Sunday, 28 February 2010

Not much hair left........

yes, you are very perceptive, I have been tearing my hair out in frustration. You remember a few days ago I printed that photo of my mum at 15 onto fabric to make a lavender pillow with? The one you can see here amongst all the bits and pieces I gathered to embellish the little cushion with -

I suppose you thought I would have had it finished by now. No such luck. I started, I did! I laid out the bits on the table, shuffled things around, added stuff, took away stuff, added other things...... and then it suddenly dawned on me that it was looking awfully symmetrical. Hmmm. And sigh. I had done it again. I like things in pairs, I arrange things symmetrically on the mantlepiece, on the table. But was that really what I wanted? I was trying to make a collage, inspired by so many wonderful people in blogland, definitely not symmetrical, lol, free and a bit on the wild side. Sigh. Look at this, see what I mean?

But I like it that way. Still, I thought I'd mull it over for a few days and see whether I can let go of symmetrical and go wild and free, lol.

So this morning I started again, laying it all out and making a conscious effort NOT to be symmetrical. This is how it ended up -

You gotta admit, thats pretty non symmetrical, right? But which one do I prefer? I have no idea, thats why I am tearing my hair out. Do I like the first one best? Do I prefer the second one? Is either one any good at all? HELP!!!! Please let me know what you would go for, or what you would do to change it and make it better.

I really want to get this one done, so that I can send it to her before she goes into hospital in a couple of week's time.


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

What happened to the last few days?

Honestly, sometimes I really think I am losing the plot, well, losing days for one thing. Every day I tell myself that I really ought to be writing a blog post, and then I get sidetracked by something else and before I know it, several days have passed and I haven't got a clue what I have done! Obviously I haven't achieved anything worthwhile, otherwise I would be writing about. So what have I done the last 4 days? Sunday morning we had a little womble through a small bootfair. Bought only two things, 2 pairs of big wooden knitting needles, perfect for my next project, and I found a woodworking jig for my DH, woohoo, which was a bargain at £4.

We seem to be watching a lot of the Winter Olympics at the moment. I don't know whether thats because my DH is now retired and we watch together or whether I am getting more tolerant of lots of different sports. I certainly enjoy the curling, ice scating, snowboarding and skeleton.

I also spend a lot of time reading blogs. I can't help it, there are so many fabulous blogs out there and a girl has to get her inspiration somewhere, right?

One thing which I have wanted to try for a long time is printing on fabric. There are so many beautiful fabric collages out there in blogland and I have drooled over them and lusted after them, coveted them and admired their oh so talented creators. Well, today I have finally taken the plunge and done it, yay! I picked a photograph of my beautiful mother when she was 15 years old ( top of the picture ), and randomly picked a couple of vintage photos which I had saved ( apologies to the wonderful people who shared these lovely photos in the first place, like the idiot I am, I didn't save your names ).

Here is the piece of cotton fabric, printed and ready to be cut -

I want to make a collage with one of my mum's pics and a small lavender cushion with the second one. Fingers crossed, I hope I'll do her justice. The other two I'll probably use for little lavender cushions or door hangers as well, we'll see, hopefully inspiration will strike when I get serious about getting the sewing machine out.

A few days ago, I received two smashing magazines from my dear friend Michela -

We had taken part in Floss's magazine swap. What a great idea that was! Michela obviously knows of my fondness for food, especially Italian food. Ok, so I may have to learn Italian, but it will be so worth it, the recipes look absolutely delicious. Here, look, judge for yourself -

anything with courgettes will do just fine for me, I love them

And in the other gorgeous magazine I found some really love Spring projects. How about these gorgeous cushions, for example? Just perfect to tempt Spring to arrive -

It has lots of lovely patterns for all sorts of things inside. These pattern sheets are just crammed full of the loveliest embroidery designs -

And nor for something completely different. I have probably mentioned the OWOH event a few times. I had so much fun visiting hundreds of blogs, and entered quite a few of the giveaways as well. I won two of them, woohoo! One of them arrived yesterday, from France. Now red is not normally my colour, but this collage really intrigued me when I saw it during my visit to Mireille's blog called Titbelsoeur toute seule. It is even more amazing in real life than it is in the photo I saw on her blog. The details are incredible, every time I look at it I see something I hadn't seen before. The fact that it is French is of course a bonus! I really do like it an awful lot. Thank you so much, Mireille!

I'll toddle off now and see what goodies I have stashed away to make a collage with for my mummy's photo. I can almost picture what I am after. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


Saturday, 20 February 2010

Glue Bottle Box

I had this odd assortment of bottles on my desk, annoying me. Glue bottles, you know, fabric glue, white sticky stuff, clear glue, glue sticks, spray glue, as well as other bottles, like fabric stiffener for example. They lived on my desk, because I had no proper place for them. And of course they kept getting in my way. Which led to rather unladylike language.

Today I decided that enough was enough. I searched through all my saved packaging boxes to find one which was the right sort of shape, squarish, and high enough so that the bottles wouldn't tip over. And lo and behold, I found one which was just perfect for the job. It was a little square box which the lovely LissyLou had used to send me the Secret Santa Swap goodies in. Hmm, of course it didn't look all that pretty, being a bit of a battered cardboard box, but................... only a couple of days ago I had received some lovely paper goodies from sweet Annie. They were just begging to be used on this box!

I have just spent a few very happy hours doing up the box. First, I covered it in the lovely old music sheets Annie had sent me. I used her birdcages and butterflies tag on one side, and two of her pretty Victorian style scraps on two other sides. On the fourth side I used a copy of one of my old French postcards. Aaah, and then, then I was ready to spend ages rummaging through my buttons, laces, other bits and pieces to find some embellishments. That was the most fun bit of course. Just a teeny bit of stamping here and there, a little bit of text aged with a little ink, and hey presto, that was my glue bottle box! done. Ta daa -

Sometimes it can be fun getting organised!


Thursday, 18 February 2010

This, that and the other

Oh it has been a lovely day today. Why? Because I received such a lovely package in the post. A little while ago, the very lovely Annie from the birdcages and butterfly blog was having a giveaway and I was a very lucky accidental winner. Apparently what happened was, when she was drawing the last winner out of the hat, a second name fell out, which was me, and she decided to send me a prize as well, bless her.

Annie always wraps everything so beautifully with lace or ribbon -

Look look look at these lovely goodies -

and this is the sweetest -
little letter stamps spelling my name!

I can fell more project coming on!

And then there was LissyLou's challenge, to reveal what was in my handbag. Oh dear, that could be a bit embarrassing. Alrighty, here is the totally unedited contents of my bag as per yesterday. First, my current bag -

sigh, and the contents-
A list as well? Sigh, ok here goes -
old style driving licence
large purse
credit card holder
face powder
stack of six cats eye colorbox inks ( just bought )
a pile of receipts
an empty gravybone (doggiesnack ) bag
glasses case with eye liner and lipstick in it ( sigh, don't ask )
nail file
scrunched up tissues
two packets of tissues ( I have the sniffles at the mo )
a sample bottle of rose fragrance oil for soap
a christmas photo of my oldest granddaughter
hair brush
a bunch of keys for house, car and cottage
a couple of coins ( euro cents )
I think thats about it

Yesterday, I showed you a couple of tags I made. I wasn't quite happy with one of them, it looked too empty, so I added a couple more things to it today and I like it a lot better now. What do you think -

Oh oh, and another thing, I am entering another swap, which sounds really really nice. Have a look here and see whether you might like to join in as well, its such a lovely theme -

It is organised by Sew Scrumptious and you can find the details here .

I think thats about it for today, I'll try and sew a few more squares together tonight.


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Quick Upate for the 20-Minuters!

I was reminded by another 20-minuter that I hadn't shown anything for quite a while. True, I have been so busy travelling round the blogging world during the OWOH event that I have had very little time to post. And to craft, come to think of it. As I told the lovely lady in my reply, I seem to have spent most of my time preparing for little projects rather than actually doing them.

During my OWOH travels on the magic carpet, I came across so many jaw-droppingly gorgeous blogs which were such an inspiration, I really wanted to try a couple of things myself. Tags, for example, I know I made a few very basic ones for Christmas, but when you see the ones these fabulously talented ladies have made, they were like the attempts of a 3-year old.

So, my crafting session last night involved paper, a bit of ink and some punches. To make these things -

It is really quite good fun seeing these shapes popping out of the punch. I'd hate to have to do all that with a pair of scalloped scissors. I think I would probably throw a few wobblies, lol.

So tonight I set about making a couple of "vintage" tags, which were inspired by some wonderful people in blogland. Mine are still sooooooo amateurish compared to theirs, but I love the look of these things and will be making more, lots more, because that darned little bug has bitten me on the bum, lol

At least they give me the opportunity to use all the teeny bits of lace I have, and some of my MOP button stash, and, well, stuff!

It was a nice day today, just for a change, so my DH took the dogs out for a long walk and I was finally able to lay out all the granny squares for the wrap. Whose stupid idea was it to make the squares in groups of 4s and 6s, when the wrap needs to be 5 wide? I got pretty close to tearing my hair out, and in the end just gave in and went for more or less random placement.

But, I now have 5 piles of squares to sew into strips and then sew the strips together to make the wrap. All thats left then is to crochet an edging around the whole lot. Hah, thats all, lolol, its gonna take me ages! In the meantime, I would like to have a look around for a really nice shawl/wrap pin, I can sort of picture the thing I am after, just gotta find it. Anybody know of any cool websites for that sort of thing?

So there you go, I do do crafty things everyday, but I don't often have something to show for it, sorry, gals!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Reason why

After yesterday's post, I had a few comments from people who really ought to know better ( yes, you, THAT woman from Brighton, and yes, you, Mrs S from Kiwiland, lolol ), asking me why I don't jump into the car and go visit That woman in Brighton.

Well, here is the reason why. I have two dogs. Two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, a girl and a boy, very close in age, there are only a few weeks between them. They are just over two years old and terrible teenagers. And they like to play games, tug of war being one of their favourites -

We love them to bits of course, but there are certain sacrifices we have to make, one of them is not being able to leave them at home alone for any length of time.

They look as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, right?

And when we do go out to do a bit of shopping together, we put them in their indoor kennel -

They don't mind being in there. For a little while. An hour or two at the most. Then Hector gets withdrawal systems, and wants his mummy. So he takes the kennel to pieces. Yep, he unhinges everything and escapes. A right little Houdini. Thats where the fun starts.

This is what my little darlings get up to when they are left to their own devices -

Indoor snow, after a lovely game of tug of war

He looks so pleased with himself, woohoo, that taught that naughty vintage French feather bolster a lesson!

The reason why I now keep big piles of magazines on the table

I won't bother showing you pictures of the claw marks on the family room door, where he has tried to scratch his way out on his search for mummy, or the tatters left of my very old brocade curtain, which had been hanging in front of the door to keep out drafts....... you get the picture, right? Now can you blame me for not going out for hours on end?

I should add really that they have been fairly good lately, they are getting better as they are growing up, so maybe in a year or so I'll be able to leave them at home alone without having the joint wrecked! In the meantime, I am very happy to stay at home and snuggle with my loving, adoring doggies.


Monday, 15 February 2010

Two posts in one Day !!!

Well, I just couldn't wait any longer, I had already waited TWO MONTHS! It is all JJ's fault, of course. This is what happened.

A few months ago, we came across Manos del Uruguay yarns and both fell in love with them. I thought crocheting a scarf in that yarn would be really lovely and because I like the old cow, I decided to make a scarf for her for Christmas. I worked my little fingers to the bone, trying to finish the scarf before JJ was due to come to our house. Why, oh why did I bother, lol? What with starting office work, a car that was on its last legs, lots of snow and all sorts of other things, JJ still hasn't made the one hour journey to our house. So you see, I couldn't post photos of the scarf I had made, I couldn't spoil the surprise. Last week however, I got sick of looking at her beautifully wrapped Christmas present still sitting all lonely and sad in the drawing room. So I posted it. And she received it today! YAY! So now I can share the photos with you.

I also made a scarf for my mother-in-law in the same colours. She loved it! The yarn really is beautiful to work with and to wear. This is MIL's scarf -

And this is the scarf I made for THAT woman from Brighton, lolol -

I love the colours of the yarns. Now why the heck didn't I made one for myself? Hmm.

Well, now that the OWOH event is finally over, I can get back to my crocheting instead of trying to visit 1100 blogs. I had such a blast though, and found some wonderful new blogs and people which I would never have known about without this event.

Progress report on my 20mins-a-day crafting tomorrow! xxx