The WIP report – June 2016

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Not that much crafting was done in June, the diamond hex quilt continued.

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And I carried on working on my Sublime Stitching pillowcase border patterns, the one in the photo above is the last one.

I have also done a bit more knitting on the Farrah Top, although you’ll have to trust me on that, as I can’t currently get it down off the shelf to photograph, but I think you can probably imagine what a few more rows of the bottom of a jumper looks like. The fact that it’s currently stuck on a shelf is probably not a good indicator of future progress (although of course, if I do want it down, I can ask Mr. Lacer, he’s doing a very good job of looking after me right now, it’s just that interrupting a game of DOOM, so that I can have something off the shelf to photograph, even I wouldn’t do that).

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I have also, in a spot of wardrobe reorganisation prior to my op, finally cut into the old jeans I’ve been hoarding for a few years now, as they were taking up a lot of space and cut into pieces a bit more ready to use, takes up less space. I have enough denim now to make a picnic blanket (which has pretty much always been the plan). I had hoped to make it before the op but I ran out of time, I almost certainly won’t be making it this month.

Oh and of course, I did complete something, the kimono from the previous month’s Mollie Makes.

In July I’m not sure how much crafting is going to get done, just typing this is a bit tiring (but I am soooo bored already). I will try and finally finish the pillow cases (I did manage to do a bit of that when in hospital) and some more diamond hex quilt. Meanwhile, I’m itching to do some machine sewing, which I can’t really, unless it’s something small that involves only small amounts of cutting (no leaning over / scrabbling round the floor cutting fabric for me). A side effect of the surgery is that I’m currently having problems with the ulnar nerve in both arms, it is getting better but too much crafting would probably not be good.

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Kimono

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I made myself a kimono! The instructions are in this month’s Mollie Makes, which is out today. I’d downloaded the magazine to give myself something to read over the weekend (not that I wouldn’t have bought it anyway, I’m just being a good girl and saving it for later) but I noticed on the cover that they had instructions for a kimono and funnily enough I had just been shopping for a kimono a few days ago and had failed to find one! The make is really easy, all you use is a big old scarf, which is what I’ve used here, you sew up the sides and hem the cut you make for the opening. I am really pleased with the result, I think it’s nicer than a kimono from the shops, specially as the scarf fabric is so lovely and soft.

The WIP report – May 2016

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I’ve made a lot of progress on my Diamond Hex quilt, this month, I was surprised exactly how much when I just went and checked back on my April WIP report. I’ve completed four big diamonds and six small diamonds. I’m still continuing to place each finished diamond, whereever I think best, only after completing it, instead of having any forward planning, so it’s always a bit of a surprise to see which way it grows (and I love that buzzy feeling when you place two colours or two patterns together and they sing). So, so far I’ve got one long-ish column but it’s still only three columns wide. It’s so addictive though, this has been my main craft activity this month.

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I have been back to doing a lot more drawing and painting this month (phew), I’ve really loved doing the April #cbdrawaday list (above is my latest one). As it’s been a more personal list of topics, I’ve been doing this in my journal and although I had been doodling and sticking a few things in my journal before, I love how much more colourful it has become.

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I also continued with my massive colouring book spurt at the beginning of the month but I’ve sort of burned myself out with that for the moment. Above is my last completed piece and it is from Mollie Makes Colouring Book 2.

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I’ve been doing embroidery too, I’m still working my way through Sublime Stitching’s pillow border patterns. I’m currently working on the third one but in my attempt to push my boundaries a bit and to use a colour palette I don’t usually go for (pastels basically), it’s turned out to be a bit of an effort to work on, as it turns out I really don’t like working with pastels (I’m currently doing the bunny rabbit one). Anyway, I have completed two and here they are on my bed, proper photos will come after I finish the fourth pillow case.

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I’ve also, although it doesn’t look like it, if you compare it with the last photo of this I posted on the blog, way back in January, have been back to spending a bit of time with the Mario map. I’ve basically done about two rows lol, but that blue is quite relaxing (unlike the orange of those cliffs, which took ages and were boring).

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I’ve also started a new knitting project, the Farrah top from Wool & the Gang, although you start off with a rib edge and I have a history of forgetting where I am with rib stitching and getting it all in a mess. I’m always okay once I’ve done the first few rows of rib, when the rib becomes more obvious but if, when at that obvious point, it becomes obvious that I have lost my place somewhere along the way, it’s so disheartening.

Anyway, I wrote last month that this month I needed to

Next month I need to finish that birthday present, embroider more pillowcases, do more diamond hex quilt, try and get my bum in gear to do something with the embroidered fabric I made, make some pyjamas, some trousers and a bag and I must, must, must, start drawing more regularly again.

Well, I ended up buying something much better than the planned birthday present, so the cross stitch I started has been put on the backburner, definitely A* for the diamond hex quilt and doing more drawing but that embroidered fabric is still untouched and the only time I got my sewing machine out (which was amazing in itself) was to mend Girl Lacer’s school skirt. So, in June I need to make sure I continue painting and drawing and USE my sewing machine, anything else will be a bonus.

A day in my life

A year ago yesterday, I did the A Beautiful Mess exercise to take a photo every hour to document my day. That particular day last year was a little more interesting than my day this year but I thought it’d be a nice idea to do the same thing this year (and the year after and so on and so on), just to document the changing years. Last year both kids were on half term break and we had a day trip to Hampton Court Palace, this year Boy Lacer had a teacher training day but Girl Lacer was still at school. Also, whereas last year I didn’t have any shifts that day, this year I had five hours worth and I can’t really show you what I work on. Anyway, here’s my day, it was considerably longer than last year’s.

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Ugh my feet look horrible, not as horrible as my TMJ though, which keeps waking me up

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I did manage to get back to sleep thankfully, here I am sorting my clothes for the day, going for a goth German kids storybook look (minus my great big white hammocks of a bra)

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Filling in some school paperwork, I love how you can do a lot of it online now.

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Okay, I may ‘love’ filling in paperwork online but it’s a bit embarrassing when the teacher (an IT teacher to boot) emails you back to say the form didn’t fill in, so trying again (I did, after four attempts, get there eventually)

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Heading to the shops

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Heading back from the shops

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Reading a link from Twitter and eating some Graze beef jerky

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My bed is my office and my studio, just tidying it up a bit

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Doing some EPP, working on the Diamond Hex quilt

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I’d written, last month I think, that I tend to prepare one set of shapes and then sew them on before cutting out more fabric, I’ve just started to prepare all the shapes for a diamond now before sewing it together, it somehow feels quicker that way.

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Doing some housework (loading the dishwasher) but not feeling brilliant, so having a quick sit down.

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My actual 5.07pm photo is a photo of Boy Lacer but here’s one of him shortly afterwards in disguise.

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The kids’ tea, I know, not particularly healthy.

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Starting work for the day (god I need to use some hand moisturiser or something).

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Coffee to keep me going.

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One of the benefits of working from home and having a job where if no work is coming in at that very moment, I have nothing to do, means that I can sometimes pick up some embroidery and do a few stitches, whilst waiting for more work to arrive. (Embroidery pattern by Sublime Stitching)

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Another drink

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Another quiet patch means more embroidery.

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Bed time! Whilst brushing the crumbs out of the bed, I snagged my hand on a needle, oops, even worse, when I got into bed, I found another one!

The WIP report – April 2016

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It feels like I haven’t done that much crafting this month, although in reality I’ve probably actually done slightly more than normal. My poor diamond hex quilt was largely ignored for most of the month, with the completion and attachment of the pink diamond and the start of a new one, only done in the last few days. I am really liking though, that with the attachment of the pink diamond, the quilt top is now three columns wide, so I’m starting to see more what the finished thing will eventually look like.

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I spent a large chunk of the month finishing my multicoloured pattern embroidery, that was a lot of fun. I have plans for the finished piece of fabric but I need to get my brain in gear and actually do it.

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I had finished my pattern embroidery just before I was going to take Boy Lacer to a programming club, this involves a lot of sitting around and I didn’t have any other portable craft project to take with me (I know that my diamond hex quilt project is theoretically highly portable but I seem not to be the sort of EPP-er who makes up loads of pieces in advance and then sews them together, I’m a make up just a few pieces at a time, sew them together, then make up more and so on and so on, which makes it less of a portable craft, as I don’t want to take all my fabrics out with me). So I dug out a rather old piece of knitting to take, which is just a load of random stripes made out of cheerfully bright coloured wool. I haven’t touched this project in ages, my knitting mojo seems to have vanished. I had originally intended to make a knitted cushion with these stripes but I think looking at the width now, it might be a bit of a small knitted cushion, then I thought about just making a scarf but then I thought at the rate I was going, global warming would have truly rendered scarves unnecessary by the time I finished it. So I don’t know what I’m going to do with this piece of knitting, just enjoy the bright colours on the rare occasions I knit it, I guess.

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Without an embroidery project on the go (and my long term cross stitch projects still not seeming that interesting), I had to start another one, especially as Sublime Stitching has just released the cutest series of pillow border patterns. I plan to stitch all four, so won’t blog about it properly until they’re all complete, but I’ve just completed the first one, this is it, hanging up to dry after I washed the Sulky Solvy off.

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I have also just started a birthday present (a much smaller cross stitch, so it should be manageable), so *sssh* it’s a secret.

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I have been very very remiss with my drawing practice this month and I’m still working through March’s #cbdrawady (at a pace even a snail would be ashamed of). This is my latest effort, I had got confused for a bit, of course purses in the US are what we call bags in the UK.

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I have also been doing some more colouring, I absolutely love the Liberty colouring book, it was so relaxing watching the colours slowly spread across the page and I also love Tombow pens because other than the orange, which leaches through a little bit, the other colours don’t show up on the other side of the page!

Next month I need to finish that birthday present, embroider more pillowcases, do more diamond hex quilt, try and get my bum in gear to do something with the embroidered fabric I made, make some pyjamas, some trousers and a bag and I must, must, must, start drawing more regularly again.

5 things I liked this week – 22.4.16

1. NASA really is trying to grow potatoes on Mars.

2. Catching a Heathrow Express bus on the way home from an appointment in Surrey. Okay it’s the little things but getting on a bus heading to Heathrow, sitting next to tourists taking last minute photos of our appalling weather and our even worse traffic, even if I get off it before it gets there, is the closest I’m going to get to a holiday, let alone a holiday abroad, for a long time. It also helps that the Express bus only has 5 stops before I’m home, unlike the gazillion torturous stops the bus I normally take takes. I’d take the Express more often but it’s not that frequent.

3. Quiet Play patterns are so good I’m almost tempted to learn how to paper piece.

 

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Geometric Squirrel from Quiet Play

 

4. A very excited Girl Lacer on hearing that I’ve just bought tickets for her to see her favourite group for her birthday.

5. Getting off the bus (on another day), quite a few stops early because the traffic was virtually at a stand still and walking the rest of the way by the river. It was a glorious day and a bit of the river I’ve never walked along before, so I spotted quite a few nice looking bars that would be worth a try. So thank you traffic jam!

The WIP report – March 2016

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This month I’ve mainly been working on my diamond hex quilt. I’ve managed to complete two big diamonds and three little diamonds. I’m having a lot of fun with this one, there is pretty much no organisation going with this one, I have sorted two shoes boxes of fabric, one with the greys and whites for the little diamonds and another with groups of coloured fabrics but other than that, I’m enjoying seeing the quilt grow organically, as I attach the diamonds together. I currently have no idea if the bit I’ve completed will end up being in the middle or close to one edge or somewhere in between. As I make a diamond, I do have a rough idea where my instinct is telling me to place it (like with the pink diamond I’m currently making, at the moment I think it will probably go in the position I’ve placed it on the photo) but I don’t think beyond that diamond.

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Embroidery wise, I discovered a much more nearly completed than I thought it had been, work in progress from before Christmas, this month and I thought I’d finish it off. The pattern is a sea dragon from Urban Threads and I think I had originally planned to make this into a pennant but as you can see, it hasn’t worked out very well. Once again, I hit one of the many hazards of relying on Sulky Solvy, with the Sulky Solvy on the top of the fabric, it looked like the colours I was choosing would be bold enough to work with the busy background of the fabric. It was only when I washed the Sulky Solvy off did I realise that nope, it hadn’t worked. I may, if I get round to it, turn this into a pouch but I have a feeling this will get stuffed on a shelf somewhere and join some of my other forgotten embroidery pieces.

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Talking of Sulky Solvy, I had sworn that 2016 was going to be the year that I stopped using the stuff but then I saw this lovely pattern from Shiny Happy World and I knew I wouldn’t have the patience to transfer this by hand, so I ordered some more Sulky Solvy (mentally slapping myself on the wrist). In fact I was so keen for my Sulky Solvy fix, I actually (finally) joined Amazon Prime, just so I could get it the next day with ‘free’ delivery. Anyway, I had originally envisioned this pattern looking fantastic just stitched up in black, I still think it would look great in black (I’m not sure about this multicoloured stuff I’m using) but I was out of black floss. I did try it with black pearl thread but that’s just too thick and the few bits I stitched up looked horrible, so (rare for me, I usually go with my mistakes) I unpicked. I went shopping for black floss but as I suspected would be the case, the only store in my large shopping destination town that actually sells embroidery thread, was out of black, as it always is and as I am trying really hard to stay away from online thread shops at the moment (tooo tempting), I bought some of the aforementioned multicoloured stuff instead. I never usually use the multicoloured threads, I’m never that convinced by them personally but it is quite fun watching the colours change as I stitch but I’m still not that convinced the end result is going to look that great. At least my Sulky Solvy is on plain white fabric this time (saying that, the floss colour is so going to leach when I wash the Sulky Solvy out now).

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Also on the embroidery front this month, I treated myself to two RSN embroidery classes at a textiles show that was local to me. The first class was blackwork, which wasn’t too new to me, as it’s similar to cross stitch but I did manage to demonstrate, in public, how absolutely rubbish I am at stem stitch *blush*.

I know that I have tendency not to complete these projects I start in classes, I’m never actually that enamoured with the designs they teach with and I’m not a massive fan of the washing line design. I don’t like leaving things unfinished though, so I may try and complete it if I have a chance, I think it might make a nice pincushion.

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The second class I attended was goldwork, now that’s a lot more new to me, although if you’ve couched something or added beads to a piece of embroidery before, it’s sort of similar. I enjoyed this one, goldwork materials have a bit of a bewitching, foreign, unknown quality to them and although I’m not normally into glitzy stuff, it was nice to be working with materials I don’t normally work with.

I am more likely to complete this design, although it’s still a question of finding time to sit down, be quiet and concentrate, as it’s fiddly, intricate stuff. So the likelihood of this getting finished is still unfortunately low but I definitely want to do more goldwork in the future!

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Drawing wise, I started enthusiastically with this month’s #cbdrawaday over on Creativebug but I came to a grinding halt in the middle of the month. I do want to continue though and have started, slowly, to work through the classes again. The photo above is of my latest effort. I am very grateful to #cbdrawaday, I couldn’t have drawn the above three months ago.

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I am also, very slowly, still working my way through Lisa Congdon’s Sketchbook Exploration class, also on Creativebug. The exercise above was fun.

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I’m also drawing when out and about, I’m finding it a great way to occupy myself when I’m waiting for something. The above was drawn relatively quickly, when I arrived in London one morning, a bit too early for an appointment, so I had 15 minutes sitting on a bench in the statue hall at the V&A (the nearest bit to the subway entrance), drawing this.

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I’ve also been doing quite a bit of colouring and actually finishing some pieces. The finished piece above is from Mid Century Modern Patterns by Jenn Ski.

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And finally, I’m still very slowly going through the Skillshare pirate class.

In April I hope to do more of the diamond hex quilt, lots more drawing, carry of learning some new embroidery skills and to get back to my cross stitch WIPs, let’s see if that happens!