... but instead to start again soon. x
... but instead to start again soon. x
It's no good, I just can't resist buying Selvedge. It's so beautifully put together with gorgeous photographs and inspiring articles.
Am looking forward to putting my feet up with a cuppa and reading it later today. On the sewing front I've been thinking about making dolls for a while. Not sure why because I was never that taken with dolls as a child. But I love the wonderful creations of Mimi Kirchner (see Flickr for her fab dolls) and Julie Arkell. Julie's use of papier mache, vintage fabric and trimmings, her very English and rather eccentric folk art dolls definately appeal.
I started this little lady yesterday evening, and like the mix of a sophisticated face - dark eyes and red lips - and the simple embroidered flowers. Am going to back this with a vintagey looking floral fabric and may embellish her some more.
I was trying to grab a button heart I made last night, and upturned the button tin instead. Oh well, it is a sleepy Sunday morning, I obviously just need more tea.
I tried making a larger version with multi coloured buttons, but the design seems to work best in a smaller form with mainly white and cream buttons. The wire was bought from a jewellery findings supplier on ebay, and as I've still gots lots of beads from when I was making bracelets a few weeks ago I might use the wire and beads to make hearts with those as well.
As for needlepoint, my winter cushion's still making progress.
I'm still not entirely sure I've got the stripes in the right choice of colours, but too late to change my mind now. As for books - I gave up reading 'The Slap'. Too much swearing, way too many unpleasant characters you couldn't feel any warmth or affection (however grudging) for. Just a thoroughly dull, nasty book. The author has denied it's misogynist, saying rather that he writes about misogynistic men. Either way, I'm not interested ... So I've got a stack of alternative books to choose from. As the next book club meeting isn't until January there's plenty of time to read Barbara Kingsolver's 'The Lacuna' for then. In the meantime I might try Joyce Carol Oates 'The Gravedigger's Daughter' or treat myself to a nostalgic dip into a Margery Allingham. Perfect for a cold day outside/cosy afternoon on the sofa inside.
Apparently temperatures are going to dip over the next week and it'll be very chilly, definately gloves and scarves weather. (Though in my office at work it's so warm you sit there in a summer blouse and lightweight trousers, fanning yourself and gulping down water whatever the weather outside!)
I'm busily stitching my Winter cushion during these dark nights. Having decided on the vertical stripes for the background I couldn't work out what colours I wanted to use for them. Wintry colours like silvers, greys, cream, the colours of birch tree bark or icy landscapes? Maybe Christmas colours - reds, greens, gold? In the end I settled on just picking colours I liked and putting them in pleasing combinations. They're not 'winter' shades as such. I started using a mauve kind of colour (by the 'R' shapes) but that's jarring a bit, so it might get unpicked.
Away from needlepoint, the bird feeders are topped up and hanging outside my bedroom window ready for - hopefully - lots of feathered visitors. Last year they worked well with blue tits and robins stopping by for a munch. I love seeing them. In our urban environment it's a miracle these delicate little creatures still survive, and I want to do my own tiny bit to help them. These Emma Bridgewater mugs are lovely reminders of them, so beautifully decorated. If I were rich, I'd have dresser-loads of her fabulous designs. (You too, huh?)
I decided to start another needlepoint cushion, so dug out the canvas and wool (deliberately ignoring the stack of half finished projects in the corner ...). The design's based on a few things - some lovely lettering in Waitrose adverts, a 'Winter' logo on a shower bottle and some pretty vintage teacups of mine.
The 'Winter' logo was duly peeled off its bottle and stuck in a notepad. I like the pink background and the little white snowflakes on the lettering. The words 'Bake' and 'Treat' came from the Waitrose advert - liked the chunky font and the patterns and colours of the letters.
I'm making a long, narrow cushion, and was working out the shape of the letters as I went along. The 'W' and 'N' aren't too brilliant, but the other shapes came out quite well. I think the background's going to be made up of vertical stripes, but not entirely sure about that yet. We'll see how it goes ...
Made this little heart last night after seeing something similar in a craft book ... I'd found some old fuse wire when clearing out a cupboard, so used that along with a small length of ribbon and a handfull of white/cream buttons.
This is a back view of it. The button heart's purely decorative, but if it was made smaller it could have a fastening added and become a brooch, or it could be used to decorate the front of a handmade birthday/Valentine's Day card.
A few weeks ago a friend at working was chatting enthusiastically about making jewellery, and it got me thinking about having a go myself. So I tapped a few keys on ebay and some days later a lovely package of beads popped through the letterbox. Since then I've made a few bracelets (they can double up as necklaces, being long enough to wind around a wrist 2 or 3 times) and some teeny earrings.
The names of the beads are fab in themselves - Tibetan silver, cranberry glass - and I've realised that it's the putting together of colours that I love. It's the same with needlepoint, patchwork, knitting - whatever the craft, it's the combining colours and patterns that appeals.
On to books: 'The Slap' by Christos Tsiolkas has arrived and I'm about a quarter of the way through it. Am getting a bit tired of the constant swearing. It's not that I'm a prude but all the endless f-ing and frequent use of the 'c' word just gets in the way of the story for me. However, it's an interesting portrayal of modern Australia and the casual racism and misogyny of the strata of society he's writing about. Will persevere and hopefully it'll generate a good discussion at my book group.
This final picture for today is an idea I've got for a new needlepoint pattern. (Oh, I know ... I should finish all the half-completed projects before starting a new one ... but still ...) I keep a couple of notebooks in which I paste pictures cut out of magazines, flyers, postcards, just images that appeal to me. They pretty much get stuck in randomly. I liked the fishy pattern on this china plate, and was thinking of combining it with the colouring on the wooden blocks. As you can see from my scribbled pattern, designing for needlepoint requires absolutely no drawing skills whatsoever!!
I literally haven't even logged into Typepad since the last post I blogged. Partly my computer went haywire and I couldn't use it for several days, but also other things took over. I've been trying to do some long-overdue decorating, finish several craft projects and get some reading done. But here's to a new resolution: I'm going to blog every 2 or 3 days. Will make myself do it!!
I'm currently waiting for the ever-efficient Amazon to deliver my book group's next choice, 'The Slap' so meanwhile I'm dipping into EM Delafield's 'The Diary of a Provincial Lady'. It was published originally in 1930, but is very readable today as it's written in a kind of Bridget Jones style diary entries. The heroine of the story is a very middle class woman, married to a 'conservative' tactiturn husband and with two young children. She worries about 'the servant problem', her indoor bulbs, her clothes. It's very funny and a rather comforting read, ideal for autumn. Don't you find that some books are 'summer' books or 'winter' books? They're seasonal, I'm convinced of it. For instance, Charles Dickens novels just don't suit hot, sunny days. They're definitely winter books.
When not reading (and when trying to ignore the partly painted skirted board in the bathroom!!) I'm finishing off needlepoint and patchwork projects. There's a tower of three plastic crates in the sitting room, full of wool and patchwork pieces and canvas, topped by a tower of WIPs. How do other people get those minimalist homes which consist of a designer sofa, a single glass vase and a sleek white Persian that never seems to cough up hair balls? Maybe they just have a cellar just of clutter or a dusty attic choc-a-bloc with boxes and bags? Or maybe they've just bought the house/apartment next door and it's full to bursting, allowing them to live in splendid designer isolation and pretend they don't need the same baggage as the rest of us???
Had a rummage the other day in a basket, and came up with numerous unfinished needlepoint projects. One of these days it'll all get done - ha! Some hope!!
Finally, at least 1 thing that's finished in terms of the design, just got to sew it up into a cushion.
Oh well, I've finished reading 'The Clothes on Their Backs' by Linda Grant. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and is a cracking read. About a girl growing up with timid refugee parents in London, who gets to know her once notorious uncle, a man who was jailed as a slum landlord. He's a fascinating character, based on the real life Peter Rachman. It's a book I'd certainly recommend and is easy to read though complex enough to keep you involved.
It's after 10:00am and I'm still un-showered and in my dressing gown! Such slovenly habits ... still, it is Sunday and I've done the washing up and filled the bird feeders, so I've not been entirely inactive. I've also snuck in a bit of stitching ... the idea for a design based on auriculas has been put aside for a little while as I can't quite work out how to do it.
I got the centre of the flower - the yellow and green - how I wanted them but the larger light and dark purple wasn't right. So that's on a back burner for a while. Fingers itching, and having bought some pillar box red wool on ebay, I decided on a stripy design to make up into a mini cushion.
It'll be similar to this blue cushion, just lots of stripes in various shades of red and orange, broken up by white and silver squares, rectangles and crosses. I tried taking a photo of progress so far, but it doesn't photograph well.