Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Vintage Superheroes

You may remember, back in September last year, that I showed you a tantalising photo of the back of some commissioned cushions that I had made (see here). I couldn't completely show them to you at the time as they were to be presents for someone and we couldn't risk them seeing before the cushions were gifted. It has taken a while but they have now been gifted away and I can show you the whole thing!

The commission was from a friend called Lucy, who had found a vintage superhero pillow case that she thought her other half would love! Thinking it would be a bit random just to give him one old pillowcase, she sent it to me to make into a cushion or two.
Having looked at the pattern and unpicked the case, I decided that I had to keep the pillow shape as the design went all the way up to the edges. The design was the same on the back and the front which meant I could make two identical cushions, the only difference being that I would use a different coloured fabric for the back.

The back was made out of a beautiful brushed cotton, which handily came in both the red and blue I was trying to match with colours used on the superhero costumes. Because the pillow fabric was so thin, when stitching everything together, I layered the original fabric over some calico to give it more stability, and matched the thread to the pillow fabric rather than the backing fabric.
Thinking of how much I enjoyed experimenting with cushions in my final degree project, I also gave these ones oxford edges as part of the design feature, and did a vertical envelope opening.

Apparently Lucy's other half loved them which is fantastic news!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

March ATCs

Hello my Lovelies!! And a very good evening to you all. I have had a very calming Sunday, finishing off some ATCs, cracking on with some crochet and happily peeling off wallpaper from the upstairs landing (part of the redecoration of the bathroom).
Do you like my little tweeting birds? They are 'calling' actually, although I'm not sure what for. These are the fourth instalment of the 12 Days of Christmas swap: 'On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, four calling birds...' The photos are terrible, I'm very sorry, the lighting is all over the place but I did my best in the shadowy kitchen lights.

I seem to have developed a theme in my 12 Days cards, all of them so far have been created out of little felt pieces, intricately stitched together and embellished with tiny stitches. It appears to be my thing now and I enjoy the challenge of composing colours and layers of felt very much.

I think the leaves are my favourite, they really are miniature!

A couple of days ago, just after completing my Spring Green Postcards, I made these Blue and Copper ATCs. I have used this colour theme before, but for a swap entitled 'Made With Metal'. Tee hee, from reading the blurb in that post, they were a bit of a mission to make!
It is a beautiful colour combination though and these ones just flew together, almost making themselves!

The fabric I used for the copper part was cut from sections of old curtain material I have in my stash, you can sort of tell in the photos that it has an iridescent quality, and a metallic-ness to it as the colours change from copper to orange to deep red.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Spring Sunrises

Evening everybody! I know it's been a while since my last post, I do apologise- I've been completely occupied with taking up a new job within my workplace. It all happened rather quickly as I applied one day, was interviewed a couple of days later, offered the job a few days after that and have immediately started training for it. My brain has pretty much turned to jelly with all of the new information it's trying to absorb and on top of that I've come down with some awful lurgy that has me permanently surrounded by a box of tissues, the olbas oil, paracetamol and sudafed. It feels like every channel and sinus in my head is stuffed full of cotton wool or something, horrible!!

I have been saving up some pretty photos to show you all though, last week we had some incredible sunrises that made me quite literally stop and stare in awe. This red sky one really was amazing!

Then we had a softly golden sunrise...

Followed by an even golden-er sunrise, making the tree silhouettes really stand out. I especially love this one because of the bird in the tree, can you see him?

Then there was this misty red sunrise. The sun kept popping in and out of the light clouds passing in front of it- one minute it was there, the next gone, and then it would half reappear again.

All this glorious colour in the morning is a great way to start the day and the only benefit I can see of getting up at the crack of dawn.

Today though, whilst coping with feeling like my head was about to explode at any moment, I tried distracting myself with catching up on my ATC and postcard making. This month I have to make two Spring Green postcards, three Blue and Copper ATCs and two Calling Birds ATCs. By the afternoon I had finished my postcards and this evening I finished off my Blue and Copper ATCs, so I did quite well in the end. Just two more to go.

I tried my hand at a bullion knot rose flower with a French knot centre. It looks quite cute I think, maybe I ought to stitch these more. What do you think?

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Tuesday Thoughts

Afternoon!! I have been a lady of leisure today with a cheeky extra day off. It has been very relaxing and rather lovely to have an extra forty winks in the morning, then to get up and be able to wander outside into the warm, sunshiny garden with a mug of coffee. Spring is most definitely on the way!! As my Grandmother (who is obviously watching too much of the weather channels) said the other day, 'the yellow air has arrived!'

I have been working very hard on my new crochet project, which has definitely turned into a blanket now. It did start out simply as a need to crochet something and then has grown and grown into bigger blocks and bigger blocks, who knows where it will end up!

As I'm using up old oddments of wool, I am bordering the groups of four blocks with white to settle and even out the colours. Anything goes with this project!

Kit has been loving the arrival of the warmer weather. He was working on some poses earlier, staring wistfully up into the sky from his perch on top of some planks. He's got the moody, downwards glance to perfection now as well.

We have some gorgeous new hyacinths blooming on the windowsill. These ones are actually a deep blue, although the photos make them look slightly purplish. They smell divine!

And in the lowering rays of the sun this afternoon, Ziggy snuggled himself into a warm spot by the french doors. Such a cutie pie.

Thursday, 5 March 2015


Yesterday I went to Bateman's, the home of Rudyard Kipling. Did you know he was named after a lake? Rudyard Lake near Leek in Staffordshire.
It was a really lovely day, the sun was playing hide and seek, popping in and out from behind the clouds and it was so peaceful- it wasn't busy so you mainly just heard the birds and the trees rustling.

The gardens aren't quite awake yet, but there are little patches of growth and faint colours of spring flowers stirring.

There was one little section that quite took my breath away. All around the base of one tree, hundred of crocuses had been planted, predominantly purple and white, although some yellow ones had snuck in. They looked absolutely gorgeous when the sun shone on them, I went quite mad taking photos of them all.

The below photo even has a little bee bottom sticking out of one of the flowers, can you see him?

The house has its own tiny little mill at the bottom of the garden which was quite sweet. It wasn't working though which was a pity.

The house was really very pretty. Sort of higgledy-piggedly but somewhere you could imagine yourself living (if the inside wasn't a museum!). I had a very long chat with a guide in one of the bedrooms about a hand embroidered bed set- including the duvet, pillows, bed curtains and the decoration on the ceiling of the bed frame. I'm not really sure what else to call it, but it was one of those old fashioned four poster beds with a roof on it. I even got to handle a sample piece which was stitched by a team of local ladies who had had to remake the set from photos of the original.
The original had been completely disintegrating apparently and has had to be put into storage. The stitching on the 'new' set was incredibly neat, both sides were as impressive as each other- if only the backs of my embroideries were as tidy.

I imagine this ornate, structured pond area will be quite breathtaking in the summer. It looked to be completely full of thorny rose bushes.

And all around the paved area of the garden, old quern stones had been used, All different sizes and slightly rough shapes.

It is becoming something of a habit on these Wednesday National Trust jaunts, to check out and support the tearooms. As the weather was so fine we took our luxury hot chocolates (with hundreds of marshmallows hidden under a mountain of cream!), flapjack and lemon cake outside to enjoy the views and the warm sunshine. It was absolutely splendid!

I can't wait for our next Wednesday out!