Halloween with last year pumpkin

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This is still Halloween night here (a bit after midnight) so I show you my pumpkin. This is an 'old' one, I carved it last year with a friend. (Unfortunately I didn't carve a pumpkin this year, I am sorry about it as I think it is much fun.)

We loved to make it and then decided to make one to our own guild. I ran to the supermarket and got the last pumpkin. it was quite small and a bit spotted, but only half rotten, so I could make this one. I used the pattern of The Pumpkin Lady, many thanks to her. This is the emblem of our guild, we call it 'winking chap'.

My only problem was the size of the pumpkin. It was quite small so I had to cut out very small pieces which made the whole process a bit slow. But I was satisfied with the final result, it looked great in dark with candles. I think I could make my guildies happy too, so it was a nice present at the end.

Let me show you the pumpkin:

Halloween contest 2007 - Hurray!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Today is time to be soooo happy!
I wanted to write about other things but then a wonderful thing happened... Arenanet team (the designers of the game Guild Wars) announce the winners of the Halloween Contest 2007.

I made a doll for this contest, a character of the game, named Mad King Thorn. It is a drawn character so I designed patterns for it and sewed it for a doll.
I am proudly tell you it was one of the winners of the contest. Thanks Arenanet! Happy Halloween to you and Happy Halloween to all my Readers! :D
Here is a link: http://www.guildwars.com/events/contests/halloween2007/default.php, to find the picture.

There are some pictures of the little parts
The first thing I made was the body.... A very simple one of five parts (2 legs, 2 arms and a body).

Next were the boots. My first boot (actually I have made shoes or footwear before) designed. They were made of these parts:

After sewing all the parts together, I had this boot:

Then finally I made one more....

The next step was his armor (unfortunately I have no pic about it), then the had. it was not so easy, as it is something like a pumpkin. I got this beautiful orange fabric (for furniture) from an online friend. She was very kind as I was in a hurry, so I didn't have time to go shopping fore ages till finding the prefect fabric. It was perfect for me:D

I was on a meeting with online friends when I made this pumpkin head. I wanted something bright for the eyes (lightning thingy), so I chose organza (actually I got a piece from another friend...) then I had to put some vetex on it, to make it stable. Ironing was not much fun as organza is totally 'plastic' so it does not like ironing. Finally I made the leaves of green plush which I had at home (luckily). Sewn and stitched by machine (the pumpkin is handmade as I had no sewing machine with me).

This is Mad King in his armor, but not totally finished armor.

I made the claws and the belt of plaster. (Which dries on air) and painted the belt with acrylic dye.
Here is the final doll, but more pics on the address below.

Embroidery... a piece

Monday, October 29, 2007

Today I have chosen another old project. I made these last September.

Colleagues in the school decided they needed some student helpers in the corridors. During the break some teachers have to inspect the corridors (if everything goes all right, students behave, there is no accident etc.). They decided that each day two students helped the teachers (another two each days of course).

So we needed something like a badge for these student inspectors. They asked me to make something. I wanted to make something apparent, which is not 'embarrassing' for the teenagers, but teachers like it. (So no skeletons which students asked for....)

I have found an embroidered palm in a mag, it was a part of a quilt. This was the base of my design. It turned out very colourful, like an African pattern. Students were not satisfied (of course) but half of them liked it and some more said it was OK.

Missing posts...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Unfortunately I had been a bit sick, I didn't feel well at all, so I didn't sew anything and I was not able to write posts. But I slept a lot so now I try to sew again. The little witch' s hat is nearly finished now and I'd like to finish her shoes today as well.

I am also busy with the Swap I have my partner, Jopo now, I am so happy with her and I am curious and excited about the swap. I still have some wrapping and I have taken a lot of pics but I don't dare to put them here now.... (Maybe she will jump in to read some time and then she can see the pics too early.)
I still have to make one little present and the main one, so this night (or tomorrow) is for the pressie and then the main one is coming.

I am full of plans for the autumn holiday which started today, so hopefully I can sew (and do not have to sleep more to cure myself).

As this is the week of Halloween, the picture of today is my last year pumpkins... (my second carving) I have carved this huge pumpkin together with my friend (named geszt in this blog:D). It was a real big fun to carve with her, we laughed a lot during the work and I think we could be proud of the pumpkin at the end... Thanks again for the company geszt. :D

Sewing, just sewing...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today I am so busy sewing (plus it was a hard working day) I am just sewing but cannot show anything.
Let's talk about other things then.

I have made a really long list for Christmas and I do not know how to sew everything. Plus I cannot choose which one to start with.
Currently I am working on 3 different things together which is not the best way to finish some thing every day. I am working on little angels plus big Tildas angels (two parallelly) and the witch of October. This last one must be finished tomorrow, the others are for Christmas, so they are not so urgent.

But yesterday I took part in the Birthday Round too, so I have to think about it, but nothing seems good enough to sew. maybe I am going to ask my B for some help in thinking. He always have such good ideas, so he can be the brain and I am the hand... Perfect combo when I have no idea but he has. :D

Today I am going to start wrapping the pressies for the Advent Swap but I have to make photos before as I have read on forum. So it is going to be a busy evening too. Let's go then!

Needle painting?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Last week during the forum meeting I mentioned before I learned about a new technique, needle painting. There was a lady who is a real expert and makes very nice things although she thinks of herself as an amateur.
Her Christmas surprise present was a needle pained picture. There was a bird in it with a beautiful background of plants, water and bush.

The next day we asked her to show how she did that. She started to make a picture (we could observe) and told us about tips and the technique itself.

It was very interesting for me, I never thought about it before and I decided to try it once. This month our 'doll topic' is making a witch very similar to a given picture. This witch has a border on her skirt. And orange ribbon with black Jack-o-lanterns on it. I was thinking about how to put those pumpkins onto the ribbon when I got the idea of needle painting. I know that this technique originally is for a totally different thing, but I always mix and change everything. So I tried to needle paint the little lanterns on the fabric.

Please look at it as my first try. It could be much nicer, but I made it last night. It was a shame I designed quite a small doll, so I had to sew about 1 cm tall pumpkins. I think it would be easier to make a little bit bigger ones. During sewing I have tried different ways to fill in my pre-drawn lanterns.

This is the ribbon I got. I used simple orange fabric (cotton), vetex (non stick) and normal black thread. I sewed twelve pumpkins.


Monday, October 22, 2007

These days half of my thoughts are around post and postcards. Firstly because of the Aussie Advent Swap - I become more and more excited about it. Plus because of the nice Ladies on forum who offered my so kindly to send some magazines. So I am thinking about post all the time.

That is why I have chosen to show you my postcards today.
I have only two cards. They were made this summer for my friends' weddings. I found some nice examples on a friends website when she showed the how to and some nice postcards. It was easy. I have just followed her instructions.

The first postcard was made for two of my colleagues. They got married a week after the school finished in July. Ten colleagues were invited so we decided to make a present together. We bought a bench and burnt their names, two pigeons and two hearts in it. I thought that a hand made postcard signed by all the colleagues would be a good idea.

I looked for small and bigger pieces of white fabric and some lace (inherited from my mother-in-law). After I put all the white fabrics together I decided to make some ribbon embroidery, too. I have made two cream roses plus the first letters of their names ( T and C) on the top. I gave two silk hearts and machine stitched the whole postcard. We used textile markers to sign the 'postcard' side.

The other one was made on the same week as the other wedding took place on the same day. This was the wedding of my childhood best friend, so I wanted to give something what can be a remain. I used white fabrics again (colour of weddings). I didn't want to make something very similar, so i made it more simple, only fabric and lace. Unfortunately I didn't have a pastell textile marker so I used dark green (green and cream were the colours of the wedding) to write their names in the middle of the heart. It was too apparent, so I put a thin white fabric on to hide it a bit. i think it was nice and special at the end. My friend was very happy with it.

It was fun to make them but I always have problems with time so I think I will make these kind of present only for really big occasions.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

I started to sew the project of this month, a witch. This month we have a picture we have to copy (actually it is a drawing and we have to sew it). I wanted to make very thin arms and legs, so I designed them and sewed. The problem started when I wanted to turn the right side out. I couldn't so I asked the other ladies for advice on the forum. I got some very useful tips, so tried again. After sewing all the pieces again (I tore the first ones with the trying) I started the whole procedure from the beginning. Now I have two arms and a leg, but I have to sew another leg, so it was not a total success. It took me a whole afternoon to make the arms and legs, and now it is evening, no witch and no Christmas pressies....

(But luckily I made the patterns of two angels and five canisters in the morning, so something happened with the Christmas pressies...)

And also I take part in an Advent Swap of an Australian Forum, so I put all the little pressies out and started to sort them. it was very exciting. I collected some new ideas as I was not satisfied with all the things. Unfortunately I can't tell anything else about it as it can be read by someone who mustn't. :D
And I think I have a good idea for the main present so I can think about it and my frustration about it can stop for a while....

I think some more sewing coming at night too, I am too excited to sleep now, and it is a long weekend, so no work for two more days!!! Hurray!

And my sewing machine does not want to work nicely enough, I am a bit worried about it... I hope it will feel much better tomorrow.

I think no picture for today (as nothing finished), but hopefully it will be a successful day at the end...

Meeting with Christmas feeling

Friday, October 19, 2007

Last weekend we had a meeting in the countryside with my online patchwork friends. It was fun, 2 and a half days together, laughing, sewing and talking of course. The main topic was Christmas, so everyone brought a pattern or her favourite Christmas project with her to show to the others. We could see lots of funny projects. I am going to show some of the projects later, but I don't have pics at the moment.

An other thing was the Christmas presents swap. Each of us made a handmade something and packed it in nice Christmas decoration. We put all the packets together and each got a number. Finally we drew the numbers. Everyone opened her packet in front of the others (in the order of the numbers) so everyone could see the goodies inside.

I got a file covered with fabrics (Christmas fabrics of course) and there was a cross stitch picture sewed on it (winter pattern embroidered with golden thread). I do not put the pic on the blog as I haven't asked for permission, but it is very nice winter present and I like it.

This is a picture of my present. In fact it was only half of my present. This is a little picture (can be used as a Christmas decoration as well). It has a red work muffin in the middle, framed with simple red fabric and the whole thing is machine stitched (there is a 'Merry Christmas' sign and some hollies stitched on it). Thanks for my friend (who got my pressie- it was a funny moment) for the picture, I didn't have one...
(The other half was a polystyrene ball covered with red and green checked fabric, it is a decoration as well, but no picture about it....)

It was a really very good and inspirational weekend, lots of fun together with the ladies. I am still smiling when I am thinking about it! :D


Thursday, October 18, 2007

I think that is a bigger and bigger problem, that I spend my time in front of my computer and I don't have time to sew. But if I don't sew how will I be able to show you things here?

There are things which are wonderful in patchwork. The best part is crating something, being creative, making some of your dreams come true. I like to think about my projects ("sewing in head"), but sometimes I think too much instead of sewing which is not good at all.
It is also good to know other people with the help of this hobby. Talking about your hobby can be a base of a new friendship. I like using forums and talking to others, meeting new people during this hobby. Sometimes it is not so shiny as you can find some 'not so nice ones' or embarrassing dialogues as well, or you can be a part of a group which you don't like or where you are not liked. Of course it is not easy, but it is like all parts of life, good and bad at the same time, or black and white and grey of course. Today I had both experiences, a really very nice and an embarrassing dialogue.
I think they help us being stronger and they teach us something. These days (as I become older and older) I think we can learn of everything we experience or get in our lives. I have never been a very calm person. I have always been short-tempered which can be very-very bad. Luckily I got my B who taught me to think before doing things. It is not perfect but much better than before. Now I try to see the 'teaching part' of all the situations I have. I still hate conflicts and I try to be on the shiny part of the world.
So now I am on the shiny part. I am happy as I have this blog with you or for you, and for us. This is a good part of my hobby.
And to illustrate the shiny part here is a picture of the best thing on Earth, the sea:


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Today I am writing about a project I am really proud of. This is a design of me, I have never seen anything similar before, so I was very happy when got compliments.

Of course I saw little bags for bottles in sports shops, but nothing like a house. To tell you the truth I hate to carry the bottles in my hand. I always buy big bottles (1.5 litres) as the small ones are too expensive. On a hot day (or maybe every day) you need to drink a lot, so it is useless to buy small bottles. I decided to make something to carry my bottles in. I didn't want to take a huge bag with me, so I needed something with a handle, so I could put it on my shoulder.

When started sewing I wanted something funny or unique. Then the 'house idea' came to my mind and I started the work.

I measured the bottle of my favourite mineral water (it is stupid but all the bottles are different sized which was a problem as I wanted my bag to be tight) and started to choose fabrics.
I had some 'I-don't-like' fabrics which I dyed before. I cut them into narrow stripes and sew them together, they made the wall of my tower. I used a textile pen to draw the stones (under part....), unfortunately I hadn't tried machine stitching before so I was not brave enough to make the stones by machine.
I wanted to have people in the house, so I imagined owners in the flats. There is one who loves animals (fish in an aquarium), one who drinks a lot (bottles everywhere), one book-lover (bookshelf in flat), one flat is empty and one needs renovation.

There are some flowers in front of the houses (embroidered leaves and button flowers) and my name is painted on the door. The lock of the door and the tiles of the roof are machine stitched.
There is flat batting inside.

I love it! I hope you like it, too.

More dyed fabrics...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oh, sorry I was late with this post. Last time I promised some more photos about last week's dyeing. So you have already seen arashi shiboris.

Now I have to show you the bomaki.
I used a tray for that and put some different dyes. They mixed in the tray and made funny colours for me. Isn't is fun?
Here is my 'cake'. I used orange, red and a mixture (wanted to be bourdon, but it is something like eggplant purple). It wanted to be a fire at the end.... I didn't have to fold the fabric, because this was it is not like a fire, but maybe after cutting it in halves it can be.
These are my fabrics.... Not perfect fire, but I still like them.

I have tried to make a bomaki of cobalt, turquoise and yellow. Here it is:

This is just some cobalt blue dyed in a plastic bag (will suit perfectly to my stormy sea quilt, this can be the border):

This is purple-like something (mixed by me) with the same technique.It is annoying how ugly this is in the picture. Believe me, it is much nicer in real life... It has some really very nice colours... But it is impossible to take a nice photo about it... it seems....
And these are my pieces.... You know rags for cleaning dyes....:D This day I made really nice rags. At least I am pleased with them.
This one was my first one and ma favourite. I am thinking about making a scissors holder of it. But maybe it is not big enough. sigh....

These have strange dark colours. The first one reminds me of the globe.

This one was a white fabric with white pattern on it, but I used a mixture of yellow and turquoise and dyed it green. It is strange because the wrong side has nicer colour now (I think). in this pic you can see both sides and decide which one you prefer. (This colour is also much nicer in real life...)


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dear Reader,
I am going to the counrtyside for the weekend with my internet friends, so now I am in the middle of packing my clothes and I will be away in the next 3 days... So next post On Sunday or on Monday, have a nice weekend and happy stitching for you, too!

Yipppiii! They are finished...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Finally I could finish the washing, drying and ironing... So I can proudly tell you my fabrics are here.

Yesterday I spent the whole afternoon with them (I really hate it at the end), and now I have a terrible pain in my wrist. That washing was too much for me I think. (It is annoying because I am in a hurry, I have to sew a lot this week.)

Today I washed the last two pieces and ironed the others.
And the best part: I have made these pictures.
This is a technique called shibori. I rolled the fabric on the pipe and tied strings on it (1.5 - 6 cm of each other). Then I crinkled it with the help of the string. I dyed the background colour (it is usually the lighter) and after half an hour of waiting I spread the darker colour (colour of the stripes). I put plastic foil around. That was all. My pipe is 1 m long so I could make 4 fabrics. Here you can see them foiled.

Here is the fabric on the pipe without foil before washing.
Here are the fabrics in the machine waiting for the others.

This is the one I opened first. I used light green and dark violet. Finally it turned out green and brown. (I am going to try to make new photos in sunshine as colours are totally different in real life.)

This is the second one, turquoise and cobalt blue.

This is a closer one just to show the pattern.

For the third one I used red and a darker colour. I wanted to mix bourdon but it turned out dark violet.

And this was the last one on the pipe. Yellow and dark red on top. (This is my favourite I think)

This is the last fabric I want to show you today. It was made on a thinner pipe, the colours are the same as on the first one.

I think this is enough for today. The fabrics of other techniques will be shown tomorrow.
I loved my fabrics so much, but now I have a problem, I don't know which is the nicest or which one to like the best. Which one do you like the best?

Water everywhere

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

So I started to wash all the fabrics I dyed at the weekend. I thought that would be an hour or so to wash them, but finally I spent more than 3 hours with washing and rinse, washing and rinse, washing and rinse... My wrist is just... you know...out of game... or out of work...

So finally I was ready and put everything into the washing machine. Hmm, when I went to the bathroom to check if the program is over, there was water everywhere in the bathroom. The end of the pipe which goes into the bath, fall down and led all the water onto the floor. Luckily it happened somewhere near the end of the programme so we didn't make lake of the whole flat... But washing and mopping half an hour before midnight is not my favourite I think.
Hopefully they are going to be dry tomorrow, so I only have to iron them and can put the pics into my next post...

I am so sorry I was not interesting in the last two posts, I am going to try to do my best in the next days.

Sooooo busy

Monday, October 8, 2007

I am sooo busy today.... I am working on a secret project. It is a secret so I can't say anything.

And unfortunately I didn't have time to wash my dyed fabrics... I am going to try it tomorrow...

Now I am back to sewing. Did I tell you how awful is to sew black fabrics with black thread in a semi-dark room?
You see only half of the work, sometimes in a lucky moment you can see the thread as well, but you have to use your fingers and feelings to be able to continue your work in the 'blind' moments. That is what I tried, but then I had to use more light, so now it is not that bad.

Plus I have to make a Christmas thingie with its pattern before the weekend. I go on a long weekend holiday with the internet pw friends of mine. All of us take a Christmas something so we can get some good ideas before December. Hopefully everyone can see something new for this year. My biggest problem is that I am not sure what to make, but I have two ideas so I need only one more choice. Then a night work with it and be proud of it (hopefully).
So these are the plans, you can see I don't have time to write a long post today..... Happy day to you, too!


Sunday, October 7, 2007

I really want to write a Sunday post as well, but unfortunately I can't.

I dyed fabrics all day with some internet friends. It was a great fun, but no pics yet... They have to be in their packages in the next 12 hours.... but hopefully pictures are coming tomorrow or on Tuesday....

Fabrics, hurray!

This is a Saturday post :D
I went to the exhibition on Saturday, but in the morning I jumped in a very good (but unfortunately quite expensive) craft shop, where I bought some pressies for the advent swap I will have with the Australian ladies (it is still unbelievable:D) I like that shop as they have very nice things, it is good to go there and buy goodies.
(I don't put any pressie pics here as I want to keep them as surprise).

Then I went to the Castle where the exhibition took place. We had a meeting with my online patchwork friends which is always fun as you sometimes see people who you know only from the computer and some friends from the countryside who you meet once or twice in a year. I got nice little pressies from some friends and I talked a lot and had fun.
Usually there are some shops there selling their things in the hall of the exhibition. I bought lots of fabric there. They are all for Christmas.

Finally I went to sleep to a friend in this town who had two other guests as well. You can imagine, four ladies talking half night and laugh a lot. (That's why I write this post on Sunday...)


This is a late Friday post, but my batteries were out on Friday, so I could not upload the pic...

This is the fig I got from my B as a dessert. I think it was my first time with a beautiful purple fig.... (I tried the dried ones but they were not so nice).

I liked it!

A bit of a cross stitch

Friday, October 5, 2007

It is another thing again. I love cross stitch as well.... Unfortunately everyone around me hates it, but not my mum, so sometimes I made her some little pressies. (I don't want to give her cross stitched things all the time of course.) This is the last tablecloth I made her for her birthday in March.

I found the pattern in an old mag, but I found it perfect into her cottage. Originally this design was made for a fabric which had the green lines on it. But I became ill and I couldn't go out for weeks as I had pneumonia, so I used the aida I had at home, a normal, white one. As I was in bed and had quite a lot of time (which is unusual) I decided to embroider the lines as well. (It took me really-really long time.)

Finally I made this tablecloth, I cross stitched the plants and fruits. I used autumn colours which I liked very much.

I have to admit I ironed the fabric (but unfortunately it can't be seen... I don't know why.)