Thursday, 18 September 2014

beading not knitting

During a couple of our classes at The Bead Shop Nottingham, Steph the tutor had worn a bracelet made from Superduos which looked like it was knitted.  My mum was smitten with this bracelet.  I had a good look at it and when I got home that night, I started to try to replicate it (with Steph's permission, well, we kind of bullied her into it!).

I had some galvanised silver Superduos which are like a double width seed bead with 2 holes.

Success!  The actual weaving was easy, it was starting it off and getting into the right position to start weaving that was the hard bit.

A tube of Superduos doesn't go that far... it wasn't quite long enough for a bracelet so I had to add an extender chain.  Mum was thrilled with it (or she did a great job at pretending she was!).

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Reverse Applique wall hanging

I've shown you a couple of sneak peaks of this project so far, and of course the entire solids fat quarter bundle I bought as I needed a couple of solid scraps, so I thought I should perhaps show you a bit more.

I'm making a wall hanging using reverse applique and fusible binding so it looks like a stained glass window.  I'm following a pattern for this one as I fell in love with it and hand to have it.  Above shows the coloured squares being sewn on and trimmed.

This is how it looks from the front.  I sewed down each marked line, I then had to cut out the white fabric from in front of the coloured pieces.

So this is where I am so far.  I actually started sewing on the fusible binding after taking this photo, I'll update you on that soon, but it's going so fast I think it might be almost finished... I hope so as this is my September goal for ALYOF.

Sunday, 14 September 2014


I got my kumihimo disk out again recently, it's been ages since I used it.  My mum had given me a kumihimo book and lent me another, Kumihimo Basics & Beyond.  It's a brilliant book, designed for working through from beginning to end and full of great hints and tips along the way.

One of the projects in the book, and also in the Beadsmith Kumihimo book was to use 2 different stringing materials of different thicknesses.  I'd recently got some C-lon which is used for stringing beads or doing micro macrame.  I thought I'd pair the purple C-lon with blue 1mm rattail.  The rule of thumb is you measure where you want the braid to go, then multiply by 3.  I must have multiplied by about 10 judging by the length of the finished braid!

The spiral effect is very gentle as there isn't too much difference in thcikness between the two materials.  It was going to be a bracelet, but I'm thinking I could make a 3-wrap bracelet, then cut the rest up to make a necklace, maybe with a double braid...  I'll think on it.

I tried again, this time with green C-lon and 2mm rattail in white.  Much better.  And a much better length, though it's two times too long for a bracelet!  I also used the No Knot Start technique from Basics & Beyond which is such a simple thing, yet I'd never thought of it.

I hope to do something with these braids soon, and I also intend to have a go at kumihimo with beads...

There will be some non-jewellery posts coming up soon, so my sewing and stitching friends, please don't despair!

Linking up with:

Craft Book Sew along

Craft Book Sew Along at Live. Love. Create.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Micro macrame

Micro macrame is basically little tiny macrame with beads.  Me and my wonderful mum went to another craft course at The Bead Shop Nottingham to find out what it was all about.

The piece is pinned to a macrame board whilst you're working on it, so I didn't realise what a mess it looked when I took it off!  We were supposed to use size 11/0 beads, but I just couldn't thread them onto the C-lon cord we were using, so swapped to size 8/0s.  If you're a beader, that gives you an idea of the scale.  If not...

This ruler is showing centimetres, so this piece is about 3" long, including the ring.  I do intend to finish this as I did enjoy it, but I just don't know where the time goes... 

I'm liking up to:

Something New for 2014

Celtic Thistle Stitches  

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Craft book review - Zentangle 2

I have another craft book to review for you.  GMC sent me quite a few when their last catalogue came out and I'm still working my way through them.  This one is Zentangle 2, Expanded Workbook Edition.

Before we go any further, the disclaimers.  I was sent the book for free to review but I was not told what to say and all opinions are 100% my own.  I didn't receive any monetary compensation.  Links in this post, as with all my book posts, are affiliated.  If you click over and buy something, I get a few pence towards an Amazon voucher.  

I'm quite intrigued by Zentangles, I'm an avid doodler in meetings or when I'm on the phone (I got told off for it in my appraisal, apparently it makes it look like you're bored!), so I wanted to see what this was all about.  I like the idea that it can be used for scrapbooks and journals, and presumably other papercrafts, too.

It's only a thin little book, but it's got a lot of patterns in it.  They're laid out like below, showing you how to make each one, then a picture of them in use.

You can put Zentangles into shapes too, and this page gives some fab examples.

There are then some workbook pages, letting you fill the boxes with Zentangle designs, the ones shown and the previous ones.  I like the one on the left below as it looks like pinwheel quilt blocks.

Then there are some shapes, all divided up ready, to fill with tangles.

Want to see my attempt?

I did this whilst watching TV and enjoyed it.  It was relaxing, but more structured than normal doodling.

Since then I've been filling up the workbook squares when I'm not stitching or knooking or kumihimoing.

As well as using tangles in papercrafts, my "big idea" was a Zentangle stitchery.  I'm using a piece of Sashiko cloth in indigo and some white Sashiko thread.  I've only got as far as dividing my circle, but next I'll move on to the patterns.  I'm not sure if this will work as the thread is quite thick, only time will tell, so stay tuned!

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Design Originals; Revised edition (7 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574219103
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574219104
  • Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 20.8 x 0.5 cm
  • .

    Linking up to:
    Craft Book Sew Along at Live. Love. Create.

    Something New for 2014

    Celtic Thistle Stitches  


    I was given a review copy of the book by GMC however this review and all opinions are 100% my own, I was not told what to say.  Amazon links are affiliate links.

    Tuesday, 9 September 2014

    The Great Craft Room Tidy...

    I'm trying, I'm really trying to tidy up my craft room.  I know that I'm lucky to not only have a craft room, but to have a great big room with a lovely sunny window (in fairness, me and the hubster live in a 4 bed house, with attic and basement so to NOT have a craft room would be weird), but I just can't seem to keep it tidy.  Keep it tidy?  OK, make it tidy in the first place.

    I keep making these plans to have a massive clear up in there, but it's never going to happen, so I'm starting small.  First up I bought some comic boards and started wrapping anything 1/2m or larger.  The 1m or larger pieces are on a full comic board (at the back, above), the half metres are on half a comic board.  I'm nothing if not thrifty.  I also realised I could get fabric in 2 deep in my Expedit, so it made sense to have one board half size so I can see what's behind.  To the left is a pile of layer cake squares, some Summersville FQs and .... something else, can't remember!  Not sure what to do with them, so they live here.

    My small collection of solids got the same treatment.  The shelf above my neat fabric is my collection of bunny fabrics in 2 piles on the right, charm squares on the left.  Inside that cupboard is a big mess of felt.

    So I've sorted out 4 cubes of my 12-cube Expedit...  I still have some way to go.  This is a box of solid scraps, with a wooden box of small but large scraps.  I really don't know what to do with them.

    erm... and this would be a big mess!

    To the side of the Expedit is a 4-drawer unit which holds my FQs neatly folded and arranged by colour.  I did that a while ago and have managed to keep it neat.  It would appear that quite some mess has grown up around it though!

    I'm going to show my progress on my blog, hoping it might encourage me to do more!  If you don't see another post in the next month about my Great Craft Room Tidy, start nagging me please!

    Sunday, 7 September 2014

    Sunday Stash

    I'm not sure if Molli's doing a Sunday Stash this week, but if he is, I'm in.

    Molli Sparkles

    I've got three stash additions to show you this week.  Starting with this:

    That is a 120" wide roll of wadding.  Or is it batting?  Kerry!  I can't remember which is our word!  Anyway, I needed wadding/batting and didn't want to buy little packs, so this was the answer.  To the right you see one of my much treasured communist posters.  This is from the Czech Republic.  I love me a good communist poster.

    Then we have the result of Oakshott having a half price sale and sending me an email about it.

    I've wanted some Oakshott for a while and this F8th bundle of Lakes was mine after a few minute of frantic clicking.  It's shot with silver and I did intend to open it out to show you but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

    The following F8th bundle was the result of a fabric swap hosted by Mara at Secretly Stitching. 

    The theme was text prints, and most of them I really like, but there are 2 Christmas ones which I'm not so chuffed about.

    Also, look what I found on one of them:

    and on another:

    Coffee stains.  Right in the middle.

    I won't be joining in with the next round...