Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Matryoshka stones

Look at these beautiful Matryoshka stones by Resurrection Fern. What a simple, tactile and beautiful idea

A lot of the creations and pictures shared at Resurrection Fern are so in tune with my own love of natural materials and forms, and glorious, simple details.

Don't you just want to hold them?

Ever wondered whether you can race a Brompton?

You know those tiny, funny-looking, foldable bikes you see commuters riding? The ones that look like they may fall apart at any moment? Have you ever thought about racing them?

Last weekend I visited Blenheim Palace with my family. Not only because it's a beautiful and interesting place, but also because the Brompton World Championship.

Participants dress formally for the occasion. Full three piece suits, shirts, jackets and cocktail dresses. With Blenheim, the birth place of Churchill, in the background, it all looked frightfully British.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

EBay's Bitch

As I'm sure I've said before, I am eBay's bitch.

My latest purchases have involved lots of fabric and trim for several swaps on Craftster, plus a load of cheap but beautiful clothes which have found a happy home in my wardrobe.

I especially love this crimson, paisley-esk trim. Its so pretty.

I also spied a mixed lot of Indian Silk Scarves. 15 of them in various colours, shapes and sizes for £16. Bargain.
But what to do with them?

To answer this question I've invested some of my pennies in 99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Tie & Rock Your Scarf, which hopefully will provide inspiration enough for all of them.

EBay will be the death of me, but how can I resist such pretty things. I plan on covering everything in sight in this blue and bronze trim and my life will be better for it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A time before tea? Unthinkable.

I love tea.
I struggle without it.
As Sydney Smith said Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea?-how did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.

"If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty."
Japanese Proverb

I also love the position of tea in society (not to mention in the Asterix books) and all the things I associate with it. Warmth and friends and blue & white china.

We had a kettle; we let it leak:
Our not repairing made it worse.
We haven't had any tea for a week...
The bottom is out of the Universe.

Rudyard Kipling

Greening your house on a small scale

It's high time we started greening our new house, but before I start tackling the back garden I wanted to start small and simple.

We made use of my parent's car a couple of weekends ago to visit the garden centre, and came back with a small selection of plants for our window box.

We chose low maintenance plants that could essentially be left to their own devices.

It'll mostly die back in the winter, but underground are 30 minature daffodil and iris bulbs, which will appear in spring.

It's amazing how such a small thing has made a big difference to the feel of our house - it makes me very happy indeed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Iranian Rugs and Blanket Love

How wonderful would one of these Iranian felted rugs feel under your bare feet? They are just beautiful.

There is lots of infomation and pictures at Turkotek Salon, as well as information on how they're made.

Felting is a relatively simple (if messy on this scale) technique, so I'm half tempted to try and make my own...

But I think I'll settle for just admiring them for now

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why garters are a cycling essential

Cycling and skirts aren't always the best of friends.

I've caught petticoats and long skirts in my rear brakes.
I've occasionally realised a skirts has been obscure my rear light.
I've accidentally flashed my underwear at passers by more then once.

That's less than ideal for everyone involved.
But I have found a solution!

That's right, a garter!

I wear it just above my knee and pin the fabric of my skirts to it with a safety pin.

Since I've been using it I've not revealed my crotch to any unfortunate strangers in the street.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Alice Obsession

I'm pretty obsessed with Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass.

My house is littered with Alice related tat... but my habit must be fed.
These are the latest additions to my collection:

The Disney version. I have a copy from my childhood, but it's on VHS, and so doomed never to be watched again.

Unsuk Chin's opera.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972) with Peter Sellers (I hope for a little bit of Dr Strangelove vibe)

Alice in Wonderland: A Dance Fantasy. The ballet version. 

Also, Alice in Wonderland (1983) - I believe its an American version, and the Alice in it is meant to be exceptionally sullen... I really enjoy how different the characters turn out in different versions.

And an Alice through the Looking Glass Graphic Novel.

The next few weeks are looking pretty Alice-y to me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How To: Fabric Wrapped Jewellery

A very easy way to make bracelets and necklaces while using up scraps from your fabric stash.

Simply create a tube of fabric, either hand or machine sewn.
It needs to be wide enough to fit your beads of choice within it, and long enough to tie around your neck or wrist.

Tie a knot close to one end of the fabric tube, leaving enough extra material to tie the ends together later.
Then alternate placing a bead within the tube, and threading one onto the the fabric.

When you're done, make another knot to secure the beads, again leaving enough excess fabric to tie the ends together.

Very simple.

How to: Postage Stamp cards

I have a confession.
At some point in my childhood I may have dabbled in stamp collecting.

That may be pretty geeky, but stamps really are exceptionally beautiful.

I still find myself to drawn, especially as a few charity shops have started selling sets of exotic stamps for a matter of pence.

But I don't want to just collect stamps anymore.
I want other people to realise how beautiful these everyday objects are too!

So I'm sending them to people. Through the post, of course.

Postage stamps make beautiful cards, and I love that stamps once used to post things are now the thing being posted!

These cards are so simple they really doesn't need a How To, but this is how I made mine.

I used those bank cards you get from art and crafts shops that come pre-folded and with envelopes etc. but you can make your own bases too.

The first thing to do is work out how you want to design your cards.
- Work out which stamps look good together
- Position your stamps on each card, using a ruler f necessary to ensure they are in line or centred.
- Think about which extra features you want to add. For example, on the exotic flower cards above I didn't add anything as the stamps are bright and busy enough themselves, but on the others I added silver stars.

Once you've decided on your design, mark out the positions of the stamps with fine pencil.

Carefully apply glue to the back of your stamps, and stick them in position.

Add any extra embellishments you wish. I've kept these very simple, but you could add pencil drawings, stickers, ribbon...anything you like.

Once the glue is dry rub out any visible pencil marks.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Charity Shop Shopping

I love Charity Shops. They make me happy inside.

Recent purchases include:

A dream find - A button tin for £2.50

I picked these up for the embroidery, which is stunning.

According to my housemate, they are towel loops. You put them around folded towels to make them look all fancy.

Wooden necklace

I love charity shops.

Pretty Peruvian Earrings

These triangular beads came from a Peruvian supplier on Ebay, and have made a rather spiffing pair of earrings for my wearing pleasure.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Felted Flowers

These felted flowers were presented to different women in my life as Christmas presents.

They were made from scratch for a variety of different coloured merino tops.

I felted up a square (well, a roughly square shape) for each flower in a combination of colours suited to each of the recipients.

Then I made flower templates and created a flower from each felted 'square' before decorating with stitches, seed beads and buttons.

Quite time consuming, but worth every minute. Their recipients absolutely loved them.