Thursday, 15 April 2010

Spring Stitching

Ah, nothing like the bursting forth of blooms to make you realise spring is here. (That, and the rude awakening due to the arrival of British 'Summer' Time). In the garden the forget-me-nots are out...

...and I quickly picked these daffs before the slugs got to them. I love the contrast between blue and yellow. Although this pic does have the 'Windows Desktop' feel about it!

All this got me inspired to stitch. I made a little embroidered card (click for bigger):

and an unholy mess:

When I cleared all that up I made an even bigger mess with fabric and thread, and here's a sneak preview of some rather nice new knitting accessories that will be going up in the shop soon:

Over the Easter hols I also got around to tinkering with an old sewing machine. I got this one from freecycle - it didn't work, it had no foot control or accessories, so I stripped it back for its parts. I am a savage!

It's wearing its Halloween skeleton fancy dress outfit. ha. I couldn't believe how many screws held the thing together. Sixteen to get the front panel off; plus another dozen keeping the back panel on. It was a modern plastic thing (bah! yuck!) - my old model Jones only has two screws to keep the access panel on. Eeee by 'eck, modern stuff just in't like it used to be!

(good old Quality Street tin again. I have a few, mostly fillings thus remaining largely intact!!)

Here are the sewing machine's innards. I'm going to mend another old machine with the new motor. Recycling at its finest!

I've been inspired this week by reading (this week, I have been mostly reading...!) Miss Savidge Moves Her House - the tale of a lady who, upon finding her house was to be demolished to make way for a by-pass (not an hyperspace one I don't think) decided to dismantle the house (and next door) and have it moved, piece by piece, a hundred miles away, where she then set about re-building it, without any help.

I'm not going to re-build my sewing machine 100 miles away :) But taking things apart and putting them back together (or re-using them somewhere else) is something which fascinates me, and I love to breathe new purpose into things that would otherwise go to landfill. I'm not an evangelical Greenie or anything like that; I just like making use of old stuff like bits of broken pottery...old fabric...old sewing machines...old cardigans... (coming soon: a patchworked mosaic of knitted sewing machines)! The book is a really good read if you get the chance (don't be put off by the only blurb being from the Telegraph and the Daily Mail - no idea why the Guardian review didn't feature). I borrowed mine from the library (recycling, haha). I think it's her determination in the face of bureaucracy, the elements and ill-health that is so inspiring. And her eccentricity - the characteristics that make me like Hannah Hauxwell...or the Lady in the Van, Miss Shepherd. (one day I will tell you all about my late, crazy, mum...but not just yet!) Here endeth the book recommendation. I don't usually shout out about books on this blog but I liked this one so much I thought I'd tell you all about it!

Hmm, I think my waffling might be testing someone's patience:

I think she's saying "play with me!!"

"...pretty pleeeease?!" How can I resist a face like that...!

Thanks for all your lovely comments about the mosaic mirror! It's really not technical - you could have a go - it's just incredibly messy and you need a tolerant other half who will put up with a) the banging and b) the disappearing tea-cups. Oh and the missing hammer. And tile cutters :) Glad you liked the end result! x


  1. I love the skeleton sewing machine!

    Book sounds interesting - they moved Exeter's oldest house across the road to make way for something, but I don't think that was as much of a 'personal odyssey' as the book sounds!

  2. Thanks for the book recommendation - am always on the lookout for a good read. Have spent the afternoon winding your mini-skeins into balls, ready for my sock blankie. What a cute, innocent looking expression your little dog has! You're absolutely right - how could you resist that look?!

  3. I love the daffodil photo :)

    And thanks for mentioning the book - I saw both the Antiques Roadshows about her, but didn't know there was a book now. I've added it to my Amazon basket.

  4. Your very good recycling all the old parts. It just needs time and a little patience, I guess! Great flower pics, by the way. A lovely angle, looking up into the clear, blue sky. Trixie is such a cute little dog, I don't think I cou;ld ever say 'no' to her! She looks adorable. Ros

  5. Beautiful flower pictures! The fabrics look gorgeous; can't wait to see what you make!

    That book sounds really interesting. There was a series of documentaries (maybe on Discovery channel??) about a company that moved houses and other large buildings. I loved it; it was incredible how they cut them up and moved them!

  6. Oh I wanna squish Trixie sooo much! (said in a baby-talk voice).

    That book sounds awesome, I wonder if its available on the Kindle?! Since getting it I have developed an aversion to actual books, they are so difficult to hold open!


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