Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Another purse made at the workshop

I was sent a photo of Marilyn's purse which she finished after the workshop, its stunning, so neat, but then she is an expert felter so silk paper making was a doddle for her. I am so glad it worked out ok and love the way she changed the fastening just slightly from my idea. If anyone else sends photos I will post them too as I think they are very pretty. I heard from our Secretary of the Keswick EG yesterday that she has finished her purse too and wants to make some more so who knows what I might have started. We are having our annual exhibition at the Moot Hall in Keswick Market Square on 2nd July and it will be great if more purses are finished and put on display then, I shall be right chuffed. The purse was made by laying down dyed Tussah silk and then it had throwsters waste (Stef Francis) added on top, with tiny snippets of 22 carat gold leaf added in next and then a tiny amount of Tussah again to keep the sandwich together; the resultant paper was embroidered when dry with french knots and the fastening added. Then a lining was pinned to the inside and the whole thing blanket stitched up the sides to make the purse and across the front opening (inside the purse) and the front flap.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

I hate colds.

Feeling a bit low as I have a streaming cold. I felt it start on Friday and its just got worse and today I have not done any work properly on my website. Thursday's workshop for the Keswick Embroiderers' Guild went very well and the purses looked great but I did not have my camera as DH took it with him up Helvellyn. Friday was sort out and tidy up day ready for some real work all weekend that was the theory until the bugs struck.....

Anyway, I am fighting back tonight and so I thought I would post some of the new purses I made for the workshop.  First up is a little number I made at the workshop and just finished adding the beads at home.
It does up simply by pushing the strand of beads inbetween the two fabric buttons, really neat and they hold it closed very well too. It consists of Tussah silk with silk throwsters waste laid on top and then some snippets of 22 carat gold leaf ...   atchoo,  sorry but the hankies are needed constantly.... I'm through a box already.



This next one is made with Mulberry silk which is a bit harder to lay down but worth the effort with throwsters waste on top. Next I simply added a few snippets of organza bits and pieces in lighter pink and green and then decorated with some crosses which I tried to make look lazy. Finally, a handmade Dorset button sets it off as a simple fastening.


The next one was made smaller and is inspired by Brides and the idea was to make a small purse which could contain a favour for the Bridesmaids or special guest etc. It could even be a ring holder for the Bestman to keep in his pocket. Anyway, it is made in Tussah silk which is undyed and then beaded and given a few french knots. The small gilt button and the simple fastening finish it off. Oh yes and it also has a few snippets of 22 carat gold leaf incorporated in the paper.

It looks a bit yellow but I could not seem to get a better photo and I was not in the mood to mess about.

This last purse is my personal favourite. Hey I am having finger trouble tonight too, this blog has just jumped to publish before I finished, must be my head is a bit fuzzy. Anyway, don't try blogging with a bad cold is my advice. So as I was saying this is a pretty little purse which I like because it is understated and because I made it with just throwsters waste and then added some tiny snippings off a previous throwsters waste purse (the cut out left the exact shape I needed) So I added it to the edges of the purse and then did a few french knots. I found an old antique looking filligree button which is stunning and this is it......


I did not take a photo of the inside but this one has more of the purple silk paper under the flap which is really cute. Anyway, I have more in the pipeline as I made quite a few really good bits of silk paper. Also the lampshade might just be improving and if it looks good enough I might post a photo. Now if only my 'dose' would stop glowing in the dark I might be a happy bunny and get on with finishing my website tomorrow.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Teaching tomorrow

Well I have my teaching aids ready now and I made up 16 silk purse kits too. That actually took much longer than I planned, don't know why but the Mulberry silk fought back when I gently eased the tops apart to make up smaller batches. The Tussah silk gave way without a murmer in contrast, but its all made up into batches for the purses now....I also finished the lampshade but I am keen to make another one because I think I can make a better job of it. The silk paper was fine but having to make a frame for the shade was always a long shot and when I made up the shade I had to tug it into shape a bit and a tiny bit of the soldering gave way.

I spoke to DH and he said that 'soft solder' could always be a problem so the result is the shade is a touch wonky. I can live with it but we both agreed that what I really needed was lamp shade frames. But I don't see anyone in the UK doing them anymore in a good variety of shapes and sizes. It's ok in the USA and I wish I was in Palm Springs sometimes because you could find anything you wanted near there except of course a fabric shop......and the climate was divine..droool, oops better stop day dreaming.

So I need to do some scouting around and find out where is the best place for lampshade frames or I need to visit thrift shops again and buy up old ones cheap. But I am going to make another lampshade because its bugging me now.

I will take photos tomorrow and post them up as soon as I can, but the website I am designing is back on the agenda for Friday so I am a busy bee at the mo. No time to clean the fridge which had an accident with a beer bottle last week and their is brown sticky in the bottom............

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Just a quick visit

Just to say I found this site this morning and I think it has some good ideas on it. http://www.slideshare.net/kootoyoo I also added a couple more blogs to the blogroll because they seemed to be fun. Still not sewing at the moment but up to my neck in the last design stages of a new website for the Keswick Rambles. I really do have to work this week to keep all the balls in the air. But I can see the light through the trees now and I must make a good job of it as I have not designed a new website for a couple of years and I am quite enjoying myself. I don't think its anything like as hard as when I started as a computer programmer way back when I was 19 doing machine code.....So I will be back.......

Saturday, 13 February 2010

More purses finished

I have made another two purses ready for my class on Thursday at Threlkeld, but no photos yet as I think I will keep them as a surprise on the day. I am really looking forward to taking this class as I like teaching and don't get to do it so much now that I am no longer lecturing full time like I used to.

The lampshade is still being worked on because it has taken longer to dry the fire retardant than I expected and every now and then I go and give it another coat to make sure. I am also very busy at the moment getting all the programme ready and the website for my summer occupation leading walks out on the mountains of Lakeland.

I look forward to Tuesday night (Shrove Tuesday)because I love making pancakes.. and I usually make some savoury ones to eat first followed by plain ones with lemon and mascarpone or something similar. Bella is a big fan of pancakes too and I usually make her a small one of her own. So have a good weekend and I will try and finish all my projects and show them to you soon.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Doesn't time fly when your having fun

I have been making more examples of silk paper ready for the workshop I am giving our EG group this month. So first up I decided to play with some 'Throwsters Waste' and this was the result.

I added tiny snippets of 22 carat gold leaf the sort used by artists and the result really did please me. Then I had an idea, because the paper was very finely made with small gaps in its composition, I decided to back it with gold lamé so that it would glint through the little holes. The effect was magical and the whole piece sprang to life.

Next I made the paper into a small purse which does up in a style I have seen on old medieval leather pouches. You add a simple button and then place a 'thong' above it which you wind once around the button to hold it in place; simple but effective. So this is the little purse after I lined it with some matching felt.

I still have not finished the lampshade from my previous post. I know I said I would do it last weekend, but I simply could not get round to it. It is sitting accusingly on my work table as I type. But I will be confronting it soon because I want to show off the lamp next Wednesday when friends are coming round in the evening, so I had better go now.....