Thursday, 31 January 2013

Blue tit (3).

I'd better hurry up and get this bird made, I had visions there of the post title being Blue tit (15)!

I've finished with some machine embroidery, in blue, to the top of his head and rinsed out the water soluble  blue ink.

Time to separate these two love birds.

 I left a 1/4" of  material round the edge thinking I would fold and tack it to the wrong side.

Then I had a change of mind and cut the extra material right off.
So for Blue tit (4) I'm going to oversew him together and stuff  - leaving the tail free.
Then there's a beak and his claws to make -  and his wings to sew on to his body.
Not quite there yet.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Blue tit (2).

Ever wish you hadn't started something?

There are so many different colours on a blue tit ...
.. and I'm wondering how I'm going to stitch these together because..
despite me thinking I'd traced them fairly accurately it's hard to stitch them exactly the same..

but I'm persevering.


Apart from the blue tit project, I'm looking for something else to make for our exhibition 'Flights of Fancy'.

We've got this lovely old book in the house and I'm  looking through it for some inspiration.

It's worn and tattered at the corners and the page edges look marbled.

There are lovely colour pictures inside and I liked this drawing of a bird and its parts.
I've been helping my grand children to colour in my Ikea fabric with fabric markers.

So I might just stitch on these.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Blue tit (1).

I bought this birdy fabric in IKEA... 2008 is printed on it. Was it that long ago?
At the time I had all sorts of bright ideas of what I could do with it, but it got stuffed in a cupboard and forgotten about.
Well, my craft group holds its exhibition in May and, this year, our group project is to make a bird, bee or butterfly.
I got my fabric out of hiding.

I had an idea that I would paint two little blue tits, cut them out, sew them together, stuff it, add a bit of stitching - and that would be that. More or less.
No, I had to complicate things.
Instead, I decided to trace the blue tit, and all it's individual parts, from my piece of fabric.
As usual, I'm making it up as I go along.

I've traced the body shape on to a piece of cotton and I've made a little 'gusset' pattern for the top of his head.

Now I'm free - machining his tummy. My machine is acting up and the tension is giving me more of a whip stitch but it makes it look softer and feathery.

    I'm using some variegated threads. Does he looks a bit bright?

Then I thought he might need some wings to sit free from his body. I cut this leaf print from a piece of fabric and ironed it on to some painted Bondaweb - just to stiffen it. Then I cut  out the wing shape.

I'm stitching by hand - a 'stacked arrowhead' stitch as it has a feathery look,

                                             and the more I stitch , the more random it gets.

                         Then sometimes the wrong side turns out to look better than the right side.
                                       Why do my bright ideas always turn into lots of work?!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

A Tale of The Big Bad Wolf and The Three Little Pigs.

I couldn't resist Fiona Goble's 'Fairy Tale Knits' book when I saw it in the library just before Christmas.
My little three year old grand-daughter spotted the book in my house and The Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs just had to be made.

When she was younger, and I was looking after her, we used to watch a very old Disney cartoon on You Tube that told the story. We just had to watch that every day and that went on for weeks, maybe months.
Well, I managed to make the big bad wolf and one little pig in time for Christmas and now I've made the other two piggies.

Finished at last. Better late than never!

'Fairy Tale Knits' is a lovely book and Fiona has a nice knitting blog too. I'm almost tempted to make more from her book but I think it's time to put the knitting needles down now and get back to stitching.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Nigella's Chilli Jam.

I made Nigella's Chilli Jam for Christmas presents and gave it all away. It was really popular and so easy to make, so I thought I'd make some more.
Me and chilli don't really mix, I think I'm allergic to it, but a little bit is ok.

 I halved Nigella's recipe .

dissolving the sugar and vinegar

*warning* wear rubber gloves when preparing the chillies!
chop the chillies and peppers
add chopped peppers/chillies to the saucepan
bring to a rollicking boil 

when the jam thermometer reaches the 'jelly' stage remove from heat and cool 40 mins

ladle into jars and label

And this is how I like to eat it....... on a Ryvita cracker with Philadelphia cheese.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Lisburn Square must have eyes and ears.  It saw me taking photos and it heard me talking.
Then it told Alex Attwood  and he said, "No way is John Lewis coming to Sprucefield now.

John Lewis at Cheadle Royal near Manchester

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Lisburn Square.

Today as I was passing through an empty Lisburn Square it reminded me of my last post, and the photo, where I was sitting in the John Lewis store near Manchester and thinking to myself how nice it was. Well it got me thinking whatever happened to John Lewis coming here to NI? It seems to me that most of the shops in Lisburn Square have managed to vacate themselves without any competition from the likes of John Lewis.

It should be a nice busy shopping area. Can you see anyone?

I used to go into this gallery, but not anymore. Closed. Mind you, I never bought anything in there.

I think that this hire shop might be open and accessed from the 'Clockwork Orange' shop next door, but you couldn't tell from the shop front.

Coopers used to be a busy cafe.

  The Kitchen is open. Hooray.
Coopers. Closed.

Paparazzi. Closed. I liked the clothes in this shop but it was overpriced.

Next door to Paparazzi. Closed. 
There used to be a clothes shop here too, Mother Earth clothing. It didn't last long.

                                 This used to be Pretty Woman. Closed. For Years.
                                     Lisburn women don't buy lingerie, it seems.

                                                   Golf Outlet. Closed. Who plays golf?

Turner &Todd. Closed. An itsy bitsy shop. Tat, my husband would say.

French Connection. Closed. Ferme. Shut.

The Jean Scene. Jeans no longer the scene? Closed. 

Editor. Closed. Nothing to write home about.

Dragon.  Closed.  That didn't last long.  What was it?   Oh yes, more overpriced clothes.

It's not all doom & and gloom. 
There are a few shops still open -  and if you are in Lisburn Square try The Square Bistro Cafe
Highly Recommended.

       Hmmm ..... when is John Lewis coming to Lisburn?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

New Year.

I was in England to see in the New Year. 
Now it's almost time for the decorations to come down.
 These hanging stars were in the John Lewis store at Cheadle Royal near Manchester.

 This tree was covered in bright white lights and I snapped it going past in the car.

This is Bramhall Hall. Inside it was decked out for Christmas and open to the public to visit.   
I was sorry I missed seeing that.
I liked these two boys scooting around the tree.

Down in the village of Bramhall there was a wonky tree propped up with sandbags. 
It looked a bit sad.

My sisters tree always looks good as she has beautiful decorations and quite a few of Swarovski crystal.

There was this lovely little glass tree, she'd bought in America, sitting on the mantlepiece.

I think it's always sad when the decorations have to come down.