Wednesday, 29 October 2014

wire weaving

I've still got some posts about classes me and my lovely mum took at The Bead Shop Nottingham to show you, I seem to have fallen behind with my blog posts!  The class I'm going to tell you about today was wire weaving.

We started by practicing with some copper wire.  We used 1mm wire as the structure and wove with 0.4mm wire, using various different weaves.  Then we tried a 3-way weave which was hard, but tricky as you had to get the wire up and through the gaps and it does like to poke me in the eye.

We then moved on to working with silver plated wire.  I was slightly ambitious in my design and whilst it looks a dog's dinner in this enlarged photo, it doesn't look so bad in real life!  I added some gorgeous Lapis Lazuli gemstones to the centre and the outside.

Unfortunately, I still haven't finished it!  I need to weave the bail to give something to hang it by. I'll show you when it's done, but don't hold your breath, I have a tub of jewellery WIPs to get done!

Wire weaving was new to me, so I'm linking it up to Something New for 2014

Celtic Thistle Stitches  

Monday, 27 October 2014

Sew Together

At October's meeting of the Modern East Midlands Quilt Guild we had a session of making the Sew Together bag.  This bag has been plastered all over the internet, but if you haven't seen it before, you can buy it here.

I got the majority of it done during the day, and just had to sew the binding down by hand when I got home.  I did try one side on the machine, but it looked awful so I unpicked it..

The binding is Sketch in red, I don't know what the outer fabric is, I picked it up at one of the Sewing/Quilt shows as I love it.

I lined it with £4 a metre Bike Path from the Fabric Guild as I love the combination of aqua, navy and red.  The bag came together pretty easily, though I had lots of help from Kerry and Di as the instructions weren't brilliant.

Each pocket is lined in a different red print.  Mr CA said his customary "very good" when I showed it to him, then asked me what I was going to do with it.  Does a girl need a plan to make a bag?!?  

I do have a bit of a plan though, I'm going to enter it into Purse Palooza 2014!


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Wesley and Buttercup love


For the first time in months I can join in with the Smalls SAL!

I found Pixel People cross stitch patterns a while ago, then recently someone was talking about a pattern they'd bought from this shop.  I hopped over to take a look and found myself buying 2 Princess Bride patterns.  Now this is madness.  Princess Bride is Mr CA's favourite film and I wanted to stitch them for him.  Remember how I said I'd never make him anything again after the Tardis pouch debacle?

I stitched this little picture of Wesley and The Dread Pirate Roberts AKA Wesley whilst at the Manor House.  It's going to be a Valentine's or anniversary present.  I also bought a pattern of the cast of characters which I'll probably stitch up for Christmas for him.  At least then when he hates it and asks what it is I'll know the Valentine's/anniversary gift won't be well received!  Why do I do this to myself?

I'm going to have to stitch the next one secretly, so it will be when he is out at archery, mind you, I could probably sit there next to him and stitch it and he wouldn't even look to see what I was doing!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

small bags for not-so-smalls

Before I went on holiday at the beginning of October, I had a look at my list of "travel items to make".  Yes, I have a list for that.  I have lists for everything, who doesn't love a good list?  One item was bags for used undies.  I like to keep them separate in my case and as I always take enough undies for a month (you never know what will happen!  OK, I haven't been forced to change my pants mid-day since I was a child, but you never know!) I needed a bag, or two.

I made  simple drawstring bags and I made them reversible.  Clean undies when the patterned side is out, dirty undies when the undie-themed fabric is out.

I used the blue and purple fabric as the casing for the purple bag and vice versa.  I found some glitzy cord to thread through, though I'm not sure how that will bear up in the wash, I probably need to take it out.

They are about 12" square, so plenty of room for one of my mammoth-sized bras along with the smalls (or not-so-smalls in my case).

And as you've never seen a draw string bag before, I thought I'd better take photos of them closed so you can see what they'd look like!

Do you have a bag for your dirty smalls/not-so-smalls/down-right-huges or is it just me?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Vintage lace style necklace

Last month, before the excitement of the Manor House Hotel, me and wonderful mum did a class at The Bead Shop Nottingham.  It was a beadweaving project using half Tila beads along with seed beads and Swarovski bicones.

Normally the word "vintage" in a title puts me off, but this time I went with it. The necklace was called "vintage style lace necklace".  I used black seed beads, jet bicones and the half Tilas are a lovely black but with shimmery iridescence on them.

I have to pat it all down flat when I put it on, I just couldn't get it to sit right in this photo!

It only took a couple of hours to make and I bought some copper beads so I can make another version in copper.

I had never worked with half Tilas before, I didn't even know they exist. Tilas are a square bead with 2 holes running through parallel.  half Tilas are the same, but they are half size so are rectangular.  I do love all these shaped beads that are coming out.

I had some time left at the end, so I whipped up a matching bracelet!  

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Manor House glass painting

This is the last post about my trip to The Manor House Hotel with my mum, and I feel sad writing it!  We had such a good time that I'm sad it's all over and I'm back home and back at work.  

The final class we took was glass painting.  I don't think I've ever shown any glass painting on my blog before and I can't find any examples of my work, but this was something I used to do a lot of in my late teens.  I even took it up again when I lived in Poland - I would paint on empty vodka bottles!

We were given free rein in this class.  The tutor gave her talk and showed us some examples and techniques and off we went.  I'd just been silk painting and wanted to use the same flower motif as I'd found it easy to draw and very effective too.  I chose a short square vase and used a Pewter relief.  The relief forms a barrier for the paint and stands up above the surface.

I gave it a quick blast with the hair drier before painting in the flowers and little leaves.

I am very pleased with it, but when I gave it another blast with the hair drier so it was dry enough for me to carry back to the hotel room, the paint blobbed a little.

Having finished the vase, I started on a candle glass.

This time I used a pearl relief and really like the colour, though I think the finished item looks better when you look through from the other side to the back of the work.  I did the flowers freehand though of course you can trace a pattern.

I already knew I loved glass painting before the class and I did enjoy it.  I have no idea why I haven't done any in years... I feel a new hobby coming on!

The next day we drove home.  It took me 8 hours of driving, including 3 stops as shortly after setting off I had a panic attack.  I couldn't shake the anxiety so it was a thoroughly horrible 8 hour journey with me having anxiety attacks the whole way home...  Such a shame to end the holiday on that note.  I had to rest all day Saturday as I think the episode really shook me up.  7pm on Saturday saw me asking Mr CA if it was bedtime yet!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Manor House candle making

Thursday was a sad day as it was our last day at The Manor House Hotel.  We only had two classes, though we also sneaked in 2 sessions of silk painting and a massage.  The first class was candle making.  There were two techniques, the first of which was dipping, which is why they had this great set up.  A big table with vats set into it holding wax of different colours, and cold water for setting the layers.

We took an ordinarly taper candle and dipped it in clear wax for 30 seconds to soften everything up.  Then we dipped in a colour, then cold water, wipe the water off and repeat for a total of 6 dips per colour.  It was good fun.

This candle had a layer of each colour, then I went back and dipped again, but didn't submerge the candle all the way, just enough to leave a band of each colour at the top.  It came out really dull and mottled which was a disappointment as the waxes were so vibrant.

I had to cut the bottom off and you can see the layers of colour better here.

I had a go at carving for my second dipped candle.  Again a rainbow of dips, then carved with a knife and twisted.

Hmmm, not brilliant.  We only had an hour for this class and the room wasn't left open for us afterwards which was a shame (health and safety I assume), as I'd have liked to try much more carving but I just didn't have time.

The second technique was container candles.  I've done that before of course, but wanted to try a technique she showed us where she made decals from wax poured onto the table top.  I cut the wax with biscuit cutters and stuck the warm decals to the glass.  

After a short while in the fridge, it was time to fill up the glass.  I chose yellow.  And made a right mess!  Luckily it can be cleaned up easily when it's set.  I put it in the fridge and we collected them the next day when it was nice and set.

Unfortunately wax dips as it sets so there is a dip in the top.  If we'd have had a longer class, I could have remedied that, but there just wasn't time to leave it an hour then top it up.

The next post is the last one for the Manor House Hotel and it's about glass painting.

My first time carving candles and making wax decals, so I'm linking up to Something New for 2014

Celtic Thistle Stitches