Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kittens in the making...

Today's wip,

...after last night's rumblings, I feel compelled to have a peaceful day crafting. Lucy is at school, Luke is at nursery, Mr LK is out, and I'm sewing whilst listening to this.

Thank you so much for all your lovely, encouraging comments on the craft kits and eye patch tutorial, it has been a real boost reading them and visiting all of your blogs. A couple of announcements may be in order, firstly, a few of you have asked about my Etsy shop. The plan is to open that at the beginning of April, seems to make sense for it to be at the start of the new financial year. The first update will be a small selection of 3D fabric & felt animals, and some cushion covers, I have a long term plan for this whole venture..., I will keep you posted on that!.

Also, look out for another blog giveaway, my one year 'blogaversary' is on the 9th of March, so come back then for the chance of another freebie!

In the meantime, have a happy Mother's day!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Eye patch tutorial (for occlusion therapy),

My daughter is the unfortunate owner of very poor eyesight (her prescription is a +5 on the right and a +6 on the left) and also a squint, both are corrected by wearing glasses, which she has done, with very little complaining, since the age of 18 months old (proud Mummy moment!). In addition to all this, we are exercising her weaker eye (the left one), with 2 hours of patching a day. The sticky patches the hospital gave us were, to be honest, useless, and kept peeling off, but why use something like that, when Mum can make one of these... a cute, pink eye patch, out of felt.

I decided to post this as a full tutorial, so many craft bloggers have children, I figured there will be others out there who may find this useful.

You will need - light pink felt, dark pink felt, yellow felt, black felt, a button, embroidery thread, pins, a needle, and a pair of scissors, and of course, ...some glasses!

Print out the templates so that the basic eye patch shape is roughly 7 x 10 cm, and the flower is 5 cm wide.



Cut the patch template, making the 3 slits as indicated. Fold the end over, as below, and sew down both seems (I have done this on the machine, but you could stitch it by hand), trim off the excess felt.

Pin together the 2 edges of the center slit, trapping the folded over arm holder loop in between, and sew.

Trim off any excess felt from this inner seam and turn the patch the right way round. Try it on the glasses for size, and also trim the outside edges if needed (probably a good idea at this stage to get the person who will be wearing the patch to try it on to check the fit)

Pin the lense sleeve into position,

and sew on with random straight stitches along both the top and the bottom edges, leaving both side open for the glasses frame to slip through.

Repeat the basic patch shape in black felt, remember to sew it the reverse way round this time, as the 2 need to fit together with all seams on the inside. Place the black inner patch, and the outer patch together and trim any excess off the black so they both match and blanket stitch both pieces together, all the way round the edge.

Attach the flower decoration using the button by sewing onto the lense sleeve, be careful not to sew it on through the whole patch, and just to the sleeve, other wise it will block the gap the glasses frame is to slip through . Place the patch on the glasses, and using some sharp scissors, poke a small hole through the whole patch, for the nose pad to slot through.

The patch can be used on either the left or the right side of the glasses simply by turning it upside down, Lucy's goes on the right, covering up her good eye, so she is forced to use her left one. This is the girly version, you could easily make a boy's version by using red and blue felt, and decorate it with a star sheriff's badge, or a bug shape.

No doubt, in the future, I will be making more of these as Luke also has a slight squint, and it's best to catch these things early, that's when patching has the most effect.

If you make something from one of my tutorials please do join the Flickr group, Lucykate Crafts... pattern pieces, to show off your creations.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Kits...

Yesterday morning I made a quick trip to the NEC for Craft, Hobby & Stitch International, only had a couple of people to see, and to check out this...

My patchwork toys were launched as kits!  I'll add a link in the sidebar once they have made their way into the shops.

It's half term this week, my head hurts from all the squabbling already and there is butter all over the sitting room floor from Luke's toast, good start hey?!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Puppy love...

I can show this now that everything has changed hands for Lucy Locket's valentine swap, this little pup got posted off, along with a bag of goodies, although the bone was left behind!

And look at the amazing parcel I got in return from Kate, a lovely machine embroidered valentine card, lots of buttons, sequins, bells and other bits of embellishment, yummy chocolates (missing from the photograph due to having been eaten!), all wrapped up in hand dyed fabrics and glittery ribbons.

I must have been a bit giddy yesterday afternoon from all the valentine excitement, as I had a bit of a funny turn and found myself in the sitting room, doing something I usually try very hard to avoid - dusting!  This is not a sight seen often in our house, Luke was watching me, frowning, until he finally asked, "Mummy, do doing?"

At least that's the dusting done now, until next year anyway!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The real Lucy Kate...

I promised Lucy I would blog this, she's so proud of the map she made at 'art club' on saturday!

I love the way little ones spell words just like they sound at this age, here we have laze rive (lazy river), sdret o the howse (street of the house aka, where we live!), and gcuze behc, (jacuzzi beach)

There is also fere land (fairy land), pixe land (pixie land), angl land (angel land), and poo swomp (poo swamp)!!

Hmm, maybe we need to work on the spellings, but then, she is only just 6, and she didn't have any help writing it!.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fairy

Thank you for all your 'weirdness' comments, you have made me giggle!

The fairy is this weekends creation, a birthday present, loosely based on one of Lucy's drawings, and paying homage to these lovely angels by Syko.

And, here's the cat in her dress, made from a wool jumper I felted, and embroidered with the little girls name that it is to be a christening present for.

Busy week ahead, lots of crafting to do, plus I am visiting the ICHF trade show, 'Craft, Hobby & Stitch International' at the NEC on sunday!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Belated thank you's,

Bit further on with the toweling cat, body all finished, just need to make a dress.  This one has been made using the basic body pattern from this soft toy kit, which I designed a couple of years ago, I'm changing all the fabrics and have updated the face a little.

Apologies are in order though,  I had forgotten about being nominated for, firstly a 'you make my day' award, by both Jane and Lesley, (thank you ladies),

for this, and also for Corinne, I have to name 10 blogs, 10 wonderful blogs.  There are so many to choose from, my Bloglines list is now nearing 200!  So, instead, I will nominate a small selection, that if you haven't already, you simply must check out, the common theme here, being they have all set themselves challenges for 2008, and are coming up with some amazing stuff.

and Syko, who is doing an ingenious interactive project!

And I've also been nominated for this by Apryl.

For this one, I have to list 7 weird facts about myself, so here goes,

1. I don't drink tea or coffee
2.  I am naturally blonde, but dye my hair brown
3.  I don't like oranges
4.  I afraid I don't like Blythe dolls, I think they are creepy
5.  I love jelly sweets, in fact I am positively mean over how many sweets I allow my children to have because I save them for myself instead!
6.  I am addicted to tickling my nose on my children's hair, so much so, that they run away from me now!
7.  After failing needlework at school, I have since completed a BA Honours Degree in Weaving and Embroidery!

So, there you go.  Instead of nominating anyone for this one though, I'm going to ask you all to leave a comment and tell me one weird fact about you, so we can find out who is the weirdest!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Another wip...

I really like softies made out of toweling, there is just something really warm and snuggly about them.  The only problem is the mess it makes, the floor, desk, and me are all covered in towel droppings!

Yesterday, I went on my first ever blogging meet up.  The venue was Ikea in Nottingham, and it was with Apryl, Leah, and Katy, plus children.  Was really good to meet everyone, the little ones were all very well behaved, although Lucy was a little bossy, being the oldest, and had them all sat playing 'school'!

And, look who we got to bring home...

Katy had very kindly brought along my 'PIF' that she had made for me (and no, I haven't forgotten about mine!).  She is now residing on my softie shelf above my desk, a safe distance from all the towel droppings as there has been rather a lot of sneezing going on this afternoon!

Oh, and I'm afraid I haven't done any more work on my papier mache models yet, we seem to have run out of wallpaper paste so a trip to the DIY shop will have to happen first!

EDIT TO POST

How can I have forgotten this, oh the shame!.  I meant to add earlier, anyone reading my blog from the United States, my husband has a painting in an exhibition at the Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio.  The show is called 'Body of Work, the Human Form in Contemporary Art', which runs until the 22nd February.  His piece is a self portrait.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Julie Arkell workshop,

well, what a day!,

what a wonderful day, with a lovely group of ladies.

Julie is an inspiration,

and amazingly quick and neat when demonstrating how to make one of her 'creatures'.

It was great to be able to see her work so closely.

Now, I haven't done any papier mache for years, so with some trepidation, I donned my apron, rolled up my sleeves and stuck my hands in a pot of cold, gooey, wallpaper paste!.

Today was a bit of a family affair for me as Lucy was in the next room doing her usual saturday morning 'art club' class. Was made all the nicer for seeing her beaming face as her teacher brought all the little ones in so they could see what was going on, she was delighted to find that I'd made a start on moulding a mini Lucy for her.

By lunch time, mini Lucy needed to dry out a bit, so a mini Luke was the next task.

They are both now sat at home drying, they still need quite a bit of work, a few more layers of paper, the feet adjusting so they stand properly, then painting and clothes. I put noses on my 'creatures', Lucy wears glasses, so the plan is to make her a little pair out of wire, I thought a nose would help stop the glasses slipping off.


When I had finished, there was some extra time, so I had a go at a little toadstool too. Can't wait to finish them all!