Felt Flower Brooches
Blogs I Follow
Hello Internet. I missed you 😦
Our recent upgrade to a faster Broadband connection did not go well. Many hours were spent on the phone to wretched call centres (good job the calls were free!) and many explanations of the problem given (why do you have to explain the problem to every person you are transfered to – can’t they talk to each other?!) but we were without internet access for what seemed like a lifetime. Apparently some numpty at the broadband company enabled our faster broadband connection before we had actually received the superhub modem. This in effect cut everything off. Now you would think that this would be easy to switch back wouldn’t you? HAHA No! But we eventually got it all sorted and ended up negotiating a deal with the company that is less than we were paying before, by way of compensation for all the palaver.
In the meantime, while there was no T’internet I was able to make up quite a few brooches for sale. Will post pics in a separate blog post for anyone who would like to see. So there yu go, “every cloud …” and all that 🙂
But it’s nice to be connected with the outside world again. To illustrate this, I began knitting a mug cosy and it was going well until I had to stop and cast off. Now I couldn’t remember how to cast off for the life of me! In my defence, I am not a prolific knitter and it had been a while since I had picked up a pair of needles. I tried to figure it out using common sense but it had me stumped. I went to turn to my great friend Mr Google, but then remembered that we had no internet. Boo! My cosy had to sit on in my craft box, needles jammed into the ball of wool, until we got our connection back. When we were reconnected my first Google was ‘how to cast off’!
O love the Internet but there’s a lot to be said for good old fashioned books!
I was trawling through the internet looking for a new craft to try and found this blog post on Kumihimo. Sounds easy to pick up and hard to put down. Just the sort of craft I like!
This week has been full of beautiful sunshine, sketching and crafting – and quite a bit of eating. If you’re interested in seeing what I’ve been up to, head over to my paper and cloth blog. Now, on with week 45…
Phiona (aka @RareNotions) challenged me this week to try a craft I’d never even heard of: Kumihimo.
Any idea what it is? After googling, I found out. Kumihimo is the Japanese craft – so many of my favourite crafts are Japanese aren’t they? – of braiding. The resultant braids are used as ties for jackets and obi – they were once used by samurai as a decorative way to lace their armour.
As I near the end of my 52 weeks I’m trying to save some money and not buy new equipment for every craft so I was keen to find a DIY alternative to the braiding disc…
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I have a new bag. A tan satchel, a bit like the old school ones. Hubby spotted it in a fab little bag shop in Southport and I am now its’ new owner.
It has a little space for a label and so I thought I would embroider something for it. Maybe my initials surrounded by a nice border. This is my project for this evening. Will post later with an update …
I recently started working with felt. It’s wonderful! It is so easy to work with – it doesn’t fray when you cut it, it is very tactile and comes in a range of vibrant colours. I spotted bundles of felt in my favourite shop (Abakhan Fabrics) and couldn’t leave without buying some. Inspiration came as I was sorting through a jar of buttons and before I knew it, I was madly stitching up some flower brooches.
The photo isn’t brilliant, but you get the idea!
Each one is completely hand made, no machine stitching for me! I used DMC floss to stitch because I found I could get a far better match for the felt colours. They are hand cut, hand stitched and finished with a button. A saftey brooch fastener is securely stitched into the back and they look best when worn clustered together. I have three of them on my winter coat, in shades of blue and green and they always draw comments.
They are not perfect, but then not much in life is. Despite being the sort of person who gets irritated by skewiff pictures, I have come to love the wonkiness in these brooches! i have a whole bunch of these sitting in my workbox, in readiness for a local craft fair that I have my eye on, plus a whole lot more waiting to be stitched up. I’d put the pattern up on the blog, but it doesn’t take a genius to work it out!
This post first appeared on my ‘beginner blog’ over at Blogger.com.
I spent a lovely Saturday morning trawling stitching blogs and found the most amazing samplers in people’s WIP. I was particularly impressed with the Mary Wigham samplers, having long wanted to do a large heirloom type sampler myself. Here’s a picture of the sampler in case you are not familiar with it:
My introduction to cross stitch came during my first year at senior school.
One of my lessons was ‘needlework’, taught by a very stern lady whom we were all a bit afraid of. Anyway, our first task was to make a tabbard and I had chosen green gingham for mine. I was told to look in the storeroom for some matching thread and I happened upon a shelf that had lots of small brown boxes stacked up. Intrigued, I opened one, to reveal many skeins of a rich ruby red embroidery floss. The colour was so rich and vibrant and completely at odds with the drab box which bore no hint as to the contents, except for a small label bearing the code: DMC326. I opened another and it was full of zingy egg yolk yellow skeins, a third contained a disappointing pale grey, but a fourth was glorious purple.
After a little more searching I found some green skeins that were a perfet match for my gingham fabric and took a bunch of them back to my workstation. We had to hand stitch the tabbards – we wouldn’t be allowed to use the sewing machines until much later – and I think I used the entire box of emerald embroidery floss on my tabbard. When she found out, the teacher hit the roof as it was expensive in comparison to a reel of cotton thread. It was a while before I was allowed back in to the storeroom and even then it was under supervision!
My first cross stitch project was for my GCSE O’level (showing my age!). We were given a magazine each and a small frame, only about two inches square. We had to move the frame over any image we thought was interesting to see if we could find a pleasing composition to re-create in stitches. I found a picture of a willow pattern plate and so began a month of blue and white stitching. I hated it by the time I finished. Mostly because I resented having to use only one shade of blue when I knew that there were many jewel shades of silks just waiting to be liberated from their brown boxes.
In addition to the boredom of using only one colour, the teacher was genuinely terrifying and made most of us girls cry at some point in the year. As a result, when I put down my cross stitch at the end of my O’level exam, I didn’t do another one until eleven years later. I took a wrong turn in John Lewis’ and found myself in haberdashery, opposite a display of embroidery silks. I picked one up and was transported back to the school storeroom. On impulse I bought a few colours and a piece of aida and made a small birthday card for a friend. It was a tiny thing really, just a simple stitched initial with a modest border, but it was enough for me to realise that I could stitch for pleasure.
And so began many years of happy stitching …
Well hello there and welcome to my blog.
My name is Jackie and I love to make things. This hasn’t always been easy, as I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and holding small things, like a needle, is often very painful. But during the times when my hands aren’t playing up I can get quite creative with a bit of aida and some embroidery floss! i live in the North West with Hubby and Son and a mad dog. Life is never dull when you live with a comedic Dalmatian, who is scared of the living room floor!
So, why blog? I thought it would be a nice idea to share what I have learned over the years and to learn from others who might visit the blog. There is always something new to learn and I love to hear other people’s experiences in the crafting genre.
I am aiming for at least one blog post per day, mostly craft related but really, anything could creep in!
Please feel free to leave comments. In time I hope to be able to include guest posts from other bloggers on specialist crafts. So if you would like to write a guest post then please contact me.
So, I guess it’s on with the blog!
I dont even drink tea.
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