Friday, February 23, 2018

'Umbrella Hills' - A Baby Quilt

Back in November last year I was given the news that a new baby was arriving in the family early this year. I had this fabric in my stash so decided that I would use it to make a quilt.

There was not enough time to piece a top, not with holidays and Christmas in the mix, so I decided to quilt the piece of fabric as it was. I wanted to echo the design on the fabric, so started quilting around the umbrellas. From there I chose a line of the clouds and quilted along those.

I had always been taught that quilting needs a maximum distance of a fist width between the quilting lines. The back of the quilt is in a plain lime green fabric, and the quilting lines I had done already showed up easily. Some of the areas between the lines were greater than a fist width, so some more quilting was necessary. Still working on the back, I put some pins in where I felt some more quilting needed to go. I then turned the quilt to the front, and picked out some more cloud  lines that were close to the pins. After stitching these new lines, all the quilting was done.

The bind is in the same green as the backing, and there is a digitised label on the back saying that I have made it and the date it was completed.

This quilt will now be with its new owner, and I am sure he will snuggle under it in the coming months.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Bobbin Lace Book Mark

Slowly but surely I have been working through a bobbin lace book I have on Bedfordshire Lace.

This is pattern 6a in the book, and it took me a total of fourteen hours to work, not all at once I might add.

I have been working through this book for some time now, and another lace maker that I know has advised me not to use it because of the shoddy work shown in the book. Well, I love the patterns and designs in this book, and I was not going to be put off. I have not had a problem with the book, until now.

I started this book mark back in November 2017 at my local lace group. I had spent the afternoon winding bobbins, then was just beginning to set up to start when it was time to come home. I packed everything up well, or so I thought, came home and put my lace pillow away. I was about to go on holidays and would not have time to touch it for a while.

It was not until after New Year that I got time to pull it out again, and this is what I found!

Obviously I had not secured everything well enough for the short distance I had to travel home. No, my Fluffball of a Sasha Cat did not get into it and have a play. It was packed away where she could not get to it. In my years of making bobbin lace, I have never had a pillow in such a mess! It took me some time to sort it out and make it neat again so I could work.

OK, so I was all set up to start my book mark. I started reading the instructions in the book, and it was like reading double dutch. I was so confused! I had started two other bookmarks similar to this before, so I ditched the book instructions, pulled out the notes on those other book marks, and figured the start of this one by myself. Once I got the start sorted, I was off and running.

The pricking was drawn up on a 5mm grid, and I used DMC Special Dentelles thread to work the lace. The thread was possibly a little too fine for the 5mm grid, but I am happy with the result. Next time i might try a Perle 12.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Art Journal Page Twelve

Page twelve in my art journal sits across from page eleven, so the two pages are seen together when the journal is open.

The pages had the same treatment, with modge podge, paint, stamping and even down to pen choice and line work.

As with page eleven, I found this page too insipid, so it too got the magazine treatment at the same time I did page eleven.

I only used one page from the magazine for both pages. I had cut the magazine  page into strips, and half of each strip was glued onto one page, and half  onto the other, with a space left between the strips. On page eleven there was some orange, while on page twelve there were mustards, greys and blacks. 
It still gave the page some life and the black from the boat in the magazine picture lifted and accentuated the outline of the number twelve

This was my page twelve before I added the magazine page, while the top photo is the completed page. It looks much better.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Art Journal Pg 11

Opening up to a blank page in my art journal is always daunting. The last one I had painted green and hated it so I pasted paper over it. The full story of that page can be read here. ( create link)

For this one I mixed colours together again and painted the pre-prepared mod podged page. I have decided my painting skills need work. Once dry, I then proceeded to stamp on another colour with a star shaped stamp I created years ago from a cork.

At least my page now had something on it, so then it was a case of picking out pens to add some line work. I had my trusty black felt tipped pen, but I also looked through all the coloured texta type pens that I had. I found some Sharpies, and also some gel pens, but settled on the gel pen for colour. It was orange, and I thought stood out best on the paint colour.

I used the painted stamp as a starting point, and drew star shapes echoing the stamp, then more lines to repeat and accent the shape. Then I got out the orange gel pen and drew little orange dots between the lines. M...... still not liking the page, I added an outline around the orange dots in my fine, black felt tipped pen. It was better, but still not to my linking. I left the page for ages before I did anything else to it. I added some black dots and circles to the inside of the number eleven, and this seemed to make it worse. Every time I got it out I was trying to work out why I didn't like it.

It was something about the colour. I had picked the orange gel pen because I thought it would contrast with the painted background, but it didn't. It was the wrong shade of orange, and I came to the conclusion that it was a discordant colour scheme, one that I have never taken to.

So....... how to fix it and make it better? I could either paint over the top of it all and start again, or add something to it like I did before with the last one.

I had been going through old magazines and saving pictures that I liked, so I went through them and picked out one that I thought would blend in. The page was from a travel brochure, and was a picture of Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong and the famous red sampan.

I cut the magazine picture into varying width strips, kept the strips in order, and then glued them over the top of my page so there were gaps in between. I cut the strips to length so that they fitted around my number eleven, not over the top.

The end result is much better. My number eleven is still the focus of my page, and the orange/red sail of the sampan adds that splash of contrast that I was looking for. The page to me now feels like a party on Victoria Harbour, something that I have done in real life. So in fact I have created a memory without even realising it.

This is what my page looked like before I added the  magazine strips. I wasn't sure if it was too busy, or what the problem was.  All I knew was that I wasn't happy with it. Now comparing the two, I think I had lost focus when I added the pattern to the inside of my number eleven. I always wanted the numbers to be the focus on the page.

I am content with the finished page. Would I use it for inspiration to my stitching? Not sure. Watch this space to find out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Dilmah Tea Tin

Anyone for tea? I love a good cup of brewed leaf tea, and purchased this tin full of tea leaves some years ago. It is number thirteen in my collection of tins. I would have bought it a my local supermarket at the time.

The tin is still on the small size, 12cm square at the base, and 15cm high. There is lots of information on the tin, how and where the tea is grown, how it is packed, information about the Dilmah company, and even how to brew a pot of tea.

I searched on the net to see if I could find one like this for sale. There were lots of Dilmah Tea Tins, but not one just like this. This one has some rust on the lid edges, but the inside is still clean and mark free. At present it still sits empty, waiting for something to be stored in it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Hilliers Tin

Tin number twelve is a Hillier's Turkish Delight tin. This one is a smallish rectangular tin, 9cm x 5cm, and 15 cm in height. This one was gift from my son a few years back.

They are still available and selling for a few dollars, I am assuming filled with chocolates.

At present this tin is empty. The size and shape of it makes it difficult to store things in. So for the moment is sits as decoration on top of my cabinet.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A Flower Basket Tin

Tin number eleven is a flowery one. It's a medium sized round tin about eight centimetres high. Still another one that I don't know where it came from. I suspect that this one also came from my Mother.

There are no markings on it, and Mr Google is no help. I have a faint recollection that it may have held a Christmas cake in a previous life, but I am not sure. My Mother used to buy Christmas Cakes in her later life. In her younger days she used to make them, and a beautiful Christmas cake at that. It was so good that I wanted her to make it as a wedding cake for when DH & I got married all those years ago, but she declined. Much to my disappointment.

It's life now is to store braids and live in my cupboard, only to see daylight occasionally.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Butter Cookie Tin

Tin number ten in my collection is a butter Cookie tin. This one is a medium sized round tin about 7cm high. Another tin that I am not sure where it came from, probably another gift from a student, I used to get lots of sweet things from students as end of year gifts.

This tin has a use by date on the bottom of October 2005, so another one that is not that old. Once again I have tried asking Mr Google, only finding similar ones selling for a few dollars.

This tin is sitting in my cupboard with nothing in it! Maybe I should pull it out and use it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Chocolate & Toffee Tin

Tin number nine in my collection is an Even's 60th Birthday Chocolate & Toffee tin.It's a large round flat tin, about five cm high,  and I have no idea where it came from. Possibly another gift from a student.

I tried asking Mr Google about the Evan's Confectionery Company that is marked on the side, with no luck. It gives an address in suburban Sydney, and all I got was an American company. I couldn't even find a photo of one similar in Goggle images. There is also a use by date of Oct 00 on the base, so it is not that old.

So this tin lives in my cupboard with lots of my other tins that I use for storage. This one holds stamps, some that I have made from corks, some that I have bought. The stamps I use occasionally in my creative pursuits. I have used some with crushing velvet, some with paint and textile medium  on fabric, some with paint on paper, and some with stamp pads on paper.

Must get them out to play again.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Damnish Butter Style Cookie Tin

Tin number eight in the collection is one of Danish Butter Style cookies. 

It's a tiny little round flat tin, about 16 cm in diameter and only 3 cm in height. There is printing on the base listing nutrition information and ingredients, and a best before date of 2013.

This tin would have been a gift from a student.

I've had a bit of a look on the net for a tin like it. There are lots of Danish Butter Biscuit tins there, but not one like mine. Maybe they are not up for collection yet, I have only had mine for a few years.

So what does my tin store now it is empty of biscuits? Threads of course. This one has my collection of Perle 5 threads, left overs from my correspondence course days. I should really donate them, Perle 5 is a bit too thick to use for my fine tastes.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Corinthian Tin Number two

This is another Arnott's Corinthian tin. It's a different shape than the one I posted about before. The last one was a large round flat tin, about 5cm in height . This one is still round in shape, but smaller in diameter and much higher. It's actually a better shape for these biscuits than the previous one.

This tin has a date of 2004 on the base and I know I bought it. I would have bought it for the biscuits though, not the tin, though the tin is still used for storage.

I've spotted one for sale on the internet. People must be still wanting them as the price is amazing. I am assuming it is only for the tin as the biscuits would be long out of date and stale.

So what is my tin used for storing now? More beads of course!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

An Arnott's Corinthian's tin

Tin number six is an Arnott's  Corinthian tin. Once again, I am not sure where this tin came from, probably my Mum.

Corinthians are a long, cylindrical wafer biscuit filled with flavoured cream, and I first remember seeing them in my late teens. I remember some member of the family bringing them into the house at Christmas time, and we were all in awe over them. My Aunt used to visit and bring unusual things with her, so I have a funny feeling it was her who first introduced us.

The original ones were vanilla, but now I have seen two different flavours of wafers spiralled around, and different flavours in the cream fillings.

I've searched the net to see if any are for sale, but alas I cannot find one.

My tin now houses packets of beads, something else I have to sort through.

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Falcon Castle Tin

My next tin is a Falcon and Castle one. Not sure where this one came from, it could have come from my Mum's, or it could have come from a gift  somewhere way back when. I have a feeling it came from my Mum.

The sides of the tin and also the rim holds lists of ingredients in a few different languages. I can see English,  figure out French, maybe German, and what seems to be Arabic.

It used to house chocolates and toffees which had originated in Germany.

These are for sale on the net too but only for a few dollars.

I remember this tin holding my Perle embroidery threads way back in the early 1980's. I didn't have many then, I was only just introduced to them at the time.  I was doing  the creative correspondence course back then, through the Embroiderer's Guild here in Sydney, and they used to send thread packages to use in the exercises . I remember being sent lots of new to me threads, the Perles being just one of many.

 Now this tin  still holds threads, but an assortment of different odd bits & pieces. There are some Perle 5's, some old Semco stranded, some old Broda No 4, some leftover Minnamurra hand dyed stranded, and even some little square mirror tiles! Sounds like this tin needs to be sorted.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A 'Wind In The Willows' Tin

Now we have my "Wind In The Willows" tin. This is one that I bought myself some years ago because I liked the tin. 

It was different to anything I had seen before. It's quite a big tin, big enough to fit a layered cake into.

Because of it's height, there are lots of lovely Wind In The Willows scenes all around it.

The tin originally held something called 'Heartland Cookies'. I remember at the time they were not up to Arnott's standard, but after all, I had bought it for the tin not the contents. I've tried Googling Heartland Cookies and  they seem to be an American thing.

It's a fairly modern tin as it has bar codes on it. It is dated 1996 and was imported by Woolworths, though I know I bought it another store. There is a readable stamp on the base that tells me so.

So what does my Wind In The Willows tin hold now? Embroidery threads of course, in particular my DMC Perle cottons. The tin is so full of threads that it is bulging, I really must sort through it. Maybe one day.