Friday, 30 September 2011

Christmas tree decoration (star)

I was asked by a friend to make a first Christmas ornament for her friend's tree. She said she wanted a picture of Lucy on it so I went ahead and designed and made it while she got the picture and I did get rather a surprise when Lucy turned out to be a dog. I used it anyway and she was delighted. I've had a few requests since, sometimes for a baby but often for a dog or cat. Why shouldn't they be the star of the tree?
The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Bolster cover (pillowcase end)

The trouble with putting something new in a room is that things which used to look ok start to show their age. The daybed looked fine until I put the beanbag on it. So today I made matching bolster and cushion covers which has really cheered the room up. Then I went to the crochet class and learned how to make snowflake decorations after which I absconded as it is far too late in the year to waste a nice day like this working inside.The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Hot and sunny!

What an amazingly good day for late September. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and if it wasn't for the pumpkins glowing bright orange in the garden it would it could pass for midsummer. It was far too nice to stay in the house so I met some friends for an outdoor lunch at a promenade cafe and then my daughter in town where,on the pretext of looking for inspiration, (I found ice-cream) I wasted a lot of time just wandering round in the sun. By the time I came home it was too late to start making anything so I shall spend this evening reading my new craft magazines and practising my crochet before my lesson tomorrow.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Decoupatch (decopatch)

Connie's my local craft cafe had a taster session  where you could try decoupatch so I went and I loved it. Decoupatch is the ultimate in easy beginner crafts. You just need a paste brush, decoupage paste, pretty tissue paper and something to cover (works on most things but not fabric). If your chosen object is very dark or has patterns that you think might show through then you might want to give it a coat of pale paint first but otherwise just tear off a small piece of tissue, paste a similar area on the object and stick the tissue to it. Then paste over the tissue. If you want a particular image to show anywhere you can cut it out and paste it on top of your tissue layer which is how I added the heart and face. When it is dry you can add a further coat of glue to protect it and then add any further decoration,  jewels, glitter, feathers, etc. So today I used just under two sheets of decopatch paper to cover a wooden coat hanger, a box that a necklace came in and a photo frame. If Paul would just stand still long enough.......

Monday, 26 September 2011

Beanbag Slab (double opening)

I hadn't intended to make a bean bag cover today but the trail of little white balls suggested it might be a good idea. Actually I hadn't intended to own a bean bag in the first place. It was bought when my eldest daughter went to college, but it has turned out so useful that I can't do without it now.As well  as providing an extra seat it's the perfect size for propping yourself up to read in bed. If you are tempted to make a beanbag the zip allows you to top up the beads and the double opening means that even if someone fiddles with the zip the beads don't escape.I used a remnant of a fabric called 'Gabrielle' by globaltex.The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Painted Stones

These stones have been sitting, waiting to be painted for quite a while now. The general opinion is that Paul primed them with a coat of white acrylic around 2002. I didn't feel like painting this morning so I used permanent markers which is a lot easier. (The peacock is Paul's).Not a lot of craft time today as I was icing cakes. If you ever have to make a lot of butter icing try using a potato masher to mix it. Really speeds things up.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Knitting needle case

What makes you decide what to make? Usually I make things because it's someone's birthday or because someone has asked me to make something but I very rarely make anything to keep for myself which is a bit ridiculous when you think about it. After I'd spent rather a lot of time searching through my needlework boxes for a crochet hook it struck me that I hardly ever used most of the needle sizes so today I made myself a needle case for those needles I use most often(and if I ever find my other crochet hook it can live in there too!)The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Frog Card

This little leather frog (toad?) has been sitting on my desk for quite some time now. I think he arrived with a pair of shoes (human not frog). I tend to keep anything that might make a card for a man as I always find it difficult to find inspiration for them. Paul has just claimed that the last sentence should have stopped after the first five words  but honestly I'm not that bad! I don't have a lot of time to make anything today as I have had a crochet class at Connie's the craft cafe in Weston-super-mare  but I do need a couple of cards.
I sat and played with the frog for a while and decided he'd make a great bookmark so I drew round him to get a template for the card and then threaded some cord through the hole in his body and knotted both ends to stop fraying. The frogs on the card were cut from decorative paper stuck to thin card and curved before being attached with foam pads. Then some peel offs - don't you love them?  The Thank you card was just an aperture card. I put wood effect paper behind the apertures and tied reef knots in thin cord to decorate them.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Bottle Bag Pattern

Yes I know this looks just like my last blog but it is different. After having made something towards Christmas yesterday I was feeling quite pleased with myself but there's always one bottle that spoils it by not having a dimple. Flat bottomed bottles need flat bottomed bags so today I made this one. It has a square flat bottom and is only lined part way down from the top so the bottle has a flat, single layer of fabric to sit on. The great thing about making these bags early is that you use up all the leftover Christmas fabric from last year and that justifies me buying the new fabrics for this year.The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wine Bottle Bags

I know it's too early to think about Christmas but one thing I have learnt is that if you are buying alcohol for Christmas presents then you need to wrap and pack as soon as you get it home otherwise it will evaporate and you'll end up having to buy more. So I made a start today. This is a quick and easy method of making bottle bags but the gathered base means It is only suitable for bottles with a dimpled base as the gathered edge sits in the base and the bottle can stand safely.The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Fish Cushion Pattern

Ooops. Sorry about the lack of a post on Saturday. It turned into 'One of those days!!!' Anyway back again today. Finally the fish cushion is finished and looks a lot better this length(about 32 inches(81cm) long). Paul has got the pdf thing working which took a while. So fish mark 2 is finished and if you want to try it the pattern is here.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Feed my fish

Aren't my fish cute? I love this gadget.If you want to feed my fish just click your mouse in their tank. They will also follow your mouse hoping to be fed. I did do some work on my fish cushion and Paul is sorting out how to put the pattern onto a pdf so it will be here soon.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Fuchsia Flower Pen Top

I saw a cute idea in Craftseller this month. Crocheted daisy pen tops. I would have made them but my crochet is still very basic. I'm taking lessons so maybe soon. Anyway I thought I'd try knitting some. I made a bunch of fuchsia flowers for a knitted garden a few years ago so I thought I'd start with one of those. Be warned though it had a horrible number of ends to run in!The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

I have almost finished making a turtle cushion to go with the fish and I would probably have made it if the postman hadn't arrived. I'd only gone on Amazon to order maths books(honest) and foolishly let my fingers wander to the crafts section. There was Martha Stewart's 'Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts' at such a silly price that I just had to treat myself and once books arrive they have to be read. Don't they?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Encaustic art

Have you tried encaustic art yet? I've spent the afternoon producing what can only be described as alien landscapes. The method is very simple, you melt colored waxes onto the sole plate of an iron (low temperature)  and then iron the melted wax onto glossy card. The results are different every time. You can add trees and leaves with the tip of the iron (or there are special tools) but mostly I just enjoyed seeing the pictures emerge. One word of warning - keep the windows closed while you create, last time I tried this an entire swarm of bees arrived in my garden. It may have been coincidence but you never know!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Double coin knotted cards

Cards today. I love using origami paper on cards, the patterns and texture are amazing. I made these two cards just by layering but the Chinese knots in 2mm satin cord and the washi (origami) paper give them the 'wow' factor. The knots are a double coin knot and what you might call a double double coin knot which are quite easy to tie. Using more than one cord to make the knots makes them show up really well. If you find yourself getting hooked on knotting there is a great book 'Chinese Knots for Beaded Jewellery' by Suzen Millodot

Friday, 9 September 2011

Patchwork cushion with envelope back

Yesterday's craft show put me in the mood to sew something but I couldn't decide what and then along came the post. One of my friends has sent me some lovely Cath Kidston fabric squares to make a patchwork cushion for her son's room. It's cut into squares so I can start right away.The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Crafts for All

Oh dear! No crafting by me today. I went to the 'Crafts for All' show at UWE Bristol. It was one of the best shows I've been to. Not too crowded, loads of demonstrations, a fantastic display of quilts and very friendly and helpful exhibitors. Go if you can.The downside was , of course, that I spent a lot of money and my stash has grown again as I couldn't resist the fabrics from 'Husqvarna Studio Bath'. On the plus side Paul treated me to a great crafting lamp with a built in magnifying glass which will be great when the days get darker.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Pram Toy Mouse

I had this mad idea of knitting a pram toy. Something with some bits thin enough for a baby to hold and nice and soft and eventually I settled on a mouse. I wanted to make it all in one piece so that the arms are knitted in as well as sewn in and there is no danger of any bits getting pulled off. Working out the pattern took me longer than I expected so no post yesterday, but I think it was worth it.The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Lavender Bag Buddy

I sent for a jar of craft goodies from ebay last week, mainly for the jar and also because it had some scrabble tiles in it. Today I tipped it out onto the table and tried to think what I could make from it all.

The little box was easy I glued tape round the sides, put ricrac braid ( is that what you call it? my spell checker doesn't like it) over the braid to soften it, made a flower from layers of loose petals, put the green precut flowers in the centre and glued the big glass stone to them.

There were some pieces that I thought would make a good card. The heart and butterfly pegs had been covered with fabric so I glued a similar fabric onto the & sign. I tinted it with tea to get a similar background.

The rest I split into two piles, those that might make cards and those that won't. The won't pile was a green clothes peg, some stiff net and two large lavender buttons which reminded me that I had promised to make a lavender bag buddy.The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Fabric Beads

While I was away Paul also coated these fabric beads with diamond glaze so they were ready for me to thread today. I've had this pendant a while now but felt it needed more than the leather string it came on. I like making fabric beads as there are so many types and textures you can produce. These were the 'rolled paper beads you made at school ' type which are dead easy since I thought of rolling them round the very thin straws you get on the side of drink cartons. Putting the bead caps on them gives a nice finish and adding the chain allows you to change the finished length of the piece.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Dimensional Adhesive Pendant(steampunk)

I've spent the last couple of days in Liverpool(great city to visit) so had to do a bit of catching up today, no time for crafting but Paul had done a bit for me. When I was making the glass tile pendants I thought I'd try embedding these watch parts in the Diamond Glaze adhesive and this is the result. I set it up a few days ago and then got Paul to keep giving it thin coats of adhesive while I was away.(You need to let each layer dry thoroughly). It takes longer and is not as easy to use but it does have the huge advantage of not smelling like resin. The method is here if you want to make one.