Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Supporting other Bloggers

Just a little post about a giveaway at Clare's Craftroom. She is offering a lovely stitching design as a prize for leaving a comment. This is one of the very positive things that I love about the world of craft bloggers - the generosity of all.

Take a wander over to Meet Me At Mikes and read about her lovely book launch and then wander through the archives to see more of this generosity at work.

I seem to have come down with my first cold for the year - stuffy nose and woolly head! Just in time for Easter.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

A potpourri of sites I have wandered across lately

Just wanted to share some of the sites I have explored lately.

Heather, from Ragged Old Blogger:Bits and Pieces has posted some pictures of her mixed media work. She has used photographs as the base but then extended these. I think I like the third one best.

If you like creating art with kids then have a look here. I love the way a lot of the art activities are related to an artist or piece of work. Another place for art ideas I stumbled across. In one of her recent entries she reviews a great picture book called "ISH" which I have on my shelf to remind me that things do not have to be perfect.

Then there is the wishing I had one of these on the bookcase. Another crafty book to put on the wishlist.

Knitting is still happening. Sewing has slowed down but ideas are gathering. Finally some photos just to give this post some colour.

Eating the apples in our backyard and looking so beautiful, bright and colourful.

Another shot of my mushroom. This one was taken outside in amongst the wood shavings.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

More Playing Around with Wool

I have been trying to create a few different spooligarumi to inspire the children I am working with at the moment. The latest experiment was this little mushroom. After making the lengths of corking I wound, stitched and shaped to get this final product.

The stalk was made first and stuffed lightly to keep it firm. The red part of the top came next and this sits on top of the stalk. The little patch of white was done last and is a piece of two pin spooling. This is stitched to the stalk to hold it all together. I didn't put any stuffing in the top of the mushroom but might try this another time. French knots form the little white dots on top.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

A Little Bit Of Knitting

I have been doing a little bit of knitting. Last year at the Craft Fair I bought some yarn from one of the stalls and it came with a pattern to knit a very simple neck warmer. I got around to trying out the pattern at last using some Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre in a very nice blue - I think I would call it a denim blue.

The pattern was created by Prudence Mapstone. She is a very talented fibre artist and she has published several books.

It takes only one ball and is done mostly in garter stitch with a little bit of rib. The rib is hidden in this picture by the flower. Nice and quick - just the thing for knitting in front of the television.

I have started another one using some Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette in a very pale salmon colour. In this photo I have starting working on the first ribbed section.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Another Spooligarumi

Here is another one of Noreen's spooligarumi. This one is a little bear. I made the scarf using her two pin spooling technique.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Lucky Me and Some Creating Has Been Happening

It is always a great day when there is mail other than bills. Today the postie brought me a parcel -it came my way from the US. Inside was this lovely book.

Therese from the lovely blog Softies Central ran a very generous giveaway in January and I was one of the lucky winners. The book was my prize. It was on my wish list to own and I felt very happy when Therese picked me as one of the winners. a top addition to the bookshelf!!

On to some crafting. I have been experimenting with some corking again. I have introduced another class of children to the lost art of corking - also known as french knitting or spool knitting. I am trying to encourage them to make something more that a great long length (that however seems to be the passion at the moment!) and have shown them the book I wrote about in this post (I have just checked the link I gave on that post and is no longer working. It looks like the book is no longer in print).

I was also lucky enough to read about Noreen Crone-Findlay's latest e-book. It is called Spooligarumi and has some great instructions in it for creating some little corked creatures. Of course a copy found its way into my inbox very quickly and it was just the thing I was looking for.

I have created three little spool knitted critters this weekend with the aim of trialling some different techniques for making critters from the lengths of spooling. The first was a very little bird. For this I made a length of spooling and sewed it up by winding it around a texta and stuffing a cotton ball inside. I added wings with two very short pieces of spooling that were joined to make a loop.

He stands about 2cm tall. The eyes and beak are cut from card and glued on.

Next was the crocodile\alligator which has pipecleaner supports threaded inside the tubes of corking. This is from the Corking book by Ann Sadler. The aim here was to see if it could be done using the most basic of all corkers - the cardboard roll with four icypole sticks attached. When the spooling was done passing one thread over one thread the end result was not firm enough so I experimented and tried passing one loop over two and this gave a much firmer result that was great for adding the pipecleaner supports. For the difference look at the tail and then the rest of the body.

Instead of following the instructions in the book to the letter I trialled adding the pipe cleaner supports as I knitted. This was good for being able to measure the size of each piece needed. All in all a very successful experiment. The finished critter is a little larger and thicker that the one in the book but it still looks fine.

Last to be created was this little guy.

He is made from the instructions in Noreen's book. I was very happy with the end result. The corking was created with a cardboard roll tube and I used the one over two technique again to get a good firm piece of knitting. I hope that I am being clear about what I mean by one over two. I have three loops on each stick and lift the bottom loop over the top two so that the stitches have a better tension.

All in all a nice crafty weekend.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Oh dear...

... it has been an awful long time since my last post! Oops. I hope you didn't think I'd vanished completely. What sort of blogger doesn't post about their biggest finish in ages until a whole month after it is done? Umm, that'd be me.

That's right, my 'Underwater' cross stitch is finished! Woohoo! Happy dance time!!!!

It took me approximately 10 months to finish (March '08 - January '09), very quick for me. Unfortunately the colours turned out really weird in the photos I took - this is the best I could touch it up. I'll try again tomorrow. Even in this photo you can see the lines in the blue background where the threads were slightly different colours. I didn't notice until it was too late. Oh well. I'm proud of it all the same. Next up is a little research to find a local framers that do a good job with large embroidery. I've never stitched anything so large (approx. 40 x 20 cms I think) before let alone got it framed so I'll have to get some local advice. The wall space for it to hang is already picked out, the colours should match it perfectly. They are absolutely gorgeous, the photo doesn't do them justice.

Since it was finished a while ago I have already finished the next couple of cross stitches.

These two cards were made from a magazine cover kit. I'm not entirely sure whether I like them or not. They're a bit too 'busy' for my liking. The bows were cross stitched and the kit had everything else in it, it just needed to be cut out and put together.

Lastly, I finished this cute design today. I bought the kits for all four seasons and this is the second I have stitched. I started with the Summer Chic design. They're great designs, done on 11 count Aida cloth which makes them incredibly quick to stitch. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with the set but I've still got two seasons to decide!

School's been back for nearly a month now, so hopefully things will settle down a bit and I'll have more time for blogging. I want to post more often, even if I have nothing new to share. Don't hold your breath though!