Monday, 16 September 2019

2019 Wk 38 Sicily and Inspiration

I've just come back from a few days away in Sicily: some random street art like these "windows" and "doors" in a side street

and lots of fun, chat, food and just a few drinks with these lovely ladies.

Such random stuff

 but some of it I fancy trying

 This cork pencil wrap was lovely and simple - and was selling for 148 Euro!!!!

I really like this simple clay design

And thought this was a great toy teaching so many things - matching, balancing, counting, colour recognition . . .

Mount Etna was having a little puff, but otherwise the skies were blue

As was our little apartment

I've been thinking about ideas for next year's Chertsey Museum classes: Separated (not EPP) hexies

Using crochet with fabric

I thought these might make good mega Dorset buttons

 And can I do anything fabric related with these?  I have 13 and a tea light just fits inside!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

2019 Wk 37: tea and trees and Dresdens

The girls and I took their God Mother and God Sister out for their combined birthdays this year: afternoon tea on a vintage London Double Decker bus

 All that food plus savoury muffins, and scones with cream and jam (or should that be jam and cream?) and lots of tea of coffee - a great afternoon out

 And we've finally got around to getting a gardening in to hack this lot down.  Behind that forest is my beautiful church - but you wouldn't know it.

The gardener got let down by his partner so he got his two lads to help - they did a great job first of all giving me back my view of the trees

and then cutting the last few down.  The stumps will protect the garden from un-authorised visitors, and if the apple tree in the garden gets too big that will have the same treatment!!!

At Chertsey Museum we had some show and tell of the handy pods and foundation paper piecing

and some Dresden plates were created (I was too late to get the other photos!)

Monday, 2 September 2019

2019 Wk 35 - Dresden Plates and other stuff

In my last post I showed a "blades" Dresden plate made using this method

I thought I ought to be able to teach petal edges using the EPP method as well, (gathering the curved bit separately to tacking the fabric to the template) so I made this one

I had real problems finding on-line templates that actually fitted to make a circle, so many attempts later made my own templates.

Also this week I've made cushions for the lovely ladies at Windsor Baptist Church (I wasn't going to do hidden zips so I went colourful instead!)

And I had a stall at the Church fair - which was attended by a real unicorn!!!

I sold a few things at the fair but the bigger success was  the baby embroidery machine embroidering names on flannels.  I sold at least 4 to girls who are now at university (and one is a new mum) but still have the named flannels they bought from me a dozen years ago - and were delighted to get fresh versions (but still wanted to come and type in their own name and press the 'go' button!)

And I have been tacking hexies (just for a change)

and loving seeing them sorted in a Tupperware box

 And finally a friend, Hayley, and I have been silk screen printing.  A few disasters, but this cut from a Tescos brown paper bag worked really well.

We are meeting again next week to twist the stencil and turn the 4 leafed flower into an 8 leafed flower

Thursday, 29 August 2019

2019 Wk 34 - Stuff!

I'm teaching Dresden plates next week so thought it was about time I had a go!  I'm really pleased with this one

But it took a lot of work getting the right angles on the segments!

Husband has been working on some different angles - the bathroom-floor-to-garden-table project is progressing well - and I can hear him sanding the edges as I type so hopefully they will be another photo soon.


and nearly all glued in place . . .

Watch this space!

My sewing room is a right tip at the moment.

Amongst other things I am trying to make cooling summer scarves.  According to several people on Pinterest these water absorbing beads are the thing to use, but I can tell you they aren't :-(

So I moved on to a new dress for me.  I have fully lined it - so it's maybe a little thick for this weather (32 degrees as I type this!) but it means it is reversible.  I've wanted to try reversible for a while and the batik was so flimsy I thought this was maybe the time to try it.   Pockets and hems and then it's ready

I just love the batik pattern and the colour

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

2019 Wk 33 - Children's Crafts

I spent a week teaching crafts at Windsor Baptist Church's Pop Up Community Cafe.  In UK children can get free hot lunches at school if the family income is below a certain level.  But this policy does not help feed them during school holidays.  The church set up a Community cafe offering lunches every day for a week - and parents could pay what they liked or could afford . . . if they left paying nothing that was OK

It was very popular and an amazing atmosphere too!

I was there every day teaching crafts:

We tried to make all the crafts sustainable - using leftovers or things that can be bough really cheap from charity shops.

Day 1.  Bird Seed Cakes
This was the only one that had real expenses - these were the cookie cutters, but they were only 20p per item, and the families got to take them home so they could make the craft again or use them for making cookies.

1 part water, 1 part flour and about 5 parts bird seed.  Mix (adjusting quantities if necessary) until thick and all seed is coated.   Press mixture into cookie cutter.  Use handle of spoon to make a small hole in the middle.  Allow to dry (turning over every few hours on day 1) then hang out with thread or pipe cleaner through the hole for the birds to enjoy

Day 2 - Weaving & Embroidery
Using a paper bowl or plate cut an ODD number of v shaped wedges in from the edge.  Tie yarn around one section then weave in and out going around the bowl.  To change colour tie the new yarn to the old yarn and hide the loose ends under the weaving.

Day 3 - Bunting
Bunting can take a lot of time to make properly - so we bodged a quick way of making it!  I cut loads from triangles from old sheets, and gave the kids fabric pens to decorate them

Rather than sewing or knotting the triangles to the yarn, I taught my helpers (two ten year olds) how to maker these loops and they did a great job of teaching the children and their adults.  Once you have this loop yo can push one top corner of the bunting through and pull the wool tight.

If you want to change things you can still pull the fabric out and there is no knon left in the yarn

It went really well!

Day 4 - Friendship bracelets
I have made friendship bracelets the traditional way - with fancy knots and very detailed instructions, but I wouldn't like top teach to more that two or three kids, and they'd have to be at least 10 or 12, but I potentially had about 30 children, and as young as 3!

So we did the twist method.  2m (2 yards) of two different wools.  Fold in half and knot at both ends.  Start twisting: you can anchor one end and twist by yourself, or two of you can twist opposite directions to make it quicker.  You want to twist until the stripes are almost left to right (weft) rather than top to bottom (warp).  I then take both ends and get the child to help the middle.  I bring both ends together and tell them to let go when they are ready and watch.  It often springs into a real mess (I have been known to tell the child it must have gone wrong and we should throw it away!) but if they run their hands down it (like milking a cow?) it tidies itself.

This little munchkin certainly got the hang of it!!!!

Day 5 Wooden Mobile
There is a tree at church which drops really nice chunky twigs.  I gathered loads, and we wrapped wool around and around, then used another colour to add decoration and to tie on with pine cones or extra twigs

 A great week!!!!!