Archive | September 2012

Snowflake Card

Along with many of you out there I’m planning to make my Christmas cards this year. It’s been a while since I made any cross stitch cards, and thought if I did one a night, a couple of nights a week, I’d get them done in time. Well, that was the plan…

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This took me way more than one evening! I think this may be the only one I do like this.

When in hobbycraft picking up A3 tracing paper for my stained glass class I spotted some Christmas wooden stamps for 99p. I bought a couple and used one for a greeting inside this card.

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These are the other stamps I picked up:

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I think I got a little bit carried away!

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Get your thinking hat on!

I f***ing love science shared this photo on Facebook:

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I want one! As you know I can’t knit, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to have one. Maybe I will learn to knit one day, who knows!

For those who can knit and are interested, a quick google helped me to find the pattern on ravelry. That pattern costs $5, but a fellow blogger has come up with a similar pattern here and it is free of course! Gotta love the blogging community.

As a non knitter I could make a version of this hat. I’d buy a cheap wool hat and then get yarn to roughly match. Using my French knitter (as used to make this brooch) I’d then make a long section of French knitting and sew it to the prebought hat, roughly following the shape of the brain. That would work I think, but would never be quite as cool as the original!

How to make your own sewable stars

I got some lovely comments about my snowflake garland I made a few weeks ago.

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As I mentioned in my original post, it was a free kit in this months Cross Stitcher magazine. You guys aren’t the only people loving the garland. Apparently a lot of people have been contacting the magazine to find out where to buy more stars. They have put together a guide to making your own stars on their blog, so now you can all have a go and make your own!

Stained Glass Lesson One

This evening I had my first stained glass class out of the five in my short course. Frustratingly I turned up a few minutes late thanks to temporary traffic lights and a wrong turning, and then walking into the wrong room. Oops!

I have used glass before when trying glass fusing. In glass fusing you cut your ready coloured glass and fuse it together in the furnace. When making stained glass you also cut ready coloured glass and place lead between.

When I made my suncatcher I only cut straight lines and used a ruler to do so. I had to master straight lines and curves freehand tonight! To separate after scoring you use your hands to bend the glass away from the scoring, or tap along the score to encourage it to break. Our first task was to practice cutting:

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Cutting glass freestyle is easier than cutting along exact lines. I found it more difficult to cut straight lines than curves when following a pattern as a small bend can make a difference. Here is my attempt with the pattern below:

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This was made from 3 separate pieces of glass. It’s not perfect, but tiny errors will be covered by the lead. My tutor said she’d be happy to lead this. There would also be a slightly bigger gap between the glass to allow for the lead. 

When everyone had just about followed the pattern (there were 5 beginners), we got to choose patterns. We had a selection of patterns that our tutor thought we’d be able to do in the time we have. It was a tough decision!

The glass panel I bought is to be used as a canvas. You paint the design onto the glass and then when you have cut your pieces you place them together on your glass canvas, held in place using the plasticine I also had to buy.

This is what a badly painted outline of my design looks like:

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Whilst choosing a pattern was hard, choosing glass was even harder. There was so much choice (the selection below is only a part of that on offer). Not only are there lots of different colours/shades/textures of glass, but once you’ve selected your glass there are lots of different ways to arrange that glass in the same pattern!

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The last thing I just about managed to do was to cut my first piece of glass.

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There is a lot more to do! There is no class next week as the school these classes are at is having an open evening. Pity, as I had fun tonight and could have happily continued…

Sew and So

Whenever I explore a town I always visit markets, if they have them. My favourite type of market are permanent covered markets which can be both historic, visually appealing and contain some real gems. Most of you know my favourite charity shop is in Oxford covered market.

In Bath, near the Abbey, you will find the town hall and next to it is the Guildhall Indoor Market. I hadn’t researched it at all before entering. This market is a lot more functional than Oxford covered market, with pet food shops, diy shop etc. We entered from the riverside and explored. I had to have a groan at the name of the sweet shop – Bath Humbugs (although I did have to explain it to Mr M who didn’t read it that way to start with).

At the opposite side to where we entered, on the outer circle of stalls, I spotted the end of Sew and So.

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Little did I realise that this haberdashery would keep going for almost 1/4 of the outer way round the market.

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It is huge. Even Mr M was amazed at the size of it! He commented on all the ribbon, and he only saw the outer bit. You can just about see some of this on the 2nd photo above this paragraph!

Mr M even called me over to look at the button collection.

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He asked if I’d ever seen so many buttons in one place! At this point he offered to get a capuccino and sit in the cafe whilst I explored. He is lovely, isn’t he!

I explored the ribbons and had far too much choice! Mr M had only seen some of them. This is what the inside bit looks like:

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See, lots of ribbon! They even had a column of just bias binding:

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I was very restrained and only bought a few ribbons, and only 1m of each. As you can tell I got bits which I think I will use over the next three months:

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As for buttons, I was also restrained there. I got more red buttons to add to my collection, ready to make my sister something.

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I have seen plenty of polka dot buttons, in lots of sizes and colours, and they had lots here. I can’t remember ever seeing strippy buttons before, so treated myself to a few in one of my favourite colours.

Sew and so also have a small line in beads. I didn’t have a look at them as Mr M had returned, and was bored, but I did treat myself to this board:

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I’ve been meaning to get a bead board for a while. I’m hoping this will stop my beads rolling around too much when making jewellery on the sofa. It should also save me having a tape measure out so much. At £4, this seemed a similar price to these I’ve see on the web.

In conclusion – I want Sew and So to be near me! I went into another crafty shop where another visitor was commenting on bits on sale in said shop and directed her to Sew and So! As great as he was, I want to go without Mr M so I can spend ages exploring everything. If ever in Bath, go!

Coming soon – my first ever swap!

I have seen people participate in a variety of swaps since I started reading blogs. They look like a lot of fun to participate in – initially the fun of putting together the item you will send, and then receiving a surprise though the post. I have never signed up to take part in one, until now…

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Hookin’ With Laa Laa has organised an advent swap. The idea of this swap is “that you buy, make, thrift or share 24 little gifts with your partner to open each day of the Advent to Christmas and one larger present for her to open on Christmas morning”. I’m looking forward to putting together 25 different items, but I’m also looking forward to opening lots of surprises myself! My swap partner is Justine of Jazzy’s Place. I have posted a message on her blog (although it is not currently visible) to say hi and make contact. Hopefully she’ll return my contact soon so I can start planning,,,

Many thanks to Laa Laa for organising!

Bath Abbey and Embroidery – A match made in heaven?

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Bath Abbey is in the centre of Bath and is a beautiful place to visit. Whilst architecturally it share many features with other abbeys and cathedrals, some parts were a bit different. I was very impressed with the ceiling!

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I learnt to look up as well as around at a young age and you can be rewarded.

The big stained window over the altar is worth a look at too. It has lots of scenes from Christ’s life, in what is effectively lots of stained glass windows together.

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I won’t be making my stained glass anywhere near that complicated!

All the way down the left side of the Abbey, there is an exhibition of embroidery and lettering by one woman.

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Each piece of embroidery has lettering beside it linking it to a section of the bible. As they are hinged together they are technically diptychs.

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Both the lettering and the embroidery is very ornate:

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Excuse the reflections in the frames – it was quite bright outside! I preferred the embroidery to the lettering and took a photo of quite a few of them to share with you:

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I managed to get the shadow caused by my head out of most of the photos, but couldn’t take photos without my phone shadow being present. These photos show you only a selection of the embroidery on display and a minute amount of lettering. There is more to see if you visit in person. It is amazing that this was all done by one person in a year!

There are also a few more places you can see embroidery in Bath Abbey. One of the smaller chapels had this behind the altar:

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One of the women stood near me when looking at this commented that it is very pretty, but a bit dusty! I wouldn’t like to dust an abbey, I can tell you that!

The main altar cloth was also embroidered.

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I went into Bath Abbey expecting to be exploring the abbey, looking at stonework etc, but I spent more time looking at embroidery than anything else (we were in there for longer than we thought). I recommend popping in if ever in Bath to see both the abbey and the embroidery within.