Monday, 18 August 2008

Moving Day

Today is moving day, we move across town to a bigger house with a drive, a jungle of a garden, that I may nead Indian Jones to hack at with a machete... or at least H to have a go with one of his many lightsabers. I many not post much for a few days but when I do there will be a giveaway because the very next post is my 250th!
see you soon!

Friday, 15 August 2008

The Poison Apple Tree

the poison apple tree

The tree grows on the Isle of Sorrows
Limbs black as starless night
Apples red as rubies.
Bitter flesh white as the sun.
Black seeds glinting obsidian tears.
A beautiful poison.

First of all I never ever said I was a poet if you are grumbling about my waxing un-lyrical but these words kept swirling around in my head so I wrote them. I'm really please with the embroidery, I know its only small but its the perfect representation of my little poison apple tree, I love the curling swirling limbs, she has no leaves because she is poison, and bears only deadly fruit.
We move next week, next Tuesday in fact, so I need to go get packing and organizing. When I have longer I will blog the fantastic goodies I received for the russian doll swap with Anna, as the pictures I tried to take look rubbish laid out on bubble wrap. Bact to packing boxes for me.
happy crafting!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Painting with Thread

the button thief

Or my feeble attempts at embroidery.

I have harped on an on about my inability to sew anything more complicated than a button so this weekend I decided to do something about it. I bought a little booklet on beginning embroidery, a hoop, some needles, and some embroidery thread. I looked through the book, ignored the patterns, grabbed a pencil and doodled Olwyn and the notorious button thief, and let fly with needle and thread.

Well perhaps not so easily as that, as the back looks quite horrific, but I'm still quite proud as these are the first bits of textile art I have ever done. In school I opted for pottery, art, and mirror etching over home ec. I already knew how to cook and clean, and take care of animals, so really didn't see the point of having to carry around a flour sack baby. So I never learned more than the replacement of lost buttons.

Little Owlwyn

oh and here is a picture of my greenhouse bounty, a purple pepper, 2 red chilies, some red and yellow tomatoes, and a mini cucumber.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Kid Swap Goodies for H

goodies wrapped up in re-purposed paper patterns
A few days ago Mr. Postman arrived with a parcel filled to bursting with gorgeous goodies from Australia, from the lovely Cass. Please visit her blog because the pictures she has are far better than mine, as H ran off with half of the wonderful things she made before I could take a proper picture of them.

Skippy the Kangaroo

H adores Skippy and has put him up on the shelf in his room to keep him nice and safe. But the best items sent in H's opinion, and he is very opinionated, are the cape/apron, he has been running all over the garden and into town wearing it, and the football satchel, that I haven't photographed as H ran off with it to fill with treasure, and bits for "machine" making.

Super Cape/Apron

And lucky girl that I am Cass even included two little goodies for me, a little wrist bag that I am quite infatuated with, M thinks I've gone quite off the rails, reversing it inside and out again and again. The only problem is its small and I'm not sued to carrying anything less than a full arsenal of things in massive handbags. I will just have to learn! And a lovely little recycled craft notebook... I love, love, love notebooks, they make me happy, there is nothing better than a new untouched notebook to write in, or just hug. so thank you so very much Cass, and I promise your swap will be in the post later today. And thanks go to Chloe for organizing such a fantastic swap

wrist bag and notebook for me!


red wooden bead necklace

And just to let you know what I have been doing these last few days since organizing the fairy tale swap. I have done an commissioned order for a red bead necklace, though I haven't been able to get a hold of the woman who ordered it, so I have left it at the framing gallery and asked them to deal with her as she was their customer. I'm quite please with how it turned out, and if the woman who ordered it doesn't want it then the shop said they would be happy to place it on display.

Most of my time has been spent with H, playing Super Mario on the DS, fighting evil baddies with jedi lightsabers, building complex machines, out of ribbon, garden hose, and broken toys. Tuesday was meant to be a great family day out to see the knights at Warwick but the weather was so awful we diverted to The Bull Ring in Birmingham for some Krispy Kreme donuts, cinnamon jelly belly jelly beans (for me), and Starbucks in the borders bookshop. That has got to be my favourite thing in the world, sitting in a book shop drinking a cup of coffee, the scent of espresso and books mingling together. heaven

I also brought home a few goodies from paperchase, some recycled cotton paper postcards to doodle on, some blank mini cards and envelops, and some blank mini notebooks to doodle on, as seen in the two images below. Little Owl on a notebook.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Java Jacket Tutorial

java jacket

I love coffee and I love having my own little java jacket to put around my drink much to M's amusement so I thought I would write up a simple pattern and share it with you. Please be kind this is my very first pattern/tutorial.


1 paper coffee cup for measurement
needles: US 8 (5.0mm)
yarn: 10 ply (I used Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed in purple but any yarn will do)
2 vintage buttons
yarn needle
needle and thread


Cast on 15 stitches.

1st row: knit

repeat until the piece of knitting wraps around the cup tightly

bind off leaving a tail of yarn 10 in long.

sew the ends together using the tail end of yarn.

Then sew on vintage buttons or beads or any other embellishments you wish.

Take it to the coffee shop and slide it on your coffee cup.

Drink copious amounts of coffee/tea.


Its a quick, simple, and fun project that uses up any oddments of yarn that are hanging around your knitting stash. It can easily led its self to more complicated knitting methods, cables, lace, or even bobbles.

I'm sure there are plenty of other java jacket/coffee cozy patterns out there, crocheted or knit in the round if you have a good search. I'm a leftie and as such I tend to get muddled when reading any sort of pattern, but if I go my own way and make things up for simple items things seem to work out quite well. I do intend to teach myself to crotchet by making various java jackets and simple items.

Java jackets protect your hands from hot or icy drinks, feels pleasing to the touch and is the perfect environmental alternative to cardboard coffee sleeves.The sleeve will stretch to fit most paper coffee cups and is small enough to carry in your purse or pocket. Or can be worn on your wrist to the coffee shop, although M says they should be gold in colour and wear two of them like Wonder Woman. Maybe next time.