Laptop case

I made this pretty little lap top case for my mac, it was fun making the swirly cord closures I really do enjoy getting out the glue gun. I designed the geisha using scraps of old fabrics and I used felt tips to draw the face.  I could not resist the bobbled edge I love the combination of black and fushia pink but the lining is such a gorgeous contrast of cyan blue satin. 

Here you can see the detail of the geisha, I appliquéd it onto black felt and then attached it as one piece onto the silk brocade, it is such a delicate fabric I did not want to risk over stitching and tearing the silk. 

 The pin was made using a large round button, an old earring and some black cord.

 I glued the earring in place and then wound the cord round tightly, glueing as I went. It is something that you need a bit of patience with and asbestos fingers as you have to work quickly before the glue dries.

 It is important to finish off the back well, a piece of masking tape keeps the end of the cord secure until you can glue the ends in.

 The rings are made in a similar way, I wanted them to swirl in the same direction, but you could make them spiral opposite ways for a similar effect. I used a pearl bead from an old necklace in the centre.

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Cross-stitch house

This lovely house was made by my Mother in law for my daughter, but she did not want it in her new home so I took ownership of it. It is so pretty and the detail is delightful. 

The kitchen sink is so pretty and I love the little ladles and tools hanging above the cooker. Even the little pot holder is lovely as it hangs from the handle. 

In the dining room the tulips on the table curl elegantly around and I love the plates sitting on the shelf, even the flowered wallpaper is lovingly stitched.

 

I love the claw feet bath and the tidy pile of towels on the shelf. 
I love the way the two seats are facing each other across the cosy warm fire, which is surrounded with book shelves, what a perfect place to relax 

The little bedroom is also beautifully done, the fabric canopy and the oil lamp. 

But the really lovely detail is the basket of knitting – which no home should be without. 
I hope you have enjoyed the little tour round the little house. 

Table revamp

I love the curves of this table, painting furniture white always brings out the form of a piece of furniture and I find it extremely satisfying. I drew the design using a sharpie pen, just doodling the flowers and the birds. Afterwards I sealed the pen design with clear varnish. It is such an easy thing to do, and it really can transform an ordinary object into a work of art. 

In praise of hand stitching

These little lovelies were inspired by the pretty one I bought yesterday. I do love my sewing machine but it is so easy to get caught up in trying to avoid as much hand sewing as possible in order to get things made. Hand stitching is easier in a lot of ways when it comes to smaller scale items, and it wasn’t until I was sitting on the sofa stitching away while enjoying a film that I realised how transportable hand sewing is. 
I think the pace of making something stitch by stitch is so satisfying, it feels like more of a connection somehow. You can really make the stitches almost invisible in a way that machine stitching can’t achieve, and it is why most couture garments are still hand sewn today. 

What I most like about these projects is that they are made from scraps of material that are too small to make into anything else. I love this vintage rose fabric so much that throwing it away seems such a difficult thing to do. What I like most is drawing out different aspects of the colours. Photographed with a blue background brings out the cool tones. I like the way the red dot fabric draws the red of the rose out but the roses are more subtle when surrounded by the blue stripe. 
It was while I was investigating pictures to do with hand stitching I came across this marvellous site, it is a needlework encyclopaedia and looks to have been written in the late 18th early 19th Century. It is a wonderful find; I have enjoyed reading all about the joys of needle work, especially the following advice: 
“Long experience has convinced me that no kind of needlework necessitates a stooping or cramped attitude. To obviate which, see that your chair and table suit each other in height, and that you so hold your work as hardly to need to bend your head at all. The practice of fastening the work to the knee, besides being ungraceful, is injurious to the health.”I thought ergonomics was a modern invention, it is good advice though, especially if you, like me, intend to indulge the joys of hand sewing. 

As you can see, I am getting better with each one, this one is made from lovely Clarke and Clarke fabric with some gorgeously soft tweed, the tweed matches a coat I have. I love the middle button it is one of Tilda’s collection of brads. I am making quite a few for Christmas presents. 

Sew Little

On Saturday there was a little vintage fair and I found this little beautiful pin; it is hand stitched to perfection using soft vintage fabrics. I fell in love with most of the things on her stall, she sews everything by hand with her daughter. You can find her website here she has a lovely eye for mixing vintage finds that delight the eye, but she was also great to chat to. She liked the strawberries on my shopping basket, I offered to send her the pattern. 
That is what I like about vintage fairs, it is the opportunity to talk to like minded souls, exchange ideas and even skills. I have been considering painting my dressers for a long time, and it is one of the skills that Connie Bee is wiling to share in return for me teaching her to crochet. 
I also bought this lovely notebook the fabric is so pretty and the stitching is so neat it made me really inspired to make something of my own. 
It only saddens me that there aren’t more people clamouring to buy these home made beauties. They are an opportunity for us to give our cash which gives encouragement to someone’s dream rather than the ‘global’ trade to some meaningless organisation. 
Etsy and its UK version Misi are a wonderful on line version of the vintage fair, but you simply cannot beat a good chat over a stall with a likeminded soul or even over a cup of tea and home made cake. 

Jamming!

I have been rather remiss of late, these lovely pots of jelly are made from L’s apples growing in her garden. We really enjoyed the mint jelly at the Apple fair at West Dean so I thought I would try and make my own. Apples are a great fruit to use in jam making as their high pectin levels set so easily. I had some scraps of this lovely blue rose vintage style fabric which I simply cannot bear to throw away, such a great use of scraps. 
The cow creamer is a burleigh design, and one of my favourites it always makes me smile when the milk comes out of the cow’s mouth! The little tea pot on the right is one of a pair my son gave me a few Christmases ago. I really do love blue and white china. 
Apple jelly is great to use with pork, but I decided to omit the mint this time. The cupboard is getting quite full now, but the supply of jars is still coming thick and fast from friends! (I think it is the hope that they will be returned full!) I am planning to start on mincemeat soon, I have never made it before but as A adores mince pies I thought it would be fun to try. 
As you can see my little dresser creates a great back drop for my jam, the little teapot on the right is a lovely gift from my son, and the chicken on the left was something I picked up in the lovely craft village in Broadwindsor a few years ago. I really must get round to painting my dresser soon; I feel it really shows off the shape of the furniture much better, but it is finding the time! Anyway, it is nice to have plans, and the sofa needs a new loose cover first. 

Sew little bit of love

This is my new best friend, I have been struggling all week with an infection and finally got my antibiotics today. I am grateful to live in a country where they are not only available but also at a reasonable cost thankfully I shall soon be feeling better and back to my usual bouncy self. 
The reason this little cushion is my best friend is that it is filled with bulgar wheat, you can heat it up and this lovely warm square sits on my lap and gives such a gentle comforting heat that eases the tummy pain. 
I love how things evolve, I made the ribbon weave last year and created the front with the little buttons and hand embroidery but then I did not quite know what to do with it. I had plans to make it a wallhanging, or a cushion but it was only the other day that I realised it was the perfect size for a wheat bag, (about 20cm square). When you are feeling poorly there is nothing like a bit of love and warmth to ease the pain and this little heart has finally found its place in the world. 
You can make all different shapes long sausage shapes to go round an aching neck, I have even made a eye mask for a lady who had fallen and bruised her eyes. You can also put these in the freezer to keep you cool for bruising or headaches. 
I backed it with the remaining teal velvet I was given at a WI meeting two or three years ago. I had made a Christmassy cushion with it as well and had shown it to the sewing world editor earlier in the year, she wanted it for a project and so I thought I would give it a wash, that wasn’t the best idea because the fabric was not colour fast! It was a disaster and I had to start all over again! Have you tried shopping for christmas fabrics in early August? giggles the shop assistants do doubt my sanity at times, but they know me well not to raise their eyebrows until I have left the shop! 

Ribbon Storage

This doesn’t look a very inspiring pile, the papers are lovely, but CD’s abound and I find it a struggle to throw them away and the same with cotton reels.
 I can’t show you my muddled pile of ribbons just suffice to say they are quite a sight to behold. So I thought of a way of creating some sort of storage for them.  It took minutes to do the job with the help of a glue gun the reel looks pretty and I now can store the ribbon without getting into knots,  they do look a bit sparkly! 
You can fine trim the edges with a nail file if the paper bothers you, and the odd blobs of glue fall of of their own accord if you forget them. Now they can be threaded together with some more lovely ribbon and they can look beautiful along the studio walls. 

Focus of attention

I really enjoy going to the dump, you never know what you might find and this little wooden noticeboard was rather lonely and a bargain for £2.00. As you can see a lick of paint can make all the difference. 
It is a great shopping list reminder, but the picture is a bit fuzzy unfortunately due to my lack of height to get a really good shot! 

This photo shows the lovely Tilda characters and all the glittery effect around the frame. It was such fun to do. That is what I love about my home, all these little things around that I love not just because they are pretty, but because I created them.