Two little Magpies – Screen Printing

4 Jul

Back in May my Boyfriend & I went on a screen printing workshop at Two little Magpies in Beeston. I’ve been following them on Facebook & was delighted to see they run workshops on Wednesday evenings as well as Saturday’s. I often miss workshops I want to attend as they mostly run on a Saturday when I’m usually working, also teaching Workshops. With Wednesday’s being my day off I don’t even need to rush around getting there.

We started off by creating simple stencils from free style cut and torn paper, I kept it straight forward & created several leaves from folded paper in different sizes & then decided to arrange them around a central stalk. I love the combination of red & grey together (the colour theme of my bathroom) so for my first print used grey paint on red paper. I loved the result and my first print of the evening ended up being my favorite of the whole workshop.

Red & Grey print - nettynot blog

First Print up and framed in my bathroom.

I actually printed a couple of this design in different colourways, unfortunately I did not get my stencil quite central so I had to trim down the edges, not the end of the world, but I do quite like the rough edges on screen prints, adds a bit of charm and maintains the hand made quality. I have added some blue leaves to my bedroom picture shelf too.

Bedroom shelf - nettynot blog

Having done some screen printing before I knew what I could potentially created and I had planned to go with a pre-prepared stencil, but as these things go I wasn’t organised enough & I ran out of time beforehand. So when it came to creating a second stencil from the various prepared ones provided, I had a bit of a mental block. So just dived in and had go, as a result I didn’t really like my second run of prints, (birds in a sky full of airplane trails). I also took inspiration from another participant & printed some simple large cheese plant leave. They came out alright, but just not destined for a wall any time soon.

All was not lost with these prints as I have since turned several parts of the prints I made into birthday cards for friends, I think picking and choosing the best bits has worked well.

I really enjoyed the few hours just experimenting and producing art work in a simple and fun way, especially given that it’s not the easiest thing to set up and do at home. My boyfriend who hasn’t really done craft workshops before, enjoyed it too, though he was gutted to accidentally get some pink paint on his favorite print of the evening. However I have since managed to rescue it, I wish I’d taken a before picture so you could see what I’ve done, basically there where two smallish, but obvious splodges near the middle and top, so given their positioning I decided to add some bubbles coming from the fish, in my vast array of random paper and crafty bits & bobs I had the right colours of card to make them look at part and I think it turned out quite well. You’d never know it wasn’t supposed to be like this (except for the fact I’ve told you all here).

Rich fishes - nettynot blog

Two Little Magpies is a great little shop providing a variety of workshops, selling gifts and handmade goods, I’m sure I’ll be back from more workshops. I took the opportunity to have a good browse too, I don’t always have the funds or space to splash out on large handmade pieces. However I often buy a card or two, as it’s a great way to support local independents and they have a great range of cards. I absolutely loved all the designs by Karoline Rerrie, who’s a screen printer, her vibrant Scandi style images just jumped out at me. I spent a while choosing, as I wanted them all, but settled on these 3, I’m now on the look out for a frame (or 3) to put them in as I’m going to keep them all!

Karoline Rerrie cards - nettynot blog

Thanks for reading!
Steph

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Morning Echo Cardigan

29 May

I finished knitting this cardigan some time ago (last November to be precise… just in time to wear to the first Nottingham yarn expo (which was rather lovely – I got to go with many of the Knit in Notts, knit group members, which for several of them, their first knitting show).

morning echo cardigan - photos - nettynot

I was missing a navy cardigan from my wardrobe after loosing one a while ago (I accidentally left it on the tram). I wanted something fairly simple but with a little interest so I could wear it with lots of different things and not get bored knitting it. After an advanced Rav search (v-neck, raglan sleeves, dk, 1 colour) I chose Morning Echo by sweet paprika designs. It’s lovely lace edge detail and v neck shaping was perfect for my criteria. Knitted from the bottom up in the round, it was a nice quick start to the pattern. However when I got to the sleeves I decided to veer off the pattern path.

morning echo cardigan - blocking - nettynot

I much prefer to knit most things in the round and in one piece, it makes it easier to try on as you knit and less sewing up, however the sleeves for morning echo are knitted flat and then sewn in. I decided to do a provisional cast on for each sleeve before starting the raglan shaping in the body so that I could knit the whole top of the cardigan in one piece. I worked out how many dec there would have been on the edges of each piece and spread incorporated that in my re-design of the top. I ended up adding a few more rows into sleeve tops, I think we’re supposed to me more stretched, but I don’t think my alterations were have turned out too badly and the cardigan fits well, I’m really not much of a fan of sewing up awkward seams.

morning echo cardigan flat - nettynot

Other adjustments I made were knitting the hips a size larger and then adding more decreases so that I ended up with the right number of stitches for the second size at the waist, this worked well and the cardigan flares out over my wider hips and I now have a cardigan that fits my shoulder, bust & hips all at the same time which it rather wonderful!

Shoulder morning echo - Nettynot

I really liked the way the edging was incorporated up the sides and around the next band, however I really don’t like vague instructions in patterns, to finish the neck band the pattern states to knit until “…reaches centre back of neck when stretched…” stretched a bit? Stretched a lot…I don’t know? I realise why it’s been written this way, it will be different for each size and possibly vary with neck sizes/shapes, but a little guidance at least would have been appreciated. I knitted, grafted, sewed into place then unpicked, ripped back a bit, re-graphed, re-sewed 3 times in total, it hibernated for a week or so too as I’d found it so frustrating. I knitted a size 2 at the top and made each side of the neck band 17.5cm before graphing together, in the end.

Despite my frustrations, I did finish it and had a lot of wear out of it and I’m sure I’ll get s lot more wear too.

morning echo cardigan - button band - nettynot

Yarn was Patons diploma gold dk originally bought from my lys Knit Nottingham, though it has since been discontinued by the the shop.

Nettynot in Morning Echo cardigan

I really need to work on my posing, I usually look too serious, but mostly too awkward (I’m always envious of instaesque photos people post of casually not looking at the camera, yet looking cool & perfectly showing off their handmade garment – I look so unnatural in my poses)!

More cardigan details on Ravelry (nettynot).

Thanks for reading

Steph

Mosaics : a new challenge

10 Feb

I’ve always liked mosaics, the more inventive and colourful the better. I dream of having loads of colourful mosaics in my garden and took a lot of inspiration from my trip to Barcelona back in October.

My trip also made me just get on a book a workshop I had been pondering doing for some time, so the same day I got back from my holiday I booked a workshop with Lily Mosaics & attended a day later!

It was a lovely relaxed day, I loved picking out colours and seeing all the different mosaic bits n bobs on offer to work with. I went with the intention of making a small plaque of an owl/bird, that I might have hung in my bathroom, but then on a whim started creating a bold geometric design on a small tray.

It is quite a time consuming activity, (well it is when you do something far from simple as a beginner), I found it very relaxing cutting and playing around with different pieces. I got most of my larger motifs done in the workshop and then took a few spare bits to continue at home. I had already acquired several mosaic tiles myself and I ended up incorporating several of these into my patterns at home, as my design evolved.

I had originally planned to do a grey background, however a went for a lighter white, as I thought it’d make the colourful tiles standout more and match the already white tray.

I rather like my finish tray and found the grouting less arduous than I expected, though some of the really tiny pieces I used were a pain in the bum (lesson learnt).


mosaic tray - nettynot blog

mosaic tray close up - nettynot blog

I have since covered a simple picture frame, I’m not a huge fan of the finished result, I didn’t think enough about the edge where the tiles meet, but it looks alright in situ and still an improvement on the boring pine (fortunately I’m not too much of a perfectionist)!

I also made a set of Rennie Macintosh inspired coasters for part of my parents Christmas present. I really enjoyed making them. It was one of those rare occasions where the idea in my head worked out exactly as I imagined!

macintosh ungrouted - nettynot blog
macintosh grouted coasters - nettynot blog
The only thing I’ve not figured out, is what’s the best way to seal them, I didn’t want to make the lovely matte tiles shiny, but equally don’t want them to end up tea stained. I gifted them as they are, but keep meaning to do further research, does anyone what any suggestions?

 

I’m eager to do more now & started collecting ideas on a mosaic & garden board on Pinterest. Just need some warmer drier weather now.

Thanks for reading!

Procraftination

12 Dec

I like all my crafty pursuits to have a purpose, I like to have some thing tangible to show for the time spent creating something, which is one of many reasons why I love knitting. I can appreciate why others colour-in or scrapbook for relaxation, but I’ve always felt it’s not my cup of tea.

That said, many years ago when I went on the Amy Butler colour workshop at the festival of quilts (bought as a 30th birthday gift by my wonderful friends). I found it fascinating to see how her themes develop and they mostly start off with a trip, photos and then collages, from which she picks out colours, which then inform the pallet for her new range. I found her talk inspiring and actually really enjoyed making the collage we created on the day (something that has no real practical use). I have actually framed it and hung it in my spare room (which doubles as my sewing room).

When I was feeling a little uninspired recently, I’ve had a tea leaf of an idea brewing away in brain for a little while and sometimes when I have a vision for something I’m quite apprehensive to get it started in case in turns out terribly. However I found collating a few things, ripped out of old magazines and creating a collage helped with the idea brew further and I’m feeling more confident to see it through.

My collage just focused entirely on colour, I found it very therapeutic and I now have a great colour palette of my own to inform my projects.

This was very therapeutic to do, helped with my creative though processes, and I cleared out a loaf of old magazines too (a whole shelf’s worth)!

Patterns Everywhere : Barcelona part 3

5 Nov

Palau de la Música Catalana

We popped in to this wonderful building for a bite to eat and a drink and were so impressed by the entrance and small section we saw ,and I really wanted to see the stained glass ceiling in real life, that we booked a tour for the following day. I must admit I know very little about music halls and they’re not somewhere I’ve ever spend much time. However I do have an appreciation for amazing buildings and this really way spectacular.



Patterns Everywhere : Barcelona part 2

4 Nov

Casa Batlló 
We headed to one of Gaudi’s impressive creations having been intrigued by the blurb in my guide book (yep properly tourist-ing it up) and I wasn’t disappointed. Inspired by nature there’s a fluidity to the rooms and space with wonderful rich wood and colourful detail.

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I could have shared loads of photos here, however I wanted to remember some of the more subtle details, from the paving outside thee house also design by Gaudi and seen all over the city. I had to buy myself a coaster of the design, I just loved the clever way the same single hexagonal piece creates different shapes and patterns when tessellated.

All photos are my own. Copyright Steph Gibbs.

Patterns Everywhere : Barcelona part 1 

3 Nov

Everywhere I go I can’t help but spot patterns in everything, I’m sure I’m not the only one, my phone is full of snippets of walls, leaves, doors & floors. My latest holiday a few weeks ago was no different, Barcelona is full of wonderful patterns, tiles, mosaics & buildings so I thought I’d collate some of them together in a little blog post.

( I have now decided to split them in to s few posts I hadn’t realised quite how many photos I’d taken in 4 and a half days – over 500, the joys of a good camera phone).

Part 1 : Catedral de Barcelona



This really was a magnificent building with a huge amount of details in every part of the building and a good start to our holiday.

All photos are my own. Copyright Steph Gibbs.

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