Saturday, 14 July 2012

A Little Etsy Love

Got to love a coupon...get 20% off by entering COUPONLOVE at checkout. 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Putting your New Foot Forward

My journey to conquer the tibial tendinitis (not "labial" as spellcheck keeps trying to change it to - can you imagine) has reached a new stage. In between causing bruises on my calves the Podiatrist gave me these yesterday.
Orthotic Insoles
If you knew how much they cost you'd be as excited as I am.
Base of Orthotic Insoles
He had created a cast of my feet a few weeks earlier and measured my legs and these were the result. They force me to walk properly rather than tipping outwards with each step. What suprised me though is how the highlight the differences between my legs.
Orthotic Insoles End View
The one on the right is about 5mm higher than the other to make up for the difference in length. I know none of us are truly symmetric (think of the men you know) but it's still quite surprising to see it illustrated like this. I'm to wear them for an hour extra each day until I am wearing them all the time and should expect to feel quite knackered for the first few weeks as my body is forced to work harder than usual when walking. But on the plus side it should stop the pain so bring it on.

I received several things yesterday of a less practical nature and far more aesthetically pleasing. Pooch's birthday present for me arrived from Canada.
Silver Knitting Ring 2
Di-vine. I've had it on my etsy favourites for years and am utterly thrilled with it.
Silver Knitting Ring 3
I am going to wear it with pride at work to do and see it as my new go-to ring.
Silver Knitting Ring
This is the seller. She is a real artist.

Also arriving chez Byrne was something else I'd favourited on etsy an age ago and decided to treat myself to as a birthday present.
What Makes My Cat Purr?
A vintage children's book called "What Makes my Cat Purr?". Some might think that starting to buy children's books was a sign of impending intention, but no. This is purely for me and I read it out loud to myself last night. #cuckoo
The illustrations are so lovely.
Vintage boy holding cat
One day I will get to live out my crazy cat woman dreams.

Meanwhile I content myself with being the crazy wrestling woman. The CM Punk - AJ - Daniel Bryan love triangle continues. Needless to say CM Punk doesn't want to be in the love triangle, everyone keeps telling AJ she's nuts or 'needs professional help' depending on whether they are a heel or a face (bad guy / good guy for the uninitiated) and Daniel Bryan only cares because AJ is the special guest referee at his and Punk's title match on sunday (woop woop). Having snogged them both last week (and really snogged - OMG I'm so jealous as I would happily give a decent sized portion of my yarn stash to snog CM Punk) she this week proposed to CM Punk, was proposed to by Bryan and then ended by slapping them both - and proper slaps too. Their reactions were quite telling. CM Punk (face) was annoyed but would naturally never hit a lady so just pulled a real mean face.
CM Punk Angry
Daniel Bryan (heel) was astonished AJ didn't want to marry him and pulled what I think of as a margaret-rutherford-as-miss-marple-upon-being-told-to-go-away-by-an-impertinent-young-upstart-face.
Daniel Bryan Surprised
Come on - which one would you rather snog?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Five Inspirations

1. Onesie with some awesome motto printed on it - could use foam letters and fabric paint rather than needing to be fancy about it.

Source: via Alex on Pinterest

2. Woven patchwork using a jelly roll. Instructions are for a rug but a baby blanket would be nice too.

3. A Galaxy Dress using bleach and fabric paint. You know how much these are usually? Where can I get a black shirtdress for cheap?

4. Rolled Paper Vase (from Mary Jean's Things Etsy Shop)

Source: via Alex on Pinterest

5. Use the base of a poundshop laundry basket to make polka dot walls

I love Pinterest for keeping track of all these ideas although you do need to make sure you credit things properly - not least so they link back to the original tutorials. There is so much craftyness out there! It makes me happy to know there are so many of us making away in our spare time out there. But I don't find all these already on Pinterest and just repin them. Here are some blogs that have been inspiring me lately...

To help keep up with blogs I've developed an addiction to the Flipboard app. It's free and you can set up whatever you want to keep an eye on. I've got UK News, Technology, Science which gathers all the top stories from social media and the internet and lets me skim through them. Then I've also got Google Reader as another with all the blogs I read set up. Google Reader is free too and is soooo easy to use. I've then got the CRAFT website as a separate section as they update so often it floods my other blogs otherwise and then Flickr as another one again. I now read the latest blog posts on my way home each evening. I've been catching up on so many more posts than I would usually be able to read and with less effort than looking at the sidebar on my own blog to see who has updated. Result. It can only leave more time for crafting. 

I wish someone would pay me to endorse stuff I love anyway. 

Bleh. I'm off now to watch Volcanos LIVE and tear colourful pages out of magazines to make into a vase. And possibly a mess. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Theme of this Week is Brown

I am not amazing at sewing straight lines. My mind wanders. This was therefore not a natural project for me - but was something I'd been wanting to try for a while. Bargello Patchwork.
Bargello Patchwork Completed 2
I have loved Bargello Embroidery for a long time and became intrigued by the patchwork after seeing some at the Festival of Quilts. The larger pieces are pretty mental.
The one above is actually quite 'normal' compared to the ones I've been looking at with the assistance of the "Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts" book (non-affiliate link) and if you look at that click on the extra images for more mind bending examples.) It all starts with strips the same width being sewn together going from light to dark in your chosen colourway.
Sewn strips
There is also much emphasis on ironing your seams one way or another.
Back of sewn strips with seams
I stuck with this for this stage but regretfully failed to follow through and am seeing the consequences now. Luckily my aim for the finished object doesn't succeed or fail on the basis on lying completely flat.
Bargello Patchwork Completed
I envisage a set of four placemats. But that's enough sewing for today so we shall see if it becomes something else in the interim.

I seem to have a lot of projects on the go in different crafts at the moment. As I see it the list is...

  • Bargello patchwork possible placemats (as above)
  • Wedding shawl in amazing handspun silk (about 2/3 done)
  • Yellow Opal socks in garter stitch (almost finished second one)
  • Wedding waistcoat for Andy (need to make second trial one)
  • Wedding quilt for Sian and Mark (at the quilting stage then needs binding)
  • Bunting duvet for Sian and Mark (still being planned)
  • Secret cross-stitch (half of the chart designed)
  • Succulent garden (bowl, soil, gravel and one succulent acquired)
  • Letter wallet (surface embroidery on top of crazy patchwork almost complete)
  • Bunting for Sian's wedding (fabric cut out)
  • Wooden painted houses (paint, brushes, houses acquired)
  • Pickled swedish herring (mason jar, vinegar, herbs acquired - being thwarted by lack of herring)
  • Cat embroidery in straight stitch (half done)
I think this list says quite a lot really. I've always marvelled at people who work on one thing at a time and I used to think I craved that at work. But this really is how I work best. A little bit of patchwork, a few rows of knitting, an hour of embroidery, back to the knitting, look at succulent types online, design a bit of cross stitch. I do wonder if I have some compulsion to never be still and put myself under pressure to do all this stuff sometimes but then I do seem to really enjoy it. And having said that, that's enough blogging and I think the shawl deserves an hour or so of my attention. 

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