Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Dala-Floda inspired embroidery and rambling




Oh, I meant to post about this last week! However, we had guests staying and both of them were not feeling well after their first day here. In fact we had a bit of a serious encounter with the NHS one very late night and the whole left me and James rather winded for a few days. In any case being what I am, an allergic asthmatic and a magnet for cold bugs I’ve spent the last five days dating the virus they kindly left behind. I can see the end of the tunnel now and are definitely on the mend... but oh so boring it is to have a fever! And oh so boring it is not to have energy enough to even do something like a back stitch! I haven’t been able to do anything for more than a week now and I’m getting restless! I got a great idea for a skirt for me and I’m planning to make some cool kiddo adapted wheat bags. I’ll definitely be posting about them soon. On my goal list for February I’ve also written that I’d update my etsy shop... well, another thing for March it is! I could do with someone kicking me up the backside about that... Well, well.

Here’s how the wool embroidery inspired by the Swedish “påsöm” from Dala-Floda turned out. I’m thinking I could add some more green bits and bobs but at the same time I’m not too sure about it. We’ll see what happens. Here they are anyway. Let me know what you think!

Monday, 13 February 2012

3D Heart Balloon Love Note and Heart Garland Tutorial

As I promised; here is a last minute Valentine’s Day tutorial for those of you panicking a little about what to do/make and are running out of time. All you need for these projects is coloured paper and/or card, a sewing machine, sewing thread, a pencil, scissors and for the tiny heart garland a small heart-punch.
 
For the Heart Balloon Love Note start by stitching a border around your chosen coloured paper, I’ve used an A5 sized pale blue one for my two Notes. 

Then carry on by cutting out 8 hearts in another coloured paper, I chose pink and light green for my balloons. Cut the top pair of hearts on your little pile slightly smaller than the ones under and those smaller than the ones under... you get the idea! This is to get a nicer shape to the 3D heart balloon. 

Then place it where you want it on the paper with the stitched border, draw the string bit of the balloon very lightly with a pencil and then stitch the heart on to the paper starting from the top so you can sew the heart and the string bit of the balloon all in one go. 

Fold the hearts sides up to get the 3D effect. All done and now it’s time to write something really cheesy for your loved one... This idea would work great on cards to.
 
For the Heart Garland you need a bunch of tiny paper hearts, your sewing machine and a little bit of patience. 

Stitch one heart at a time by sewing through the middle of one, lift the foot, pull out a little bit of sewing thread, and sew through the next heart... Repeat until it is as long as you want it to be and then; decorate!
 
I’ve used the left over hearts from our wedding invitations to stitch this garland and attached them randomly; however you can easily do this in any colour, colour order, or shape for that matter, you like. It does require a little bit of patience and some time to spare.
 
Feel free to ask any questions and let me know what you think!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Update: After trying to make the heart garland on a modern sewing machine it has turned out that you'll need bigger hearts then the ones I've used here in order for the "feed" of the machine to actually move the hearts forward. I'm so sorry if it has caused anyone any trouble!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A freezing London, a sewing machine veteran and wheat

London is freezing at the moment and I have this past two weeks surrendered my Viking blood and put my winter shoes on for the first time this winter. Naively I had expected to experience my first snowless winter ever... but no, that experience will have to wait. 

Meanwhile I’ve been sewing a wheatbag for myself. You see when we travelled back from Somerset a week ago, a very old wonderful sewing machine travelled with us. J’s dad has kindly given it to me and what a sewing machine it is! 

Made the 11 October 1938 it has seen a fair bit I’m sure, but the seams are still heavenly compared to my modern sewing machine back in Sweden. There will be more sewing projects coming up for sure now that I don’t have to hand stitch everything! You know how bigger things can seem very daunting when you’re hand stitching.

I’ll try to post a few last minute Valentine’s Day craft ideas tomorrow for all of you. The sewing machine got me inspired! Now onto dinner, James is cooking again...

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Rosa – the very pink little monster

I work for the North London Swedish School two hours almost every Saturday. It’s fun and I got my own group of three year olds now. Every week I plan a 25 minute theme based activity. A few weeks ago the letter R and the colour pink was on the menu together with the weekly theme. I want the children to use all their senses as much as possible when they are learning, especially at such a young age, so that week I set about making a puppet. 

Since Rosa means pink in Swedish and is also a name of course the puppet had to be pink and be called Rosa. She’s made from some pompoms I created a while back (you might remember), a hand-knitted bit of wool I felted in the washing machine and a crochet head. The children all wanted to hold her which felt a little like a success. Big relief! What do you think of this very quickly thrown together pink puppet? To me she looks like a very odd dinosaur, I mean look at that tail!