A little Christmas finish

Thankfully my arm was less painful yesterday so I managed to do some machining, finishing off a couple of Christmas versions of the cottages I made at the end of last year.

Christmas Cottages 1

The tutorial for these can be found here at Retro Mama’s site, I originally found this idea on Pinterest and made nine of these in floral fabric which I gave away to friends at knitting as pincushions.They are so cute I had to try some Christmas versions.

The charms I got from Ebay from Rhinoobead and they are so cute. I thought it would be nice to have a tree outside the window and a wreath on the door.I might add some beads to the trim on the roof as well.

I do love making these little houses and obviously so do lots of other people, there are lots of lovely ones on Pinterest including these beautiful examples by one of my favourite bloggers Charise who creates amazing paper pieced designs. I love the way that she has fussy cut the fabric to put people, flowers and animals in the windows and doors, she is so clever!

Cottages - Charise Creates

She has a book coming out soon called Super Cute Paper Piecing which will be on my wish list, I have not really done any of this type of piecing before but since I love my English Paper Piecing would like to have a go at some of these.Her fabric combinations are always gorgeous. She has lots of information about the contents of the book on her blog so do go and have a look.

Super Cute Paper Piecing Book

I am getting on well with the cross stitched snowflake that I started this week, thankfully finger movement has been lots easier as well so I am much happier.I hate sitting watching TV without doing something productive, seems such a waste of time.

The sky is a beautiful blue here and it is sunny but very cold so I am planning a lovely day of stitching, very much a slow stitching Sunday, this has been my first weekend in three weeks where I have not been working Saturday so have been really enjoying it.

Hope you are having a good weekend whatever you are doing, take care and thanks for visiting and for all the good wishes about my poorly arm, your thoughts and prayers have obviously worked!

 

 

 

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Like mother, like daughter

I taught Ellie to sew when she was about 7, it took her about 6 months to finish her first piece, a cross stitch, and she then went on to make all sorts of things. She is very talented and I was so impressed with her outfit for this weekend.

Steampunk Ellie 2

She had taken inspiration from Belle from Beauty and the Beast and turned one of Kerry’s old medieval dresses into this fantastic costume. She removed the sleeves and neck trim and altered the lacing on the back.

Steampunk Ellie original dress

Steampunk Ellie original dress 2

She added all the little charms to it on the shoulder and the broach parts to the skirt to make it Steampunk and with the addition of a bought belt and cape has got herself an amazing outfit for very little money.

Steampunk Ellie 1

There are tea cup charms here and roses and clocks on the belt and she has a little purse with a rose petal in.

Steampunk Ellie 3

Steampunk Ellie 4

She also made the necklace, using bits of old jewelry and charms. The back features a train made from a sari she picked up at one of the medieval markets.

Steampunk Ellie 5

She even found a beast to dance with!

Steampunk Ellie 6

I am so glad that she enjoys being creative, she has already started work on not one but two outfits for next year!

I had added lace to my velvet jacket and boots, the jacket was a charity find and the boots I have had for about 10 years.

Steampunk Alison 1

Steampunk Alison 4

Steampunk Alison 3

With the addition of some more keys on my hat and another charity shop bargain bag I had an outfit for Saturday and wore an adaptation of this for Sunday with one my new hats from the festival and another lace chocker.

Alison Steampunk Lincoln 1

Steampunk Alison 2

Steampunk Alison 5

Steampunk Alison red hat

I also bought some fab new/old boots. the ones I wore on Saturday while gorgeous were not comfy so Sunday I started off in a pair of lacy flats until we passed an antique shop on the way in and I saw these beautiful shoes at a bargain price.

Steampunk Alison new boots 1

They are flamenco shoes so very appropriate for the amount of time I spend in Spain.Think they might need a little lace as well though!

Steampunk Alison new boots 2

I have been thinking a lot about my next make and have come up with a plan which I shall tell you all about in the next post. This was partly inspired by a conversation with this lovely lady.

Steampunk sewing fabric dress 1

You may recognise the fabric that she used for her jacket. I bought some of this at the Steampunk market here last year as I already had it in the grey and black colourway.

I have used mine for a bag for Yarndale and have bought some more fabric from the same range from this year’s market which I will show you later.

Steampunk sewing fabric dress 2

I love this outfit, she looks so fabulous! Thanks Allison for letting me take pictures of you and share them here.

Steampunk sewing fabric dress 3

As well as outfits people create and adapt some wonderful vehicles, this was an amazing VW camper, absolutely incredible the amount of detail that has gone into this by the creators, The Bucyrus Brothers.

Have been steadily working away at bags and pouches in between marking, enjoying the lull before the storm as term starts in a few weeks and I am teaching most Saturdays until mid November.

Will see you again in a few days when I shall share my musings with you.

Thanks for visiting and have a fun week.

Fabulous folding

Hello everyone, how are your Christmas crafting preparations going? Mine have got back up to speed thankfully with a couple of intensive sewing sessions over the last two weekends and I now have the majority of my ornaments made, just in time for the 1st of Dec!

I have made a cathedral window ornament and am very pleased with it. I would have two to show you but the second one is still a work in progress as it was so thick once I had finished folding that it jammed the machine three times then broke the needle so I am hand sewing it.

The first one I made turned out very well. I used this tutorial from Moda Bakeshop , it does use up a lot of fabric, but then I do have a lot of Xmas fabric 😉 and found it very easy to follow.

I also looked for some quicker ornament designs for presents and came across this lovely one which I remembered seeing a while ago. There is a very clear step by step video tutorial here by Crouton Crackerjacks and they are very simple to make.

folded-ornaments-1

I stuffed mine with wadding which I did by making a little slit in the back which is why I have a ribbon rose at the back as well as on the front to cover that up.

folded-ornaments-6

I already had some of the ribbon flowers in my stash but ordered some more from this Ebay seller.She has some gorgeous pastel coloured ones as well.

 

We had a lovely time at Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show, Ellie, Kerry and I were very restrained, I only bought 1 metre of Christmas fabric, some of which I have already used on some more folded ornaments, a few Christmas ribbons and some very cute buttons.

I also bought some little wooden bobbins to cover with fabric. I am going to make some glass jar sewing sets complete with pincushion tops for Sarah’s stall for next September at Yarndale, (planning ahead!), and am collecting jars to do that. Some will be jam and pickle jars but I have also bought these from the wonderful Chinese shop in Spain.They have all sorts of cute storage for less than a Euro apiece.

bobbin-jar

However these look so good on my shelf in the craft room they might have to stay, the other one is full of my ribbons with sewing themes.

I am off to stay with Ellie this weekend as we have our re-enactment group meeting on Sunday so we are going to go and visit a few Christmas themed events while we are in Worksop. She has promised me a visit to a Christmas tree festival at Worksop Priory and a visit to Hardwick Hall where she used to work to see the decorations there. So I will come home all festive ready to finish off the last few of mine.

I have the next two weekends at home after that so will be decorating my house then having some quality stitching time on the sofa with lots of TV and cups of tea to keep me going.it has been such a busy term and I am so glad things are calming down, my poor sewing room has been sadly neglected!

I hope that you have a very nice weekend and I will see you soon for another post, there may just be more pictures of ornaments! Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

Christmas Creativity

Well that was a lovely weekend, my last one of sitting making ornaments for a while, not that the fact that it is nearly Christmas will stop me as I often make them into January ready for next year.

It is hard to stop when I am on a roll and I love just sitting in the craft room surrounded by all of my boxes of fabric, ribbons and beads deciding what would look good together.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 3

These very cute bells are some I ordered from an Ebay seller, Rinoohead, earlier in the year and look very nice pinned onto baubles.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 4

Next weekend we have family here celebrating Christmas a bit early then we are off to Oslo and when we come back from there I am off to Spain for New Year.

I am really looking forward to three weeks holiday and lots time with my lovely family 🙂

I will leave you with a couple of pictures of the collection of quilted baubles that I have made for my friends, I will be giving these away this week when we have our pre-Christmas catch-up.

Tutorial for these is here if you fancy any last minute festive makes, they are quick to do and very relaxing.

Xmas baubles Dec 2015

Xmas baubles Dec 2015 2

I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year, thanks so much for visiting my blog and for all your kind comments and likes. Best wishes for the festive season and I will see you all in 2016!

Just a little something to brighten my day :-)

Hello everyone

As I told you in the last post I was very good, (well for me!), at Harrogate and only bought a little bit of the gorgeousness that was available.

As always I love seeing the fabric and this year particularly the thread stalls, the colours of the displays are so lovely, little rainbows of stitchy delight.

I had hard time choosing what to buy, I wanted some more threads as I am enjoying my rediscovery of embroidery, thanks to the wonderful designs from Jenny.

I managed to find some more of the Cath Kidston style fabric, not in blue but in a coordinating pink and bought some  Perle threads to go with it.

Harrogate K and S 2015 24

I bought some more embroidery thread from the bargain bin at Stef Francis, all this for £4.

Harrogate K and S 2015 23

And look at this beautiful fabric from Higgs and Higgs, bet you can’t guess what I might make with this.

Harrogate K and S 2015 25

And I was really pleased to find a stall with 5 fat quarters of one of my favourite Christmas fabrics ever so I bought all of it and a lovely gold print. I still have a couple of the quilted balls to make so this will be very useful.

Harrogate K and S 2015 26

I also stocked up on more red and green silk thread, all of the thread came from West End Embroidery, a company I have not seen before and they had a brilliant selection of speciality threads so I have added them to my favourites.

I also bought some more Christmas ribbons from my favourite supplier, The Ribbon Box. Several of these are new designs and all so pretty!

Harrogate K and S 2015 27

And I bought charms, I can’t resist charms and though I was really looking for more keys for my Steampunk outfit came away with these lovely embellishments and some more little charms for stitching gifts.

These were all from a Dutch company called Creatotaal who had an excellent selection.

Harrogate K and S 2015 purchases

Harrogate K and S 2015 22

Although I have enjoyed my year of quilting I have a bit of sciatica and that limits the amount of machine stitching I can do but not the hand embroidery, I have spent lots of enjoyable afternoons sat on sofa stitching and watching TV.

I really value this time on my own, many of the blogs I read are written by women with young children who are combining their craft with family life and I remember those days very well.

One of my favourite New Year holidays was when my children were staying with their grandparents and it snowed very heavily, forcing all plans to be cancelled for going out and I sat and stitched and watched films for two whole days.

It was bliss, much as I love my children that amount of, ‘me’, time was so rare then and I can now do that every weekend so I am very lucky 🙂

I think 2016 will be my year of embroidery, I would like to also explore more crewelwork and goldwork as there are some patterns that I have been wanting to work on for a while.

It is also easier on my hands as I am still having some problems with tendonitis and arthritis which limits my knitting, I am falling apart at the moment 😉

I have been particularly interested in the work of two designers, one of whom was exhibiting at Harrogate.

Nicola Jarvis does the most exquisite crewel work designs, some inspired by William and May Morris, many of birds, combining different types of stitching to produce gorgeous and very unusual work such as this blackbird from her website.

Nicola Jarvis - Blackbird

I bought a tea towel featuring some of her designs, am planning to hang it in the craft room as it is far too pretty to wipe things with and would love to work on some of her things next year.

Harrogate K and S 2015 Nicola Jarvis

Harrogate K and S 2015 19

Harrogate K and S 2015 20

Another crewel work designer I love is someone I found through a link from a blog,(miracles of the internet!) an Australian called Anna Scott who does really bright and beautiful interpretations of traditional crewel work flowers.

I am planning to buy one of her designs from her Etsy shop  after Christmas once I have finished the ornament stitching, she does PDF downloads which is very helpful. The only thing is I can’t decide between all the loveliness that is there.

Am very tempted by this one…

Anna Scott Crewel Work 2

Or this one ….

Anna Scott Crewel Work

So many brilliant stitching opportunities, we are so lucky to have all these lovely designers out there and the miracles of the internet to be able to look at their work and buy it!

I am working on the last few of my Jenny of Elefantz Christmas ornaments at the moment and have also been stitching one of her beautiful birds in some of my new thread.

I am combining the thicker Perle thread for the outline with single and double strands of silk for the running stitch and lazy daisies.

This is such peaceful stitching and so fast to complete. I always seem to take ages to do things but her designs are very easy to do and look so pretty.

Jenny Purple bird 1

All good and I am now feeling very happy that my colourful Friday purchases have gone to small businesses and designers and for things that makes people happy more than once, me when I buy it, me when I use it and the recipients of the gifts I make.

Hope that you have a very nice and colourful week ahead whatever you are doing, thanks for visiting and see you soon.

It’s not more fabric it’s an investment in my retirement fund

Hello there, hope that you are all well and happy and are doing something nice.

I am looking forward to a wonderful weekend of sewing, I have just finished up two more Christmas ornaments and have a present to finish later and then just may have a play with the latest addition to my retirement fund.

I saw three ladies at the Birmingham Festival of Quilts who had brilliant t-shirts on with the logo, ‘I have a retirement plan, I plan to quilt’. I always tell the kids that one of the reasons I buy fabric now is so that I will have enough when I am living on my pension, well it won’t go off will it?

I would not have bought this were it not for my friend Debbie who came to knitting with this lovely and incredibly cheap fabric from our local haberdashers, only £2.20 a metre, you just have to buy some at that price!

Xmas fabric oct 15

Xmas fabric oct 15 3

Xmas fabric oct 15 4

Xmas fabric oct 15 5

Then there was this that was a little bit more expensive, (so I only bought 1/4 metre lengths of this), the latest Makower print.

Xmas fabric oct 15 1

It is going to be the best sort of weekend as it is followed by half term, (yippee 🙂 🙂 !) I am not off anywhere as I saw all the family last weekend but am working from home for most of it that so that means late starts and early finishes and lots of time for nice cooking and crafting.

I am very much in soup mode at the moment as I have had a horrible cough and cold and not felt like eating much else so have purchased the pumpkin for the annual soup!

Sadly it is raining which means that I won’t be going out, but more excuse to stay on the sofa, under the fleece and sew – what a lovely life.

Here are the Christmas ornaments that I finished yesterday, another one of Jenny of Elefantz’s wonderful designs, this is an adaptation of one of the designs in the Nov Stitchery Club set.

Elefantz Christmas Hearts stitchery

I altered the little flag to say Merry Christmas and am very pleased how neat the little letters have come out, Jenny’s designs are great for practising neat stitches. Just ignore those bits that aren’t so neat at the bottom of the bird 😉

Xmas bird ornie 1

Xmas bird ornie 2

Xmas bird ornie 3

The little brass charm is from Stitch Direct.

I think these would look great in redwork stitching with that Makower snowflake fabric above so that might have to be my next set.

I have also treated myself to this book, it has been on my Amazon wishlist for a long time and once I have finished all the outstanding block of the month challenges, which I am hoping to do this week, I will be making a couple of runners for my house.

Xmas blocks book

Xmas blocks book 2

I have taken the decision not to do any craft fairs this year, what with making stuff for Sarah’s Yarndale stall and the wedding outfit and the possible trip to China with work that sadly did not happen, I felt that I would be too rushed so all my Christmas crafting this year will be for me!

I have already made most of the gift ornaments, that’s what you get for starting in July lol.

Have a very lovely weekend, thanks for visiting and see you all soon.

Just Charming!

Hello everyone, hope that you had a nice weekend, mine was very productive, a lovely and not too damp walk with Ted where I picked lots of blackberries for crumbles and lots of sewing on the wedding jacket.

It is very beautiful material to work with, silk brocade, a change from my usual linen.

As regular readers will know I love adding charms to my stitched pieces so I thought that I would show you some of the some of the charms I have bought recently and finishes for Sarah’s stall.

I sent some pictures of my finished, ‘A Stitch in Time’, paper piecing case to Jenny of Elefantz and she really liked the clock charm, there were lots of these at the recent Steampunk event and I bought some more from the market there as well as some dragonflies to add to some of the flower designs she does.

charms - owl and clocks

Also got these beautiful keys, when we go and visit National Trust houses they often have displays of keys and these are so lovely.

charms

I have bought lots of little charms to go on stitched gifts, I now have ones that say, ‘I love …..’, for knitting sewing and quilting.

I got most of the sewing and snowflake ones from this Etsy seller, Bohemian Findings, she has one of the best selections I have seen.

Another supplier I have used is DIY Club – also on Etsy.

charms - scissors

These ones below are for use on the Christmas ornaments, I have two sets so that I can use pairs on the baubles I make.

charms- snowflakes

These are the needle/pin books I have made to match the pincushions for Sarah’s Yarndale stall.

Liberty needlebooks 1

needlebook close up

I found some very cute button headed pins to add to my stock of novelty pins so have added a few and a charm. I got these from Glitz and Pieces on Amazon.

I am never sponsored by any of the suppliers I link to, I just do it because I know I like to know where people get things from, I have seen some very cute bird headed pins on a blog recently and need to find them next!

Liberty needlebooks 7

needlebook charm

The new term starts tomorrow with a new group of teacher trainees, I do like autumn, even though there is a sense of things finishing for me it is all about new possibilities.

Plus the planning of trips and activities for the off-season, I have lots and lots of crafting related stuff planned for this coming year which will be lovely 🙂

Take care and have a nice rest of the week, see you all again soon and thanks for visiting.