Sunday, 7 February 2016

Viennese Waltz - update 11

Another three weeks has flown by and it's time for an update on my Viennese Waltz cross stitch.  Here is where I was:

I have to admit to barely touching this since the last update.  I've been so busy at work I don't leave until 7, and I have yoga on Tuesday nights and silversmithing classes on Wednesdays - I'm not sure if I told you about that?  On top of all that, I'm reducing my very high dose of anti-depressants as I can't cope with the side effects and think I can cope emotionally on a lower dose.  The withdrawal symptoms are horrific.  Enough about that, on to the update.  Here we are:

I have added a bit to her skirt on the right, and I've started the ground/shadow underneath his foot.  Better than nothing!  I really need a final push and I can get this done. When I've finished writing and scheduling blog posts tonight (it's Saturday evening), I'll get on to it, if the world stops spinning long enough.

I'm sewing along as part of a SAL, you can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Craft Book Review - Seed Bead Chic

The generous publishers at GMC sent me another book to review.  Although the book was provided for free, all opinions are my own and I was not told what to write.  The book in question is Seed Bead Chic, which you can see on Amazon here.

This is a beautiful book full of gorgeous projects.  This is definitely not a book for the beginner, some of these projects are pretty complicated.  A few that caught my eye are:

This Art Deco brooch, I think I'll make this one at some point.

This tube necklace.  I had intended to make this, but didn't get round to searching for the tubular material it's strung onto.

This lovely summery piece which I may well make, but I'd probably make it in copper as I'm not a fan of yellow gold.

This lovely bracelet.  This is actually the project I chose to make, but I made it into a necklace.  See below for more details and pictures.

This is another one I intend to make at some point.  I don't like the giraffe print beads much so I need to find a nice alternative.

I decided to make the bejewelled barrel bracelet as a necklace.  It required 2mm Swarovski rounds (as do a lot of the projects in this book).  I did some searching on line and bought some from Mail Order Beads / The Bead Shop Nottingham, not out of loyalty but because they had the best price on Swarovski.  I paired them with white 15/0 seed beads and clear 11/0 seed beads.

The actual necklace is a copper herringbone tube which was really easy to do, though it took a while!  The barrels are stitching in place so they don't all clump together when wearing it, as I'm going to prove in the next photo.  Oh yes, a photo of me.  In fact, my very first selfie!

I love this necklace and have worn it a lot.  The instructions were really clear and very easy to follow, I didn't have any false starts or any moments of "eh?  What does that mean".  Though remember, I do have some experience bead weaving so can't vouch that a beginner would be able to follow the instructions.  The weaves themselves are set out at the beginning of the book with easy to follow diagrams and written instructions.  Overall, I like this book and think it's a great addition to the library of intermediate to advanced bead weavers.

Let's finish off with another selfie:

Product details

Monday, 1 February 2016

Finishing off

In a previous post I mentioned a box of jewellery WIPs I have lying around.  Back in the autumn I started to tackle them, and some other WIPs lying around.  It was slow progress!

I made some silver links and a silver heart in the silversmithing class Mr CA and I took in September.  See here.  I finally got round to adding some chain and a little porcelain bunny to one of them.  They are designed to wrap round the neck, then the part of chain with the dangle goes through the coil to hold it in place.  They don't really work and I need to rethink the design.  They fall off a lot when I wear them.

Also in September, wonderful mum and I went to a mosaic class, which you can read about here.  My tray needed finishing.  I'd bought a little pot of tester paint and over Christmas I set to work painting it.  Finally it is finished and in use!

In a ceramics class in August, wonderful mum and I made brooches.  She had hers all finished and ready to wear the day after the class.  Mine were ready in December!  You can see the original post here.

The second from the left isn't ceramics, that's a beaded cabochon I made for a blog hop back in June!

It was nice to get these pieces out of the box and into use.  I still have quite a lot of projects half-finished.  I need to get better at finishing!

Friday, 29 January 2016

Knitting basket

Way back in 2010 I made myself a crochet bag.  I have just spent 20 minutes hunting for the post about it, but can't find it anywhere. You're just have to take my work for it.  I also made a shorter version for mum which you can see here.  

At the Festival of Quilts, she asked me to make her a taller version with pockets round the outside.  We chose the fabric and then of course, I did nothing!  When my sewing motivation returned at the end of the year, I got right on it.

There are two things crying out to me in this photo.  Firstly, it looks out of proportion.  Funnily enough, in person it doesn't.  Maybe it was the camera angle.  Secondly, fabric direction.  Yes, I messed that one up!  It is lined in the same green spot fabric that I used for the top of the outer pocket.  The pockets go all the way round and I've separated them with lines of stitching, leaving pockets of various widths.

I think the proportions look better in this photo.  I used the same pattern as for the first ones, but only the measurements and the base template.  I put it together in the way that made sense to me, and of course the pocket was my own invention (clearly not a new one!).  It stands quite firm as it's got a layer of fusible fleece and a layer of medium-weight interfacing.  It's not quilted as mum's not a fan of the quilted look.

The inside is possibly not as neat as it could be, but the lining isn't baggy so I call it a success!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

brooch and bracelets

One night at the beginning of January (I made so much over the Christmas break it's going to take me a while to show it all!) I felt in a jewellery mood.  I have a little plastic box with WIPs, half finished projects and components I've bought for a particular design.  This one took my fancy. It was a bag of different sized lucite flowers and a donut sieve.  I should have taken a photo of the sieve, but here's what it looks like.

My first experiments with threading a size 10 seed bead and a flower onto a headpin didn't seem to be working so I switched to 0.4mm wire and wove in and out, that worked much better though the wire snapped a lot!  The photos I took were terrible, so the one above is blurry and the one below is in the distance!

I've glued a brooch back on so I can wear it on my cardigan.  It had been snowing outside when I took the photos so it was all a bit wet.  The bunny run is the best place to get pictures in these conditions, and it also has the bonus that you can play a game of "spot the bunny poo"!  Not a difficult game, mind...

Next out of the box was a coil of bracelet sized memory wire and some miracle beads.  The purple and lilac beads are 3mm strung in a 3-3-1-1- pattern.  I cannot for the life of me get a decent photo of miracle beads which seem to glow from within so go here to see what they really look like.

This red and bronze one is strung with black fimo heshi disks in between.  The miracle beads are 4mm and I think I prefer this size.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Heart Embroidery

The project I'm going to show you today was actually embroidered at the beginning of December, it seems I've got a bit of a backlog.

I was poorly with my infection and my removed teeth and I felt like embroidering.  I picked a book from my groaning craft book shelf (actually I have far more than one shelf...) - Sweet Stitches from the Heart by Anne Sohier-Fournel, Agnes Delage-Calvet and Isabelle Leloup.  This is a really lovely book with a mixture of cross stitch and embroidery patterns in it.  I also have a similar book by some of the same authors - A Rainbow of Stitches - both are great for small projects like this one.

The flowers are embroidered with long and short shading, the yellow centres are satin stitch.  The stems are, predictably, stem stitch and the leaves are detached chains.  The outer heart is stem stitch too, everything else is back stitch.  I painted the frame red to match, though it looks orange in this photo.  This isn't a great photo - why wasn't my new year's resolution to learn to use a camera??

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Luna Lapin

At the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate in 2014 I feel in love with Luna Lapin, and bought the kit.  Mum fell in love with her wool coat, and so did I, so she bought it for me!  I started making Luna back in August, and I showed you the completed bunny, without face or tail, back in December.  

Well, not only does Luna now have both face and tail, she also has clothes!

The dress kit came with the coat and I much prefer it to the t-shirt dress the Luna kit comes with, so I made this one.  I did mess the collar up a bit, but it's not really that noticeable.  There was a lot of tiny, fiddly binding with this one, the neck seam is bound as well as the hem of her dress.

I also did a pretty bad job with the buttons, they're not actually that skewed, her dress isn't on straight, but the top button is in a funny position.  That doesn't matter though as she has her coat on, even in the house!

Ta dah!  Looking back at the website where I gave you the links at the top, I've done the buttons wrong!  Ah well, never mind.  I love this coat and would wear it myself, if it weren't so small I can barely get my big toe in the armhole...  It took me hours and hours and hours to make.  I did my very best sewing and even so it's not perfect.  I love the little details like the bands and buttons on the sleeves.  I used my new machine to sew button holes for the first time and it was fine on the dress and sleeve bands... then I came to do the main buttonholes.

I had a real job!  The sleeve was getting backed up behind the foot and stopping it moving properly so they were all different lengths, and some bad planning on my behalf meant they weren't properly lined up or were wonky.  In total, I sewed a total of 20 button holes and unpicked 16!

I'm happy with that back pleat though!  I should have taken a photo of the inside - the hem is all bound, as is the neck seam. Again, fiddly, tiny binding!  Despite the faff, I really enjoyed making this and would like to make another Luna with some different clothes.  Having looked at Cool Crafting's website, I see more clothes I want but I'm not the type to change the clothes on a toy so I'll need more rabbits!