Golden garlands

In my last post I mentioned some paper garlands I’d sewn for christmas decorations- here they are.

I used up the last of a little pot of Windsor & Newton gold ink which I’ve had for about 10 years by using a big brush to paint rough stripes across some watercolour paper.  I then exercised my scissor-muscles cutting out rough circles from the paper, and fed those through the sewing machine with cream thread.

I think I should probably take them down now, or they won’t look christmassy when I put them up in 10 months time!

Birthday bunting x 2

A long time ago I came across a blog that showed a paper banner made by feeding bits of paper through the sewing machine, which seemed a deceptively easy way to make something very decorative.  I mentally filed it away and thought no more of it until I was playing around with bits of paper to make my mum a birthday card, and thought I’d have a go at making some bunting, which seems to be all over the place in cutesy crafty blogs.  This paper-sewing method seemed to be a way of indulging in a bit of bunting frivolity without making too serious a time commitment to an affection (or affectation) for all things cute.

Making the bunting involved painting some watercolour paper in rainbow washes of colour, waiting for it to dry, and then cutting it into triangles.  I stacked up all the triangles, sat down at the sewing machine, and fed them through.  There were a few snags figuring out the machine’s tolerance for sewing paper and dropping stitches (which is how to get the little bit of space in between each piece of paper) but I got there in the end.

The result made me happier than I have been with a craft project for a long time, mostly because I wasn’t expecting it to actually work.  With most projects I have a vision of how I want it to look, and then I’m a bit disappointed when it necessarily looks different to how I’d imagined it.  This bunting was BETTER than I’d imagined.  Proof that the easiest way to exceed expectations is to lower them first!  I was so pleased, in fact, that I proceeded to make some for my dad for his birthday, and also make some christmas garlands along a similar theme which I’ll take a photo of at some point as they are, in late January, still hanging up in the flat.  I take the view that white and gold garlands are not season-specific, myself.

I neglected to take photos of the completed bunting I made my dad, but I was a bit more experimental with the colours and took a photo of the finished ‘painting’ before the paper was cut into triangles:

I painted this sheet by doing stripes of blue, stripes of orange, etc all quite spaced out, and then trying to fill them in with colours that would contrast next to one another.  A sort of random-yet-planned colour splash.  Up until the final few stripes were applied, I was not happy with how it was turning out and almost scrumpled it up to start again, but once I’d finished I was glad I hadn’t.

The result was very cheerful, and I am sure to be deploying this particular crafty idea for celebratory events in the future!


Hot chocolate de-luxe

The last few weeks of December essentially involved me crafting away frantically at one secret project after another, having over-optimistically planned to make or embellish presents for many members of my family.  They all turned out well in the end, but I was so exhausted by all the effort that I forgot to photograph most of them, and also forgot to blog or photograph much of anything at all.

I did, however, have to capture possibly the most complicated hot chocolate I have ever consumed, which is saying something.  This was a deluxe hot chocolate, with all the trimmings, which were comprised of the following:

marshmallows (goes without saying)
whipped cream
chocolate-sugar dust
brownie chunks, AND…
a chocolate flake!

This amazing confection was produced by the hot drinks stand at the Tunbridge Wells ice rink, and more than made up for the fact that the rink was fully booked so we weren’t able to skate.  So, wet bums and sliced-off fingers 0, tasty hot chocolate 1.  Excellent result.

They had also decorated the stand with pretty twinkle lights, for extra festive cheer.

Just what was needed after a fortnight of concentrated needle-work!

New cushion covers

I made something!  Actually sewed something!  This should not be such a big deal, but somehow it is… if you were to ask me what some of my favourite things are to do, high up on the list would be sewing and embroidery.  I love textiles, and textile arts, but in a kind of secret ‘I wish I could do this more often’ kind of way.  I even like folding washing.  BUT recently other things seem to have gotten in the way, so I have had the beginnings of sewing projects lying around which have been left untouched for an embarrassingly long amount of time.

But no more!  I was in Ikea the other day, and noted that they have cheap, fun fabrics, so I picked up some cheery rainbow-y fabric with which to adorn my sofa.  It’s probably not the sort of thing that will stand the test of time (or my shifting tastes) but the fabric was less than £10 in total, and it took me about 2 hours to make the covers, so I am happy.

My design aesthetic at the moment seems to be whitewhitewhite with some wood and neutrals, and little pops of rainbow colour to liven things up and make me smile.  These cushions certainly provide the last element.

I also subconsciously purchased white fabric for the backs of the cushions which is actually the same fabric as the sofa (the benefit of buying sofa and fabric all from Ikea), so if I want things a bit more minimalist I can just turn them over.

So there we are, my first completed sewing project in well over a year.  I am now inspired to continue and make some more things…