Sunday, 27 September 2015

Summer is over

We noticed today that there are dead leaves all over the front lawn, and it's so chilly in the evenings that we have had to break down and put the heating on for a few hours just to take the chill off. And while it was a lovely sunny weekend, it was only about 16 degrees in the shade so you definitely needed a jumper.

It was quite chilly in the Bede House in Higham Ferrers, a medieval building where a friend and I went to view the Higham Ferrers patchwork and quilting exhibition today.  Not very big, but it had some lovely pieces in it.  I think my favourite was a very simple quilt of large squares, mostly 30s repros and ginghams. It was only quilted in the ditch, but the colour selection was brilliant, very vintage and Brambly Hedge. There was a lovely display of mini quilts made by members of a Flickr group called Mini Mania which I shall have to look up, apparently they set monthly challenges for members so there were different interpretations of the same patterns in the display. There was also quite an intriguing display of fabric interpretations of famous paintings, all displayed in identical wooden frames next to photos of the originals.

On the other hand, when I was out in full sunshine planting bulbs in the garden this afternoon, it was really quite hot. I had a pack of 30 tulip bulbs, and a bumper pack of about 400 small bulbs.  Needless to say I only managed to plant about 100 of them before I was exhausted, it's quite hard work digging six inch holes and trying to avoid existing plants and root balls. I'll have to try to do more tomorrow.

Dollshouse room

I've continued to work on the dollshouse room this week, and also on renovating the French scene which is now done.

I unpacked all my books and magazines, and sorted all the magazines by year. These are mostly old Nutshell News, Miniature Collector and American Miniaturist.

DS put together two more bookcases for me, so they all store neatly onto those.

And I made a shelf to fit over my workdesk to hold frequently used tools.  I put it fairly high up so I have room to turn houses around on the desk without hitting the shelf.

For the French scene, I made replacements for the missing chimneys. The two chimneys in the lefthand column are the originals, the other four are my replacements. The chimney pots are made from painted dressmaking eyelets.

I went ahead and broke out the discoloured old plastic windows on the ground floor, only dislodging a few diners and their tables and chairs.  I cut new windows from clear acrylic 'glass' and fitted them, so you can see inside now to see all the detail of the restaurants.  I tried to take a picture to show you but the camera can't focus sufficiently.  I also bought some more railway people in HO scale, and repainted their clothing to tone down the bright colours, and gave them a dirty 'wash' so that they would match the vintage figures better, and glued them onto the scene to replace some of the missing figures.

It all looks pretty good now.  DH still doesn't like it, but I do. It is just such a stereotype of 'Frenchness' and I love all the work that someone put into it a long time ago.  It's in our hallway on top of our coat bench.

This week I tried out my nearest dollshouse club, which is a small and friendly group about a 20 minute drive away.  They were very welcoming so I have paid up to join for a year to give them a try. I'm not sure what the standard is, but it was nice to be amongst fellow enthusiasts again and I found out about a dollshouse show coming up in Market Harborough which we can drive to.


I finished the Witch's Hat, complete with embroidered spiders web.  It fits fairly well, perhaps a bit loose but then I'll only be wearing it one night a year. I might put a bit of stuffing in the tip to plump it up a bit.

My Fingerless Gloves commuter knitting has progressed to two completed gloves with all four fingers done, and I'm just starting the first thumb.  I need to choose the section of the colourway so that the thumb matches in with the palm colours.

TV knitting has been knitting the lining pieces for the Pointless vintage handbag, the one that I made the daisies for.  There are five lining pieces, I'm on my third.


I joined in with a bit of a Sew-Along online last night which was part of the Cozy Afternoon BOM, and got three hours of sewing done which was really nice.  I finished block 5 of the BOM.

And I put together all three table runners and put borders on them.  The long one is for us and has a brown check border.  The two smaller ones are gifts and have an autumn leaves print border. This has been a good stashbusting project.

Other stuff and Creative Bug review

I did a bit more cross stitch this week while I was watching videos on a free trial of a new video tutorial site called Creative Bug. The free trial gives you unlimited access for a month, plus one class to keep forever. I chose a class on making a leather totebag as my keeper, because I had seen some cheap pieces of leather in our local bric-a-brac store (I have subsequently gone and bought a piece of blue leather which I think is big enough to make a bag from).

I enjoyed watching through several videos but found that the site suffers in comparison to Craftsy. Classes are shorter and more of them seem aimed at complete beginners, and production values are not as high as Craftsy. Presenters also seem less slick, so presumably aren't getting as much coaching as Craftsy gives to their presenters. Editing could be improved, a lot of time is wasted for example watching a woman sand a cupboard and a coffee table in the refinishing furniture class, when I think Craftsy would have shown it once and said 'now keep doing that until the piece is sanded'. I did enjoy a one-hour t-shirt tutorial which I have printed the pattern off for and might try. There is a short class on choosing leather for projects which was useful as background to my leather bagmaking class. One thing the site does have which I don't think I've seen on Craftsy are 'Work-Alongs' which seem to be classes split up into weekly stages where you can do the project along with the instructor. As I explored the site, I was continually annoyed by the inability to view a full list of classes on screen - it will only show you one screen at a time and you have to keep clicking on 'Load More' to view the next screen.

Subscription is fairly cheap at $4.95 a month, and they seem to have plans to add more classes regularly.  I don't think I would subscribe, there wasn't enough content to interest me. But interesting to see an alternative to Craftsy.

Hope you had a crafty week also!


swooze said...

It is interesting to see how you used your dollhouse in decorating your home. it is lovely. I can tell you really enjoy that craft.

Daisy said...

You should so have been a librarian with all that organising!

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