Friday, 8 August 2008

Another weather report, and mosaics

Summer has apparently concluded, as a new wave of rain and clouds blankets the UK. We were thinking about going camping this weekend, but I don't think we will bother as it isn't worth getting the tent all wet just for one night. It's also quite humid, which I don't like, makes me headachy and stupid.

Our visit to Charleston Farmhouse a few weeks ago inspired me to finally try my hand at a garden mosaic. I've always liked mosaics, and have probably picked up 4 or 5 books over the years, including the Kaffe Fassett Mosaics book after we went to his exhibition in Bath. Charleston had several mosaics crumbling away in the garden, and it happened that the next day we stopped in at a bric-a-brac / antiques flea market where I picked up several plates in blue and white transfers fairly cheaply. A stop at the tile shop on the weekend to pick up mortar, grout and some tile nippers, and I could get started. I am starting small, with three small flagstones pried up out of our lawn. I decided to try something simple, just a collage of blue and white fragments, but my quilter's instincts took over and I found myself wanting to make a border with one colour and fill in with the other. It was also surprisingly hard to nip the plates into shape (after smashing them up with a hammer first) and to try to keep the pieces fairly flat. Here is the first one just after I grouted it. It is now back in the lawn, where it glistens in all the rain we are having... I love the end result but it was a lot harder work than I had expected. Two more to go.
I tackled another kit from Lisa's Little Things for my dollshouse quilting shop. This one is of vintage looking ribbon reels. I may leave them empty, as decoration, or put ribbon on some of them to make them functional. The centre of the reels are of laser cut wood discs, stacked to the required height. The ends are round card, with supplied printed labels glued to one end. Easy enough to assemble, the only thing I did different was to run a brown felt tip pen around the edge of the label to remove the white edge.
I knit the second Penny sock on my Brother 881 machine. I don't think I said why these are called Penny socks - it is because the pattern calls for you to fill up the toe (knit first) with pennies, to weight the rest of the sock as you knit circularly on the machine. I didn't find that the pennies gave sufficient weight, but they did make an ideal handle to grasp with my left hand to pull down on the stitches, as I pushed the carriage with my right hand. This was a self-striping sock yarn from Garnstudio, a wool/nylon mix. I like the colours but the stripes are just weird, strange one-row stripes that don't go all the way around the foot's circumference, blotchy bits floating against solid instead of a contrast colour where they might look like fair isle.
I took my 13 year old ds to see the film Wall-E. He was lukewarm about going, but we actually both really enjoyed it. I don't think it is as good as Toy Story or Finding Nemo, but it is quite funny and has great characters (although the next time I see a larger person wearing red, I may have flashbacks to this film...) There is also a hilarious short before the main film.


swooze said...

I love your mosaic. Go look at . She did one as well and talked about how heavy it was. Yours looks like a nice small manageable size.

swooze said...

Sorry. I love to see the work on your miniatures and socks as well. How many completed doll houses do you have?

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