Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Reading Caitlin

I am in the middle of reading "How To Be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran.  I have to keep stopping and attempting to read sections out to my husband while giggling until my eyes leak.

I don't watch TV or read newspapers so this is my first experience of Caitlin and I'm enjoying it immensely.  I like her no nonsense style and her storytelling.  After reading some other reviews, it's clear that this book is not for everyone but I do consider that some of the criticisms are wholly unfair.  This is not an academic study of feminism but one woman's real, ranting and rather rude opinion, which is why I love it.  I don't have to agree with everything Caitlin says but I admire that she has the courage to say what she thinks (which, surely, is one lesson we could all benefit from).

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

In Memory of Anne McCaffrey

An author who inspired and entertained me since I was a little girl, Anne McCaffrey has brough joy to many with her writing. Her books are a treasured part of my library and have been read many times. The world would be a lesser place without her dragons and I send out my heartfelt thanks for her part in my life. Rest in Peace, Anne. We will not forget you.

A little collection for the dragonlover in us all ...

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Batik in Blue

I've had these photos, taken at the Spey River near Craigellachie one beautiful sunny day, on my hard drive a little while now. They have just been sitting around, waiting for me to be inspired to write something entertaining to go with them. It is said that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration so I decided to give up on being inspired and just get stuck in.

Many years ago I bought a lovely piece of batik cotton fabric while on holiday in Bali and it has been sitting in my stash untouched ever since. Admittedly this was partly because it was too nice to use and partly because I had no idea what to use it for. So finally I bit the bullet and made a decision. As the piece was too small for a whole garment I had to make a feature of it and design a dress around that. The rest of the fabric came from a roll of navy poly cotton that had also been biding it's time.

I wanted something easy to wear and comfortable for the occasional warm day we get here in Scotland, so this dress just slips over the head and pulls in behind the waist with matching fabric ties made from the batik. The neckline is finished with bias binding also made from the batik and has a false underskirt effect to achieve the length I wanted. It was very much a "make it up as I go along" process.

Overall I'm pleased with the result and have recieved some lovely comments when wearing it. This success prompted another experiment which I will blog about shortly (when I can produce some photos I'm happy with).

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Beads, Glorious Beads!

Whoops, I think I lost May! But it's a new month and a very sunny day and I just got a nice package from the post office - my latest glass bead order. It may seem very sad to the non-beady but I always get excited when I have parcels of new beads to open. All those shiny pretties to look at. So here's a peak ...

My son will perform the essential secondary quality assurance check when he gets home from school. Every new bead I make or buy must be examined and given the seal of approval. I wonder what his favourite of this lot will be?

Then I just have to think of what to make with them.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Dresses for Charity

This morning as I was browsing the blog-verse I got diverted to a lovely post by Louise at Sew Scrumptious about a charity campaign to provide dresses for girls living in poverty. Louise is encouraging her readers to get involved and has offered to bundle up and send off any dresses she receives by the end of May.

I don't know whether it was the gorgeous sunshine or just the fact that I've been feeling very lucky to be me lately but I really liked this idea. I have plenty of fabric and what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than at the sewing machine. So I offer you pics of the two dresses I came up with, based on the pattern from Little Big Girl Studio. Both use recycled fabrics (another bonus) and ribbon that I got in a bulk lot.

Multicolour floral cotton and mulberry cotton fabric with pink grosgrain ribbon.

Green sari fabric with gold satin ribbon.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A Touch of Blue Treasury

One of my polymer clay necklaces has been featured in this fab treasury by hybridhandmade.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Pay It Forward 2011

Well, it's still all cold and frosty outside and there is no better excuse to stay inside keeping warm and getting busy with making stuff. Currently that means finding new ideas for Pay It Forward 2011.

There are probably lots of versions of this doing the rounds but I signed up after a friend posted it (on a social networking site that shall remain nameless). The plan is that I will receive a lovely handmade item from this friend and in return I promise to send 5 other people an item I make myself (who then promise to make items for 5 people and so on). I did see a comment along the lines of "this is the worst pyramid scheme I've ever seen" and this is very true since each participant will actually give out far more than they receive. But I love it. How fantastic to join in with something that is designed to bring a smile to someone's face, give them a bit of a boost, or even make their day. And what a great excuse to try out some new crafts!

Here is my first item and my first ever try at coptic bookbinding, which will be sent off soon. I'm hoping to make something different for each person and I'm trying to match the gift to the person it is for. Each of my five will also get a Morsbag I have made from recycled fabric (if you like to sew and care about our beautiful planet, please take a look at the Morsbag site).

Happy Crafting!