Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Card stock, felt, buttons, and sponged snowmen. Wishing you all a very happy festive season!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Feeling Festive...

The tree is up.
Complete with silver crochet stars, fabric acorns and felt guinea pigs! My knitting of late has been some cute booties and hat, using these ever reliable patterns. To top them off I used some super cute teddy bear buttons.
Currently on the needles is another Op Art baby blanket. In hindsight I had forgotten just how many stitches goes in to one of these (99,012), and decided it would be perfect from my friend expecting in the middle of January. Currently I am only just over 21,000 stitches, on the plus side, knitting a blanket is a great way to keep warm in the winter!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Perfect weaving weather...

It has been a wild week here on the weather front. We have had clear skies, snow, hail, ice and today - Hurricaine Bawbag!
Perfect conditions for staying inside weaving. I finally finished my guinea pig tapestry. He is quite a cutie!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Lost in Lace

Around the corner from the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Market, there is a wonderful exhibition being held at Birmingham Museum, Lost in Lace. The fountain of all knowledge (Wikipedia) describes lace as being "an openwork fabric, patterned with open holes in the work, made by machine or by hand". This definition encapsulates more than just doilies. The work was varied and outstanding.
One of my particular favourites was the mesmerising Forty Eight by Nils Völker.

Forty Eight from Nils Völker on Vimeo.

I was struck by the haunting After the Dream by Chiharu Shiota. Layers of random black wool trap white dresses. Claustrophobic and gripping.
The Crafts Council created this video to show how the work was created.

Chiharu Shiota installation at Lost in Lace, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery from Crafts Council on Vimeo.

The exhibition is free to visit and on to the 19th of February. I would certainly recommend it.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Crochet hills...

So I didn't get all the way to the end of November with NaBloPoMo. A weekend away, catching up with friends meant that blogging took a back seat. I did craft though, as we drove down the M6, I wondered if Cumbria would suit a few extra hills?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Rather Fantastic Mr Fox Badge

Take one inspirational vintage waistcoat, some embroidery threads, a piece of 22-count aida, and a badge maker, and what do you get?
A rather fantastic Mr Fox badge. I drew up a chart, picked threads to match and got to work.
Covering a whole waistcoat would certainly take some time!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Nice Sit Down...

A relaxing evening of cross stitch and catching up on podcasts (A Playful Day and Caithness Craft Collective).
I will share my stitching soon.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

From little acorns...

... do Christmas decorations grow! After seeing these acorns on Knitty Gritty Thoughts I just had to have a go. Made using styrofoam balls, fabric and pins. Each acorn took about an hour to make, but was an easy project to do whilst watching the tv.
The only problem is that these two acorns took just under a packet of pins - now that is a lot of pins!
I need more pins to finish all six balls, plus I think my thumb needs a rest for a day or two, from pushing in all those pins!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Starter for Ten...

My ten squares are finished for Robin House.
Can you believe these pictures were taken this morning before I left for work? Yep, the darkness is here.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A haiku for today...

Awake at midday
Grand designs on the TV
Sit and knit away

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A moment of calm...

After a hectic day shopping (it takes it out of you!) a much needed sit down and a pause.
Enough of that though, better get out to the dancin'...

Friday, 18 November 2011

A wheek of Guinea Pigs...

After the dizzying fame of how to make a felt Jeremy in this month's Guinea Pig Magazine, I thought I'd introduce my guinea pig story. It started with a trip to the SSPCA, and a father and son guinea pig pair. Their names soon became Norman Stanley Fletcher and Lennie Godber. After all, they were held behind bars, and Fletch slept on top bunk (well, on top of the cave).
Their story was sad, they had been found in a box in a park, along with Mrs Fletch and some female babies. Fletch was quite a character, like an overgrown big hamster.
Fletch definitely performed the alpha male role, whilst Godber being the teenage son sulked in the pigloo. Fletch had some rather odd health issues, and when he passed, it left a very lonely and needy Godber. Godber by now, had realised that humans are good for food and lying on laps sleeping. He was quite an affectionate so and so.
As a friend for Godber, we got a young boar from Lanarkshire small animal rescue. Continuing with the Porridge theme, he was Jim McLaren. It was love at first sight between Godber and McLaren.
As he was just a baby when we got him, we didn't realise that McLaren was a sheltie guinea pig, with beautiful long locks. Fortunately McLaren was a very good natured beast who didn't mind the occasional bum hair trim!
One night McLaren stopped eating, and before we could take him to the vets in the morning, he had gone. Godber was heartbroken - first his dad, then his best friend. Godber withdrew and hid in his house. A new friend was needed, again off to the SSPCA, where we found a beautiful guinea pig with a tragic back story, Oscar. He was found in a box, along with a rabbit and two female guinea pigs, along the side of the road. When he was found he was in a terrible state, underweight, with bald patches from where the animals had been barbering each other (probably due to lack of hay and stress).
Oscar came home with us, a friendly guinea pig who seemed constantly amazed by fresh food (he certainly wasn't picky at all!). Unfortunately Godber didn't take to him.
LinkI think Oscars presence confirmed to Godber that McLaren wasn't coming back. Godber retreated even more, and eventually refusing to eat. He developed a chest infection, and sadly died. This left the newcomer Oscar, after his turbulent few months we decided he could settle in on his own and get used to the good life. A few days after this sweetcorn adventure, Oscar had a seizure and died. Now we were without guinea pigs. A break in pethood was needed, but then I found Tom and Jerry at Becklen rescue.
Two brothers needing a home. So since May, the artists formally known as Tom and Jerry (the names implied a hierarchy!) became Mark and Jeremy (of Peep Show fame). These boys are certainly the most athletic guinea pigs we have had, Jeremy especially, I suspect he thinks he is a ferret some days.
Mark is the braver of the two, although they are still suspicious of us, and any new food!
Here are all the guinea pig decorations together.
Apparently the collective noun for guinea pigs is a group, which is a little dull. I think it should be a wheek of guinea pigs or a collection of cavies. What do you think?