Saturday, 29 January 2011

Finished fringe - and keeping it simple

Patchwork jacquard velvet curtains with rainbow fringe
 I said I would show you the effect when it was finished so here are two shots. Both curtains are random so they are not supposed to be exactly a match and give a good effect when closed. I like the way the fringe has added an informal look to them and hope it withstands the test of time on the back doors from the kitchen.

This next view is a bit more of a close up showing all the lovely bits of yarn which were used, and there was a lot of it believe me, a bit more than I had anticipated when I started..... I will most likely make some more fringe soon as I enjoyed the process and it went together well I realised because the ribbon I used was strong grosgrain, I am not sure if it would have worked out as well on a flimsier ribbon. I have always liked grosgrain though and still have a piece I have kept for a long time which I attached to the top of my wedding cake. I did not make the cake but I asked for a plain square large single one because I did not fancy a triple decker having a dislike for them as over fussy. So when it came I had the fun of deciding what to put on the top of it and I chose strawberry pink silk grosgrain which I made into a big rosette. I keep the bit in a small navy blue cardboard box and its always on my desk very near to my laptop. Now and then I take a peek at it, once every couple of years or so, I just did so always brings a smile to my face. I don't know why but I like simple things and simple weddings too, fancy ones make me cringe with embarrassment.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

A few chores less to do this week

My Bag Calendar
This has been a productive week with a number of jobs finalised, but there are always a few left. Meanwhile, everyday I get to look at the next page on my bag calendar which is a present from DH. He certainly chose well this year as the idea is you put the day before behind the stash of cards and voila a new bag appears. They are all ages and vintage seems to crop up a lot like this one, 1910 crotcheted metal thread overlay with a braided handle, European and look at those little bobbles... oh so cute! I would love to own a bag like this and the shape is pretty too. At weekends you only get one card so I await tomorrow...

Anyway, one of the jobs I finished today was attaching some fringe to my new kitchen curtains for my door. I decided they lacked a certain edge if you know what I mean. I thought about buying some fringe and then even found some bullion fringe I liked on the internet but somehow I could not bring myself to hit the buy button.....Was it a return to my austerity days which was nagging me to 'make do and mend'?  Well I don't know but I found myself rummaging, as you do......Well I have quite a few places I can go when I have this urge and I soon found what I needed for inspiration, some odd bits of Linton Tweed fabric of course and a few bits of velvet too along with some lovely stiff chocolate brown ribbon, enough for two curtain bottoms. Last night you would have thought a bomb had hit my room with pieces of thread everywhere piled into little colour coordinated batches.

TIP. If you want some lovely different thread for couching down in machine embroidery you cannot go far wrong with a trip to Carlisle and bagging some Linton Tweed, (they now do mail order) Carefully tease and strip out individual threads and you have a unique range of threads which are perfect in embroidery. Did you know that Chanel have a lady who does the same and makes the braid for their Haute Couture suits from Linton Tweed fabric? In France this is called Passementerie, and here is an inspirational site run by Gina B.

Now back to my fringe, 1st I had to sew small pieces of thread to the ribbon keeping the ribbon in the middle and the thread evenly spaced either side. I kept the threads fairly tight together so you could not see the ribbon through the fringe but did not worry too much about a ragged edge as the colour changes and thread changes were more important to me. I was trying to achieve a rainbow effect. This was not looking too good last night I thought, so I left it until this morning wondering if it was turning into a mistake............But after a night's sleep and on reflection, I decided it was working and finished the 2nd phase of making the fringe which was to fold it over in on itself and sew down the long edge of the ribbon being careful to keep the threads well out of the way and sort of combing them into place with my stitch ripper as I sewed. The photo below shows this in progress.

Making the fringe
The 3rd part was to sew the fringe onto the curtains, which I did this afternoon but no photo as yet. However, they have met with DH approval who was consulted now and then I have to admit. Remember he went to Art College so has a natural eye for blunders..........and equally knows when something 'works'. So I can recommend giving it a go and I now fancy a few more fringes after checking out British Vogue online and seeing that they are going to be part of this years fashion trend which is craft......hmm

I must not get carried away with this success as there are still many more jobs awaiting this of which is the planting of chillies in January in the greenhouse otherwise they will be ripening in October like last year.

Don't you just love those gardening jobs.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

I am not hibernating - just not enough hours in the day to blog

My poor, sad woodburner.....
The reason is simple, I am trying to catch up with some chores around here. Number one is wood burner repair as the glass cracked last week and I had to go to Penrith to buy more which is expensive. Whilst there I decided I would need to redo the rope around the door seal too and I thought I had cement/glue left over from last time so did not buy any. Wrong again: I now have sent for some from Ebay as driving back to Penrith with the cost of petrol was not an option......So the Morso cannot be lit and I have resorted to various candles to bring a bit of cheer to the gloom of no comforting fire. The place does not seem the same in the morning either because its colder as the heat usually keeps in until the next morning and I just pile on more wood and it springs to life.

Number 2 was new curtains for the kitchen door as the draft is a bit of a problem in winter. I decided they had to be thicker but did not go for interlining because I was worried the weight would be too much and bring down the curtain rail (that once happened in the hall and it smashed a favourite large pottery bowl made by Marea Goodman who is now resident in Colorado so no chance of another). So I just used light fabric for a backing and went for the velour/velvet material. I thought they were going to look too dark but DH says they have transformed the kitchen, a welcome pat on the back....

Probably the darkest fabric

The material is actually very pretty and I used it to make a patchwork of rectangles so the kitchen does not look formal as it's country style with a dresser and open shelves with pottery on display.

For those of you interested in the bird saga, I had a fright on Sunday morning because a hawk swooped down to the bird table when 6 Lesser Redpolls were having breakfast.... I don't know if it made off with one or not, it was so fast. I did find though that the speed with which it scattered the other little birds caused one of the Siskins to fly into the greenhouse glass and I found it lying in a pool of water hours later. The poor little bird's neck was probably broken, I was very upset and decided to put something up on the greenhouse glass so the birds know its a solid wall. I am going to a garden centre later today to see what they have. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

I won a giveaway and some recognition for the blog

Scrumptious swag.......
I won this fabulous collection of goodies which includes all my favourite things too, so thank you Sarah at Happiness is a bottomless button box The ideas have started to flow but I need to work this week, so they are put away for now. I also had some other good news but I must leave that until I have a bit more time to do it justice on here. Meanwhile, I am working on the schedule for my summer job as it were. So tomorrow is the deadline for deciding which mountains I will be climbing from April to October and then I have to post them all up on my other blog. So it was back to earth with a bang this week with more to do than I care to think about, also DH has a bit on his plate and as I am the computer guru round here I have labels to print and websites to update.  But the other thing is we have decided to extend the house again, so I am also checking prices of supplies as I tend to be project manager when we do any building. Well when you consider that the garden is in a mess too and the greenhouse needs a good sort, you start to get the picture.......But I like to be useful around the place and I have done with resting over the holidays I think so I may be busy but I don't mind.

We went to see a Planning advisor at the Town Hall this morning and he seemed to like our methods and approach to the extension so all we need now is to finalise our ideas and DH always does the drawings as he went to a really good Art College (the likes of David Hockney taught there) and was trained in drawing properly so can produce building plans and drawings which are really good. Even the planning guy said how good the previous ones were, not like the one's architects produce on Computers.......he he That's one job less for me.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Vintage Bothy Blog

Bella showing what to do when it snows.............
Just could not resist adding this blog to my list, and love the little terrier called Florence! Well that was my Mum's name so I had to include it didn't I. So check it out for all things vintage...

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Wonderful day

Yesterday saw me snap Gloria's stocking above her Lakeland slate fireplace at our Cumbria Patchworker's party. We all had a great time and I made two new ornaments for the Christmas tree which sadly I took down last night and it's now outside waiting to be chopped up and put onto the wood burner.  The job of taking down the decorations took most of the evening and I had not been able to look at this blog all day with being in Penrith so I had a quick peek at about 10 pm. Imagine my surprise to see that I had won the wonderful giveaway from Sarah at Happiness is a bottomless button box.  So I will be a busy bee this month with some more goodies to play with. I have also a few projects to finish not least a quilt I started and had to put away before Christmas because I just did not have the time to settle down and give it my full attention. I have not forgotten it and I will be getting it out again once a couple of other sewing ideas have been completed. One of them is a bag for a dear friend who lost her husband last February and I want to make it special for her so I have been working on it this week. So I have plenty to do and never a dull moment, now if only I had time to tidy up the garden too life would be perfect. Speaking of the garden, those little Lesser Redpolls have been coming back every day and I counted 14 of them last Monday. I must go and top up their Nyjer seed, I think that is the correct spelling after getting it wrong before.......

Monday, 3 January 2011

Cumbria Patchworkers ~ December Workshop

I didn't dare show you this patchwork stocking we made before because as you can see it is stuffed full of pressies and it was just prior to being wrapped and sent to DD in California, so no way could I put it on the blog and spoil her surprise :-)   So it is with great relief that I can now show you what a superb workshop we had and how lovely the finished stockings were.

It was a shame we could not have our Christmas Party in December, but the snow and ice put paid to that idea....Anyway, we postponed it until this Wed  5th Jan, so we are going to have our party and our late Christmas presents then, I can't wait....