Thursday, November 6, 2008

Crafty Stuff ... handmade baby shoes, a new dolly, spring flowers and my linen stash ...

My neighbour Pip has lovely things flowering in her garden.

I know these are called marigolds.
Even our grass is happy. These daisy things sprout up and carpet the yard. My husband reckons they know how to bend down when the lawnmower goes over them and then bounce back up again.
Today the sun is shining so I hauled out my suitcase of old embroidered cloths and doileys. Time to sift and see what I've hoarded away over the last year. I try to not spend a lot, usually a couple of bucks max if the piece is in great condition or I really love it. Anyway, I want to start using these in my sewing pieces as embellishments for other pieces. Fabric is too expensive not to mention impersonal. I love the idea of upcycling these pretty handmade things into new functional and groovy work. You can't see the sun shining in 'cause this is a crap photo but out there is the harbour, the hills and the outlook over Titahi Bay. Everything is lush and green and Spring is upon us, in spite of our fickle four-seasons-in-one-day weather.
Some old vintage frames and pictures in here as well as old bolts of cotton lace. And a few embroidered ladies hankies. Not very practical size I reckon, one blow and it's used. Some are smaller than a tissue. Ladies must have had very delicate noses.
Be still heart. I am feeling all the possibilities as I look through my stash.
Some impressive ribbon work someone started but never finished - well the embroidery is, just not the cloth.
Details of ribbon flower work.
Lilies are special to me because I was married 13 years ago in October, and carried some wild lilies down the aisle with me. It is lily season here too.
This one always makes me laugh. Just imagining some horsey lady labouring over this with a posh accent 'Dahling!'. Yesterday while flicking through the magazines at the hospital (had a specialist appointment, all is well), I saw a wee creature in one of those house/garden magazines and did a quick sketch in my diary. Another sleepless night had me fossicking around and I found a purple woollen blanket remnant that I dyed in class earlier this year. Old, soft and felted, perfect! Last year a friend emptied her quilting stash and gave me zillions of fat quarters (i think thats what they are called), so I used a couple of pieces for arms, legs and big ears. Stitched her face on (no buttons means baby friendly) and am quite pleased with how she turned out.
She looks a little cross which isn't surprising considering I was tired but not able to sleep. I did try and make a smile but I don't think it quite made it.
Sitting amidst my linen stash which I hauled out this morning for a wash in some delicious smelling eco-wash that smells like eucalyptus. I might just stitch a piece of old embroidered linen or doily onto her skirt later. Her scarf is just a bit of fabric I had left over but I think she needs a little something something and then she will be complete. She is very doll like to cuddle. I am pleased with her. Sewing and stuffing limbs is fiddly isn't it! That took the longest. I just cut her out freehand without a pattern except for my random sketch. I have been busy at my desk in my tidyish studio when I am able to. It helps take my mind off how uncomfortable I am. The midwife corrected me this week. I thought I only had five weeks to go but actually we miscalculated somewhere and I will be 35 weeks tomorrow. So somehow I ended up gaining a week. Not that it matters. As the time rolls closer, I am feeling so positive and optimistic, and that is a miracle considering how shell-shocked I was those first few months. So it's all good.
Here are a few more finds of mine from this week. Some vintage sewing ephemera including bias binding, wooden reels of cotton, and some vintage buttons. And my new lampshade. So pretty and green.Right, now onto more crafty stuff. I have always admired Melissa's baby shoes at and I am determind to better my sewing skills. Sadly, I am such a novice that I end up with tangled stitching, seams on the wrong sides, crooked binding tape and undoing miles of machine stitching. Still I managed to complete the following last weekend and for a novice sewer was relieved to finish these earlier this week.
Sharp learning curve, these small checked shoes were deceptively laborious. So much handstitching and the bias binding was so skinny that getting it semi-straight was nearly impossible. Not to mention that night sewing means I picked up what I thought was a cream cotton thread and turned out the next day to be light brown and very obvious. But it's all learning.

Knuckles shoes lined up on the front door step. I love the leaf ones. Notice they are all green. I am loving green at the moment.


carole brungar said...

OMG! I think your collection of doilys and linen is FABULOUS!! I also am always on the scout for these, I turn them into mini quilts! Then embellish them. They look right at home in their lovely old case!
I also adore your baby shoes! How clever, they are so cute! Lucky knuckles!
;) Carole

india flint said...

ooh i love those shoesies, dey's really cute!!

Jackie said...

Its funny how shoes are a reminder of the person who wore them..but your person isn't here yet so the shoes will make it seem so much more real.
(Hey, today your word verification is my surname!)

ArtPropelled said...

Darling little shoes! I love all the embroidered bits and pieces too. I've just read a poem on a blog generous is a window. Your window is very generous with that amazing view.

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