Monday, 24 October 2011

More interesting stuff!

Well, obviously I am overwhelmed by the interestingness of all this, but I can see that for some readers - maybe not so much.

So, in deference to those who actually like to see a bit of sewing, I have started there.
With Dandy Dreams by Silver Creek.
This was a really nice stitch. I like words anyway so this suited me fine. I used a 28 ct Jobelan linen and the suggested DMC threads.

This was bought to be given as a Christmas gift.

Yeh! Right!!
If you knew me in real life you would know that I am NOT a cake-baking sort of person. 
I quite like making pastry and have sessions when I make enough pies and pasties to feed the whole neighbourhood, so this little cake stand will probably not be used for its rightful purpose.
But - I care not a jot.
Just look at the pretty English wild flower design etched on the top.
It would be a shame to cover it with fancy cup-cakey things.
We went to a small Antique fair locally on Saturday and I found these little desirables.
(The fair was in Thirsk, Carmen!!)
I spotted a card with Mother of Pearl buttons, it's tricky to see here but they quite irregular shapes - it would be hard to find a matching pair.
Some are not quite round, others have their holes drilled haphazardly - nice!!
Then there are three bone thread winders.
These are quite difficult to find now so I was lucky to spot them.
And finally a length of hand made lace.
Have you remembered that I am going to classes to make stained glass?
Last time I showed a little bird I had made.
I showed it in close-up because I was really quite proud of it.
Well, after the pride cometh the fall.
The next practice piece?
A small box.
And this is as close as you are going to get to it!
I have a spare copy of this year's Halloween issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine.
If you are in the UK and would like it, the cost is £3.95 for the book and £1-15 postage.
(This is the actual cost, I don't want to make money on the deal.)
If you are quick, and I am quick and you are quick, you could easily make a little ornament
before the kids come a-knocking.
(I am saying UK because it is more widely available in the US)

Thank you so much to the new followers who have joined me here, and for your lovely comments.

Love Irene xxx

Friday, 7 October 2011

A pot pourri of really interesting stuff!!!!

Now I'm not that keen on ivy, because it is slowly taking over my garden.
However, right now I am more than happy to have it creeping over the garden wall because it is attracting these beautiful butterflies. I counted at least twenty enjoying the early Autumn warmth.
Are they Red Admirals, or Peacocks?
Mmmm - don't know but they are a joy.
I recently told you of my lucky win from Marly over at Samplers and Santas. She generously gave away some bundles of fabric and I won one.
As a small thank you I stitched her this, one of my favourite small designs and personalised it for her by stitching her initial in red. It is a La D Dah freebie, Alphabet and Hare.
It is edged in beads along with a bead hanger but they are tricky to see here.
OK, this little birdie doesn't look much - a bit wobbly - a bit uneven - a bit crude.
But I made it.
I have started classes for making stained leaded glass and after two weeks (4 hours) of lessons I produced this.
Because newbies are notoriously clumsy and coloured glass is ridiculously expensive, we had to make this first project from clear glass and it was difficult to photograph (I think that is my bosom encased in white on the wing!) but here she is.
Another craft now - knitting. You can tell I am retired can't you?
When I was teaching I barely had the energy to crawl upstairs to bed, but now - stitching with one hand, glass making with other, knitting with the ......... er feet???
Anyway, one pair of socks completed, one sock from another pair also completed.
Cool colours eh?
For a little variation, I ribbed all the way down the front of the blue sock.
As you can see, they are knitted on four needles using Regia wool and their free easy peasy pattern

Now - not quite so successful was my foray into ageing pieces for a primitive look.
Carmen at Cardan antiques and Needlework sent me lots of stuff to get me started and last night Anne, my stitching friend, and I, had a go. We made up different strength solutions of walnut crystals and coffee and experimented with various types and colours of linen.

As you can see.

But, mostly it just looked as though we had mistakenly spilt coffee on it.

It did not have that 'I was used by your great great grandmother during the long hard snow-bound winters in that single room log cabin. On the mountain top. Cut off from all hope of rescue.
Isolated. Making do and mending.
Wondering what her husband would say when he returned from hunting to find all his clothes had been patch worked during idle moments.

Oh for goodness sake, get a grip Irene!

I'm sorry, back to the sewing.
In the end we aged the stitching we had prepared and this is the result
We were only sort of satisfied as this only worked when we followed this somewhat time-consuming procedure.
We crumpled, we dipped, we squeezed, we held.
We dipped, we squeezed, we held, we baked.
We ironed on the right side ( hush my mouth!)
And we got this faint crackling finish.
I am sure Carmen will take me in hand soon and success will be mine.

Finally, as a reward for those who ploughed through this nonsense, here is my lovely Meghan.

Oh - I forgot to mention something.
Have you ever googled your own name?
I did, ages ago.
I googled my single name and discovered that there was a pioneer woman, with my name, who traveled West across America in a wagon train and taught English in a pioneer settlement.
She wrote a book about her experiences and I have the book!
By the way, I was a teacher with responsibility for the teaching of English in my school.

Bet that's why I know about log cabins and stay-away 'I was on a hunting trip, honest' husbands.

Love to all, Irene xxx
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