Thursday, 1 September 2011


Look at my pretty papers! I could almost eat these. I am generally not a scrap-booking type, so don't use scrap book papers. On the other hand I am no stranger to prettyfying things around me using paper...lately I have had to make something very close to a scrap book, so I have been using these.

The best thing is how I got my sticky paws on the papers; I scanned some of my yummy fabrics and now I have a lasting record of these pretty patterns and it feels a tad easier to use them instead of hoarding. I don't know about you, but I tend to get overly attached to some fabrics and it takes a long marinating period in the draws before I set my scissors to the fabrics.

Pretty yellows and oranges

Cool blues and greens

and edible reds and pinks

If you wondered about print quality and such, I found that I can print on poorest quality colour and it is still pretty. I print on normal paper with a Brother colour laser printer.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Little Giraffe's Birthday Party

Here the little Giraffe is getting balloons from all the other giraffes. The picture is a companion for my jolly cats. The inspiration came from the same place and again I changed the picture to be more "mine".

I used machine appliqueuíng and hand embroidery like the last time.

 I like the big giraffe's messy balloon strings!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Retro Cats

I saw a delightful retro style poster in pinkfriday's blog displaying two playful cats. I got very bad attack of wanties and tried first to find out where I might buy the said picture. I could not find it. (Although I did not ask the blogger, which would have been the logical thing to do).

Then I thought that this could be a perfect paper cut project. I really wanted it in minimum A3 size and as I live in the sticks there is nowhere to buy coloured A3 paper. Buying it on the net in two colours with postage would have pumped the price up to unacceptable. I then had a marvelous idea; I could do my version in fabric! Applique would be the answer. I used machine applique and hand embroidery to make the picture.

As you see I changed it slightly from the original to be more "mine". Nevertheless I also admit that this is copying, but for private use only, no intention to sell. I put it in a cheap IKEA frame, which I painted orange red. I also left the glass bit out, as it looks better without. have you been "borrowing" ideas lately?

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Jolly Pinny

I made this happy pinny for a little girl as a surprise. I used a thrift shop table cloth as the main fabric and added big polka dot details from the stash. I like it a lot and thought that I might just have a rummage to see if there are  more nice fabrics like this!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cushions and a Curtain

Hello there! I am sewing a lot and posting very little. Here are some cushions to bolster Elf son and visiting children at our dining table. Elf Son is quite tall, but lacks just a few centimetres to be really comfortable at the table. I thought that it would be nice to have some in happy colours to sit on.

I had a sit on the red/pink one today myself and am pondering whether I want one for myself (I am not tall at all. I almost asked for a cushion at a restaurant, when we got one for Elf son today ; ).

The little room has got a "curtain" now. I don't like curtains and either have blinds or black out blinds combined with a little "pelmet" like this.

I sew it from grey linen bought in IKEA and some cottons from my stash.

Despite lining it, the back light does show the two seams I had to make for my coloured stripes to be long enough. I cheated by leaving the black out curtain hanging behind the pelmet to stop the light shining through.
 I used a crocheted sofa arm protector/table cloth/something, which I found in the charity shop to make the cute snow flakes with buttons in the centre.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Big Quilt

As you might have gathered I am not an accomplished quilter. I do only easy and VERY easy quilts and even they have plenty of mistakes to show that they were handmade.

I have managed to produce five quilts since I started blogging and actually five quilts per se and none of them have stayed in the house. They have been thrown together for special occasions for special people. I admit that I have fancied them all and been a very bad elf coveting my gifts to others.

So I made this quilt - I won't tell you as yet why it was made other than I really wanted to have a quilt staying put in this house. Due to circumstances I have not made the "dedication patch" for it either. It will be used in the little bedroom, which is under re-decorating and will be showed later, when finished.  All this won't stop me having a tah-dah moment though and show to you what I have made. All sorts of things are planned for this room and I will show the bits, when I have made them and in the end show the whole room. Here the quilt is shown on our bed.

I really, really like this one. It is the largest one to date I have made and although it took some time to make, it was not that difficult. The pattern you can see in it is my own design, but I would guess that it might be a traditional pattern anyway, having a name. I just don't know the name as I am not that well versed in quilt matters.
The reverse is red and the binding polka dot.

So indulge me and see my quilt from many different angles!
The centre of the quilt:

My two favourite fabrics in this quilt (although I like all of them A LOT and I absolutely adore the owls above). I was planning to quilt it in the groove, but decided that I liked the top stitching. Certainly not the tradition, but I don't care.

Other colours

Happy heap

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Baby Yogi

I go to a yoga class weekly and this winter one of the ladies gave birth to an adorable little princess K. The Yoga teacher was collecting money to give something to the newcomer and asked me if I was up to making the baby a present as it would be nicer to give a unique gift.

I think that it is a hoot sewing baby things, because so little goes so long. We agreed that I would make one of those baby sleeping bag dresses, as they are handy. I was very sure that I had a pattern for those somewhere, but alas no. So I got to the Ottobre site and had a look through their back catalogue. Luckily there was one in 5/2006. I had thought of making an apple green one, as the project started before the baby was born. I had eyed a lovely jersey for it, but when the pattern arrived, it said to use cotton fleece outside. That was not widely available and at this point I luckily knew that we had a princess and went for fuchsia. I still made the lining of the said apple green jersey and comforted myself with the fact that if the Mum really hated the colour, she could use it inside out, and nobody would probably notice.

Because the sewing of the sleeping bag was just so easy I felt as if I had cheated, so decided that we needed to give a bit more. I looked in the same magazine and found a pattern for this.

I used a thrifted XL ladies' cardigan as the main material and the skirt bit is Marimekko jersey from my stash. The little princess goes to mums&babies yoga class and has reportedly been admired in her personal yoga gear.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Dresses galore

I bought red "kivet" fabric from marimmekko in Finland last summer. (Yes, I know, mad picture, but hey. I am not great at taking these "in the mirror" images). I had a dress of sorts in my mind for the autumn and winter. Well, it never happened. Then just before the red nose day I got my act together and made it, so I wore it for Elf son's delight on the red nose day.  I found a new pattern and the length is just right to be used as a dress or a tunic. I rather liked this new addition to my wardrobe and as I had managed to get my paws on MORE marimekko fabric, this time black, grey and white "unikko" I decided to make another. The fabric was provided by my aunt who came for a visit and brought not only this, but another piece as well AND some lovely hand towels AND a lovely bracelet from aarikka with their trademark wooden beads.  This has been used to distraction, especially with my black and white dress.

I decided to change the pattern just a bit and drop the sleeves. I absolutely loved how it came out. This dress has been used just as an everyday dress, to a wedding breakfast and to a garden party where the Queen was the guest of honour by just changing what I wear with it and the accessories.  Good going for a dress I would say. Thank-you Auntie A!

A summer without a green garment wasn't going to feel right and as I was on the roll and devastated by the fact that I ONLY had two of these tunic dresses I made a third one, this time from white polka dots on olive/lime background.

Because I live in the cool Northern England, I often wear a t-shirt under the dress, either with short or long sleeves. I have practically lived in these three garments since they were made. I force myself once in a while into something else for a day or two to convince my environment that there is indeed more than the three dresses in my wardrobe. I don't really know why, because who cares even if I only had three garments I really liked. Actually I quite like the idea having only few clothes, using them until they die and then getting/making new ones. Most of us use only 20% of our wardrobe regularly, I read somewhere.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Fairy Wings and such

Here is a NEW project. Elf Son was invited to a birthday party of a friend's daughter and you know the rest of the story. I don't like giving plastic and handily had time enough to make something for the princess.

The bag I made for another little girl here was still a viable idea and reports that the said item is appreciated were heard, so I made one of those as the main present.

I don't use any patterns, just sketch what I want to embroider free hand with an indelible marker and then consequently embroider something else! (This is how it seems to go every time).

 This time I did not want to fill the bag with writing materials and such, because this is a very different princess from the other one. She loves dressing-up. I thought that a pair of home made fairy wings might just be the ticket.

I used just normal dress net double and sew the edges together, I then put some wire around the edges and finished off with pink lace. I chose to use elastic around the shoulders for the fastening. This was sewn into a cotton bit in the middle of the wings and I used fliseline to make it a bit stiffer. I decorated with craft "jewels" on both sides, so the wings don't have a "back side". Have you helped any little faeries to get wings?

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Surfacing from life that happens and filing it

Hello and thank-you for hanging on there, should you still be here with me.  It is really nice to be back. I have had quite a tumultuous spring in a good way and that has meant that a lot has been written, but that lot not being the blog. It all revolves around some changes in our family life, but I am not going to go into detail just now.

I have been firing on all fronts and although I have not blogged, I have created. Maybe not as much as usual, but still. So this and following posts are going to be playing a bit of catch up.

I have had this file prettifying project in my mind a long time and got to realise it at last.  I have quite a lot of files, both for our family papers and for my work. They are kept on open shelves and in order them take as little attention as possible, I have chosen to have them in white.

This is how it all looked like, all white and green in different degree of yellowing.

I had a few ideas how to replace the backs, but ended up colour coding them according to the use. Our family files in one group, my sewing in another, my therapy files in third etc. I used textiles I like and  scanned them. I thought that it would be a lovely thing to do with the fabrics which I almost don't want to use, because they are so delicious. I could "preserve" the prints in paper format to use in my crafts. Honestly I don't know how legal all this would be. I think it is OK as long as I don't sell the products.
I chose a "retro" font and typed all the contents as well, so it all looks neat.

I especially liked the retro print, which is on the bottom shelf and I have still not decided what I will make of it!
PS the picture quality is awful. I try to change them as soon as I get the photoshop back on my computer. My computer has been misbehaving, so still several programmes to load...

Friday, 11 March 2011

Surface Decorating and Collage

A couple of weeks ago I had a weekend of learning and creativity in Mandy Pattullo's workshop "Surface Decoration". The Saturday was mainly used learning some techniques and playing around with them. On Sunday we created two or three larger pieces. I chose to make just two big ones. Mandy's work is much more "decorated" than mine and I think mine was on the whole least decorated of all the works. Mandy is so very generous with her teaching and it is always really good fun to attend. If you are anywhere near Newcastle it is worth attending. Look in "Horsley Printmakers" website for her courses.

Anyway, I had an idea of creating something to on Elf son's wall and the other piece I had not thought of. I got the son's "boy dreams" picture pieces together much quicker than the other one, as I did not have a ready idea or colour story in my mind. I have called it "particles". The Boy dreams picture has pieces which have special meaning to Elf Son.

There is collage, lino print, print with blocks and wall paper, monoprinting, painting with brusho, resist techniques, stitching, textile and line drawing all in one picture.
The frame is a cheapy one from IKEA. I would have liked to put it in a nicer frame, but I am still slightly nervous about hanging pictures with glass on Elf Son's walls. This is with plexiglass and much safer. I will see if I can buy some proper matting for it as I think that would improve the looks to no end.

The particles picture got a detail added at home:

I added a real old skeleton key buy sewing it on.

As you can see I have used not only Mandy's stamps, but also other artists' copy righted material in form of postcards and pictures. It doesn't matter as this is for myself, I would not do this if I was to sell the picture. Here is the "particles"

I chose to frame it under glass in IKEA frame. When I was measuring this picture for the frame, I remembered another picture I had wanted to frame a long time. This time work of Elf son, two years ago:

These two have same colours and look really nice together in their frames. This is obviously a portrait of me, made for the mother's day. Behind the picture it says: "I love my mummy because she massages my back every evening and it makes my back feel good."

Now I just need to hang them.