Wednesday, 22 December 2010

happy christmas

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas!

artisans' bazaar

Here we are again with another Christmas Artisans' Bazaar at the Fish Slab Gallery in Whitstable. I've been sewing into the small hours to get things finished in time. It was a relief to finally open the doors to the public and we've had a busy first day with lots of sales despite the snow.

I really look forward to spending a few days with the other makers and there are so many beautiful things.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

another cloth book

Another cloth book, this time for Freya who has a pirate obsessed brother, likes to hang out at the Tudor Tearooms, has a cat called Henry and has already attended several Fulham home games.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

tea cosy

Here's a tea cosy I've just finished for a friend's birthday present. The pattern was adapted from here. The traditional technique is one where the spare yarn is pulled along the back so that the front puckers and creates a double layer for extra insulation.

Happy Birthday Betty

cloth books

I've been making a few cloth books of late for some special first birthdays.

The monkey is a likeness of a favourite toy and has a squeaker in him.

The tea cup represents all the coffee mornings (and afternoons) spent at the Tudor Tearooms, and Bob is her little pull along dog.

This is broccoli and blueberries, the only food that passed her lips for quite some time, and of course the last page is Betty tucked up in bed.

She likes this page best.

Here's Betty's special friend Oliver's.

Here I've added a stirring spoon. The sail boat has crinkly flapping sails.

Oliver lives on the top of a very steep hill.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

tea cups

I am trying to spend a bit more time in my workshop. (Typically this happens as the temperature drops and the hours of daylight lessen). It's almost a year since Betty was born, and I haven't begun to seriously make work since. I have a lot to get ready for various projects. I find I can sometimes grab a couple of hours making as she naps during the day and it's surprising how much can be accomplished in such a short time. (Housework, dinner etc goes out the window though!)

Here are some cups ready for the slip to be painted on. But cups are nothing without saucers, so I'd better get cracking on those!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

knitted odd-bods

I've been steadily working my way through the knitting patterns in the wonderful "Knitted Odd-Bod Bunch" book by Donna Wilson. I love that each pattern's character is styled in a funny little vignette. Here's who I've created so far....

Ginge Marmalade twins

Rill Raccoon Fox

Bad Ralf

Aggie Bear

Cyril Squirrel Fox

There are 35 characters to knit, so I've plenty more to go!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

the print block

On Tuesday evenings for the past five weeks I've been going to a screen printing class at The Print Block. Beginning with stencil prints, we then moved on to using drawing fluid, and for the last two evenings we used photographic screen printing techniques. Despite being incredibly disorganised I am really pleased with my final print. I have to admit I am indebted to the patience and skills of Suki and Karen.

I used three overlays. The first one pink, the second a semi translucent blue (creating a purple where it overlays the pink), and finally the dark outline. I almost prefer it without the dark outline.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

She sews as she grows

I was so excited to find this at the Seaside Brocante yesterday. It looks like it's never been used and has instruction book and cotton reel ready to go.

From the 1950s I would guess; such wonderful graphics.

Rather a gender specific toy!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

happy halloween

Poor Betty was a bit puzzled by all the scary visitors we had on Sunday evening. Really looking forward to dressing her up next year.... I'm thinking Willo The Wisp!

The small pumpkin is one I grew; a 'Red Kuri'.

Monday, 1 November 2010

what to do with all the grapes.

Other than eating them straight off the vine, I was wondering what to do with the first substantial harvest we've had from our grape vine. It's a wonderful variety called "Strawberry", with a very unusual musky deep flavour. I found a recipe for grape jelly in Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.

This made 900ml of juice, and 3 and a half jars of jam.


I've been popping out these Christmas baubles in anticipation of our Handmade Market at the Fish Slab Gallery the week before Christmas.

They are fairly easy to make....

*Firstly wind a tight ball of wool. (must be 100%wool).
*Then cover with 'wool tops' so that none of the wound wool is showing through. There's a great selection of wool tops colours available from
*Stuff the balls into a leg of old nylon tights, tying between each ball.
*Machine wash with a teaspoon of detergent on a hot wash. I did 90 degrees c.

They come out tightly felted and shrunk by approximately one third.

I've not done much embroidery before, but taught myself a French Knot and have been decorating with simple contrasting colours.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

beginnings of a homeware empire

I've been making pot holders and oven gloves from the stash of material I've been building up. I came home from the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace with quite a bit more, mainly from the wonderful Eternal Maker stand.

The elephant fabric is Svenskt Tenn, left over from a roman blind made for Betty's bedroom. The car fabric is Echino.