Sunday, 28 February 2010

Oh I do love...

... a really good sort out.

There's nothing like it really, sorting through a chest of drawers or cupboard, throwing things out, tidying up and more importantly discovering those hidden gems you had totally forgotten about.

It is one of these gems I want to share with you.

I customised this denim jacket about 7 years ago. I can remember those Sunday afternoons vividly, sitting in my London flat stitching on bugle and rocaille beads into shapes, which being me, I really didn't plan but I had an image in my mind and produced this flower beaded jacket which I still really love

I haven't really worn this jacket too much as I was always terrified that something would happen to the beads, silly really isn't it. I can't imagine that the jacket cost me very much at the time and the beads certainly wouldn't have cost much but the hours I spent on this means I was worried that some damage might come to it.

But with floral revolution taking place at London Fashion Week recently (see the pictures from the Christopher Kane show below) and the fact that I simply have to wear this more things have got to change

I still can't exactly imagine that I'll be wearing this on every trip to the supermarket but after its re-discovery today I'm certainly planning to show it the outside of my wardrobe and house a little more this spring and summer.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

I'm back

I'm clearly well on the road to recovery after my little illness, or at least I'm sure that this is what my Dad and husband will say when they read this... as I managed to sneak in a cheeky shopping trip between meetings today.

Well, I was in London's shopping district with a bonus 30 minutes as my meeting finished early, and what is a girl to do with this rare time bonus...yes shop, it would be rude not to.

I just about managed to avoid the tourist laidend high street stores and made a bee-line for John Lewis's haberdashery department.

2 embroidery hoops and some cross stitch fabric were in craft starved hands in no time and I was merrily making my way back to the office.

Count down to the weekend - 1 day :)

Monday, 22 February 2010

Tardy Update

Hello.....yes its me....I'm back....

Sorry its seemed like an age since I last posted, to say I've been a little under the weather would be an understatement. Think I've just been run-down and I've literally been coming home from work and going straight to bed - oh yes its a rock'n'roll lifestyle in this house.....

I just havent been able to face concentrating on any of my lovely crafts or even using the laptop in an evening to post a message or see what everyone else has been up to.

But the good news is I'm feeling a little better today and I wanted to show you my finished necklace from the last of my jewellery classes on Thursday. Unfortunately I only managed 30 minutes of the 2.5 hour class so only finished my necklace and didnt get to make a bracelet like I had hoped but I LOVE my necklace soooo much I cant be anything but happy ...

I've thoroughly enjoyed the course and come to realise that there actually isn't too much that you cant do in a garage or kitchen....and I already have my eye on an equipment website ("Thanks" to Sarah at Thimbles and Crumbles for your comment on my earlier post) and the intermediate course at the London Jewellery School where I've just completed the beginners course, or maybe the metal clay course, or maybe the enameling....what is a girl to do???? so many course ..... so little time.....

In the mean time I've got a couple of things on the go, not sure I'm quite up to focusing on anything intrucate just yet but hoping to be back to full speed soon

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Jewellery course - class #4

Can't believe my jewellery course is coming to an end, there were only 5 classes in the course and as I'm writting to you about the 4th that means there's only 1 more to go. Boooo!

As I told you last week I managed to make a head start on a project of my own design. Oh yes, I now like to believe I have jewellery design skills, step aside Dinny Hall, here I come ;)

So last week I cut out a round shape and left you wondering what I would manipulate this into

I used a special dome mould and hammer set to make this into half ball shape. It was remarkably easy really, the saw to cut out the circles was very versatile so it's easy to create a round shape and it was as simple as bish-bash-bosh to turn a circle into a dome.

It was a little trickier to cut out smaller circles but with the help of some sand paper I eventually manipulated the jaggered flat metal into a smooth edged round dome...

Do you know my plan yet????

So it would seem that the cutting out and shaping was the easy bit as from here on in I needed much more tutor support as whilst my fellow students made beautiful bangles and rings I had my sights on much more complex 3D structure which will be a pendant. Maybe a little ambitious for this "beginners" course but hey it's the best way to learn.

So, out came the soldering tools, the pickle and of course the protective eye wear and off we went.

First I soldered what will become the front of the pendant, before then pickling and cooling and then soldering a loop on the back.

And here is the, almost, finished article....just a bit more sandpapering and polishing to do next week et voilà.

Now those of you who have been reading carefully you will have noticed I cut out quite a few circles but have only used 2. Well my plan had been to put lots of the domes in the middle, but I was sooooo please with just the single inner that I didn't want to add any more so I didn't. I've still got one week left so might use the extra ones in a "here's one I made earlier" type exercise.

Now you may be wondering what that hole is in the back of the pendant shown above. Well, apparently once a dome is nicely soldered and sealed there is a serious rise of explosion if the surface is reheated. As I needed to solder on the loop to hang this I was advised to drill a little hole so the whole thing didn't explode. Not a risk I was willing to take.

I'm really really pleased with this and looking forward to wearing it.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

A-Granny-A-Day Update #3

I've been feeling a little under the weather this last week, so even though I've been on holiday from work (isnt that just typical !!) I havent done half the crafting I was hoping for. Thankfully R and I were planning a quiet week at home anyway so haven't wasted an expensive holiday abroad, still annoying though.... I've been resting for most of the week and not getting on with all the lovely things I had planned...

- I haven't touched my quilt

- I did make it to jewellery class which was good for a couple of hours on Thursday evening

- and I've only managed to make a handful of Granny Squares for my Granny a Day Challenge so here are some of the squares I've put together....

I've been concentrating on crocheting the smaller squares into families of 4 and will then stitch these families together. I'm aiming for 100 little squares and 25 families....still a way to go then

Back to work tomorrow ...

By George she's done it...

After spending the morning interrogating and then amending HTML code I have finally done it....

I've got 3 columns, white back ground and my own photo at the top...not exactly ground breaking I know but I'm pleased none the less

phew this blogging lark is more stressful than I thought it would ever be...I'm off for a thoroughly deserved cup of tea now

Saturday, 6 February 2010

New Blogger Respect

I've developed a large new found respect for all the amazing blogs out there. I don't just mean the interesting, inspiring and thought-provoking content - that's all great but I already knew you were a great bunch

No - I'm talking about the bits we as readers all take for granted...the layout and structure of the blog page.

I've literally spent HOURS today trying to amend the format of my blog. I'm no HTML coder so I've been hunting for a template I could seamingly simply download and use. I had a couple of criteria

1. 3 column

2. clean white or grey background

3. ability to upload own title photo

Either I've been looking in the wrong places (I was searching on google and am fairly IT literate) OR these are impossibly complex criteria as I've really struggled.

You might be able to tell from this page that I've managed to tick off at least 2 of the above, I'm not sure about item 3 as my computer has now decided it needs a break so am off to make dinner whilst it restarts!!

Watch out for potentially more changes and if you have any advice for me I'd really love to hear it

Friday, 5 February 2010

Jewellery course - class #3

This week's class was mainly used up finishing last week's ring project. So I started with this

There was no creme brûlée blow torch, instead we used what can only be described as a dentist's drill, thankfully without the high pitched squeal. The drill-like weapon was wrapped in sandpaper and used to polish the inside of the ring, it did a remarkable job. 2 minutes of whizzing and the inside of my ring was like a mirror. Unfortunately the outside was not so easy. Not sure why but the dentist drill couldn't be used on the outside think there was a danger of us accidentally polishing our fingers (and I thought the blow torch last week was dangerous). So old fashioned sandpaper and elbow-grease was the order of the day.

After much sanding I had the following which I was quite proud of. Let's face it, it has all the right ring qualities -
1. It's round
2. It's finger size
(I'm not the fussiest of ladies, I know my limits)

Not content with a plain band (oh no, you can buy those in any shop) I set off on a mission to customise. You might have to trust me here as the picture isn't great, I have battered my silver ring with a hammer to within an inch of it's life, I now has a mottled effect. I'm really quite pleased with project number 2

For those of you with super-duper eye sight you might have spotted a grey/purple area around the middle of this ring, apparently this is called fire-stain and is caused when heating the metal. This gives an unintentional colouring to the ring which I would never be able to replicate if I actually wanted to or know how to stop happening again, oh well I like it and that's all that matters.

So here is a sneak peek at next week's project....

as Rolf Harris would say "do you know what it is yet?"

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

A Granny-a-Day Update #2

Ok so I'm totally failing on the challenge of doing a Granny-a-Day, but I did have a bit of a spurt over the weekend and have 24 mini-Grannies

I'm planning on making 100 of these and then stitching together with some 24% there...not bad for 2 days work I think....only 76 to go, hmm thats a pretty big number

Monday, 1 February 2010

Birthday Gifts

I've just had these new cross-stitch pictures back from the framer for a brief moment before packing them off to Newcastle as I made them with my Mum's Birthday in mind.

I wanted to share the finished article with you -

I used my earlier pieces as inspiration for these as you can clearly see, however, these pieces are considerably smaller and therefore much quick to make, although just to manage expectations there is still many weeks of work in each of these.

I have to say and I really pleased and proud of how they have turned out, I think they are great but guess I am a little biased ...