Wednesday, 17 December 2008
I spent a lot of the past couple of days curled up on the sofa, so this London Underground Cushion by Mrs Gibson would be perfect to rest a weary head on.
I love this Under the Rainbow quilt by Knitz and Bitz - more happy childhood memories, and such a great use of fabric.
While alone in the house, some company would have been nice, and I think Vincent by Lilylola would fit the bill perfectly, and I think with his secret 'Heat' reading tendencies, he'd like all the Shameless I watched!
When you've had a cold it's important to wrap up warm when you venture back into the real world, and this Green chunky Ribbed scarf from urbanknit would be perfect for snuggling into when I first stepped outside this morning.
To go with the scarf, these fingerless gloves by Blackberry Crafts would be perfect for warming chilly hands when de-icing the car this morning.
What things are providing comfort and coziness for you at the moment?
Friday, 12 December 2008
Everyone putting one or more pictures of a card using or inspired by the tute will get an entry into the draw, which will be made next Friday.
There's still time to make a card or two if you've been trying to find the time to, as they are very quick, and beautifully effective.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
Jack and the Beanstalk wallhanging, by 23BeechHill - this adorable wallhanging has so many gorgeous pattenred fabrics, and would look lovely hanging on the wall in my nieces' and nephew's new bedroom.
Fairytale Dancing Couple Resin Pendant, by A Resin Revival - I love the look of resin jewellery, and this whimsical dancing couple reminds me of reading Little Women books in my Uncle's cottage as a child. This would be perfect for dressing up a holiday party outfit.
Little Red Riding Hood Illustration by ArtQuirk - one of the first items I saw on Folksy, and an instant love. They depict my favourite fairytale, capturing the brooding danger of the wood so well.
Little Red Riding Hood Stud earrings by FluffsStuffs - I love FluffsStuffs stuff, and these earrings are no exception, even though I don't hve pierced ears, these are still so cute.
Frog Prince Wallhanging, by Tiddlywinks - such a sweet wallhanging, the frog prince is especially lovely with his little crown.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
36 - maggie (from Canada, sorry Maggie from the USA!), who wins a print of Rockpools
25 - Bittycakes, who wins a print of Yellow Flowers
43 - Rather Be Whistling, who wins a print of Sheep In The Bracken
Thanks to all who took part, and thanks to Sew Mama Sew! for hosting.
Check back for future giveaways!
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
I'm giving away three prints from my Folksy Shop, and to be in with the chance of winning, all you need to do is leave a comment here telling me your top 3 prints from my shop. You've got until 6pm GMT tomorrow (London time, 4th December) to do so, and I'll draw the winners using a random number generator tomorrow, and will send you one of your top 3.
Good luck, and go here for more blogs doing giveaways.
Edit - to clarify, I'm happy to send these prints internationally, and I've extended the deadline as there are rather a lot of blogs taking part, to give people chance to join in if they like.
Contest entries are now closed! - thanks for all the lovely comments everyone. Now home to crank up the random number generator!
Monday, 1 December 2008
From left to right:
All In A Spin pendant by ZoeWoods - I love matroshkya dolls, and the sweet whimsical style of this pendant is so sweet.
Teakwood and Silver pendant by Anita Curtis - this is such a beautiful, simple pairing - I can see myself wearing this for work, and feeling very grown up.
Bluetit Felt Brooch by Lupin Handmade - great stitching on this sweet little bluetit - he'd look great perched on a winter jacket collar.
The Wizard of Oz Kawaii Chunky Charm bracelet by Fluffs Stuff - This brings back happy memories of going to see the 'Ozzard of Wiz' with my dad as a child, the fabric is just so charming!
Quaint Kitchen Blue Fabric Necklace by Pennydog - I have a soft spot for good resin jewellery, and the colours in this one are great, and she donates £1 to the Retired Greyhound Trust, a charity my family also support.
How about supporting artists & crafters, and buying handmade this Christmas?
I'm going to be taking part in the Sew Mama Sew! give away day on Wednesday, December 3rd, so check back here then for a chance to win some prints from my Folksy Shop
Sunday, 30 November 2008
This module was all about colour, blending and mixing, and making colour wheels.
Friday, 28 November 2008
Thursday, 27 November 2008
The German Christmas market was on in Victoria Square next to the Town Hall, so we went there before the gig for a bite to eat and a look round the stalls
There were many stalls selling all sorts of food and drinks, and I hope to go back a couple of times over the next month to try more of the treats on offer!
As well as the markets, the Christmas lights were up, and the tree had been decorated, producing beautiful reflections in the Floozy's pool. The Town Hall looked very grand lit up at night.
More German Christmas Market photos are here
After that, we went over to the Town Hall for the gig. I picked up a copy of their new CD and a tour t-shirt, and we got a good spot right at the front.
The support act were Edward II, who I'd not heard of. This was their 1st gig after a nine year break, and they were fantastic, playing a mix of Reggae & Folk, which really worked. The audience were all dancing and having a great time. More Edward II pics here
Then the main event. Oysterband opened the gig with 'Over The Water', and spent about 2 hours playing wonderful tracks, with an audience who were really enjoying it. At one point, John and Chopper got down and walked around the audience singing. I love Oysterband shows so much, as they enjoy playing, and it is always an amazing evening.
They finished the show with 'Put Out The Lights' acoustic, like they did at Big Session. I was hoping to be able to record all of the song, as it is magical, but my memory card ran out part way through, so I can only share the first minute or so with you:
After the gig I got to chat to the guys in the foyer, and recommended Frank Turner to them for booking at Big Session 2009. They signed my CD and we talked about lots of things. More Oysterband pics here
Saturday dawned bright and early, but chilly, and Mum & I went to Moseley Farmers Market. I was hoping to pick up some Christmas gifts, but the stall I wanted to buy them from wasn't there, so instead we looked at lots of stalls on the Arts Market, and were there for the Bromsgrove Town Crier ringing the official market bell to announce that Moseley is the best UK Farmers Market for 2009:
I also got to take some nice photos of vegetables:
More Farmers Market pics here
St Marys Church was having a little Christmas fair, so I bought some bric a brac and breakfast (2 slices of toast with Marmite and a fairy cake!), before taking some photos of the church & churchyard.
This weekend is far less exciting - haircut and making Christmas gifts.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
And here's a shiny button link to it:
Monday, 24 November 2008
Our cottage was in the middle of nowhere, a couple of miles from the sea. It had a lovely holiday feel to it, and had nice things like clocks and dressers full of plates, and somewhere to put coats and boots. It was on a farm, so there were chickens.
We went to Criccieth castle, which was very windy, but had beautiful views. When we had a rest on a bench looking out over the bay, there was a little robin flying around, attracting the attention of a lovely Mackerel tabby. They were also having a medieval day, where we got to look at various weapons and Helen struck a coin.
Rikk and I had a little afternoon out and went back to Criccieth, where we wandered on the beach. Again, it was cold and windy, so we wrapped up warm, and I proceeded to jump the waves. We had lovely fish and chips in a cafe overlooking the beach, and bought a lovespoon and a painting to decorate our house.
Halloween came and went in a flurry of quilting for me, while the other cottage denizens carved their pumpkins, which looked very impressive next to the light from the fire.
We spent a nice day over at Sygun Copper mine, looking round the mine at the stalagmites and stalactites which had formed since the mines closed, and learning about the copper processing. Lunch at Beddgelert was provided by a bistro/antique shop, and then there was the cows incident.
We called in on Black Rock Sands on the way home, which is a spectacular wide beach where you can drive right onto the sand. I've taken lots of lovely photos there before, in February, and took lots more this time.
We stopped off at Cadwaladers for ice cream before starting the drive home. I had a coffee/toffee cone, sat looking out over the sea. Right after I took the photo of my cone, it snapped in half and deposited my ice cream in my hand. We had fun tootling ice cream flutes, and enjoying coffees and hot chocolates.
Over the course of the week, I also got a lot of crafting done, finishing Christmas gifts for Dad & my sister & working on Chloë's quilt, as well as gifts for two other friends.
We've already booked the next holiday, so we're off to Anglesey in Spring, which I can't wait for.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
I've made a lot of these simple but beautiful Christmas cards, so it is fitting that this week's collage should be some of them. They are really quick to make, and I've made a tutorial/template, which you can find here.
I've been selling these at work, with all the proceeds going to CHASE Christopher's Hospice, a fantastic charity who have supported my family. If you find the instructions useful, please consider making a donation to them. Thanks!
These are the bobbins I took on holiday with me, they were only in the bag for a week but are already coming unwound and getting tangled.
I'd used plumbers tape (aka Teflon tape) for sealing things before, so already had a reel on hand, and it is perfect for keeping bobbins securely wound. Simply wind your thread tail onto the bobbin, cut a length of tape (10cm or so) and wind it round the bobbin, pressing it to itself to seal it. Plumbers tape is not sticky, it only adheres to itself, so doesn't leave thread or bobbins sticky. It is also easy to remove, just stroke the end of the folded down tape up, roll off & set aside until you finish using that bobbin. It does mean the sides of all the bobbins are white, but you can see what colour they are from the top, and I've started writing the colour code on the top of the bobbin with sharpie marker. There - tidier bobbin bag!
It is also useful for winding round cops. I love the 'COTTY' thread from my local quilting shop, but it doesn't come on a notched spool for keeping the thread tidy, so I simply wrap a strip of tape round the middle keeping the thread end tidy. Here's the box with my spools & cops of thread (stored on thin dowels), bag of bobbins & overlocker cones.
Best of all, the reel of plumbers tape is 12m long, so will go very far, and cost 99p. Hope this helps!
Sunday, 9 November 2008
This Wednesday the Innocent Big Knit smoothies appeared in the shops, so I went along an got one for myself, my boss and my two colleagues, as well as one for Rikk. We had lots of nice hats, but I didn't see any of mine in my local Sainsburys. I also took a picture of my tea mug - I take a stacking pot of different loose herbal teas into work, and enjoy a different cuppa with my stripy mug each day. This is the flower which fell out of the big bunch on reception, so I adopted it!
Helen popped round on Monday & brought this lovely bread to go with our curried pumpkin soup. The third & 4th pics are sneak peeks of Christmas gifts I've been working on today.
There was this nice ivy in Milton Keynes - I liked the lines of the branches and the patterns of the leaves which were still attached. When I was younger, I remember the Concrete Cows, though I think I more remember people talking about them when I was older. I was surprised to see the cows in the shopping centre. I loved the Lego shop, which had this fab RNLI lifeboat, and I made a lego man - Clive - who has dashing blue hair & a smart suit. He carries a circular saw. We took Clive to Pizza Hut for lunch.
Next week, more Christmas crafting, and I am nearly done with the holiday photos, so hopefully a post about that too!
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
What I have been making is stop motion animation videos, inspired by a complicated train of thought which led me to the Photojojo stop motion tutorial.
My first video was this little one with the conkers and pebbles from my nice little shelf:
Conkers And Pebbles from Heather on Vimeo.
I like this one, I think I got the light right, but I learned that I need to make sure that the camera is tight on to the tripod.
This is my second video - I need to make a found object colour wheel for my art course, and I decided it'd be a good idea to animate it!
Buttons from Heather on Vimeo.
I like it, but the lighting in it is inconsistent, and I need much brighter lights, both for future videos, and for general crafting - both my craft lights are not working, so I've borrowed my bedside lamp.
Spot the point where I got the colour wheel a bit wrong!
Then, when I was editing holiday pics this morning, I discovered that I had enough pics of me jumping waves on Criccieth beach to make a tiny vid :)
Jumping in the Waves at Criccieth Beach from Heather on Vimeo.
Hoorah for lots of pictures!
More desk posts here!
Monday, 3 November 2008
So, yes, this is why there is no post. In the mean time, have a video of cows running down the main street through Beddgelert:
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
My quilting is slowly getting better - hopefully you can see in the bottom 3 images how my attempt at stippling is getting closer together, with less loops. I think it'll take a lot more before I'm confident.
Here are the sites I've found very helpful:
- Sew Inspired - Free Motion Machine Quilting Tutorial
- Anyone Can Quilt - Machine Quilting 101
- Patsy Thompson Designs - lots of ideas for quilting designs, often beyond my current skill level, but nice to aspire to!
- Dioramarama - Longarm quilting - I don't have a longarm, but some nice examples of patterns
- Diane Gaudynski - good close up stippling picture
- Crazy Mom Quilts - Free Motion Quilting
- Quiltmaker - loads of good tips
On it I have a lot of lovely old books (affectionately termed "Collage fodder") and gorgeous old OS maps - I love looking over them at the place names and contour lines (which my attempt at echo quilting, above, reminds me of).
In front of the books, I have my wind up 'alarm clock' which plays "London Bridge is Falling Down", two tiny conkers, two lovely pebbles smoothed by the sea which I picked up at Black Rock Sands, and a little wobbly headed turtle which always makes me smile.
I had hoped to post some pictures of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, as I swapped my desk for a walk round with the camera this lunch time, but I'm still editing the pics and it is getting late!
More desk posts here.