Sunday, 22 April 2012

Pincushion perfection...

...Well, almost! It's finished at least...perfect is not however a word I would use to describe it. I'm happy with it, but as I went along various ways in which I could have made it better seemed to pop into my head. In particular the wave pattern - I wish I had done each layer of waves in opposite directions.

Still here it is - the bottom is made from an old film canister which is super handy for storing pins, needles and all manner of small and easily mis-placed items...beads, buttons, tiny but important pieces of felt...and more!

This pincushion will replace my old and faithful one, in the shape of a toadstool, in the picture below. You can now see where the film canister idea came from! This little wonder was made by myself, probably about 15 years ago (now I feel old) as a Brownie, and it has served me well. I wonder if any of my fellow Brownies still have theirs! Sadly, it is getting difficult to push pins into as I think all of the stuffing has begun clumping together into big solid lumps.

Having had the weekend pretty much free, I have been able to do lots of creative stuff! Yesterday I made another owl egg cosy on commission and this afternoon I got busy in the kitchen - the result being a large batch of muffins! Yum - chocolate chip on the left, peanut butter on the right.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Button bonanaza

Now, I know I said I was working on a pincushion...well I certainly have been but three attempts down the line I am still not happy with it (damn my perfectionism) and have given up at least for the short term. Who would have thought a pincushion would be so complex? It might have to do with it being in the shape of a whale!

Anyway - I took a trip to Leicester on Friday to meet a friend and she took me to a wonderful little craft shop called Button Boutique

I was specifically looking for some form of clasp for a bracelet I was making, but unfortunately I couldn't find anything which quite fitted what was in my imagination! However, I finished the bracelet this afternoon, eventually using a rustic looking button from my mum's vast collection as the fastening. I got the cute little beads from ebay. I'm not too happy with the quality of the cord I used as it isn't real suede it does snap if you pull it hard enough.

Although I didn't find what I was originally looking for, Button Boutique housed all manner of other wonderful craft items which, as the name suggests, included a wide range of buttons. This reminded me of another project I had in the pipeline - to make some hair pieces which had a large button as the centre, as I had seen some in the bedroom of the same friend mentioned earlier in this post. This of course means that once again I have to give credit to someone else's imagination for these (they were made by another friend of this friend), but I'm beginning to this there is no such thing as an 'original' idea!

Above is my first, and will not be my last hair piece - and I am very pleased with the end result! The ribbon also came from Button Boutique and although this picture does not very well capture the colour, both the ribbon and the button are a rich purple (this and orange being my favourite colours).

I got a few other buttons and ribbons from the shop as well - so watch this space for more of these beauties :)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The stuff of dreams...

Its been a while since I posted anything, but please don't think I have been idle! I have been working on a pincushion on and off for the past couple of weeks - it is taking me a while as I have made two prototypes so far and I'm still refining it (yes it is quite a complicated pincushion!).

On top of this, crafting has had to take a back seat during my spare time this last week because of an unexpected turn in my life. Well I say 'unexpected' which is not entirely the case, as I known for a while that the fate of my employment contract was uncertain beyond May. Despite this I think I was fully expecting it to be extended, but as it happens, that isn't possible and I had been looking at other opportunities just in case. To cut what is a very long, and not at all craft-related story short - I am going to the west coast of Canada for 3 months, to help out at a sea kayaking company in return for kayaking trips!

The most exciting part of this for me is that I will be in Killer Whale country - the Johnstone Straight. I think it is amazing how whales and dolphins have some kind of special hold over many people, who would fight to protect them having never even seen one in the flesh and I count myself amongst one of these people. To see them wild and free will be nothing short of a dream come true for me.

It is obvious therefore, why these creatures hold pride of place in the banner at the top of my blog. I made this mother and baby due back in winter 2010 and they are one of only a few items that I have made and kept for myself.