Saturday, 18 April 2015

Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew - the Charm Edition

Welcome back to another Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party.

I know, I know last Christmas is a long forgotten memory and you have absolutely ages to think about this Christmas, but don't you want to be all cool, calm and collected for a change in December? Not to mention smug when others are burning the midnight oil trying to get those carefully crafted gifts made in time, and you are enjoying the sight of a whole year's worth of crafted goodies just waiting to be wrapped and labelled!

To be that cool, calm crafter we have gathered together a great bunch of bloggers who are providing gift and decor inspiration throughout the year. This month it is the turn of Benta, who blogs at SLIK stitches. Benta is a wonderful machine embroiderer, and was the genius behind the fabulous traveller caravan block, from the Star of Africa Bee, and beautifully monogrammed bridesmaid bags, that I blogged about here and here.

Of course it wouldn't be a Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party without a giveaway and this month we have a brilliant giveaway prize from the lovely Helen at Bustle and Sew, the pattern for this fabulous cushion/pillow cover!

 Now, wouldn't that make a great addition to your holiday decor, or if you can bear to part with it a great present for a ski-ing friend? If you haven't come across Bustle and Sew before I can definitely recommend that you check them out. Helen has created a host of wonderful embroidery and applique patterns as well as a range of great softie patterns, so there is bound to be something there to inspire you. Having stitched several of her patterns I can attest to their high standard too. (You can see my Bustle and Sew makes here and here )

To win this great prize, all you have to do is head on over to SLIK stitches and link up your Christmas or Holiday makes for this month. The link party is open until April 30th, when one lucky random winner will be drawn, so you have plenty of time left to get some Christmas crafting completed and linked up!

My own Christmas crafting this month was kick started by one of my makes for the IG #outlandercraftswap.

When I made the Kilt Pin brooch for my swap partner, I realised that it would make a great gift for my daughter-in-law too, who has a bit of a love affair for all things Scottish.

So, I made another Kilt Pin brooch

 and then whilst I had the charms and tools out I might as well make one for my other daughter-in-law too, so made this one as well.

I have another two empty Kilt Pins lurking somewhere in my jewellery supplies so I think there will be more of these made by the time December rolls around :)

The lucky winner of last month's giveaway, sponsored by Alexie at the Patchwork Elephant, was Pam, who blogs at Threading my Way. I am sure that we will see Pam's Christmas fabric win popping up in a Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party in the near future :)

Looking forward to seeing your Christmas and Holiday crafting and as ever, a heartfelt thank you to all the generous sponsors of our Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew giveaways.

Link up your makes this month at SLIK stitches

Crafty Trimmings

Logo Sew Hot

Plush Addict Logo

Quilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter Shop

Friday, 17 April 2015

Crafting Away

Last month I signed up for my first IG swap, the #outlandercraftswap. The swappers are a bunch of very talented and highly diverse crafters, so it has been great fun following all of the makes that are being crafted.

Having been a big fan of the Outlander books for several years and now (at long last!) able to watch the TV series on Amazon Prime, I have definitely been inspired to stretch my crafting muscles :)

So far, I have completed two of my planned projects for the swap.

First up,

A purple linen Dumpling pouch (free pattern available here) I love making these pouches and thought that the fabric pattern was almost thistle-like so fitted the Scottish theme of the book. That may just be me invoking artistic licence though :)

My second project definitely adheres to the Scottish theme, what could be more Scottish than kilt pins and tartan ?? You can no doubt see why I was drawn to this swap :)

The main male character in the book is, Jamie Fraser, so when I found Fraser tartan ribbon at EllieMagpie I knew that I needed to buy some! Naturally, being mostly set in the Highlands of Scotland in 1743, nearly all of the main characters sport kilts, so the kilt pin was a no-brainer too:) I am willing to admit to a bit of bias here, but I think a man in a kilt is a hard sight to beat! Sorry, I digress!!

I had seen something similar to the book page charm in a jewellery magazine a couple of years ago and had always wanted to give it a go. Not wanting to rip up my own well-thumbed copies of the Outlander books, I was delighted when I came across a copy of one of the books in the series in a secondhand book shop in France recently, which I had no compunction about tearing apart.

Some appropriate charms from my favourite charm seller on Etsy, Nicole de Bruin and I was all set.

I am delighted with how the brooch turned out and hope that my swap partner is delighted too, although she has been worryingly quiet throughout the swap, so perhaps she is not quite as pleased as I am!

One more project to go and my swap package should be ready to send out.

Linking up to  Crazy Mom Quilts

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Fine feathers

Recently I visited a wonderful exhibition of feathered fashions in the beautiful Bowes Museum.

Even with several family weddings under my belt I am not sure that I have, or have had, anything with feathers in my wardrobe. So, it was fascinating to see just what can be done with a sackload of feathers, limitless time and a sprinkling of genius.

One of the stars of the show was definitely this glorious butterfly dress by Thierry Mugler. The dress, which represents the transformation of a chrysalis into a butterfly, is undoubtedly stunning, but dare I say it not very practical!

Equally spectacular and impractical was this dress for Rochas by Olivier Theyskens. The skirt is made of dyed rooster feathers, which were very spiky and looked incredibly uncomfortable to wear.

Much softer but no less impractical was this goose and ostrich feather dress by Sarah Burton (the royal wedding dress designer) for Alexander McQueen. You cannot really see in the photo thanks to the light, but this was the most beautiful blush pink colour, and was absolutely my favourite dress of the exhibition. It was part of a display of dresses inspired by the Black and White Swans of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, and was without doubt the standout exhibit.

As well as dresses the exhibition included shoes, fans, bags and hats made from feathers. I could not see me ever wearing it but I just loved this Macaw hat by Stephen Jones. It would certainly cause a stir at the next Race Meeting I attend :)

I was somewhat surprised to see what looked like mini quilts hanging in the exhibition and even more surprised to find that these were in fact samples of feather processing created by the Maison Lemarie for designers to select from.

Wouldn't they make great quilt patterns though?

The exhibition is open until April 19th, so if you are in the vicinity I can definitely recommend a visit. There is another fashion exhibition coming to the museum in July, this time all of the works exhibited are by Yves Saint Laurent, so I am definitely planning my return visit :)

Linking up to
Really Random
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