Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Mr Wonderfuls and I spent Bank Holiday Monday at Earlswood Lakes, where I bought some gorgeous thick wool felt squares - red and black, which I am going to sew into a rabbit, and green and brown. I saw those two colours and knew that they would be a perfect tortoise.

Meet John:
John Tortoise (5)

He's hand sewed, the shell is circles and semi circles stitched into hexagons, and his legs and head were my first attempt at 3D limbs - I am rather proud of them.

John Tortoise (3)

I named him after my Grandad.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


I've had a long standing fear of drawing. Until module 4 of my course, I'd not done any drawing for the sake of it since I was about 14, so 14 years! I did bits for that module, but fell out of it. Today I got my sketchbook out, and drew the pear on my desk:


I am happy with it, and I want to keep on drawing things!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Biscornu and other happiness

A while ago, I was having a bit of a crafting hiatus, struggling to find something to knit. Inspired by this Craftster post, I set about looking out the instructions I'd found a couple of years ago for biscornu. These quirky pincushions had always appealed, but I'd never quite got round to making them.

In a fit of madness one morning, with minutes before I needed to leave the house, I grabbed a skein of Caron watercolours thread and a piece of aida that had an unfinished piece for a long forgotten Christmas card on the other end, and started stitching the Indian Biscornu pattern. While Mr Wonderfuls and I were in Chester, I finished the Indian one, and a heart one, and started on the provincial pattern on the way back. Last weekend, I began the Happiness one on the way to spend the day with David in Liverpool. They are fabulous fun, simple patterns, but challenging enough to keep me alert, very portable and just what I needed to get me out of the crafting rut.

You might have noticed a lot of beginnings above. Well, I've now finished two of them:
Biscornu Mosaic

I love them. The shape is gorgeous, and now my mind is full of thoughts of both more biscornu and other embroidery.

A big source of happiness at the moment is this little poppet:

joshua 019

My new nephew Joshua, who arrived yesterday. I can't wait till Friday when I will (hopefully, traffic permitting!) get to meet him.

I am also loving Mr Wonderfuls, for he replaced the router! The other source of consternation at the beginning of last month was that I could not upload any photos. Well, we got a very nice new router, and I uploaded 250 in one day, without having to compromise on image size. Thank you, wonderful man!

Another love for today is Florence + The Machine, check her out, the music is simply superb. I am trying to resist the urge to go and buy tickets for the gig this Sunday, as we'll have spent the weekend visiting family, so I suspect I will be very tired!

Expect more posts soon, a lot has been going on!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Toys In The Garden

I've been on a bit of a toymaking kick recently, having made 4 Kates, 7 Bobs, a Giraffe, and a Dolly, among others.

I took them round to Spinonehalf's house on a gorgeous sunny day at the end of June, and had a bit of a photo shoot. (I did try to write this blogpost last month, but my computer was not being very helpful, and I've been a bit busy since then!)

Giraffe relaxes in a tree:

Dolly thinks the flowers are beautiful:

The Kates have a huddle...

...and decide to do some skipping...

...then they relax and do some cloudwatching:

Meanwhile the Bobs decide to use the skipping rope to play tug'o'war!


The purple team won!

Shaking noses:

Stripy Bobs found a flower!





All the toys I knitted...

...and the yarn I had left over:

I did all of these with Cascade 220, which is absolutely lovely to knit with. Great stitch definition, doesn't split easily, very economical (all the kates, the yellow bob and the giraffe all came out of the same single ball!) and my new yarn of choice, certainly for toys.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Module 4

I posted about the collages I'd made for Module 4. The rest of the module was about stencilling, punching, piercing and spraying. Here's are the pieces I submitted:

Mod 4 Act 3- Piercing

The green piece is attached to this next page...
Mod 4 Act 4 - Spraying 1

Which has butterfly shaped holes cut out of it so I could spray ink thorugh onto the next page:
Mod 4 Act 4 - Spraying 2

For this page, I masked off the birds with stencil apertures, then painted the page with calligraphy ink, bleached out the sun through a stencil, and sprayed bleach to mottle the sky:
Mod 4 Act 4 - Spraying with Bleach

For this one, I cut a (very complex!) hinge stencil, made a sprayed background to look like door pannels, and stenciled both black and gold markal thorugh the stencil:
Mod 4 Act 5 - Stencilling 1 Small

The next one is my favourite piece of work I've made so far. Firstly I made a watercolour wash in blues and purples on the front of the page, and applied pastels off the edge of a mask to the back of the page. I tore a strip off the side and folded the page, punching holes along both the torn and folded edges. I laced them back together, adding buttons along the fold, and edged various areas on the watercolour side with iridescent markal paintstik.
Mod 4 Act 2 - Punching - The Shipping Forecast (Front)
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Mod 4 Act 2 - Punching - The Shipping Forecast (Back)
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Long time no post! I've not been doing very well with crafting recently. It seems that the things I have ideas for, I don't have the materials to execute, and my stash isn't exciting me at the moment.

This has been compounded by a few failures - I tried to make a cabled calorimetry, lovely looking, in pink Cascade 220, but it barely went from the top of one ear to the other - no hope of it fastening around underneath my hair! A friend gave me a scarf pattern that she'd used to make a gorgeous scarf for me, so I cast on for it in some lovely black alpaca I have, which is plied with a thin ply of white. Got a little way in and decided to do some maths - worked out that my finished scarf would be 25cm wide by 45cm long. Not really a scarf, so back into the frogpond that one went. I've cast on for the same scarf pattern in a much thinner mystery stash yarn, which I have 3 balls of, but as it is off white, I now think it looks like a dishcloth.

To compound matters, I have a gorgeous new camera, but I am struggling to upload the images it takes to Flickr because they are too large. I am torn between slowly slowly uploading them at full size so that they are available on there, and shrinking them to speed up the uploads. It doesn't help that seemingly any uploads to Flickr kill my net connection.

I did module 4 of my course, which was very good. I'm making slow progress on Module 5 now, it just feels like I've made no progress at all, and that there is no time for me at the moment.

It'll get better in time.

Here's a picture of me at Big Session back in June, when the weather was sunny:

Big Session 2009 (5) - Copy

Saturday, 30 May 2009


Today I've been doing some more coursework, namely making collages from geometric shapes using complementary colours:

Mod 4 Act 1 - Blue and Orange Collage
I chose the papers for the background of this one, then realised that they are fire and water!

Mod 4 Act 1 - Red and Green Collage

Mod 4 Act 1 - Purple and Yellow Collage
This one was great fun to create, I loved choosing the papers for the square.

Mod 4 Act 1 Fungus Collage
This one is inspired by this image from a collection I made last module. It was great fun to tear all the pieces of various papers and colour them.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Creative Sketchbooks Module 3

I handed in Module 3 of my course last week.

It was an enjoyable module, I had to collect inspirational collections of images.

I then used one of these to paint a range of papers using colours drawn from an image of a bird, and further worked into the papers with oil pastels and PVA glue.

Module 3 Mosaic

The biggest challenge for me was the drawing part of the module, where I had to sketch various plants. Having not done any drawing for about 13 years, I was rather scared of that part of the module. Hannah gave me some good suggestions, the most helpful of which was to set a timer and just sketch for 5 minutes, getting down whatever you can in that time. I did these 3 sketches of plants int he conservatory on holiday:

Leaf Sketch (Large)

Aloe Vera Sketch (Large)

Pink Flower Sketch (Large)

I need to get into a habit of drawing more things, so that I can keep on working at the fear of doing it, and hopefully get better!

The next module looks fun, lots of work with collage and stencilling.

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Thursday, 28 May 2009


On Tuesday Night, Helen & I DJed at Stitches'n'Hos, a local knitting night at the Hare & Hounds pub in Kings Heath.

We'd volunteered to do it a couple of weeks earlier, armed only with our impeccable taste in music! We'd never DJed before, and had no idea how such strange equipment as decks and mixing desks worked.

We spent a couple of our Tuesday evening get togethers planning the kind of things we'd like to play, and picking the first hour of music, to give us time to get used to the decks and make sure the crowd weren't throwing knitting at us because they didn't like the tunes!

S'n'H DJing Mosaic

We had a fabulous time, got some knitting done, and played lots of songs we love. Some of the tracks are available on Spotify, so here's a Spotify playlist of those I could find.

There are so many good songs we didn't get to play, so we're looking forward to the next time we can get the CDs out!

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Thursday, 14 May 2009

Tiny Robot Love!

I can't quite remember how, but David discovered these fabulous little robots:


Their creator makes them and sets them off into the world, with a destination on the flag, but they can only travel in straight lines, so they need help from passers by to make it to their goal.

Check out Tweenbots, the video is wonderful!

Sunday, 10 May 2009


Yesterday, Mr Wonderfuls and I went off to join the BARG peeps for a day of fun at w i d e o p e n s p a c e, a day of games based round the bullring and Curzon Street.

The first game we played was Hat Snap, which involved wearing a rather fetching newspaper bonnet with a number on the back:

BARG#4 Hat Snap (1)

There were about 10 of us, and the object of the game was to take as many photos as possible of other people's numbers, while trying to stop your one getting snapped. It was great fun, with all these people who had moments before been strangers running round after each other, sliding along walls, sneaking out from behind pillars and generally bemusing people who were having a quiet afternoon shopping in town.

BARG#4 Hat Snap Mosaic 1

BARG#4 Hat Snap Mosaic 2

I won! I got 22 points, partly I think due to my camera having quite a good zoom in comparison to some of the camera phones in use. It was great fun, and I caused many giggles walking through Smiths looking for batteries with my hat on, though when I told people what I was doing, they wished me luck.

We headed over to Curzon Street next and set up a chalk labyrinth for a few goes at The Lost Sport, where a blindfolded runner needs to work their way out of a labyrinth guided by the rest of the team who are walls and cannot give any guidance other than humming.

BARG#4 The Lost Sport Mosaic 1

This is what the game looks like from the outside:

Here's a little Wall's Eye Point of View:

After a few people had worked their way out of it, I decided to have a go. It was a thoroughly bizarre experience - you're trying to balance going as fast as you can with not falling over, crashing into people, or treading on too many toes. There were several moments where, apart from the humming, it felt as if I was all alone in a wide open space, and plenty where I was walking into the walls. The turns were particularly difficult - you're heading along fine, and suddenly you crash into someone and need to work out what way to go next.

duncautumnstore recorded a couple of audioboos of my run, which are here and here, complete with many apologies and giggles.

We also played the 'Waving At Trains' game, as lots of the train lines out of the city run past the car park where we were playing:

BARG#4 The Lost Sport (18)

Quite a few people waved back (more on local services than cross country ones) and a few train drivers even honked at us!

There were more games later on, but Mr Wonderfuls & I decided to head home. All in all, a fabulous day, thank you to Nikki for organising it, we'll be looking out for BARG#5!

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Monday, 4 May 2009

Very Crafty Weekend

This weekend I've made rather a lot of things. As well as the finished quilt top for Thomas, I made two skirts.

I ordered a couple of Clothkits in January, and hadn't made time to sew them till this weekend. First, I sewed up the Trellick Tower skirt:


I love it. It's ever so slightly crackers as a skirt, but is really rather fabulous.

Here, thanks to the wonders of Zemanta, is a pic of the actual Trellick tower, in London:

Trellick Tower by Ernö Goldfinger, from Golbor...Image via Wikipedia

The second skirt I sewed was their 'Hold Me' skirt, which is an absolutely beautiful design from a papercut by Rob Ryan, an artist whose work I recognise, but never knew, and am now utterly in love with.

The way that the Clothkits work is that they send you a piece of preprinted fabric with all the pattern pieces marked on. You chalk the side lines onto the skirt pieces, cut them out, and use them to cut the lining.

Clothkits Hold Me (9)
The fabric as it arrives

You then follow the nice clear instructions (as much as I ever follow instructions) and make it up into a skirt.

I'm really pleased with the Hold Me skirt, the colours are gorgeous:

Hold Me Skirt (3)

Hold Me Skirt (4)

I also carded 5 merino-silk-wensleydale batts in beautiful sea blue-greens, and sewed all the ends into my Treat scarf. All in all a good weekend!

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