July 2018

Woo, I’m on time this month. Its been an odd month craftingwise. I’ve done a lot of prep for epp and pottery but nothing else, so it isn’t particularly photogenic. I finally posted about pottery as well, so that’s something.

  1. Quilt – no change
  2. Beaded purse – no change
  3. Peyote card case – no change
  4. Beaded handbag – no change
  5. Beaded crochet – this has grown a bit
  6. Jumper – no change
  7. Epp stars – I’ve made 14 panels and edged them all, so that’s 2/7 rows. I’ve made 3 more panels, and prepped pieces for 7 more panels. I’ve also cut about enough for another panel. I also figured out I can sew in the car, hence the prepping.
  8. Beaded ornament made from daisy chains – no change
  9. Beaded chain mail necklace – no change

My pottery list is like this:

  1. Cactus ring dish – needs glazing
  2. Stamen ring dish – needs glazing
  3. Shallow bird dish – needs glazing
  4. Mug – needs glazing

My finishes are all pottery based

  1. An elephant statuette
  2. A decorative bowl

All of my craft stuff is packed as we are moving and traveling in July, so I’ll either get nothing done or lots for a little while. Lets see

My featured image is from the hotel we stayed in, in the lake district. Its a pretty cute way of not throwing away old walking boots.

 

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Pots and bits

So as you know I’ve taken up pottery. I have a very long list of things I’d like to try (weaving, spinning, glass blowing, woodcarving are some of the others), and so when some friends mentioned, a local drop in pottery class, I was pretty excited.

The class is held at eastcott studios. The classes are informal drop in sessions, with advice and tutelage provided by Jo. I end up going about every other week, as this works with my work schedule. Fortunately due to all the time needed for drying and firing over the stages, this works quite well.

The sessions only cover handbuilding. I will one day try out the wheel but that requires booking and therefore some organisation from me.

Over the last three months I have tried slab-building, pinching and coiling. My favourite so far is slab-building but I’m trying to be open minded and keep trying the other techniques out.

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The first things I bought home: laceprinted pot, flower and diva

Slab building involves rolling out slabs of clay and using something as a template to build a structure. While rolling the clay you can imprint it, with lace or stamps. I’ve used this technique to make a laceprinted pot, stamped mug and a shallow dish, a pendant and some ring dishes.

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My plant trays and the flower

Pinching is where you take a ball of clay and pinch it into the desired shape. This is fun but I found it really hard to get a smooth final product. I have used this technique to make a 2 plant drip trays, a diva, a flower trinket and a small elephant statuette.

Coiling involves creating coils or strips which are then joined together to build a shape. I found this tricky to keep making the shape I wanted desired as when you join it together it squished the shape out of sorts. I used this to make a vase and a teaspoon dish.

Not all of those projects are finished. I have also been glazing projects. Mostly I’ve kept it fairly simple, but I did have a go at bubble painting the small vase.

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I have some ideas for future projects. I want to make some more divas, ring dishes and plant pots and drip trays. I might have another go at a mug (my current one is huge). I’ve also seen some beautiful things in the pottery studio and get new ideas every time I go.

 

 

 

June 2018

The first of the month keeps taking me by surprise, at least in terms of writing this blog post. I’ve done a fair amount of travelling in may and therefore slightly less crafting.

Heres the list:

  1. Quilt – no change
  2. Beaded purse – no change
  3. Peyote card case – no change
  4. Beaded handbag – no change
  5. Beaded crochet – this has grown a bit
  6. Jumper – no change
  7. Epp stars – I’ve made 14 panels and edged all but 2. The panels are made of three lines of stars and contain 4 or 5 stars. Each row of panels will have 7 panels and there will be 7 rows. So I’ve done lots this month but still a lot to go.
  8. Beaded ornament made from daisy chains
  9. Beaded chain mail necklace – I started this at my beading group and I might keep only making it there.

I’ve decided that I’m going to document my pottery projects separately. I’ve been going quite regularly but they still take time because of all the drying. However this should help me keep track of them.

  1. Diamond dish, for teaspoons – glazed and being fired
  2. Coiled pot – glazed and being fired. I used a bubble technique to give a different finish to the glaze so we’ll see what happens
  3. Decorative bowl – slab built and decorated with stamps, has a petal shape. Drying
  4. Elephant statuette – drying

I have a sort of finish this month. We made a lovely spiral rope in my beading group two months ago, and I’ve finished the rope. I’m not sure what to turn it into though so it may wait til it finds a home.

The feature image is from one of the wiltshire wildlife trust reserves, that we visited during on of the bank holidays.

 

Mini hoop

I always enjoy taking part in the swaps that Ali of veryberryhandmade organises. They are a wonderful way to try something new and help me feel connected to the community.

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My mini hoop

This swap was of mini hoops, and was primarily instagram based. The hoops have to be between 5.5 and 4 cm in diameter but after that it is upto you.

My partner gave me some great tips for what she wanted, including somethings she didn’t want. I find this really helpful and have been carefully editing my own version with each swap I do, however it is still quite vague.

I knew I wanted to try beading for this swap and as my partner said she liked a bit of sparkle, I felt ok to go ahead with it. She had also mentioned a colour scheme of green and purple so I decide to go with that. I searched my fabric stash for a background but what I actually found was a scarf that I had shrunk which contained a beautiful colour scheme of green, purple along with some yellow, teal and brown, that really inspired me.

I then went through my bead stash to find things of appropriate colours. I wanted various sizes, shapes and textures so I could really play. I also included some sequins as I had been inspired by the work of defiantembroidery on instagram.

I actually found more beads that I used but, I wanted to let the textures play so narrowed down the quantity and unincluded some that were just the wrong scale.

After that I just played. I tried to repeat some of the techniques or colour combinations in different areas as I find this helps to keep some continuity.

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I really enjoyed coming up with ideas, and seeing what they looked like. I find it quite freeing.

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I’m very pleased with the end result, I think it is pretty well balanced colour and texture wise. Hopefully my partner likes it as much as I do.

In return I received this beautiful hoop from @mudpiesandpins.

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May 2018

This one has snuck up on me. April has been an interesting month, it feels like I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and I was a bit unwell.

I’ve mostly been doing my English paper piecing and unlike predicted I haven’t started anything new. Lets see what happens in May.

  1. Quilt – no change
  2. Beaded purse – no change
  3. Peyote card case – no change
  4. Beaded handbag – no change
  5. Beaded crochet – this has grown quite a bit
  6. Jumper – no change
  7. Epp stars – I’ve joined up stars for the top section. Each section is 3 rows and is made up of 32 stars. I’ve sewn the stars into groups of 4 or 5.  I’ve also got started with the bottom section, and am getting along with it.

For finishes its been a bit scarce

  1. Pottery – all the pieces I’ve made so far are glazed and some of them are home. I will talk about the process soon.

I also need to tell you about my mini hoop and the one I received.

Pretty fixes

I am an avid user of instagram (you could say addicted but hey) and I have been seeing some beautiful repairs of clothes, especially the ones done by hunterhammerstein.

Because of recent changes in my life, the majority of my wardrobe is fairly recent and therefore there are fairly few repairs that need to be made. So I’ve been keeping an eye out for something with a hole in it (that was worth fixing). And then I found it, one of my plain jumpers had a snag in the body. I gathered it up and spent some time deciding on colours, in the end I went for quite a bright colour scheme but based off the wrong cross stitch scheme.

I then put the selection away because I had quite a lot of crafty stuff and life wise going on just before Christmas. However after Christmas I had a few days back at my place and I spent most of the time crafting in piece.

I began with the hole and went around it in a binding stitch. This made it quite a bit bigger but hopefully has stabilised it. I then embroidered the flowers around it. I started with the big red one, this is the one I’m least happy with. However it looks fine especially surrounded by the others. They were all trial and error stitches and the fairly open knit of the jumper made it pretty tricky to find stitches that worked well.

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I’ve since worn and washed the jumper, and all the stitches are still in place. I like the overall effect, it is pretty but not too over stated.

Let’s see if any more holes turn up.

 

 

April 2018

Despite it being easter here, it really doesn’t feel very spring like, its still very cold and damp. Hopefully April will bring some spring weather.

March felt hectic with work and travel so I haven’t done much crafting. I’m also feeling like starting something new soon so keep an eye out next month.

  1. Quilt – no change
  2. Beaded purse – no change
  3. Peyote card case – no change
  4. Beaded handbag – no change
  5. Bead crochet – a little bit of growth
  6. Jumper – the sizing wasn’t right so I started the first panel again
  7. Epp stars – I’ve got 42 stars cut and basted of which I have about 10 left to piece. I’ve added hexagons to the ones I’ve made and am now adding them as I go. I took this project with me while travelling so I’m feeling productive with it. I might start joining bits while at home and doing the small bits on the move.
  8. Pottery – I took this up recently and have several bits that need painting and glazing

Finishes this month are:

  1. My mini hoop – it is ready to be posted and I will write it up when its been received
  2. Some cards – I had a day off so got out my supplies
  3. My butterfly cross stitch – technically this requires some finishing but she has flown round the world with me and I added the last stitch on my way back from this trip. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with her

This months feature image is from the summer palace in Beijing. I had a lovely two weeks in China this month, working and sightseeing. It was a fascinating country and I barely saw any of it. It is definitely one of those places where you can really feel how quickly we are developing.