Search This Blog

Popular Posts

Friday, 22 December 2017

Fibre Friday (22/12/17)

Hi Everyone
My fibre update today is a bit ‘thin’ again ! I’m blaming Christmas. I’ve been focussing on Christmas knitting and everything else has taken second place. I’ve put some time into the Garland Sweater (check out the pattern here) and am almost finished my second pair of Christmas socks using WYS Christmas yarn (read about the story here). 
I’ve got lots of  ideas for new knitting projects over the Christmas period and thought I would share my favourites at the moment. I’m not sure if this is my final list (it keeps changing) but here are my thoughts at the moment :


I need to search out some patterns for my Mittens, hat and shawl so will spend a little time later on this job. I’ve got loads of yarn in my stash and lots of patterns to choose from. That’s about it for fibre stuff. No spinning at all this week. I’m hoping to spend a little time over the Christmas holidays spinning too.
Have a great weekend and a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate). I will be taking a break over the holiday period and should be back in the New Year. Thank you to everyone who calls in to read the blog. Happy New Year for 2018.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Silver Day 21/12/17

Hi Everyone 
Today is Silver Day as usual but time is short (Christmas lists are growing) so I’m preparing for a new range of designs rather than doing too much practical work at my bench. This preparation will involve new drawings and a materials lists ? I’m rather pleased with last weeks earring designs (I’ve been wearing them daily) and am planning to develop the range into more jewellery. I’m starting the new items with a ring design. I’d like to use Silver Art Clay components with rings, more ear ring styles as well as a broach pin and a bracelet. I especially like the simple organic stone/pebble shaped earrings (as per the photo) and will take the little component and apply to each of the jewellery items. I don’t have a specific design at the moment and will play around with sketches first. I do have a couple of ring bands semi prepared for the organic silver stones/pebble so may get that completed but it’s more about the design at the moment.


I need to order more materials too, so will prioritise this job when I have a specific plan. I’m not sure about the shape and size of the Silver wire I need yet and I may also go for additional, different Art Clay metals ? 
My new ring bands (above) are flat and quite wide so my first rings will need components to compliment the bands, I’m thinking I need quite a large ‘silver pebble’ or maybe a selection of smaller ‘pebbles’. I think this project will run well into the New Year, so lots of time to play with the idea.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Hi Everyone
Today, I’m sharing my Christmas decoration inspiration for this year. Usually, we (mainly when the children were young) pulled out all the decorations from years past and up they go without too much thought about any theme or design. The kids have now lost interest in Christmas decorations. This year, I thought we would go for something a little different. I’m developing a Christmas HYGGE.
Hard to explain and even harder to pronounce, the Danish word "hygge" (pronounced 'hooga') has exploded in popularity around the world over the last few years. It translates roughly to "cosiness," but it means so much more than that. So what is hygge, really?  Examples of  hygge include creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. So my Christmas hygge it not a decoration theme but more of an atmosphere created by my organisation/decoration of our living space over the Christmas period.
My family are mildly amused by the idea and will probably ignore the plan but it’s giving me a core theme for dressing up our house and helping me to create a cosy and relaxing space. Generally, I’ve kicked out the bright colours of Christmas decorations and have limited my palette to whites, greens and a little injection of red. I’m trying hard to look at how our seating is arranged (to encourage sitting around and chatting/ sharing/doing things together) as well as adding lots more cushions and throws with more candles than usual. I’ve turned to the garden for Holly, Ivy and Rosemary for extra decoration ideas. I’ve also changed some of the curtains to white muslin. All of these things together are chosen to create the calming, ‘clean feel’ of our living space to encourage hygge.
Here’s a quick look at some ideas which could inspire my Christmas hygge :


I’m not quite organised for my hygge and it’s all an aspiration. I’m not ‘beating’ myself up about all this, creating lots of pressure  but my aim is to enjoy and relax and I think it’s worth a try and I’m  enjoying working on that. I may get some images to share the outcome of our Christmas hygge, when I get there. I’ll certainly look back in the New Year, to see if the whole idea worked for me.

Thanks for calling in today

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Sewing Up The Trees

Hi Everyone
I’m really struggling to get my Making project in today ! As it’s Tuesday, it’s a Sewing Day for me and I was reviewing my very long list of projects which I need to spend some time. There are lots of sewing projects underway, however, I’m very short of time this week. It’s the last build up to Christmas, so lots to do.
My Making decision is to complete the Trees bracelets (from a few months ago). Read back to some of the September posts with more detail on this project. I have one of the bracelets ‘sewn up’ and I wear it often but I do have several more bracelets to construct and lots of beads. This will be a manageable Make for my busy day. I simply need to thread the beads (another name for sewing in my book) and do a little polishing. Hopefully, I can finish two complete bracelets over my day, here’s a quick reminder of the beads I made for the Trees Project :


I’ll get some photos of my efforts by the end of the day - finished or not ! 
There will be some progress, I need to Make everyday, it’s just the rule !

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Buttons for Mittens

Hi Everyone
Today, I will be spending a short time making some buttons for my new Mittens design. I’ve decided to place three buttons on each of the coloured stitch bands on the Mittens (I will need six buttons). I’m not sure about which colour to go with yet - red or green ? I’ll mix some Polymer Clay in both shades and try them out. I’m reasonably pleased with how the pattern has worked out. The fit is excellent. As I mentioned on Friday, the design is a combination of a couple of patterns I’ve already used (read back to check out the details). One of the mitten patterns, previously made, is not a good fit, much too big - so, I’ve modified the ‘numbers’ and am very pleased with the new fit, very snug and much more comfortable to wear. I need to finish the thumbs and sew in the ends and that’s that ! At the moment, the thumbs will use the plain red shade, so a very quick job.


I’ve used Blacker Yarn for this design , Swan in Bolsam Bog and Gotland in Shower - the colours work beautifully together and I’m hoping my buttons will add a great finishing touch to the design. Hopefully, I will have the job complete by Friday.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Fibre Friday Update (15/12/17)

Hi Everyone
This week I’ve been knitting (almost exclusively) on Christmas gift projects, so I can't give anything away ! However, I have done a little work on the Garland Sweater (look back last week for details). I’ve also done a little work on my Christmas socks, you may remember the minor disaster re the socks, again re back for details. I’ve finished one sock and will cast on the second later this evening. 
Last night, I started a new project. I’ve been thinking about this one for a couple of weeks. The new project is a combination of a couple of recent knits, my Holt Wristwarmers (hereand my Azzurite Mittens (check it out). I’ve taken various elements of each and will play with some kind of stitch pattern and introduce a new yarn. I’m using a Blacker Gotland yarn (new) in the Shower colourway and the Blacker Swan (used in the wirstwarmers) in Balsom Bog.


So far, I’ve created a cuff - knitting sideways in a 2x2 rib. I’ve simply made an oblong shape and crocheted the edges (together) to form a cuff, picked up stitches on the edge of the round and knitted 3 rows in basic Stocking stitch. The Azzurite mits used a similar idea but created a provisional cast on and used Three Needle bind off to close the cuff. My plan is to play with the two colours either with a stitch pattern or some Fairisle work. At the moment, I think I’m going for stitch pattern in both colours. The colours I’ve chosen contrast beautifully and I’m keen to use the colours to give impact. I’ll probably try a few different ideas before deciding on the final design.
My focus will be to finish my Christmas socks over the next week but I’m enjoying creating my new Mittens. I need to work on a name before I complete the design.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend, I’ll be back on Monday.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Silver Earring Report

Hi Everyone
I’m sharing the results of last weeks Silver Day (check it out here). My initial plan for  Silver Day (last week) changed a little, after trying out the planned design. My initial idea was to develop organic, linked rings with a large shaped ear hook. My prototype component is Ok but I wasn’t hugely impressed with the results. I like the shape and the concept but not the large hook idea with the organic rings. I’m not sure which hook or post I need, more experiments are scheduled. However, I love the other earrings. The main components are shaped from Art Silver Clay and after firing I created Sterling Silver hooks which are soldered to the fired clay.


I’ve chosen the Silver Pebble earrings for myself. Normally, all the prototypes go elsewhere (as gifts/sales) and I don’t get to keep the ones I particularly like, however, this time I’ve kept my favourite (bottom image in my photo). I’ve worn them everyday since making and love them. I already have many more ideas in my head and will make some sketches today for a new batch.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Making Fibre Interior Stuff

Hi Everyone
Today, I’d like to share a new (to me) magazine called Koel. I acquired the magazine last week and have been looking at it most days, I cant seem to put it down. There’s so much inspiration in both the magazine and on the website - take a look here. The magazine describes itself as :
A new quarterly magazine by Studio Bloesem that celebrates crafting with yarns to create a stylish home. Curating a contemporary interior decor with yarns. It brings back the coolness to decorative crochet, knitting, macramé, latch hooking, needlework, and weaving. Selectively featuring guest stories on other vices of KOEL’s makers, such as flowers, food, ceramics and other handmade crafts. 
The photography is amazing and there are a range of Making patterns alongside features on interiors as well as inspiring Maker stories. My magazine is Issue 3. I’ve been trying to decide on my favourite piece to share here and am struggling to find my top project. So, I’ve decided to identify my top three :


I’ve dabbled with embroidery over the last few months - but not much to show. However, the lovely idea (bottom left) is very inspiring and I’ve added this project to my list. I see an embroidered pendant being added to a silver chain, not sure about a pattern yet ? The next idea (bottom right) combines hoop embroidery with needle felting. Felting is a regular in my Making life but I love the combination of both together in this project. I will definitely work on something similar, the vegetable elements are so lovely. The last of the three projects is ‘weaving’. I’m not a weaver but it’s very appealing. I do see lots of weaving at yarn shows and am always drawn to ‘watching’ as experienced Makers produce complicated pieces of fabric with wool. I’d love to make small pieces to make into bags. Not sure why ? but I love wool fabric bags. Obviously, I’ve got a ‘way to go’ with this one ! However, Christmas is coming and maybe I need some kind of weaving loom ? 

I will definitely look at more issues of  KOEL, even if it’s just for the photos. I highly recommend the magazine.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Christmas Making Workshop

Hi Everyone
We have a new Making Workshop today. This is the last session before Christmas 2017. We will have lots of chat and there will be Mince Pies. This time we are making beaded Angels, Snowman and more. Our workshops have been focusing on preparations for Christmas for the last few sessions and it’s the 4th in the series. We have made crochet Snowmen gift bags, crochet and felted greetings cards, felted Robins and finally the beaded Christmas charms. The first three sessions are new projects to the Making Programme and have been great. Today’s Christmas charms project  is one from last year. I love making these little charms, so satisfying.


Last year, I created a small festive tree developed from a Willow branch and decorated it with lots beaded Angels. This year, I’m resurrecting the Willow tree and will add my new beaded charms from today. Hopefully, I can come up with a Santa and a variety of Snowmen. The charms are very easy to make and allow lots of creativity with simple bead combinations. The charms can turn into a tree charm or a pair of festive earrings. As usual, I will aim to get some photos to share here on the blog.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Prototype Polymer Samples

Hi Everyone
If you are a regular reader, you will know I’m in the middle of a big Job - reorganising my Studio. It’s going rather slowly ! However, I will get there. As I’m sorting each and every item, I’m coming across stuff I’ve either forgotten about or lost. It’s all very interesting (for some of the time). As it’s my Polymer Day today, I thought I would share some prototype jewellery samples made from Polymer Clay. These samples were stored in a box, deep in the Studio and I’d forgotten about them. Some samples can go, they’ve served their purpose but amongst the box, I found some interesting ideas. Some of the samples could be used and reworked into a new piece or used as inspiration for something new. Here is a quick look at a selection which has taken my interest.

Most of the samples are earrings or ear ring components but the Chartreuse coloured rings are very appealing to me. I want to sand them and slightly reshape the rings, possibly adding some Silver. I’ll spend some time working on these four pieces later today. 
Hopefully, I may come across more stuff today. The reorganisation goes on !

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Fibre Friday - 8/12/17

Hi Everyone
This weeks fibre round up is very much like the last few weeks. I’ve been dividing my fibre time between a few projects. I shared the Toft Advent Project earlier this week (read back Monday for more on this). The Toft project is a mystery crochet, little bits of the final item is made each day with yarn from the windows in the box. It’s very exciting and I look forward to setting aside 15/20mins each day for the task.
I’ve also been continuing with a few ongoing knitting projects. The Garland sweater moves on, very slowly. There are in excess of 300 stitches on the needles and I try and complete 2/3 rows each evening. I’m enjoying the knit, the colours are lovely and the stocking stitch is very simple, great for TV knitting. It’s going to be a few weeks yet !
My next project is a Bousta Beanie. This is the second Bousta which has been waiting patiently in my bag for some time. It’s quite a quick knit so I’m  hopeful I can get is finished this next week. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of the base colour so need to get a new ball today. 
My last knit project is the lovely Christmas socks (I shared these last week). I had actually finished the socks and unbelievably, they are too big for me ! I know what I’ve done, so it’s not a big deal. My husband took the opportunity to suggest he should have them, so that brilliant. I’ll wrap them up for Christmas. The issue came from using the wrong ‘foot shape’ a cardboard template I use for sizing. I simply used the wrong template. I need to add names, clearly. However, no problem, I’ve started another pair for me. This time I’m going for a toe up sock with an Afterthought heel.


That’s about is for fibre stuff. No spinning at all, sadly. However, I’m hopeful next week will include some spinning. I’m planning on spending some more time next week on fibre related stuff, I’ll report as I go.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend, I’ll be back on Monday.
Bye for now.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Silver Day

Hi Everyone 
It’s Silver Day today and I have a new design. My idea is to produce a protype for production so I’m concentrating on efficiency. I want a simple, rounded hook which can be fused to a number of variations of the design. The earring design will be two linked rings. I want to connect the component to the hook by soldering but the rings will simply link before fusing together. The variations will come from using different size and shaped Sterling Silver wire. The wire I’m using today will be 1x1mm, square wire. I’m not sure about the size yet. I think today, I’d like to make 2 of 3 sizes to see which works best.

As usual, my design process involves making a quick sketch from an idea which has been ‘brewing’ in my head for a while. I was inspired by noticing the outline shape of lots of paper clips for this design. I liked the long, thin shape of a standard paper clip, many of which (in my box) had randomly linked together.  I immediately thought of earrings which could allow an element of movement for the component. The wire will begin by being roundish but I do want to mimic the standard paper clip shape for this design. Fingers crossed, I can produce something interesting with my idea.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The BIG Job

Hi Everyone
If you called in last Thursday, you will know I started a reorganisation of my studio. Last week, I gave myself two days to complete the job. What was I thinking ? The job is massive ! I used the initial planned two days well, however, there is so much more to go. At the end of Friday, I had lost the plot and was regretting starting. Over a cup of coffee, I decided to identify a daily objective to continue the reorganisation, which is helping me to get the job done. I don’t have a timescale, it’s one day and one objective at a time. Although, this approach is ‘slow going’, I’m finding, it does help to review as I go. I have, on a couple of occasions, changed my ideas about how to store various items. 


Currently, I have lots of crates - filled with ? (who knows, I’ve certainly forgotten). I have thrown lots of rubbish but there is so much to go. I’m trying to be disciplined and each item needs to ‘earn’ their space. 
Today, I’ve got lots of writing to do, Wednesdays are designated for writing. However, I will keep on track with the Big Job. My objective is to bag up lots of paper and old journals as well as organise a shelf for my teaching tools. I have the shelf identified so it should be straightforward. I think, I need some new boxes but at this stage, I’m not sure exactly the size I need. I will wait until I know what I’ve got left before making any purchases. I know the studio will be organised one day soon and it will be amazing.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Advent Project

Hi Everyone
It’s Day 5 of my Advent Project today and I’m still very excited every day about this years Advent ‘thing’. The Advent idea is a crochet project from TOFT, read all about TOFT here. The Advent Project arrived in a beautiful box with lots of little windows and a cute Christmas scene, here’s my box on day 1.


Each day, I get to open a little window to reveal a very small skein of yarn, you can see the skein sitting on the box (above). The instructions for the daily crochet task arrives in my email box. I’m not sure what the final character will be ? At the moment, I’ve made a couple of things which look like legs. 
I’m very excited abou this project and am up to date with each task. I choose about a 20 mins slot for the job each day, along with a coffee. It’s very satisfying and I look forward to it - each day.

I’ll share my progress in a few days. Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 4 December 2017

More Robins

Hi Everyone
I’ve another Robin project today. It’s actually one of the projects featured last Tuesday but I’ve not actually put all the bits together yet ! I’m still heavily into reorganising my studio (will take all week) and the Robin project will be a bit of a break later. This felt project is a quick make (in theory). I’ve made a pattern of the Robin shape and have found a couple of feathers. I’ve got brown and red feathers and I’m not sure which to go for yet ? I’ll wait and see what works best, once the Robin has been developed. If these Robins turn out well, I am hopeful at this stage,  I’ll make a few more.


I think, I could also change the size up and down to create quite a good display. The feathers are large, so a I think I can go for something twice the size of my sample template (in photo). This project comes from a Kirstie Allsopp book called ‘Craft’. I’ve had this book for quite a few years and each Christmas I think about making the Robin, this is the year ! I need to find some Brown felt fabric and a little stuffing and I’m ready to go. Hopefully, I’ll have something to share in a few days.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Fibre Friday

Hi Everyone
I’ve not had too much time this week for knitting or spinning, I usually do most of my knitting in the evenings and I’ve had lots of extra projects going on instead. However, I do have some progress to share.


I’ve spent most time, this week, knitting the Christmas socks, they are finished other than sewing in the ends/soaking. I’ve got lots of yarn left and am thinking a pair of gloves would be good ? The sock pattern is my own version of a sock. It started out as an Afterthought Everything Sock, read back last Friday for the idea behind this sock. I didn’t follow the whole idea exactly but mainly it’s faithful to an Afterthought Sock. I developed a tube, added a contrast toe, 2x2 rib cuff and a Wedge heel. It’s a very simple construction which I think suits the yarn well. I love the yarn, the colours are lovely and the pattern is very festive. Generally, I’m pleased with the socks. My usual issue with a tightly knitted bind off on the cuff is there again, it’s a bit disappointing  because I did try a Lace Bind Off technique to try and eliminate a tight band on the cuff. I may try another bind off for a looser fit.

I’m also working away with the Garland Sweater, it’s a big knit ! I’m working on the body at the moment, a simple but very wide stocking stitch section. I’m enjoying this knit, although it does take forever to knit one round ! I tend to knit a couple of rows each evening alongside another project, so progress ‘happens’ on a regular basis. Again, read back last week for more on the Garland Sweater.

My next knit is a second Bousta Beanie. I started this back in September, immediately after finishing my own Beanie. This new hat is for my husband, he has quite a large head so I needed to do something with the size. I’ve simply gone up a needle and all seems well. I’ve not done too much on the Beanie but again, I have a plan for few rounds each evening. The Bousta Beanie is quite a small project so I’m hoping a week or so should have it completed, hopefully for Christmas. 

My last fibre feature is the November Travellers Club (a monthly fibre club) from HilltopCloud . This fibre is 25% Bamboo/75% Merino. It’s a lovely blue/green colour, I love it. I’m not sure what I’m going to make ? I’m thinking a cowl would be nice. The fibres are amazingly soft with wonderful shades of dark blue. I’m looking forward to the spin. I’ll share the yarn when it appears.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Silver Rings

Hi Everyone
It’s a Silver Day today. I have three new rings designs to share. These rings are similar to the last batch but using thicker Silver for the main bands. Hopefully, I can finish off the rings in my work session, it will be a short session today. I have just soldered the bands together, so there’s a filing and polishing job to do.


Alongside my ring session, I’m trying to re organise my studio. This is a big, big job ! However, I’m at the point where I just need to get on with it. I’ve been thinking about new storage and ways of efficiently organising my materials and tools for some time and I think the day has arrived.
When my stuff is well organised, I feel energised in lots of ways - so it’s an important job. I have set aside the majority of two days, by the weekend - I should be there. Wish me luck.

Thnaks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Writing Day

Hi Everyone
In theory, Wednesdays are designated for ‘writing’ and today, I’m wondering what I mean, exactly, when I think ‘writing’ ? Somehow, I think, its time to consider the daily focus of my blog days; not just Wednesdays but all the days. Initially, the daily focus (on the blog) for each day was about making sure I gave some time (each week) to working with different materials and/or techniques. Much of my Making time is mixed media work and I’m regularly working with a variety of materials alongside their traditional crafting skills to develop mixed media projects.

Monday’s deal with Polymer Clay; Tuesdays, Sewing Day; Wednesdays deal with Writing ; Thursdays are Silver Days and Fridays are Fibre. I also work with Paper things (quite a bit) and feel I’m neglecting this material, so I’m thinking about adding Paper to Wednesdays and opening up the writing idea to incorporate painting too. I’d like to keep the central idea of a Writing Day because I do need time to record as well as edit projects within my work and prior to the designated Writing Day, this aspect of work didn’t happen in an organised way. Often, spending time organising and reviewing is a great way of promoting efficiency for me. It’s very easy to get sidetracked when I have lots of projects underway at the same time. So, where does that lead me ? I’m not quite there yet. I think, I need to re think the organisation of my work. 

Generally, I’m working with ‘projects’. I devise projects for a number of reasons - teaching, publishing and learning (for me) seems to sum up the reasons. On the whole, I will devise a project for a particular situation and then adapt for a wider application. Writing up the projects tends to follow a regular  process. I have a Project Journal for recording each project as well as a Blog Journal which uses the information recorded in the Project Journal to plan content on the blog. If I’m writing for publication, that’s means anything that someone else will read, I will directly write up into my iPad. I will use both Journals for reference,these Journals are very important to me.


I’m not sure that clears up anything ? I’ve probably ‘muddied the waters’ ! However, I’ve started thinking, and that’s what I need to do. I do tend to get very anxious if I feel disorganised, it’s safe to say - I feel disorganised, so this is a priority. My way forward is to ponder all these thoughts this morning, probably go for a walk later and make decisions. I’ll share the results of my little ‘mind conference’ next time.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Making Robins

Hi Everyone
Making Robins seems to be a bit of a theme for me this year re Christmas preparations. I didn’t particularly set out to choose ‘Robins’ -  it’s just worked out that way. I do keep seeing Robins, everywhere. I developed some appliqué cards (look back a few days ago) with the Robin shape and its definitely a favourite at the moment. I’m now looking for more situations to include Robins in my Christmas theme. That said, having a ‘Christmas theme’ sounds very organised and rather sophisticated. My house will get a Christmas treatment of some kind but I’m not sure it will be organised or sophisticated in any way ! 
We have another Making Workshop (read back here for more about Making Workshops) today and of course, it’s about making Robins. I’m very excited about this one. I’m hoping I can make a few different felted Robins to adorn my Christmas house.

In addition to today’s treat, I have a lovely project, featured in a Kirstie Allsopp book (Craft) featuring a felted Robin. It’s lovely and it’s been waiting for quite a few years to be included in one of our Christmas’s. This is the year I will make it.


I’ll try and get some photos during our workshop today. I always set out to record our Making sessions with some photos and often fail because there is so much going on. I usually remember to take photos as everyone is leaving, having packed away their Makes ! Fingers crossed, I can get my act together today.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Christmas Cards etc.

Hi Everyone
Today, I’m spending some time developing Christmas cards and tags. I’ve already started making some samples of these cards but my sewing machine let me down a few weeks ago. It’s all fixed so hopefully today will see a batch of designs coming from my ideas. I’d like to sew a range of simple appliqué shapes onto cards and tags using some hand printed fabric (from last year).
I’m using robins and very simple Christmas trees :


I’ve got an initial batch of 20 to produce for today. Hopefully , I can get all that sorted. I’m wary of thinking everything is decided before I begin, I often start with very simple ideas for these kinds of projects and several days later .......  find myself still creating additional elements ! It’s all in the detail.
Wish me luck.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Fibre Friday Update

Hi Everyone
As promised last Friday, I’m giving an update on the Big Sweater project today. This is something which seems to have been going on forever without much progress. Read back here (way back in May) for the first piece I did on the Sweater. I’ve  been working away, very slowly on this project and have about 1/3 of the yarn I need. In summary, I’m spinning a blended (by me) fibre for a sweater. It’s a sweater for my husband, so I’m calling it ‘Big’. It’s not that big but it seems I need quite a bit of yarn, 1250m to be precise. My intention was to try and spin everyday, this doesn’t happen but I do get through a few prepared rolags each week. I tend to prepare a batch of rolags and grab a single rolag when a I have a gap in my day. I’m happy I will get there and it’s a joy to spin, so the project is a happy one.

The eventual sweater will be use a pattern from Rib magazine (No. 2 Navigate) and is called the Cayley Pullover by Irina Anikeeva. It’s described as a casual crew neck. It’s mostly stockinet and has cables across the top. It’s a lovely sweater so I’ve got big hopes for the final item, whenever that is !

My other fibre news today involves the Christmas knit that I talked about last Friday, read back for details. This was going to be a ‘Christmas Eve cast on’, the Afterthought Everything sock. As you can see, I couldn’t manage to wait until Christmas Eve and have knitted the first sock. I’ve yet to put in the heel and will add an Afterthought heel when the other sock is complete. I didn’t keep to the plan of knitting a long tube and then dividing for the two socks, then adding toes and rib. Somehow, it just seemed as if it would create more work - separating the tube. There seems no point ? I’ve decided to follow the same construction for the second sock but next time, I will do a ‘tow up’ construction. Yes, there will be another pair, for Christmas Eve cast on. I like the idea of trying on the sock for fit before adding the heel and I like the option to add the rib or top to get a nice loose cuff. Im not sure, I need a ‘provisional cast on’ ? for the beginning of the leg of the sock (to add an Afterthought Cuff), again more work than necessary. I’m a very tight knitter and my cast on is always a little on the tight side, so I thought I needed to replicate the second sock exactly (I did consider starting with the rib !). I used a lace bind off for the first cuff and it’s just right for me. This issue of which order to add the Afterthought bits has been a useful excercise. My next pair of socks will definitely start at the toe, knit up to the rib, finish with a rib and add an Afterthought heel. I’ve yet to decide on the heel technique ? I’ll let you know next week.
This Afterthought Everything idea sound great but being pragmatic, I’m not into creating work for the sake of it. I’m sure someone must have a good reason for adding Afterthought elements throughout but it’s not for me.
I’ve loved knitting this sock. The yarn is lovely, WYS Holly Berry and I’m using 2.5mm DPNs - my usual way is to use Magic Loop but it’s a nice change and I do like using DPNs.

Thanks for calling in today. Hopefully, I will have my finished socks for next time and the announcement of the official Christmas Eve sock !

Have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Silver Day

Hi Everyone
Today is a Silver Day. I’m working away on another Silver ring Collection, this is a regular thing but I’ve introduced a few pairs of earring into the mix. I’ll be adding more smaller ring components to the larger rings and I think there will be earrings hooks for the hoops rather than a regular hoop style (directly through the ear).

I’ve got a couple of ‘Stacking Threes’ as I’m calling them, these are groups of rings in various sizes of ring which group together to be worn as one ring or single, if you prefer. I’ve also got the beginnings of a Spinner ring (third item from the left) and a fine Silver Bead Band. I prepared and soldered the silver a few days ago and shaped the rings yesterday. Today, I will finish the shaping and polish. I will also work on the earring design. This is a new development, so I’m not sure what will happen ? My initial idea is to develop some small silver components to slip onto the larger hoop and add some large hooks. I’ll go with whatever the design suggests. I have two pairs to work with, so two options open to me.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Results

Hi Everyone
As promised, I’m sharing the results of the Enamelling experiments from yesterday and last week, check out the story  here and  here. Generally, I had some positive and some negative outcomes from yesterday. The actual enamelling process for my rings worked in theory but the result isn’t quite what I had in mind. I managed to get the navy colour onto the copper rings but it’s uneven and looks a bit grainy. This is almost certainly, my lack of skill/experience, so I’ve not given up, just yet. I have learned lots about the process and understand how to manage the application of the enamelling powder, a little. I used KLYR - Gum solution as an adhesive for the powder and now realise it needs to be dry before firing takes place. I also found very fine layers of powder worked much better. I know, I need to manage the build up of layers better. For my sample, three layers seemed to get a reasonable colour but I still found the finished enamel layer very patchy and unattractive. So, it’s back to more experiments.

 Initially, I didn’t manage the heat well, at the beginning of my session. I used a small hand torch for firing. By the end of the session, I found I could target my heat without damaging the surface. However, there is so much more to learn. I’m not sure what I was thinking ? I should not have started with rings, this must be one of the most difficult items to enamel - a larger, flat disc would have been much better.
I also began my session by making the rings. I thought, I’d prepared the rings but not the case (or I’ve lost them). Making the rings set me back, in terms of time. Once underway, I experienced some issues with the heat, mentioned above, as well as not realising, I needed to allow the KLYR to dry, this would have helped the coverage, I think ? The main issue seems to be getting an even coverage on the very thin, rounded surface. 


In addition to the copper rings, I also enamelled a couple of stainless steel blanks. This technique proved much more straight forward. The photo on the bottom left shows the before and after firing colour. The actual colour is quite a dark blue - perfect. One major thing I’ve learned about enamelling is understanding how to ‘read’ the colour of the enamel, judging what’s going on based on subtle colour changes. My plan for these enamelled pieces is to add some silver components and earring hooks. 

Clearly, I need to experiment more and will tackle the rings again, perhaps in a few days time.

Today, I’m working on La Patisserie- a project started last week. Read about it here. The update on the project is a bit thin. I’ve worked on developing a Pinterest Board with lots of ideas and will produce some samples today based on the inspiration from my Board. Hopefully, all will go well and I will have something to share for next Wednesday.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Enamelling Experiments

Hi Everyone
I’m hoping to test out some enamelling ideas today. Enamelling is quite new to me and although I understand the theory, I’ve yet to actually produce side thing worthwhile. I did give it a go last week with some stainless steel blanks, poor results which I prefer to forget. 
The main reason I’d like to get to grips with enamelling is to cover copper rings with various coloured enamels. I like the idea of developing stacking rings in various sizes in different shades of  (initially) blue and green. If my initial experiment is successful, I’ll develop a few more colours and possibly break into a new Collection of jewellery, including earrings, rings and bracelets.
I’m going to develop some copper ring blanks for the experiments and will experiment with the enamelling bit.


The rings in my photo are similar to the rings ‘to be’. Hopefully, I will have a blue and green enamel coating by the end of the day. I have a few questions (in my head) about how the final surface will look - so wish me luck. In theory, the experiment should take a very short time but I do have a long list of jobs today. I’ll share the results of my experiment tomorrow. Don’t forget to call in and check out the rings.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Knitted Folk

Hi Everyone
I’m sharing a brilliant experience from the weekend today. I had a great time making Knitted Folk in a workshop at my local yarn shop, Fine Fettle Fibres. I’ve been looking forward to this workshop for quite some time and it didn’t disappoint. I loved the whole thing. The workshop was delivered by 
Liz Reed (go and see her site and smile). Liz is a most inspiring teacher and SO empowering regarding the whole creative process. Here’s a quick look at my version of the knitted doll :


I had thought I would like to add some wings to my doll and made some small polymer clay wings for the purpose. I wasn’t sure of my chosen surface pattern/colour choice would fit the doll so I only developed one wing, as a result I need to finish the other. The wings are perfect for the job. I had also thought about creating a crown or some kind of ‘fairy’ style headgear but I love the knitted hat and will leave it as it is. Somehow the hat fits the character. 
I, now, have so many ideas to make some more knit folk of my own. I have another option with a piece of driftwood gifted from Liz (she called it a reject but it looks great to me) and am thinking about a Christmas thing with red and green stripes. I need to think a bit more about this but I’m looking forward to getting it going.

I’ll be back with an update on my progress with this project, over the next few days.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Fibre Friday

Hi Everyone
My round up for this week is pretty much, the same items as last week. However, I’ve finished the red Nuuk (read back for details) other than blocking and sewing in the ends. The Garland sweater has been in and out several times. I had huge issues with joining ‘in the round’ after the initial cast on. For some reason each time, even while being aware and thinking about the job, I made the same mistake, several times. Eventually, I managed to move on and made good progress. So far, I’ve completed the rib (4cms) and the next 14 rows of a lace pattern. I’m now onto plain stocking stitch for some time. I’ll share progress next week. It’s a very enjoyable knit, I was slightly apprehensive about knitting with the mohair yarn but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how everything is going - after the cast on thing !

Sadly, not much to report about spinning. I’m steadily moving through a few rolags for the Big Sweater. I will do a feature next week on the Big Sweater.

I have been spending time organising and thinking about my Ravelry project page and queue. I’ve managed to sort out my plans for the next few months. I’ve got a few sweaters in there, alongside other projects. I’m planning to share this development next time, so call back next week for more.

My next bit of news is all about my Christmas sock cast on. I was inspired by Danni from the Little Bobbins YouTube channel last year to join in with this idea and it’s now a tradition in my world.


This is last years Christmas yarn design by WYS called Holly Berry. I did think about going for this years version Candy Cane but when a I saw them together, it was no contest. I love both yarn but the colours of Holly Berry speak to me more. I do need some plain for the heels, toes and rib. I’m thinking about dying some of my own yarn and creating some minis for the job. Not sure, if I will go for green or red ? I’m thinking ‘red’at the moment. For the pattern, I saw this great idea for Afterthought Everything socks check it out here. This is not only an Afterthought heel but knitting a sock ‘tube’ which is split with heels, toes and rib added, afterwards. I love this idea and feel quite excited to try it out. I will knit my tube in plain stocking stitch, I want to see the yarn without any texture. I need to choose which heel to go for next ? I’d like to try something new (to me). After that decision, I’m ‘good to go’.

That’s about it for Fibre things this week.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for calling in.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Enamelling Experiments

Hi Everyone
Today, I’m experimenting with enamelling. I’m completely new to enamelling, so anything could happen. I understand the theory and have a few ideas for some jewellery items using simple, torch enamelling techniques. I have a number of stainless steel blanks and will dabble with my ideas.
Here are the blanks waiting to be decorated :


I’m thinking about simple, abstract ‘marks’ - I’ll see how it goes but I’d like to be in a position to control the colours before deciding on final plans. I have only three colours to work with, deliberately limiting  myself at this stage. The blanks will hopefully turn into necklaces or earrings, they are quite small, so I may also try using a few blanks together. As usual, a I will share my results on the blog, good and/or bad !
Wish me luck.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

La Pâtisserie

Hi Everyone
I’m planning a new project today- I’m calling it ‘La Patisserie’. A pâtisserie (pronounced [pɑtisʁi]) is a type of French or Belgian bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets. My idea, at this point, is to create a fictional shop which links into the world of one of my Art dolls (Miss Mitchell). The shop will be a Patisserie. The point behind La Patisserie is to provide a story around making some pretty little polymer clay cakes and pastries. The cakes and pastries will develop into charms, earrings, stitch markers/progress keepers and key rings and possibly more ?
I’d like to develop a shopfront made from paper with various little bags and other branded items for my shop. Miss Mitchell will ‘front up’ the shop, so lots of opportunities to dress a new Art doll for the job.
My starting point and inspiration is a project from way back, originally developed for a school fundraising activity. Here’s a few images of that inspiration :


I have plans for different types of pastries and cakes and will develop a range of ideas today. I’m hoping to write my little background story of La Patisserie as I develop the ideas for the polymer clay charms. Hopefully, I’ll have something to share for next week. I’m spending a couple of months on this project, so will keep my updates coming in the Wednesday blog spot.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Making Workshop Event

Hi Everyone
We have a Making Workshop today. For new readers to the blog, Making Workshops happen every two weeks at our local High School (during term time). These workshops provide an opportunity for local adults to make things. We focus on a particular project for about 1-3 weeks and have a very relaxed but structured approach. Generally, we have a lovely time.This time we are preparing the Christmas Cards I mentioned yesterday. New skills in crochet and felting will feature alongside paper skills. By the end of the afternoon session I’m hoping we will have three cards, envelopes and gift tags per Maker. Here is a quick look at some of the samples :

The little trees are dressed in polymer gems (from yesterday) and the tags has a cute little deleted star, finished with a polymer star. Hopefully, our Makers will come up with some interesting ways of a adding Christmas wishes. One of my samples (right hand sample) is using tape with Merry Christmas woven into the fabric, the other tiny tree card uses a paper ribbon, printed with Merry Christmas. The tag also uses the paper ribbon but this time has individual letters stamped to read out the Merry Christmas sentiment.

I’ll share a few images of the Workshop results over the next few days.

Thanks for calling in today.

Poly Gems

Hi Everyone
Today, I’m focused on making polymer gems for decorating mini Christmas Trees. These gems will be used in our next Making Workshop, on Tuesday. We are crocheting or felting mini trees for Christmas cards and the poly gems will decorate the trees.


I’ve made the gems form tiny push cutter, usually used in cake decorating. The cutters allow a clean and delicate result and are perfect for the job. Some of the ‘gems’ are star shaped, some round or oval. We also have some bows and little square parcels with faux ribbon. Each card will have simple  a Christmas greeting so the little gems will be the star of the show.

The shapes have a tiny hole in the middle for sewing to the fibre trees and I’m going to experiment with contrast colours for the thread.
 I’m looking forward to seeing how our Makers use the poly gems, I’ll share our cards from the workshop, later in the week.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Fibre Friday

Hi Everyone
It’s a bit of a mixed bag this week on the fibre front. I’ve had a couple of mini disasters ! and a little success. 
My Nuuk (read back last week for a look) is almost finished, I need to bind off half of the neckband and that’s it ! I probably need about an arms length of extra yarn and 5 mins knitting. I can’t quite believe it’s so close ! and I need an extra new hank of yarn. That’s the down side.  The positive is that I can knit with the remaining part of the yarn (most of it) on another project and I’ve decided on that next knit. I did think about ripping out the bottom of the Nuuk and loosing a row of the body to complete the neck band but I’m Ok with my decision and this is my next project :


The new project is to be this lovely sweater by Caitlin Hunter. I love all her designs and this has been on my radar for a while. I especially like the swingy poncho style but with arms. Wonderful. I’m hoping I can knit the whole thing in various colours of Dovestone DK. I will use the extra from the Nuuk, as previously mentioned and all the other bits of Dovestone in my stash. The Dovestone in my stash is leftovers from lots of projects and I’m hoping I can find a way to incorporate all the bits, I may need to purchase extra but my starting point will be using up what I’ve got - love this idea.

Other news, I’ve started the Garland sweater, again look back last week for more on this design. I made the basic error of twisting the stitches when ‘joining in the round’ on the bottom rib. I didn’t realise, although I had thought I’d checked several times, until 3.5cms of rib had been completed. The bottom has around 300 stitches, so quite a bit of work ! My image shows the progress before ripping out ! However, I don’t feel so bad because I think, I started knitting the wrong size. The sweater does has huge positive ease but I’ve decided to bring down the size a little. I’m back on track and loving the project so far.


My other news is the mini spin. This will be yarn for adding to a cardigan, eventually. I want to knit a basic cardigan, not sure exactly which pattern to use ? I’m considering adapting a Nuuk, 3/4 sleeves and a steeked front ? - ambitious, I know ! The spin worked well and I’ve got about 10gm so far. This was a test spin so will plan my spinning in 10 gm stages. I find this a doable, session spin. I’m hoping I can prepare the yarn alongside my other projects so I need to be disciplined. The BIG sweater spin (read back over the last few weeks for more) has suffered this week, again I need to be disciplined. I’ll try harder next week !

Also, I didn’t get the Polworth socks on the needles. I’ve been talking about doing this for quite a few weeks. You can see the pattern here. I do like the socks and am simply not organised re my knitting projects. I think, I tend to knit on one chosen project for a whole week and I’d like to spread around my time on different projects so will give some thinking time to this next week. I’ve always had a pair of socks ‘on the go’ but somehow I’ve not organised my time lately.

That’s it for fibre this week. 
Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.
I’ll be back on Monday.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Christmas Card Sewing

Hi Everyone
I’m sharing an update on the appliqué Christmas sewing project today. My aim is to produce a range of cards for Christmas, using fabric appliqué techniques and free style machine sewing. I should have completed the main part of the project yesterday, however, my sewing machine let me down. I managed to attach the appliqué shapes on four cards and then, after lots of time wasting trying to fix my machine tension, I ran out of time ! It seems the tension unit needs replacing. I did have an idea that this may happen, the tension has been a bit of a problem for some time.
However, I have four cards with my hand printed fabric shapes sewn in place. Next, I need to finish the ends and add various embellishments. I’m not entirely sure how things will develop but I’ll experiment with inks and some kind of bling.


I had planned additional designs using freestyle machine embroidery and started experimenting when the sewing machine tension issues presented themselves. Hopefully, I can get the machine repaired as soon as possible (new tension unit on its way) so I can continue with the freestyle technique. 
The little experiment (bottom left image) was a bit of a disaster ! but I do like the technique effect and would like to experiment more.

Today, I’m concentrating on finding ways of adding words to the cards. I’m thinking about printing, stamping and embossing techniques. Hopefully, I will have my finished sample cards by the end of the day.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Christmas Cards - under construction.

Hi Everyone
It’s Day 2 of my Christmas Card 2017 Project. I didn’t get too much done yesterday - other jobs intervened! Go back to yesterday’s post for more details. I did manage to sketch out some little templates for my cards, this task has sized my shapes for the card dimensions and I’m ready to go.


I’ve created a few tree shapes and a Robin. I’ve also thought about a few little oblong/square boxes, as wrapped gifts with ribbons or string. I’d like to replicate the shapes so have created paper templates. I’ve decided to use a pencil to trace around each shape, this gives a clear line for cutting and seems to be the most efficient technique.

Having prepped the card blanks and will experiment with sewing today. I’m hoping to attach the shapes with a machine stitch, using a contrasting thread colour. I will also try some freestyle machine sewing for the greetings words but also have some printed and stamped words too. I’ll see which works best, before deciding on the final card design. I’m thinking a combination of free machining and printing will work best for this project. I’m hoping to make an initial batch of 20 so will aim for the most efficient techniques.

Call in, for another update tomorrow. 
Thanks for visiting today.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Christmas Trees

Hi Everyone
I’m back on my Christmas card project today. I didn’t get much done last Tuesday, so I need to come up with my samples today. I’ve been searching my stash (for suitable fabric) and have found trees from last years Christmas Makes which could work for the appliqué job. These trees, were part of a printing project and seem perfect for the appliqué job. The fabric was hand printed using acrylic paint (you can check out this project in my blog posts from December 2016) and the resulting fabric has a great stability which lends itself to machining. The plan is to sew the fabric shapes directly onto card, using my sewing machine. I’d like a range of small and larger cards and have ideas to link the cards - in design terms ? 

I would also like to develop more tree shapes for the cards but these trees (in the photo) are a lovely shape. In addition to using fabric, I’m exploring felt and paper trees for the card range. I’ll bring the Collection together by using similar colours and stitching styles. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll come up with ? My design work will need a couple of days, so I’m extending this little project until the end of the week. 
The Collection will also include a range of gift tags, so I’m hoping to have some samples of all my experiments over the next few days. I’ll be back tomorrow with an update.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Polymer Clay Day

Hi Everyone
I’m sharing the results of my Clay Day experiment from last week. The plan was to create some Polymer Clay beads (in red) using a mould from a previous project. I wanted to adapt the bead idea to have a flat back. The original project sandwiched two moulded pieces together. The flat back idea is a way of making the bead  smaller and potentially easier to wear for an everyday piece of jewellery. Here’s a quick look at the process of producing beads, so far :

I used a simple round cutter to create a flat back for the beads (bottom right).Before  sandwiching the moulded half with the flat half, I placed a small stick over the flat half to create a channel for threading. I placed the moulded half on top of the flat black and used the cutter to ensure both sides are equal in size and shape. The beads are now cured (baked) and polished and ready for threading. 

My issue now, is to decide if I need some kind of spacer bead. I want the beads to have a beautiful, neat opening to the threading channel. I’ve used a shaped reamer to give such a neat hole but I’m still wondering if a spacer bead is needed ? If I go for a spacer bead, should I use the same colour clay or does it need a silver, flat spacer bead ? Not sure what to do ? There are so many options. 

My plan today, is to make some more small, red clay beads, to act as spacers and try them out. I’ll also try a few silver spacer beads and decide. Come back next week to check out my decision.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Fibre Friday News

Hi Everyone
I seem to have been working on fibre stuff all week but I don’t have too much to report ? I do have a finished crochet object - a little Snowman bag/tree hanger. This item featured in our latest Making Working and has been quite a success with our Makers. It’s a very simple but cute little project and has got us into the very early Christmas preparations. On the subject of crochet, I’ve not done too much more on the Hanabira (read back last Friday for more on this) - only a few rows, not worth a photo ! Im happy with the project and am ‘in’ for the long haul, so all is well.

Spinning has also been a bit limited this week. I’ve completed another couple of rolags for the ongoing large sweater spin. You can read back Fridays for more details of this project. I seem to have been spinning forever ! It’s a lovely spin but not hugely exciting. I do love the resulting yarn and it will make a lovely sweater (it’s not even for me !) - eventually. I will do a more detailed review of this project next time.  However, still with spinning,I’ve got lots of lovely fibre in my stash and am going to start another little project to keep me interested and excited about spinning. I will choose a couple of bats of Merino fibre and spin a few hanks for a cardigan. I have an idea of adding a section of hand spun on the bottom and on the sleeves of a simple cardigan design. The main part of this cardigan idea will use some hand dyed yarn, waiting for the job. More next week on this new project. The fibre I’ve chosen for the spin, is a lovely combination of green/blues with some mustard and white elements. Very excited to get this underway.

My main knitting project this week, has been the red Nuuk. I did make a couple of mistakes (very early in the knit) and needed to rip out, twice  ? - not sure exactly what happened there ?The pattern is great and the yarn (Dovestone DK) is lovely. I’m well on the way now. I want to make a few changes to the length of the sweater and some possible changes to the sleeve - not sure exactly as yet ? I’ll report on the results next time.

The other project in one of my bags is the Polworth Socks, my final item in the Blacker Yarns KAL. I’ve literally just ‘cast on’ so nothing much to show. Hopefully, there will be progress for next time. I’ll also collect all my Blacker Yarns KAL items together for a summary of my efforts. I will have four items in total.

In the meantime, here’s a quick look at the projects I’ve talked about today.


Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Silver Day

Hi Everyone
It’s Silver Day today and I’m working on a little Collection of earrings. Each pair will have a surface design stamped or created onto the surface of a square or circle, in various sizes.
My inspiration is a current pair of silver earrings. However, this time, I’m going for a shiney, bright silver finish rather than the oxidised finish in my photo.


I’m creating the main part of the earrings from Art Clay in silver and am not sure how many pieces I will get from my last small packet of clay ? I want to try for eight pairs, I’m hopeful I can produce this number of individual pieces. I will make the ear wires from Sterling Silver wire - which I will soldier onto the fired shapes.

I’m hoping to go for a completely new surface design. I like the idea of very simple lines and circle shapes at the moment but who knows what will happen ? I’ll share my earrings when they are ready. When I use Art Clay, I like to leave the final prepared items overnight - for drying before firing so it will be a few days before I have anything to show.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Wardrobe Architect Responce

Hi Everyone
Today, I want to talk about something called Wardrobe Architect. This is an experiment which started in 2014 by Collete (the sewing pattern team). The Collete team talk about having a goal of ‘reviving the art of sewing’. I love this idea. Collete have been producing sewing patterns in both booklet and PDF form since 2009 and the Wardrobe Architect initiative has been going since 2014. It’s an amazing experiment for developing a ‘pared down’ and very personal collection of clothing, reflecting how better decisions can be made about what to buy and make in terms of fashion and personal choices. To read from the beginning, start here.

I’ve been reading about all this for some time and am hugely inspired and attracted to the idea of Wardrobe Architect. I’ve not really done very much about it (practically) but momentum is building and I’m starting to think about how to start. My own personal wardrobe is chaotic and unmanageable - literally, I don’t have enough space to keep all my clothes. Like most people, I probably use a very small proportion of them. I would like to be in a position to have a core selection of clothes which I like and which suit me. I’d also like to start to fill gaps or develop new styles by making my own clothing. 
The Collete blog has lots of exercises to try and work out what personal style is and how to interpret a range of information which allows this idea of personal choices to develop. Defining a core style with specific shapes and silhouettes, colours etc is central to the idea.
There are also lots of resources, downloadable sheets for instance which give a practical direction, to move through planning a personal Wardrobe. However, I have a wonderful resource of my own, a birthday gift from a lovely friend - from last year. This is a notebook from Merchant Mills- ready and waiting for my take on Wardrobe Architect. At the moment, I’m using my workbook for filing sewing ideas but I want to make it central to my own Wardrobe Architect response.


I’ve dabbled over the last few years with the Collete Wardrobe Architect process but I’m going to start again, from the beginning and use my Merchant Mills book to record progress. I want this little project to become a pleasure and work towards getting my sewing on track. I have aspirations to make a pair of jeans and a coat this year (by November 2018) - hopefully these two items, amongst others will form part of my core Wardrobe.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Planning and Preparation

Hi Everyone
It’s my focus on sewing today (in theory every Tuesday) and I’m inspired to develop some sewn appliqué Christmas Card samples. This project will prepare and test a few samples for a small batch of Christmas cards. I like the idea of a simple decorated tree but have also seen some cute Robins which I may try out. 
Take a look at my Christmas card Pinterest board HERE for more inspiration ideas and starting point for the cards. Here’s a couple of my favourite images at the moment. I may change my mind later !


I like the ideas of coming up with something similar to the right hand image but with a Christmas theme rather than flowers. I’m unsure about wether to stitch directly onto card of make a motif to stick onto a card ? I’ll try both and decide. I’m also slightly ‘up in the air’ about colours  ? Should I go for traditional or contemporary ? So many decisions !

I’m hoping I can be a little more organised this year re Christmas. I always have great intentions and lots of elaborate ideas which rarely fully materialise because of time. So, hopefully, I can be better prepared if I keep to my current plans, test them out properly and plan thoroughly. Is it possible ?

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Making Moulds

Hi Everyone
I’m sharing a little more of the polymer clay project I talked about a couple of weeks ago check it out here. I mentioned using a range of moulds that I had made. The moulds were made from something called Siligum. This moulding paste is widely available and is very easy to make, it’s a fast setting, two-component silicone paste. Ideal for moulding small objects. My moulds were made by pressing natural seed heads into the mixed paste. After setting the seed heads can simply be removed. The moulds are very flexible and work beautifully on the natural material.
In my samples, I developed beads from polymer clay which has been pressed into the moulds, removed and either rounded to form a large bead or flatterned and sandwiched together (with a channel for threading).


My new batch of beads are to be developed in shades of mixed red clay but I’m also going to experiment with surface dyes to colour the white samples.

I’m hoping I will have some interesting results to share next Monday.

Thanks for calling in today.