Archive for category Miscellaneous Crafts

Making An Impression

As you probably know if you come here often, I do love a workshop and learning something new so I signed up for a metal stamping class.

It was only ‘down the road’ and not too expensive and it was promised you’d go home with three small projects.

The class was small – just five of us excluding the teacher – and it was held in a rather lovely café in the nearby town which doesn’t open to the public on a Saturday so we had it all to ourselves.

Before I start on the class, I have to give a shout out to this wallpaper in the café’s loo.

These were the tools provided for our class of complete beginners – all laid out on lovely tablecloths.

The thin square of aluminium was to practise our first faltering steps into metal stamping.  The blue box contained all the letters of the alphabet and the white box a sturdy metal block to absorb the hammer blows.

First we practised with the ‘I’ and the ‘Q’ and then our name.

It was at this point I realised I’d forgotten my reading glasses 🙄

Still, although I did briefly consider running across to the grocery shop to see if they had any ‘off the peg’ cheapo specs, I tried to manage without.

Using the masking tape helps to keep the letters in a straight line.  Or at least that’s the theory.

Our first project was a small heart.  My mind went blank – it doesn’t take long – and the only thing I could think of to stamp was the first three letters of Miss Tialys the Elder’s name.  I would say I didn’t hammer hard enough on the ‘M’ but I think I had a deformed punch as it came out weird each time I used it.

Still, Laura, our lovely teacher, gave us a jump ring, a chain and a little organza bag to put the heart in and I will be putting it inside the home made Christmas cracker destined to be pulled by Miss T. the Elder on Christmas day.

Next up, a Christmas tree bauble.  I chose a snowflake shape and decided on a family ‘in joke’ for the words.  Every year we watch ‘The Muppets’ Christmas Carol’ – it’s become a family tradition and we are all word perfect with both script and songs.  One of the songs sung by the (Muppet) Ghost of Christmas Present is called ‘It Feels Like Christmas’ and one of the little muppet mice sings the lines

‘It’s in the giving of a gift to another
A pair of mittens that were made by your mother’

so, for Miss Tialys the Younger’s Christmas tree…

You can emphasise the stamped letters by using a Sharpie over the letters then rubbing off the excess with a cloth moistened with a little nail polish remover.

The third project was to be a bookmark and, by this time, we’d had a lovely lunch and a chat and all felt more relaxed and confident so were hammering away with gay abandon on the long strip of metal provided.

That’s my favourite one and, although the odd letter is a bit skewiff, I don’t think it really matters in this font.

To get the slightly different finish seen here, you use one of those double sided, spongy nail files to gently sand the surface and then buff it up a bit with the smooth side.

Although I’m definitely not going to get into jewellery making, Mr. Tialys reminded me that we do have a set of letter punches lurking in the garage somewhere so, now I vaguely know what I’m doing, there might be the odd occasion when I might wield the chunky little hammer again.  Aluminium plant tags come to mind for instance.

Anyway, a really enjoyable day with a nice bunch of people, a patient teacher and a lovely lunch.  Plus three passable little gifts to take away at the end.  Who could ask for more?

 

 

And if you’ve never watched the Muppets’ Christmas Carol I highly recommend it and here’s a taster to get you in the festive mood.

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The Cat’s Pyjamas

As I mentioned in my Scraphappy Day post, since discovering (finally) the joys of the famous felt rabbit and her (mostly) woodland friends, I’ve been hand stitching felt, stuffing heads and limbs and making miniature clothes like a woman possessed.

Hand stitching? Toy stuffing? Fiddly sewing? Me? Well, you know I always say ‘never say never’ and the results are so cute I am enjoying myself against all expectations.

I’m especially enjoying the clothes making part. I made the badger some dungarees in case he has some heavy work to do on the sett before winter does its worst.

A crushed velvet dress for the fawn in case there’s a Christmas party in the forest coming up.

(note to self – never sew with crushed velvet again, it slips and frays and misbehaves in all sorts of ways)

In an attempt to bring myself back to reality I laid out some fabric the other day to make myself a dress and there was so much fabric and such large pattern pieces that I thought ‘nah, let’s get back to the small stuff’.

So I did

Then, I added a cat to the mix.  I gave her some unruly whiskers – horsehair I had previously begged from my horsey friend back in France which actually made the move with me unlike much of my craft stash  – and felted her eyes partly because I thought they would look good but partly (mostly) because I have run out of small black buttons.

Then I made her some pyjamas.

Which gave me a good title for this well overdue blog post that I only got round to as my workroom is, once again, stuffed full of furniture from the other room while we wait for the carpet fitter to do his stuff this afternoon.  Otherwise, that’s where I’d be.

 

Apologies for the variations in quality, lighting, etc. of the photos as they were all taken at different times, on different days and in different rooms.  Still – at least I’ve shown you what I’ve been up to and proved I’m still here – in case you were wondering.

 

 

Designs for animals and clothes are by CoolCrafting– in case you fancy having a go!

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Scraphappy Day November

A ‘real life’ friend of mine contacted me the other day as she had noticed I hadn’t been blogging recently and she was worried about me – thank you Mo 😘 – but I am here, safe and sound though seemingly missing my blogging mojo.  I’ve been reading and commenting on others’ blogs (for the most part) and, by the time I’ve done that, checked my Facebook groups, checked the BBC news headlines and my emails, I’ve sort of had enough of the screen and got bored of listening to Mr. Tialys and his meetings as his work station is right next to mine.

Anyway, I haven’t been idle in the workroom which is still a mess I’m afraid as the carpet fitter has gone sick and so there is still stuff stored in there which will eventually go back in the bedroom once he’s recovered enough to lay the carpet in there.  I have come very late to the Luna Lapin (felt rabbit) party and have been making her, her woodland friends and some of the miniature sized dresses, nighties, etc. that make up her wardrobe.  More of that another day – if I get round to a proper post but, for the moment, it’s Scraphappy Day and I was determined to get an entry in this time round.

So, after that little lot (and a fox partly completed), I had some spare felt.

So I made the peachy coloured rabbit a little baby.  Well you know what rabbits are like.

Those of you with kids, remember that weird way of standing with one hip stuck out with a baby or tot planted on the edge of it?

Wrong hip lady! That baby will slide right off.

Anyway, please note the scraps of Liberty fabric too.

So, in by the skin of my teeth again for November and, as it was Remembrance Sunday in the UK yesterday (today as I’m typing this), I’ll end with this which I made from scrap yarn and a vintage button.

Bad flash photo, sorry, but it gets dark here in the U.K. at some ridiculously early hour at the moment so needs must.

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

 

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn (me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

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Scraphappy Day October

We have had the plasterers in for the ceilings in two of our bedrooms which we are now painting and the carpet fitter arrives this afternoon.  Some of the furniture and all of the ‘stuff’ possible has been crammed into the third bedroom aka my workroom.

Which is why I haven’t got a Scraphappy post this month.

Spot the mattress but not a sewing machine in sight although it is there somewhere.

However, the following people might well do so have a browse through some of their blogs and maybe I’ll have something to show next time.

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

 

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn (me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

 

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Scraphappy Day September 2021

I have somewhat reluctantly agreed to participate in a craft fair and will probably write more about how that came about in another post.

For now though, it is the day of the month where we try to do ‘stuff’ with scraps and, once again, I hand over to Mr. Tialys to step forward as I’ve been too busy getting more stock together so that I don’t show up with a practically empty table and have to pretend I’ve already sold loads of things even though it’s only ten minutes past the start time .

I have made more of my conical peg bags and also some reversible Japanese knot bags, both of which look better hanging than slumped on a table looking distinctly unimpressive and requiring an explanation of what they actually are.

So, a thick tree branch salvaged from the garden was sanded down and adorned with pieces of driftwood collected on our visits to the local beaches.  The branch is held steady in our functional rather than decorative Christmas tree holder which  I’ve wrapped in a hemp cloth and there you have it, ‘A Holder For Things That Look Better Hanging’.

It also serves to make more room for the other items I have on the table which, in this photo, is actually our dining table but as it’s the same size as the ones in the village hall I thought I’d drag it out into the garden and do a practise run so I’ll know what to put where on the day without faff.

The empty wooden frame will have cards with all the prices on when I eventually get round to it – I have until Saturday.

Not to be completely outdone I did make myself this brooch to wear at the craft fair which I feel identifies me as a ‘stallholder’ rather than a punter although, depending on your point of view, perhaps it identifies me as a person with questionable taste in accessories.  This was a whole tape measure but, having had half its length cut off, is now scrap but that doesn’t really count does it.  I’ll have to do something with the other half and post about it in a future scrappy post.

Anyway, as I’ve seen some of the amazing items other people will be selling at the fair there’s no way I won’t also be a punter and will almost certainly spend much more money than I make,

 

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate  Gun, EvaSue, Lynn  (me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, DawnJule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose

 

 

 

 

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Must Love Dogs

A few posts ago I showed you a quilt I was working on for the Linus Project UK  and now it’s finished.

The only fabric I needed to buy was the backing as I had how I wanted the back to look like in my mind but didn’t have any fabric remotely resembling it.  All the other fabric, including the binding and the stitch and flip dog’s face, were in my stash.

I machine quilted it very simply with horizontal lines 2 inches apart.

It measures 36 x 42 inches which is the size requested for a child’s quilt and perfect for me to manage on my home sewing machine.

I hope there’s a small dog lover out there who’ll find some comfort from this little quilt.

Next one will be another baby sized one (36 inch square)  and I think I have some Peter Rabbit fabric in my stash somewhere so that will be a nice one to work on.

 

Project Linus UK is a volunteer organisation. We aim to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted blankets, and give volunteers across the UK the opportunity to contribute to their local community.

from Project Linus UK website:

 

 

 

 

 

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Scraphappy August 2021

The 15th of the month has whizzed round once again and, unlike last month, I was determined not to let it take me by surprise so had a rummage through my scraps to make something for Scraphappy Day.

Miss Tialys the Younger was visiting again so, continuing her sewing studies, I decided it was time for her to insert a zip.  Mean of me I know but if you’re going to sew the time will come when you will need to put a zip in, like it or not.

The project I chose uses scraps of fabric 8 inches x 6 inches and any length of zip which is good as I have a large zip stash bought as ‘mixed lots’ which means I have lengths I will never need and colours I would never want.

I had a small piece of this vintage style Scottie dog design from which I managed to cut two rectangles of the right size.

My ‘student’ chose a piece of cheaters patchwork fabric left over from a quilt I made a few years ago for my god-daughter’s new baby.

This must be the easiest way to insert a zip.  If you use one longer than you need it’s easy to keep the pull out of the way until it’s all sewn in.

Then sew the bottoms together and then, NOT FORGETTING TO OPEN THE ZIP HALFWAY (ask me how I know why you should do this!), sew up the sides running the stitches over both ends of the zip a couple of times to secure it.  Trim off most of the excess length from each end of the zip.

Turn inside out – through the half open zip! – and fold the corners to achieve the boxy shape you want.  I drew a line one inch up from each point and stitched across, then trimmed off a quarter of an inch from the stitch line.

Turn right side out and you have a cute little box pouch to keep little bits and pieces in.

We didn’t line these but you could do without too much difficulty and it would make it more sturdy and more able to stand up alone.  Full disclosure, I’ve cheated a bit for the photos and stuffed them full of paper.

My ‘student’ did well too.  What next for her?  She’s still scared of the rotary cutter so I think we’ll have to do some work with that as I rarely use scissors to cut anything out.  I’ll keep the Band Aids ready.

 

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate , Gun, EvaSue, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose

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36 Comments

Oh My Buttons!

My new craft group sometimes runs workshops, usually taught by one of the members, and I immediately signed up to make my own knickers because why wouldn’t you?  That class is planned for October and, as I’ve tried before and failed, I’ll be interested to see if I can make a decent pair of apple catchers under instruction.

As we now live in Dorset and are lucky to have an expert in smocking and Dorset Button making it seemed a no-brainer to sign up for Rosalind’s class for beginners.  (Ros made the buttons for the most recent Poldark series so she knows what she’s about although, sadly, she didn’t get to personally attach them to Aiden Turner).

This was the tempting display of some of the different buttons that can be made employing this heritage craft.

The choice of colours was a dilemma for me but, as usual, I was drawn towards the blues.

First you do ‘the casting’ which means wrapping the ring (brass in this case) with the thread using a blanket stitch.

We made a Cartwheel Button so ‘the laying’ involves making the spokes and ‘the rounding’ involves weaving round those spokes until you’ve filled the gaps.

I found the hardest bit was ensuring you got the ‘hub’ of the wheel in the centre as you can tell in the photo below.  The pink one was my second practice piece and was even more off centre than the first one.  Still, if I knew what I was doing I wouldn’t have needed to do a workshop would I?

There were six of us in the class and we all managed a couple of buttons which wasn’t bad in the couple of hours we had.

While we were working and weaving, Ros told us about the history of the Dorset Button and, if you want to know more, you can read about it on her website here.  I was interested to hear that – reputedly – King Charles I went to the chopping block wearing jackets adorned with these buttons.  He wore the jackets to stop him shivering in the cold in case onlookers thought he was quaking with fear – as I most certainly would have been.

Anyway, Ros sells the supplies to make more buttons and, although I don’t really need another craft in my life, this one needs very little in the way of equipment and it isn’t expensive and it is also very portable andthere were kits! 

So, of course, I had to buy one.

Luckily, I have a drawer full of different colours of cotton perle thread – I don’t remember why – so, the next day, I made another button to fix the method in my mind and, this time, I got the centre almost right.  Maybe it’s because I remembered to put my glasses on which, for some reason, I hadn’t done at the workshop.

😎

Today it is gloriously sunny and beautiful so I am going to sit in the garden with a book and, just maybe, a brass ring or two and some needle and thread.

Have a lovely weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

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A New Home For A Gnome

Around 18 months ago I showed you this gnome that I had made using the foundation paper piecing method……just because.

It’s a twelve inch finished block that ended up in my Parts Department as I didn’t really know what to do with it after I made it.  Ever get that feeling?

Anyway, the crafting group I joined a few weeks ago is committed to supporting Project Linus UK** and, although I can’t face piecing and quilting anything large at the moment, a small baby quilt measuring around 30 x 30 inches is eminently doable and will fit nicely under my machine for some rudimentary quilting (which is the only quilting I do).

So, the first step was to cut off those little black beads I’d used for his eyes, promptly lose them down the cracks in my floorboards,  and replace them with my even more rudimentary embroidery.

Then, using my stash and scraps, I did a spotted border to reflect those spots on his top and red cornerstones to pick up the hat.

Also in my Parts Department, I had the remains of a batik charm pack and then cut the cornerstones from fabric left over from a quilt I made for my niece’s baby a couple of years ago.

I used a cream fabric with a slightly embossed design for the border and the same fabric I used for the cornerstones as a backing.

Then I marked the quilt top with a simple, diagonal cross hatch design ready for machine quilting.

I had a fat quarter of Provencal fabric in my stash which, with a few joins and a bit of luck, was just enough to make the binding.

To give credit where credit’s due, Miss Tialys the Younger joined a lot of the ¼ inch seams for me while I did the measuring and cutting and, because she’s learning, she probably took much more care than I do.

I hope the baby and his/her parents like this little quilt and it brightens up their days which might have had a traumatic start of one sort or another.

Next, I have a paper pieced dog’s face in the Parts Department which I might treat in a similar way to this but make it rectangular for a bassinet.

While Miss T. the Younger was in the swing of things we made some tote bags together so now she has her own hand made ‘bags for life’ to go shopping with and I have another two to add to my collection,  We made them with box corners rather than the more simple shape as I find them much more useful for grocery shopping,

Again, I did all the measuring and cutting out but, hopefully, she’ll show an interest in doing that too eventually 🙄  Still, even if she doesn’t, it’s nice to spend time together doing something creative when she visits.  Plus, yet more stash fabric gets used up in a useful way.  Those first two fabrics are from Ikea I don’t know how many moons ago.

 

** from the Project Linus website:

“Project Linus UK is a volunteer organisation. We aim to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted blankets, and give volunteers across the UK the opportunity to contribute to their local community.”

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Scraphappy May 2021

It’s time to make things with scraps again and, this time, I’ve gone back to fabric scraps and it’s a ridiculously simple project so apologies in advance but scraps are scraps.

After moving house, I’ve never really got around to totally reorganising my sewing/craft supplies but, as you can see above, I’m trying.

I noticed a tutorial for make up remover pads (find it here) and I thought immediately of Scraphappy day and the fact that the pads call for 4.5 inch squares which I actually had pre-cut in my Parts Department box.

See!

Nobody is more surprised than me when I occasionally show signs of being organised.

The tutorial suggests using a bamboo velour for the actual cleansing pad part – probably because the shop sells it which is fair enough but I remembered an old cotton flanelette sheet I used for auditioning quilt blocks on and thought that would make a good substitute.

So, 4.5 inch squares of scrap cotton fabric sewn to 4.5 inch squares of soft flanelette right sides together, turned right side out and top stitched.

I told you it was ridiculously simple.

I have tested them out and I prefer them to the little crochet rounds I made before for the same purpose because these have more surface area and are more absorbent.  The flanelette seems to work really well but you could also use some old soft towelling.

Having made these I thought I’d follow the rest of the tutorial which has a zippered pouch with waterproof lining to put the used pads in and a side pocket to separate the clean ones.

I gave away the bulk of my scrap stash before leaving France but, luckily, a few scraps survived the move and I have started a new scrap collection already.

So, it was easy to find enough bits to make the pouch and, long ago, a friend had given me a length of waterproof fabric (PUL??) that I unearthed to use for the inside.

So some scraps used and lots of cotton pads unused which can only be a good thing.

Everything can go in the washing machine ready to re-use next time I get round to bothering to wear any make-up other than mascara which, once masks are no longer needed (fingers crossed) I might actually do.

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

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26 Comments