dinsdag 31 maart 2015

March - ing on .....

Ohhh sure,
on this last day of March
that is an appropriate title ...
(where did March go ?)

This month ended in stormy days,
and as for me :
with a runny nose and watery eyes
(yes, the common cold of the grandchildren finally got me) 
but "Jewel Square"- stitching on the machine
was still possible.

With the zipper-mended container with sewing things nearby

I did my last few needed smaller squares.

Then I laid the bigger ones (30 and 15cm) out on the floor

and the small ones (7,5cm) on the table

Then I started to arrange them the way I wanted

More or less satisfied !
(this will be a very fun kitchen blind ...)

Next I began piecing them together.
Because I didn't exactly follow Kaffe's pattern from the book
(but I used my left-over strips)
I had not done my math right as to the size 
of the middle and smaller squares :
stitching 4 small ones together left me with a smaller surface
than the size of the middle ones ...
But an extra strip at one side solved that problem
(and I think it doesn't really show,
and if it does ... I don't mind !) 

To the left is the first strip sewn together !
(leaving it all on the floor means : I have to work as fast as I can)

donderdag 26 maart 2015

slowly going

That's what I'm doing at the time
My creative things 
aren't growing very fast,
nor are the flowers in the cold spring garden
But the local garden center
is very helpful
when it comes to slow gardens

Not home grown, 
but from a tray full of bright colours !

Not that my days are idle, oh no,
the stack of jewel squares is steadily growing and
I'm busy de-cluttering the bookcase,

Though it may not lóók like progress, but it really is !
I got rid of all the tiny bits (and dust) that gathered on the shelves.
so you could hardly see the books anymore.
Now the fun things only stand on the ends.

Now you can see again this lovely Wayang Golek head
(It is fár from finished, 
and I had a hard time to persuade the man who made it,
to sell it to me unfinished !!!
But he did, and I cherished it for many years now)

 While I was working the bookcase
and Man colouring his Mandalas (or studying Italian)
the little one had work of his own


(the bookcase is finished)
I started mending an etui (container)
that a dear friend made many years ago
(the zipper was broken)

but I can tell you :
that making a new one
would probably have been a lot easier
than replacing this broken zipper 
(but I'm glad anyway !)

zondag 15 maart 2015

good craft

The jacket 
daughter started on some weeks ago
is finally finished.
(it's not easy for a mother of three
to find enough time for such a big felting task)

We are very satisfied with the end result.

We both made a jacket before,
but that was in a workshop with Anneke Copier,
some years ago and never came to making another one ourselves
(untill now !)

Making a good closure isn't one of the easiast parts
because you don't want the button holes and buttons
to tear the felt apart
(though felt is really tough material !)
That's why she stitched a narrow leather strip
on both insides to give the closure more firmness.

In the end I made the (simple) buttonholes
and stitched the buttons on.
These real horn buttons were once my mom's :
she bought them on a holiday in Austria
where she was always on the look-out for special things. 

A true FIRE woman jacket !


Under my sewing machine 
the "jeweled squares" are growing more and more.

Our smallest grandson loves to stack them
size by size
when they are laid down on the floor.
(he thinks I shouldn't lay them on the floor at all !)

And when the "little one" isn't using his chair ...

there's another "little one" who is using it instead

especially when the sun is shining


zondag 8 maart 2015

a pod ... ?

After I finished the little sheep
(which has arrived safely on its destiny)
There was room (in my head)
to finally make the last piece for the felting exchange :
something RED for myself.

The plan for it was in fact already in my head 
when we had to pick our theme for the exchange.
So during this last year it was always "there"
That might explain why this little piece of felt
turned out the way it did

I wanted a pod like shape, so made a template to go with that.

My only fear was that the tape would come off with all the water
but luckily it didn't !

Building up the layers,
wetting them and felting them was tricky.

Making antenna, tentacles ....
(yes, felting is thinking and planning in advance)

After more layers ...

and working very hard ...

the template could be removed.

Done !

Ha ! you can see it's still (more or less) the needed
size of a postcard !


"something  red,  you can hang"

Yes, I adore the berries of the spindle tree
And I confess I put a bit more work in this one that the other ones,
but it had a lot of time to "simmer" 
(the fact that the different colours I did on the inside
don't show that much ... well that's for another time 
to try and do better)

Underneath this funny "pod" of mine
spring is really getting on its way

And when I lifted a pot that was in the garden for some time
(to fill in an empty spot)

there was animal life hiding away still
(I put the pot back on for a while longer)

dinsdag 3 maart 2015

3 - 3 - 15 .... the "last" felting exchange

Oh yes : late again.
This last piece of our felting exchange 
was scheduled for February.
It went in the post today.

As you will probably understand the theme for this month was 

Now this should not have been a problem,
because I like sheep 
(though not their sound when they're grown-ups)
They "give" us their gorgeous warm coat
with which we have lost of fun 
knitting and felting !

But what to make for this felting exchange ???
One sheep, 
a ram with awesome horns,
a little lam, 
or even a flock of sheep and shepherd ? 
I couldn't decide and moreover
I wanted to make something funny

Yesterday I started with a kind of heath landscape
for a background
Then I thought it would be fun to change the woolen coat
for a knitted one !
But :
all my lovely sock (or thicker) yarns
are "superwash"
so it won't felt

The only solution then is, to make your own yarn :
Now I had vowed a long time ago 
that "spinning" is nót for me
(and daughter wanted to help out but was doing other things)

I made a spindle out of an old big whirligig
and tried my best to spin some even thread
(thread yes, even no !)
Then I knitted a small swatch

So on the heath landscape came a colourful sheep

with the swatch and some snippets of prefelt,
which I stitched to the back with some linen thread.
(Like I always do, when dealing with difficult parts
so things won't shift during the rolling process.
I take the thread out when all is finished)

Geurdie, I hope you like my "modern" sheep
it will be on your doorstep tomorrow !

In fact this colourful sheep isn't really the last one
of this year's exchange :
I have to do a last one for myself,
because there were only eleven women participating
So with that last one (something RED)
the circle will be closed.