Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Spring hints

Another month to go and it is almost Spring. There have been some nice days hinting at the Spring to come, but there's probably more windy cold days ahead as August always seems to be windy to me.
I've had a snippet of time to catch up on some tinted embroidery. Always slow work.

And there's a bit of time to admire the blooms beginning to show.

And time to begin some painting. A brown undertone of sorts to start.
I hope everyone is having a good day or evening whereever they are.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Gypsy moon

Over the weekend I spent some time covering canvas boards in pretty paper to prepare the boards for future painting. I also began sketching in my small sketch book.

 Simple sketches were drawn with the moon, moon moths, sleeping snails and wandering gypsies.

When I begin a sketch book I usually don't use the front page. This time I made a practical book plate to add my name on the front. Did you know, the meaning of my name is entirely an Australian slang name from the iconic Australian Swagman; they would call their rolled up sleeping swag a Shiralee. Which had all their belongings in it. The name actually means a Swagman's burden. I like to think it means Gypsy at heart.
And inside the sketch book pages are dreams of a Gypsy...

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening whereever they are.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Papery things

I have my papery stash out playing with it again.

 Old photos are being used for sketchy ideas in sketch book pages.

Thoughts of sequels to older paintings.

 Junk journals pages are created for new smash book/junk journals for writing and doodling in.

Little things being noticed.
And old drawings looked at to inspire.
I hope everyone is having a good day whereever they are.

Monday, 21 July 2014

House Crafts

These rose cuttings were taken from the roses out the front. They are in a warm sheltered spot when days get chilly. It will be nice to see what happens to them as they grow.

The days have been cold and the wind is a lazy kind of wind, the type that is too lazy to go around you and just blows straight through you. Over the weekend Sunday was a glorious day, still cold but not like it has been.

While it has been cold we don't get snow like on this vintage Christmas biscuit jar. But it's nice to dream about. Likely not nice to have to be in.

The days are good for scones straight out the oven with plenty of butter and jam. All washed down with a good strong cup of tea. I don't take sugar in my tea and sometimes I prefer it without milk too.

After wandering around in the garden to see how the plants are doing I got into preparing fabric squares to make up some thrifty pillow cases. You might recognize some of these fabrics from other projects. I also crochet up some trim to put on the pillow cases. The crochet thread came from the stash my mum had and doesn't want and all the fabric is thrift store brought fabric. Some were in scrap bags, some clothes that no longer fit me, some like the backing fabric is from piles of very cheaply brought pillow cases found in the thrift store.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Scrap basket

Not only has it been cold but the wind has also picked up and is blowing up a gale. It's enough to stay in doors and play with the what I can find in the scrap basket.
I made these apple ( with a bite taken) potholders all from scraps ( Do you notice the rose fabric from my old shirt I also used for the bonnet gals tea towels and woven potholders?), save for the fabric with the American flag on it. I recieved the fabric in a swap a long time ago, it was fabric fat quarter for the memory of 9/11 so some time after that. I wasn't sure what I would do with the fabric and now I found a good way to use sections of it. The firefighters that are on it will also find a way into something eventually. The pattern for these potholders were found on pinterest via someone's uploaded account of books. You can find the pattern on my Sewing basket pinterest board. I think it is under Flavia flickr pin. Not sure now. But the sewing basket board has mostly free patterns only unless there is a pattern I can look at and figure out how it is done by looking, that will be the only non-free pattern. I pin a lot there. Can you tell?

While nesting under blankets to keep warm I've been watching the Homestead Blessings The art of crafting DVD and learnt the West ladies technique for this really pretty crochet trim. I'm still learning crochet so an easy edging is wonderful to know.

I've also some more tinted crayon potholders stitched up. There are seven of these gals, all different colours. I hope to have them finished this weekend.

And I also put together another new journal/smash/ mini album. I created this from long envelopes. One is on the bottom and one is folded up to make a top pocket and a bottom pocket. The fold at the bottom pocket is slit to slide in a photo from the side too. This is a followthepapertrail mini style tutorial album Laura has on her youtube channel.

 There are lots of pockets in this album to slide in photos and notes and such. I had a lot of scraps cut out from practising with my Making Memories slice and I used up a lot of those in this little book.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening wherever they are.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

winter scents

I once read some where the more berries there are on a tree the harsher the winter. And I think this over laden tree with berries is telling us all what we already know, it's cold.

The orange skins and slices that I was drying is now completely dry and I was thinking of something to do with them. I went out to the garden to pick a couple of lavender stalks from our plant for the idea I had in mind.

I made a lavender wand or bottle depending on where you live. The lavender stalks weren't quite long enough for what was needed but it still made up into an attractive bottle once I added a lacy bow and a dried orange slice.
To make the bottle:
Cut lavender. Take away the leaves at the lower stems. At the top tie a string around just under the heads to keep the bunch together. Bend the stalks over the heads, try not to break the stalks. Then take a piece of ribbon or scrap of thin material and weave it starting where the heads are and work your way down the stem. Tie off the ribbon. If you have long stems they look much better for a finish and with silk ribbon they do make a really pretty practical gift because lavender keeps moths at bay in the cupboard. Dried orange is also a natural moth repellent too.
If the scent fades you can give the bottle/wand a drop of essential oil. I would keep the bottles away from wood surfaces or clothes if you are worried about the essential oil staining. Usually they are hung up in the closet so stains shouldn't be a problem.

I'm also working on some vintage potholder gals, using tinting with crayons and embroidery. I think this one is inspired by the lavender bottle colours.
I hope everyone is having a good day or evening whereever they are.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Quiet days

Today was one of those days to sort and clean. Mum's duchess...With a young dad and mum peeking out from behind the angel and dad's brother and sister in law on either side.

In between some embroidery I'm pottering around with a 'Zine.

And then it was time to take Mister Simba for a walk...Then again he looked too comfy to disturb.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening wherever they are.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Home blessed

I've finally finished up this project. Which ended up becoming a tea cozy. I've always liked the 'Bless this House' and 'Home Sweet Home' traditional sayings. In the houses I've lived in there has been one or more of those sayings appearing on various items I collected or painted. It wasn't long before I also added stitched ones to the collection. One year my niece gifted me a sign with a dragon and on it has: God bless this house as much as possible. (She has my humour). The sign is now hanging in the front room at this house my parents are in.

The tea cozy used up some odds and ends and I add some new stitchery to some previous stitched ones, like the ginger cat sleeping amongst the flowers. If you look, there is of course an owl too. Traditionally, Crazy Patchwork always had an embroidered spider and/or spider web. The idea being they bring good luck to the embroiderer.
The back of the tea cozy uses up a patch I recieved in a birthday swap, many a moon ago. We all at the beginning of the year signed up to fill the year up and each month a person recieved blocks on their birthday. I like Autumn. Fairies. And the colour blue. I love the blocks I recieved. Some are shown here.

This angel looked right at home on this piece. I've had her for a long time waiting for that right place to call home.

Once the tea cozy was done, it was time for a walk around the garden and brave the somewhat cold day. It was nice in a sun. I don't know what is going on with these Irises. I think we have a mixed lot in this bed because they either come up as a peach colour or a purple. This year we've purple.

And I've some new projects on the go. I'm not sure what it says about me when I can say a box of crayons still makes me happy. I think it's the sign of the times too when the box of crayons were the most expensive item for this new project at 3 dollars. Although the transfer pencil was maybe a little bit dearer but I already had that.
I hope everyone is having a good day or evening whereever they are.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Winter dreams

I think Mister Simba has the right idea to snuggle and sleep in the warmth of cozy piles of blankets. The weather today was cold and drizzly in the late afternoon.
It was a good day for tea and home made buscuits
And sorting through things to clean up a little.
 And a good evening for a hearty curried chicken and dumpling stew.

 Then it was time for some doodling in sketch books. Ideas this time for some maybe future paintings. A return to my first love. With the moon and owls and dreams.
I hope everyone is having a good day or evening whereever they are.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Winter sunshine

The weather was really nice today. A change from some of the cold we have been having. It was a good day to find a nice sunny spot and work on some crochet dishcloths and embroidery in the sewing basket.

One of the projects I finally was able to start on after it has been sitting on the 'to-do' pile was the supper cloth I started in this post. I'm using two old bed sheets I had in my stash for the cloth. One blue for the teapots and the other a white one someone obviously had made up to fit a larger bed for themselves. It's a nice white cloth that I want to use for other items.

While the house has been toasty warm on previous days I've been drying up some items for potpurri. These oranges smell sweet.

 My floral arrangement is also in the potpurri makes. I pulled it all apart once it started to wilt and have it drying for future scented projects.

Yesterday was cold so we had an old fashioned favourite for dessert, prunes, rice and custard. All hot.
I hope everyone is having a good day or evening whereever they are.