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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Say hello to …….

Humphrey the Elephant!

Humphrey was a very popular greetings card character a few years ago – not seen so much now, but I used to buy lots of ‘Humphrey’ cards. This is one of the sketches they used to use:-

I made him from a kit I bought from ‘Create & Craft’ on the Freeview Shopping channel on TV – I just had to have him when I saw Debbie Shore making him, although I didn’t realise just how many separate parts there were ……. 25 individual sections to cut out and sew together! The fur is beautifully soft, although that made it difficult to work, but thankfully he still worked out quite well. 

The dungarees didn't come as part of the kit, so I had to make those up myself – really pleased with my bargain too – yellow corduroy for £1 a metre – and I only used half of it, so 50 pence they cost to make ……. Not bad eh? I had no plans for Humphrey when I ordered the kit, and I was going to keep him for myself, but while I was making him, I heard from an old neighbour that their little 3-year old girl has just been diagnosed with leukaemia, which is heart-breaking, so I think I know where Humphrey will be heading off to – I hope he manages to raise a small smile when he’s received!

My next finish is this wall hanging. 


It’s from a pattern called ‘Pleasantly Primitive’ by Kim Diehl from her ‘Simple Blessings’ book, The fabric is a random selection, but based on a similar colour palette used by Kim Diehl. I love it, and it’s now hanging on my dining room wall. The patchwork is by machine and the quilting is by hand for a more rustic/primitive look.

So pleased I managed to get something posted – it’s been a while!


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

My new bag

Like my new bag?!! This is the front














I bought the pattern and fabric when I was the Malvern Quilt Show the other week and decided to set to work on it straight away. The sheep is my own adaptation, as the pattern called for an applique angel, but I'm not particularly in to angels too much and preferred a sheepy! 








...... and this is the back, including a large pocket!

and the finishing touch - a metal charm dangly thing!


You like - I just love the colours of the fabric?

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Dolly Mixtures!

For ages now I’ve been working on a new doll – I’m known I suppose in the blogging world mostly for the ‘Tilda’ dolls I’ve made in the past, however, I wanted to try to make a more grown up doll, with more detail. These two have taken me months, and although I suppose they’re alright, they’re not really what I hoped to achieve ……….. the problem is, I never had an exact picture in mind other than ‘more grown up’!! These two were meant to be the prototypes (or do you only have those in cars!!?), but I got rather sick of them during the process, because they were sooooooo fiddly and time consuming! And at the same time I was itching to get back to a quilt I started ……….urmmm, 3½ - 4 years ago!!!!  So as a result, although I managed to finish these, I won’t be bothering to make any more after all – these can just  sit in my sewing room and collect dust! What I do love about them though are the fabrics I’ve used ….. lots of silk – very luxurious! Anyway, on to doll No. 1 …. Note here, I haven’t come up with a name for either of them yet, just No. 1 and No. 2, so any suggestions would be welcome:

So , Doll No. 1:



















Quite dramatic, with her long black hair and striking red dress! Her dress is made of a beautiful stripe deep red dupion silk (bear in mind what digital photographs do to colours!). It has a dropped waist, trimmed with red rose beads. Now excuse me for being a bit rude, but I want to show you what’s going on underneath too. 

















Under the dress is a lovely red tulle underskirt, and under that, a pair of frilly drawers ……. oh naughty!! 

Her shoes are like a ballet slipper with the ribbon tied around her legs. Did you spot the cute little ballet shoes necklace above (made that myself too!!). 

Now you must excuse this piccie too, because I’m attempting to show you her cleavage, because I actually gave her boobies (more grown up you see) and her nose!! I never like to see the drawn on noses on dolls – they just don’t look right (not to me anyway), so I was amazed when I discovered a method (Waldorf dolls book) which shows you a clever way to make a good head shape by using two layers of fabric. I adapted the method by adding a nose from shaped fimo/polymer clay (my invention!), which I then stuck on to the underneath skin layer: then when you add the second skin layer, you have something like a real nose – using the two layers of skin method is such a simple idea when you know how – flipping, flipping fiddly though!! Having made the nose, I then came up with the idea of making her boobies in the same way!! The trouble is (photo trouble again!) you can’t really define them in the picture – they are there though!

Finally, because I always like my dolls to have some little accessory, I made this little charm dingly, dangly thing.

Doll No. 2! She looks a little more wild with that hair!
 
















I had a regency theme in my mind, hence the ‘Empire line’ style dress made again of dupion silk, but in the most beautiful coffee/chocolatey shade, and her little cropped contrasting jacket is made of Silk Tullah – what a nightmare to cut though – it frayed like crazy, so DO NOT look too closely!! 
Now when I say these were prototypes, what I mean for example is No. 2 has a choker crucifix necklace and the reason for the choker, is that I made a real mess of attaching her head to the neck and the only way to cover it up was to do that – it almost works!


And underneath we go again!! How about these matching silk frilly knickers and sexy stockings, held up with ribbon garters ……… I just love this detail – even though it’s a bit rude!! LOL 































The finishing touch for No. 2 is this little blue velvet bag, with antique brass eyelets. I might decorate this yet (can’t decide) with some beads or something, as it looks a bit plain.



So, after all that, I’m getting back to a bit of quilting for a while, maybe a bit of cross-stitch too here and there, and so here’s a sneaky peak at my current project (this isn’t the aforementioned 3½ year old quilt by the way!! LOL), it’s something I picked up at the Malvern Quilt show I went to last weekend, which I hope to have ready to show you very soon.




But that’s it for now!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Malvern Spring Quilt Show

I had such a lovely time on Sunday last at the Malvern Spring Quilt Show (Malvern Showground). It was a beautiful sunny day and I got there just before the doors opened, so managed to spend at least the first few minutes without being pushed and shoved – it’s amazing how older respectable looking ladies can dig with their elbows and stand firm, refusing to allow you to just squeeze in next to them!!! Grrr

It was fine though, I had a great day browsing around many well known fabric shops, including my favourite, ‘White Cottage Country Crafts’ – it’s relatively local to me and I feel very lucky, because I really love Jackie’s colour palette, it’s so meee!! Whenever I go there, I just want to go around stroking fabric LOL. 

Anyway, you don’t want to listen to me waxing lyrical, you want to see what I bought don’t you!!

This is everything together, including cotton fabric, wools and gorgeous dupion silk


'Primitive Gatherings' Wool Flannel …… yum! 


This luverrrley bundle of fabrics from the White Cottage Country Crafts, with a Country bag pattern












And some other bits & pieces!



Some several hours later, I strolled back out into the sunshine, bought myself a spot of lunch (including cake – well why not!) and sat and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Malvern Hills - sorry, I should have taken a piccie or two, but was well chilled out by then. And so with legs dropping off and a nearly empty purse, I made my way home.

A lovely day!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Pressies for me!!

Just look what was waiting for me when I arrived home from work the other day 
………. pressies from my luvurley friend Wendy of The Quiet Room blog - is there any better kind of parcel to greet you when you just know it will be full of wonderful things - and so it was!!
There are quite a few photos, SOOOOO generous was Wendy! 


Now, we all know how long cross-stitch takes don’t we, and there was not only this sweet 1816 pincushion, with mother of pearl buttons & pins, but
 ……….. wait until you see this!! A cross-stitch pocket, which is just amazing! – there is so much work in it

and inside - scissors and a little charm. 


AND as if that wasn't enough, inside the pocket was all this!!! - everything  to make a gorgeous Easter pillow, with the cutest chart/pattern, 28-count linen ........ the chart suggests 40-count, but these old eyes can't do any smaller than 28-count, so this is perfect. And then all of the flosses, and not just DMC floss, but Weeks Dye Works and The Gentle Art (beautiful colours) - and even the needles!! So much!!! Wendy understands clearly too that I shall need until next Easter to make it LOL …… or maybe even the one after that!! 



And now my favourite – I loved it when I saw it on Wendy’s blog a little while ago – this gorgeous woolly sunflower cushion – such lovely, neat stitching - I adore it. 


And to top all of that off (Wendy is clearly trying to make me fat LOL!!!) – 3, yes 3 packs of chocolate …… I am the biggest chocoholic in  the world of course (Wendy knows me so well), so this photo is several days old now, because I knew the choccies wouldn't last until the weekend when I could blog about them – so I took it immediately !!!


As I said to Wendy in an email, she is the cleverest, talentedist!!, kindest friend, I’m sure I don’t deserve it, but again Wendy, thank you, thank you SOOOOOO very, very much. I love EVERYTHING.


I'm actually half asleep whilst doing this post, as I've had the loveliest day today at the 'Malvern Spring Quilt Show', but I'm now shattered having walked my legs off! And yes, of course I made a few (!!) purchases ....... but the pictures of my stash can wait until my next post!!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Love Letters

Having finally completed my half of the ‘Shazy Swap’ over the Easter weekend, I also managed to finish this small project.

I know Shazy struggled with something to make for me recently because she worried I perhaps wouldn’t want anything much along the ‘Prim’ line that she enjoys making, and I can see why she would think that with my eclectic tastes! However, I do like ‘Prim’ – not the extreme stuff (a step too far!!), but ordinary Prim, very much so. I suppose, I like what I like and don’t like what I don’t like if that makes sense. I like all sorts really which is typical me LOL ..... I can never make up my mind. I love anything along the country, rustic and vintage lines, including Prim – I even have a Prim board on my ‘Pinterest’ page, which is where I found the idea. I do struggle though at times to make things in the Prim style; always wanting to ‘neaten’ the edges etc. instead of leaving them rough! LOL. But anyway, when I spied this ‘Love Letters’ pocket/hanging (whatever it is!) I just had to have a go ....... yes, another idea I’ve nicked! so I hope whoever designed the original doesn’t spot this!

I think I’ve managed to achieve the right look just about: using the hessian gives it a very rustic look and the dried gyp and pip berries help it along and then I’ve added a hanger made from rusty wire. The label is ‘distressed’ (shame LOL) around the edges and I’ve added a jewellery finding containing a postmark (it is a love letter after all) – it’s then tied off with a piece of cheesecloth with a padlock charm to finish. And the whole thing has then been liberally sprayed with a coffee and vanilla mix, so it smells divine!!

Maybe I am getting the hang of the Prim thing after all!!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Shazy Swap!

I am so lucky!! Look what I got from Shazy of Country Prims!

Recently in February, Shazy saw this woolly sheep I made for Wendy (Quiet Room blog) and was rather taken with it. Anyway after a bit of to & fro'ing, we decided on a swap. I know Shazy was a bit concerned about making something she thought would suit me, but oh my days, she could not have 'got' me more accurately. Inspired by Veronique of Born to Quilt, she's made this gorgeous Prairie Doll Pin Keep ....... isn't she just fantabulous?
 The detail is so lovely - the scissors, the tape measure ribbon, the acorn pin .............
........... and I just love the base. It's wooden but with a rust paint effect (I need to know how to do this!!!)
I love everything about her and she will adorn my new sewing room (ex-spare bedroom!!) extremely well
And as if that wasn't enough, Shazy also sent these two lovely Wool Charm packs - can't wait to find a use for them!! In the top picture, you can also see a lovely sheepy LHN cross-stitch pattern - flosses already ordered Shazy. Typically, amongst my pot of Crescent Colours flosses, I don't have any of the ones I need, but do not despair - they were ordered last night!! Plus a bag of chocolate eggs - yummy, scrummie - they will wait until Sunday ...... oh yes they will!!

Shazy, you're amazing - thank you so much. I have already emailed to grovel the fact I haven't yet finished my half of the bargain, my excuses being work, work & more work ...... been doing a lot of overtime lately .......... but they will be winging their way to you before long.

Now after seeing this on Simone's blog, I hot-footed it to WH Smith's to purchase myself a copy before they were all sold out! What a lovely magazine - very Shabby Chic - very droolable (no such word of course - I just made that up!!)


This 'Altered Art' is amazing - can't see me doing it though - too clever for me!
and this page - well, I just love this kitchen - very country cottagie (another made up word!) with the rustic beams and black & white flooring - lovely!

Nearly lastly (this is a bit of a longish post for me these days!) is a picture of the two vintage style crates I bought last weekend during a 'girlie' weekend I had with 3 of my cousins in Barmouth (mid-west Wales) - another reason Shazy for me being behind with your pressies!! Aren't they just luverley? The bigger one on the bottom is the colour as bought, but I've decided to wax polish them, as in the smaller top one, which I think makes them even luverlier!! What do you think?
 
and as I've mentioned it, I may as well show you a photo of me with my cousins from last weekend - don't we look a crazy, likely lot? We were quite well behaved though actually - honest!!