Saturday, 20 June 2009

Dolly Doo's win!

Well, I feel I can now post piccies of the item I made for the 25 followers giveaway - as it has arrived with Dollydoo and she is happy with it (at least that is what she said. I get the feeling she is a very nice lady so probably wouldn't say anything if she didn't like it!)

I have recently learnt how to make sulfolk puffs, and after a bit of messing around with some silk and interfacing, I made one of these cuffs for myself.

Unfortunately, the first one was rubbish, but I wear it lots. It looks great with jeans and is a nice alternative to a bracelet. The second one, however, was brilliant, if I say so myself, and that was what she won!

I liked making this so much I promptly made another one, for a friends birthday. This time in green silk, with a hint of gold. This really doesn't photograph well!

I have struggled the most with buttonholes on my '20 quid from lidl' sewing machine, but I am getting better...

She liked it so much, she has ordered a slightly modified version for a wedding, in organza and silk I think, maybe with a narrower band around the cuff.

I am now trying to find a good supply of offcuts and remnants of organza and silk for cheap, as I want to make lots of these in different colours, but cant afford to buy lots of material in each colour. I would like to make some wrist corsages and ones on pins - my friend has a bridal shop, so I am hoping I can get her to stock a few...maybe offer a service making a corsage or fascinator to match a dress for the mothers or bridesmaids. Anyway, still have to formulate my business plan...

Speaking of weddings, better get on, we have one to go to today! The 'evil butterflies attacking a bird' fascinator (looks much nicer than it sounds) I made a few weeks ago is getting it's first outing, plus a corsage I made to go with my dress. I frantically had to search for a cardigan or cover up yesterday straight after school, to cover up the frankly ridiculous sunburn I got on thursday doing a 13mile sponsered walk with the school. I looked like I was wearing a red bib, due to the vest top I was wearing, plus my back is a mismash of lines from my top, rucksack and bra straps - I look like an underground map.

Oh well, it is going brown now, but I still look ridiculous. Fake tan to even it out and a cardigan then!

Will post pictures of the whole ensemble later this week, minus the sunburn. Although I know I am not the fisrt person to get themselves into this kind of pickle, and won't be the last!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Mosaic making for ....3 teachers and a two year old!

Well, I have had a very busy few weeks so blogging has been few and far between recently. I spent a saturday afternoon recently making mosaics with my friends, who are also both teachers. They had been inspired by Kirsty Allsops series, Kirsty's Home Made Home...that woman has got a lot to answer for! Playing the role of Kirsty in the reconstruction are my friends, Nicolette and Claire. Playing the role of the poor sap who has to finish all the work off and tidy up the mess whilst Kirsty totters off into the distance saying 'look how posh I am' - me!

Only I decided they would have to do all the work, so we all got stuck in..including my friends' two year old - phrase of the day - 'my turn!'.

Essential ingredients -

Mosaic tiles,
Broken tiles left over from the kitchen
Large bathroom tiles (doesn't matter what they look like, we went for the public toilet look)
Lots of tile grout
Tile adhesive
A large glass of wine!

We drilled holes in a tile, thinking this would be the best way of eventually attaching them to the garden wall. Then we laid out the design. Much umming and aahing ensured as we tried to make the designs nice and even and straight. (My friend said they could be any colour, as long as it was blue, and any shape. As long as it was symmetrical. and mostly square.)
I managed to add in some green when she wasn't looking! We then added the adhesive. A very messy job indeed!

Things swiftly decended into mayhem! However, we eventually got four completed mosaic tiles, soon to be displayed in my friends garden, once they are all cleaned up and finished. Now, to totter off on my heels. Did I mention I was really posh and rich and stuff?

I wonder - has Kirsty Allsop had an affect on anyone else recently? Any stories which feature crafts gone slightly wrong due to Kirsty and her endeavors?

Monday, 8 June 2009

And the lucky winner is.....

Dollydoo! My husband picked her name out of the hat, so the lucky lady (I hope she thinks so!) gets a lovely silk cuff made to her measurements which will be winging it's way to her as soon as I make it!
I am really pleased as after looking at Dollydoos page on facebook, I really love her things, so bright and quirky!
A soon as it's made I will post piccies of the cuff! (which of course, can be bought on folksy, when I make more!)

Friday, 5 June 2009

25 followers giveaway! And another giveaway - just can't stop giving, me!

Well, just a quick post as I am very excited to announce I have 25 followers! Have jotted down all your names, and will be drawing the winner out of the hat tomorrow - would do it now but you gotta love the suspense! Its the weekend at last, so I will be making the prize tomorrow - will post the winner and a photo of their lovely (I hope!) prize tomorrow!

Hoping the weather will hold out as I am planning some mosaic-ing with my friend on saturday afternoon - I can't believe what a beautiful weekend we had last weekend - may have used up all our summer methinks!

We went to the beach on Sunday, had a lovely time, and a swim - Frreeezzing! but good. The beach we go to is lovely - however as mentioned, it's one of the few nice places in kent - so I am keeping quiet about the location! I will say is is near Folkestone, which is only a 3omin drive from us in sunny Maidstone.

I collected some lovely beach glass that day - most of it very small though, not really big enough to do anything with single pieces - plus some beach 'china' which is lovely - one bit still had a willow pattern on it. Have a few possibilities of what to do with it - but do you lovely lot have any better ideas? I do have some clear resin, but I don't have any molds and I don't fancy waiting to have some delivered! I do have some sterling silver scraps and wire knocking about, and am itching to do some soldering, as haven't in ages - so - what can I make from some beach glass and any other things I am likely to have to hand? Answers on a postcard! As long as the best idea doesn't use up all the glass then the person who suggests it will get one made for them too. Its only fair!

Here are some piccies of my finds. The largest is only about 1.5cm, and the smallest only a few millimetres. There are some gorgeous colours, ranging from really pale blue through to cobalt, and olive to bottle and pale greens. Not the best photo though....

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

I have had a very long day in London today, on an Interactive whiteboard course for art teachers - really intersting and threw up loads of facinating things that you can do with the internet and with these cool interactive boards..mine arrives at school today, so lots of fun to be had (and work to be done) preparing resources! The training was through Dragonfly ( and I would highly recommend it, really thorough and totally useful, not at all boring as eveything was hands on.
One program we found out about was Picassa - I have seen it but never really knew what it was all about - but it apparently finds all the photos and pictures on your computer and sorts them all out for you and makes them much more accessible. It's free, from google - going to download it this evening!
Another thing he showed us was how to add tags to google earth - so if you have actually been somewhere you can 'tag' that area on google earth with your own photos - tres cool!

I am amazed that there are so many free programmes out there that can make life so much easier - just have to find the time to actually download and use them....

My head is buzzing with ideas - my year 10 tommorow won't know what hit them! no more sitting and getting away with just listening to me (or half listening!) they will be interacting all over the place! Will let you know how it goes - hopefully will be getting me a graphics tablet this week too, so will post about my experiments with the laser cutter soon too..

Featured in Rainbow blog

I am really chuffed as one of my flower brroches has been included in a 'Rainbow blog' by Fiona see it here! Fionas' blog is great - check it out!

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Nearly there!

Well, this is just a quick post as I am waiting for hubby to hurry up and get ready so we can go to the beach! I have been totally manic with my proper job this week - yes it's half term, but two days of coursework 'sorting out', paperwork for exam boards and 90 reports to write have made me have to pause the blogging and making this! but no fear, I will resume....

I now have 22 followers! very excited - and have been trying to make sure I follow and read you blogs too. This week I will start making the cuff I promised to one of the lucky followers, in a teal blue silk - thanks for the comments to help me decide!

I am also going to be busy trying to perfect my use of the laser cutter - going to try using a graphics tablet this week, so all very exciting! Oh yes, and will probably do some teaching as well at some point.....

Right, looks like the man in my life has dragged himself off the sofa, so we're off! I will probably post some pictures of our secret location later - not going to tell any of you where it is though, because its a lovely beach, and mine, all mine! whmahahahahah!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Giveaway for followers!

Well, a big thank you to all my new followers! I have 17 now, very excited, thanks to a few kindly souls who joined and told others about my giveaway too! I wasn't sure about this blogging lark, but now find myself thinking when I am making something - "ooh, can put this on the blog...". Look out for a coming post about laser cutting perspex, riveting silver and perspex together, and the merits of graphics tablets....

Onto the giveaway - A question from Niftyknits was - how would I know who had arrived at my blog via a recommendation? - well, I hadn't really thought about that one...but I guess if you follow me via someone else, then if you could send me a comment mentioning their name, then I know to add them into my hat a few more times! Nifty, you get in my hat three times so far - well done and thank you!

Right, better get making that gift - I thought I might have a couple of weeks, but actually think it might not take that long to get to the magic number!

Question for you all though, potential gift wnners that you are...I am going to make a lovely cuff for the prize...using some suffolk puffs with a contrasting fabric in the centre. Now I have two colours of silk dupion, both gorgeous - which should I use?

The teal blue, with flashes of green - gorgeous (and the fabric that my bridesmaids' dress was made from) or the pale green with a gold sheen - also gorgeous! (a sari donated by a parent from school) both lovely and can't decide!

hmm...not sure how well they photograph...

Answers on a virtual postcard - the cuff will get made sometime this week I hope! I will anounce the winner as soon as I get to 25 and will post a piccy of the cuff. I am planning to make lots more and put them on too - am going to be designing one soon as a corsage/cuff for a friend to wear to a wedding - so keep em peeled!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Fascinators - how to and how not to.....

For ages I have been hankering after fascinators. After my friends wedding, where I was the (ooh) matron of honour, when I remember the Grooms father saying that he thought a facinator was some kind of sex toy - (dissapointed - much?) I have been thinking - we survived for god only knows how long without fascinators - but now no wedding outfit would be complete without one! how does this happen?

My fascination (bad joke, I know) began when I wanted to have something different for my wedding veil - not having the typical wedding dress - mine was a 1950's style gold silk dress I had made by a lovely lady in camden market. I loved the idea of a birdcage veil, a simple one which would cover my face slightly, but wouldn't get in the way or make me feel uncomfortable - but at the time I looked everywhere for help about how to make my own, trying to find the feathers, the veiling - but struggled so much I ended up having to order it from America. I loved it - and it made my simple dress feel so much more special. I have even worn it since, with a bit of adjustment, to go with outfits for weddings and one 1930's party!

But I don't think I would struggle as much now - it seems everyone and her dog are making fascinators - there is veiling and simanay (the stiff fabric used as a base, and for curls and other shapes on the really expensive ones you see) available freely, as are feathers and everything else you could possibly want to adorn your pretty head with!

So I set about making my own for a wedding coming up in a few weeks, for which I am recycling a dress I last wore about 5 years ago. The dress has pink and black in it, so I decided to go for a slightly mad black and shocking pink combo. And, as everyone who knows me knows I am mad about butterflies, I wated to add these too. So my creation is pictured.

Now, I thought - I am making this myself, there really is no need to go making something anyone could buy in any shop - so why not have a bit of a story going on. Now it just happens that whilst browsing t'internet, I happened upon these slightly scary but sparkly birds. In true SATC fashion (well, I like to think so...) I added those to my creation. Well, my husband may say that it looks a bit like the butterflies are attacking the bird, (one is sneaking up to launch a surprise attack) but I don't think thats a problem. It really doesn't do to have things looking too cute, now does it?

So, onto the main reason for this post - I really struggled to get any advice on how to make a fascinator, so just dived right in and had a go. Which is fine as this one is for me, but I have had orders for two others from friends, and I would like to do things differently for them I think. I have learnt a few things along the way, which I will share with you.....

The simanay discs are easily found on ebay - I think I paid around five pounds for three of them. Next I bought merry widow veiling, and some simanay bias binding. My advice would be to use the sheets of simanay - I think I will order this next time, because it would give me a lot more control over the size and shape. The bias binding was fine, but I did have to turn in the edges and iron them flat with a lot of steam - seemed to work ok though. I didn't have any idea what the simanay would be like to use, and strangely enough I couldn't find any advice on using it anywhere - so with a bit of trial and error, I figured that if you loop and secure it, thats fine for the big loops which attach to anything else. However, I really wanted a spiral coming off to one side - for this, I wound the simanay around an old plastic mop handle, secured it with masking tape, and got the steam iron to it. (helps if you have one that does upright steam). Left it for a bit to dry, and the curl was complete - it works really well, and hasn't shown any signs of uncurling yet! (its been a week).
A few other tips, or things I would avoid doing - I attatched my veiling first, and then got in a major tangle as I was sewing all the other bits on. I would do this last next time. Also, whilst everything is sewn on, and I wanted to avoid using glue, I think for some things - the bird in particular, which has a polystyrene base, whould need glue, as I think with any pulling, the thread would cut through the body. And he doesn't need that, not after a vicious butterfly attack! I also think invisible thread might be a good idea, and that feathers would be good to help cover up any stitching which is visible. However, adding feathers to mine might be going a tiny bit too far I think.....
So, for what it's worth, I think the best advice is just to keep trying things and holding the facinator up to see how it looks. If I were going to make more, I would probably get myself a polystyrene head to help me figure things out. I hope my advice helps...although there are probably loads of things I did wrong, I am still pretty pleased with the outcome!
Will post again when I have it all finished - have to pop a layer of felt underneath, and a simple thin black satin hairband, which I am struggling to find, before I can try it on. When I am all in my finery I will pop a photo on!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

ooh, loving these cute badges from 'asking for trouble' on - and I have a friend who would love them or her little boy.

havent worked out how to sort out links yet, but I will!

Lets get this show on the road!

Right, I have decided to begin adding some lovely things. the first thing I need is some followers - and how do I get those? Stand on a street shouting like a scene out of 'The Life of Brian? No, too mad, even for me, and I don't own a toga. I know, a giveaway - you people love free stuff, don't you? The first 25 people who follow my blog get put into the hat for a lovely free gift. I will have a think about what to make later, but I do have some very special teal silk dupion left over from my wedding nearly two years ago, and am currently into cuffs, so I think it might be quite special!
(oh, and if you send a friend over here and they follow, then I will put your name in twice!)

I will find a hat and make the draw as soon as my followers reach the magic number (25, probably).

Come on, what are you waiting for?

Friday, 22 May 2009

Welcome to my blog! I though it was about time to finally begin entering things on here. I want to use it as a way of telling my friends and anyone who likes what I make about the things I am making at the moment. I hope to add videos and photos of different things I am making, an techniques I have been learning or developing. It might take a while to set up, but watch this space!