Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Presenting a Wild Pelmet

Presenting the wraps first. I had a ball tying bits onto the strings to make them more interesting. The beads are beads and the rings are seashells with their middle bits worn out. They are abundant on our shores.

My sister-in-law has birthday today. She has unwrapped her present, I have checked. When I asked for an idea for a birthday present, she wanted to have a pelmet for one of her kitchen windows to hang from the upper edge. There was then a LOOOOONG list of colours this pelmet should include. I think I managed to cram them all in.

The other present  contained a pencil case/make-up bag, which was an alternative wish. As I had some ready made, I thought I would be generous and fulfil both wishes.

Here is the whole pelmet. Due its shape, it was quite tricky to get a picture of.

The details bit by bit

I know, I know. This pelmet is suitable window dressing for a five year old or somebody past fifty...I promise, this is very much her style. I was told to make an eye-catching piece. I don't think there is much to say about the techniques, the pictures say it all. If you have questions, please ask. The only new technique for me was couching used in the plant stem. It is made by sewing strings of embroidery floss onto the fabric. I used machine. A hand stitched would have been even nicer, but I was a bit short of time

Sunday, 12 May 2013


I have been eyeing these  tulips, which a client of mine brought for me from her garden. They are called "Ballerinas" and the skirts open up more than in the picture during the day. They have been beautiful and inspiring at all stages. I have been  very tempted to draw or paint them in their turquoise vase. I took the picture to be sure that I have something to refer to, if I don't get to draw them while they still decorate our dining table.  I think I might look for bulbs of these ballerinas to plant for the next spring.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Storage Jars and Homemade Trousers

This is a project I have thought of doing a long time. I even bought the blackboard paint and had everything ready to go in my craft room. Alas, other things were more pressing, like making trousers for the Son.

I cannot claim any originality with this one, but I took what I need from other people's ideas.  I used normal cello tape to mask the glass and painted over twice. I did key the jar lids with sandpaper before painting. The little 250ml jar of paint covers approximately 3 square metres, so plenty to go with, if you plan to paint this type things. It cost £5 in our local paint shop.

I could have painted the lids with another colour, but for us the lid is the important bit. We have most of our dry goods in drawers, and the lids are the bits we see most. I did paint the lids twice as well, although once might have been enough. I plan to make many more of these.

The painting makes a haphazard collection of recycled jars to stylish "set" and makes labelling easy.  I am in two minds whether I bother putting the "labels" on the rest of the jars. You might think "What about when you open the jars and they are not labelled?". The foods I keep in this type of jars are easy to identify, either by sight or by the smell in case of spices. On the other hand I am about to take my liquid chalk pen to my flour jars and mark them. The pen does not need the black paint, it will stick to glass directly. I usually leave a cut out from the flour bag in the jar to tell us what is inside. Writing on the jar would ease the identification.

I made one for the Son as well

The black Dalek is one of the plastic ones in the jar painted over with the blackboard paint. He can choose what he is going to put in it, the aliens were in the jar just for the photo purposes. I have seen some really cute ones painted with spray paints sporting different plastic animals from kids' play sets.  I have another idea brewing, I'll show you, if it is a good one.

Sewing machine has sung quite a lot lately, the results cannot be shown as yet. The above mentioned trousers have been finished though. They did not come out perfectly, mainly because I went and changed the pattern a bit, which then skewed the whole thing.  The material was actually "too good quality" for the pattern I had decided to use. In hindsight I can see I should have changed the pattern to suit this fabric.

The back, please do not scrutinise a la "Great British Sewing Bee", would get many "tut-tuts"

I think it is worth showing the things, which did not come out perfectly, because quite honestly, that happens to everyone. A lot in my case. These trousers will do for this summer, they are likely to be used like this anyway.  By the way, the Son doesn't have a double chin in normal circumstances, but was pulling faces and being silly. I did mean to cut the picture further down...

I choose to be grateful that he still would use clothes made by Mum. On the other hand I know that he hates shopping, so homemade has the allure of not having to go to the horrid shops and try clothes on.

Originally I was about to buy him a pair of trousers, but it is almost impossible to predict the sizes of the used ones and there are not that many on offer anyway in his size. I don't want to buy the horrible cheap ones, as the price in the other end is far too high. (We all have seen the reports from Bangladesh disaster). The fabric for these ones cost me £9. It is quality you would find in likes of Barbour clothing, so nothing I could have found on the racks of the shops I can afford. And no Mums were harmed in the making of this garment.

Have you chosen to sew anything instead of buying?