Archive for the ‘Pins and needles’ Category

I have a little holiday coming up (in fact I fly tomorrow!) and as a treat I got myself a nifty new bag.



It’s great, it turns from a shoulder bag into a rucksack with just an easy pull of the straps.  It’s also the perfect colour for me, I like the classic khaki and tan.  However I did want to put my own personal mark on it.  So I bought some patches.


I removed the logo patch that was already on the bag and then sewed these two beauties on.  It was a lot fiddlier than I had anticipated (I’ve never sewn a badge onto a bag before) because I didn’t want to go too far and sew the patch to the lining.  Got it done though, and I love how it looks.  The Hogwarts alumni patch was from eBay, and the Sunnydale High one from this seller on Etsy.


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I’ll blog this properly later, and include the patterns I used, but for now here’s a photo 🙂 

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This is another ‘use it up’ project that I’m partway through. I’m mostly enjoying it, or I was until I hit a snag with a leaf.  More details to follow once it’s finished!

wednesday wip 15-03-2017

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A little nod to TBBT there, but that’s basically what I’ve been doing.  Last week I bored you all rigid telling you about my spring cleaning, and mentioned that I had put aside a load of assorted fabric to use in a project straight away.  Well, when you have lots of random fabric (ranging in size from scraps to whole half metres) and you want to use them up quickly then the two options that come to mind first are probably quilts or bunting.  I opted for the latter, given I already have one quilt that’s still unfinished and languishing in a box somewhere.

I’m going to ramble a bit now so bear with me.

One of the reasons I have so many half finished projects (or, dare I say it, ones that never got off the ground) is that I like to wait for optimum conditions.  This bunting is a really good example.  Of course the most efficient way to sew bunting is by using a sewing machine.  My sewing machine is still in need of a service and I daren’t use it until it’s been checked out (because of the alarming burning smell when it runs…).  All well and good, but that sewing machine has been gathering dust for well over a year now.  Which means I’ve been putting off various other things that require the use of a sewing machine.

You with me so far?  So ideally I would get the machine serviced and then use it to sew the flags.  However we know that the likelihood of me getting it serviced soon is very slim.  I could cut the flags and then keep them safe until the machine is fixed…but that’s not a good idea because things get lost.  Somewhere in this house is a bag full of quilt squares (and not from the half-finished quilt mentioned above!) that I cut out and then put safely to one side.  It gets slightly more complicated when I tell you that my mother has an industrial sewing machine – so she could sew it for me (her machine is super fast and scares the bejeesus out of me), but she was on holiday last week.

What’s a girl to do?

Suck it up, buttercup.  That’s right, I sewed the flags by hand.  BY HAND.  All ninety of them.  Possibly a little crazy, but a) it got the job done, and b) I was ill last week so not in a fit state to do anything other than sit and snuffle on the sofa.  Sewing flags killed the time between naps and doses of medicine.


They look good eh?  So I got them all sewn and pressed, and now I will do the sensible thing and ask my mother if she’ll sew them onto the bias binding for me.  Of course I have no actual immediate use for bunting, but I figure it’s bound to come in handy at some point and in the meantime it means I have reduced my stash and turned dead fabric into a potentially useful ornament!

Tl;dr – I had spare fabric and made bunting.

PS.  In the spirit of using it up the sewing was all done using thread I had picked up on sale a few years ago.  I got suckered in by the cute jar and it was cheap, but I already have plenty of thread so it’s just been sitting there gathering dust.  Now it’s all gone, huzzah!


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Another very long overdue reveal.  I made the first one of these hats over a year ago.  It was for a friend’s son, and it was a little bit too roomy but still went down well.


I then made one for another friend’s daughter.  This one was also slightly roomy, but rolling up the brim fixed that!


That’s where it got a little out of hand.  This young lady’s brother really liked her hat, so I made one for him too…


…and then their grandma decided she also wanted one!  Of course I was only too happy to oblige 🙂


And that, as they say, is that.  They were good fun to make especially as I had to figure out a pattern of my own, and then keep adjusting it (with varying degrees of success!) for different sized heads.  I think I am all Lego-ed out now so no more hats.

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I’ve not done much in the way of knitting or crochet for a while.  In terms of unfinished knitting/crochet projects I have at least two (and possibly as many as four) blankets that have been abandoned in various states, and a pair of socks that might get finished by the time I’m 40 at this rate.  I just haven’t felt in the right mood to focus on big or complicated things, although I have enjoyed some short but sweet little makes.

A snake for a friend’s dog.  This contains a squeaker that she saved from an old toy that her dog had destroyed, so the squeaker goes on to squeak a bit longer.  The yarn is various oddments of felting yarn that I had left over from other projects so it was a good stash-buster as well as being fun to work on.  I didn’t have a pattern, just made it up as I went along.


I also made some little felted carrots as a gift for a litter of puppies.  When I got my dog I made him a little carrot, which he and his litter mates (and his mum and grandparents) played with.  When the next litter was born the breeder asked if I’d make more little carrots, as they seemed to be a favourite and last quite well.  Ever since then I’ve crocheted carrots for each new puppy of the Mymsin line – it’s a fun little tradition 🙂  The large carrot on the end, in case you were wondering, was a gift for a friend’s dog.  He’s an absolute darling so I thought he’d like to be an honorary shiba!



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You will probably remember that in 2014 there was a stunning installation of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, and that most of the poppies were sold to raise money for charity.  What a lot of people don’t know is that part of the installation is now on tour across the UK, and the first stop for the Weeping Window is St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney.  Click here to visit the official website for more information.

I loved the original installation, it was absolutely breathtaking, and we bought one of the poppies to display in our home.  I’m quite gutted that I won’t get a chance to see the Weeping Window in Orkney (doesn’t tie in with our holiday dates, sadly) but felt moved to create a watercolour and embroidery piece.  Watercolour background, and the poppies have been added with embroidery.  They’re rendered in hundreds of French knots, which spill out onto the mount in the frame.  It came out perfectly, and I’m very proud of it. You can see some work in progress photos below.

This piece has already been reserved, but please contact me if you’re interested in commissioning something similar.











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Another Pratchett-inspired piece: this unites my love of embroidery, graffiti, and Sir pTerry in one fell swoop.  Hand embroidery on a watercolour background.  Available in my Etsy shop, click here to view.  As is now traditional, some work in progress shots below (including how I trace my designs onto fabric without having a light box!).






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2016-04-01 09.38.26

Another piece of embroidery created in memory of Sir Terry Pratchett.  This one is simple in execution, just black embroidery on plain cloth, but the design process was quite intense.  The image shows a telegram, and the morse code on it spells out GNU Terry Pratchett.  If you’re not a Discworld fan then you might want to click here for more information.


This piece is now available in my Etsy shop.  Click here to view it.  10% of the sale price will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.  More work in progress photos below.




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I was so pleased with myself for having started and finished this piece over a single bank holiday weekend… it’s a shame it’s taken me over a month to list it on Etsy!  It’s because pricing and listing items is my least favourite part of the creative process.  Designing stuff?  Great fun.  Making stuff?  Can be frustrating but is generally fabulous.  Actually getting round to selling it?  Nope, that’s where I stumble.

ANYWAY.  This piece is now available in my Etsy shop.  As with the lilacs embroidery, 10% of the sale price will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.


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