Monday, 21 March 2011

Crinoline lady mirrors and Cath Kidston and me!

Following on from my tapestry post, yesterday, another thing I collect is crinoline lady tablecloths, and mirrors. Now, I have a dilemma. I got to mirror number three before I discovered that Mr Lace doesn't like them! I won't bore you by posting pictures of all three, but here are two.

"Is it the same as if you put up a picture of a car, and I'd take it down and hide it?" I asked, feeling a little guilty.

"No. I'm more tolerant! You can keep your mirrors."

Lol. Well, I think I'll stop collecting! But I felt kind of on the right track when I went into Cath Kidston on the Marylebone Road, and just inside the entrance, what did I spot? You've guessed it:

Very funny!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

I love tapestry cushions

I've long loved and collected tapestries, but recently I've started to make them up into cushions. They make fabulous cushions, and are very warm and welcoming. I'm particularly pleased with these, as I'd had the tapestries themselves for years but had never got around to making them up. I've also raided my stash of fabrics for a fabric I've loved for a long time, but have not wanted to cut into. I'm so pleased I did.

I also finished this one last night, very different, but again a very cosy and welcoming tapestry...

Thank you for stopping by. I'd love to find a few new blogs out there - please do leave a comment and say hello if you pop by regularly and follow the link and find you.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Hope in the pages of a newspaper!

My daughter had a school homework to find a positive message from a newspaper - very difficult at the best of times. This is what I came home to find on our kitchen table.

She then pasted it onto a sheet. I think she'll do pretty well with that particular assignment. It made me feel happy just to see it.

This picture also makes me smile - my son could be hanging out over a steep canyon!

It's just the angle of the shot, but it works!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Make a dinosaur doorstop - tutorial

 I mentioned a couple of posts back that I was going to post another tutorial - this time because I couldn't find anything like it when I've searched on google, and so I made up a pattern, and it's really fun. I'd love to see any that are made as a result of this tute - but also, please do leave a comment. I'll get back to any comments left, and would love to hear if it's useful to you.

So, this was for a commission from my Sew Happy shop. It's not as stable as a chicken but it was crying out (or should I say, roaring out!) for legs! You could always use it with a wedge.

First draw a dinosaur shape, together with a circle for the bottom of the feet and a triangle for the back and front inset. It's honestly not hard to judge the sizing on this. 

I also cut a smaller triangle to cut felt plates for the back. Next, pin the main pattern to your fabric and cut. You need to cut two. I folded the fabric, right sides together, and cut two that way. Also use the larger triangle to cut two. And cut two circles.

Now you need to cut your plates - the traingular bits of contrasting felt that run along the dinosaur's back. When that's done lay them out in position, on the right side of the fabric.

You may have to jiggle on the curves to get the fit right.

Next, lay the other main piece over this, right side to right side. and pin around the back. Then lift the back leg and pin one triangle as shown.

And then exactly the same but at the front:

Sew these pinned lines, at the back and front, together. Just go up to the place the point of the triangle meets the fabric:

Now pin the other side of the triangle in position, again at the back and at the front:

And sew.

Notice that I've pinned the back but haven't yet sewn it. I've now pinned around the arch between the legs. The next bit is fiddly, but not impossible. Pin in the circles for the base of the feet and stitich each in position.

It's starting to look like a dinosaur! You now sew all around the outside, leaving a 3 inch gap at the back for stuffing. Cut carefully into the curves, without cutting the stitching. Also, it's worth running a second line of stitching around all over, just to add strength.

Now the fun bit. Turn it out through the hole you left:

And stuff! Stuff slowly, and with small bits. There's an art to stuffing to get it looking right.

Begin with the head and the top of the tail. Then use dried beans to fill the legs - or you can use stones, which I prefer, as they give more weight and won't attract mice! It's worth putting a little bit of stuffing in the bottom of each of the legs to rest the stones on to soften the feet.

 You'll then need to slipstitch the back - use pins to secure it together before stitching. And then choose buttons for the eyes.

And there you have it. Then you need to begin making friends. :))

I hope that's helpful. I know there's an awful lot of dinosaur lovers out there. Do let me know if you like it.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Re: Crafting with the kids in half-term

We've had a very crafty half-term. One of the smaller Laces begun a massive scarf from wool in kits she's been given over the years - all chunky, so it's growing fast. It's currently 5 foot in length, and she's still going strong!

I love the colours in this. It's very wide, so will also act as a lovely throw/cuddle blanket.
Another of the smaller Laces begun candle making, and it's proving a great activity. She has plans to open a candle-making emporium.

They also shut me out of the kitchen, and the result was yummy...and obviously very chocoloatey. I have to say that this is truly one of the tastiest chocolate cakes I have ever eaten - much better than when I've helped them. I feel a bit redundant.

We were also lucky enough to once again visit the Eden Project. I just love this site, and we try and go every couple of years, and have done since it first opened. I love that there's always something going on and something new happening. And I love the smaller touches - especially the tea poem:

 Lovely, isn't it?!

This time the new feature was the platform at the top of the rainforest dome. It shakes, and one of the Laces refused to climb - but the rest of us made it. It's terrific up there, but a long way down and all very see through! I think my right leg looks broken... it was probably shaking! Also, notice my footwear - these are so comfortable... my first pair of FitFlop boots, and worth every penny (though I bought in the sales and got a real bargain). However, not recommended in rainforest temperatures!

We also saw a robin. I love robins, and this one posed beautifully for me.

I've been crafting a lot too. I didn't take any sewing, and decided to take up my crochet again as it's so portable. The book I took was hopeless, so I did a circle for a cushion... hence it's not brilliant, but I'm happy with it.

Just got to back it now. I don't want to crochet the other side... anybody out there who crochets? What do you back your crocheted cushions with?