Thursday, 21 February 2013

My Suffragette Moment...

Suffragette earrings
I do love a good period drama and lately have been enjoying the 'Mr Selfridge' series.  I particularly liked the storyline about Suffragettes (my husband swears I would have been one) and I guess it kind of captured my imagination.  

They used to have their own flag/banner colours of Purple, White & Green and quite often would wear subtle little pieces of jewellery made in Suffrage colours which inspired me to make my own 'Suffragette tribute' earrings and I've written up a little tutorial for you.
Suffragette Tribute Earrings

Tools & Materials
8mm Glass Pearls (2 x purple, 2 x white, 2 x green), 6 x Eye Pins, 5mm Jump Rings, Earring Findings plus Round Nose, Chain Nose, Flat Nose & Cutter Pliers.
(all findings are gold plated)

Follow these steps...

Thread each glass pearl bead onto an eye pin
Make a small loop on the top of each pin with round nose pliers 
Next, begin to coil up the pin with flat nose pliers

Coil it up right to the bottom of the bead
Do this on all the eye pins and separate out in to two groups (1 of each colour)
Connect the following numbers of jump rings together and connect to the bottom of an earring finding (as shown) 1 x 10, 1 x 7, 1 x 5
All you need to do now is add the wired beads to the jump ring 'chains' with purple on the longest (10 links) , then white (7 links), then green (5 links).

Earrings fit for a Suffragette?
Whilst watching TV I normally sit doing something... quite often some sort of simple crochet and, at the moment,  I am making up a load of cushion covers.  They are mainly going to be granny squares in all sorts of colours so, of course, while I'm having a 'Suffragette Moment' I couldn't resist making one up in their colours too....
I am sure not too many people will realise why or what that particular cushion is for but I shall know and it will make me smile :-)
Happy Making!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentines & the 'Day of Love' free paper

valentines day
I was hoping to have had my little tatted Valentine's project ready for today but, alas, it is not quite ready so I am compensating with this cheery image and a free to download paper that I have designed for my blog readers :-)

Simply click here to download...     Day of Love Paper or here

Enjoy xxxx

Monday, 11 February 2013

Valentine's Day & ribbon roses....

With the  'Day of Love'  (as we call it in this house) nearly upon us I felt I should really give my attention to a romantic project or two this week so I'm starting out with a little card design that has a 'less is more' vibe...

ribbon rose
 And what could be more romantic than a single red rose... and a lovingly handmade one at that?  The 'rose' itself is made from a simple ribbon embroidery technique explained below.

Before you begin you will need to gather a few items such as: some sort of fabric onto which you would like to work your design, some thin satin ribbon (I used 3mm), scissors, a needle with an eye large enough to thread the ribbon through, embroidery threads & a small embroidery hoop.

 To make things easier, cut the ribbon at an angle so that you can thread it onto your needle.

Now, to make a rose, pull the ribbon up from underneath the fabric (as if you were going to make a stitch). You will need to hold, knot or stick the end to stop it pulling through when you make the rose.

and wrap the ribbon around the needle 3-4 times (for those who embroider this is the same as a classic french knot stitch)

Now, point the tip of the needle just next to the spot where you brought the ribbon up through the fabric (allow the coiled ribbon to be slightly loose so that you can wiggle the needle down through it and the fabric)
 keep pulling gently underneath until the ribbon closes into a tiny 'rose' shape.

(close up)

 Trim the ribbon underneath to finish (you can tape the ends to stop them coming back through the fabric if you wish).  Then thread a needle with a couple of strands of green embroidery thread and sew a little stem & leaves...

 I chose to write a short message too and used a deep red embroidery thread over a very light pencil marking..

 Now you can add to a card blank & layer it up like this...

                                 ...and simply pop in an envelope and post to your loved one!

 You can, of course, sew more than one rose ....
you could always go for a dozen red roses if you are feeling arty!

with added *picket fence...
or hand tied...
*The 'lacy picket fencing' was made with a delicate bit of hand crochet - instructions to follow later
I think these little ribbon roses could kick off another small making addiction.. they are so easy to make & so cute.  They certainly have the potential for more than one project idea..hmmm (tick tock tick tock...brain is ticking)   

I hope you have fun - Happy Making!


Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Tatting Trials (part II)... Owls & 'tat-doodles'

tatting owl
Owl just keep on trying!
I've been continuing to practise my tatting skills on & off through the winter and I thought it time for a little update.  A few of you might remember The Tatting Trials (Part I) where I explained I was trying to get to grips with shuttle tatting... something that had become a bit of a crafting anathema to me as I continuously failed to get it over the years.  

I'm pleased to say that I do now feel like I am making progress... albeit still quite slowly but that's probably due to the fact that I can't spend the hours and hours needed to achieve perfection and I guess I am going to have to live with the slow burn method... pick it up, have a go, put it down for a while, pick it up, have a go and so on.  

The 'Litte Red Owl' motif is my first attempt at making up a proper pattern so far on my tatting journey.

I've spent alot of time tat-doodling (=practising my tension, picots and loops) and my learning curve has not been without it's darker moments either as this messy early piece demonstrates..

However, when I'm not trying to tat before I can tat, keeping it simple usually works out ok - for example  I think am fairly good at making little daisy flowers now..

I am getting on ok with simple lacy edgings and haven't yet tried the complicated ones like my nan's collars and edging as I don't feel I am quite up there still in terms of skill level... (or have the confidence to get stuck in without getting completely lost within the pattern!)

I've discovered I quite enjoy needle tatting v. shuttle tatting but am still switching between the two for now.  Whilst tat-doodling, I've also experimented with variagated threads to see how they work out within a pattern...

And just trying out other different threads & yarns can turn out quite pleasing like this woolly flower cluster tat-doodle which has a lovely soft, gentle appearance..

I have played with heavier 'loop layering' such as in this attempt at a tatted pendant...

and of course, whilst tat-doodling,  I couldn't resist making up a Butterfly motif...

So all in all, not too bad progress to report.  I'm now adding beads to a few of my newer tat-doodles and have another 'proper' attempt at motif design under way for Valentines which, if it works out,  I may also attempt to write up for the blog.  No prizes for guessing what that might be ;-)

Whatever you are making/learning I hope you are enjoy your weekend xxx