Monday, 8 February 2010

Patchwork, nothing but patchwork...

I've been working on this patchwork throw for at least three weeks now and it's now nearing completion, at least the patchwork part. I used a mirror tile for the large square template and a floppy disk for the smaller one. I reckon 5 small ones sewn together equals two larger ones... oh look never mind, you do what you want to do, the idea is to have fun with it. I could have made up some newish design or used an old favourite I suppose, but I honestly wasn't looking for 'uniform' or any real design so I just cut out randomly and sewed the resulting squares together. Having sewn the smaller patches in a more detailed manner around the seating area I began to experiment with larger plain squares and sewing smaller one directly over the top of them again randomly. I wasn't too bothered which sides I sewed together, in fact I favour the selvage actually showing on the 'A' side with some fraying, it all adds to the textural design, well, I think so anyway. Like everything else though, this is all part of the creative process. If I didn't like it i would have neatened it up by keeping all the sewn edges on the 'B' side. In some instances I actually used two pieces of material that didn't quite match and sewed them together using over lock stitch. The resulting design is really quite 'thrown together' and I like it!
Here's the result of a group of random squares patched together, I think it really works well and the final design looks very pretty. It certainly looks better than the original cover on the chair. It just shows what you are able to achieve with scraps of material and for the cost of the thread used and a little perseverance and little to no design you have a delicious piece of artwork apart from anything else. For all that, this still isn't finished but I couldn't wait to 'throw. it where it belongs, over that awful gold coloured armchair.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Speaking of soups and sales

Stapleford Woods Lincs, around spring 2009.
I can smell the pine from here. It's time for a trip back there before winter completely passes on and seeings it was Candlemas only last week, (depending on whom you read), I thought this weekend would be as good a time as any. The dog loves ferreting and bouncing and snuffling around in amongst the dead fern and bracken and basically cake himself in twigs and mud so he can deposit it all around the house when we get back home. But hey, such is the price of owning a border collie, (worth his weight btw for the sheer pleasure he has given us since we acquired him.)

There's nothing like soup to warm the cockles of yer 'eart when th
e bitterest winds and freezing temperatures are baying at your door and there's no other food that I take so much pleasure in making, not least because I very rarely screw it up! I have 'cream' recipes when most of the ingredients are cream coloured, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, even leeks and orange recipes, carrots, lentils and sweet potatoes (yams?) or butternut squash where everything is thrown into the pot diced or roughly chopped and sauteed with a few pieces of bacon or pepperoni, either or or even without. Having added enough water to boil and then simmer and when it is all cooked, I semi-puree it all with one of the items I couldn't do without in my kitchen, my braun blender/whisk that I bought six years ago in a sale at Curry's I think it was. Anyway here's a recipe I found for carrot and lentil soup. I'll be sipping on a mug of my own homemade carrot and lentil soup as I sew more of this patchwork throw this afternoon.... 'nom nom nom'

So I am lurving Dunelm mill and have done so ever since I was first introduced to this cornucopia of home furnishings and accessories etc by my sis and bro-in-law when we first moved here over six years ago now. I have bought bedlinen, towels, a clock, nick knacks,and even 'artists' canvases from them and a week isn't complete without a trip there, at least I must visit within the fortnight or quite simply I get withdrawal symptoms. I don't necessarily buy anything, I go for the inspiration, fabrics, furniture designs and SALES. Gracious, they had some excellent SALES on recently. Oh oh oh, I have to share two items I bought in said sale, namely this mirrored picture frame that I found for a staggering £3.50 and AND this delicious tray for £2!! Can you believe it!! Of course as is the norm, I have yet to decide what to do with them (the creative process remember!!), but when I can think beyond this chair throw/cover that I am still working on, I may paint something to place in the frame and hang the tray as a picture. It seems a shame to actually use it as a tray for goodness sake! Did I happen to mention that I am lurving this place?

Monday, 1 February 2010

And now for something else.

I decided to take the bull by the horns and create a blog for those of us with few funds who wish to attempt that thrown together shabby-cottagey-chic-eclectic look. I often come across wonderful images in those house and cottage/period home/garden and country/style and living magazines that I browse through in my local newsagents and wish I had the odd £750 to afford that distressed looking pine dresser which would go so very well in my custom built kitchen, if I had a larger kitchen, in a bigger Georgian 'cottage', situated in a picturesque village, near a running brook, beside an ancient woodland, in some forever green county, (personal preference would be the west country somewhere, but then I was born in Devon so am a dumpling through and through),.... yes well, I actually live in a rented 2 bed bungalow in a cul-de-sac in the city of Lincoln. But that doesn't mean I cannot dream or indeed that I cannot attempt to recreate in some smaller and very much cheaper way, the very look I am told is very much designer chic these days. I'm not one for trends I hasten to add and though I don't really know my style, like many I do know what I like.

At the moment I am making a patchwork throw for an old chair that definitely needs to be replaced sometime soon, but having been inspired by a certain
site that re-upholsters old furniture, I have been attempting to re-create the look within my own interpretation and on a shoe string. So as I progress with all future projects I shall take photographs of my successes and my failures. I am reminded of a time when my husband and mother were both out shopping with me. My mother was becoming somewhat impatient because I was holding up a lampshade and turning it to view it from every angle and trying to decide how I could turn it into a shabby chic affair. 'This is all a creative process' my husband whispered to my mother, 'She needs to process all the information and knowledge in her head and eventually maybe today, maybe tomorrow maybe even next week, she will decide that this is in fact what she wants and that she does or does not have the necessary objects or materials to turn it into something else, or even which room it may or may not end up in. Either way, I NEVER interfere in the creative process' With that he stood aside and let the process run its course.
(I did buy the shade as it happens, it ended up somewhere else entirely and has yet to be 'shabbied', but more of that at a later date.)

I suppose this will turn into some sort of portfolio for I have design ideas of my own of course as well as variations on an original theme. So here goes, as the title says 'and now for something else....'