Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time for a change

I've been suffering a bit from a crafting overload over the last few weeks - I seemed to work on 3 exchanges in fairly quick succession, gifts for Alexander's teachers and since then have been drifting, unable to find anything sufficiently interesting to work on. With the lack of inclination to craft came a similar disinclination to blog, so I've not been doing much and have had little to say about it.

I have, however, done a couple of things. The first is my July biscornu for the Basket of Biscornu. I'm really very pleased with it!

Bargello biscornu

This was my first go at bargello and uses a coaster pattern from 'Bargello: A Fresh Approach to Florentine Embroidery' by Brenda Day. I really love the colours I've used for it too - a different combination for me - and I just don't know which side I like best!

After that, I continued the canvas theme by digging out Nova and stitching another 8 or 9 squares.

I had an idea yesterday for a stitchy project to try and had to rush home from work to dig out fabric and ribbons - it's all quite exciting and looks like the crafty overload is history! But I don't think I'll be attempting any more crochet for a little while - still feel a bit crocheted out!

As a result of my new project, I'm now lusting after a copy of Jean Hilton's Stimulating Stitches - isn't it amazing what different people think looks like fun?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More to show

The school holidays started here at the end of last week, so in the week up to them, my evenings were spent frantically stitching little gifts for various teachers. I ended up with these, and already have instructions from Alexander to make him an identical yellow one as that’s his favourite!

Love birds

I think my next felty foray will have to be a candle mat – have you seen the gorgeous one that Theresa made?

Then on Monday, I arrived home to find that a large parcel had arrived for me from Gabriela in Chile for the amigurumi swap! Gabriela very kindly included a number of traditional Chilean goodies which were so exciting to open and examine and plan what to do with them.

Swap goodies

This week, I’ve been stitching on (and loving) my first bargello project – I’ve done all the bargello bits, just the finishing left now!

First bargello square

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finally, something to share!

Despite the evidence of my blog, I have been making things over the last few weeks. Until this week, there was a lot of mad crocheting for two swaps. Now that the swap parcels arrived at their destinations, I can show you what I've been making.

First up is the Hippy Chick Monkey I sent to Amber in the June amigurumi swap on Flickr.

Hippy monkey

It's a hybrid of various amigurumi monkey patterns with longer limbs and my (not entirely successful) attempt at a pot belly! Not entirely successful as you wouldn't know it's supposed to have a pot belly, but it's cute anyway, so I don't mind!

After the monkey, it was on to this cushion I make for Alex in Mel's Cozy Crochet swap!

Cozy crochet swap cushion

Both swaps were sent with a lot of other goodies which I managed not to take a photo of! You can see everything I sent to Alex on her blog, and Amber has posted a photo of her swap parcel here on Flickr.

And here's the wonderful array of goodies I received from Alex yesterday.

A gorgeous bag, hat, covered notebook, mug, coaster and hot choc, a pouch full of buttons, a bookmark, a pin cushion with a wonderful thistle on the side and a heart badge! All I can say is WOW! And the colours are all wonderful and really me and the yarns are beautiful and I'm completely gobsmacked! THANK YOU ALEX - what a wonderful swap!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

On the plinth

I discovered One & Other this morning, via Flickr.

I love the idea!

To quote the One & Other website,

"This summer, sculptor Antony Gormley invites you to help create an astonishing living monument. He is asking the people of the UK to occupy the empty Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London, a space normally reserved for statues of Kings and Generals. They will become an image of themselves, and a representation of the whole of humanity.

Every hour, 24 hours a day, for 100 days without a break, a different person will make the Plinth their own. If you're selected, you can use your time on the plinth as you like. One & Other is open to anyone and everyone from any corner of the UK. As long as you're 16 or over and are living or staying in the UK, you can apply to be part of this unforgettable artistic experiment.

You can play your part in making this idea a reality - either by volunteering yourself, by telling others about it, or by experiencing it online or in the square itself."

In fact, I love the idea so much, I've applied to do it! Although I would prefer not to have a slot in the middle of the night!

So, what crafty thing could I do if I get my hour?

Monday, July 06, 2009

The way we were ……

One of the things that’s been left for me to sort out since we sorted out the loft is my stereo. Despite the fact that it still works perfectly, I replaced it at the end of last year as I just don’t have the space for it any more.

The record player had been relegated to the loft several years ago, and the rest was initially put up in the loft as I didn’t know what else to do with it, but now the time has come to put it on ebay. There is also the added point that I found all the manuals when we cleared the loft!

So I brought it all out yesterday and set it up in the bedroom – record player and all, and, with Alexander’s help, tested that each component still works.

My stereo

We has great fun with the records! Alexander had been listening to Michael Jackson at school, so I was able to dig out my copy of ‘Beat it’ – the 7” single. And after Michael Jackson, I took a trip down memory lane, through my singles collection with ‘Drive’ from the Cars, ‘If I Was’ (Midge Ure), ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (Far Corporation), ‘Solsbury Hill’ and ‘Sledgehammer’ (Peter Gabriel), 'Golden Brown' (the Stranglers), ‘Paperlate’ (Genesis).

It was a very atmospheric adventure! Somehow, the playing of a record feels so much more tactile than playing a sterile CD. The background interference of needle on vinyl just adds to it. And then of course, I remember the teenage excitement and anticipation of going up to Woolies on a Saturday morning, buying my single, and then walking home again, to sit on the floor in front of my parents’ stereo and play the precious vinyl. I remember being puzzled, until I got home, as to why it said ‘Clear Vinyl’ on the sleeve of Midge Ure’s ‘If I Was’. You can’t exactly get clear vinyl CDs!

And now my precious, 20 year old stereo is up for sale on ebay.

It’s the end of an era - I feel quite sad about the whole thing. In the mean time, I’m quite enjoying having it all set up in the bedroom – I just have to make sure I don’t kick it when I open the wardrobe!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The post without an interesting title

I’m thinking of starting a new SAL! Anyone like to join me? It even has a name – THE RESISTANCE! It’s a SAL for everyone out there who is managing to resist Mary Wigham on the Needleprint blog. I feel like I’m not getting very far with anything at the moment, so there’s no way I’m starting that one!

So, I thought I’d start my own SAL – the only rules are that you stitch on a large project (BAP) one day a week! That can’t be too hard now, can it?

Thanks for all your kind comments on A Patchwork of Stars - I’m glad everybody likes it! I hope some of you give it a go – I’d love to see what somebody else does with it.

I was rather surprised at the end of last week when my blog suddenly began to get a lot of traffic coming from Craftgossip. Following up on that, I was amazed to see A Patchwork of Stars featured in a blog entry there – WOW!

I’ve also been a bit puzzled by the amount of traffic I’ve been getting on Flickr, I think at least partly coming from the Cyber Stitchers EGA group on Yahoo – did somebody link to my photos from there? I’m just curious, but as I’m not a member of EGA,I probably won’t find out unless somebody reading this would like to share?

And it’s that time of the month again – so here’s my pic for the Totally Useless SAL! I was rather busy at the weekend (the imminent arrival of my parents requiring all the downstairs rooms of the house to be spring cleaned in 3 hours), so I didn’t get round to transferring things into my fancy crystal jug - you’ll just have to make to with my jam jar instead.

There’s nothing wrong with the scissors – I’ve just got into the habit of popping them in there when I’m not using them!

I’ve also been doing a fair bit of crochet since I finished A Patchwork of Stars, but as it’s for exchanges, I can’t share yet. So here’s a couple of things I put together in Flickr, just for a bit of fun!

Lego love

Ravishing ribbons