Monday, 14 November 2016

small break

Hello my lovely readers.  I just wanted to let you know I'm going to take a little break from blogging, I might still read blogs, at the minute I'm not as I don't have the heart.  I have been diagnosed with a mental health condition called Borderline Personality Disorder, google it if you're interested.  My husband and I split up 5 weeks ago (not my choice) and I've fallen apart completely.  Life doesn't seem worth living at the moment, but hopefully I'll be back soon enough, I have plenty of stuff saved up to tell you about.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Stamped silver bangle

Silversmithing class started again in September but I don't really have much to show.  I made this bangle before the summer break, but finished it off and polished it in the first class back.

It's made from 3.5mm round sterling silver wire.  I formed it, cut and soldered, then filed and polished.  Before it was formed I stamped on it. I stamped the word miłość (Polish for love).  The third letter is pronounced like a W and clearly we didn't have a stamp for that, or the accents, so I improvised.  I added a pattern using various sized hole cutters, but obviously didn't punch all the way through!  I wasn't very happy with how it turned out.  The large hole cutters didn't make a very even mark on the metal.

I can also see the join.  I filed it down and sanded it, but I took off so much silver that I can see that it's slightly thinner in that area.  I should have continued stamping after it was soldered to continue the pattern, but decided to leave it on the front only.

I had also planned to make a copper bangle the same size, but I haven't got round to it.  I've only worn the bangle once or twice as I actually find it really annoying, especially at work as it bangs on the desk as I type!

Never mind, not everything can be successful!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Mellerstain parrots #3 - again!

My photos are back so I'm going to sneak in this SAL post, 2 days late!  The first photo shows where I was 3 weeks ago.

I've been working on that bottom right hand corner and got a decent amount done.

Oh, that photo is a bit blurry!  I initial thought the acorn caps were embroidered with 1 strand and 1 wrap per french knot.  I thought that was too small so did one with 1 strand and 2 wraps.  Reading the chart again, I realised it was 2 strands and 1 wrap, so that's what I did!  

Not a bad effort!

Last week I had a lovely surprise from Claire. She's so thoughtful.  She sent me a sweet bunny chart and her leftover threads, a Peter Rabbit postcard (do people think I like bunnies?!?) and a handmade bookmark - I always need bookmarks!  Thanks Claire, it was a lovely surprise.

I'm stitching along as part of a SAL, you can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Mellerstain parrots #3

Good morning!  I have dropped in to post about my Mellerstain parrots for the three-weekly SAL, however there's a problem with Photobucket - the online company that hosts my photos so I'm afraid you can't see anything in my blog (unless you go back about 3 or 4 years when I stored my photos on Blogger's server).  If it comes back on line by Sunday, I'll drop back in and update this post, if not, please go and visit the other SAL participants instead.

I'm sewing along as part of a SAL, you can go and see what the other participants have been up to here:

AvisClaireGunCarole, LucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusan

Feel free to come and join us, just contact Avis.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

bunny quilt

I have been collecting bunny fabrics for a few years now.  I haven't actually bought many this year as I already had so many (a noteable exception being Critter - linked to a random UK shop as I can't remember where I bought it!).  I have over 100 FQs or scraps with bunnies on:

Some I've bought, some were bought for me by Mr CA one Christmas and some were gifts from friends and quilt buddies.  I sorted them into rainbow order.

Then at October's EMMQG meeting I began sewing.  I had to figure out the dimensions I wanted as I'm not following a pattern.  I started with 2" and 3" centre squares, I just couldn't make it work with one size only, but as I only have a vague plan, I'm sure it'll be fine!

I stitched some of the greens and all of the purples into polaroid blocks.  They will be set wonkily into background squares.  I bought some navy spot fabric for this project, but now I'm wondering about Kona solids in a variety of colours... I'm sure it'll be a while before I've finished them so plenty of time to think about it!

I can't see the purple ones in this picture, I hope I didn't leave them at the guild meeting!  I only have about 5 as it's hard enough to get purple fabric, let alone purple fabric featuring bunnies!

Monday, 31 October 2016

more finishing

As I mention, a lot, I've not been crafting much outside the classes I take with mum, but I have been doing something, I've been finishing a few things off.

I made these enamelled copper pieces at the Manor House hotel, 2 years ago now.  You can see the original post  They have been lying in my jewellery WIP box ever since.  I'd open it, look at them, put them back and forget about them!  This time I took them out so I wouldn't forget and they sat on the table for a couple of months instead!

I made each one a different pendent, using various pieces of chain I have.  I often buy fancy chain at craft shows and this seemed a good use for it as it can overwhelm a beaded pendant.  I've forgotten how to spell pendant again.  I could have made kumihimo or beadwoven straps for them, but I quite like them simple.

In my last finishing post, I showed you that I'd finished this goldwork piece.  I had to order an embroidery hoop for it as I wanted a 4" hoop but only had 3" or 5" ones at home.  Then it took me an age to decorate it as I wanted to paint it but couldn't find my paints anywhere.  I still can't find them and, as I'm sitting here typing this, I remember where I put them!  Too late now.  I decopatched it instead.

I chose red, gold and silver papers and stuck then down in the same order each time.  I'm not sure if this will damage the embroidery, but then it's hardly a heirloom piece and I don't have any heirs anyway!

Finally, I finished these pieces.  I made a really long red kumihimo cord, then cut it into two.  I threaded a bell flower on the necklace piece and made the other piece into a double-wrap bracelet.  I'd be nice with some charms on it so I may add to it at some stage.  The necklace on the right was actually made by my friend Kerry, but the ribbon was too long.  I'm short and very chesty and long necklaces looks stupid on me and are probably dangerous with the way they swing!  I shortened it by a few inches and added new ribbon clasps.

Now I just need to buy some red clothes...

Friday, 28 October 2016

polymer clay marquetry

A year or more ago I signed up to a newsletter from a local polymer clay group, but never found the courage to go along and join a session.  Then a couple of months ago the newsletter stated that there would be a workshop with Cara Jane for a bargain price.  When she was still blogging, I always read her blog and think she's a real master at polymer clay, so I got mum to agree to come along too!

The class was in polymer clay faux marquetry.  You can see Cara Jane's pieces here.

We had 9 different colours to mix.  Maple, Oak and Mahogany, each coming in light, medium and dark.  We were using Kato Clay which I've never used before and it took some working to mix the colours!  We were split into groups of three, so only had to do three colours each, sharing the blends that we made.  We then layered then up within the three groups to make a striped block, as above.

Apologies for the background of the photos, we had to take along a glass board to work on and I use this old kitchen chopping board which is pretty garish!  We cut our slabs into this shape so that they could be put together to make...

These two canes.  The placement is different in each one.  We then got to work compressing and stretching the canes to make longer, thinner canes.

That was quite some reduction!

The idea is to cut thin slices of the cane and lay them out to make faux marquetry patterns.  Alas, I didn't have time to do it in the session as we moved on to a different technique and to be honest, I'd completely forgotten about it until I saw these photos and started to write this post!  I will add it to my UFO list (seriously contemplating making one...) and try to feature it in a "finishing up" post soon!

The photo above shows very thin slices of the oak and mahogany, laid together and then ran through the pasta machine to make these pieces which look like wood grain. This was the second technique we explored.  We were to make a covered box, or maybe some pendants.  

I failed to finish anything at all and it still looks just like this!  I made the round motif for the box top, The smaller motif on the left was my first attempt, using a diamond cutter I had.  I soon realised that the pieces didn't fit together nicely though as the corners were curved.  That's when I started using the template you can see in the background to cut diamonds.  Again, this is not finished!

I either need to get on with this, or go to a clay day at the local group and get it finished!  Regardless of what I came away with, I had a fantastic time and was amazed at what could be achieved with a bit of polymer clay.  The group are really friendly and lovely and I'm sure I'll go back soon.