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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Super simple (but super fun!) Photo props... With a little help from the kiddos on: July 09, 2015 05:25:15 AM
These before and after photo props were a simple draw, but fun, and I think they make effective photo props for the Color Run (a fun run where they throw powder paint at you). Plus coloring in the 'after' ones (with the brightest colors they could) gave the kids a nice job to keep them happy on the morning before the run - then they were then really proud to get their photo taken with their art work
(Roman on the end is upset because he wanted to hold 'R' for Roman, but also he wanted to be the first letter in the word...)

On a side note, I totally recommend these runs as a fun family day out, we had 3 generations of the clan running together (my parents, my siblings and cousin, and their kids) and our really was the best fun!
2  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Little Paddington Book - an experiment in image transfer with gel medium on: July 07, 2015 12:18:21 PM


I read a magazine article about using gel medium.as a transfer agent and wanted to give it a go :-)

It was really easy and gives a great clear image...
But I really hate the 'gel' layer it leaves, I had intended on doing some embroidery on top of the image but I diligent because the needles holes would have been really obvious in the set gel that is left behind. I also didn't love that it killed the fabric texture.

However, I think this technique could have is uses, so I'm glad I tried it out! I'm not sure if it would work with other surfaces, e.g. Wood, bit I can't see why not, so I might try that another time
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Ribbing not working with number of stitches required in pattern... Advice please on: June 30, 2015 06:55:50 AM
So, I've had this same problem with two separate patterns now and just wondered how more experienced knitters handle it because I think there must be a better way...

These are both circular knit brim up hat patterns, that call for a cast on number of stiches that doesn't allow for the rib pattern it calls for; for example, it says cast on 70, then rib 2x2 (i.e. A 4 stitch repeat... But 70 doesn't divide by 4 so I end up with 1 double width rib at the back because my knits and purls don't match up). I hope you understand what I mean! Anyway, what would you do in that situation?

I've ended up casting on less stiches so that can follow the rib pattern seamlessly, which is fine except I then have the wrong number of stiches when it comes time to decrease at the top of the hat. So I've increased 2, snuck in just after the ribbing brim, and knitted the rest of the hat as directed. It seems to work ok, though it wouldn't on a more fitted hat because those snuck in increases could change the shape.

I could also use a different rib pattern (3x2 or something) for the brim I guess??

What do you guys think, what would you do??
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Reframing my great aunt's embroideries on: June 02, 2015 04:34:42 PM

When my Great Aunt passed away last year, I ended up taking her embroideries (since no else wanted them and, as a cross stitcher I know how much time must have gone into them so I couldn't bear to leave them) but they weren't really my sort of thing and were in frames per that weren't helping. I picked up a couple of cheap frames and sprayed them to bring out the colours in the embroidery, and I really love how they came out.

The two cottages are by my great aunt Alice, who was a really awesome, generous, kind hearted lady and died peacefully in her armchair, having fallen asleep knitting and eating jelly babies :-) The other piece was done for her by my grandma, who taught me to sew when I was in primary school and was really instrumental in setting me on the path of this hobby that brings me so much joy.
I love that now I have a little piece of these two inspirational ladies, brightening my walls like they brighten my life
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Fat Pile of TM patches - some nerdy, a couple that Light Up :-) PHOTO HEAVY on: June 02, 2015 04:14:32 PM

These were pretty much all made for swaps...
They are cotton, with (mostly) stem stitch embroidery  (some back stitch) done free hand in regular dmc thread. A couple have stamped details too

There's a lot of doctor who...

And harry potter. Plus neuroscience, fruit, buttons, beaches (the shell had a little hole worn through when I found it so I just sewd straight thought that to attach it)...

Alice in wonderland, Fantastic Mr Fox

The little press stud tabs on those doctor who ones, act as switches to turn on the flashing blue LEDs on top of the TARDISs - see...

I couldn't manage to get a photo of the other one lit (couldn't time it right with the flashing light and eventually gave up!)

And firefly themed...

Sign language, moon... Lots more harry potter!


I've used this owl print a few times...

a handful of random ones

And Little My, cause she's awesome
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Game Board Envelope Case on: June 02, 2015 03:41:46 PM
This game board carry envelope is for my cousin's boyfriend, he goes to a game board evening every week and normally wraps them up in plastic bags to keep them dry and protected, so she asked if I would make a more sustainable version!
The outer layer is waterproof, it's oilcloth -  the stuff for making table cloths from! Since Kyle loves to travel and his favorite board game (and mine! Ticket to Ride) is based on a map, this print seemed appropriate

Most of the work in this project isn't actually in the final piece; I spent hours practicing working with this thick shiny slippy fabric, and had to redesign the construction I wanted to have to be workable for me (I'm sure a more experienced seamstress would have been ok!)
I've also never added a buckle before, and the button on the stopper is inset to sit flat (K is for Kyle, his name :-) ) which I've never done before... So a lot of firsts!
It's also twice lined, one in stuffing to add protection and one in fabric. All the lining is properly structured to mimic the bag.
We measured up a load of game boxes to work out the best size to for most of them (they are a couple of outliers, but to fit those the bag would have been unwieldy, not useful for all the rest...)

The binding took an age, that's another area I practiced loads before starting on the real thing. I've done binding before but always felt it wasn't great and let projects down, whereas I was pretty pleased with how this turned out

And a little pocket inside to store cards or what not. That was going to be placket but I ran out of time (I only fished up the day before Kyle's birthday) so it's just simple patch.
The label is in that weird place to act as a patch over a small last minute snipping accident (I genuinely thought I was going to cry for a second before I thought of putting the lable over it!)
My cousin was super pleased with it and I guess I'll hear later if the birthday boy agrees too!!

I know this is a pretty simple project compared too some of the awesome stuff that you guys do, but I'm not much of a machine sewer so I was really pleased that it came out ok! Thanks for looking
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Animal hoods (mouse, bear, Fox, rabbit...) lots of pictures :-) on: May 20, 2015 06:18:55 PM

So, I saw these animal hoods a few times in Pinterest and decided to get stuck in. I use a super chunky yarn, so they knit up super fast, and they are really simple.
Bibi, above, wearing a mouse hood, later stolen by Nannie Gail...

Joined by me wearing a brown bear, and Otto wearing Fox.

Here's a better shot of mine; this was the first one, you can see by comparing to above that side then I started grafting the top, and I now also often add a couple of stripes to the bottom of the cowl bit


They often get stolen by parents/grandfolk - here's Gene's mummy wearing his grey bear, with Edie as a rabbit


And a black bear (suitable to go with school uniform)


Polar bears are also popular, but I can't seem to find any photos!
 I'm thinking next I might try a frog, like with bulgy eyes instead of ears? What do you think? Any other animal suggestions gratefully received - I get asked to do these all the time and am bored of repeating the same ones....

Gratuitious extra photo of them being unwrapped (bibi's mouse, otto's Fox, Roman's cat) - how darn cute are my nephews and niece!!
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / pigeon skeleton hoop on: May 14, 2015 04:54:40 PM


Proof that birds are just little dinosaurs :-)
Stem stitch on linen, image hand drawn from an zoology text book, so it should be at least mostly accurate!
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Beehive tea cozy on: May 08, 2015 10:04:43 AM


I just love this pattern, it's a super easy knit and really cute :-) I've made 3 now!
I hate sewing up, so I make it in one piece, doing the top part on dpns. I also don't have the bottom joined under the hole for the handle, I add a big button and a loop instead - with it joined up it had to be stretched to go over the handle so I wanted to avoid that.
It's a free pattern - http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/beehive-tea-cozy.html



I use Debbie bliss luxury tweed Aran yarn, about a ball and a third for a regular 4 cup size teapot. I don't make the knitted bee from the pattern, I add bee shaped buttons and these fabric brooches instead :-)

 
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Stripy Noro Knee Socks... on: April 23, 2015 10:38:38 AM

I made these for my partner in the be awesome swap because I saw some of my other socks on her Pinterest :-) this was my first go at socks knitted on needles (I've only used a loom before) and I really liked it. I like how it's simple & small enough to do on the train, but the changing colours keep it fun.
I used two different noro colourways, from the tayio 4ply range, and this patternhttp://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spring-socks
Though I made a few changes; simple ribbed top (instead of the enclosed elastic top it calls for) and I did 3 rows per stripe (not 4). Also, on the second sock I spaced out the reductions a little as I found it got a bit bunched on the first sock.

I'm really pleased with how they came out, and most important I think my partner (the fabulous and naturally awesome pottermouth - photo credits to her) likes them
 

Thanks for looking!
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