I recently took part in the Craft this tote swap and I found that my partner had a fondness for trees. Combine that with my recent acquisition of a silhouette cutter and I decided to try a stencil on the bag I was making. I hadn't done stencilling in a very long time
I cut out the pretty, curly tree out of acetate and tried on a scrap piece of fabric, disaster, I cannot keep the stencil in the right place! Ok, time to rethink. This time I use a spray glue that holds for about 2-3 hours, spray the acetate (including all the tiny pieces) and try again. This time, I got a bit more security, but lots and lots of bleeding under the stencil. B@*!%r. Time for another rethink, I decide that it's trying to work around the tiny pieces that is the problem and try the stencil in reverse (put the tree on the fabric and stencil around it), this time it's much, much better. So I pluck up my courage and go for it.
I'd chosen that particular tree because it was very curly. The photo is not very clear, but the umbrella pocket is a shimmery blue/green fabric with golden curls embroidered over it. I thought it would echo the material.
I'm really not that much of a drinker, honestly, but the story of this necklace contains an uncomfortable number of co-incidences.
I was drinking some red wine over Christmas, my hubby opened it and asked me if I would like to keep the little wire cage that went over the bottle, "ooh yes of course " I said. "I'm sure I can think of something to do with that". Fast forward a few weeks and I decide that it's probably good for trying some knitting with wire. After the first tiny rows I decide that it's looking a bit boring so perhaps a few beads would look good so I look through my stash and find a tiny bottle with some beads from a necklace I broke when (you guessed it) I was drinking red wine. So I find I can't knit enough for a bracelet so I decide it might make a pendant and finish it off. Now I had to find something to string it from. I looked through more of my stash and find a skein of thread that I bought on a shopping trip with my friend, unfortunately when I bought it I'd intended to buy embroidery silk, but got ?crewel/?crochet yarn instead because I was hung over-we'd had a mega red wine session the night before . I used the Japanese Braiding techniques that I got from a book I received in a swap (thank you so much, KaoticKrafter) because a single strand was a bit puny.
The colour- now that is a co-incidence, I like red, so I buy a lot of it.
I too have received today. A most exceptional parcel from EllaRain with beautiful goodies.
First I would like to present my Morsbag
A splendid bag, made of heavy duty material with a cool black top to it and the most delightful sports kite on the front just to fuel my obsession (not that it needs any further fuelling!). Not only that, but the colours are red and black: I said in my questionnaire that my team's base colour is black and that we all have individual colours to differentiate us, and my colour is red: how wonderful it that?
Then, I got another bag.
This one is lined. It is of a wonderful jewel/earthy mix of colours which I love. On one side there is an appliqued elephant and the other has a tree with splendid origami branches. Yes, really, fabric origami. I know I didn't say that I was a fan of origami, but I am. EllaRain, you are amazing.
And yet more!
A smashing bookmark. With those great recycled magazine page backgrounds for the most amazing beautifully simple geometry equation. What I mean is the equation is simple, not the paper cutting, the paper cutting is wonderful and I can see, really difficult and it is done so smartly.
Thank you EllaRain, I've had the most wonderful parcel. It has been such a treat swapping with you.
All went reasonably well until I got to the last shirt. It had grown just too big to be laid out straight on my lap, so I just carried on anyway, letting it droop. Ok, it was daft, but I didn't know that at the time. My tension went right off and I ended up crocheting a bucket. Bah, Humbug.
I unpicked it back to the outer navy blue ring and restarted it, did a little, then put it on the shelf. I hate redoing stuff, duplicated effort annoys me immensely, so it stayed on the shelf, while more interesting things were started and finished.
But yesterday I got it out again, and have been persistent. This time I put it on the table so it would keep flat and I am rewarded by a finished, flat, rug (hooray). It was also a good thing to do while supervising the beastie having a bit of out-of-cage time (easily droppable and requiring only small amounts of attention).
I and my family are kite fliers, we get through a lot of outdoor style zip off trousers, somehow the cheap ones only seem to last a couple of years so there's a ready supply of them between us.
I'm also a recycler, I hate to see anything go to waste, so I present some trouser bags:
The netty ones we use for the veggies we buy at the farmers market, they're the linings from the knee sections, finished off with long scraps (you might spot a waistband and the neck from a teeshirt).
The solid ones are made from the ankle sections, these ones happen to be lined (unusually these were lined all the way down) with a satin-y sort of material, they get used for all sorts of things: line bags, peg holders, waterproof stuff sack e.t.c. I don't make these with a use in mind, but I never seem to have enough of them either. They are so easy to make.
Recipe (for the more common, unlined variety): Take a pair of double zip off trousers, salvage all the zips from them for other projects with a seam ripper. Take an ankle or knee section. Pick an end to be open (nearly always the base for the ankle section, it matters a lot less for the knee section). Turn inside out and sew across the bottom. If using an ankle section, turn right side out, thread some new elastic or cord around the top (or not if you've been really lucky and the trousers haven't gone in that section-ours always have though). If using a knee section, sew around the edge (1-2cm from the top) from seam round to (the same) seam leaving the last 1/2 inch either side of the seam open. Turn right side out, thread some new elastic or cord around the top. Use.
My favourite part of this project is that the trousers have had the seams sorted out already, no need for ironing.
It may be January, it may be only just above freezing in the garden, but that means I just have to do more vigorous work to keep warm right?
I got a new house, with the new house came a new garden, which is almost all laid down to lawn. How boring. How unproductive. I had to do something about that, a garden should help feed us, so I planned some vegetable beds. We measured the lawn, we measured the wheelbarrow, we measured the flowerpots, we even measured the wood & finally decided on a size. With the assistance of my beloved we made the beds: he wielded the saw, I wielded the drill and screwdriver. We shared the mallet: we both enjoy hitting inanimate objects!
The difference between the beds, the ones with sticky up bits are there so we can put big cloches or bird netting over the beds.
I also put in the compost bins (so much prettier than a pile!) and a leaf mould collector
And to start my seeds in style I made a few paper pots and some plant markers.
The markers are for Broad Beans, Garlic, Potatoes, Sweet Peas and Onions, cut out of milk containers, the remainder is engraved (scratched) into the base.
I had a favourite jumper once, it was given to me by my Aunt. It was big and comfy and beautiful and hand knitted and I wore it for 25 years (yup, that wasn't a typo). But over the last while I've been more and more concerned that the thin patches were going to break down whilst I was wearing it so 2 years ago I declared it dead, but I still couldn't bear to part with it so it went in my cupboard awaiting, well, I didn't know what.
This time last year I learned to knit. Pretty immediately I decided to unravel it and reuse the wool, but I knew I couldn't make a jumper: it would never be the same. So here is the first thing I've made from the wool. A headband. The wool is pretty fragile now so there are several places where it broke down & I had to cut portions out and rejoin the strands, but now it's knitted up it is much stronger and I'll wear it. I am a headband and headscarf wearer. Please pardon the in use picture: I took 22 photos of myself with my face in shot and not one of them showed off the headband, so I guess I'll be anonymous today.
Oh, and I got round to knitting some bags for my cables: ipod, phone, kindle e.t.c. Why are all bags made with a black/dark lining? I can never find my dark/black cables, purses, notepads, wallets in there. Now they don't have to disappear any more
In preparation for the onslaught of birthdays that start in February (at one point I have 18 friends/family that have birthdays in a 2 week period!) I've made a whole bunch of cards.
There were half a dozen left from last year, so not all of them have been made this year. The cardstock is recycled card, purchased from a stationers. The rest of the toppers are from more directly recycled items and gifts or swaps. There are a lot of people out there who save their chocolate wrappers for me!
I think my favourites are the disguised dinosaurs (which glow in the dark!) green on green on green.
Well, I've been promising a mathematician friend for ages I'd knit him a mathematical shape, so with the themes this month including white, I managed a round-to-it, and finally did it. This is my hyperbolic plane
It's made of a scrap of dishcloth cotton I had left over, so it could be useful too.
Pictures for stripes will come later (once received) and for my "for me", I've sewn up a T shirt tote bag: It's enormous! I can't put heavy things in it: it weights too much to carry when it's full! No piccys I'm afraid, but it's already seen plenty of use.