Saturday, 23 October 2010

Esmerelda - or Esme to her friends!

Hello! I can now introduce to you my newest raggy doll, Esmerelda - a little witch who adores Hallowe'en and her little cat, BlackJack.

I always find that these raggy dolls never seem to turn out to plan, they seem to evolve so I never know what they're going to look like until they're finished but finished she is and I think she looks like a friendly little witch.
She is approximately 21 inches from the top of her hat to the tips of her toes. She's wearing black tights with orange stars and moons (wouldn't mind a real pair like that!) and her new skirt with matching top shows her favourite ghosts and bats! She has just completed Grade 3 in Witchcraft and proudly displays three gold stars on her hat.
She's been given a flat bottom (if only it was as simple in real life!) and has joints at her knees so she can sit happily on a shelf without falling about! Hope you like her x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

I Love a Bargain!

Whilst browsing on ebay recently I came across a Janet Granger kit for a stair carpet. Even better, the design matched a rug I had previously made but hadn't decided where it should go. Indecision over - the rug will be going into the entrance hall at 48 The Laurels and a beautiful matching carpet will grace the stairway. Only thing is, the Laurels is a five storey townhouse so it won't be just one stair carpet I need but a total of nine separate pieces! It's just as well I enjoy cross stitching! Here's the rug I've already made...

It's design name is Carole (Jade) and if you've never done any of Janet's kits before, here a link to her website. I have made three carpets, two firescreens and two Christmas stockings all from her kits and would highly recommend them. And of course, once you have the chart you can easily change colours etc. to make even more rugs for your houses!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Needle Felting Again!

I've been needlefelting again - I hope you're not getting bored with it!
I had an idea of making a 12th scale hobby horse for the nursery of The Laurels with a needle felted head. As a child I adored horses but we couldn't afford riding lessons never mind a pony so I had to content myself with reading about horses, watching horses, drawing you get the picture? In fact, horses are about the only animal I can draw reasonably well so that was a great help while felting this ....

I think I'll call him 'Blaze' because of the stripe down his face. His halter is made from tiny pieces of red leather and I have to thank my Dad for patiently cutting up a piece of dowelling and drilling holes in all the pieces to give me a supply of wheels, thanks Dad, you're the best xx

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Autumn Harvest

Earlier in the year I told you about my wee vegetable patch. I had planned to follow this up on the blog but never got round to. Anyway, for such a small patch it was very productive. We had courgettes, carrots, peas, broad beans and best of all loads and loads of lovely cherry tomatoes, so many that we were giving bags of them away to family, friends and neighbours! I still had loads leftover so the domestic goddess in me (haha!!) decided that the store cupboard should be filled with lovely chutneys for those cold winter months ..... don't they look lovely?

This is only a few of the jars. I think I have made too much so will be giving it away to folk. I've made 5 x Green Tomato Chutney ('cos loads weren't ripe enough to eat!), 7 x Apple, Pear & Tomato Chutney, 5 x Chilli Jam (altho' it's more like a jelly, but 'jam' it said on the recipe!) and with those marvellous Seville oranges from a tin (yes I know it's cheating but I always forget to buy Seville oranges in January!) six large jars of marmalade, which is all mine as I'm the only one in the house who likes it...yum!!

Friday, 8 October 2010

'Witch' Craft this week?

Sorry about the title!!! Yep, I'm off on a tangent again - raggy dolls this time!
These legs were as far as I got with my Hallowe'en doll last year.

As she will be a good bit bigger than the others I will need to design a new pattern for her body and head and then the fun can begin! These are the fabrics I'll be using....

and I'll look for some buttons, trimmings, etc. tomorrow when I'm out.

I don't have a clue yet how my witchy raggy doll will turn out but I'll definitely enjoy bringing her to life. Back soon x

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Here's Oliver and Vinny!

I've been bursting to share this with you for sooo long but I've had to contain myself, so in a time long ago before the mini-mojo went AWOL, I started a little project!

This is Oliver and Vinny... aren't they adorable?

They are Maltese Terriers owned by a friend in the US. After I had made a few needlefelted miniatures for her she asked if I could try my hand at replicating her wee dogs. Maltese terriers have long silky coats but hers are kept clipped and she was having difficulty finding ones that looked like her little dogs. My needlefelting has always been the 'stab-it-and-see-how-it-turns-out' technique so it was quite different to work to a photo but here's the result...

The dogs are built onto wire frames using merino wool, the longer hair on them is alpaca, they have little black eyes, black silk noses and, like the real Oliver and Vinny, have fetching neckwear! I've been asked if I can make a cat next so best get busy x

Sunday, 3 October 2010

My New Tote Bag!

You know I've been flitting about from craft to craft and so today's post is about another new obsession! I recently mentioned that I would like to try making handbags (real ones!). I confess to having a penchant for lovely bags. I had read the blog of the talented Lisa Lam, checked out her website and read several reviews of her new book before ordering it (I like to be!) and so, inspired, I delved into my fabric stash.

My old sewing machine came out of retirement, was dusted down, oiled and set to work for the first time in years. At this point I should mention that there has always been a love/hate relationship with my sewing machine. I love to sew and it hates to oblige! Quite often it wins and I just sit and sew by hand! Not so on this occasion - it purred away without a snarl and I was able to produce...this!

It's only a tote bag but I absolutely love it and I'm sure I'll be trying out some of the more complex designs from the book in the future.

It seems a good way of using up some of the fabric I have so I also made a couple of smaller tote bags for my friend's grand-daughters for them to take with them to their first ever visit to Miniatura. The picture on the front came from a Christmas card I'd held onto. The design is Snowy Houses and the artist is Sally Swannell.

For anyone wanting to try making bags I can highly recommend Lisa Lam's book, 'The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags'