Sunday, 30 August 2009

Knitted flower corsage

I got some wool out yesterday for the first time in quite a while. I think I feel like knitting & crochet more as an autumn / winter thing as I don't need as good light to do it in.
I've been making the most of the summer evenings doing more intricate work in the natural light but now the nights are drawing in I'm starting to think the wool season is approaching!

Tried a new simple pattern for a flower corsage, made a couple of mistakes but it's the first one and I know where I've gone wrong. You more or less knit a long piece and then gather it up to make the flower. I can't decide whether to have the spotty button or the plain one as the centre. I think the plain as it's bigger in proportion to the flower.

Cupcake pincushion

I have just finished making a new and much bigger cupcake pincushion to the first ones I did.
Decorated with a 'felt choc button' and bugle beads for 100's & 1000's.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Extrusions in clay

Had a lovely time using the new extruder & playing with clay today at my friends.
We were also joined by another ERA artist who is a wonderful animal portrait painter and you can see her work on the link below:

The new extruder was completely different to what I had used at college before and I was expecting to produce coils and make coil pots. This one had many different fittings which you could attach and mix n match. What it produced were tubes of different thickness and shape, everything from a simple circular tube of about an inch diameter to a large, hexagonal tube of about 3 inch diameter. The possibilites for making vases and small bottles quickly was a great advantage although it did take a bit of cleaning out when you wanted to change the extruding plates for different shapes. It's a great way of making things and then deconstructing the shape a bit by hand afterwards or decorating and distressing in a unique way.

You can see some of the extrusions here and extruding in progress. I did this square vase with a circular centre and have applied contrasting coloured slip to it.

Also shown is my goose who has been fired and will be smoke fired to decorate him at a later date.

Wolds hedge

It was a lovely morning for a trip across the Wolds to my friends today. This is one of my favourite field & tree scenes which I am going to capture at different seasons of the year and hopefully do some artwork of it.

Today I also came across this most magnificent hedge en route. You can't really get the scale of it from this picture but it was at least 8ft high and really chunky. Newly trimmed I think and all the branches were showing in fabulous gnarled shapes.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Cupcakes, Pottery & Nattering!

I have just whizzed up some peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes for munching tomorrow.
Tomorrow a pottery buddy of mine has invited a couple of us for a play with clay day when no doubt we will enjoy a few nibbles and a good gossip!
The idea is to try out her new extruder and we hope to make up some small boxes from the coils.

Any interesting results worthy of posting will be here soon!

Chilli plants 2

The chilli plants have been coming along although there's not been much sun in the last few days. I also found a few small bugs on one plant so have removed the damaged leaves, these are the latest pictures.
Haven't harvested any yet and I'm guessing the small yellowy coloured ones may be quite hot.

Monday, 24 August 2009

New craft books

I've added 2 new craft books to my collection this last week and both are on the subject of handmade fabric jewellery.

From what I've been reading there seems to be something of a revolution going on in the way personal adornment is changing for the 21st century.
The price of gemstones & precious metals is so high, coupled with the fact it isn't terribly eco friendly to continue extracting these precious commodities from the planet so the forward thinking designers are looking for other materials to make jewellery with.
Jewellery made from alternative and recycled materials seems to be popping up everywhere which is music to my ears as that is what I'm currently experimenting with.

The books have got some very groovy projects in and I've just started a simple necklace which you can see here.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Didn't win Clothkits competition

In May Clothkits ran a competition to design a pattern to go on one of their standard skirt shapes. They announced the winner this week and the title of this post says it all, I wasn't successful, hey ho! I could've done with winning one of their vouchers.

My design is on their website if you click in the 'competition gallery' bit down at the bottom of the first page, mine is on page 2 of the entries, image 10, easy to spot as I've done 4 designs on the page. There were some interesting entries, I think the one which won was a bit similar to something they already produce with an urban street scene on one of their skirts.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Driffield Steam & Vintage Rally

This weekend it's the steam rally in Driffield so the showground is full of engines and people camping over and lots of Fred Dibnah lookalikes in boiler suits, caps and neckerchiefs.

I thought it was quite expensive to go to the daytime event so instead decided on going to see the evening parade through the town. The streets were shut so it was a good opportunity to get some exercise and walk the 2.5 miles into town to see the sights. All seemed quiet until you got in the market place when suddenly the air was thick with the smell of coal & steam, horns a hooting, bells a ringing, it was great atmosphere.

Saw some wonderful old vehicles, particularly liked this fantastic purple coloured van. When you think about it, it's quite amazing the dedication of these people keeping these historic vehicles running for all to see and appreciate.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

4 Kanzashi flowers

I've been watching more Kanzashi flower videos and I think after my first pink and white one I'm getting better at forming the petals.

If you are inspired to have a go take a look at this website as Corinne has some easy to follow tutorials on making the flowers, and some other good stuff too.

I've now done 4 flowers, I particularly like one fabric combination which I have shown on it's own, it's some really nice oriental fabric bought in Scarborough.

Skye Batiks mice

Ebay has been great for picking up a few Skye Batiks items of clothing over the years and often things are brand new. I think sometimes people buy the brightly coloured and patterned stuff whilst on holiday and in full holiday mode and they get them back home and maybe it wasn't quite their thing.

I was in luck last week because someone had a Skye Batiks mouse listed and as I only have 1 lonely little girl mouse I thought this would be a lovely new friend for her. It took a bit of bidding but I got there in the end and he arrived today. Doesn't he look splendid in his groovy pink & green handloomed smock and trousers!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Finished flower brooches

I've completed my first attempt at a Kanzashi flower.(shown here with the stamp I bought yesterday)
Today also finished a couple of my woolly flower brooches from recycled jumpers, I dry felted the spiral design on the petals.

Chilli plants

My friend gave me a couple of chilli plants at the beginning of June, one was a bit bedraggled but they've really come on since then. I meant to get a before picture and then a fruiting picture but I've only remembered again this week when they started flowering. Not only are they flowering but the chillies are emerging nicely. I think one of the plants is supposed to be a multi-coloured chilli so that should look good if we get enough sun to ripen them up.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Fabric for Kanzashi

Following a morning stamping, I then headed for Scarborough and a quick visit to the fabric shop. I wanted some oriental style fabrics for the Kanzashi flowers. Of course they had way too much to choose from so just got these pieces to be going along with.

Stamping workshop

This morning I went along to Lynnda's open day and stamping workshop up at Calf House Studios. Lynnda designs most of the stamps herself so you find very different things to in the shops. I couldn't resist a couple which are going to be lovely for making little stamped gift tags to go on my fabric jewellery. One stamp I got is of some oriental flowers so if I get better with the Kanzashi flowers the stamp will be most useful to make tags for them.

Lynnda demonstrated embossing which was great. I once bought some embossing powder years ago but had no luck with it, I realise now I didn't have the right stamping ink for it to stick to or to activate it. The stamps & inks are much more advanced now and apparently you can get some ink suitable to stamp on fabric which would be quite useful for me.

Here's a link to Lynnda's blog for all your stamping & crafting needs:

Friday, 7 August 2009

Kanzashi flowers

I got a craft magazine the other day which had a very brief article on Kanzashi flower decorations. There was enough information and pretty pictures to get me interested even if the tutorial was a bit basic.
Kanzashi flowers are Japanese folded fabric flowers, it's like origami but in fabric. I have found a few demos to watch on You Tube and finally took scissors to fabric and have started having a go.

These are my first, I'm not convinced I'm stitching them together right and it looks a lot more simple than it is in the videos I've watched but it's something new to try. These need finishing with nice big buttons in the centre and then I can see if they are suitable for brooches.

Found this link which is quite good on the folding techniques:

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

New to my Hornsea collection

This is my 100th post, I'm surprised I've kept it up & into 3 figures but it's a great way of keeping a record of things.

I've just been cleaning my latest Hornsea finds which I picked up all in the same charity shop in Driffield last week. It's a selection of cups, saucers & side plates in Heirloom, Saffron & Palatine. I didn't have any Palatine so I was quite chuffed to find these and all of them are in excellent condition. I'm going to enjoy sipping tea in them!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

North Dalton summer fete

The weather has been incredibly kind today for the fete.
When I arrived my friend had reserved 2 tables for my craft items, I didn't think I'd need the second but surprisingly I easily had enough to fill both.

It was a lovely, traditional village fete, really nice atmosphere. I was next to the cake stall which was doing a roaring trade.
I was quite pleased with the result today, easily covered my stall cost and it was good to see what things are most popular. The Fimo clay brooches seemed popular with the kids, the flower brooches did ok although not the more expensive ones and I sold a few greeting cards too but not the christmas ones (maybe too early!).

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Lissett Wind Farm - Open Day

After a brief visit to the straw cottage it was off to the official opening of the wind farm.
The weather wasn't brilliant but I managed to get a few photos before the heavens opened halfway through the afternoon.

The turbines were even bigger than they look from the road which I suppose is a fairly obvious statement but I think they are some of the biggest in the country. I even got to stand inside one and it was pretty noisy but not from the propellers it was the cooling fans inside it making all the noise.

I got to meet the lady from Novera who was absolutely lovely and they'd put on an excellent display with lots of freebies for people to take away, even Yorkshire tea as it was Yorkshire Day!

There were some cute dogs entering in the doggy events, a few long haired breeds scuttled off with their dog jackets on when it started to chuck it down.
Also visited the memorial to 158 Squadron which is shown in my pics.
Despite the weather it's been a great afternoon getting up close to the turbines etc.

Now back to labelling my craft things for the show tomorrow.

Straw Bale Cottage - Open Day

The straw bale cottage is almost complete and my friend had an open day today. It's an amazing achievement with only minor things to finish off before the first guests arrive next week.

I arrived for opening time thinking I'd be one of the first but soon a steady stream of people came to view & admire this sustainable building. I didn't get many photos as the rooms soon filled up and outside it decided to rain. Below is a link to a feature they had in the Yorkshire Post this week.
Another open day is coming up in September and I'll be going back then to see the result.