Wednesday, July 28, 2010

pretty envelope

I didn't share the envelopes I made for my save the date cards. Here is a quick and very easy tute for prettying up an envelope:

firstly gather up your ingredients
I used:
a manilla envelope - a little bigger than the contents
some vintage cotton lace edging (which I found at a car boot sale)
a mother of pearl button
a needle and some cream coloured sewing thread
a sewing machine (optional)
a typewriter (optional)

  • type the name of the recipients on the envelope. I used my new (old) typewriter but pretty hand writing would be just as nice
  • fill and seal the envelope
  • wrap the lace around the envelope with the two ends meeting at the front. carefully machine or hand stitch the lace (ribbon, trim, scrapbook paper or whatever you have to hand) to the envelope - a length of straight stitch will do it. Make sure to avoid the contents (this is why you need an envelope bigger than the contents)
  • hand sew a button over the two ends that meet - sewing into the front of the button first and tying off at the front, leaving some thread showing
 et volia:

Monday, July 26, 2010

back to it

I'm back from my short break on the Isle of Wight. The weather was kind to us and we had sun every day, despite the forecast saying we should have showers for a couple of days.
 The Isle of Wight is famed for dinosaur fossil finds, so we hunted for dinosaur fossils at the beaches we went to. We found fossilised sea sponges, oyster beds, wood, and other sea creatures which were approx. 90 million years old (I know!). We also visited the dinosaur farm museum - which is literally a load of fossils in a couple of barns, and held a cross section of a fossilised Dinosaur poo which was approx. 120 million years old - you could see the plants that it had been eating. It's fascinating, but hard to imagine that you have connected with something 120 million years old.
I collected a couple of pretty pebbles/stones from the beaches we visited - this is becoming something of a ritual every time I go to a new beach. I have them from various beaches across the UK (which would confuse an archaeologist in years to come I'm sure)
This seaweed was found on one of the beaches we visited - all the different colours and varieties were found within a couple of metres
We found a small beach (called Colwell bay) with the clearest waters - and as we wondered around in the shallows, little fish swam past our feet and crabs scuttled off to hide on rocks and in seaweed clusters. Ahh, a lovely time was had.
We didn't stay here - but I wish we had - maybe next time...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

at the seaside

This week I can mostly be found enjoying some of the summer sunshine and getting a good dose of much needed vitamin D at the English seaside.

We spent the whole day on the beach today. We built the biggest and most impressive sand castle(s), dipped our toes in the warm shallows (Mr Monda even swam in the sea), had a BBQ dinner of burgers and sausages in bread rolls with lots of ketchup and mustard, followed by a dessert of split bananas stuffed with chocolate buttons (cooked in foil over the embers). Lovely.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

summer floral

Doesn't this look pretty:
This is a snapshot of my fave designs in the latest spoonflower comp.

I have to say, I really did have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this strict colour palette, and churned out many many designs before I reached one I was really happy with.
This is my final design:
I spent quite a while making new brushes in illustrator for the flower heads, and I was really pleased with them. Imagine my frustration then when my laptop battery wigged out and I hadn't saved it. Agh!
Thankfully, I had exported a portion of the design as a jpeg, but I have lost my custom brushes and almost can't bring myself to recreate them (and I'm not sure I could replicate them exactly anyway).
I've ordered a FQ of this and can't wait for it to arrive - it's been too long since I've seen my designs printed onto fabric.

Lesson to me: Save your work as you go along - seems so simple doesn't it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

all stitched up

They're finished. Phew! what a lot of work, but well worth it. They're going to go off to their recipients in the post now

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

past influences present

One of the things I'm noticing a lot more these days, is how print, illustration and pattern has been used in days gone by. As with most fashion styles, what goes around comes around, and it's easy to see how designers and makers now are influenced by past trends (me included).

my weekend finds:
I love the pattern on this plate
I can't find much out about when it was made - looks 60's/70's.

This book is also from the 60's
I'm loving the folksy patten on the top/smock the punch wears, and only bought the book because I like the illustrations.

This book was from the turn of the previous century. I can't find a date in it but it has a sticker pasted on the back which dates 1910 and would be consistent with the art deco pattern on the front

I wonder, when in the future people look back to the fashion and popular styles of today, what might be typical of this period in time?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

granny's garden

The granny stripe is coming along slowly but surely. It's double size so each row is long . I've done 36 rows thus far and I'm guessing I'll need at least another 144 before it's complete. I'm only picking it up a couple of times a week at the moment, because there is so much other stuff to do in the evenings - like watering the garden and inspecting my crops - I'm making myself sound like a farmer here aren't I - far from it but I am growing more than I ever have before.
We have already eaten some home grown courgettes (zucchini), sugar snap peas, strawberries and we have lettuce and herbs coming out of our ears.

The tomato plants are like triffids, and have tiny little green tomatoes on them now and my indoor (greenhouse) cucumbers have tiny little fruits on them too. My outdoor cucumbers still need to grow before they can fruit and I'm on my second planting of carrots as the slugs demolished my last lot of seedlings - I guess they'll be ready in a couple of months now
It's frankly amazing how much something can grow in the space of a day. One day, it seems there is nothing, and the next day there is a fruit.

The rest of the garden is blooming too
Can you see the little spider hanging onto the lavender flower?

As an aside, does anyone remember playing granny's garden on the old BBC computers? This was my first exposure to a computer in secondary school (I must have been about 12). How times change.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

en masse

I'm busying myself with my save the date cards for our wedding. Lots of printing, tearing, sewing and stitching going on en masse here:
There are still mop buttons to be hand sewn on to each one and the backing stitched on.

Very briefly, I spotted this pretty shadow at the weekend:
It was cast by the sun reflecting off the neighbours motorbike wing mirror into my kitchen windowsill and onto my wall. I almost wanted to get the paint out and just paint it in so it's there all the time.

Rightio, it's back to those cards for me - need to finish them by tomorrow - a self imposed deadline, but it's good to have one.

Friday, July 02, 2010


These stitched collages have been sitting on my desk for weeks waiting to go into my shop. They were on my desk as wips for many many (many) weeks beforehand, but as you can see they are complete now. You can find them here 
They are both made using layers of old envelopes, maps, journals, magazines and books and have been machine stitched