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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some embroidery

Remember the bits of Mazey Patchwork I cut out and showed a couple of weeks ago.  I have been slowly starting to embellish them, production line style.  First of all, some hand stitching - pics below.  When I have embroidered a lot of them, or got bored, I will find appropriate beads/buttons/stuff to add to them.  But I;m too tired to do anything most of the time :(  At least I have three weeks off work starting Christmas Eve!!

Picasa has gone all fancy and added all the fun filters that you can get on mobile phone apps now!

I would like to wish all of my dear readers a wonderful Christmas, if that's what you do, or a wonderful holiday, or a blissful unawareness of the fact that anybody is celebrating anything at all.  Maybe by next week I will have something else to show.  Then again, maybe not!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

With Enormous Apologies to Edvard Munch

This is the nearest I have got to being creative this week - unless you count a few more centimetres of bright green knitting.  It's still not interesting enough to show.  I never did get round to doing any embroidery last weekend though I am getting some out RIGHT NOW as it is my day off work.  I spent the morning doing some Christmas shopping - now I only have to go to JB Hi Fi to finish it off, I hope.

This terrible piece of photo editing is a silly way to announcing my big news.  From January I will be the Campus Librarian, a significant promotion that comes with an insignificant payrise (after three months).  It sounds terribly important, but in fact our campus is the size of a postage stamp so it isn't really.  But, as a great man once said, with great power comes great responsibility.

So I am panicking and screaming - so far on the inside but that could change any day now!!!!

Friday, December 09, 2011

My Creative Space

Posted by PicasaI have had a bit of fun.  The to picture is a piece of my Mazey Patchwork, made by sewing various scraps onto a base fabric, like crazy patchwork only deliberately left all frayed.  Then I chop it up and embellish the pieces individually.  I finished the big piece quite a while ago but haven't done anything with it, so as I had the day off yesterday I cut out some pieces to start fiddling with at the weekend.

It looks like I might have a few hours on Saturday at my MiL's before attending my neieces 21st, so I am packing up some of the small pieces together with a selection of threads (probably mainly blues with a couple of contrasts) and I will pootle around embroidering them.  Further embellishments with buttons or beads or suffolk puffs, or maybe all three, will follow later at home.

For more creative spaces, pop over here.  It's the last official Creative Spaces for the year, though I promise I will continue to post any pics of anything that I might find time to do!!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

My Creative Space

I am still experimenting with buttons.  i am was just about to give the whole thing away because I was getting frustrated with the scale, and I don't think these will take over from my other things in the long run, but I have gained some terrific ideas along the way.  They are all button brooches, so they look like buttons from the front but have a brooch back on, er, the back.

Ok, so this is, obviously, not a button, nor a brooch.  It is a cake.  Not even a cunningly fabricated textile cake meant to worn on something (a hat maybe).  It is a Stephanie Alexander chocolate cake and you can tell by the amount left over how disgusting it tasted.  This was a whole 24 hours after making it!

This is a brooch with seeds beads embroidered on silk dupion.  It is not a cake.

Ceci n'est pas une gateau.  It is a mass of French knots on silk dupion.  You may have seen it already before it became a brooch.

Yeah, I showed this one before too, it's cross stitch in variegated thread.  On silk dupion. 

This is silk dupion decorated with a scrap of sari silk from The Thread Studio.  Lovely Dale sent me a baggie of sari silk scraps when I won a Facebook giveaway.  I promised I would use them on something.

And this is a cake. 

This is one of the buttons I bought at the button fair I blogged about a while ago.  I have a whole card of these, the original card, which I am going to keep if I ever use all the buttons.  They are immediately post-war Parisian.  The fact that I had matching embroidery thread in the pile by my chair was a complete co-incidence!

(Actually, the blue thing isn't really a cake).

For more creative spaces pop over here.  There might even be cake but don't blame me if there isn't!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST)

Anyone interested in this?

Have a look at the Pintangle blog.  The idea is that every Tuesday the author of the blog posts an embroidery stitch and participants learn it, experiement with it, and post a picture of it.  Participation every week for a year is NOT compulsory.  This is some of what she says about it:

The challenge is free

Skill level:
All skill levels are welcome

How does it work?
Each Tuesday I will post a challenge stitch for the week. You work an example of the stitch. Learn the stitch, experiment a bit, take it a bit further if you have time then photograph it, and load it to stitchin fingers or put it on your flickr site or write about it on your blog. Then you come back here, leave a comment on the post where I posed the challenge and tell everyone where they can see your sample.

If you are busy and want to swing in and out of the challenge as life dictates that is fine too. I cant make it more guilt free than that. Simply put all who want to stitch are welcome. However, last time people that worked all the stitches said that they learnt a lot! Even stitches that did not initially appeal to them, they learnt from, discovered a way of working and sometimes were surprised to find they enjoyed them.
When does it start?
The first Tuesday in the new year which is January 3rd. It will run from this blog every Tuesday after that.'

I thought it might be fun to at least dip in and out of.  I remember seeing some of the results of the 2010 challenge and they were interesting.  I thought it might encourage me to learn, build upon and force myself to document some new embroidery skills.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Creative Space

I have been knitting, slowly and not very interestingly, on the green cardigan from a few weeks ago.  Nothing much to show so we'll just move along here.  I will take more photos when it gets a bit more exciting.

What I have also been doing is playing with photo software on my phone.  It is ridiculously amusing.  And creative - sort of :)


This is a bowl of pansies picked by George and floated in a bowl to make me happy :)
2011-11-23 17.47.35 PaperCamera

This looks like I have been all clever and done a painting, but actually it is just the photo, fiddled with.


This is a Mazey Pretty Things brooch, and a prototype of a new type of brooch that will be forthcoming in due course (ie. when I get it right!)  This one is actually a button, not centred very well, but the real ones will be button brooches, a bit smaller, and hopefully properly centred :)

Then I played around with different effects.  It was fun :)





I hope to do some more knitting this weekend, start some embroidery, and maybe organise some craft books/magazines.  Plus reading, and cooking, and watching TV (oh, and washing and ironing and going to the supermarket and maybe even having conversations with family members!)

For much more interesting creative spaces, go visit here!

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Creative Space

I needed a good long rest after Blogtoberfest!!  I have been slowly knitting away at the green cardigan I showed a couple of weeks ago, and reading, and watching telly.  Oh, and working.  Eugh.

The makings

What is this?  A staple gun.  A pile of vintage lace.  A square artist canvas covered with quilting fabric.  (Badly.  The front looks OK, but you should see the mess I made of the back!  Or rather, you aren't going to see!!)  I bought the staple gun but the rest comes from the stash.  I have been collecting bits of lace for yonks, and the fabric covered canvas dates from TAFE days when it was going to be used for something but wasn't ultimately.

After much use of staple gun

After much stapling. Some of the lace isn't dead straight, but you will see in the next picture that doesn't matter too much. My dog doesn't like the sound of the staple gun, apparently :(
A new earring display

A new display thing for my earrings!  (Err, some of my earrings.  You can't see the three necklace boxes full of studs and non-hook hanging ones).

Not an original idea.  I saw a similar thing on Pinterest, using an empty frame with lace across, but I didn't have a suitable frame, and I did have the canvas, and I am trying to shop from my stash when possible these days.

More lip-smacking Creative Spaces here

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blogtoberfest Giveaway

Well it has taken me a while to recover from all that Blogtoberfest posting!  But I did do the draw for the giveaway and am delighted to announce that the winner is Robin Norgren of  I have notified her and will send her a Mazey Pretty Things brooch as soon as she lets me know her details, and I will post a pic of it here - AFTER she has received it though!

Blog posting will return in a few days.  Well, maybe next week.  That effort wore me out a bit1

Monday, October 31, 2011

Blogtoberfest 31

Posted by PicasaI blogged about this a while ago but it still holds great resonance for me.  Part of me wants to do scholarly stuff on the subject, another part of me wants to do work inspired by it instead.  (While the major part just wants to sleep).

Hope you have enjoyed Blogtoberfest!  It has been fun.  I found it a good way to go through old photos and use Blogger's pre-scheduling thing, plus the occasional new post.  And don't forget that giveaway.  I will draw it (or my disinterred, and disinterested, husband will) over the weekend. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blogtoberfest 30

A final reminder about the giveaway:

Now for the giveaway details. Every comment received this month will go into a special magic giveaway hat (well, the name of the commenter will!) and after the end of Blogtober I will get a completely disinterested bystander (ie. my husband) to pull a name out of the sorting hat. Each time you comment your name will go in.

The giveaway is a Mazey Pretty Things fabric brooch - see my sidebars for my Made It and Etsy shops to give you an idea of what they are like. I will post to anywhere in the world with great delight.

The idea being that EVERY time you comment, your name goes into the hat. So you three or four people who comment on every post, be warned, there is a strong possibility that you might win something!

The whole time thing is too hard to work out, so I am going to say that all comments received by the time I get round to reading the blog on November 1 AEDT will count.  I have no idea what time that will be in any other partof the world.  Except Queensland.  It will be an hour earlier there.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blogtoberfest 29

Posted by Picasa
I am VERY SLOWLY working through Karen Ruane's online course.  There's the whole working thing, which takes up all day and then I'm knackered at night, so progress is painfully slow.  Plus I have been really sick this week with a virus that has robbed me of the ability to think or concentrate (so it's pretty much the same as normal, then!)

But here are three more potential button brooches.  Again done on silk dupion.  Can you tell I am having fun! And this is less than one-third of her course, I need to do all sorts of other fun things as well!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blogtoberfest 27

Posted by PicasaI haven't done Creative Spaces for a while, but here is one:

I am knitting the Kimono Jacket on the left of the photo in very green Patons Sorrento, for once using a pattern written for the yarn I am using - unusual for me!  Sorrento is a nice blend of 62% viscose and 38% cotton and will be a nice summer cover-up.  Of course I won't finish it for ages but it's more about the knitting (and the colour!) than the finished object.  This comes in two versions, one long and one short, and of course I had knitted 15cm of the long version before I realised my mistake, and then realised that I couldn't really fix it because the stitch counts were different and that it would easier to start again.  Slowly.

More Creative Spaces scrumptiously displayed here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blogtoberfest 26

There is a Victorian Button Collectors' Club and they had an exhibition and market near my place last weekend.  It was fun.  Some buttons followed me home.  The pictures are not that great, apologies, I should have tried to do them in natural light without a flash, and I have not fully mastered the whole close-up thing with the new camera yet, but for what it's worth, these are the ones that followed me home:

Vintage Parisian thread buttons, and Czech glass buttons - both fairly immediately post-war according to their vendors, on the original cards.

The one on the top right is an American enamelled button from the turn of the century (the enamel is a bit chipped but in a charming way which adds to the pattern).  The top middle one is another enamelled one, possibly also American.  Then there is a shiny little one, provenance unknown but cute.  The bottom one may or may not be a Czech glass button of indeterminate vintage, I can't remember.  And the moustache thing is a vintage American belt buckle!!

A motley collection of pretty things, not particularly old and not necessarily even that unusual, but they caught my eye.

I described this to the vendor as a 'delightfully demented dog'.  It isn't old or expensive, but irresistable!

There were a few others as well but the pictures didn't work out well because they were shiny and the flash flashed too much off them.  In all it was a nice haul which will gradually work its way into embellishments of various sorts.  I had FUN.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blogtoberfest 25

I am doing an online Button course with Karen Ruane.  I am a bit behindm ost of the others, because of working and time and all, but I am having the most fun!!!  These are the only pictures so far, though I am busy working my way through a pile of others.  Karen insisted that we not copy her slavishly but to use our own ideas, and of course she is a very wise woman.  I adore her work, so my first attempt actually was a go at reproducing her work fairly exactly, and I got frustrated and cross and hated what I was doing.  so I pulled it out and did what she had said, use her ideas as inspiration but do it my own way, and of course she was right.  I ended up much happier with these two.

The bottom picture, the one with the two circles in it, is the work before being damp stretched.  I had never tried that before and wondered if it was worth the effort, but now I can definitely say that it is.  I used Perle thread on silk dupion and embellished with some precious little flower sequins and tiny seed beads.  The top two pics are taken after the damp stretching, and believe me it made a difference.  They look much crisper and nicer now.

So I have already learnt a lot.  No matter how much you love someone else's work, it is always better to use it as a jumping-off point rather than trying to copy it.  Damp stretching is both easy and miraculous.  Silk dupion is wonderful to stitch on (though you do need to use a hoop, which I don't normally do, but I am finding invaluable). 

I am now doing some with colour, still on the white silk.  But there won't be pictures for about a week.  And there are other fun things to learn, about lumps (puffs, actually) and turning them into actual buttons and/or brooches.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Blogtoberfest 24

Just another reminder about the giveaway:

Now for the giveaway details. Every comment received this month will go into a special magic giveaway hat (well, the name of the commenter will!) and after the end of Blogtober I will get a completely disinterested bystander (ie. my husband) to pull a name out of the sorting hat. Each time you comment your name will go in.

The giveaway is a Mazey Pretty Things fabric brooch - see my sidebars for my Made It and Etsy shops to give you an idea of what they are like. I will post to anywhere in the world with great delight.

The idea being that EVERY time you comment, your name goes into the hat.  So you three or four people who comment on every post, be warned, there is a strong possibility that you might win something!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blogtoberfest 23

My happy Sirius running along a beach.  Somewhere in Victoria.  Either Apollo Bay or Lakes Entrance. Either way, a few years ago.