Archive for January, 2012

Project 365 – Day 31

31st January 2012 – “Pebbles & Wood”

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The vintage Singer I’ve got (sewing machine, I don’t have an old crooner locked in my shed) is beautiful, and works perfectly but it’s heavy, and as I don’t have a permanent table for sewing at yet it means I have to haul it in and out of its case whenever I want to use it.

Cue the little Brother.  It’s lighter, and although nowhere near as pretty as the Singer it makes up for the lack of aesthetic appeal by having lots of different functions.

A variety of different stitches, all available just by sliding a switch or turning a dial.  Marvellous!  Being so new to the world of sewing machines this is actually incredibly exciting for me 🙂  The machine has another trick too (which excited my mother):

Apparently this is A Very Good Thing because it means you can sew things like bags.  Who knew?

So, that’s a little tour of my second sewing machine (which was another boot sale bargain at just £10).  It’s not pretty, but it is very useful and I suspect it’ll get a lot more use than the beautiful Singer.  From a practical point of view it also sews more slowly than the Singer, which means it’s less scary for me (despite spending a full day on the Singer last week I still have that irrational fear of sewing over my own fingers).

Do you have any sewing tips to pass on to me?  This machine only came with the one foot, and I might invest in some others if I think I’ll get some use out of them – but, being a complete novice, I don’t know what I might need!



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Project 365 – Day 30

30th January 2012 – “Sand…paper at the seaside”

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That’s what I’m hopefully doing this week.  Since I’m staying at the seaside it seems a perfect time to try out an idea I saw in a mini zine.

Craft Leftovers is a zine I got from TangleCrafts last year.  It’s packed full of little tips and ideas, and one that really caught my eye was this:

The idea is to use the sand on a beach (or in a sandbox if you’re stuck at home) as a mould for making plaster casts.  You make impressions in the wet sand, mix up some Plaster of Paris and pour it into the impression, and then wait (im)patiently for it to set.

I love this idea, and really wanted to try it when I went to Orkney last year, but with the weight limits on small planes I couldn’t really take a bag of plaster with me.  I’ve come to Norfolk by van though so there’s room for all sorts of stuff – hopefully I’ll have some interesting plaster casts to show you when I get back 🙂


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Project 365 – Day 29

29th January 2012 – “Roll on tomorrow”

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Well, what have I got to show you this week?  Difficult to say as I’m actually away from home at the moment – this post comes to you courtesy of WordPress’s awesome scheduling facility.

So, I’m currently in Norfolk… in the seaside town of Sheringham, to be more specific.  I’m taking a working holiday, painting a friend’s seaside apartment (he rents it out – click here to have a look) and hopefully also spending some time outside enjoying the fresh air and doing some sketching.  This means that, with luck and a fair wind, I should have lots to show you next Sunday, but it does mean that right this moment the cupboard is bare.

I have to have something on here for Sketchblog Sunday though, so here’s  a sketch I drew during my last working holiday (when I was gardening in Orkney).

It was done during a break in the gardening work, and it was the only sketch I managed to do in a whole week there.  Shameful.  My intention was to finish this sketch (adding some colour) as a birthday present for the friend I was staying with… and that was back in August and I still haven’t done it.  More shame.

It’s on my list of Things To Do (which never seems to get any shorter), and hopefully I will finish it before her next birthday!  In the meantime let’s hope that my trip to Norfolk yields more drawings than my trip to Orkney, and I’ll show and tell next Sunday…

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Project 365 – Day 28

28th January 2012 – “A step up”

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If you’re new to the Scavenger Hunt then please visit Kirst’s blog to see how this all began.  Rachel over at The Awesome Lady is acting as guest host again this month, so if you somehow came here first then please do go and visit her blog to see who else is taking part!  I decided to go with a black and white theme this month…


This month seems to have been more about sewing than bookbinding, I’ve certainly spent a lot of time talking about sewing haven’t I?

Something I Made

My first adventure in quilting.  Who cares that it’s only a miniature one for bears?

Motifs: Animal

Very handily I happened to order quite a few papers which feature animal motifs recently, this is my current favourite.


Fungus of some description (I’m not good with fungi!) on a tree stump.  The stump was brought into my garden for decorative purposes and has now sprouted this fungus all over it, I’m now not entirely sure if I should keep it or throw it out…


A close up of a gorgeous panel on my Singer sewing machine.  They really don’t make ’em like this any more.

Rachel over at The Awesome Lady is guest-hosting again for February so please do pop along to her blog in a day or so to find out what topics we’ll be playing with next month.

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27th January 2012 – “A well deserved drink”

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Weekword: Weather

A list of all this week’s participants is given at the end of this post

Sally tagged me to choose a word this week (after I struggled woefully with ultracrepidarianism), and I chose weather.  A deceptively simple choice I think, because there’s just so much scope so I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve all come up with!

The weather has been… interesting to say the least this winter.  In complete contrast to the Narnia-like conditions last winter, this year we’ve had such mild conditions that it’s been positively spring-like most of the time.  I mean really, I’ve got aphids in my garden which are happily munching on new growth which shouldn’t appear until about March.  I had to spray for bugs in January for crying out loud, what’s that all about then?

Still, the weather is what it is, and whether it’s sunny or rainy, cold or warm, it’s amazing how it can affect us.  It can affect our mood and our plans, it can make us feel optimistic or downright cynical, and it can be powerful enough to bring entire countries to a halt.  Weather is a powerful thing.

The unseasonably mild weather we’ve been experiencing this winter has made me feel a bit, I don’t know, bleugh.  It’s quite nice not having to wrap up in fifteen layers whenever I go out, but without a sharply defined winter period it doesn’t feel as though the wheel of the year is turning quite right.  Although I moan when it’s cold, I do actually like those crisp winter mornings – and for it to be a proper winter you need to have more than the odd one or two.  It’s confusing for the plants in the garden (honeysuckle flowering in December?  Roses blooming in January?), and it’s a bit confusing for me too.  I don’t feel settled, which is annoying to say the least.

But it is what it is.  I can’t change it, so I’m just going to have to change my outlook instead.  Sure I’m disappointed that I’ve not been snowed in for three weeks and therefore forced to stay indoors and be creative, but on the flip side it’s February and hopefully I’ll be outside sketching next week if the weather continues to play nicely!  Let’s be grateful for small mercies, and keep on smiling whether there’s rain or shine.

If you managed to make it this far through my ramblings then thank you for reading, and please visit the other Weekword participants to see what they’ve posted this week 🙂

I’m tagging Carmen over at Tails of a Biomouse to choose the next word.  Pop along to her blog on Monday to see what she’s chosen.

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