Sunday, 31 May 2009

Day 161 - Credit Crunched and hospitalised

The lack of creative activity in the snipsnaphappy world lately has been down to hubby being made redundant and then ending up in hospital in the same fortnight. It's not quite as dramtaic as it sounds - hubby has UC like me and he was called in for a few extra tests to check everything was ok as the stress of losing his job was taking its toll. Everything appears to be improving now though, touch wood, but the strain of redundancy has forced everything else into the back seat for the time-being.

I still managed a quick and fun Rockpool Mirror for the Flickr mosaic challenge group though, which just about saved my sanity.
Rockpool mirror completed!

The challenge is to create a mosaic out of mostly natural materials. I collected nearly all of my materials from my garden. When we moved in to our cottage two years ago the cottage and the garden were a total mess and we have been renovating and improving constantly. The pebbles were salvaged from the old flower beds, the starfish from an old wind-chime that used to hang in next door's garden. The shells are from my vast collection (I can't help myself!) and these particular ones are from Grande Motte in France. The little piece of white coral is from Southend in Essex.

I really enjoyed making this as it was quick and very absorbing, which made for a satisfying distraction from the stress of reality at the moment. I have already collected a bag full of white pebbles to do another pebble mirror.

I've been up to other bits as well: another mosaic, a couple of bags, and a dress for my little girl. But I will write about these another day. Right now, my bed is calling...

Friday, 15 May 2009

Day..? - Things to smash

I love my new found sewing obsession. But I still think daily about my mosaic passion.

Today my 3-year-old daughter and I had an unexpected and lovely day together, I was not at work so she didn't go to nursery. She helped me shop around local charity shops looking for fabric to recycle into bags. Alas the fabric hunt was unsuccessful: one area I chose to visit was very affluent, so the donated clothes were too beautiful and had too much wear left in them, I couldn't bring myself to cut them up. The second shop I went to was great but the materials were too stretchy and too over-priced.

However!! I did fantastically well in gathering some bone china for use in mosaics...

I found two saucers and two teacups for just £2:

I also found a flowery plate:

I also got a lovely heart-shaped jewellery pot which is just gorgeous but for some reason I can't upload the photo here without it coming out sideways. It's on flickr though - link is on the left!
I am feeling so inspired recently - I see uses for everything, from old plates and fabrics, to pebbles in my garden. My problem is lack of time for everything I want to do and try. So I am now going to try a new method of creating one project at a time and then not starting a new project until the previous is completed. That wayI might feel more in control, and live with less mess of course. Sticking to this new method though may prove rather difficult!
The important thing is that I feel inspired and full of confidence and I am looking forward to seeing what this will bring!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Pleased with myself

I bought a pattern from a lovely lady on Etsy in order to take my sewing skills out for a spin to see what I could do. It wasn't entirely easy, there was a lot of head-scratching and wasted fabric, but I got there in the end:

I used a lovely Japanese flower printed fabric from Hobbycraft for the main part of the bag. The other fabric is cut from a fat-quarter I bought months ago from Ebay - I love this fabric, but I can't find it anywhere now! I am not even sure of the designer's name. I will have to keep searching until I find it again, then I will buy lots, it's so darn cute.

This is the back view,which was the first bit I did, just in case I mucked it up, which I did a bit, sssh don't tell anyone! But I am still so utterly chuffed with myself!

The lining is just a plain linen, and I made a total mess of it so it's for my eyes only! And who needs to know the secrets inside when I can distract them with my tweeting birdies and a juicy looking apple?

Tomorrow this will be road-tested on the streets of London! I am very excited to be venturing out in public sporting something I made and that I am proud of, true it ain't big enough to hold the endless paraphenalia that I cart about with me daily, but who cares, it's pretty!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Day 141: Ipod Protector

Day 141 has been lovely as we spent it with family down in rural Kent playing football in the sun and eating pizza in the garden. My darling little girl made her first photography attempt with this lovely picture of hops (Kent is famous for its distinctive oast houses, which are used to dry hops, which are used to make beer...yum!)

For my latest creative news I am cheating slightly as I actually made this a month ago:

I was lucky enough to be given an Ipod Touch for my birthday in April, I've never owned anything like it before and I love it. So naturally I wanted to protect it from scratches and bashes, smudges and bad things*. So I grabbed some scraps of fabric and my mum's sewing machine (which has now somehow, ahem, taken up permanent residence at my house) and I fashioned this little drawstring pouch.

I used stripey ikea fabric, some scraps of Cath Kidson fabric,and some ribbon saved from a Links of London gift box. I always always save bits of ribbon, you just never know!

Happy weekend all xx

* bear in mind that my flashy touch-screen phone met an untimely end yesterday when I dropped it into a pint of lemon squash.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Day 137: Sketching on the tube

I work in the City of London usually. Today though I am working from a different office in the south of the city. To get here it means a longer train journey and on my way in I found myself sketching a design:

As you can see I am not very good at drawing...but then my pencil was rather blunt...that's my excuse! I intended it to be an embroidery design. Ever since I had my first attempt at embroidery last week I have been itching to have another go, this time with a plan in mind.

I want stitch my gorgeous daughter's name for her using lots of her favourite colours: pink, pink, pink! I thought I might incorporate a few scraps of material in to it as well, quite how I don't know, I will have to work that out when I get to it.

I think I will use light pinks, blues, greens and yellows on a clean white background. This will mean a trip to the craft shop of course, tsk, what a pity ;)

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Day 133 - Embroidery

The recession has hit the snipsnaphappy household.

We thought we were safe with me working for a charity and hubby in healthcare, but nope. Hubby is being made redundant and everything has been thrown up in the air and is currently fluttering down our ears in little pieces whilst we try to make any sense out of it all.

On the day we found out I had decided to try embroidery for the first time ever. I bought a hoop from Hobbycraft for under £2, I used some cheap fabric I had from Ikea which I generally use for lining, and I found some threads that I used to use for making friendship bracelets. I poured some wine, I stuck the telly on, I referred to an old 1970s book on crafts, and I had a go.

I ignored pretty much all the warnings about not anchoring the thread with a knot, not using unravelled thread, and I worked freehand without any kind of design. Ahem.

First I tried some flowers.

For these I used satin-stitch for the leaf, lazy-daisy-stitch for the petals, rhodes-stitch for the centre of the flowers, and stem-stitch for..well..for the stems.

I then decided to try some letters. I sketched an L lightly in biro (it was all I had to hand) and then used satin-stich to make the letter. I then employed the same techniques I had tried with the flowers to entwine some small blooms onto my L.

The satin stitch is, as the picture shows, a little wonky, but I was quite pleased with it as a first attempt. I used stem-stitich on the most narrow bits of the L. Looking at it I now think I should have done this in a very intricate stain-stitch, but I am quite fussy.
I would love to do my daughter's name in her favourite colour (pink!) covered in little flowers, then frame it for her room.
I still have a lot to learn on this. But I really enjoy it and it is keeping me sane. Trust me anything that keeps me sane at the moment can only be a good thing.