Tuesday, 27 September 2011

papier mache bowls

Indian summer crafting is, I think, made for papier mache. 

You can go fancy with chicken wire, snips, wallpaper paste and such. These are just flour, water, salt and local paper. 

And none the worse for it.

The paste is one part flour to five parts water and a tablespoon of salt stirred on a medium heat. The bowls were covered in cling film first, and you need at least four layers.

Also helpful would be some sun. The weather last week was not great, so these bowls took about four days to dry. When they were finally dry they suffered a bit of collateral damage coming out of the bowls as I had to slip a knife in between the bowl and the papier mache to get them out, but this got covered up at the decorating stage. Perhaps putting a bit of vaseline on the cling film first would have helped.

We all loved this stage: watered down PVA in abundance and torn up strips of pretty paper to cover up the newspaper and mend any tears.

A lot of fun, and such a great project for kids. On this occasion if I am being honest the fun was mainly mine, as attention spans seemed especially short. 

Perfect for collections and collectors of any age.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Lille: le weekend dernier

The Lille braderie: one beautiful city, two million people, several tonnes of stuff and nine very over-excited women.

The happy marriage of a car boot sale, a flea market, and a vintage fair, all on the scale of Glastonbury.

 It was hard to remain calm. So we didn't.

And bought lots of penguins instead.

My pupils dilated, my suitcase filled and my bank account emptied. What a weekend.


Friday, 9 September 2011

the last one, honest

It is just that these one piece blouses are so easy. And I think this one is my favourite.

The fabric is by 'Cloud 9', nice eh?. I kept the sleeves a bit shorter this time to make them a bit more cap- shaped. And, if the truth be told, because the fabric was not wide enough to take the pattern.

I really like the result. I finished off the sleeves with my 50mm bias binding maker.

I then took it for a cup of tea and a piece of cake to this wonderful new place.
Raystitch used to be on-line only, and where I got the fabric from originally, see:

But now it is a real life shop.
Look at these shelves:

All this and they sell cake too.

If you are anywhere near Essex Road in Islington, North London, get yourself down there.
I couldn't help but make a modest purchase:

This lovely organic cotton jersey, for maybe just one more top:

And this ballet dancers fat quarter from Kokka, to be part of a quilt for my older daughter one fine day.

Monday, 5 September 2011

rainy day women

We found a photo recently of my older daughter wearing a little yellow wooden toy watch bracelet. She loved it very much indeed, and then lost it. The photograph brought all the pain back. There was a lot of fruitless searching and some tears. I guess no one forgets their first watch.

At the same time, a book my mum recently gave me had a project to make a fabric watch. 

And so a visit to a friend's house on a rainy day with four little girls to entertain became a fantastic crafting session.

We made ours a little simpler than the one in the book, which, whilst lovely, was a process more for the grown ups. 

We measured little wrists, then chose a felt colour and a fabric scrap. Using pinking shears we cut a strip with a circle shape in the middle the same length as the wrist, to make the base of the strap. Then the fabric scrap was cut the same shape but slimmer so as to leave a little gap around the edge.

Then a quick go on the sewing machine to stitch the two together. The faces were cut from felt or another scrap and hand sewn on with a few stitches. On one of them I made the stitches into the digits.

Each girl decided what her favourite time of the day was (one o'clock and ten o'clock respectively) and this was drawn on with a permanent marker. I had some big ideas about moving hands using paper fasteners, but decided to keep it simple. And we had no paper fasteners.

Strangely, neither of them recognised the Withnail (or Marwood) quote about a stopped clock being right twice a day that had their mothers giggling. 

A press stud was sewn on by hand and, done!

We even had a bit of time, creative energy and felt left for some binca:

some bead sweets:

and some hairclips:


a year above the shop

a year above the shop