Thursday 12 July 2007

Itchy Fingers

Uh-oh, you can tell I'm getting near to the end of a project; my fingers are already twitching for the next one! I have two fairies, a big flower and a mushroom to stitch yet on Row of Fairies, but all the others are backstitched so it's really close to finishing. I then have to decide if I'm going to faff with French knots or use tiny black seed beads for the eyes (90% in favour of beads right now). And there are the gold star sequins to go on too. However, it's going on hold for a little while...

Today I received a big box of poster paints from Budget Art Supplies (very fast delivery, too, recommended); I'm so excited - I'm going all primary school teacher! Since the weather is so lousy at the moment there's no way I could get away with planning my Sing & Sign summer picnic in the park, so I'm taking the park indoors. All the families are bringing picnics and blankets to put on the floor, and I've got a big roll of old plain wallpaper which I'm going to paint up into trees and grass and birds and rabbits and butterflies and so on. I've already whizzed through an entire 50-sheet pack of origami paper making up flowers, I just need to get some green drinking straws to make the stems now.

Another new arrival is Yeah, I Made It Myself, which I devoured in a sitting last night. I am still a bit worried about my prowess in making clothes - I don't feel particularly reassured by this book - but I do feel very, very inspired to start hacking and chopping and to get my BLASTED sewing machine out (major declutter required first, and since K has moved into her own room right above the main table, evening sewing could be problematic). I have my eye on two pieces in my wardrobe at the moment for reinvention. There's a long velvet evening dress which I never get to wear which would make a fab tunic to go with jeans or trousers - I may even pull off the diamante bit (which has never really been me) and bead something stunning yet understated up to go in the gap. The other is a simple cream blouse bought for an interview, which again I never wear and just needs the sleeves coming off it - I can never find any nice sleeveless tunics and this would look great if I can do a good job of the armholes (methinks I need to seek out some bias binding). There's also a pattern for a simple wraparound skirt, which I've been wanting to make for ages.

I think as part of my decluttering push I'll be dragging out the big suitcase from the top of the wardrobe and sorting it into "keep for reinvention", "dressing up box" (another new project for K; there's a fab cloak pattern in Yeah I Made It... which I have the perfect piece of purple velvet for) and "charity bag" - heaven knows, we could do with the space.

Other inspirational bits and pieces this week...came across this "button shirt to toddler dress" conversion, which looks fab and so easy - shame daddy's work shirts are all the same pale blue! Will have to see if the grandads or uncles have a nicely patterned one I can snaffle, or have a rummage in the numerous charity shops round here. looks brilliant too - I already use a lot of bags like this, mostly for carrying slings in when they're not in use, but several more never hurt and again, are fun in a dressing up box. I knew there was a good reason I'd picked up a stash of reduced felt from Hobbycraft at the weekend (you can't sniff at 19p a sheet); looking forward to doing some applique on those.

Finally, some friends of ours are getting married in September and they're having a "fusion wedding" (lol, I just made that up) - a mixture of traditional Chinese and British themes. For their wedding gifts they've asked for Lai si, which I think is a lovely idea when you've been living together for a while and have pretty much everything you need already. However, being never one to pass up an opportunity to be creative, I've picked up some nice red evenweave and am going to attempt to reproduce the Chinese characters for peace, love, tranquility and (I think, need to check) prosperity in gold filament thread (have to have a big think about how to do this first). This will be a "full circle" gift as the groom bought us a wonderful framed set of these characters seven years ago when we got engaged.

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