Sunday, 15 October 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness for October

Gifted Gorgeousness day has rolled round again (Gifted Gorgeousness is a monthly blog hop organised by Jo from Serendipitous Stitching, where we show off our gift related crafts and craft related gifts)
Once again this will be a cross stitch free posting, (those of you who come here looking for a cross stitch blog must be getting pretty fed up by now, I promise I'll try harder next time)
This month I have made each of my daughters a skirt from an upcycled t-shirt. This one is Naomi's


And this one is Eloise's (completed on a rather damper day, hence the somewhat less attractive location for the photoshoot)


Also I don't think I've shown you this before, it is a woodburned piece that Naomi made for me in the summer using an offcut of the wood her dad had used to build himself a set of speakers. (I sew things, he builds speakers...)


As you can see she knows how to appeal to my inner geek.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Trying New Things

Because, obviously, I don't have enough hobbies to be getting on with.
Lino Cutting - something I've always liked the finished look of but never tried, so I treated myself to a little starter kit and had a play


And jewellery making. I've done quite a bit of "threading things onto other things" type jewellery making, but last week I went to a fabulous workshop run by Sarah Drew Jewellery where we cut, hammered, stamped and soldered brass and silver to make our own earrings.
I made these three pairs.


So pleased with how they came out. I'm now trying to justify buying all the kit to do it at home...

Friday, 29 September 2017

Sew On and Sew Forth

When October's edition of Sew magazine plopped though the letter box I was rather taken with the free pattern - New Look 6471.
I freely admit I may have got a bit carried away


Still I won't need to buy any new tops for a while.
Note: I said I won't need to. Didn't say I wouldn't...

Friday, 15 September 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness for September

The day for Gifted Gorgeousness has rolled around again, Gifted Gorgeousness being the blog hop organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching where we show our gift related crafting.
Three things to show this month. First is the Holiday Exchange from Needlecraft Haven. This was an exchange in two parts. We selected and kitted up a small free chart to send to our partners earlier in the year, and for this part we reveal what we stitched from the gift we received.
I received a sweet little snowflake design from Dusty, and here is the ornament I stitched it up into.


Thank you Dusty, it was a fun stitch.
Second up is this bag I made for Naomi using a gorgeous remnant of sloth print fabric I got from the sale at Sugar Bowl Crafts


Thirdly a t-shirt upcycle, also for Naomi. I took this t-shirt


and added a faux leather corsetting detail at the neckline.


She made me cut her head off the picture because "I haven't done my eyebrows Mum"
I also made a project bag for Clare for her birthday but I totally forgot to get a picture before I sent it out!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Village Show

It was the annual village show last weekend, and I thought you might like to see some pictures.
Prize winning vegetables:-


Not that I can claim credit for any of those, other than the very tiny cherry tomatoes in the centre and a bundle of rhubarb
There were some lovely flowers as well (again none of these are mine)


We did rather better in the Art and Handicrafts section though, winning lots of classes between us as well as three Best in Shows


Mr Penguin, who I've shown on here before won Best in Show - Handicraft


and I got a 1st with this floral arrangement in the class called "Beachcombing"


Eloise got a second place with this life drawing:-


Naomi won the class for Celebration Cake


 and got 1st and 2nd with her pastels (you can see her winning one. of ballet shoes.in this picture)


The large watercolour painting of silver birch trees in mad colours is mine and took Best in Show - Art. I suppose I ought to buy a frame for it...



Monday, 21 August 2017

Embarrassingly Late Gifted Gorgeousness for August

What can I say? It's been a busy month. Anyway better late than never here is a Gifted Gorgeousness post for August (Gifted Gorgousness is organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching, and encourages us to show our gift related projects)
Two things to show this month.
This scrappy zip pouch; using a mixture of modern and vintage fabrics, including sari scraps, a vintage tray cloth, Liberty prints and a little bit of chicken scratch embroidery; which I made for Julie for her birthday


and the other side


And this towel that folds up into it's own bag, that I made for Eloise



Friday, 11 August 2017

The Tenuous Shoehorn 2017

Welcome to the Tenuous Shoehorn Linky Party. This is organised by Jo of Serenditpitous Stitching, and the idea is that you post some stitching that links, however tenuously, to the overall theme. This year the theme is "Loved Ones"
Now an awful lot of my stitching is done for other people, and anyone you would stitch for must be a loved one right?
So not tenuous at all really, which got me thinking not so much about which of my loved ones should feature as which bit of stitching might give the most interesting story.
One of the very first cross stitch pieces I ever stitched, having mostly done traditional embroidery before that, was stitched it as a gift for my Aunt Jenny and Uncle Jock.

Here is the story behind it. Aunt Jenny was my Dad's closest sibling, he was the baby of nine and she was the next oldest and pretty much his partner in crime.
Aunt Jen had no children of her own and always treated my sister and I as the daughters she never had. She was a very stylish and fashion conscious lady, and often took me shopping with her. It's probably where I get it from.
My Dad and Uncle Jock, on the other hand, used to take me to the football...

In this picture are my grandparents (who I never knew). The lady to the back of the group is my Aunt Bet, and the very tall man next to her is her husband (Grandad is holding their son), Aunt Jenny is the young woman at the front, and the handsome young chap on the left is my Dad (best guess he was about 17 or 18 when when this was taken)


Aunt Jenny and Uncle Jock ran a bakery and catering business in our village. I spent a lot of time there when I was growing up.


See I told you I spent a lot of time there.
I'm the very small one. The foreman is to the left and his wife is the one stopping me from wrecking a perfectly good photo opportunity by wandering off across the yard. The lady in the middle is another sibling, Aunt Sal, you can see how much she looked like her mother. You can just about make out the bread racks in the back of the picture.
I remember that their home was always kept really warm; my Uncle had grown so used to the heat from working in the bakehouse with three enormous ovens on the go (still coal-fired when I was very small, and the stokery was a really cosy place to hide out on a cold day), that he felt the cold very easily. They baked the best bread for miles around. I love the smell of yeast and baking bread and I still have a weakness for artisan bakeries (though of course they weren't called that back then).
One of my very early memories is of "helping" in the bakehouse by carefully placing a walnut into the icing on top of each of a long row of walnut cakes. I probably ate more walnuts than I placed, I've loved them ever since and the taste and smell of walnuts always takes me straight back there.
Anyway this is what I stitched for them, a stylised representation of one of their four shops.


As you can see it is stitched on aida, which really dates it, because I switched to linen and evenweave very early on, but this was way back in the eighties, before cross stitch was much of a "thing". If I recall correctly I adapted the design from one in Anna Burda magazine (I'm pretty sure it pre-dates most British Cross Stitch mags).
I featured chocolate eclairs in the design because they were my Dad's favourites (he always had one with his lunch on a Saturday), and a wedding cake, because they were Aunt Jen's province. She used to do the royal icing on the celebration cakes, and she was amazing at it, I could watch her for hours. I remember the cake she did for Sunderland football club when they won the cup, it was iced all in green and marked out as a football pitch (my Dad and Uncle helped her with that bit, she wasn't really a football person), and decorated with a little subbuteo team.
I could go on all day with memories but I'll leave it there. Looking forward to reading about everyone else's loved ones.