Thursday, 28 July 2016

Christmas in July swap 2016

I signed up to take part in Kim's (wisdom with needle and thread) Christmas in July swap.  I took part last year (here is the post)  and really enjoyed it, so decided to take part again.  The idea was that you would be given a recipient's address and someone else would be given yours.  Three hand made Christmas items from a suggested list would be made and other items could be included if the sender wanted to.  The gifts would be posted in time to arrive for the great unwrapping on 25th July.  My sender was the lovely Debbie from  debbie's corner. The parcel arrived and I had to ignore it until 25th July (which required some willpower!)    
I undid the parcel to discover more exciting parcels waiting for me and I opened them up to find...  
...a very generous and lovely selection of beautiful things!  Debbie is obviously very creative as she had sent me some fingerless gloves, an appliqued placemat, a beautifully cross stitched decoration and another beautifully stitched box decoration, as well as pencils, a notepad, a cracker, a selection of tea and two recipes.  Wow!
 You can see what I mean about the beautiful stitching on the decoration.
 Inside the box are some flower tags - another surprise!
 I do suffer from cold hands, so gloves are always welcome.  A HUGE thank you to Debbie who was so generous and sent me the most beautiful things.  I am very lucky.
The recipient for my parcel was Gracie at needlespins and dragonflies.  I had sneaky peek at her blog to see what she liked and was able to include some things I hoped she would enjoy.  As you can see, the Christmas things were bunting, polymer clay heart decorations and a felt star.
The other things were a UK cross stitch magazine, a pug dog keyring and a pair of pearl and sterling silver earrings.
Thanks to Kim for running the swap and doing all the organising and again to Debbie for my lovely gifts.  Here's to Christmas in July 2017.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Make do and mend - Bag number two

I spent a day last weekend sewing hexagons together and then machined them onto the second bag which had a logo on one side which I didn't want.  I chose shades of blue for the logo side and the hexagons did a great job of covering the logo.
 It was very relaxing sewing the hexagons together.
 As I felt that the other side of the bag also needed a bit of brightening up, I sewed more hexagons together.  Five of these were given to me in a swap by Dotty's Daughter, so I hope she'll be pleased to see I am using them!
Here is a close up of the greens and blues.
I am really pleased with the way both bags have turned out and have enjoyed these relatively quick projects.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

A bit of upcycling - or should that be 'Make do and Mend'?

I was given two very nice thick cotton bags which was great.  However, there was a company logo printed on them which I didn't really want to see.  I made a calico patch and sewed it over the offending logo and then printed some patterns using wooden stamps and fabric paint.  I was really pleased with the end result. You can see the patched side above.
 The other side of the bag, without any logo.
The stamps I used were Blockwallah  stamp blocks which are hand carved in India out of a type of rosewood.  They are very decorative and beautiful in their own right and if I had an empty shelf, I would display them.  (I bought mine from Create and Craft  and I have bought them all with my hard earned money - no sponsoring or freebies here!)  I thought I would post about them because I really like them.
The second bag will be decorated with patchwork hexagons (once I have sewed them together...)
Buoyed by this success, I attempted another project.  I was going to throw the ironing board cover out because it had worn where the iron usually stands.  Then I had a brainwave and located an old cover which I had kept as a spare.  I cut a piece from that and patched it over the current cover and hey presto, a cover that we can still use.
OK, it looks a bit odd, but at least the colours work!  Now, what else needs sorting?

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Poppies - Wave

 Part of the poppies sculpture - Wave -  from the Tower of London "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" , has come to Lincoln Castle as part of its tour.  As we hadn't been able to visit the sculpture in London during 2014, it was lovely to have the opportunity to see a part of it.  I took lots of photos, as you can imagine, and I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

It was a sobering thought that each poppy represented a life lost and that this was just one small element of the main sculpture.
I have always loved poppies and this beautiful painting was given to me for my 21st birthday by my parents.  It takes on an added significance now.
Lest we forget.