Sunday, 28 February 2010

Day Twenty-Eight

Since my sewing machine is out of action and it's still a bit too warm for embroidery, I made more mail art.
February is almost over, and so is Thing-A-Day. It's been very enjoyable having an excuse not to do housework, and every work day I've felt excited about rushing straight home to create something.  There are dust bunnies and piles of stuff everywhere, so I am going to spend the rest of the day tidying up, and enjoy a relaxing day off (Labour Day) tomorrow. I won't quit making something every day, although I will find time for stuff that has been squeezed out during February, such as reading and writing letters.

On another note, I see from my new widget that I always have a visitor from Kirribilli reading my blog. Hmmmmm. Perhaps the PM gets a bit bored.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Day Twenty-Seven

I did make something today, but it's for the embroidered button swap and there's a pic of it here. My sewing machine is ready to go to the shop, it's really playing up, making a bad noise and the stitch length keeps changing in the middle of sewing.

A few months ago, I sent off an apron on an embroidery round robin, and I received it back today, beautifully completed with some lovely work by some of my good friends on Swap-bot. Isn't it fabulous?

Friday, 26 February 2010

Day Twenty-Six

I received a wonderful piece of mail art during the week from Bifidus Jones. Sorry if that link doesn't work (I suspect you might need to be a member of IUOMA to view it) - I can't find him on flickr or anywhere in the blogosphere. Anyhow, this one is being sent to him in return:

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Day Twenty-Five

I had fun with collage tonight. I got all gluey and then had to have a shower. I've had one of those days - this morning I discovered that I'd forgotten to bring my glasses to work and had to go back home to pick them up. I also spilled water all down the front of my shirt (luckily I managed to drink my coffee with no further mishaps). And while I was in the shower trying to get the dregs of my shower gel out of the container, I squeezed it a bit too hard and it flew out of my hand and straight into my eye. Now I have a tiny cut and bruise on my cheek. I'd better get to bed before anything else happens.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Day Twenty-Four

I made some embroidered buttons, but I don't want to post pictures here at the moment in case my swap partner is reading this. If you want to see them, go here - except for you, Leigh!

Oh my goodness it's hot. Tomorrow is expected to be 42C (107.6F) with a thunderstorm in the afternoon. No relief in sight on the long range forecast either. But Monday is Labour Day here so I have a long weekend to look forward to with a great excuse to not leave the house. :-)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Day Twenty-Three

I still had some Kaffe scraps left so another pincushion was born. I love the look of Kaffe fabrics with bright, clashing solids, in this case orange, pink and red: although the contrasts aren't as obvious in these photos.

And yay! The self covered button kits I ordered last week arrived in my mailbox today, complete with plastic templates, so I was able to start sketching out my plans for the embroidered button swap. I'm glad I got the templates as I think it will help me to centre the embroidery on each button more accurately. I hope so anyway.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Day Twenty-Two

Today was a pincushion day -- I used up some small scraps from the basket I made yesterday.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Day Twenty-One

I needed a new basket to store letters and cards from penpals while they wait for a reply, so had a little rummage through my stash today and found some Kaffe Fassett scraps to make it with. I used the tutorial on Pink Penguin's blog (well worth a visit), but increased each of the patchwork squares a quarter-inch to make it slightly bigger.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Days Seventeen to Twenty

It has taken me quite a few hours to embroider this tea towel, but it's finally ready to be gift wrapped and given to my friend when she pops around in a little while.
In case you're wondering why the crystal ball looks a little different, I have used glow in the dark thread. And it really does glow in the dark! The rest of it was done in Madeira silk and DMC cotton floss on linen. I really enjoyed this project; it was a nice chance to wind down each evening after quite a stressful few days at work.
I was lucky enough to win the Sew Lovely Embroidery Mad Ink transfers, which includes the fortune teller pictured here and many other beautiful designs, in Mafiosagrrl's fabulous giveaway last month.

And I am continuing my blog giveaway winning streak! Putting idea books to use is a wonderful challenge from Rebekah of dontcallmebecky. She invites people to participate in the challenge of making a project from a book, and posting a pic of it in her flickr group or blog link. Right up my street. Check out all the awesome things people have been making, and think about joining us, as it's an ongoing challenge. Thanks so much, Rebekah!

My Thing-A-Day for today is not started yet, nor even decided upon. I've had a busy day and won't be able to start anything until later this evening. But plenty of things are running around my head!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Day Sixteen

This is cockatutu. I doodled her last night onto some scrap fabric and finished stitching her up this evening.

I got an awesome package in my mailbox today from my blogging friend MafiosaGrrl. I used something from the package in Cockatutu :-) We traded ATCs and I am now the proud owner of this lovely card. Thank you, MG!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Day Fifteen

After a tiring day at work, all I could do this evening was make a couple of embroidered buttons/magnets. I am finding it a bit of a challenge to get the design in the centre of the button.
The first one is an ancient alchemy symbol for horse dung. I am quite interested in signs and symbols and I think they make great embroidery subjects. The second one is just some freehand lazy daisies done in metallic thread.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Day Fourteen

Today I discovered that I'm sharing some of my tomatoes with grubs. Luckily they haven't gotten to my favourite yellow pear or cherry tomoatoes (yet). I don't know what they are; perhaps some kind of wasp larvae? Oh well. I guess I have been fortunate to have a reasonable harvest until now, using no pesticides or artificial fertilisers.

I made the last of my ATCs and will be sending them off to Canada tomorrow for the Vancouver 2010 ATC Exhibition. Fingers crossed they get there in time.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Day Thirteen

Another ATC. I'm almost there!
Also, here are some pics of a wallet I made - not today, but it has now been received by my swap partner so I will past pics. It may be the most complicated thing I've ever made, not helped by the fact that the instructions contained two errors. I had to unpick the whole thing at one point because one of the pieces was upside down. But it's a nicely designed pattern anyway, and I got to use some cute new fabrics. It is from  "Zakka Sewing", one of my favourite books.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Day Twelve

For a friend who is going to an Eighties fancy dress party :-)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Day Eleven

The only way for me to fly today. I'm now looking for alternatives to chiropractic which just does not seem to be working for me any more.

Between doses and snoozes I managed to get an ATC done with my new LePlume II markers, and I got a better picture of the ATC I completed last night.


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Day Ten

I need to get busy with my ATCs for the Vancouver Exhibition. This one is needle felted using my embellishing machine, with some French knots and straight stitches added. The knitting was done by mummysidey.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Day Nine

I made the hexagon thing into a postcard which will be jetting off somewhere tomorrow.
Tonight I need to have a major tidy-up, get ready to make more ATCs, and then have a bit of a read in bed with my new books.


Monday, 8 February 2010

Day Eight

I made another bird last night, along with two little hearts on a string, and took the whole ensemble in to work this morning. I am pleased to report that they were happily received by the person I made them for. They looked quite sweet in their little cage, but didn't photograph as well in the cage as they did hanging freely:

Today I received a couple of packages of things I'd ordered last week: some ATC supplies, a set of watercolour markers, a thing to make fabric yo-yos with, some plain coloured cotton fabric (for starting a paintbox quilt), and a set of plastic hexagon templates.

I got onto the hexagons right away, but found it strangely stressful! I can't explain why - I am more than happy to sit and embroider for the whole evening, but sewing these little shapes together was nowhere near as enjoyable. Anyway, I made eight of them and joined them together into a flower shape, then stitched them onto a piece of linen (that part was not so bad). I think I'll call it a night, and see what I can make of it tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Day Seven

For today's Thing-A-Day I made this cute embroidered felt bird. I was going to make another one, but it's for a lady at my work who is getting married, and I want to make sure she is happy with the girl bird before I make the boy one :-) He will be similar but with blue wings (of course). I just noticed that the wings on each side don't line up. Oh well.
I had planned on each seventh day of Thing-A-Day to make a mini-zine about the previous week's Things. I'm struggling a bit with the computer at the moment. My shoulder is still quite sore and I can't sit for too long at one task, and I know being on the computer will not make it any better. So I'll see how I go. I think I need to take a walk to try and loosen myself up a bit.

I just signed up to participate in this embroidered button swap. I love embroidered buttons!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Day Six

Last night I had a strange dream. I was in a bookshop, and feeling frustrated because I wanted to get a particular book off the shelf to look at it, but there was a woman standing in the way. She kept on moving in front of me as I tried to grab the book. Finally, she grabbed the book and bought it. I was really upset because it was a handmade journal, and it was unique, and I desperately wanted it. I tried to talk her into letting me buy it but she just ignored me and marched out. I asked the cashier if I could order a copy of my own, knowing that I wouldn't be able to, because it was a unique one-off book. The cashier handed me a pen and started telling me to write all these things down. She told me to write on the floor, which I did, and then I saw that I had written on the floor and started crying because I had messed up the beautiful shiny floorboards.

I woke up with a fair bit of pain in my left shoulder and had to make an emergency appointment with the chiropractor. I had put my neck out again. Maybe because I'm all tensed up trying to get used to my new glasses? Anyway I had a nice long walk and a warm shower and the pain has eased up a lot.

This afternoon I managed to get some embroidery done on an ATC for the Vancouver exhibition. It's the first embroidery I've done for a couple of weeks and it was lovely to get back to stitching again. The ground fabric is homespun with a pattern of circles that I prepared yesterday using freezer paper stencils with crayon.

Tonight I am going to take it easy, maybe watch a DVD, and get a few things ready for making some felt birds tomorrow. I might even go offline - it looks as though there might be a thunderstorm. I hope so!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Day Five

I posted about Day Five here.

My Creative Space

I recently took part in a couple of string block swaps in which each participant listed their preferred colours and styles so that the other swappers could tailor a block for them. I made four horizontal and four sideways blocks for each set of partners. I messed about with photos of my blocks in flickr toys' mosaic maker and although each block is quite different they still look pretty good together.

I must say I enjoyed the two swaps very much and am looking forward to making more string blocks for myself. I feel a quilt coming on. So quick and easy to make!

For more creative spaces, go here!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Day Four

This is the last little thing for my swap with Mim. I started making it last night and finished it off after work today. It's a bag with a really clever design. It's a little bit like a Morsbag, except with boxed corners and a 6" square pocket inside.

But here's the clever bit: the bag folds up into the pocket and is neatly fastened with the button!

I made it with linen and cute Little Red Riding Hood cotton from Japan. I covered the button with the same red polka dot fabric that I used for the handles and the loop.

The pattern is from one of my favourite books:

Finally, here's another couple of bags:
Shocking. I hope I get used to my new glasses soon. People have been telling me I look tired :-(

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Day Three

A matchbox for Mim. She has promised not to look so I can show pics.

The panda is so cute he might make you gag, but he seems to like the red polka dot fabric he is appliqued to.

Underneath is a worm who has his eye on an apple.

I'm struggling a bit today. I picked up my new glasses and thought my headache would disappear, but instead it got worse. My new glasses feel very different and I think I might need some more time to get used to them. There is a much narrower field of vision, because the lenses are smaller than my last pair. Maybe one day, eighties style frames a la Tootsie might come back, and make graduated lens glasses more comfortable for all the old, blind, crabby people like me!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Day Two

I made two things today, one of which is for my swap with Mim. Hopefully she will not look at this post. Mim, if you are reading this please go and study!!!!

Read about and see a picture of the first thing - a worry doll - here.

Since we are also swapping a Japan themed matchbox, I decided to make Mim a kokeshi style worry doll when the first one didn't work out. This one is made from shrinky dink coloured with Sharpies, with a scrap of blue fabric for the kimono.

It turned out nice and simple and small enough to fit into a matchbox.

I received my swap from Mim today, and among the beautiful things she sent me, there was a fantastic tiny kokeshi style worry doll! Great minds think alike :-) I'm sure she won't mind me giving her a kokeshi worry doll as well. They are both quite different in character and materials used.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Day One

Today I made another fabric tray; this one is for my lovely and talented friend chick chick, who helped me with the pattern. It's a bit bigger than the one I made last weekend. I found out from chick chick that Japanese patterns don't include seam allowances in the pictures, which at the time was all I had to go on. So each 5cm square that I cut out should have been 5.7cm. That is such a handy fact to know, as I have quite a few patterns in my Japanese craft books that I would like to try. As you will know if you are a sewer, the seam allowance is a rather vital piece of information.

I also posted about this on the Unofficial-Thing-A-Day blog over at WordPress where a whole bunch of us (mostly Swap-botters) are about to wow the world with our creations over the next month. I can't wait to see how Day One went for the others!

Also, today I managed to capture a photo of a bee doing its thing in my sunflower. I wanted another pic showing the gorgeous blue sky against the yellow of the flower, and there it was, buzzing around.

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