Monday 27 August 2018

Making a start with organising - a slip case for my stamping press

I have many stashes for my many craft hobbies - sewing, papercrafting, jewellery making, felt making, printing etc.  These are spread over three rooms in the house; two bedrooms and the sitting room.  (This is why we need a bigger house with a dedicated craft room - perhaps one day).  I have various storage boxes, sets of drawers and shelves which are all pretty full.  
I have recently bought a craft bag for my basic papercrafting tools which will be carried from upstairs when I need to make something.  My stamping press (above) is one of those tools which will live in the bag (it is a great tool for stamping which I wouldn't be without, particularly for layered stamps which can be difficult to line up by eye).  However, I felt it needed a padded bag to protect it, so I made a pattern and found some material.  I decided that the inside would need to have wadding so was able to use the even feed or walking foot on my sewing machine for the first time.  As the name suggests, it is for feeding material evenly through the feed dogs - made for quilting with all the layers. 
 Once I had worked out how to attach the foot (that took a couple of goes as the instructions were not very helpful), off I went. 
  It was really easy to use and did a great job.  Had this been quilting which would have been seen, it would have been measured and sewn accurately, but this was the lining, so I just did it by eye.
 I used thin polyester wadding but in hindsight, probably should have used either a thicker one or a cotton/polyester mix one for best results.
 Still, it worked - no puckering on the sewing at all.
 So here is the finished slipcase (you'll have to take my word for it that the lining is inside as you can't see it from the outside!)  Chris suggested a velcro strap just to make sure the press won't fall out, so I added that on.
I am really pleased with the end result.  My new work bag is the next project.

Wednesday 22 August 2018

The changing colours of late summer

 There is no denying it, late summer is here.  The pastel pinks of early summer are being replace with deeper, richer tones.  Despite the heat and drought-like conditions of July, the garden has come through relatively unscathed.  Above is fuchsia 'Rivendell', bought at RHS Chatsworth last year and finally repotted.
 Japanese anemone 'Bressingham Glow' which is a reliable flowerer in my garden.
 The two crocosmia 'Emily Mackenzie' which I planted in the borders are one of the only casualties in the garden. Their leaves are brown and crispy.  The one above is in a pot and has been watered.  I did water the ones in the border, but it didn't do any good. I shall have to see if they grow next year or whether they have died.
 Another crocosmia, also in a pot.
 Penstemon Andenken an Friedrich Hahn, also know as Garnet, has flowered well all through the summer.  Even the plant in the border has done well.
 A deep red cosmos - possibly Rubenza.
The blueberries have also done well and have been fruiting since July. I get this many berries every two days or so and have several bags full in the freezer.  The plants are all over three years old, so the berry production is gaining with their maturity. 
After the heat this July, I have decided that I must be a Spring and Autumn person - I like warmth but not heat.  It is cooling down again now and I am finding it much more pleasant.   

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Making cards and gifts

I have had a few anniversaries and birthdays to make cards for recently, so here's what I came up with. Above was an anniversary card for my sister and brother in law.  I do like the Chinese Lantern die (although it took a few goes to get a nice clean cut.) I backed it with a blue/green patterned paper and like the calming effect.
 I sent this one to my friend in Canada - it was their rather special anniversary.  We went over for their wedding as I was Matron of Honour.  The time seems to have gone very quickly since.
 This one was a bit of a practise, but it turned out quite well.
This card was for a colleague at work who enjoys working with a nature conservancy volunteer group.  I though she would like the leaf print paper.
The inside needed a little something, so I added a green glittery fern leaf - well, why not?
I haven't made any jewellery for a while so made the same colleague a wooden bead macrame bracelet.  I have seen her wearing it at work so I think she likes it!

Thursday 2 August 2018

This and that

This post is a bit of a mix of things - hence the title.  First, I have finally bought a blue hydrangea.  It just had to be done.  The one I bought at RHS Chatsworth has turned a sort of bluey-pink, despite having hydrangea colorant applied to it.  So, I took the plunge and ordered this one - Hydrangea Macrophylla Magical Revolution Blue.  I have a pink one of these outside the front door and it has proved to be extremely hardy and reliable.  I am hoping this one will prove to be the same.
 It came from here and it was well packaged, healthy and had lots of flowers.  I wasn't expecting to receive such a lovely looking plant.  I will plant it in a pot with ericaceous compost and will give it some colorant next year.  Isn't it a beauty?  I just love that blue!
 I also bought another dwarf Ginkgo, to keep my other one company.  This one is called 'Troll'.  Again, I just had to buy it.  (It is sitting with a catmint and a fuchsia).
We did get the promised rain last weekend and it was very welcome and much needed.  However, after a nice cool start to the week, it is gradually turning hotter and is humid again. Ugh!
 I have finished my third tunic dress, this one using my own bias binding.  I need to make a denim pinafore dress and a new work bag next, I think.
Finally, Scruffy made me laugh this morning, squeezing into a box which was too small for him.  As you can see, he really was not that happy with me pointing a camera at him (but then he never is!)