Wednesday, 30 May 2012

All Bunged Up

Morning All! Beautiful day again, although slightly cloudy! I am writing today's post in the living room, surrounded by various crochet projects and with a glorious view of some gorgeous white roses outside the french doors- the smell is amazing! Sadly though, today I have woken up feeling very bunged up and not particularly well. Even my ears feel bunged up! So I shall show you some pictures of the weekend when I was feeling better.
Myself and the parents went for a wander on Ashdown Forest (I have decided I very much want to live there when I move out, the views, the wildlife, the peace and quiet....lovely!) where there were some spectacular view to behold!

We went in the evening so the light was really lovely, all golden and, well, sunny! The sheep seemed to be very much enjoying the weather.

Driving home as the sun was setting was lovely, the golden beams shining through the trees and creating dancing dappled patterns on the road (see? I can be poetic?)

The sunrise the next morning was also very spectacular- normally I wouldn't have been up at 10 past 5 in the morning, but the cat first tried to jump out of my bedroom window (first floor, could have ended badly), but then when he realised that he had got me out of bed, he decided it was time for his breakfast and demanded that I should go downstairs and feed him. Immediately.
So I was up, and the sole witness, from this household at least, of the bright red sphere in the sky.

Isn't it lovely? And the old adage 'Red Sky in the Morning, Shepherds Warning' didn't even happen!

All this beautiful weather has spurred on the crochet projects, I am still working on my brother's blanket (in fact, now I'm home, he's a regular task maker and reminds me at every opportunity that it still isn't finished!), but due to the heat I put it aside for a while and started making another blooming flower cushion for the second circular pad I ordered. I love how easy and quick they are to make, and in just a few days- it was finished!!

 This one is slightly different to the first one I made, apart from the different colours, I used a 3.5mm hook to make the stitches tighter, and for some reason it has more petals on each round. I'm not entirely sure why this is as I followed the same pattern, but instead of the six petals in the beginning, it has seven and so from then on has lots more! I quite like it being so different though, it has it's own character and charm.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Profound Apologies

Ah my Lovelies! I hope you haven't been feeling abandoned this week, I have lots to post about, really I do, but my laptop unexpectedly died on me and the Internet in the library wouldn't let me sign in to update you all. I have very much missed being able to go to blogdom on a regular basis! So, to bring you all up to date, I have moved out of university accommodation! The packing was horrendous- I thought it would never end and I was so hot (finally summer has arrived!)!!! I took some photos of my room in it's gloriously messy state before I started- look how homely it looks...

I had to do my packing in stages- after day one of packing not a lot had been done, only under my bed and some of the shelves, but even that took hours!!

Day two was much more constructive, and I managed to clear out the cupboards, the wardrobe, the kitchen cupboards... I was on a roll!!!

There was stuff in bags and boxes everywhere!!

Day three was moving out day, so I got up early, stripped the bed, did the zillions of last minute bits and bobs, and then waited for the removal vans (or rather, my parents and an uncle- we needed two cars to bring it all home!!) to arrive.

It was very sad leaving my room, it was the first room I had had to myself where I could decorate it (within uni regulations of course) and decide what I wanted in it, and just lock myself away and hide when needs be. Although once you take all the personal belongings out of them, they are soulless, empty spaces which echo eerily when you talk. There is no trace of the person who lived there.

Anyway, once home there was the issue of unpacking and merging back into a house with four current occupants- some things found an unlikely home...

 (I love the bright pink of the jellyfish against the washed out leaves and branches of the jasmine!)...whilst other things blended seamlessly with the rest of the house, making very crafty little corners!

(The felted biscuits and the pears are creations of my Mother, and the patterns for them can be found on the Mollie Makes website.

I am now relaxing, enjoying the weather, and some hooky business which I shall let you know about once finished! Long warm days sitting outside with a cool drink and my crochet, and lovely balmy evenings where one can sit in the garden, light some candles and enjoy!

 Let me finish today's post with some glorious photos of the roses in the front garden, blossoming in the sunshine! Hopefully I will be with you again soon! (As soon as I find somebody else's laptop to borrow- or mend mine!)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Admin & Ripples

Welcome All to today's meeting! I have recently been thinking it's high time I updated my blog, so I scoured the web for some inspiration-what do you think of my new background? (Provided by itkupilli)
I am also, for those who are interested, now on email- so you can sign up and every time I write a new post, you get emailed about it straight away!! I have signed up to this for several of my favourite blogs and it is really nice as you don't have to keep remembering to check to see if there is anything new, you just get emailed about it! Very handy.

Well, that's all the admin I have, so on to AOB- the ripple blanket for my brother!! This is the biggest commission I have taken on so far. He decided he really liked my ripple blanket, and wanted his own, but he wanted it to be wider than mine and taller than him. As he currently stands at 1.75 metres (we measured him) it means that I have to make the blanket about 2 metres long- and he is still growing!!!
The details so far: it is 280 stitches wide (plus the initial 3 extra chains for turning), and only 28 colours stripes long. It takes me over an hour just to do one colour stripe...I could be making this for a while (I started it on Tuesday, so that's 6 days, and only 28 stripes!!!)
Being a reasonably fussy client, he wanted the colours to be inspired by the sea, using only shades of blue. Being very stubborn, I have put in some stripes of cream and a sneaky red one (which can be inspired by lobsters perhaps?) to break up the blue a bit.

Sorry about the dullness of the photos- it's extremely difficult to get my room looking bright (unless of course the sun is out...which it isn't)- the colours are much brighter in real life. As you can see, the blanket is massively wide, I can't fit it all into my camera without standing on the bed or looking at it from an angle. I have just measured it and it is 1.70 metres wide!!!

So what do you think? Looking manly enough?

Friday, 18 May 2012

Karen Nicol

I had the most fantastic guest lecturer the other day called Karen Nicol, she is a mixed media textile artist who has worked in fashion, interiors and galleries. She has designed cushions for the Pope when he visited England last year, and also designed various other things for royal families around the world!! So we were very lucky to have her. She was quite an interesting speaker but I admit my main interest was all the work she had brought with her, which we were allowed to touch and drool over. I was particularly struck with her 'portfolio' which was like no other portfolio I had ever seen. It was all handmade with huge fabric 'pages' and pinned onto every white space were all kinds of techniques, experiments, cast offs and ideas- absolutely fascinating! I would have taken photos but I'm not sure I would have been allowed so I am afraid you will have to make do with images I find on the Internet.

Her current passion seems to be making fantastic embroidered animals, which are made out of all kinds of materials and shown in galleries everywhere. They are reasonably 2D and presented in perspex glass boxes about 4 inches thick. She brought a polar bear with her to show us, which was made out of a textured silk and then embroidered on using the Irish machine. They are quite big too, some being about 2 metres tall!!


She also brought with her some huge skirt-like pieces which she had made for her first real gallery space. Having just stepped slightly out of the fashion world, she wanted to continue with her passion for fashion in another way, and came up with these bespoke pieces which showed off her amazing talent. (Sorry about the quality of the images- to see the original ones visit Karen's web page which I have linked to at the top)

The detail is astounding and it was one of the best lectures I think I've ever had!! At the end she very sneakily mentioned her new book, 'Embellished, New Vintage', which I now have on order and looks fabulous!! Here it is on Amazon, if you are interested.

Sleeping Beauties

Afternoon All!!! How is everybody? Doing well despite the severe lack of sun? Well wrap up warm my friends, it is about to get even chillier as I tell you about my final project for year one of university- 'Sleeping Beauties'. Now you have heard about this project when it was first described as Innovative Thinking, and since then it has evolved to form the beginning for a drawing project and the Mixed Media roundabout. We are now returning to the initial inspirations and this involves a concept book and two presentation boards! Luckily I didn't have to do any drawing for this bit, but I do have to stand in front of a large group of people with said boards and talk about my theme- not looking forwards to that!
The book I have already shown you (see the link above) but I thought I would share my boards with you.
The first one is inspirational images, my colour palette and title...

 The colours names, from left to right, are: Sugar Crystal Blue, Mint Crystal, Jack Frost, Frozen Dew, Winter Sun and Thistle. Pretentious I know, but people seem to like that.

The second board- which was knocked out today (I am on a roll!!) shows some materials I could use, mainly paper on there, but also some hessian, netting and some heavy woven fabric with a nice texture, the idea being that there is a contrast of delicacy and hard stiffness between the frosting and the plant itself. Plus as the plants are all reasonably dead- they feel papery!!

So wish me luck for the presentation!!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Finished Ripple!

Hurrah, finally I have finished my ripple blanket!! It now lies on my bed without fear of unravelling which is marvellous. I added 4 more colour stripes to it since you last saw it, so that the colours match the ones I began with to make it seem more complete.

So, you will be wanting some details of my lovely creation- well, it is 210 stitches wide (don't forget that if you are making your own blanket, each ripple section is 14 stitches long so your initial chains must be able to be divided by 14, plus 3 for turning) and 61 colour stripes long- although this is actually 122 rows as each colour is made up of two rows.
It is worked in treble or half treble stitches and I used a 4mm hook!

This won't be the last you see of the ripple however as I have a request from my brother for a underwater, seaside themed blanket...I shall get on it right away!!!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Waterlily Broach

Ah, a morning of freedom!! What to do??? Answer....crochet!!!
I found the most amazing granny square pattern on the Internet today for a waterlily square. It is on a blog called BigĂș Handmade. The pattern itself has been translated from Spanish so can be a bit confusing and I have adapted some of the stitches to make it easier for myself (I might do my first ever crochet 'how-to' at some point with this but I have to make sure I get it right first).
You start by making the flower...

...then you add the leaves...

...and then you are supposed to add the square at the back- although I got quite excited by various other ideas, and ended up cutting out two squares of green felt and adding a button and a safety pin and it miraculously turned into....

...a broach!!!
I am now going shopping for this month's Mollie Makes so I shall take my little broach with me and see if people say anything!! I'm very proud of this mornings activities I must say!! =D

Edit to add: I have finally got my act together and written a tutorial for this broach. If you have any further questions or queries don't hesitate to message me!
P.S- you don't have to keep it as a broach, you could just have them as flowers, or even stitch on a hair clip and use it as a hair accessory!

The Final Roundabout of Year One Uni!!

As you are all well aware today was the final hand in for our last roundabout project of the first year of university!!! I was actually quite calm about everything as most of it was all done and organised last week, meaning that all I had to do was waltz in and pin up my final samples.

I did try to take photos of other people's work but couldn't get very many as there were people all over the place and then we had to leave. Hopefully at some point I can sneak back and get a few more photos to show you because the standard of work, especially for the Mixed Media samples, was absolutely amazing and I would quite happily have any of the samples somewhere on my wall at home- they were gorgeous!!

 (By Bella)

 (By Hannah)

 (By Rebeckah)

 (By Ryan)

(By Victoria)

I also have some of the submitted knit and weave samples...

 (By Rosanna)

 (By Freya)

 (By Claire)