Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Springtime Artwork

How unpredictable is the weather in the UK at the moment? It's almost June and I'm sat here wrapped up in two blankets! After a beautiful Bank Holiday Weekend, where my husband burnt the back of his neck because he forgot to apply sunscreen there (silly billy), it's turned most chilly and hasn't stopped raining. This Spring has certainly been a mixed bag. I am eagerly awaiting my alliums to burst into flower to add some colour to the garden. I'm by no means at all green fingered but I loved them so much I planted some bulbs a few years ago and they were certainly worth the effort - not that is was all that difficult. They are just starting to open and each day I look forward to seeing how they are progressing. In the mean time I'll have to settle for a picture from the Royal Horticultural Society (here's a link to their advice on growing alliums- trust me it's not hard if I can do it

With the alliums comes the butterflies. I truly love butterflies, they were the theme at my wedding and I now have them dotted round the house.
Here's a wonderful, little webpage  about which flowers are great to attract butterflies and includes all three of my favourites- alliums, chives and cosmos- there's a variety of cosmos called "Chocolate Cosmos", it's a beautiful dark browny red and yep, you guessed it, smells of chocolate- what's not to love?!

To get a little taste of Spring on the dull days like today I have sewn a little canvas. Using freehand machine embroidery and some fabric with a large flower print, I "drew" round an individual flower motif with stitches and in a contrasting colour wrote "flutter by Butterfly". Then using some transfer paper, the kind used with your home printer and a iron to transfer the image to fabric, I transferred a picture of a butterfly to some plain white cotton and cut it out. The great thing is the transfer process gives the fabric a bit of structure. I added a few beads and stitched the body of the butterfly to the picture, allowing the wings to stand out.
It's a little bit of Springtime when the outside thinks otherwise! Though the photo makes the colours seem more muted than they really are
I hope you like it?
Until next time, craft in earnest, Craftin' Ernest x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

V&A Museum

I mentioned last time my day trip to London to meet with a friend. As London has so much to offer we had a very busy day but spent the majority of the morning in The Victoria & Albert Museum. I love museums and was really fortunate to do some voluntary work at the Natural History Museum a few years back (actually 15 to be precise, ooh that's longer than I thought?!) It is right next door to the V&A Museum so I spent many of my lunch breaks there. The Science Museum is just behind the NHM too, South Kensington is a must if you're a museum fan & in London!

There's so much to see, for example Room 40: The Fashion Galleries. There's some truly beautiful items on display ranging from the 18th Century to today

I had two favourites as I couldn't decide between them, both dresses from the Thirties but I think they're just timeless

Another must-see is the work by Martha Edlin. There's a collection of incredible embroidered items, from the later half of the 17th Century, including a sampler, a casket a pin cushion. All of which are stunning and exquisitely made. Then there's a jewellery case embroidered with beads- incredible. What makes it truly remarkable is when you read the information and find out how young she was when she made them. Have a look at this video and keep in mind she embroidered the casket when she was eleven!
She made the above beaded jewellery case when she was just thirteen, oh so talented
I got some decorating ideas too ;-)
Definitely worth a visit!
Until next time Craft in Earnest, Craftin' Ernest x

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

T-Shirt Print Make-Over

Hello, sorry about the hiatus in posts. Busy, busy, busy and something had to give- the beautiful weather we've just had was not the reason at all ;-)
The Sun shining has inspired me to start on the summery makes- I have been making lots of jug covers for an up-coming craft fair on Saturday 25th of May. I've mainly crocheted them so far but I'm going to start on fabric ones with a crochet trim- watch this space.
I went to London on Saturday to meet with my best bud from Uni. I bought lots of big beads perfect for weighing down the jug covers so I have no excuse not to make lots by the Craft Fair. We also discovered a wonderful shop in Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street, called "Things British"- It sells some exquisite, handmade items and to show our support we bought each other a present- it would be rude not to support such an enterprise with lots of beautiful items for sale! My present was a pair of earrings and my friend's was a bracelet, both from a maker called "Altered Era". The theme of mine is Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", one of my favourite stories. The bracelet is Wuthering Heights, my friend's favourite. How could we not treat each other and show our support? Here's a pic of mine- love them!
So onto this post's tutorial (an extension of a previous one really) -
Top/T-Shirt Print Make-over
Continue reading for instructions to make your own . . . . .