Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On the needles

Some images of recent projects: the boys made these little snowmen after school one day last week. Joshua's man is sad because he lost his favourite toy, and Daniel's is happy (even though D shed many tears over things going wrong; a sensitive boy with perfectionist tendencies!). I'm so proud of them for doing this and for even being interested in making their own little toys. Long may it last...I picked up my knitting again after two months of being otherwise occupied/lack of interest. Hopefully I can wear this cardigan THIS winter, or even spring!

The start of a little collection. I've been thinking of doing a cross-stitch sampler for ages now, and finally decided what it should look like. I'm planning on making a few different pieces to go together, and my deadline is for early next year, so there's no rush. I might have to start again though, because I've made a slight mistake with spacing. What do you mean you can't see it; look between the e and v at the bottom... Did I mention perfectionist tendencies before? Even though I tell Daniel that the beauty in art is often in the imperfection, I also find it hard to let go when I'm aware of a mistake while I'm making something. It's OK to discover it afterwards, but I find my eye drawn to it if it's still fixable. Even if it's only 1mm out.

In saying that, maybe I should just relax about this one. One day my great-grandchildren will look at it and say how charming the wonky lettering is, how naive and folksy...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Orange, mustard, ginger

I can't believe the colours I'm getting into at the moment. Just look at the title as an example! I must be having a creative growth spurt or something.

I found this little number at the Sallies yesterday. It wasn't cheap, but it was calling my name, saying something about being the perfect weekend case and holding all my bits. I couldn't hear it all and didn't want to hurt its feelings by letting it know I normally lug much bigger bags around on weekends. I might have to go somewhere just to use it.

I'm so attracted to the colour mustard at the moment, and to think my love affair with yellow only started last year. Don't know what I'll knit; might be yet another scarf (striped grey and mustard sounds good).
Some more mustard, this time from my felt stash matched with my fuschia merino top. Lovely!

And while I'm on the topic of colour and mohair, have a look at this make-over on Pandora. I'm sure the NZ Top Models won't sport any hairstyles this exciting on Friday night. Just want to show what can be achieved with one ball of flattened mohair on my dolls. Speaking of them, I have only four packs left, so email me if you're interested in a kit. Twenty of them are on their way to Sydney, but that's another blog post altogether...

Have a wonderful end to your week!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Swatch book tutorial

Seeing this post today reminded me that I promised to do a little swatch book show-and-tell. Although, now I've seen what Heather has done, mine seems a bit elaborate... but it's still very simple, so let me show you how. This is the finished product:

First, print a piece of card like this one. The wording you want on the front with the other information (on the back) upside down. I just created the file in Publisher; it's very simple.

Then cut your fabric to sit inside the edges. I've used pinking shears to finish the bottom edges, but if you want to be sure it won't fray, iron some vilene on the back before you trim the fabric.

Now stitch it all down using a denim or leather needle.

Voila, it's done!

I made some to include in the goody bags for this weekend's Auckland Art and Craft Fair. It's on at Aotea Centre from 11 to 3 on Saturday; come say hi if you're around!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back home

Wow, it's been a while since I've made an appearance here. I was so busy with getting ready for Handmade 2011 last week, I never even managed to show how far I got with the doll kits. Here's a little look at some of what was inside my kits for the doll classes I ran over the weekend: the printed fat quarter, stuffing, PDF with full instructions, bits and pieces to make and finish the dolls, all inside a limited edition upcycled wallpaper bag.

The kits and classes went down very well, and thankfully I didn't have to return to Auckland with a lot of stock. I didn't take any photos and now really regret that, but follow this link and you can see a finished doll made by Kathy Doughty, one of my workshop attendees. I was very honoured to have her there, but am rather embarrassed to admit that at the time I had no idea what a quilting guru she is!

I also did a pillowcase bag workshop, and it was great to be able to teach some people new skills, like creating a pleat and boxing a bag. Here's a link to Emma's post about her experience. I'm glad to see she was inspired enough to make a pillowcase dress at home using my instructions.

The biggest bonus of the weekend was rediscovering how much I enjoy teaching. As I've said before, it's been a few years since I've taught, but it felt great getting back on the bike. I'd love to do more of it, so am thinking of ways to make it work; watch this space! It helped having such lovely students: some were quite new to sewing, some starting again after long breaks, and of course there were some very experienced sewers there. If you were one of them, thank you so much for going along!

Another highlight of the weekend was that I managed to put some names to faces in the blogging and craft world, and get to know some people a bit better. It was great to have the chance to sit down and have a talk with people I'd normally just wave to at the markets. Speaking of markets, there was a small one on Saturday night and I managed to swap some of my own fabric for this beautiful new design of Melissa's, called 'Planting Seeds'. It's very typical of her lovely hand-drawn style and I love the blue and red. Will have to use it soon.

That's it for now; I have a lot to do before this weekend's Auckland Art and Craft Fair, but I'll leave you with a couple of photos of the maple in our garden. What beautiful colour so late in the season. Must have something to do with the unseasonal temperatures we're having...