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Sew Organised

25 Jul

I’d been thinking for a while that I needed a better way to store my sewing scissors and related paraphernalia (isn’t that such a lovely word). I’m constantly moving everything on and off my table and it all ends up piled up in a bit if a jumble.

Wire Basket - Nettynot Blog.jpg

So when I was recently having a tidy in my garage and rediscover this wire shelf and hooks I use to store and hang my jewellery from, I had a wave of inspiration. The hooks are a perfect size for scissor handles, however the reason I stopped using it was the awkward gaps in the wire shelf, I used to loose things through them and get bracelets stuck between the wire. So I thought I would just make a little fabric cover to sit in the shelf to stop items dropping though. This idea brewed for about a week until I had a bit of time to sit down and actually make it. In that time the idea had brewed into a small piece of patchwork.

Cut fabric - mini patchwork - nettynot blog

I kept it simple with straight forward squares (I cut 2” x 2”), to make a 9 by 6 square mat. I made it a little longer than I needed so I could tuck under the edge which would be visible from the front.

Sewn fabric - mini patchwork - nettynot blog

I often wonder whether I’m a bit crazy for keeping so many small faffy bits of scrap fabric, however they came into their own for this little project!

Fabric scraps - Nettynot Blog

I think as long as I limit it to just this one box I can justify it (the lid does fit on, honest)!

Hooks in Sewing Room - Nettynot Blog

I think the finished shelf and hooks look great, I like it below my colour collage, and will be so handy right above my sewing table.

Finished hooks - Nettynot Blog Post
Sewing Table - Nettynot Blog

It’s not the most attractive sewing table, however it is perfect for what I need, my sewing space doubles as the spare room, so I need something that is a sensible size, can fold down small, is pretty solid, I don’t mind about scratching and I found it in a local charity shop for £20!!! One of my best finds, I had a little sand underneath to see if I could remove the dark varnish and it looks pretty good under that horrid finish, so maybe that’s a project for the future!

Side note…

I did also sort out storing my ever expanding jewellery collection sometime ago with another flash of inspiration! I simply hammered large nails into a piece of wood I’d painted, then glued buttons to the heads of the nails (to make it look less industrial), it’s not perfect but very functional and I love it. Having this much jewellery is unavoidable when you work at a Bead shop and design jewellery as part of your job (that’s my excuse & I’m sticking to it!)


Thanks for reading!
Steph

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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

Patchwork Cushion

9 Aug

I have written a whole blog post about the chair I made this cushion (it was a slight tangent, but a lovely nostalgic one for me). However my original intention was to write about the cushion. I have made many things over the years and not documented them, I used to be able to remember the majority, however I find I stumble across old photos and think, oh I’d forgotten all about that skirt/bag/jumper I’d made. So I’m making a more concerted effort to document things, which Instagram has made easier to do, but I also like to use my blog as a notebook to myself as to the challenges/issues I encounter and had to resolve along the way. That said, although I do plan most of my project, at least to begin with, there is a considerable degree of  let’s just give it ago and see what happens.

I love a bit of Patchwork, and although it’s time consuming I do really like English paper piecing, which I hadn’t done for while after finishing the mammoth task of my Mum’s quilt. However I thought this would be a little project. I sketched a few ideas quite small to begin with and once I found an idea I was happy with I enlarged it and drew it out on some wall paper lining. I quite enjoy the Maths involved with patterns and pieces, I probably enjoyed this process as much as the actual making.

Paper piece template cushion - Nettynot Blog

Once I had my piece draw, in theory all the same shapes should be the same size, so it shouldn’t matter which pieces I sew together along as they are the right pieces, however learning from previous mistake I knew I really needed to be putting the pieces back together in exactly the way I cut them up, as it only takes a few of them to be a millimeter or so out to make it really awkward sewing them together later on (& I’m only human after all). So I numbered each piece and took a photo on my phone, for reference, before cutting up the template.

I often struggle to find enough time to get stuck into a project like this in one big chunk, so I decided I’d try to do the tacking and sewing of 1 set of shapes each evening for a week, so that it didn’t feel like it took too long to complete.

English Paper Piece - round Cushion cover - nettynot blog

It took me longer to decide what to do with back and get my act together to complete it. That didn’t go quite to plan, but I made it work in the end (sort of). I think the errors here were not measuring and cutting properly. I sewed strips of fabric together and made a cardboard template for the triangular shape, which really isn’t accurate enough when using a rotary cutter  (lesson learnt).

Cushion Back - Nettynot blog

The seams didn’t match up on the back terribly well, so I unpicks a couple of seams and tweaked it enough that it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, but in the process it had the central two hexigans wonky, I would have prefer them to be symmetrical as intended however it’s not too bad and everyone (hopefully) will be looking at the front and not the back. That said I did get the invisible zip in evenly, though not so invisible with the fabric stretched slightly.

Cushion Back with zip - Nettynot blog

I do like the finished result, and it is the bold eye catching design I had in mind, influenced slightly by the leather 70’s pouffes seen in many retro and vintage shops. However if I was going make one again I would make the cover larger, whenever I make a square cushion cover I make it slightly smaller as it makes for a better plump finish, no one wants floppy cushion, I applied the same principal here, wrongly as I think it looks a little too tight and puckered at the edge. I think even just an extra half inch all round would have made a nicer fit.


I also might try to be clever next time and make a convex shaped cover to eliminate the puckering on the back…..hmmmm the cogs are whirring on that one already.

Thanks for reading.
Steph

One thing leads to many others…

9 Aug

Ever since I did a textiles project at school based on the 60’s & 70’s I’ve been quite taken by the designs and colours of the 60’s in particular. I love the flamboyance, a decade of style over substance, that created many things that had never been seen before.
I have many books on this era and loved flicking through them, you really get a sense of inventiveness, excitement & fun from the decade. This period has influenced me in many small ways from the clothes I wore as a teen, the car I drove and some of the items I now have in my home.

Summer of Love Postcard - Nettynot Blog

My love of the 60’s inspired a birthday trip I took with my Mum for my 21st (12 years ago). We went to Tate Liverpool to see the Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era exhibition (we drove from Worcester at the time – approx 120 miles – just to illustrate the passion). It is probably the best exhibition I have ever been to, all these amazing things I had only seen in books I saw in real life. Most notable was Verner Panton‘s furniture landscape, Visiona II (below), definitely more of an art installation than furniture, but still fantastic as well as Janis Joplin’s restored Porsche.

Verner Paton - Visona II 1970 - Nettynot Blog

It’s the furniture and patternsin particular that stand out when I flick though retrospective books from this era and I’d love to own a Globe chair one day, however impractical they are. I have seen many version of these chairs and similar in museums (York Castle museum springs to mind).

1960s chairs - Nettynot Blog post

Many chairs that come up for sale are either affordable but a shabby mess or pristine and way too expensive. However while in Liverpool, at the Albert Docks my Mum and I had a wander around and came across a rather nice looking furniture shop (sadly no longer there) which had a whole range of lovely new retro inspired furniture. We spent a while in there and came away having bought a lovely chair from the range for my Birthday. Very much in the essence of 1960’s style, I still have the chair and it is still very comfortable!

My 60s style chair - Nettynot Blog

The chair is rather striking but sits in fairly colourless/muted corner of my louge, even with my 1950’s atomic magazine rack, I did have a large square cushion with bold Sanderson Dandelion Clocks fabric that matched the curtains I made but it just felt wrong having a square cushion on a round chair.

Sanderson dandelion Clocks fabric.jpg

The rest of my decor in my lounge has reds and grey – all taken from the colour pallett of this fabric. It’s taken me many years to get around to it, but I have eventually created a suitable cushion for this chair.

My 60s chair with round cushion - Nettynot Blog

I had intended to just write short introduction about the chair and the the main focus of this post to be about the cushion, however I started getting all enthusiastic and inspired so I going to write a whole separate post about my cushion.

It has been nice to remind myself of the things that have inspired and influence me over the years even if they aren’t such prominent influences now.

Thanks for reading!

Get it Done February Finale

4 Mar

My February got off to a good start with a pledge to get stuff done, my productivity continued in the first and second weeks of February, however in the last part of February I was a bit here there, n everywhere. I had a week off work where I visited Friends and Family in London and The Lake District, so getting stuff done became more sporadic, however with a few extra days at home in between my trips away I did get several things DONE!

I finished my secret Patchwork project mentioned in my earlier “get it done” blog post, this project deserved a whole post of it’s own which you can see here.
Close up Quilt - Nettynot BlogI bought new fuses, not the most exciting purchase I know, but after having to pinch them out of lesser used items when they’ve blown in more useful items I thought it was about time to replace them, which means I have no excuse not to use the Wii Fit (I will use it again…someday!)
New Amps - Nettynot BlogI took the opportunity to do a bit of gardening, I have lots of lovely snowdrops growing in my garden at the moment, thanks to my Mum who planted them the week I moved in 6 years ago and they’re still doing well. They do struggle to grow through all my weeds – so I got rid of them. It was worth it, in just half an hour and two buckets full of weeds later all was tidy making the snowdrops stand out and the garden look loads better.
Snowdrops and Gardening - Nettynot BlogI have also bought several new house plants to brighten up my home including some cute little succulents for my newly decorated bathroom – I just need to find them some suitable pots. I was also given a grow your own poppy kit in a lovely colourful pot and I’ve now sewn the seeds – just waiting for a Poppy.

New Plants - Nettynot BlogEvery time the sun streams through my lounge window it’s been highlighting how filthy it is, making me think I really need to clean the windows (both inside and out) and I eventually did it – It’s make such a big difference! It’s lovely to get it done as spring is approaching and there’ll (hopefully) be even more sunlight coming through.

Clean Window - Nettynot BlogI know I have way too many knitting projects on the go, but one more can’t hurt, I’ve planned on knitting a new blanket for a while now after being inspired by a cushion cover I was shown by one of my regular workshop ladies where I work – a square pattern where you just knit 10 stitches, round in a spiral, this image on Pinterest illustrates it much better than my description. My intension is to use up some stash yarn (as well as some new yarn) and who doesn’t need more hand knitted blankets. I’ve not cast on yet, but I have rummaged through my stash and pulled out all appropriate colours.
Yarn for blanket - Nettynot BlogA little while ago I did a little decoupage project, covering a flowery decorative watering can (which was a little bit twee for my taste) with some lovely grey textural images, however I hadn’t got around to sealing the paper, which I’ve now done!

Decoupage - Nettynot BlogI have also started to tackle my bare wall in my lounge, I have been collecting up small picture frames for sometime, with the intention of having a wall full of framed postcards, prints and photos. For several years it’s just had some fabric in embroidery hoops and one other solitary picture hanging there. Now I’ve frames and hung 2 more pictures, a good start to growing the collection.
Picture wall - Nettynot BlogI’ve also turned some lovely glass leaf pendants I bought recently into a pair of earrings – possibly one of the simplest ways to make earrings (just add fishhooks) and in reality takes less than a minute to do, but getting around to these things is always the tricky part and highlights the true nature of why I set myself this challenge – getting stuff done!
Glass Leaf Earrings - Nettynot BlogI like the idea of setting myself a challenge of doing something everyday, I always start with good intentions, however it’s not always that practical, life and other commitments get in the way. It’s also easy to put too much pressure on myself with these things, but who’s going to count whether I’ve actually done 28 things… probably no one and in the end I have got lots of stuff done – whooh! The things I’ve done that have made the most impact on my life have been adjusting my kitchen shelf, (simple things…) and cleaning my window (exciting stuff). Going to Light night, making the small quilt and hanging a few more pictures in my living space have been my happier accomplishments.

Get it Done February – Part 3

16 Feb

The only thing I’m find tricky with this challenge is having enough time to “Get things Done”, though I am keeping up the momentum…

Get it Done – Day 9
Patchwork project – I’ve had an idea up my sleeve for a while, it will be a gift for someone so I can’t say too much at the moment, however what I can say is that all the fabric pieces got cut out!

Cutting fabricGet it Done – Day 10
I fixed a much loved bracelet, simple I know, however it has been waiting for me to re-string it for longer than I can remember. I bought the bracelet about 10 years ago for £1 at a car boot sale and it has been well worn, I was relieved when the elastic eventually went that I didn’t loose a single bead. Phew! It is wearable again 🙂

yellow bracelet
Get it Done – Day 11
Another little bit of DIY. I’ve had a sad shelf in my pantry/under the stairs cupboard, it gets a lot of use as it’s where the cat biscuits live and every time I push the lid back on the tin I can’t help putting quite a bit if pressure on the shelf at the same time. Gradually the top screws have been giving way and I thought it was about time I sorted it out! Now it’s sorted!
Shelf fixGet it Done – Day 12
Patchwork project continuation. I got on and I have sewn all my pieces together. Again I can’t share too much here, but I can assure you there will be a future blog post!

patchwork sewingGet it Done – Day 13
Seizing the moment! I have arranged and booked train tickets to see friends and family in London, making the most of a whole weeks holiday I have booked from work. I find London a bit frantic (& a little stressful to be honest), so it’s sometimes too easy for me to make excuses not to venture to these places on my own, but it’s going to happen!
LondonGet it Done – Day 14
I didn’t get a whole lot done today in the spirit of my February ‘get it done’ theme, but it was a full on day, working 9-6pm, out for dinner with friends and a trip to the cinema for some sing-a-long Grease action! Lots of silly giggling at all the dubious singing and fun added graphics it was an entertaining and feel good evening!
Grease sing a longGet it Done – Day 15
More patchwork – I got the top stitching of my secret patchwork sewing project done! I can’t wait to finish it, it has all been rather enjoyable and I can’t wait to share the finished article.

Get it Done February – part 2

8 Feb

I’ve had a whole week of getting things done and it’s making a difference, it’s amazing what doing one small thing a day can achieve.

Get it Done – Day 2
I have gained many lovely embroideries all created by my very talented Gran. One in particular was destined for my bedroom wall. I really like the texture of the piece, it’s almost sculptural, with stitching into card and fabric. I had the perfect spot in mind yet it’s been waiting patiently down the side of my dresser for over a year for me to get it done.
Embroidery wall hangingI thought some command hooks and got it done! I thought the wavy structure would balance nicely with my vertically striped matte and metallic wall paper above my bed, and I think it looks great up, much better on the wall than on the floor!

Get it Done – Day 3
Getting started! I have been mentioning Kate Davies’ Bláithín pattern many times at knit group and here, on my blog, having got over the fear (well almost) of steeking with the sheep carousel tea cosy, I feel mentally prepared so then I just needed to get practically prepared. Balling up my lovely new yarn! I must admit I had some help here, the lovely Jem Weston & Eleanor Burke both voluntarily balled a skein for me too!
Balling YarnGet it Done – Day 4
A slightly boring one, I changed some light bulbs, this might seem a simple everyday sort of a task, however some of the bulbs in my kitchen are not your everyday sort and I have been meaning to take a dead one with me shopping to get some replacements (2 out of 4 have not worked for over a year). I eventually did it. My Kitchen is illuminated again!
Light Bulbs

Get it Done – Day 5
I cast on Bláithín – no procrastination for this project! I knitted my tension square (I want to get this project right since it will be my most expensive project to date) and cast on really to get going!
Blaithin

Get it Done – Day 6
Nottingham Light Night! This is an annual event that happens in Nottingham every year, which for one reason or another I have never been to. For quite some time I’ve wanted to make the most of what’s on my door step, so to speak, there’s often many events on in Nottingham, but I rarely go. I’m so glad I made it this one. I went with a few friends and although we didn’t get to see all of the events and experiences happening what we did see was pretty good.

Light NightWe didn’t make it on to the Big Wheel, maybe an experience for another evening.

Get it Done – Day 7
I’m pretty good at accumulating magazines and catalogues that I really don’t need to hang on to, so I decided to ruthlessly obliterate the pile! Rather than hanging on to the whole magazine for the sake of one project or article I just pulled out what I wanted and recycled the rest – this relatively trivial act made me feel pretty good and made my lounge seems  a lot less cluttered.
Magazine clear out

Get it Done – Day 8
Another seemingly minor task, I adjusted the one of my shelves in my kitchen cupboard. This has been one of those things that whenever I get anything out of the top of this cupboard I’ve thought I really ought to move the shelf down but was always in the middle of something when the idea struck. There was plenty of unused space on the bottom shelf, but whenever I got out a mixing bowl or jug I had to remove the whole pile to get at them.
Cupboard adjustmentIt’s daft that I hadn’t already done this. Another great reason why my getting something done every day is worth doing! So far so good, I do wonder whether I’ll run out of things by the end of the month.

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