Saturday, 27 February 2016

Craft Club Exhibition - Summerhouse makes

Hello......... It's time again for our local craft clubs annual exhibition,  having several chronic illnesses has led me over the years to discover my creative side and was in fact the reason I started this blog. It has also helped me meet some wonderful creative people.

 I spend most my time either in bed or resting on the sofa and my days are structured with paced activities  and lots of rest in order to try and help manage my health and energy levels.  Within this I'm allocated 10 minutes crafting time a day, it's my favourite part of the day an escape and a lifeline

A few years ago I started going to a local craft group run in our library, (when I was well enough) in fact it turned out most of the members also have chronic illness, so it appears crafting seem to be a perk of these horrible illnesses, any road once a year we have a exhibition in the local library and this years one start tomorrow, so for the past year we have all be crafting away making items.

The themes this year are Hans Christian Andersen, Rohld Dahl and a group project based on the seasons.

Hans Christian Andersen

The Ice Maiden

As I've struggled a lot with my health over the past year, a lot of the makes I'm putting in the exhibition this year, were not specifically made for it, you could say I've done a little bit of borrowing and if it can fit one of the themes then it's going in.

So I because of it's wintry icy colours, I'm going to put this mandala in, I made it here in memory of the lovely Wink here

The Snow Queen

 For the Snow Queen I made a few things including something new, yes a friend and I decided we would make a tiara, as every queen needs a crown.  So last weekend, we had a go, neither of us, has ever made one before but with beads, wire and a little help from you tube.


We made this !!!
I'll write up a post all about it soon.

I'm also borrowing putting in this flurry of snowflakes for my yarny advent calendar

and I've put together this collection of Roses and winteryness from the fixings of my crocheted wreaths, you can read more about them here

The Little Mermaid

For the little Mermaid I made this paper cut which you can read all about here

Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

I'm entering my Ice Cream Cushion  

and these candy coloured

Mandala's made back in 2014 for Charlie and the Chocolate factory, none of them were made with the theme in mind so are kind of borrowed, but hey ho

Fantastic Mr Fox

Another old make going in is this fox also made back in 2014, well with the theme it would have been rude not to let him go in the exhibition, you can read more about him here 

and finally we have my Spring panel for the group project.  So that's it for this year all the makes are ready and waiting to go.

I'll do another post when the exhibitions up, so you can see what every ones been making.

Happy Crafting 

Clare xx

Friday, 26 February 2016

Stitching Spring Flowers Ta-dah

Hello.......... Today I thought I'd make my Five on a Friday post all about my Springtime embroidery which is now finished and waiting to go up on exhibition in our local library, this Sunday eek. It's part of a group project, where we were all allocated a piece of fabric and a season, with free rein of expression.

I opted for embroidery but others  have painted, sewn and even added photo's, so I'm looking forward to seeing them all hanging together.

As for the hanging part, the lady who runs the craft club, took the pieces and enclosed them with piece of mount board so they would all hang the same, adding buttons to the fabric panel at the back to hang them by.

So in my last post I showed you the golden sunshine

and beaded rain drops, so I think we are just about ready for a.....


I also added a little wooden butterfly button, as a final touch. For my first real attempt at embroidery I'm happy with how it turned out, I've learnt a lot along the way, and I'm so please I just went for it doddle style.  In the future I think I'm going to try more ribbon embroidery as it's just so pretty.

I'm really looking forward to seeing all the panels together up on display this Sunday, I'll take some pictures so you can all have a peak too.

You can read the first two posts about this make 'here' and here

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Layered Butterfly Card

Hello........ Today I thought I'd share with you this pretty little flutterby card.

The butterfly came as part of a kit, that I recieved as a Christmas gift, which had sheets of coloured card and also a sheet of pre cut butterflies.

So it was just a case of popping out the pieces and building up in layers to make a 3d butterfly.

It was a bit fiddly as some of the pieces were so tiny that I had to cut the smallest 5mm foam pads I had in half,

The flowers for the wings were much easier

Just a bit of peeling and sticking

Until my three layered butterfly was almost complete

Well you know me I couldn't resist adding a bit of sparkle.


Then I just added some lilac polka dot paper to the bottom of a card blank

before sticking the butterfly in place

and adding a pretty green ribbon


One butterfly birthday card.
Happy Crafting
Clare xx

Friday, 19 February 2016

Something New - Machine sewing

Hello........... It's time for another 'something new post'.  A couple of years ago I treated myself to a sewing machine, and then well, my health fell to pieces big time, so I never really got started.

To be honest I've been putting it off a bit with flashbacks to school sewing classes, where I was never allowed passed the tacking stage by the teacher.  Any road, for my birthday last year a friend very kindly bought me a voucher for a one on one get to know your sewing machine lesson at a nearby sewing shop and after another bad year with my health and waiting to be well enough, I've just had to book it anyway before it expires.

So I'm off next week, I just hope my foggy brain, shaky hands, aching body and energy levels are up to it.  So I thought I should at least have a little play with the machine before I go........

I'm completely new to all this but I found a pattern for a pretty pin cushion in a craft magazine and thought this would be the perfect small project to start me off, now sewing it turns out is nothing like crochet and you have to be quite accurate, so with shaky hand I cut out 4 8cm squares of both fabrics. 

Then I sat with the manual and my foggy brain and tried to figure out how to wind thread onto the bobbin and then thread the needle,  after that alone I needed to lie down for a hour, but they do say that's the hardest part..........

So foot on the accelerator peddle I was off, sewing my squares together,

pressing the seams as I went, not the straightest but OK I guess for a first attempt.

I struggled a bit with the whole turning it back the right way part, mostly I think because I didn't leave a big enough gap.

Then it was onto the stuffing and sewing the last part by hand, at this point I stopped following the pattern as I couldn't resist getting creative with the decoration.

I found some ribbon and stitched two pieces around my little cushion, (the plan being to cover up any wonky seams,but looking back at the pictures they weren't as bad as I expected them to be for a first go)  then I was thinking a crocheted flower or a button, it just needed something in the middle.


Inspiration hit, I decided to pin some pretty little flower sequins along the ribbon, well after all it is a pin cushion!! 

So how am I rating machine sewing, it was fun but quite stressful, hopefully stress levels will drop in time.  I found it very exhausting as I had to sit at the table to sew, where as I can crochet and do other crafts in bed.  Plus recently I have acquired a fun new symptom of inflammation the full length of my spine, so I found it quite painful.

So I'm guessing it's a craft that you need to save your spoons up for. (Spoon theory) Unless you are fit and healthy.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Stitching Spring Flowers (part two)

Hello......I'm back with a stitchy update for my springtime thread garden.

So my first post ended with the first half of garden completed, you can read more about it here

So starting from the other side of the fabric, my greatest worry was how could I get the balance right and the flowers in the right place so they matched the other side, in the end I decided to work from the outside in toward the centre, as I've said I'm new to embroidery and I'm not sure if that's what you are supposed to do, but it's what I did.........

This time I had some fun with the ribbon embroidery, as at least I had a bit of a clue as to what I was doing.

I also wanted there to be some differences between the two sides, but also balance as you would have in the real garden. So I added the same elements lavender and snowdrops but with a slight variation.

I continued with my doodle stitching until the design met in the middle and I couldn't resist adding a bit of sparkle along the way.  I selected the colours randomly and stitched away, my only consideration when picking colours was are they Spring like, so I hope that the colours say Springtime, they do to me at least.

So the main part of the embroidery was done, my garden complete, now it was time to fill the sky with some added extras, at this stage I was a little sad that I had not thought to paint  the sky before I started stitching but hey ho maybe next time.

First up I made this little cutie, it's hard to believe but I crocheted this butterfly out of embroidery floss, you can read more about how to make them here

I then started playing around with ideas to fill the sky as there seemed a lot of empty space at the top of the fabric, I thought about maybe adding some Springtime bunting but in the end ....

I opted for fluffy felt clouds with pretty beaded raindrops.

I cut out the clouds free hand then stitched them into place with some silver sparkly floss, adding a little bit of stuffing to the clouds to make them extra fluffy, before sewing on some bicone beaded raindrops

Then it was time to add some sunshine to go with those showers, I wanted my sun to be peeping out from behind a cloud and if I could have found the yellow felt I would have just added a felt sun, alas that was not to be,

so instead I spent quite some time stitching one in place, by sewing rings of satin stitch, I did this all free hand doodle style so it turned out my sun was not quite round.

However after I'd added some beaded golden sun rays it didn't look so very bad.

So we're nearly at the Ta-Dah moment......

Happy Crafting

Clare xx