Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Knotted card (mizuhiki cord)

I'm on the train to Liverpool this morning so will not have time to make anything today so I thought you might like to see some knotted cards.Have you come across Mizuhiki cords? They are gorgeous Japanese rolled paper cords, very thin and shiny and wonderful for adding to present wrapping or cards. When I first started using them they were very difficult to get hold of in the UK and I ended up buying them from Australia, now you can buy them from Amazon. They are elegant enough to use for wedding stationery but metallic enough to be used on cards for men. They work well with any flat knot. The navy card in the photo uses a sheep's shank and the other two use a  flat carrick mat knot .

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Patchwork ball

I have been given some lovely pieces of furnishing velvet and was wondering what to do with them when the thought of a patchwork ball entered my mind. I'm not sure why. The last time I made one of these I was 11. Anyway a quick check in Barbara Snook's Creative Soft Toys (The same book I used then, full of amazingly easy ideas) to make sure I remembered how and here it is. It will be living on my desk for a while until I can decide whether or not to embroider the seams.The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Knitted Baby Card(cardigan and bonnet)

Another baby card today. Sorry to be boring but I wanted to get this one ready for a new arrival. I knitted it in white as I don't 'know what it it yet' ( makes a change) but it didn't show up well in the pictures so 'here's one I made earlier'. Oh dear, two cliches and such a small amount of writing! The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Fish Cushion

I love watching fish. There is something so peaceful about their movements. Even the little brown ones that nibbled my feet were fascinating.

 I thought I'd try to make a fish cushion  I chose a koi because they are so beautiful and according to Chinese tradition they attract  wealth and stability. Hopefully this applies to homemade ones too.

This is the result, a rather fat koi type fish about 30 inches(76cm) long. I think I'll have another try to create something a bit more elegant (less like a cuddly whale?) and then I'll put a pattern up.

EDIT: Finished the pattern - about three weeks later. You'll find it in this post for 19th September 2011.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Patchwork Cushion

Don't you just love making something from nothing? A couple of years ago I sent for some fabric samples and got loads of tiny squares of fabric. Even when they were out of date  I still couldn't part with them( I keep paint cards too) so they sat forgotten in a drawer until inspiration struck. Now I have a new patchwork cushion cover. FREE!!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Friendly Plastic Jewellery

I wonder who thought of 'Friendly Plastic'? The name I mean. I would have thought it was a trick to make you buy the stuff but everybody else on the web seems to love it. They even have television programs devoted to it in America. Well all I can say is I didn't find it at all friendly (and I'm pretty sure it felt the same way about me).

I think it may be a case of getting used to how the plastic handles so I shall try again - but don't hold your breath waiting for the results.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Shopping Bag

I needed a new shopping bag. My last one came to a sad end in the washing machine where bits of it shrank rather badly. Serves me right for using fabric without checking if it was preshrunk I know. So I hunted through my 'interesting remnants' drawer and found this fabric which I'd bought on ebay but I'd thought the pieces were too small to make much with. I usually build my bag fronts round one interesting fabric, adding others for contrast and texture but these parrots were so gorgeous I really wanted a whole bag made from them.The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Lizard Box

I had a fish spa this morning. A new experience. Very odd but I think I shall go again as my feet definitely liked it. I had already decided that today I would cover a little card box (hobbycraft) and was just thinking of how to put a fish design on it when I spied these little lizards. They've been sitting on my desk for a while now, the result of me wanting one lizard charm from ebay and having to buy five to get it.Next to them was the big double bezel, an ebay error as it was far too heavy to turn into a pendant. I cut the hanging loops off them all  with wire cutters, put foil paper in the bezels and added a coat of glaze to protect them, then used superglue to attach the lizards.The box lid is covered in fabric made by glueing silk waste to a vilene backing then making a lot of tiny stitches through it using a little of each of the green silk threads I had in my embroidery box. I added french knots and seed beads to give it a bit more texture.I glued a thin layer of padding to the box and then glued the vilene in place. I'm not sure I like the result so I may decide to take the lizards off and try to make them a less 'woolly' background. 
It has been pointed out to me that making things this size is not reducing my stash much so I shall be making something larger tomorrow.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Glass tile Pendants

Isn't it odd how sometimes things which seem so simple can give you so much trouble? These pendants only have three parts, a metal bezel, a picture and a glass cover which fits neatly into the bezel. Easy I thought. I looked up how to make them on Youtube and it looked pretty simple. They all seemed to recommend diamond glaze which is a great adhesive and I already owned some but it reacts with some metals and turns blue (see green pendant). I knew about this with copper and brass but didn't know it would do it with my silver coloured fittings. The answer is to give the fitting a thin coat and let it dry thoroughly before you use them. The other problem is bubbles. All the tutorials I looked at suggested the same method - put a layer of adhesive in the fitting, remove any visible bubbles add the picture, more adhesive and the glass cover. No matter how bubble free I started off by the time the glass was in place a bubble had formed somewhere and if I dared to press on the glass an even bigger bubble would be sucked in when I let go! Finally I gave up, went away and did the washing up (more bubbles!) and realised I was making it far more complicated than it needs to be. The method is here if you want to make one.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bird Mobile

One of my friends has decided to decorate her new nursery with hanging bird mobiles so I thought I'd see if I could make some for her. After some searching I found some wired feathers that I'd used as water round a dolphin birthday cake for my daughter ( of course I kept them afterwards!). I used cotton fabrics but backed them with very thin iron on vilene so that I could have a very narrow seam allowance. They were great fun to make and I'm thinking of producing a load of red and gold ones for the Christmas tree.  The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Knitted Baby Card (teddy and bootees)

What a change from yesterday. A gloriously warm day with a very light breeze. Perfect. I went for a long walk across the nature reserve so I was quite happy to put my feet up with a cup of coffee and get out my knitting needles. I've reached the age where all of my daughters' friends seem to be having babies which means I keep needing baby cards. I wrote the pattern for this one a few years ago when I tried to get a book of knitted(and knotted) cards published. I failed but it has come in very handy since. The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Inchies Reflections on the Gower

What a damp August day this has been. It made me remember my last holiday on the Gower peninsular in Wales. Gorgeous scenery more than made up for the dull weather. I decided to make some inchies to remind myself of it. If you haven't come across inchies they are tiny works of art 1 inch x 1inch made in any media. Just type  'inchies' or 'fabric inchies' into a search engine for inspiration. I tried edging these on the sewing machine but I think I'll go back to hand sewing until my machining improves. The tiny shells were picked up on a Gower beach so belong there. I'm not sure about the bird he was sitting in my button box and just looked right when I added him. As for the peacocks feather and pieces of silicon carbide, well inchies are supposed to be fun aren't they?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Fluffy Knitted Teddy Bear

I've had a very furry day today. Sewing up and stuffing some little teddy bears I've been knitting. The result is that I look almost as furry as they did. I've got one more to go and then attack of the clothes brush will commence. The pattern I am using came about as a result of sending off for one that looked great. Alas when it came it was so complicated I couldn't follow it. After calling myself an idiot I decided to make a simple one for myself. All the pieces are very small so if I drop a stitch I can start again as it is nearly impossible to fix mistakes when using this type of yarn. The size of the little bears varies according to the yarn I am using but generally they are about 12-13 inches (30-33cm) from ear to toe. The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Kindle cover

My daughter has given me a kindle. It's beautiful and I love it! So today I made a cover for it. The fabric design I chose is one called cats by Laurel Birch who does the most amazing art work. I padded it with wadding to protect the kindle and added a pocket for my train tickets. The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Monday, 15 August 2011

No Sew Fabric Boxes

Today’s project was an easy one. I have just bought some jewellery for two of my friends and needed something to pack it in. These no-sew boxes are really quick. I used to make tiny versions from Christmas cards but one day I thought why not cover them in fabric, and it worked.Since then I have made loads of them, changing the fabric to match the occasion and the recipient. The pattern is here if you want to make one.