Thursday, 29 May 2014

A library visit and other stuff . . .

I found myself stranded in our local town of Stornoway this week for an appointment with an hour on either side of it to while away (and not much cash in my pocket!).  What to do - ah, the library - I hadn't been for a while - such a great place.  I lucked out with two great finds . . . 

. . . Fabulous books - Granny Chic by 'Dottie Angel' and Ted and Agnes' and 'Homemade Gifts Vintage Style' by Sarah Moore - so inspiring!  

Both books had me rummaging in my doily collection this morning . .

Mmmmmmm - yummy, creamy goodness of frothy lace - just perfick for lots of projects :) :)

Earlier in the week I treated myself to a couple of online patterns (It's 'be good to me' week, haha!!  Didn't you know?????) . . .

One is a Fair Isle Fish softie pattern by Julia Marsh - I had to have it - seem to have a fishy fetish recently!  It looks so cute I'm really looking forward to having a go.  The next one is Vintage Rose Bracelet by Maya Kuzman (Little Treasures) - I'll admit I've already started it today.  Couldn't wait! . . . 

It seems to be going OK - some picots going on there which I was a little nervous of at first - but we got there!  I'll show you this when it's finished - it's supposed to be a Victorian romantic inspired piece - how lovely!

Enjoying just making and reading about making this week - no pressure!  

Cheery Bye! :)
Alison xx

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Romancing the tweed :)

Just back from a walk out the moor track - there are some lovely wildflowers coming into bloom.  I thought they'd complement the colours of these 'tweedie' brooches I've been making.  I picked some lilacs, pinks and whites to tie in with the lovely shades of Harris Tweed.

 I'm so lucky to have this natural resource on my doorstep - there's a myriad of wildlife/plantlife out there . . .

. . . the cuckoo flower is in full bloom just as the cuckoo itself appears on the scene - it's been very audible all of May!

I'm not sure what these little pink flowers are - tiny little low-growing specimens - I'd have to check my Collins Gem wildflower guide . . . 

. . . they're pretty anyway, whatever they are :)

And one of my favourites are bog cotton, lovely fluffy balls of white - not sure whether they're on the way out or in at the moment as they weren't so plentiful  . . . 

I just decided to have a go with these rosette brooches to see if they would work for me - not a new idea as I've seen similar by many other local 'tweedie' crafters - this is my take on them :)  I've just used some buttons from my vintage tin collection as a centre decoration.

All in all they were an enjoyable project, and it was a good excuse to go picking some wildflowers for my photoshoot!

I'm enjoying my new/old sewing desk and being able to have everything to hand . . .

It's nice to have a little piece of family history to work on :)

Have a lovely weekend - I know I will as my eldest is coming home after his first year at Uni - big Sunday lunch tomorrow I think, Yay! :)

Cheerio an Drasda!
Alison x

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Fabric journal and a new creative space, hurray!

Hiya - sorry I have been absent, but only because I've been cramming soooooo much crafting in recently! Also a little change in my office work hours has rearranged my week slightly but in a good way, and I'm on a roll with my new schedule now :)  

We had a busy weekend as we were rejigging some furniture in our wee house - acquiring some new pieces from a relative and hence moving stuff about and getting rid of other stuff - you know how it goes!  Anyhow, I ended up reclaiming my old family sewing desk from my youngest as he managed to nab a new desk from his Auntie - cool!!  I have now rejigged my crafting area and have finally got a permanent home for my sewing machine - at last :) :)  The sewing table has drawers and everything - deep joy!

I know, there's a lot of c _ _ p under that desk, but I'm getting to it - honest!!  So no more complaining that I don't have a decent work area, because really I do, I just have to tidy it, haha! :)  I have plenty more space round the corner too ;-)  (Disclaimer - I profusely apologize to my extended family for bringing shame on our good name by revealing my messy workspace - sorry!)

The view out of my 'shared' craft room window today is nothing to complain about either though . . .

Anyway, that's that sorted!  No more grumbling about workspace - we're over it already :) :)

Now down to the first 'make' in my new(ish) space - I was scouring the internet at the weekend for tutorials on making fabric covered notebooks or journals.  For some reason the idea of having some little 'tweedie' notebooks for sale at fairs came into my head, so I bought a couple of little blank hardback ones (A7) - very little, but really they were just the job.  I roughly went along with this tutorial here which is really a lovely one and although I'd dismissed following a tutorial blindly it's the one that stuck in my mind when I set to the task.

Here's how it started . . .

I cut out one piece of fabric (tweed) which would cover the notebook all round when closed, leaving a gap of about 0.75 cm or thereabouts for the zig-zag edge.  I then cut out some interfacing the same size (heavy weight) and also a piece of kunin felt which I use a lot in my projects.  I've lined my journal with this felt, which differs from the tutorial as it is not lined with fabric, just interfacing.

I then cut out two pieces of kunin felt fabric (you could probably use a quality wool felt as well) the same height as the first piece of fabric but narrow enough to cover about half of the inside of the inner cover of the notebook.  I also cut out interfacing to back these pieces of felt.

Here's what I had ready to sew . . .

One tweed outer cover, lined with interfacing.  One felt lining for outer cover and two inner 'sleeves' for the notebook inner.  I also added a piece of covered elastic (you could use a covered hairband) for closing the notebook.  I added my elastic between the layers, which slightly differs from the tutorial too.

Pinned and ready to stitch, you can see the felt backing (lining) - tweed side down.  On top are the two inner pieces (which have interfacing ironed on the reverse)  and the slotted elastic loop in between the two covers.  Let's get sewing - I used zig-zag and simply sewed all around the outside edges ONLY in one go - simples!  (Remember to overstitch the elastic loop a few times!)

This is how the outside looked like when sewn up - not very exciting I know but . . .

. . . inside, the notebook slotted in perfectly!  Hurray!  The cover is removeable and the only sewing involved was sewing (zig-zag) around the edge of the rectangle, but it worked a charm :)  I'm happy with my journal anyway (I sewed a button on the front, as you can see) . . . 

It feels 'lush' to touch - a couple of these for a craft fair would definitey not go amiss!  If you're like me and do not like to toil unnecessarily over a 'hot and bothered' sewing machine ALL day, this is definitely a method worth trying for a fabric covered notebook.  It does produce a more 'rustic' appearance because of the zig-zag edge, but personally I like the 'rustic' look :) :)

As a quick reminder, I used Moonstitches general idea for the notebook cover but really incorporated my own method of working to produce my own version.  I think it's a fab little tutorial though and all credit goes to her original idea, which I, er tweaked to make it even easier for me to make :) :)  A really nice gift idea I think - have a go, it doesn't take long!  I'm sure you will have your own take on the original tutorial too :)

As a quick add-on, my youngest did cut out my rustic wooden fish and I was very pleased with them - he's promised to cut out more shapes for some pocket money (which I believe he's already spent!) - that boy, hehe :) . . .. the fishy tale continues!

I'll try and show some photos of them all soon, when I get round to downloading them!  So much crafting going on, it's difficult to document it all.   There was some jewelry making on the go last week too, but that had better wait for another post.  I'm off to make another journal - they're such fun!  Cheerio an Drasda :)

Alison xx