Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year


I hope everybody has a lovely year, and gets really down and dirty with their creative side- a good New Year's resolution I think!
As I look at the time on my laptop, there are only 5 minutes left of the old year! Highly exciting stuff, especially as it means that I will then have been blogging for a whole year. I hope you have enjoyed it and I hope that there will be lots more blog posts in the future!! (Lots of hopes in those sentences)

Let the fireworks and champagne drinking commence!!! =D

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve & Last Minute Presents

Happy Christmas Eve!!! Very excited for the big day tomorrow! Can't wait to give out all of my presents (and hopefully open some of my own) and eat Christmas pudding- always the best bit.
I thought I would share with you some lovely little felt tree decorations which if you are in a rush and have forgotten someone (tut tut), they can be made really easily and quite quickly too.
We are once more borrowing from the genius of the Mollie Makes team (this time from issue number eight), and the pattern is on their website- although the shapes are so easy you could draw them yourself and then they really would be homemade.
First up are a gingerbread man and a reindeer (which I think also looks like a decapitated angel from the back).

 It really couldn't be simpler- all you need is some felt, buttons, stuffing, ribbon and coloured threads. Try experimenting with the colours, nothing stopping you from having a bright orange reindeer or a blue gingerbread man! You could also change around the expressions, use beads for eyes and buttons for noses. How about making lots of gingerbread men and joining their arms together to make a chain of them which you could hang from your mantel piece. Really go mad!

Next up is a bell and a bauble- again really simple, using chain stitch to make lazy daises and lines. I've added beads in the middle of some of my daisies for extra sparkle but you could glue on some glitter or design your own patterns. You could even personalise it by stitching on someone's name- would go down well with the children.

So hopefully everyone is now in the festive mood, I certainly am! A very merry Christmas to you all!!! =D

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Apples, Pears & Oranges

Here is another Mollie Makes make for you. Apples and Pears! My Mum has kind of become addicted to making these and I keep having to post her little wooden buttons to make them with. They are very cute though, and come from issue six of the magazine.
Her favourite is the pear- I suppose it does have quite sexy curves going on!!
She has also taken the template for the apple and slightly adapted it to make an orange- of course, just changing the colour of the fabric used will also help with that, but she has changed the top stalk section as well.
I think that she should make a whole fruit basket with bananas and plums etc, but that would mean I would have to design the pattern- I reckon plums would be quite easy as you would just have to slightly elongate the apple/orange pattern and then just use juicy purple colours. Bananas would be more difficult as each piece would have to be tailored into a curve...hmm...
Anyway, here are just a few of the fruits she has made:

They are also doubling up as homemade Christmas presents- a bit like something from Kirstie's Homemade Home!!

A Winter Rainbow

I've just uploaded some photos from my camera, and found a few images that were taken last week of a gorgeous rainbow outside my studio window. It was really strong, although naturally my camera doesn't pick up on that, or the fact that it was a double rainbow.
I also really like the contrast between the blue-ish sky and the sandy coloured buildings.

It is very strange being back at home (my country residence) as I seem to have brought with me either an ill timed cold, or an allergy to cats/fleas- which is unfortunate as we have now adopted our neighbour's cat.
I also have to go back to sharing a bedroom with a grumpy teenager- always fun- so the nights are much earlier than my customary one in the morning as I am not allowed to disturb anyone in the night.
Still, it is nice to not be constantly cleaning up after other people (that is what the mother is for after all!!) and I get proper meals!!
If only I could somehow combine the best of both worlds.....


I have highly exciting (well probably only for me) news! My Christmas cactus has flowered! And has not yet died!
Christmas has definitely arrived!
Here is my cactus when I first got it...

The first flower...

And after surviving the long journey back home for Christmas...

So my university windowsill was looking fabulous before I left- also helped by my beautiful Secret Santa present, a lovely box from the same range as my bowl.

(Excuse the mess in the mirror)

All this excitement is not just caused by a present and some fleurs- I received my grades for the last two projects I have done, the drawing project way back at the beginning and the knitting/weaving project you read me stressing about. I got.....................drum roll please..........................two B's!!!!!! Which is fantastic, especially as I thought I had failed the first one. Apparently a B is practically the highest the tutors will give as an A is really really hard. So that's a big relief! Although the pressure is on to keep it up.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A Seed Pod Display

Following on from my walk along the canal last weekend, I have made a display of some of the foliage that I collected along the way on my windowsill. They look especially good when silhouetted against the sky...

An Autumnal Trend Board

Regular readers will know all about my treasure box, which is essentially a box full of pictures, photos, postcard, fabric scraps etc etc that I like.
It was made specially for my Textiles course and recently we have been using it to inspire a trend board (which will be entered into a competition!!).
We had to look through our inspirations and decide on a theme and colour palette based on the images. I have quite a lot of autumnal themed pictures of colourful trees and leaves etc so I decided to go with that.
Naming the colours for my colour palettes was quite fun- I had to get my English student friend to help me come up with interesting names (she is especially proud of 'Shepherd's Delight'.

My final colour palette- and then translated below onto a computer.

I liked this colour palette on the computer, however when printed out, the colours looked slightly different- especially the more blue/green ones so I had to redo them slightly.

Once we had our colour palette we had to dive once more into our treasure boxes and come up with images that worked together and would get across your concept and colours.
Now, you may think that this is easy- but I can tell you now that it isn't. We had a guest lecturer come and do a workshop with us to help with the boards, and apparently each image has to show something different. You need an image with the colours in, one with textures, one with depth and feeling and at least one that shows what you are looking at (fashion or interiors). The more variety the better.
Then you have to work to an outer boarder, so not working from the middle out as it looks better with neat edges etc etc so there is a lot to think about and it has taken me the majority of the day sitting on the floor surrounded by images and cursing at them all for not fitting together properly.
I think I have managed a passable board though which is good!

It's got some vases and interior based products, a very textural painting, some architecture that shows depth and distance, some autumnal berries, pears and twigs! Hopefully the tutors will agree because I don't want to do it again!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Snibston Discovery Park

Today was a bit of a different day as I went to Snibston Discovery Park in Coalville (along with the majority of my textile class). Apparently it has the largest fashion collection and archive outside of London which is quite impressive. We went there to try and glean some inspiration for one of our current projects 'Obsessions'. Not sure how well that went, although I have come away with loads of photos of rusty trains so I suppose that could be an obsession.
We were supposed to be drawing, although I admit that I absolutely hate drawing in museums and galleries etc- I'd much rather take photos of the object from all different angles and then draw from the photo, at my leisure, in comfort, in my own home- without random people peering over your shoulder to see what you have done. It's a bit like having someone watch you whilst you are texting a friend, not nice. Still, I did manage to get a few done just to please the tutors- most will be done in my own time at home though.

I did manage to get some interesting photos of rust, like I said before. Snibston is set in an old coal mine (hence the name Coalville) and there were quite a few old, rusting trains still about outside.

It was quite sad really.

The main reason for going there though wasn't the rusty trains outside, but the beautiful vintage pieces of clothing and accessories which we had arranged to have a private view and feel of. All very exciting as apparently all of them could have fallen apart any second! Some of the techniques used were quite interesting though.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

A Walk Along the Canal

I am getting thoroughly sick of staring at the four walls of my bedroom, so I decided today to go for a walk along the canal and see where it goes. In the end it was a really lovely decision because the sun was shining and there were lots of leaves and seed pods for me to collect along the way (I did get some strange looks from people though wandering around clutching a small dead forest).

I came across a really lovely wall which had these tiles in that were obviously from children's drawings. Aren't they cute?? A particular favourite is the frog I have to admit.

For some reason though the canal was all clogged up with some kind of plant life, which had brought with it loads of rubbish! Strange, because it wasn't there yesterday, but I don't pretend to know the intricacies of currents and all that whatnot. There were some people frantically raking out though so I'm assuming it shouldn't have been there.

Now, I do want to tell you about this building that you can see from the footpath along the canal. I couldn't stop taking photos of it because it really struck me for some reason. I think it was an old industrial building, and part of a larger collection of buildings, all of which had been abandoned and were for sale. With the sun shining on it, it was a beautiful colour, and the reflection in the water...well...breathtaking.

Speaking of reflections, the wind was making really lovely ripples in the water, which could be used as inspiration for a colour project or something.

They do look like abstract paintings, and the bottom one could be translated into some kind of lace.