15th of every month.

If you want to see how some scraps of rusty barbed wire can be used to create art, have a look at my previous post.

Pop across to see what others have been doing with their scraps:

Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, LindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, Sue L,
Sunny and Kjerstin

Always inspiring!

Sofa Repair

My son and daughter-in-law have a cute sofa, but the seams had come apart on the seatsofa repair

It was going to cost a small fortune to have it recovered and they couldn’t find anyone to repair it ……… Granny to the rescue!

binding

I already had some bias binding, so I bound the frayed edges.herringbone stitch for mending

And brought them together with stitching

mending

The bigger split could not be pulled together, so I sewed in a layer of fabric underneath the hole.

sofa repair

I went over the L-shaped repair with another layer of binding to reinforce, and then sewed on patches of new material with hem stitch done with a curved needle.patching upholstery

I gave each patch an iron to finish off. Not the most professional job, but it was very satisfying to know I have given the sofa a new lease of life.

And I have saved the left over bits of spotty fabric should any more holes appear.

The best bit was when Little Bro (7) thanked me so much for mending their sofa.

🙂

Rust Dyed Paper

Hello, it has been a bit quiet around here recently hasn’t it.

All is well for me and my family but I have a few friends needing support in various different ways just now which has meant my blogging mojo has gone on holiday.

Still plenty of crafting going on though and my obsession for rust dyeing has not waned. I can set up a pan of rusty pieces in the morning, go out for the day and find the magic on my return. It is truly amazing and completely addictive!

I hope you enjoy the little video.

Happy Sunday.

Joomchi

Our deliciously delectable December box of goodies from The Stitchbook Collective is all about experimenting with mulberry paper – a technique known as Joomchi.

Helen has sent us some sheets of paper in a variety of colours and has devised a cunningly clever way of felting them together in various ways to produce a fabulous textured surface that can then be stitched.

These are the pieces I have created – before adding any stitchingjoomchi

the one top left is much more see-through held against the light

paper felting

I haven’t been able to completely wrench myself away from rust dyeing

rust dyeing, keys

and found some more goodies in the hardware shop to play with.

nails, washers

This piece of felted paper seemed to go really well with the rust and red wine dyed cotton curtain lining

joomchi and rust dyed fabric

I discovered that the wet paper can be moulded over textured objects to add surface interest.

This one was moulded over the top of the radiator moulding joomchiand looks at home on this piece rust dyed calico

rust dyed fabric and joomchi, textile art

I added some simulated rust staining to the green paper by painting with Koh-i-noor inks.

Just a few stitches to hold it all together and I have this month’s page of the Stitchbook done.

There is more to explore with this technique so I have just ordered some more mulberry paper from Calder Art Supplies in Huddersfield.

I might try rust dyeing the paper when it comes ……..

Thursday Walk

Same beach different sky.

I went back this morning to see if there were more purses to be found

Here is my morning’s haul

beach clean

Only 8 purses today.

I was so pleased I found a Cat Shark purse, as this is Little Miss M’s (aged 7) favourite.mermaids purse, cat shark, UK

And this is what happens when your granddaughter tells her Mum that she would ‘fill it with pearls if she found one’

mermaids purse

 

 

Rust Dyeing

dyeing rust with red wine

rust and red wine

I’m in deep!

rust and red wine

rust and red wine

I have been thinking about writing a blog post about my adventures in rust dyeing, but I’m so into it, I can’t stop to put cohesive thoughts together

rust and black coffee

rust and black coffee

So here are a few photos to give you and idea of what is going on around here

black coffee

dyed with black coffee, before washing

dyeing

after washing

rust, nails, vinegar, calico

calico, nails and white vinegar

rust dyeing

white vinegar, copper panel pins, rusty nails

I found some craft stranded threads for 40p a skein, made by Trimits, ideal for rust experiments

craft threads

I have made a start on stitching

rust textile art

copper panel pins, white vinegar and stitching

Must go and check on the pieces I left overnight…….

Scrap Happy Stitchbook

This month’s Goody Pack from The Stitchbook Collective, is all about dyeing and staining.

beach finds

It probably comes as no surprise that I have a Rust Collection. These are all pieces I have gathered over the last 5 or 6 years whilst beachcombing.

I have been waiting to use them for dyeing fabric, but every time I looked online for instructions, I came across confusing information, so didn’t have a go …. until now!

Helen Birmingham’s written instructions are clear and run alongside a helpful video tutorial. This gave me the perfect kickstart. You can still buy the kit in her online shop.

I relished getting each rusty piece out and arranging them.

flat lay

enjoying the texture and colours.rusty nails

Then the happy task of wrapping them in white-vinegar-soaked fabric.

fabric dyeing with rust

Leaving them overnight was a challenge – I’m SO impatient

Some were stacked on a trivet above my cooling wood-burning stove to speed up the process

rust dyeing stack

I also stained a few bits of paper for collage at the same time.

oven rust

The larger pieces were put on top of vinegar-soaked fabric and put it in the oven.dyeing with rust

I put the oven on the lowest temperature for just five minutes and left for a while, repeating this several times, sprinkling with white vinegar to keep it moist.

rust stain

The grid effect came from a disposable barbeque mesh, that had been left on the beach.

rust dyeing

Fun!nails in calico and curtain lining

Nails wrapped in strips of an old calico curtain and the lining were my favourite little experiments

IMG_6857

My intention was to dye strips of fabric and embroidery thread to use in textile artIMG_6874

– but I loved the look of the wrapped nails so much I have kept some of them wrapped

wrapped and rusted

and will use them as they are.

To preserve them, I have painted them with some old acrylic varnish found in the garage, left by the previous owner – it must be at least 15 years old, but it did the trick.

varnish

So exciting.

This is a little stitched sampler that will go in my Stitchbook.

textile art for The Stitchbook Collective

I am enjoying this so much!

Joining Kate for her monthly Scrap Happy get together.

There are lots more Happy Scrappers to check out as well.

Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
MoiraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Have you been creative with things destined for the scrap heap? If so, leave a link in the comments of Kate’s post and join in the fun.

Scrap Happy Edge

Scrap Happy in August: I finished the Scrappy Blanket that was started in February and I gave it a rather magnificently over-the-top edge.

crochet scraps blanket

I made up the pattern for the edge as I went along, using Helen Shrimpton’s Sunbursts from her Cosmic Cal pattern as a guide.

Some of you might wince at this. Lynn and Jane, I’m thinking of you. 😉 Look away now!

It felt very freeing not to worry whether the sunbursts were always on a corner or not.

crochet edge

It looked particularly at home on the bench made of recycled pallets

bench made of pallets

and next to the repurposed empty blue agricultural detergent container, which is now a waterbutt. The blanket has gone to live as a throw over an armchair in my daughter’s grey, white and sunshine yellow kitchen, so I made myself another smaller one!

recycled yarn

and thought this bench perfect for the photo shoot.

crochet, recycling

The bench is in the children’s play park where much of my scrap happy crochet is done, I sit and crochet whilst the children play – what better way to spend a few happy hours of Granny hooking time.

All the yarn is either left over from projects, unravelled old projects or from my Mum’s vast stash, gathered when we cleared out her house. Nearly every strand holds a memory, adding to the joy of making each blanket – and there is lots more to go!

I tie each piece together with a reef knot and leave the ends on show for texture. If I feel I want a change of colour, I just cut the yarn and add in a colour I want.

These blankets are made with a mixture of yarns – cotton, acrylic, mixes and a small amount of 100% wool. They wash well in the machine at 30C.

Pop along over to Kate’s place and see links to lots of other inspiring Scrap Happy projects. Scrap Happy day is on the 15th of each month.

Scrap Happy

Joining Kate at Talesfromchiconia for her Scrap Happy gathering on the 15th of every month.

A friend’s birthday was approaching and I knew she would appreciate the recyle/reuse ethos behind this meme, so I went to my vast collection of bits of crochet I have made as experiments with either pattern or colour. crochet experiments

I have a similar collection of art experiments with acrylic paint on paper, so I chose one of these for the basis of the card

Folding the card into 3, I tried out a couple of ideas

DSC_0484

I decided to use the flower which is the centre of the Amanzi block, I lined up all the ends and marked the positions of the holes I wanted to make in the card

DSC_0486

sitting it atop a ball of yarn to pierce the needle through

DSC_0485

Then I sewed the threads through and tied them at the back

Ta dah!bday card

The present was some handmade soap I had bought in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, from the force of nature that is Julia Horton-Mansfield who owns the Really Wild Soap Company.DSC_0491

I first met Julia on one of her guided wild food foraging walks

The soaps and card were wrapped up in a page from an old magazine

present

Pop along over to Kate’s to find others who can inspire you to usefully use up bits and pieces of this and that.

Happy Scrapping

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 ….. ………  😉

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)