Wednesday, 29 August 2012

This week.

This week has been a strange one to say the least.

We found out a dear friend had been killed in an accident in Zambia. Lucy was the most beautiful person, it sounds cliche but she really was. Lucy was a caring and generous soul who ran a charity called The Safe Foundation. If you've been following the blog for a little while you'll remember I went to their India project back in February. Luce was a one in a million and my thoughts are permanently with her twin sister and rest of the family. Our friend Emma has set up a Just Giving page so we can continue build the Safe Family in her memory. If you'd like to contribute please go here .

We disappeared off to Shambala festival for the weekend. Its a lovely arty festival with lots of hippies! My friend Grace, who I've worked with in the past on community arts projects, set us up with festival tickets in exchange for helping out with some costume workshops in the kids field. It was a beautiful distraction helping the kids make tutus/ headbands/ wings and all sorts of fun things. Its such an interesting fun interactive festival with tonnes of workshops to get involved in; I learnt to knit in an hour on Sunday!

It's set in the grounds of this beautiful house, I spent quite a bit of time chilling out by here!

So to top the strange week off it was my 30th birthday on Saturday! So ..... yeah.... 30.... just another day! I've been given some beautiful gifts but I wanted to share a few favs.
Grace made me some rad door knobs! I can't decide where they should go. Custard creams and Jammy Dodgers, my favs!!

I went and picked up my sweeeet ass parcel at the post office from Miss Appletini this morning too.

Loved the wrapping!

erm I can't work it out haha ... is it just backwards?

Super handprinted card!!

Inside was some lovely surprises!

Dinosaur erasers! Woo, I do love a good stegosaurus! As you can see below it's debatable whether I've actually turned 30!

An amazing Hectopus felt pin badge that matches the card and a really cool cross stitched bookmark! I'm notorious for turning down pages so I can whip this bad boi out instead now! She's a delight ain't she!

And the best bit are these incredible trousers! They fit just right thank yooou!
Ha we totally need to paint the skirting board, oops!

The boyfriend's mum gave me a gorgeous bracelet too.

So as you can see I've been spoilt rotten! Thank you lovelies.
I'm working on a personal swap wit someone in America and lots more cushions for Droneboy and Who? so plenty to keep me distracted and busy for the next week. Love you all x

Friday, 17 August 2012

Wonderland Embroidery

I've started a personal project. I've fallen in love with the hoopla craze; I blame Crafster for this! Also there are a few large blank walls left in the house which are just asking for decoration =)

I bought a beautiful pair of vintage Alice in Wonderland curtains from eBay many moons ago and had (with hindsight now I'm gutted) chopped them up and made handbags and purses galore to sell at craft stalls. I remember they sold really well as it's really unusual fabric. I was in my early 20's and was eager to use good fabrics I guess; I'm so much more precious now. Going through the crazy fabric stash the other day I came across scraps of the curtains that I'd saved - go me not throwing anything away!! I decided it would be fun to applique some of the characters and use big enough pieces to fill my hoopla need!

Here's what I've done so far and some progress....

The Queen's announcer is in a 10" hoop and the Tea Party is in an 8". I've bought a selection of other sizes too for new ones.

The edge of the tea party is the actual fabric and the rabbit is appliqued onto the pink stripey background. Its a lightweight cotton that I thought matched quite well. The pictures below show a closer view of the stitches I've used. The pink stitched line work is back stitched to secure the fabric as well as decorate. You can just make out little french knots in the whites of his eyes. For the fur I've free stitched to give him texture but kept it to the outline for a more minimal feel. I've created stripes on his tunic and outlined the heart in split stitch as it's nice and neat. The screen print itself is terrible, the registration (lining up) of the colours is well off but it adds to the quirk I guess. I like the effect anyways.

The Tea Party was really fun to embroider into. The wonk on the print meant there was lots of bits I could tidy up. I've been wanting to do a pile of french knots for ages, what a perfect fit for a bunny tail, eep!

I've since added a few more stitches across the bridge of his nose to hide that yellow bit of print.

I made a little cross stitch pattern to his jacket to try and give a tweed impression and I satin filled in his lapels too. His waistcoat buttons have little french knots. I'm thinking of trying out some chain effects on the pocket watch.

The tea cup was originally just plain white, so I thought it'd be fun to put a little pattern on it!

So once again the running theme of the dodgy registration meant that Alice wasn't too pretty. You can see in the photo below she was missing a nose and her eyes were doing something funky haha. I used a split stitch to add different shades into her hair and then with just a single thread from the skein I stitched into her face to add more detail. I hope I've done her justice!

It was fun doing the little scallop on the bottom of her apron; I've enjoyed using new stitches.

There's still loads to do on the big rabbit one and I want to do more so I can have a big wall of hooplas but this is a work in progress so I guess I'll just keep showing you updates along the way =)


Friday, 10 August 2012

Collar Me Good

So this week it was Miss Appletini's birthday. A very good friend of mine that moved away last year to the south coast. I miss her terribly but this weekend she's back to celebrate! I'll see her tonight and as she'll be travelling today I thought I could sneak this blog post up with out her seeing her present! If you are reading this Missy then stop and wait til later!!!

She has the coolest style, a fusion of granny and punk rock! So I decided to make her a very un-rock and roll collar, so even when she has a good band tee on she can still old lady it up.

I choose a lovely blue chincy floral cotton and a green gingham for the reverse. I thought one collar two looks! I cut semi-ish circles and made the shape using my mannequin as a base.

I stitched down some vintage scalloped edge trim to the one side. This makes it easier when you're putting the whole thing together.

I added some polka dot ribbon to tie at the front and sandwiched it all together. As I was sewing curves, I pinned it to death. I'm usually quite lazy with my pinning when its straight forward sewing but it was a real necessity this time. A trick I was shown years ago when I was new to sewing was to put the pins in sideways as shown and then you can just sew straight over the top of them, the fabric will never move. The machine needle usually will get pushed to the side of the pin, although I have broken a couple of needles in the past, on the whole a useful trick!

I left a small gap about inch and a half in the back of the next to turn it the right-side round. Before turning round I snipped into the seam allowance so it would form the curves neatly. Then its just a case of ironing it all tidy!

I guess I'll find out tonight if she likes it but I have a feeling she will!

Also incase anyone is interestedI'm now on Pinterest!! Feel free to follow

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

State Funeral Patch

So my boyfriend and my brother play in a band together. They're called State Funeral and have recently recorded their first e.p. - you can listen to a few tracks here. To go along with the record, I was asked to screen print a load of patches - well 500 patches to be precise!

My boyfriend did come and lend a hand, cutting everything out and putting things through the dryer for me. It was one of those days tho to be honest - I ended up making the stencil on the screen up 3 times! So finally got printing hours behind schedule (I always plan how long things are going to take in my head first - I guess its a freelance thing, trying to price up time!) It was a fun day anyway as lots of familiar faces were down the PrintHaus doing various things too.

I ended up having to go over the font with a Posca pen to thicken up the lines a bit; one of the reasons for multiple screen making. Posca pens are really handy for screen printing, they're felt nibbed pens that are filled with acrylic paint which is opaque, you definitely need these for exposing with photo emulsion. The photo below is me washing the screen out after I'd exposed it.

I set up the screen on the printing carousel rather than the fabric length table. I had planned ahead and managed to pick up some really lovely black canvas for cheap from eBay. We cut the fabric up into 35x45cm pieces and printed 12 patches at a time. Seemed to go quite quick once we finally got started!

Although we lost a bit of the finer details, I think they look like decent punk rock patches! All we have left to do now is cut them up individually but I might phone my bro for help with that......

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Beacon Centre Craft Workshop Fun!

If you caught my last post you'll know I've been at the Beacon Centre in St Mellons running a craft class with the kids. The ages ranged from 9-13, mixture of girls and boys and they really got into the sewing. I was disappointed a tad that for most of them it was the 1st time they'd picked up a needle and thread, I'm sure we did this in primary school, let alone at home. Ah well we didn't have a computer, let alone phones to make cosies for. I was really impressed with the outcomes tho so I thought I'd share. We have some ninjas, a cassette tape, penguins, a teddybear and two Batman themed wallets. Love it!