Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sewing from the heart...,

This week, I have some pressing projects to be tackled.  I haven't started my mobile yet for Elsie Marley's mobile swap (although I do know what I'm going to make, the design is done), but before that, there are cushion covers to make.

The design for the original flower garden cushion comes from the one I made for my Mum last christmas.  There is a story behind this design, a very personal story, which I didn't share at the time...,

...the three hearts within the appliqued band represent her three children, the seeds she has planted.  The buttons and flowers growing above are for her nine grandchildren, all at different stages in their lives.  The heart button towards the top, is for Lilly.

Lilly was my youngest brother and his partners second daughter.  Sadly, she died 31 weeks into the pregnancy, and was born an angel two days later.  

It is experiences like this, that shape who we are and help us know where place any future unsettling events.  On a scale of one to ten as to what is really important in life, flickr, and other things that have cropped up this week, are a zero.

(Just to lighten the mood, I don't do serious very well, I'm typing this while my son is shooting foam discs at me, I think I'm meant to be Power Ranger 'Pink'!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The good, the bad, and the...,

just plain ugly!

First the good, thank you so much for all the sympathetic comments regarding my skirt mishap, am glad to hear I am in good company with making the odd mistake.  I've been making some more shoes, brogues this time, and all of my squidgy shoes are shortly off to the USA, to be making an appearance in the next issue of 'Stuffed' magazine!

Now, for the bad.  Again, a big thank you for all the Flickr sympathy.  I am still none the wiser as to why, despite my emailing Flickr asking for an explanation, the response has been zero.  I've dug around in their forum and found some thought, that if a photostream consists of entirely work related images, and gives the impression of an online catalogue, that can cause an account to be deleted.  I have to admit, mine was all work, as I'm not comfortable sharing family and home life online.  Anyhow, I have today, tentatively rejoined!, I am a bit nervous having done so, and given I still don't know what I did wrong last time, am very worried about making the same mistake again.  It's going to take a while to get up to speed there again, if I haven't yet made you a contact again, please feel free to give me a nudge!

(oh, and there are a small smidgen of rather boring, personal photo's on flickr, in my new "not commercial in any way" photostream) 

And the ugly?, well, that's me!.  I feel really run down, ulcers in my mouth, coldsores on my lip, spots on my chin.  I'm nearly 40, and I haven't looked this bad since being a teenager!

Am giving up chocolate for a few days (gulp!), to see if that helps!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I think I'm having a bad week!

Guess the mistake...!

Answer is below,

(sorry, bad photo alert, this was in the evening, artificial light!)

I've sewn it to my skirt.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Feeling a bit blue..,

I don't like blogging about negative things, but as I'm only human, sometimes this stuff does seep to the surface.  As you may have spotted in my previous post, my Flickr account has been deleted.  The good news is the groups as linked to in the sidebar are still there, but all my own images, comments, contacts, and favorites are all gone.  Why?, in all honesty, I'm not sure.  Flickr did this with no warning, the only contact I've had with them is a very short message in response to my email telling me I had broken their 'terms of service', I can only guess as to how.

There were links back to this blog within the description of some images, and a handful photographs which referenced Etsy.  I'm feeling very frustrated at not being given the chance by Flickr to put right what was wrong, and trying to remain as professional as I can, but it is hard not to point out there are far worse crimes against the terms of service being committed on Flickr.  Best I can do for now is to say to all of you, please, please check your own photostream if you are a Flickr user, I'm not the only person this happened to, hopefully in posting this, it may help save others from the same fate.

I'm not sure if I will rejoin Flickr, am going to leave it for a while.  

In the meantime, some things to cheer me up, the copious amounts of Green & Blacks chocolate in my tummy were joined by a rather lovely meal from a girls night out yesterday evening, and I have this sat next to me on my desk...,

I managed to grab one of these in Stephanie's valentine shop update, of course because Mr LK got the love letter I made for him, I get to keep this, yay!

There is also some sewing to be done.  A new shoe waiting for a bit of decoration.  And next on the softie shoe list are some brown, brogue style ones, and my favorite, red t-bar shoes!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Can I just begin by saying...,

...a huge thank you to everyone who stopped by to comment on the previous post.  I'm really chuffed that an idea that came to me while drifting off to sleep one night last week has gone down so well!

It was well received on valentines day here too!

Choosing a winner for the giveaway after reading through all the nominations has proved an impossible task.  There were so many deserved people (don't we all have a lot to thank our mums for when it comes to our sewing and crafty skills!), I would have dearly loved to send something to everyone mentioned, but sadly, I'm just not able to make quite that many pin cushions.  In the end, I decided to leave it in the hands of the children, and after putting all the names of the commentators in a bowl, they picked out...,

Karen from Sew Many Ways, who nominated Jodi from Simply This That and the Other.
I'm very pleased that Jodi is the winner as she does an awful lot of blogging on other peoples behalf by featuring them on her blog, she did a lovely write up on Lucykate Crafts.

A few people did mention about putting the pin cushion up for auction to raise money for aid needed after the Australian Bush Fires.  Well, hopefully, this is going one better than a pin cushion.  I have donated Marmalade the Cat...,


The lovely Trashy has organised a raffle, if you visit her blog, you will find the details, and there are lots of prizes to win.  To be included in the raffle, all you need to do is visit the British Red Cross site or the Australian Red Cross and make a donation to the Bushfire Relief Fund, let Trashy know, and you earn tickets for the prize draw, which is being made on Saturday the 21st February.  There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs as well as my little Marmalade, including a purse from Lisa of U-Handbag, and the raffle poster girl herself, gorgeous little Annabelle from Little Cotton Rabbits.

So, what are you waiting for?!, go, go, GO!!

Edit - just a quick note to say I am having a problem with Flickr tonight, my Flickr account plus all my images seem to have disappeared, it just says 'this user is no longer active'!  I did not do anything to my Flickr account, I promise.  Have emailed Flickr, so am just waiting (and hoping) to see if this can be resolved.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love letter for a valentine, tutorial and a giveaway all in one!

Are you guys ready for a little Valentines Day crafty tutorial?  Would you like to make a cute little love letter for your loved one?  Right, let's begin, you will need...,


a square of felt or felted wool (mine is from a felted sweater), 16 x 16 cm
a square of fabric in a print of your choice, 18 x 18 cm
a square of bondaweb, 18 x 18 cm
extra bit of fabric for making a stamp and decorating the love letter
one snap fastener
a button
embroidery thread
pins, sewing needle, scissors
steam iron
sewing machine (optional!)
piece of card, 10 x 7 cm


Print out the above template so that it is 11cm across where marked, cut out and pin to the felt and trim to match.  Sew a running stitch along the marked 'fold' lines.  This will be removed later as it is just a guide for the lettering position.


Place a small stamp shaped piece of fabric in the top right hand corner of the envelope front and stitch.  I've done this using my sewing machine, only because I feel guilty I've not used it much since I bought it, but you can easily do this by hand.  I also added an embroidered postmark for extra cuteness!

(edit - you can do free machine embroidery on pretty much any sewing machine, all you need to do is drop the feed-dog and use a darning foot, it's just like drawing with thread!)


Next, embroider a name and address.  It is obvious who mine is for, I couldn't do anything suspicious, he reads my blog!  Once the address is complete, you can pull out the running stitch marker.


The next stage is to add the bondaweb, place your envelope on top of the sticky side of the bondaweb, turn both over, so the paper side is facing up and press with the steam iron.  Trim away the excess bondaweb and then peel off the backing paper.  Turn the envelope over again, face down, place the fabric right side up on top, and again, press with the steam iron to fix the two together.


Trim away the excess fabric, fold the envelope as indicated on the template, and once again, press with the steam iron.


To assemble the envelope, stitch a running stitch around all of the edges making sure to stitch through both layers where it overlaps, adding the button,


and snap fastener as you go.


Now you are ready to make something to go inside.  All I've done is given the card a torn edge, and stuck on a fabric heart.  I'll write the message later, ...it's private!


And voila, it's done!.  Don't forget to pinch it back after Valentines Day, you can use the envelope again next year!


Now it's time for a little Valentine giveaway, but this one is with a difference.

I would like you to nominate someone, be it family, friend, person in need or just because!

Leave a comment saying who you would like a cotton reel pincushion to go to and why.  I will choose a winner on Valentine's day itself.  They won't get this for the 14th, but if they are reachable by email, I will send a message to tell them of their gift and who has won it for them.

(ps, if you do make one of these love letters, please do join the Lucykate Crafts... pattern pieces group on Flickr and post what you've made so I can see, thank you!)

Edited to add - the giveaway is now closed, thank you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Last night was a late one,

...but it was sew worth it!

The softie shoe idea was refusing to be beaten, so I kept going, and version seven thousand and ninety two came out like this...,

it was so satisfying to finally have managed to translate the image in my head into fabric.  There are still a few details to the pattern that need ironing out, but this is pretty close to what I was aiming for.

Of course, Mr LK saw it and laughed, 'What on earth are you going to do with that?!'  
My reply - 'I don't know, I might make some for Etsy, I might make a bigger pair and make you wear them to work!'

(for an idea of scale, the shoe is 12 cm long)

In truth, this became a labour of love, and a trip into a world where softies can be so much more than dolls and animals.  A world I want to visit more and more.

So, come on people, opinions please, I need some feedback, cute or not so cute, what do you think?

Friday, February 6, 2009

On my desk today is...,

shoe carnage!

I had hoped to have the pattern for a softie shoe cracked by now, but it's not going well,

back to the drawing board!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Leaves,

Lately, I have been inspired by nature and in particular, ways of stitching leaves,

(which is your favorite?, from left to right there's darning stitch, open satin stitch, and fly stitch, I love the woven darning stitch)

the embroidery, which I just had to try out, came from this book

Then there's always old faithful, leaves involving a bit of felt applique,

and next, it's time to add some leaves to this rose.

The snow has now inspired me to put the heating on constant,
I'm freezing here, I may even get under the duvet and do a bit of sewing till it's time for the school run!

And talking of nature, I think (fingers crossed) I managed to purchase one of these on Friday.  Oh the excitement, how on earth am I going to be able to part with it for valentines day?!!