Saturday, 31 March 2012

Two more quillows

I finished these two quillows a little over a week ago.

The red one with the bright Aztec inspired print has already been claimed by my friend who wants it for his dad. The other one has no owner yet. I like the pretty print and am almost tempted to keep it for myself.

We've had an amazing week of bright sunny and very mild spring weather but this morning it all changed. A bit dull and damp. Ah well. Hope the sun comes back soon. The kids have broken up for the Easter vacation and were very excited this morning at the prospects of two weeks without school - I was more excited about the prospects of two weeks without ironing of school uniforms. It's a shame I still have to go to work on Monday but the long Easter Bank Holiday weekend is coming up next weekend. Yay!!!

I'm just starting on another handbound journal today and am hoping to finish it over the course of the next couple of days. What are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is, I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

My Creative Space

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you another crocodile stitch neckwarmer that I was working on. The first one was a teeny bit of a fail so I wanted to have another go. This one is done in a gorgeous self-striping single ply yarn by Crystal Palace called Mini Mochi. This colourway is called Rainbow Trout. The dye length is so perfect for this project as I'm getting one shade of colour per row of scales. The last time I had only worked up 7 rows. I've now done a whole set of colours (10 rows of scales) and am partway through my second set. It's going a bit slow because I keep getting sidetracked by my book projects.

I love the range of colours on this colourway especially that flash of pink at the end of one set.

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces at some point this week. I can't wait to see what others have been up to.

How about you? What have you been up to?
Have a creatve day, friends.

Monday, 26 March 2012

The adventure continues ... with blue suede

Here is my latest hand-bound leather journal. I finished it at the weekend. This one is covered in totally luscious teal blue suede leather.

Here’s the exposed long-stitch spine.

Originally the plan was to have ten signatures of cartridge paper. But when I’d stitched in the tenth signature, there was space left for one more. So I added another signature which means that this journal has eleven signatures in total.

That’s 220 pages in all.

Since the suede was a bit floppy, I glued in this cute vintage VW campervan postcard to stiffen it a bit.

That screw head you see there is the back of this lovely nickel Celtic knot concho. I added a tab with a slot so the concho acts like a button.

The journal is held close like this.

I am seriously getting into this bookbinding stuff. It's so much fun and the leather smells sooo nice.

Have a wonderful week ahead, friends.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Forrest Gump's Mamma was right.

Forrest Gump said, "My momma always said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

I think this could apply to lots of things in life - not just life in general. Take for example, digital cameras. I happened to download the images from my camera this weekend and was rather amused to find this image.

I wondered what it was and the next image along provided the answer.

Guess who's been playing around with my camera?!

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend. The weather here in the UK for the most part has been pretty awesome this weekend. Washing out drying on lines everywhere, folks in summer wear, the sound of a gazillion lawn-movers industriously going about their business and the smell of many barbeque fires being lit. The first day of British Summer time and it's a stonkingly marvelous day.

Friday, 23 March 2012

A new book finished

Remember that journal I was showing you a couple of days ago? The one which was in progress in my creative space? Well, it's finished and I love it! Don't you think it looks like a really cute clutch?

I had some bits of the vintage world map and the airmail poster left from the last book so I added them to the signatures of paper just to add a bit of interest.

The bag clasp worked beautifully. It's fixed to the cover with rivets. When I was punching out the holes for the rivets, I punched few more decorative holes in the cover.

As I mentioned previously, I've used 140 gsm cartridge paper - cut into A5 sheets and folded in half to form the groups of pages. This one has 10 groupings (signatures) of pages and each grouping has 20 sides of paper to write or draw on. This journal has a total of 200 pages.

I do like the exposed long-stitches on the spine.

I love the way the clasp works on this book. I might just have to order a few more! I have three other leather covers cut and ready to be used. Just have to spend a couple of hours tonight cutting and folding the paper signatures and deciding which cover to use. I have a couple of silver conchos somewhere in my button tub which I think might have to be incorporated into the next book.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

When the big boys come out to play

When little boys go play at pretend warriors, you sort of get something like this ...

Wooden sword, mum's wide elastic belt, roughly thrown together bits and bobs. It's a blast. But when the big boys (and girls) come out to play, you get this ...

And the big boys and girls get to go to neat markets where they can buy stuff like this ...

And authentic weapons like these ...

And these ...

Or if firepower is more your thing, these ...

A new Three Muskateers movie comes out this summer and I can imagine kids running around in gardens pretending to be D'Artagnan or Porthos or Aramis or Arthos, play fighting with sticks pulled off trees and teatowels as capes (that would be me and my brother and cousins when we were little!!) and battling the Cardinal's forces. Imagine how much cooler it'd be if there were these to play with ...

Big boys get proper shields too. None of that rubbish bin lids nonsense.

Last week, I visited a Re-Enactors market and was fascinated by the amazing stuff you get at events like this. I only went to see a man about some leather pieces. There was so much there. Not just the weaponary but the lifestyle stuff like clothing, drinkware, shoes etc.

How lovely are these glazed urns and jugs?

And I loved these buckets.

Apparently these shoes were so in-trend way back when. Christian Louboutins these are not.

There was even furniture (and tradesmen that dressed the part!)

And no two bob plastic drums for this lot either.

Next time I'll take my kids. They'll get a real kick out of seeing things like this.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The nice thing about being a crafty person ...

... is that you are able to change something you don't like about the original design if you want to.

You might recall my first ever handbound leather journal which I shared here. It had a strap which wrapped around the journal and tucked into itself. I used it for a couple of weeks and found that the strap kept working itself off in my bag - which got really annoying after a while.

So after I had finished the second leather journal project here where I used a securing tab to hold the strap in, I decided to change the strap on my original journal. I took the original strap off, cut it down a little and fixed it with some rivets to the overlapping flap. I used the bit I cut off to make the securing tab and riveted that to the front cover.

It's working well for me and now the strap stays put no matter how badly it gets jiggled around in my bag.

Despite the label on the packet saying "Easy Rivet kit", my riveting skills are seriously lacking and I managed to bash my thumb with the mallet a few times! Still they look OK from the top - just don't ask to see the state of the back.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

My Creative Space

There's another journal in progress in the space right now.

I went to a re-enactors market last week to see a leather supplier who had a stand there. There were some incredible pieces of leather on sale for very reasonable prices. However, for the most part the pieces on sale were huge! I wasn't sure I wanted king-size bed sized pieces of leather! That's a lot of journal covers!! Anyhow, I did manage to find some 'small' pieces. Here are some journal covers cut out from the leather I bought.

The tan coloured grained leather on the right is the one I'm working with right now. It is also the thickest of the three. The middle one is softer and slightly thinner and don't you just love the colour of that suede over on the left?

I'm using 140gsm cartridge paper - cut into A5 sheets and folded in half to form the groups of pages. This one has 10 groupings (signatures) of pages and each grouping has 20 sides of paper to write or draw on. This journal will have a total of 200 pages. I had a few bits of the vintage posters leftover from my last journal project. I used them in this one too.

I am hoping to put a nice little clasp on this journal. The leather is thick enough to support a metal clasp. I've sewn in seven of the sigantures so far. Three more to sew in before I put the clasp in.

As usual, I'm linking up to this week's Our Creative Spaces. Why not pop over there to see what other peeps are up to all around the world?

Have a creative day, friends.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Quillows for boys

Well, not boys really. These are two quillows I made last week for two males friends of mine.

These were made using store-bought fleece blankets to which I added a printed fleece pocket. In case you want to have a go at making your own, you'll find my tutorial here.

These quillows were a big hit with the guys and I have a request to make another one for my friend's dad. There are now two other quillows on my sewing table, cut, pinned and ready to sew.

Have a lovely day, friends.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

My Creative Space

I'm flitting between several projects at the moment. I work on bits here and there. One of the projects is this one ...

It's another crocodile stitch neckwarmer. The first one was a bit of an experiment which turned out shorter than I had wanted it to be. Learning from my mistakes in that one, I have embarked on a second neckwarmer.

This one is done in a gorgeous self-striping single ply yarn by Crystal Palace called Mini Mochi. I think this colourway is called Rainbow Trout. The dye length is perfect for this project - I'm getting one shade of colour per row of scales. How perfect is that?! I am using a bigger hook and it's working up looser.

What are you up to this week?
Find out what's happening in creative spaces all around the world over at the home of creative spaces.

Have a creative day, friends.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Charm-ing stitch markers

Last weekend I popped into our local Hobbycraft warehouse and picked up a pack of large lobster claw clasps and a pack of little flat charms from the beading section. Yesterday I spent a few minutes linking the charms to the lobster claw clasps with a small jump ring. Now I have these cute little stitch markers to use when I am crocheting.

I only made 4 up. I actually have enough claws and charms to make 10 but I reckon I only need 4. These are bigger claw clasps than the earlier one I made. I prefer the bigger clasps.

Well it's Monday again. A new week with new possibilities.

Have a wonderful week ahead, friends.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

My second bookbinding project

I have finished my second longstitch leather journal which I showed you in my last post. This one has a lovely rich cerise coloured sueded leather cover. I stitched a long strip of leather on as a tie and a shorter bit of leather as a securing tab.

Remember the templates I showed you in the last post with the different stitch lengths? Here's how the stitch pattern on the spine turned out.

This journal was made with a very special person in mind who loves travelling. I found a couple of vintage looking posters and cut bits out to wrap the paper signatures in to add some interest. One of the posters was a world map poster.

The other poster had vintage airmail stamps on it.

I am very pleased with the finished journal. I think it's turned out really well. I have a bit more pink and purple leather to use up on other journals and I think I might then have to go shopping for more leather in other colours. I am very grateful to the generous friend who gave me the pink and purple leather cuts. He's started me off on an incredible new craft journey and I am delighted.

I have plans this weekend to make 2 fleece quillows ... but first I have to go to work today to help run an open day. Hopefully I'll get the quillows cut out tonight and stitched tomorrow. What are your plans for the weekend?

Whatever your plans, have a great weekend, friends.