Friday, 5 April 2013

Severn Vale Arts Trail 2013

This year I am taking part in the Severn Vale Art Trail for the first time. The Trail presents showcases of artwork around Thornbury and surrounding areas under the umbrella of the Thornbury Arts Festival. There is much to see from embroidery, mosaic, textiles, jewellery, painting and much more!! Check out the website to see all the trail locations-

My embroideries will be shown at TomatoJack Arts, Old White Hart Court, 6 High Street, Berkeley, GL13 9BJ

Why not check out the event page I have made on facebook? I also have a facebook page too where you can also keep updated with what I am up to

This piece is called butterbones and is hand embroidered. If you are in the area then the trail is well worth a visit!

Looking Foxy!!!

On the 7th March it was world book day which meant our son going to school dressed as a book character. The last time our sons school did this he went as Willy Wonker, and again we went with a Roald Dahl character. We knew about the event about a month in advance, and had intended to sort something out early, but forgot and did not realise until the Saturday before. Which was rather typical as there were a couple of things on that evening which I was hoping to make, but had to prioritize the costume.

So I had a Saturday night hunting around for anything that could be used for a costume and looking through books for inspiration. I did not think I had time to make anything, and didnt find anything that was suitable in the dressing up box or ordinary items of clothing for that matter!

We decided on trying to put together a fantastic mr fox costume so Sunday resulted in a shopping trip for a tweed jacket etc which I had no luck in finding! I did not want to spent alot of money so decided I would just try and make a fox head and tail to go with a check shirt and trousers.

 I started with a hat my son no longer wears and cut a piece of fabric to cover the ear flaps and the back of the hat, which I then pinned and stitched onto the hat. I then cut a mouth shape and worked from there as it seemed the most logical starting point. I then added the nose strip and the cheeks, I also had to fill out the head as I went to ensure I cut the right shape pieces.

Once I got to this stage where I had added the ears and a strip to join the top of the head I began to panic as I then had to insert pieces on each side evenly. The first side I did was not so bad as I could still work from within, but the second and final piece was almost like a lid. I also had to get all the stuffing in and sew it from the outside.

I was relieved when he was finished, I was working right up until the day before, and didnt look like I would make the first book club meet I was going to as I still had to make a tail, (Something else I missed due to this costume!!!). So I worked into the evening making a big tail which I stitched onto a belt.

Our son was really pleased with his costume, but typically it rained heavy that morning!!!!! So we walked to school with the fox head in a bag and his tail attached but wrapped in a carrier bag. Once we reached school I had to unwrap him and he out his hat to go into class. Our daughter didnt like the fox, and when he came home he was put in a bag and left in the hall, where she would peek at him and say 'Noooo!' to which I would reply 'If you dont like him then stop looking at him!' As you can see in the picture he has recently made his way out of the bag and sits at the bottom of the banister in the hall as I rather like him and our daughter cant really see him up that high.

Even now she is peeking around the screen at the photos I am uploading and doind a sharp intake of breathe! I really think its a love hate relationship that will never change as sometimes she even wants to wear him! 

Sail away

I had really good sewing day recently making sail boat hangers. Usually I like to use templates but on this occasion it was a spur of the moment idea and I just started cutting into some fabric.

 Before I knew it I had lots of little boat shapes surrounding me.


 I then stitched them on the sewing making and added the ribbon ready to hang.

 They look fab anywhere!

I even made a batch of these cute 'big heart loves little hearts'. I think this is one of the most productive days I have had in a long time!! See you can get alot done when you have a toddler at home with you, hopefully many more of these days to follow!

Watch the Birdie!

Our daughter loves birds! And I am slowly tying to turn our daughter bedroom into a woodland themed one. Its not really the easiest theme as there is not a great deal out there that is not too garish. We are debating if we should wallpaper or not, that is if I ever find a wall paper that fits the theme! I have also looked at wall stickers, but have not found anything in the style I want to achieve.

So for the time being I am focusing on all the accessories to tie it all together (excuse the pun- the tie backs this post is about!).

I found some lovely yellow polka dot heavy cotton in the sales from a department store, But unfortunately there was not much left on the roll, in fact there was less than what I required! But thought I could still manage to get the curtains out of it if I was careful. This fabric was fantastic to work with! I did sew them by machine as I wanted to get them done in one afternoon. I also added a simple blackout lining which was left over from a pair of curtains I took up.

 I drew a few blue tits and then made a template until I cut it out of felt, and it all fitted into place first time! Which as many of you may know when often a piece may need a little trim before it pieces together perfectly.

 I then added the stitched detail and a seed bead for an eye. I was really pleased with the colour palette as I wanted soft colours that worked well together and think I have achieved this. I secured velcro to the tiebacks I made before sewing the birdies on.

Personalised cushion

My son did a drawing of himself and his little sister which I embroidered onto a cushion over I made, which was then sealed with kisses along the back for his nan.

 Hand embroidery

Sealed with a row of kisses! x

Sweet dreams

My mother in law asked me if I could make some sleeping masks as a christmas present for her grandaughter (my niece), which I thought was a great idea! I was going to make the masks from scratch but it was much easier to buy one and customize it. It also worked out cheaper too than buying padding and elastic. I wanted to make a glitzy girly one so went with a personalised name one which I love! Although it did take a while to sew on all the sequins and keep the colour pattern consistent.

 I then decided I wanted to make a cute animal one and had a fox in mind so chose some foxy colour and got snipping. I was happy with the shape, colours and stitching just had to search through my buttons for the eyes. Once the eyes were on he was looking fairly fox like, but it was the nose that brought him to life! Again I trawled through the buttons to see if I had anything suitable and found this one. 

I really did love making this! If only I had reason to make more!!!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Going Gingham

I had been searching every where for the soft furnishing I wanted and had no luck finding exactly what I wanted! I really wanted some contemporary nets but could not find anything other than the traditional. I did end up buying a cafe net to make do but could not stand looking at it and was so fed up of searching chops and online that I decided to make a cafe curtain with some gorgeous gingham fabric. It was so nice to work with that I decided to make cushions from it too as that was another thing I could not source to my taste.

I enjoyed every stage of making these cushions, I ended up making 12 covers in the end! These were not what you would call 'cheap' to make as people often assume with making your own soft furnishings, especially with the price of fabrics now. But for me it was not about cost, I could not find what I wanted so had to make them for myself. Knowing my luck the next time I go shopping for furnishings there will be some simliar in the shops!!