Wednesday, 26 August 2015


I couple of weeks ago I took a Thursday off work to attend a class at The Bead Shop Nottingham.  It was taught by Patty McCourt.  We learnt how to make this lovely necklace named Cleo.

Alternative colours of Swarovski bicone are beaded with size 11/0s to create the foundation, then the dangles are added with Kheops par Puca and Superduos, along with more 11/0s.  

I chose some of my favourite colours, a lovely petrol blue and grey and combined them with silver 11/0s.  The sample necklace was too long for me, so I made mine 4 units shorter.  I finished right at the end of the class and put it on.  It was too short!  I have to take it back quite a way to add a couple more of the triangle units in and I'm no longer sure how to go about it... I knew what to do when I came out of the class but typically, I didn't tackle it and now I'm not sure how to fix it!  I suppose I could just start again...

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Viennese Waltz - update 5

Last weekend I went away for a long weekend with the parents, my brother, his girlfriend and their son - my lovely little 3-year old nephew.  We went to Somerset in the South West of England and had a very relaxing few days.  I did a little stitching which I'll show you soon.

But today is update date.  I missed the last update 3 weeks ago as I hadn't stitched on this piece at all.  I was going to miss this update too but gave myself a good talking too and finally settled down on Friday and Saturday night to make some progress.  Here is where I was:

And here is where I am now.  Just a bit added to the leg/coat of the male dancer.

It doesn't look much but there is at least 3 hours stitching there, probably more.  Now this piece is back on my stitching stand I should make some more progress... unless I get side tracked by my embroidery piece again... must show you that too!

You can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:

Monday, 17 August 2015

wrap bracelet

I made this wrap bracelet ages and ages ago and was waiting to post about it until I've sewn a button on for the closure.  Well, I'm not convinced that is ever going to happen, so I'll post about it and hope it will spur me on to doing it!

I used 2 pieces of 1mm satin cord (rattail) for the sides and just weaved over and under and through the Swarovski pearls in the centre.

I used two needles, one on the left and one on the right, so it was pretty quick to do.  It wraps twice round my arm.

yuck, how gross is my arm!  My skin is all either that lovely shade of red, or milk-bottle white. No tans round here...

My original idea for the closure was a woven knot.  I chose Turk's Head ring from Celtic Knots Beaded Jewellery by Suzen Millodot.  It took me hours!

It's less than an inch small so it's too small to use as the closure.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it though as it did take me hours to make!  I could bead embroider round it to make a pendent maybe...  and another WIP is born.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

velcro galore

One of the items on my FAL list for Q3 is the quiet book for my nephew.  I had a feeling this was going to take a LONG time, so instead of cracking on with it, I put it off for ages.  Turns out I shouldn't have (you could have told me that).

I'd previously cut out a load of the pieces.  The first thing they needed was the velcro sewing to the backs of them.

When that was done, I just had to pair up the front and back pieces and sew.  In some cases this wasn't as simple as you'd think, the felt stretches and distorts and my sewing machine doesn't like sewing away from little points.

Now we've been friends for a while, you can tell me the truth.  I'm a big girl, I can take it.  Does this look even slightly like a T-rex?  Would a 3-year old think it was a T-rex?

One of the pages is this face which he can velcro hats and features on and off.  I'm thinking the velcro for the glasses looks a bit odd when the glasses aren't on.

This is supposed to be a viking helmet.  It might have been marginally more successful had I sewed the horn-type-things on the right way up!  I would have unpicked but I used a small stitch on my machine and picking stitches out of felt is not fun.

The glasses distorted badly when I sewed them and the sewing is a mess!  Never mind, I'm sure they'll be the first item that goes missing!

This will be a jigsaw, well a jigsaw with square pieces.  I just have to figure out how to divide 7" by 3 (stupid me) and whether this should be velcro-backed too.

Not a bad start, and that is only a couple of hours' work.  I need to sew them to pages of course and make little pockets to keep the bits in.  I might just cut out some more pages soon ready for another sewing session.  We're going down to see my nephew at the end of October and I'd like to present it to him then.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Festival of Quilts

Yesterday I took Wonderful Mum to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.  The day did not start off well.  Just as we were pulling into the NEC complex, my car broke down.  The power steering went and I had to drag that car round a roundabout and several turns to get to the disabled car park.  

Suffering from severe depression and anxiety as I do, wonderful mum understandably thought I was going to fall apart and turn into a sobbing mess.  To be honest, so did I.  But I didn't.  I calmly called the AA (breakdown service) and was told someone would be with us at 11.45 - the time of our workshop.  I still didn't crumble.  We went into the show and had a bit of a look round, then I went outside when the AA man arrived and called me.

My power steering fluid is leaking, but he couldn't see any on the ground or in my engine so we don't know where it's leaking to. There was some mention of crank shafts (possibly) but that's as much detail as I can give you!  He said he would take the car home for me and would my mum be OK in the van.  But I didn't want to leave!  I'd only just arrived and it was 11.50, I could still make the workshop (I'd sent mum to the workshop when I came outside).  I said we'd make our own way home and off I went.  Calm stayed with me the entire day.  I also had a bit of a sense of unreality and a slight numbness which I assume were my meds kicking in to keep my sane.  Despite these feelings, we had a brilliant day!  I didn't spend as much money as I'd budgeted for, knowing I have a car to repair.

Mum picked up some gorgeous half yard pieces to make table mats with (I might be bringing her over to the dark side!), I asked what line they were from and it was Block Party by Sandie Gervais.  As I loved them so much, I bought a jelly roll, on offer for £25.  I've never had a jelly roll before and have no idea what to do with it. Suggestions for jelly roll patterns (and not a jelly roll race) would be appreciated.

I bought these fat quarters of Colour Theory with the vague notion of making myself a bag.  When I got home I checked and I have a charm pack of this line.  It was fate.

Mum bought this piggy thread catcher pattern and a fat quarter of piggy fabric for me to make up for her.  She hasn't arrived at the dark side yet.

As I'm enjoying my Rowandean embroidery so much, I bought another one.  You have to turn your head to see it.  Blogger, photos, need I say more?

I also picked up these two photo mounts for the embroideries and a pair of scissors as mine are becoming blunt.  I suspect you can sharpen scissors.  I'm too lazy for that.

The workshop we took was Embellish a Bag with Rag Rugging techniques.  We learnt to do a circle of yarn loops using a kind of crochet hook with a thick shaft.  Then we did a circle of fabric scraps using a prodding tool.  Or maybe a prodging tool.  Not quite sure, at that point in the instructions I was having a quick panic that the man I'd given my car to might not really be from the AA as I hadn't asked for ID...

And here's a terrible shot of the bag.  It's nowhere near complete and I didn't buy the tools as they were quite expensive.  I'll have a look online or try using my ordinary crochet hooks.

I did look at lots of lovely quilts, including our EMMQG entry.  I forgot my camera so didn't manage to take any quilt photos at all.  Hopefully plenty of other bloggers did and will publish posts for us.  I did take a photo of our quilt on my phone, but can't figure out how to take it off Instagram.  I'll work on it and show you later.

I haven't told you the most exciting thing.  Wonderful mum (and wonderful dad) bought me my birthday/christmas-for-the-next-26-years-present.  I don't have it yet, it will be delivered in a couple of weeks but I won't be given it until November.  

It's this amazing sewing machine!!!  It's got 8.5" of harp space, a knee lift control, extension table, tons of different stitches and different settings, auto thread cut, comes with loads of feet and a 5 year warranty.  I think I also get a load of thread with it!  How cool is that??  Bear in mine my current machine doesn't even have a needle-down setting...

I enjoyed playing with it!  So excited!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Beaded flowers

What happens when you take some size 6 beads and some 0.3mm beading wire?

In my case, this is what happens.

About 30 simple beaded flowers for a bead-bombing display at The Bead Shop Nottingham.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

A touch of glamour

Once apon a time, long long ago, I started making a necklace from the book Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies.  It was a beautiful necklace, I'd planned to make it in red and gold as I was in need of red jewellery to go with my many red winter tops.  

This necklace took ages.  I stitched it at my parents' house.  I stitched it at the dining room table.  I stitched it on the sofa.  I stitched and stitched and stitched.

Then I left it a few weeks all finished, just missing the sparkly cabochons (they were supposed to be added as I did the bead weaving, but they kept falling out so I left them out and glued them in at the end).  Then I left it a few weeks before taking photos.

It was not easy to capture the shimmer from the beads and the shine from the cabochons.  It was too bright in the sun and too dark in the shade.

Perhaps these photos give you some idea though?  I should, had I engaged my brain at the time, taken them outside in the garden using my lightbox.  That might have worked.  The greatest of ideas are always late, eh?

This is possibly the most glamorous necklace that I own.  It will be perfect with all my red winter clothes.

If only it weren't summer.  You guessed it, none of my summer clothes are red.