Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Manga me!

Alice recently made a manga image of herself on her blog which inspired me to copy her! They're so adorable. I defy you not to fall in love with your own image when visiting this site and creating one. For the record I don't really have jet black hair although it has been in the past. It's a very dark brown now with blonde highlights that are quickly going to be dyed brown once more on my next visit to the hairdresser! My eyes are green but I think they are given a watery hue by the glasses. I have a red winter jacket and it's just the type of jewellery I would wear to the office, although I have never worn red lipstick. I tried for pink but they only had a bright shade...not that I'm obsessive at all...

I seem to have surrounded myself in the past two weeks with all things Japanese. I've been off work so have found myself attempting to learn the language. It's going very well so far as I feel it to be very logical and the stories behind the symbols are fascinating. 'Love' is a combination of 'woman' and 'child', and 'bright' is a combination of 'sun' and 'moon'. It's very poetic. I didn't realise it was a 12 hour flight from London to Tokyo! I've never flown before so think it'll be a few years before I attempt that. I still haven't managed the 1 hr 20 min flight from Bristol to Cork in Southern Ireland.

Here's one of the stuffies I've made from the Japanese book I recently bought. I'm sure there will be many more. They're very addictive!

This is the Japanese Kanji for 'Craft'. Very simple, in fact one of the simplest of the lot.

Alice was also tagged in a meme and she wrote about six unspectacular quirks about herself. If I was at work and wasn't starting to get bored I wouldn't have done this, but as it goes:

1. I've never flown anywhere in a plane.
2. I count the number of letters in a word and see if I can make another word or a sentence out of the middle letters. I do this only when I'm very bored. So it's not sad. OK? :@)
3. I love the smell of candles when you have just blown them out.
4. I'm allergic to citric acid so can't drink lemon juices or eat yogurt with it in (a lot do). If I do make the mistake of eating one I feel as if I'm choking and all the skin has been burnt off my throat.
5. I walk on different sides of streets to make my journey to and from work more interesting. I've walked the same 15 minute journey for two years now and it's getting a little monotonous.
6. I still like flying saucer sweets. (Don't tell anyone :@))

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Pin the tail...

Oh my god - I've made a stoned Donkey! Despite appearances, this wasn't supposed to look delirious or inebriated. It was all going so well until I hit a major problem with the eyes. Previously when making a felt stuffie I have made the eyes out of black felt but have discovered in my numerous experiments that black felt pollutes light felt and can make it look dirty. Strange how I didn't remember that when starting my light pink Donkey!

A bit of a panic swept over me as I had sewn the rest of it up and couldn't perform a surgical procedure to sew the eyes on. So I rooted around in a drawer and found some little eyes for toy making (not mine I hasten to add - I'm not that organised). Apparently, so I'm told, you can lessen the 'stoned look' by creating eyelids to stick over the eyes, but as I said the Donkey was all sewn up by that point.

Another thing I would do differently if making this again would be to mind how it looks from behind(!) I need a rotary cutter and one of those invisible ink pens I've seen for sale that dissapear magically 24 hours after you draw on material with them. I also didn't stuff the extra legs - but hey you can't always be perfect in life!

Monday, 18 August 2008

One hundred and counting...

I've finally finished organising all my DMC threads. I didn't realise I had so many browns but I guess that's no bad thing as I like stitching animals and natural scenes. It's my birthday in about 2 months and I think I'll be making use of the fact that I only have stickers left for threads I don't own...quite a handy birthday shopping list for someone.

Actually, it's surprising how people don't buy me sewing or craft items for christmas or birthdays...they fret and worry so much they forget all they have to do is order a bag of threads or material and wrap know what they say...small things...

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Beatrix Potter Tin

After a recent tidy-up of my room ready for a nice new desk and hopefully some order in my craft supplies and projects, I found this...isn't she cute? I think this was stitched quite recently as I remember being quite proud that my stitches has started to look quite neat.

I found this adorable tin in a nifty cancer charity shop (full of gifts and cards not the usual second hand items). I haven't used it much yet - if you look closely you can see that the book cover opens but I didn't want to take a photo of the inside of a tin and couldn't make it stay open. I thought perhaps it would be useful for my little DMC bobbins when stitching a project as they are floating around my sofa at the moment while I'm working on a bear.

I loved Beatrix Potter so much, she was amongst the very first authors I read and I remember distinctly thinking that the drawings must have been printed - they couldn't possibly have been drawn by someone! How exciting to discover she was more talented than I thought!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

The Bees Knees

Aren't they cute? I picked a pack of beeswax sheets up from our flower show last saturday and ripped the packet open a second ago. I made them a little quickly but I was so excited! The big candle looks nice from this angle but I think two sheets would have been better as the purple outer sheet turned out not to have been cut accurately, which is kind of important when making candles from them. The yellow and blue candles are fab though!

The beeswax felt so satisfying as it melted when wrapped around a bottle of warm water - I remember being fascinated by candle wax when at primary school and making candles drip on purpose. I even covered my hands with it and cracked it off when dry...pleasure! Although it was never as pleasing as covering your hands with copydex and pulling it off. I can't believe I used to do that! I think I may just have to look the bee farm up on the internet and order some more - they were only £3 for the lot and I would have got another small candle if I hadn't used three sheets for the big one...

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Stuffed Donkey

Recently on one of my regular visits to Future Girl (aka Alice)I was drooling over a little squirrel she had made out of felt. The absolute perfection of the work made me sit and stare in awe. I had no idea how much work went into a 'stuffy'!

Through her I found a Japanese seller on eBay and my first felt book arrived very soon afterwards. This was my first one and boy was I nervous making it up. I really didn't expect to end up with a Donkey at the end of it. I would say I had to concentrate harder than cross stitch as you think it will be easy but it's so not...

I have much to improve upon - the stitching is awful and I had a tendency to rush. It didn't help that it's August and my hands are so hot! At first the layout of the Japanese book scared me a little - of course it runs from back to front, and, not surprisingly, is in Japanese, which is, also unsuprisingly, a little off-putting. However, once you get going and have looked at the picture of the animal you want to make carefully I would say it's relatively simple!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

An original project

I'm in the middle of planning a secret project. It's totally original. I bought myself a squared notebook to keep by my bed for any late night pattern inspirations and it's definetely working. One night a couple of weeks ago I started sketching something that will be my first original project. It's a great feeling.

I didn't need a huge expanse of material so hunted around my local sewing shop, not giving up until I found these. Even though the price of a full metre of this material is £10, the quarters were priced at £1.50 each, so I saved about £8 getting them already cut. Trouble is, I was so excited that the sewing shop had managed to give me exactly what I was looking for I forgot to buy the backing fabric - I totally need to start writing shopping lists!

I've already printed off my patterns - can you guess what it's going to be?

Getting organised with a folder to keep all my patterns in has been great too - this folder has every type of pattern in it from knitting and crochet to cross stitch patterns I've downloaded from the web (legally!) or torn from magazines before chucking the rest.

I'm in the middle of steam ironing the fabric after it's been rolled up and folded - one of the drawbacks of buying it in ready-made quarters. To de-crease completely I've been spraying water through an old household spray bottle onto the fabric to soak it completely before ironing it.
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