Wednesday, September 05, 2007

T is for Tea

T is for Tea

This is not strictly accurate as some of the "tea" I drink should be more strictly classified as infusions. I am not a strong tea drinker - if it the tea is too strong then I have to have milk in it s then I would normally plump for coffee. I use tea as drink to slightly modify my situation - if I am a little thirsty or a little sleepy (Earl Grey or Green) or a little headachey (Camomile). DIY brings out the need for strong milky normal tea, also known in our house as builders tea (i.e. any non-variety big brand strong tea - though I usually opt for something fairtrade without the need for marsupials to advertise it). My favourite tea is Rooibos Chai and have even known to make ice cream from it.

T could also be for: Toys, Tiresome, Testing, TV, Tinkering

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

S is for shoes

S is for Shoes

If you know me or have read just a little of this blog you would find it no surprise to learn of my love for shoes. Whilst my husband would argue that I am Hampshire's answer to Imelda Marcos I would refute that - I can think of plenty of people I know who have far more pairs of shoes. What I would say is that I appreciate quality and quirkiness and can get a little single minded when I find a pair that have to be mine.

Most men would state that all woman are obsessed with shoes. There are exceptions - my friend G obsesses about boots, but is not too enthused about shoe shopping. She is happy to shop for shoes if it involves another of her obsessions - handbags. I realised this late on in the process of trying to find shoes to go with her bridesmaid outfit for my wedding - she wasn't very excited. If I had said "lets find you a handbag and some shoes to match" then we would have been shopping!

S could also be for stitching, sewing, sketchbook, silk, spices

Monday, September 03, 2007

R is for Red

R is for Red

If you ask me what my favourite colour is it is like asking a devoted mother of 6 which is her favourite child. Red is a colour I naturally tend to be attracted to, though I don't think that it is something special about me. A proper psychologist who has done meaningful studies into such things would be more informative why some creatures are or are not attracted to this particular hue.

I use red a lot in my creative work whether its the "real" colour itself or its tint - pink. This has recently been translated into my home where my kitchen has been redecorated with pink playing a major part. I have always been attracted to red footwear and have more pairs of red shoes that I know what to do with. I still fondly remember the red Wellington boots I had as a 3 year old - I wore them all the time including through the hot summer of '76 (there, that ages me). My current handbag is red. Red roses are the flowers I like best and had a huge hand tied bouquet of them at my wedding. They are also a wise purchase for me on Valentines day or any other day. One red thing I will not have ever again though is a red car. My first car was red but by the time I sold it I had to use a vat of t-cut in an attempt to get the roof back to red as opposed to a bleached out pink.

Red was obviously my grandmother's favourite colour as she requested we wear something red to her funeral I was able to oblige as I already owned a suitably warm red jacket (although a red raincoat would have been handy). I hope she would have liked the new red hat I got in the sales.

R could also be for rain, rock music, reading

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Q is for Quick

Q is for Quick

I feel this particular one is a bit of a cheat..... I am rarely quick at finishing something. Quick for me is the equivalent of slapdash. Which is probably what the rest of these posts will be.....

Q could also be for quilting, queasy, quirky

Saturday, September 01, 2007

P is for Pizza

P is for pizza

At the end of the day I am a true computer nerd - I would happily eat cold pizza for breakfast. When I was a kid I really didn't like pizza when it was served up at kids parties because it was shop bought and heated up. I really loved pizza when my mum was cooking pizza with a scone base. When I was a little older my mum introduced me to a quick pan pizza method which I made very un-quick by taking 3+ hours to prep and chop the ingredients.

Nowadays I make pizza reasonably quickly (quicker than dialling up for one) by making dough from scratch and heating my oven up to is maxmimum temperature. I am fairly particular about pizza toppings, for instance, pineapple or sweetcorn have NO BUSINESS on a pizza. Nor does chicken tikka. Stuffed crusts are not my thing. An American hot with plenty of pepperoni and a chopped chilli or two is good. Vegetarian ones with roast onion and peppers are good. Even better are pizzas with goats cheese and red pepper. Illustrated is a sketch of one of my current favourites, which I call a San Gimignano, no tomato sauce just plenty of sliced mushrooms lightly fried in a little oil and garlic over a base spread with black truffle puree and topped with mozarella. I first tried this combination in the summer when I was getting lunch in the main square of San Gimignano. The base of the pizza was amazing as well because it had been proved for 48 hours. Light and crispy. Now I am feeling hungry..

P could also be for Painting, Pickle, Procrastination

Friday, August 31, 2007

O is for Origami

O is for origami

The perfect for activity for itchy fingers when stuck somewhere with little or no craft stuff and you feel the need to create. Napkins, junk mail, prayer sheets (sorry H), print out headers and other random bits of paper have been turned into flowers, birds or the odd shirt. At work you know which is my desk due to the origami calendar on it. Though I haven't been creating much of late - too much to do!

O could also be for Oranges, Ordinary, Obvious

Thursday, August 30, 2007

N is for Needles

N is for needles

I have a lot of needles, and I am a firm believer in using the right one for the job. Yesterday I got another needle - a special one for Japanese Embroidery.

I was at the Knitting and Stitching show and signed up for a 1 hour Japanese embroidery taster session with Midori Matsushima she was also assisted by a lady from the Japanese Embroidery Guild.

My first bit of Japanese embroidery. In the session I learnt about twisting the silk 4 into 1 and some of the basics: starting, finishing & basic stitching. The techniques are traditional and there are set ways of doing things.

N could also be for necklace, nostalgia, no, nuts

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

M is for Musicals

M is for musicals

My guilty pleasure

M could also be for Mediocre, Mandarin, Mugs

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

L is for Lamps

L is for lamp

Lamps in my house have a tendency to blow up or go "phut", all except the one I wired myself using the base I created in my pottery class many years ago (top left doodle). Whilst I like innovative lighting around my home I have come to realise that I should really invest in lighting which can take energy saving light bulbs. Although, I still like using daylight bulbs in my work room. I currently have a hankering for an antique/vintage wooden lamp base to replace my half dead lamp in the living room (right hand doodle), for which I fancy creating an abstract silk painted shade.

"Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp"
Sounds of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel

L could also be for London, love, leftovers, laughter

Monday, August 27, 2007

K is for Kitchenware

K is for kitchenware

Where to begin? I like cooking so I have to have the tools to do so. Don't I? Now I just need a larger kitchen in which to store it all.

"You have too much kitchenware"
My husband

K could also be for Knitting, Kent or Karma.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

J is for Jam

J for Jam

Apricot - best made from fresh but dried apricot jam isn't too bad, although I am finding my Grandmother's recipe a tad sweet. It is excellent, however, for anything that requires a glaze.

Blackcurrant - My favourite with scones and if it is available, clotted cream.

Strawberry - My mum made loads of this each summer as we lived in the Garden of England and always went to a farm and did pick your own Strawberries. Although in my case if you had weighed me before picking and weighed me afterwards then the farmer would have been justified in charging my parents a little more. Whereas raspberries got frozen, the strawberries, after we had had enough fresh, got made into jam because they never froze that well. My grandparents made a different kind of strawberry jam which was frozen but was too runny for my liking. I prefer it now as it manages to preserve a fresher flavour.

Raspberry - The only jam that M will actually consume - at least he isn't fussy about pips. Also good with scones. I have had a long association with this King of jams - it was a key ingredient in the first "recipe" I first came up with : raspberry jam and salami sandwiches. Yum! Bleeeurgh - what was I thinking? It wasn't even nice salami the bright pink stuff sometimes referred to in British supermarkets as Danish Salami. I am sure the Danes would never claim it as their own. Nowadays, I either make Raspberry and Rhubarb jam or an easy one that Nigella has in her book "How to be a Domestic Goddess" (i.e. heat sugar and raspberries in separate dishes in the oven and mix).

Damson and Apple - a rare pleasure as getting hold of damsons is not always straight forward you usually need to have or know someone with a tree in their garden. My mother started calling her jam, cheese in this instance. Delicious all the same.

Marmalade - not a jam, it is marmalade, but very nice all the same. Yeah, I know its just oranges preserved in a similar way but it is never ever jam. Not in my book it isn't and this is my b(ook)log.

"Ooh, yeah! All right!
We're jammin':
I wanna jam it wid you.
We're jammin', jammin',
And I hope you like jammin', too."
Jammin', Bob Marley

J could also be for Jewellery, Jinx, Jokes

Monday, August 13, 2007

I is for Ink

I is for Ink

I remember my first interaction with ink was instigated by my Primary School headteacher's (aka Mrs. Cornflakes) endless obsession with italic handwriting, which to this day has left me with schizophrenic handwriting. For this weekly death by penmanship I had a fountain pen which required filling from a bottle of royal blue ink. Royal blue was chosen over blue-black or black ink as it was, allegedly, washable - the best choice for a 10 year child not in control of a fountain pen.

It was a few years before I discovered the range of colours inks came in. There was one, albeit, short period during my years at secondary school where my teachers were subjected to turquoise ink.

As time wore on I switched to the ball point pen and my relationship with messy ink waned, until I started my C&G course. Now I use it as an essential art material and use it to create washes and splash about on papers for design. More recently, I have discovered sumi-e, Japanese ink painting. I was introduced to it on a small workshop held at a local National Trust workshop, I believe it is being held again this year. Tempting, but I suspect the day job and a little overtime may intervene.

"Money's only paper only ink
We'll destroy ourselves if we can't agree"
Paper and Ink, Tracy Chapman

I could also be for isolation, impatience, introspection, ice cream.

H is for Hampshire

H is for Hampshire

This is a sketch of Farley Mount one of many landmarks in Hampshire. This is a monument erected in honour of a horse. It was originally established in 1734, but it is believed to have been rebuilt in the next century. I was born and grew up in another county, but my mother was born and grew up here and I visited often as a child. I spent some of the holidays and a few weekends at my Grandparents in Chandlers Ford. Sometimes we would go to Farley Mount to walk Bunty the dog and fly kites my Grandad had made out of black plastic bin bags and bamboo canes.

Since those days I have made Hampshire my permanent home with no intentions of leaving. I cross country cycle round Farley Mount these days, as well as a whole load of other locations - no better place for it! My husband is a Hampshire lad too. We have countryside, historic cities, great beer - what more could I want?

" Mother, I can never come home again
'cause I seem to have left an important part of my brain somewhere

Somewhere in a field in Hampshire.
Sorted for E's & Whizz, Pulp

H could also be for Hip Hop, Happiness, Hearts, Health

Sunday, August 12, 2007

G is for Garden

G is for Garden

"Forget what we're told
Before we get too old

Show me a garden that's bursting into life
Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol

G could also be for guilt, grandparents, ghastly, green

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

F is for Flowers

F is for Flowers

I love receiving flowers and giving them to me is a sure fire way to cheer me up. When I got married all my flowers were red roses. I love painting lilies on silk. Gerberas make me feel happy - especially red ones. I treated myself to a bunch of flowers and they had all 3 of these flowers in the bouquet. I don't wait for my husband to buy me flowers, 3 times in the first 9 years of our relationship, so I make sure that I get them once in a while.

You hit me with a flower

You do it every hour

Ohh, baby you're so vicious"

Vicious, Lou Reed

F could also be for felt, food, fussy, fabulous, France

Monday, August 06, 2007

E is for Embroidery

E is for Embroidery

I started an Embroidery City and Guilds course because I wanted to learn a bit more about textile art, the process of design and to meet some more like minded people. I first learnt some basic embroidery stitches as a young child. My first piece of stitching ever was a mat which I did in infant school using stranded cotton and a wide spaced counted thread fabric. Other embroidery projects were rather old fashioned - a half finished dressing table set and an antimascar. The latter which I finished and gave to my grandparents, which, they did use it for the rest of the life of that chair. My Grandparents loved me very much.

Oh yeah - I DON'T DO CROSS STITCH (even in irony). Most counted thread techniques don't appeal to me at all. I prefer more contemporary and abstract designs especially if it means it doesn't matter if I lose count.

"And needle point aside
I always find
Embroidery leaves me blind
Cos I'm too weary to rest"
Goldfish and Paracetamol, Catatonia

E could also be for enjoyment, easy, education, encourage

D is for Dentist

D is for Dentist

For some people its spiders, some cows, others open spaces for me my pet fear is going to the dentist (well one of them anyway). It probably stems from some of the fluoride treatment my mother insisted my sisters and I had. One treatment session ended up with me vomiting over the dentist performing the work - justifiable revenge. I didn't mind my orthodontist so much but that was probably only because he didn't pull any teeth out, drill any or ever scrape them.

As soon as I went to Uni. I didn't keep up my appointments and succeeded in not visiting the dentist for 5 years. However, I had to find one very quickly when I had infected wisdom teeth. I got away without having too much work being required but the wisdom teeth got pulled at the General Hospital under local anaesthetic and a bit of "jungle juice" (the only time I ever got high - and it was legal). I think the consultant recognised trouble when he saw me and made sure my worry levels were kept to a minimum.

I now don't worry too much about going to the dentist - can I really be scared of a man who once danced along to Abba in my next door neighbours kitchen at midnight. On the other hand don't answer that! No, he is a reassuring chap as well as patient - he spends a lot of time gradually coaxing me into the chair.

"The dentist's chair is the only time
That anybody ever looks at their mouth
Let the dentist give their teeth something to chatter about"
A Little Piece of Advice, The Beautiful South

D could also be for diet, doodling, Dorset buttons

Saturday, August 04, 2007

C is for Curry

C is for Curry

When I was a little girl, curry meant a generic sauce in which my Mum would mix cold roast meat and serve on the side an assortment of things such as banana, sultanas, apple slices, peanuts and other stuff I can't remember because I probably didn't like them. The first time my parents took me to the local tandoori house I realised that curry was much more than the dish served back home.

After I moved out of home and started cooking for myself more I found myself cooking for the new man in my life. He always appreciated my cooking, anything curry related especially. Now we are married I still cook him curry.

Favourite curry books:

The Indian Pantry, Monisha Bharadwaj (reprint here)
A Taste of Goa, Mridula Baljekar
The Balti Cookbook: Fast, Simple and Delicious Stir-fry Curries, Shehzad Husain
50 Great Curries of India, Camellia Panjabi
Thai Home Cooking: Quick, Easy and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home, Robert Carmack & Sompon Nabnian

I am currently watching this lady on the Beeb.

My Favourite Curries:
Balti Chilli Chicken
Thai Red Chicken Curry
Jhinga Caldeen
Murg Rashida
Navratan Korma

"Me and me Mum and me Dad and me Gran
We're off to Waterloo
Me and me Mum and me Dad and me Gran
And a bucket of Vindaloo"
Vindaloo, Fat Les

C could also be for cooking, couching, cycling (yes I'm addicted), craft

Friday, August 03, 2007

B is for Bicycle

B is for Bicycle

Every day I grow more in love with my bike. Sometimes I refer to it as my baby, but I think that is taking things a little too far. I bought this after my first fall off my previous bicycle which was a hybrid with no front suspension and stupid pointless hybrid tyres which are only any good for road riding (so you might as well have a bike dedicated to uh road riding). I realised that if I wanted to do any more cross country bike riding I needed something that didn't give me back ache and gave me a sense of being in control. After a test ride on a friends bicycle I knew I had met the perfect bike for me.

I pootled around on my new bike at weekends for a while and then M suggested riding to work on it. To encourage me further he even bought me a luggage rack and some slick tyres which he puts on my bike during the week. Year or two later now and I have improved my journey time to work by skimming 10 minutes off my original time. Door to desk (with a shower included) is just under an hour. So I get my exercise boost and travel to work all in one and I don't even have to go to the gym - just one reason why I love my bike. Others are:
  • I have lost 16 lbs in the last year and still eat like a horse.
  • A bit more independence - not reliant on a car all the time.
  • Weekend rides means I get to see a lot more of the countryside - I didn't realise how beautiful Hampshire was until I started riding off-road.
  • It is a great way to socialise and gossip with your mates whilst being "virtuous" and getting some exercise.
  • I feel like a kid again.
"Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like "
Bicycle Race, Queen

My car

B could also be for blogging, black dog, buttonholes, blue

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A is for Asthma

A is for Asthma
I have mild asthma, I have had it ever since I was a child. As it was not as severe as my older sister's nobody really took it that seriously. I was never in and out of the doctor's surgery or took time off school because of it. I did, however, try to avoid exercise for most of my childhood and teens because of it. Especially when the air was cold. The tightness in my chest was excruciating and put my lack of performance down to being lazy, unfit or just plain rubbish at sport. It didn't affect playing tennis (the only sport I liked) very much but that was probably due to the fact that I didn't bother running about much and I could get a lucky break with a killer back hand and a natural top spin.

I only had one major asthma attack and that was after a particularly exhausting PE lesson on a hot day and then going into the drama studio where the windows were open and the grass was being mown outside. I requested for windows to be closed but the english teacher was a bit scathing. Minutes later I was being sent to the sick room and somebody was tracking down my sister to get her inhaler. I returned to the class later feeling much better, to find a slightly pink & guilty looking english teacher and the windows closed. I was then taken along to the doctors where I was prescribed some inhaler which I didn't take as it didn't work. A few years later when registering with a new GP on arrival at Uni. the first thing they did was prescribe me a Salbutamol based inhaler. A puff of that before exercise and I could cycle, row or ballroom dance to my hearts content. I am still rubbish at sport.

"And don't forget your ventolin
So a hammering in my head don't stop
In the bullet train from Tokyo to Los Angeles."
Hammering in my Head, Garbage

A could also be for: Appliqué, Awkwardness, Art

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Back from the impromptu hiatus

I realise I haven't posted in about a month and I have let things slip a bit since the end of year exhibition.

C&G 2006-2007

My main area of focus has been my at-least-a-page a day sketchbook some of which I have shown in some previous posts. Since the end of April I have kept up to date and have now finished my first sketchbook. I am pleased with a number of pages, indifferent to some and embarrassed about others. They are all staying as they journal my life from spring into, erm, summer. It has also, I hope, improved my hand and eye coordination with regards to drawing and painting. Though I have been only too happy to just doodle with the pen or do something abstract with my dye paint palette.

There have been a fair few entries making reference to rain.

A lot of pages were done when I was on holiday in Tuscany during June.

A bit of food

and some collage.
Collage 1Picnic Collage

For my new visual journal I will be taking my inspiration from Bella Dia with her Encyclopedia of Me meme. So during the month of August, I will make my way through the alphabet and blog for each letter, with an accompanying doodle, painting, drawing from my sketchbook. As the alphabet is only 26 letters long and August has 31 days it will give me a little leeway to achieve this - I will need to choose my days off wisely.

As this started this all, I think I now have another book to add to my must read list.

Monday, July 02, 2007

New Toys

I treated myself to a top notch mounting system (at a top notch price too). I already had a rule and cutter but it was rubbish, it originally cost me 1/4 of the price of my new kit, so I guess in this instance you get what you pay for. This came in handy for mounting up a few of my samples for the end of year show. Which, for those interested and in the Hampshire area, is held this week:

Thursday 5th July 6-8pm
Friday 6th July 10am-3pm
Saturday 7th July 10am-1pm

Cranbury Centre, Cranbury Road, Eastleigh.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another postcard from my vacation


This is again, stitched on pelmet vilene after being painted with koh-i-noor dye colours. As I was back home before finishing this off I added in some extra sequins and beads - which I have plenty off after splurging when making the metal thread shoes a few months back.

I chose the postcard theme from one of the pages of my sketchbook which I did when in Italy. In fact, this is one of the reasons my blogging has been a little sparse of late - I have been mainly burbling, scribbling and sploshing paint in my little travel sketchbook. I have completed at least a page a day since the end of April. I have slowed down college work as I decided before going to Italy not to bother trying to get my panel/hanging done for the end of term exhibition. Nobody else will have so why tear myself to pieces trying to?

9th June 2007

That said, I do have to get the hanging done sometime as well as get some of my finished work mounted or patted into some form of display worthy format.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Back from my holidays


I am now back from my holiday in Tuscany. Trouble is I now feel as though I need another break just to recover! Unfortunately this is going to be tricky as I have had a mountain of washing to climb as well as my usual college work and full time job. I took my sketchbook with me and I may post a few extracts here. The picture above is one of a couple of fabric postcards I started on the journey.

My friend C suggested pelmet vilene as a possible postcard background - stiff so that it did not require hooping but still stitchable. So the night before my departure (in between wiping my nose and feeling awful) I cut some 6x4 pieces of pelmet vilene and packed them along with a selection of stranded embroidery cotton taking extra white incase I needed to "dye" some on my travels. My pencil case just about takes my koh-i-noor dye palette and my water brush pens as well as the usual sketch pens and pencils. At the last minute I slipped in my water colour palette block too.

The pattern and colours were inspired by a poster of a pottery exhibtion happening in Rome. I think it was Etruscan or inspired by - my Italian really isn't up to much. The red is an improbable colour as it is only in modern times the a real red ceramic glaze has been developed. Majolica ware mainly relied on shades of blues, greens, browns and some yellow.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Postcard from Tuscany

Postcard from Tuscany

Definitely got a room with a view. San Gimignano is in the distance. We have already been here as well as the last night of the Montespertoli wine festival.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Even more happiness

I finally finished them, the mythical shoes that I planned to do for my metal thread item for my college course.

No, I didn't buy them off the web - I MADE them.

I made my husband clear space in the garage.
I made my husband fit my lasting peg to his bench.
I made my husband clear out of the garage.
I made myself get in there and get started.
I made my husband go elsewhere to create dust, instead of using the bench grinder, whilst I was glueing things.
I made myself stick at it even though the lasting process was making me swear.

Now I have to make myself write the project up (yawn).

Friday, May 04, 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Final couple of bags

Or rather until I can indulge again (i.e. after the metal thread project is done). I should have posted them over Easter as the final part of my week of bags but I didn't get one small piece finished in time and then mid week was migraine influenced. Anyway, I will quit my whingeing and present to you my, dah, dah, dahhhhhh!

Laptop slicker.

As I am now cycling into work a lot more, I sometimes have to shove my laptop into a pannier. My laptop has recently been replaced with a much faster and swankier one, unfortunately it would not fit into one of the large secondhand waterproof jiffy bags that one or other manager had put into the recycle box. These bag/envelopes made the perfect lightweight, padded and non-bulky laptop protector. Instead I decided to make a laptop sleeve using some spare quilt batting and found some on-sale Cath Kidston oilcloth. I was tempted to call this my laptop mackintosh but didn't want to cause confusion, as it is a "Proper Computer" and nothing to do with apples, mackintoshes or any such i-malarky (don't have a problem with 'em just cannot use one for work). So I went for slicker instead. That is my laptop slicker. As the battery for the laptop sticks out a bit weirdly at the back it isn't as snug as one would necessarily wish for but it does mean I can cart a few important docs. and my trusty notepad home with me, without compromising too much on volume:

As I have been using a series of stylish supermarket carrier bags and vegetable bags to cart my work id, phone and other essentials, I decided to make a little wristlet purse made from the same fabric:
Looks familiar huh? Thats because I used the same pattern and method for the wristlet purse I showed at the beginning of the week. I left out the decoration as I wanted the outside to be all waterproof fabric and didn't want anything too bulky or anything to catch - as it would be hauled in and out of my pannier a fair bit. I ran out of the plain pink fabric for lining so added a little floral touch:

Friday, April 13, 2007

WIP for the last 19 Fridays

I am not procrastinating - I am exploring the possibilities! The weather, cycling, gardening, migraines, flu are all factors to take into consideration. I am working towards my finished metal threadwork piece and know I will need to knuckle down after tomorrows run - if Mr. Happy could do some washing instead of cycle geeking it would help ease things. If he got inspired in the kitchen it would be even better! I don't expect to have the finished shoes by next Thursday's start of term but at least 2 uppers with a reasonable amount of stitching would convince my teacher that I am trying to "crack on" .

Velvet Samples

Velvet Samples

I didn't show you my velvet samples from a month ago did I? They have been up on my flickr account for ages. I enjoyed doing these, although I felt guilty as I was (and I still am!) procrastinating over another project. I think I better post about that later - maybe as a way of taking part in WIP Friday.

From top, left to right:

1. Bleach Sample 6, 2. Bleach Sample 5, 3. Bleach Sample 4, 4. Bleach Sample 3, 5. Bleach Sample 2,
6. Bleach Sample 1, 7. Devore Sample 3, 8. Devore Sample 2, 9. Devore Sample 1, 10. Discharge Sample 4,
11. Discharge Sample 3, 12. Discharge Sample 2, 13. Discharge Paint Sample 3, 14. Emboss Print Sample 2, 15. Embossing Sample 2,
16. Emboss Printing Sample 1, 17. Printed Sample 1, 18. Embossing Sample 1, 19. Discharge Paint Sample 2, 20. Discharge Paint Sample 1,
21. Discharge Dye Sample 2, 22. Discharge Dye Sample 1, 23. Discharge Sample 1, 24. Bonded Sample 4, 25. Bonded Sample 3

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A bag for pens

Or rather, a pencil case. This is another altered project from Celine Dupuy's book. I saw the project picture and had recently inherited some similar green cotton velvet. I liked the idea of the contrast colour zip and a funky lining. The shape was changed a little to give the pencil case a base by sewing across the corners, which I mirrored at the top of the case.

Plenty of room for my favorite pens and stuff:

Friday, April 06, 2007

Bringing out the kitsch pegbag

The basket I was keeping my pegs in was getting rather tatty and whilst I was up in the loft fabric stash inspecting I found a child sized coat hanger. I also found a remnant of some IKEA fabric and quickly cut this out on my mat and found a heart template from my heart and flower sampler throw (boy, that throw has had a lot of involvement with the bags this week).

A lack of red bias binding stopped play but was resumed once I had popped to the shops and cooked a fine prawn korma.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Last of the metal thread work

This is the first mini project I completed before the velvet one I showed the other day. These are more my kind of colours, I am using this as a jumping point for my first metal thread piece, so I based this on this design. The silk backing fabric is silk dupion dyed with Quick Color dyes. I started this just after Christmas, I spent an indecent amount of time finishing it off - constructing it, trimming it and attaching a suitably "bling" handle. The bag strap is made from a kumihimo cord which I created from some metallic elastic cord in lime green, turquoise and gold, I also added in some dark blue dyed raw silk cord. The foils I used for some of the work were obtained from some Christmas chocolates, on enquiry I found out they were from M&S. M&S Chocolates are great - not only are they of a high (and rather delicious) quality they also refrain from putting their brand all over the foil. The result: beautiful foils to use in projects and a fatter than necessary stitcher. I need to think of a project involving red foils - according to my friend C - M&S do lovely cherry covered chocolates.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Inspired by Rive Gauche Holdall

I have been purchasing a few naughty books recently. No! not that kind - the kind of book I am talking about are "books-which-are-not-strictly-necessary-but-couldn't-resist-anyway-even-though-they-have-nothing -to-do-with-my-course".

So I got this lovely book by Celine Dupuy:

and when perusing the projects (okay you caught me - reading it when I should have been doing something more constructive) one bag caught my eye:

Then, when I was next in my local sewing shop, I found some similar handles which were wider. I had some fabric in mind to make up the bag but found I didn't have quite enough to make it in the same proportions - so it is a bit longer and not as ruched. The lining fabric is the same for my wristlet bag (I have a lot of leftover throw backing), but this time it shows as it also provides the channels for the brass rods which attach the bag to the handles.

I made it a little taller and it only took a few hours, despite the journey into the loft to raid the fabric stash (oh how I hate that bl***y awkward ladder). So I now have another bag..... hmm what do I do with it? Cart my stitching about in!

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