Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Welcome Baby Hana, my beautiful new niece x

My niece Hana
was born this morning at 6:30am.
She weighed 9lbs 3oz.
What a whopper!!
Congratulations to David & Hye Seung

Monday, 24 June 2013

Intellectual Property...passing on skills for antique tapestry pieces

Progress is slow, so slow on the Kiss cushion. This always happens when I near the end of a project, things grind down and I have to really push to finish a piece of work. To be fair though, we are so so busy with the house renovations that I haven't had the time to sit and sew like I'd want to. There have been some benefits to trawling through Ebay for house things, however and that is checking out vintage sewing notions. There are some lovely things out there but boy are they expensive! I suppose it's partially due to the recent re-interest in sewing/crochet/knitting and also that these items are getting scarcer as time goes by. I'm lucky that I sometimes seem to be given such items. More recently at my craft club that I go to on a Thursday afternoon, the ladies there are very generous and are always having a 'clearout' and sending some lovely things my way. I've been given all kinds of craft items -  boxes of tapestry wools, frames, petit point needlepoint (ready to complete the trammed areas), knitting needles & patterns, crochet hooks, all of which I'm so grateful for and these ladies know that I will treasure these gifts. More importantly though, they pass on their knowledge to me, skills that were taught to them by their mothers and grandmothers before them. One particular touching day, a lady from the club brought in a hand sewn baby gown made from pure cotton that was decorated in the most delicate examples of white work I've ever seen. I wish I'd photographed it so I could have recorded it in some way. It was made by her grandmother and this lady was in her 70's! These women still retain these skills of sewing, but don't find it easy to pass them down to their daughters/granddaughters.
My next project is the tapestry panel that was part filled in. I have unpicked all the unwanted stitching and an left now with the beautiful detail of the main pattern. The ladies were in agreement that this should be unpicked as the pattern became lost in the stitches. Not sure as yet what it will be, but I'm going to embellish this piece with tiny glass beads in complementary colours. Its the first time I'm using glass beads, more of a practise run, placing the odd cluster here and there. Eventually I would like to complete a Victorian style needlepoint foot stool sewn in glass beads.
I've hunted out some of my collections of original dress making patterns gifted to me by my Mom. I want to try and make a summer dress. This is the shape and style I'm after recreating and I remember my Gran making one of these patterns and I still have a sample piece of the fabric she used.
The beaches here are beautiful, its warm and the tides go far out leaving miles of unmarked sand for us to walk. There are some lovely plants that have burst into colour by the cliffs, capturing a vivid cerise against the limestone rocks. Happy Days.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Yellow Diamonds - Rihanna

“Yellow diamonds in the light
And we’re standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive

It’s the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I’ve gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place”

- r i h a n n a -
In concert - Sunderland tonight

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Making a Miss Maggie Rabbit from the full kit

 I'm making a Maggie Bunny by Alicia Paulson at the moment. I bought it because I love rabbits and all things by Alicia, with the hope of inspiring Lulu to try sewing again. We also have a Cath Kidston ragdoll kit to make and thought that this could be a nice practice kit to try. Its been lovely to sew blanket stitch round the edges of the seams and working with felt is so easy. The boots were a tiny bit fiddley but well worth the effort as they look so cute. I felt a bit like the shoe maker out of the Tom Thumb story. Finished knitting the shawl today so we only have the dress to make. the instructio ns say to machine sew the seams but I may do this by hand as I'm enjoying hand stitching alot on this kits. think I'll make one for my new niece/nephew who is due to be born this Friday coming.  I can't wait...x
I love anything relating to antique sewing and I've recently bought this knitting counter. It made of solid copper (but very tarnished here) so when new and polished up, it would have really been eye-catching. I've never seen anything like it, its quite small (10cm x 7cm), solid and weighty and intricate. I've used it already and it worked really well. It came with some other antique tools, I'm particularly pleased with the steel templates. my grandfather was a blacksmith in the coal mines and I remember him making numerous templates for gran in different shapes and sizes for her quilting projects. When they died the house was cleaned out by relatives and they were all thrown away which is heartbreaking for me. I do, however, have some of grans crochet equipment and one of the handmade quilts she made from scrap fabrics so not all was lost.

 I've finally unpacked my beloved Gaggia coffee maker out of storage and it is cleaned and all ready to go. It sits on a minature antique kitchen table that I have restored. I like the idea that the Gaggia has a table all to itself! I love a fresh cup of coffee first thing in the morning, the noises the machine makes, the steam that comes off it. Its my favourite morning ritual.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Cross Stitch Love xxx using the Cath Kidston pincushion pattern

When I first learnt to cross stitch I would always use aida, which I suppose is the ideal fabric to use to start. I was never that keen on seeing the aida once the work was complete. More recently I have been experimenting with linen (28 or 30 count) which was a bit tricky at first but I'm really enjoying using it now. I don't know why I never thought of this before now to be honest. I love the tiny neat stitches it creates and how it makes your work miniature and dinky. My first attempt was a scissor keeper (I also used tiny clear glass x!) This was made for Mothers Day and I stuffed the keeper with fresh lavender which is so gorgeous. It also doubles as a little pin cushion and you get a hit of lavender every time you use it!!
The great thing about cross stitch patterns is that they are so versatile. Whatever they were intended for tapestry, needlepoint etc. you can use them as long as what you are working on has some sort of grid. At the moment I'm using the Cath Kidston patterns originally intended for tapestry wool. Great isn't it?


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