Thursday, 26 January 2017

Picture taking woes!

I finished another project for the Sewing Book Challenge last week and it was another requested gift - this time to cheer my friend's niece who is at college in far away London and missing her home in North Wales.

Its another make from my favourite Sew Illustration, an embroidered needlebook.  I made a pincushion to match and added the recipient's name.

January is not a good time in my house for taking photos of my makes. Even on sunny days the houses opposite shade my windows. I sometimes add my daylight lamp but for some reason it still doesn't make a decent photo so I usually resort to Windows photo editor. But often even that doesn't produce a photo I'm pleased with.

I had such problems with this photo of two zip purses this week. Even now I'm not happy with it. I think its something to do with the thread I used - a dark one for the duck and light for the lamb. Too much contrast for the camera.  I found inspiration for the little animals in Francoise's lovely book illustrations. I've loved her books for some time and always thought her simple shapes would make good embroidery motifs.  I'll be trying some more.

Anyway - January is almost over and the sun is rising higher in the sky every week. I'm looking forward to the time when it rises above the houses on the other side of the street and will fill my sewing room with light.

Yesterday was sunny and cold - a perfect winter day.  I went for my favourite walk and visited some of my favourite trees. And on the sunny side of the lane the snowdrops were in bloom.

These are always the earliest to flower - those in the garden won't come out for another couple of weeks and by then we'll be half way through February and definitely looking forward to Spring!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

2017 - a year for some crafty challenges?

Firstly I want to thank you, Julie, Anja, Yve and Simone, for you kind and encouraging comments on my last post. Especially as I never get round to reciprocating on your blogs, though I do visit honestly! I love you guys! :o)

As always I/we start the new year full of intention and enthusiasm, which usually fizzles out by the end of January.  However I have not made resolutions this year but have signed up for a couple of challenges. I've already mentioned Minki Kim's 2017 Pincushion Sew-a-Long and have so far notched up at least one of each design. There's still a couple of weeks before the end of January when the SAL ends and I know I won't be able to resist a few more - yes they are addictive but what do you do with a mountain of pincushions!

Another challenge I've signed up for will last a bit longer - until the end of 2017 in fact.  Like me Carla Peicheff has a shelf of craft books full of wonderful projects seldom utilised. I have to admit I've at least twice as many volumes on my shelves (well at my great age I expect I've been collecting many more years than Carla!) all of which contain at least one project I've intended to make. So the challenge is to make at least one thing from a book on that shelf each month.

And guess what, I've already made two this month!!! It helps when I have some reason for making and I'd been asked to make for a new baby.  So I dipped into Amy Sinibaldi's lovely book Sweetly Stitched Handmades and made the cute teddy bear nursery cushion and a ruffled bib.  I know only that baby is a girl named Mia so do hope these will be to the parents' taste.

There is one more challenge signed up to and its one I've made for myself.  That is NOT to buy ANY fabric, yarn, or haberdashery in 2017. If you could see my sewing room you would have a fit (sorry - I'm certainly not going to share any photos of it here or anywhere else)! Something needs to be done! So unless I absolutely have to buy something, like plain linen or interfacing or something else absolutely necessary for a particular project, I'm not going to be beguiled into buying that oh-so-pretty fabric, that bargain price yarn or anything else I covet on someone's IG feed or blog or pinterest board.

In fact I started off well in December and made all my Christmas gifts from stuff I already had in my huge stash. These makeup brush travel rolls were made for my often travelling nieces and were created from pieces from my scrap bin and braid that was used to tie sets of teatowels I'd bought at Primark earlier in the year. I did however have to buy the wooden toggle buttons. This project is from another favourite book Sew Illustrated.

Now I've got the bug I'm looking for a couple more challenges to keep me busy.  Let me know if you see a good one.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Creative Year!

Wishing anyone who reads this a Happy, Creative, Peaceful and above all Safe 2017! Its been a pretty awful year for the world and it hasn't been too good for this blog either. I've toyed with the idea of closing it down but there's so much of my life over the past 8 years recorded here I'm lothed to do it. So I'm going to try a different tack in 2017 and write shorter posts but more of them.

I became infatuated with "sewing illustration" in the second half of 2016 and have even bought myself a new sewing machine for Christmas, one more suited to this style of machine embroidery (I just can't get on with free motion - I need more control!)  So to start off the new year, a new sew-a-long from the wonderful Minki Kim. Want to join in? Here's a link to the details:

Back soon!


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