Yesterday I headed back to the Bead Boutique with my friend Miss K for a jewellery class entitled ‘Luscious Lariats’. The day had been booked before my mother took ill (again) and I was really surprised and relieved to make it. We were both looking forward to a relaxing afternoon crafting.
I knew it was going to be a good day when we were immediately presented with a cup of tea each. I mean what’s the point if you can’t have a cuppa at the same time. Soon however the class started, the were basics explained and we dispatched around the shop to collect the beads for our necklaces. I initially thought of going for a purple theme, as did Miss K, but ended up with a green one. Those were simply the beads the caught my eye in the end.
Here they all are spread out awaiting further instructions. More tea and cake arrived at this point which was all the excuse I needed for a break.
I spent much of the afternoon from that point onwards cursing my fingers which had suddenly forgotten how to work and trying not to look a complete incompetent fool. At one point I was convinced I was about an hour behind everyone else and was seriously worried I wouldn’t get finished. How embarrassing would that have been? However it all came together quickly in the end so I’d been panicking over nothing.
And here is my finished Lariat necklace. How beautiful is that! Our hosts Jess and Patrick were wonderful, really friendly and encouraging. We’re now eyeing up more classes for later in the year
Oh and I even had time to make a couple of matching earrings in the end as well
For Christmas I bought a friend a beading kit. I was a little nervous as I wasn’t sure if she’d like it or not. I knew she’s thought about giving it a go in the past, but hey, I’ve thought about lots of things I wouldn’t be grateful for as a present.
Anyway, thankfully she did and soon we were off in search of places to buy more supplies. We soon came across a charming little shop in Long Melford, Suffolk called the Bead Boutique.
Now I was originally along to
a) do the driving,
b) offer moral support,
c) drink tea,
and d) take a few photos for the blog.
(Not necessarily in that order you understand, tea is always a priority on outings.)
Well it didn’t quite work out like that, mainly because there were two charming dogs there and it would have been rude not to have a cuddle. So in actuality I did
a) the driving,
b) drank tea (a little tea shop just down the road),
c) fussed the dogs,
d) took 3 shots,
and e) fussed the dogs some more.
So only a few shots to show you……
Still it was a fantastic day out. We’re both going back for a bead making course next month, and I promise to take more photos then.
So why haven’t I been posting much recently? Good question and one I’ve discussed with other blogging friends over a cuppa and cake. I think the simple answer is that I don’t think I’ve been doing much you’d be interested in. Don’t get me wrong I’m still sewing and knitting, but it’s mainly stuff you’ve seen before. I mean how many posts with a pair of plain socks on are you actually going to find interesting?
Then it hit me… You might be interested in my new photographic project. Why? Well if I say that I’ve nicknamed it the ‘Crafting Project’ would that perk your interest? It did! Fantastic, then let me explain.
As you know I’m a keen crafter and also a keen photographer. The photographer in me finds that I love working on projects with my camera just as much as in crafting. So I’ve decided to start a photographic project looking at crafting. I’m hoping to explore all sorts of aspects of this fantastic hobby/way of life. No doubt my long suffering friends, who are now fairly used to me confiscating their tea and cake for shots, will soon get fed up of me pointing my lens at their knitting needles. Hehe let the fun begin.
Earlier today I went and visited a quit show at Alresford Village hall run by the Essex and Suffolk Quilters group. Oh how I wish I had the skill, time and patience to create beautiful quilts like these.
Brickworks – Mary MacIntosh
It always surprises me how much I’m attracted to the colours in quilts. This one is actually three quilts designed to hang together.
Jungle Fever by Sheila Frankland
This one caught my eye in part because of the beautiful batik fabrics. I have a pile of similar fabrics waiting to be cut up and pieced together. I doubt I’ll make such a good job of it but I’ll try.
Ben’s Puppy Quilt – Jan Moore
As soon as I saw this quilt I started to smile. I recognised it from Lynette Andersons ‘It’s Quilting Cats and Dogs’ book. I’m now even more convinced I should have a go at this quilt after seeing this beauty.
Asian Charms – Jean Wife
One of the reasons for visiting the show was for inspiration on patterns to use with some of the fabrics in my stash. I really love the tiny black borders round the individual pieces of fabric . I did have a good look and it was beautifully done.
My Family – A Wall Hanging by Kim Williams
I loved this one as well. The imagery is right up my street and the colours beautiful. Oh how I wish I could create something like this for my wall. Not that I have any room on my walls given how many images I already have up there, but I can dream.
I’ll leave you now with some detailing from the ‘My Family’ quilt which I kept going back to. A quilted dragon. What could be more perfect for me.
Crafting wise this week has been close to a right off for me. At the start of the week I basically slept. I’ve been gradually getting more and more exhausted over the last few months but I needed to keep going. Finally I could kick back, turn the alarm clock off and just relax.
By Tuesday I was starting have more energy, deciding to head out to take a few shots around sunset for my photography ‘Ghost Project’ and that’s where things started to go wrong. I was eaten alive by bugs, covered and I mean covered in bites. Annoying as this was I just resolved not to scratch and forget about them. That didn’t work. Soon I started swelling and before long I had lumps expanding all over my body and a splitting headache. You know the bites are bad when even the pharmacist sucks air through his teeth and goes eek.
Now normally this would be a good excuse to settle down on the sofa and knit. Except my left hand was badly swollen making knitting uncomfortable. So as a result not a lot of crafting has gone on this week. Fortunately the swelling is now going down and I’m starting to feel human again thanks to steroids and antihistamines.
So all I have to show you this week is a small amount of crochet. Yup, crochet! Remember I blogged that I’d made a little travel pouch for one of my smaller lenses? We I decided that crocheted pouches might be an interesting alternative. Here are a couple of snaps of my progress off my mobile phone.
Ok so it’s time to show and tell…… What did I buy at Fibre East?
Well I simply fell in love with these guys. I mean how SSSWWEEEEEEEEEETTTTT!!!!!!
I especially loved this guy. Look at those horns, just fabulous! There was a bit of a squee moment when I discovered that you could buy a kit to make them. They’re from Manfield Crafts and the wonderful ladies on the stall managed to contain their laughter at my reaction to these little fellas.
Yarn wise my main purchase was some beautiful silk from Copperfield Yarns. Unfortunately I can’t find a website for this yummy yarn but if anyone knows one then please point me in the right direction. I was drawn to the copper tones and colours. At the moment my hair is predominantly black but my natural colour is coppery blonde. Since I’m planning on going back to my natural colour this seemed the perfect yarn to make myself a shawl.
I also bought some more dpns for sock production. I normally use knit pros but the helpful lady at the Crossways Patch / Tall Yarns stand showed me the HiyaHiya ones. These were of great interest as I have quite a loose tension when knitting and so I’m always on smaller needles than my friends. The HiyaHiya’s actually go down to less than a millimetre which is much smaller than the smallest knit pros. In the end I bought 2 packs of 2mm’s (one Knit Pro and one HiyaHiya) and a pack of 3.25 Knit Pros for some DK socks.
Speaking of DK socks I also picked up a couple of balls of pure wool in a dk weight but without ball bands. I can’t tell you the stall as I didn’t clock their name. These aren’t really ‘me’ colours but the socks are destined for my mother and they are very much her colours. I have to say that I was delighted at how much faster dk socks knit up compared to sock weight yarn socks. I also had a little bit of yarn left over from these which I’ve used to make a sat nav pouch.
Then lastly I bought some buttons.
Yes, I know they will probably just sit in my sewing box but they were so pretty… and cute… and shiny… and I just had to have a few……
This last weekend I went with friends to Fibre East. Due to other commitments we had decided upon the Sunday in advance and given the weather this seemed to be a good move.
So we duly met up and headed west, in fact we seemed to go a long way west for something with east in the title, but we had money in our pockets and a list of things we were hoping to find. We knew from Ravelry that it was likely to be muddy but hey what’s a little mud between friends when yarn is involved. This year we hoped would be bigger and better than the first event last year, we weren’t disappointed.
I had decided to take to try and take some shots of all the yumminess on offer. As is my custom I always tried to ask permission before snapping away and this was where I got my biggest surprise of the day. At places like Ally Pally I can pretty much guarantee that most stall holders will be very definitely against photography. Grumpily so. But here every single person I asked smiled and say yes. How wonderful. I’ve never understood the attitude you get at the big shows about this. I mean what exactly do these people think I’m going to do with the images?
Anyway here are some shots from the wonderful stall holders who were happy for me to use my camera. Oh and what did I buy? I’ll take some photos and blog about that later in the week.
Well it’s been a while since I posted and I’m sorry about that. Life however, sometimes takes over. The short version of the story is that we had a family crisis. My mother had to go into hospital for a major life saving operation, and wasn’t expected to survive. Fortunately against all the odds she did pull through and is now making a slow but steady recovery.
While crafting didn’t stop it was pretty much limited to sock knitting in the hospital. There are only so many posts you can write about that!
Anyway, looking for that silver lining I can say it was really good for sock production. I could now happily stop my socks of the month project now as the sock drawer is full. I’m not going to though as all the stress, sleepless nights and general kafuffle have left me completely exhausted. I returned to work this week and it was all I could do to make it safely through to Friday. So plain old simply sock production will continue for a while until my brain recovers enough to cope with anything more complicated.
So here are some shots of the plain old vanilla socks I’ve been knitting. I’m rapidly running out of sock yarn again so I sense some yarn shopping in my near future. Hopefully it won’t be to long before my next post as I have something wonderful to tell you about from Nikki at Sew Quine.
The other week at work I accidently managed to singe one of my favourite white cotton tops. The fabric wasn’t burnt through but as a co-worker pointed out, it now looked like I had a boggie on my chest. So I could either loose one of my favourite tops, or look at a way to fix things. I decided to have a go at fixing it by dying it. I figured a dark colour and you wouldn’t be able to spot the damage.
I decided on Logwood which would give a beautiful purple. I also spent some time pondering using a dipping method to get some variegation. I thought that might work out well with the style of top.
So after washing the top and popping it in to mordant I made up my logwood dye bath. At least that was the plan, but I was so distracted chatting on the phone I accidently made up an alkanet bath instead.
Which kinda decided it. Variegation with alkanet and logwood. Soon the second dye bath was set up and we were into the waiting game. I love dying with natural dyes but it can take quite a while.
Here is my top in the alkanet bath.
Then it was over to the logwood and I went for a dipping method.
Here it is in my sink where I hand washed it to get the thick of the dye out before running it through the washing machine on a rinse cycle.
I’ve been wearing it a lot as I love. Although people at work were a little disbelieving that it was the same top, I had to explain how it had been done a few times to convince them. I would have blogged about it sooner but it’s been difficult to get a shot of the finished top in daylight to show the colours properly. Now I’m casting my eye over my wardrobe to see what else I can dye like this. There have been a few more experiments since but that’s for another post…
I'm Mara and this is the main spot for all my ramblings, musings and occasional rants about whatever crosses my mind. It's mainly crafting oriented but I can't promise that other things won't crop up as well....
There will definitely be stuff on knitting, sewing, photography, gardening, spinning and furry beasts. Probably a lot of spelling mistakes as well....