Sunday, 20 May 2012

Basket 2

Another evening course with Ruby Taylor and another basket

Definitely not one for the hayfever sufferers.  I was covered in tufts and grass-seeds, and had quite sore hands afterwards.  But I am deeply chuffed with my little basket.  It's surprisingly sturdy and rigid.  

Ruby had already started us off with the base, so we just coiled and stitched.  I feel the need to harvest grass stalks, and a hammock in the sun to dry them in...

Here is another little thing I made in between invigilating exams.  It's sitting on the edge of the basket (a) because it can (b) to give an idea of scale

Here it is by itself

Remarkably wiggly, all of it's own accord

What I really want, to finish it off, is one of those little pins with the butterfly back - the sort of thing you get on a lapel badge.  Anyone know where to get them, and what they're called?

Finally, I've been preparing some foiling samples for our next Embroiderers Guild meeting, following ideas in a book.  The book told me to get the soldering iron out to cut shapes out of pelmet vilene.

Who knew?  Well, probably lots of people.  I'd just never tried it before.  Now what?!  Never mind the foiling, any other ideas on what to do with cutwork pelmet vilene?

I shouldn't really be getting distracted with yet another always happens, every year.  I get busy with Work (exams) and as soon as I haven't got any spare time because of having to go and do the W word, I suddenly have lots of ideas....

Anyway, that's also why I'm a bit quiet on here at the moment - the old problem of fitting multiple tasks around a finite amount of time!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Constructing constructions

Hooray!  I've been a student again!

I love taking classes, and I have been looking forward to my class in Lewes for weeks - ever since I saw the little ad in a shop window.  Lewes is a funny place - very alternative, sort of the Totnes of the South East.  Half the population is Lewes Woman - easily spotted, usually sporting wicker basket, sandals, hairy knitwear...The class was in a little natural foods cafe - lots of jars of lentils, boxes of exotic tea, tubs of organic vegetarian stock powder, gluten-free hand-knitted muffins...

I digress.  I love construction, and jumped at the chance to learn how to make two different sorts of baskets.  This week, recycled cardboard.

The process:

The finished article (complete with dodgy blanket stitch....)

I liked the lilac cereal box, but was a bit upset I ended up using a pizza box from That Supermarket....
I like the googly eyes on this weetabix though...

And here are the others:

Next week: coiled grass!

I've also finally finished stitching my blue bracelet (still to do the brooch).

This is it pre-dissolving.  It is currently soaking in a tub in the kitchen sink - fingers crossed it doesn't unravel and all the beads fall off!

And just before cooking dinner, I had another go at cooking some beads with my heat gun - prettier this time, less charred:

Angelina fibres on top layer - what a result!  Holds everything in place, and adds some sparkle.  This colour was called something like "Pink Tickle"...

And then this morning, we woke to glorious sunshine (at last!) and the Whippet picked the winner of my little giveaway:

A little packet of foil is now on the way to you!

Thank you for all the lovely comments about the bracelets - very encouraging.  Luckily the blue/seashore bracelet didn't disintegrate in the wash, and so here it is!

Thinking ahead to Art Trail in the summer, I want to make some more of these (or similar) to sell.  Thus the knotty problem now of "what to charge for them?"  As with anything embroidered, it takes an age to make BUT it's only fabric and thread, not precious metal or anything...Any thoughts? 

PS  Welcome to new followers!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Not enough hours in the day...

Well, I've been a bit quiet lately - life has been busy!

I signed up to Twitter weeks ago - and you may now follow me via my link, over there  ->
I've been too busy to tweet anything, so it's not very interesting reading at the moment!

I did manage to pause and take photos of all the things I've been doing, but there were so many photos I ended up making collages for this post.  And this is just skimming the surface, there's so much more I want to be getting on with - what a lovely feeling to be inspired!

First up, some mucking about with paper and fabric snippets to make some bits and pieces to sell at Art Trail this summer - and multitasking with the laptop, looking at the HMRC website of all things!

And I was looking at the HMRC website because I taught my first solo class last Tuesday - and immediately thought "why haven't I done this before?".  A lovely busy afternoon, the students even helped to put the tables away at the end, and there were two posh biscuits left over to take home to the Girl and Mr G - so everyone was happy!  We made cords and tassels:

Then I noticed that Gina had been making tassels too, but posh ones with beads.  So I had to have a go at some beads, something I've been meaning to do for ages.  It was huge fun getting out the soldering mat, heat gun and soldering iron (not least because it winds up Mr G, as it just confirms what he already thinks ie. that I've lost my marbles...) - and I thought I wasn't a burny-melty-kinda-gal!  My beads aren't as nice as Gina's though...I'm teaching embroidered bead making in a few weeks, but luckily I hadn't planned to do melty-hot ones, or I'd be feeling a tad discouraged!

And then finally, the thing that has been occupying me the most: Maggie Grey's new book arrived in the post and I stole all the Girl's pipecleaners.  Girl was very cross, but I was very excited so didn't care (but I have bought her some replacements now...).  Pipecleaners!  Who knew?

First I used a "novelty yarn" to make a hairy multicoloured bracelet:

And then I played around with fabric wrapping to make this bracelet:

Both these two bracelets were made on the spur of the moment, with no real thought as to what I was doing or the best order to do things - I just jumped right in with my stolen pipecleaners.  As a result, they took longer than they should have, and I knew I would do things differently if I did them again.

So I had another go!

I'm yet to finish these two little projects - destined to be another bracelet and a brooch:

I'm very excited by this!

Finally, I managed to package up a bit more foil today and will have a grand total of one more pack in the shop!  If you leave me a comment, I'll enter your name into a draw for a little pack of bronze/gold like the one in the shop - the winning name will be chosen by the Whippet in a few days' time...