Post-Christmas Making

Trying to get back into some kind of normality after a the rushing around of the festive season and the busyness of Christmas gift-making, although technically I haven’t quite finished as I’m still making a couple of jackets for a niece and nephew.  His is finished except for the sewing the buttons on. I’ve been working on hers and that is mostly done too, I just need to hem (?) the cuffs, topstitch the body and attach the buttons. Unfortunately I need buttons and thread to match so I’ve had to shelve that until I can get in to Duttons For Buttons in Ilkley.

All well and good but I’m without crafty occupation.  This is not a good thing as I’m more likely to start a new project when I should be finishing old ones.

I decided it would be a good interim idea to sort out the fabric that Monkey chose (he picked a small fat quarter bundle fromBarleycraft Fabrics last year) so that we could make a mini quilt.  But I can’t find it!

Instead I’ve ended up sorting out a lot of other bits of fabric in the hope that the missing fabric will magically turn up.  I’m sure it will eventually but in the meantime I’ve prepped lots of larger fabric ready to turn into hexagons for patchwork.  Anything too small has gone in the scraps bag.  I’m steadily working my way through and hopefully it will keep me going for now without starting another big project.


January 23, 2017 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

Hex Appeal

I’m due to send my latest atc swap card off in a couple of weeks.  My original idea was to do a landscape through a window – in part inspired by a view of a winter sunset through a café window in Dublin, a few years ago.  So I am, of course doing something completely different.

When I came to looking at the fabric I’d ordered I wasn’t seeing window panes at all. I briefly considered tearing strips of fabric and layering a wintery landscape, but wasn’t sure what kind of edge I’d get (being more accustomed to tearing paper and having a special tool for altering the edge of fabric, aka scissors). So what could I do to make an interesting background to stitch on?  Oh I know, I should do patchwork hexagons!  I used the new fabric to make some of the 7 I’d need to cover the card and managed to find enough scraps of different purples to complete the set.

Ok, background assembled, now what?  I found some unspun fibre which was sparkly and in the right kind of colours – ooh I could spin that and maybe crochet a star then stitch embellishments on it.

Some time later, having spun the yarn, I abandoned that idea – the star was turning out far too big and bulky, and I wanted something a bit more delicate.  I briefly debated using the spun yarn anyway, just couching it instead of crocheting it.  I think I may have to do some proper work for this one after all – sketches and stuff.  Hopefully Monkey will be in a Lego-zone when we get home (we are out at Haworth’s Steampunk weekend at the moment and the boys are off looking at some toys) so I can get underway, otherwise I’ll have to wait until tomorrow and hope he doesn’t wake up early.

I am hoping to get a little further with it before I get completely distracted by the Knitting & Stitching show next week.  I know what I’m like – I’ll come back with a head full of stuff completely unrelated to this project and probably some workshop kits to finish off.  I think that at least one of my ‘local’ shops (Barleycraft Fabrics from Saltaire) is having a stall this year so I’ll have to pop by and support her. All in all I’m running out of theoretical time.  Maybe I should investigate the torn-fabric landscape after all…








November 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm 2 comments

Following Stuff Up

After my little give away earlier this week I’ve been doing, well, not so much as I could have been.  Part of the problem is that I’m not very good at self-promoting.  So instead of me reminding people via various social media platforms, and developing an extensive mailing list, I just left it.  Fortunately enough people ‘signed up’ for the draw to not make it a complete embarrassment – partly I think due to at least one of the people I told about it letting other people know (thanks Ali!).

The trouble is I’m not sure where to go from here.  That isn’t strictly true – I know the general gist of it – raising awareness of me and my brand.  The problem part is that I just lose interest.  I’m easily distracted and should much rather do something else.  I’m fortunate enough to have just about enough other income so that my hobbies aren’t my livelihood, despite my trying a number of times a few years ago to change that.  Probably a good thing they didn’t work out and I stuck with a ‘proper’ job, I suppose.

I guess the question ought to be what next.  The honest answer is that I’m not really sure.  I had an order for a pack from a friend so I need to get that organised.  Then next week is Harrogate and at some point I have an ATC to make (the probable fabric for which arrived yesterday, yay!).  Other than that I’ve a belated birthday hat to make for another friend, a few quilts to finish off and about a million ideas on Ravelry.  I might need an extra few months adding to this year – I’m nowhere near ready for the next one.

November 17, 2016 at 2:15 pm Leave a comment

How to give stuff away

I finally had an idea of a ‘thing’ to give away via this blog which seemed like a sensible thing.

My craft space shares a room with our spare bed, amongst other things.  I was tidying up some of my assorted accumulation of stuff the other day as my mother was coming for a couple of days.  I was, of course, distracted by numerous other things during this (homework avoidance, anyone?) and what if I put those magazines with that fabric… maybe I should add a bit of something else… where was that box of… what about the pack of paper… And within a relatively short space of time I had the basic idea.

As I was at a bit of a loose end this morning, having mostly finished a jumper for Monkey which needed trying on, so I took a couple of photos of the ‘creativity pack’.  I even got the listing for Folksy mostly written up.  All that is left now is to publicise it.  Hence this post.

So, how does one give stuff away?  Well from dome of the blogs I follow there is random number generation involved.  And links to Facebook (which I’m not on) and twitter (which I don’t use much).  So I reckon it will be a case of finding out what works best for me.  And knowing my luck with these things, not necessarily getting it right first time – here goes, anyway.

To win a trial version of my de-stashing creativity pack, you need to leave a comment on this post that isn’t spam or selling something else.  As the pack contains a magazine and a big piece of fabric (among other things) this is only open to UK addresses. If you would like to look at the pack here is the link to the Folksy listing.  The winner will be picked by random number generation and I will contact you for your snail mail address. Entry closes on 13th November, good luck!

November 7, 2016 at 11:08 am 7 comments

Post-Summer Update

needs links adding when I get home

Mostly over summer I’ve been working on some ongoing quilting projects – they have advanced somewhat but aren’t finished so have been relegated to the pending pile.  I made a couple of mini quilts for Project Linus but ran out of enthusiasm for sewing and turned to knitting instead.

Monkey and I are away visiting at the moment and I tried to pack light.  I only brought two small, lightweight projects – one hitchhiker scarf and one les miserables scarf (using some of my leftover handspun) for when/if I get the scarf finished.

I’ve also brought a notebook and pens with me.  I’ve been pinning loads of amazing art journals on pinterest but when it comes to it I seem to be mostly sticking a photo or ticket on a page and making some notes, then doing some playing with pens or pencils on the other side.  To be fair I don’t have a huge art kit with me (no room in the suitcase), just a few pens and pencils.  But just the fact that I feel like I should justify taking up the packing space seems to be enough of a motivator. We’ll just have to see if the habit keeps up once we get home.

We have a couple of days in London planned – hopefully I’ll get lots of ideas and not too many souvenirs.  Ideas are great for re-invigorating the creative …thingy but souvenirs (interesting though they may be) have to fit in the suitcase.

October 14, 2016 at 8:35 am Leave a comment

Interim Hat

We made it to the steampunk market!  I had been a little anxious about my costume – the top it is a loose shirt under a long, medieval-styled waistcoat.  Then I have a petticoat which I found at the Antique Textiles Fair in Manchester a few months ago which I wore over some pale linen trousers.  I had been was worried it would look a bit medieval (and the hat a bit too recent) but all together it was fine.  There were such a wide variety of styles that people were wearing – lots of top hats, smart jackets & corsets.  Sometimes all three.  Pith helmets, goggles, the occasional fake weapon & and a guy with a (cardboard) metal arm.

As for my outfit – I ended up wearing the hat after all.  I didn’t have time to sew it all together properly so I left the tacking stitches in.  I rolled up the sticky-out-bit at the back so at least I could turn my head without my hat falling off.  I also tacked some feathers on the side – my proper feather isn’t here yet but I had some others that were ok.

The rest of the outfit was slightly more finished, although it will need a bit of work if I plan on wearing some parts of it again.  The shirt is too big except in the shoulders.  The corseted bit of the waistcoat is too big as well – I ended up having to pull the ribbon lacing so tight that it was vertical just so it would stay on.  Unfortunately I also managed to pull out part of one of the ribbon loops at the bottom, so that’ll need fixing.

The petticoat & linen trousers worked well, I thought – I looped the petticoat up & over its waist-cord at the back, so it looked a bit like a bustle.  I’m not sure what to do about the hat.  The main thing I need to think about is when the next event might be.  Or more importantly what the weather might be doing.  I think I’ll need something a bit more substantial if we go to more Leeds Steampunk Market events or to Haworth later in the year but I don’t really feel like starting anything straight away.  That is probably a good thing as I have occasionally been known to dive straight from one project to the next, whether finished or not.  It doesn’t bode well for wearing the stupid hat next time – I shall have to try to rein in my brainstorming imagination for a little while!


July 3, 2016 at 6:01 pm Leave a comment

Stupid Hat

We decided to go a-steampunking tomorrow rather than today, which is good as it means I can hopefully get Monkey’s bag a little more finished off.  His jacket is done – I even added a couple of press-studs for a closure.  It is supposed to have buttons but my machine refuses to comply with the buttonhole setting.  I should probably find the manual and give the machine a good talking to but just not right now.  I also finished his hat except the feathers he wants adding to it which shouldn’t take to long to sew on.

My outfit is also pretty much assembled – I decided to abandon the sleeves from my waistcoat – I can always add them on later if I feel like it – they only fasten on with press-studs so I guess that means they are optional.  The hat though – eugh!  I made the mistake of getting a hat pattern rather than following a top-hat tutorial like I did for Monkey.  The hat I picked out is fab so I persevered through about a million pins & a bit of a nuisance getting it in to the sewing machine.  I managed to get the lining in place – held in with tacking stitches which can easily be taken out afterwards.  The problem is that it isn’t really in keeping with the period (Victorian inspired).  I think I managed to find a way of wearing it would hopefully make it be a little less daft but there are two problems with this.  Partly because the big feather I ordered to decorate the hat (which would balance out the stupid sticky-out bit at the back) with hasn’t arrived yet (sad face).  But mostly because I’m hand-sewing the lining in place and it takes flipping ages!  If I manage to recover in time from the no-show of my lovely feather and have sufficient time left after finishing Monkey’s bag I’ll have to bodge something – replacing all the bright green tacking stitches with something a little less visible (big faff but quicker than doing the proper sewing up), and using just the smaller feathers which have already arrived.  Or just go without a hat.

July 2, 2016 at 10:54 am Leave a comment

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