Saturday, 4 February 2017

Back at work

I went back to work on Tuesday and have been completing my convalescence at my desk. I'm still coughing and blowing my nose, but so are several other people on my floor. Previous victims say it takes about four weeks to completely get over the virus so I've still got to put some time in.  Stupid sinuses.

I persevered with my 20-year-old hooked rug kit and finally finished it Thursday night, which felt like a momentous moment until I turned it over and spotted several places where I had gone wrong on the chart.  So I fixed the worst of those last night and sewed some tape onto the raw edges of the rug canvas so that I can start stitching down the edges to finish them. I'll take a picture when it's finally done.

Knitting has been  adding more rows onto the leaf yoke top-down sweater and I've also cast on for a shawl called Frisee using a Sweet Georgia Party of Five gradient set that I got from Deramores using a coupon.  In commuter knitting I am occasionally on knitting the final edge to my Raindrops Shawl that I knit the body of during the Japan trip.

In the sewing room this week, I tackled the last glory bag of scraps that has been sitting on the floor for a couple of years. I ironed all the big pieces and cut 10.5" squares out of them for use in future quilt backs. The remnants and smaller pieces have gone in a pile waiting to be cut up into smaller pieces for my scrap system. In a fit of housekeeping I have also pulled about 15 fabrics off my stash shelves to also cut up into 10.5" squares - several of them dating back to quilting trips I made to America in the 90s which have never been used, or not completely used up. In those days fabric was so precious that I used to pick up almost anything that was cheap, resulting in a lot of dogs which didn't necessarily make it into quilts.  Plus my tastes have changed over the years.  Interestingly I was recently reading some online articles about the challenges the quilting industry is facing and how expensive quilting cottons have become in America now, up to $16 a yard apparently. I was buying it for $3 a yard at Hancocks of Paducah back in the day.

I also finished the Idrija Lace Doiley. I have to say that I did not do a great job on the flowery thing in the middle. It was so small and the working space quite constricted, so  my plaits are pretty wobbly. One day I might cut it off and re-do it.  I took some time to darn in all the loose ends on the doiley, and it is finally done. There are many flaws, but I am focusing on the 'done' part.

Scrapbooker for a week

This week I got distracted into a new project which I suppose falls more into the scrapbooking field. I am not a scrapbooker, and when scrapbooking started to be a thing in the UK, I think many needlecrafting ladies were a bit sniffy about this newcomer. I know I have thought "how hard can it be?" to cut up paper and reassemble it into things.  Well as it turns out, it is quite hard, lol!

Do you remember when I bought some MDF blanks last year over at Coleman's Warehouse in Rushden?  Then later on I bought some cross-stitch pictures from a woman de-stashing her late mother's hoard. I had it in the back of my mind that I could combine the two, but hadn't got around to it but this week I decided to have a go, and this is the result.

I started out with the MDF blank and mixed a soft green paint colour for the edges.

Then I covered the box inside and out with some scrapbooking paper I had leftover from previous dollshouse projects, which proved quite difficult. Not only to cut the paper to the exact sizes, but to get it glued in without too many scars or marks.

I used Mod Podge for the gluing and then gave the box a final coat of clear sealer to seal the paper. Big mistake! It was an unused spraycan of Krylon which was about five years old, and it turned out that was long enough for the contents to turn into toffee coloured foam with bits in it.  By the time I hurriedly wiped all that disaster off, I was left with crusty brown bits which I thought had ruined all my work.  But when they dried, I was able to gently sand or scrape off almost all of the brown bits and only had to replace the paper on the underside of the lid.

I cut a shaped piece of card for the upper lid and sewed the cross stitch onto the card over several shaped layers of padding to create a domed shape. Then I glued the picture onto the lid with tacky glue and lots of clamps to hold it while it dried.

Then came the fun bit, which was pulling out lots of ribbons and lace and decoration from my stash. I was aiming for a 'more is more' Victorian vibe.  The embellishments are glued on with either tacky glue or superthick tacky glue.

Isn't it pretty?  I had fun doing this, and it is satisfying to turn an unused picture and an MDF blank into something attractive for my mantelpiece in my bedroom.

Today we visited a shop called 'The Range' which I had read about online.  It was like a cross between a Dunelm and a Hobbycraft and I had fun wandering the aisles with DH in tow. I came away with some silicon adhesive for dollshousing and a driftwood wreath which I am going to take apart for a sea themed dollshouse scene, some wooden letters to make a dollshouse sign and DH got a reel of craft wire for his modelling. Tomorrow I am having a day out to London to visit the City of London dollshouse festival where I hope to find some accessories for my various projects, and also heading to the V&A for the last day of the Treasures of medieval English Embroidery exhibition.

1 comment:

swooze said...

I had to look up what an MDF blank is. I'm in love with your little treasure box. I thought it was a porcelain box. So pretty. I think your lace looks amazing. We are our own worst critics.

Hope you are back to 100% soon. The crud continues to linger here. I hope I'm over it soon!

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