Saturday, 26 July 2014

Elephants :: Stamps

This month's collection of elephants is stamped based. For no reason other than I came across an image of an elephant on a stamp and thought it looked great, so I carried on browsing.

1. From Hungary - great pink tones and a cute baby elephant included in the design.
2. From India - the yellow background really makes this one stand out.
3. From The Congo - I like the blue, grey and green tones in this one.
4. Another one from India - I like the use of water in the foreground of this image
5. From South Africa - the ears really stand out in this one.
6. From Italy - the art deco style borders look great in this design.
7. From Laos - really subtle use of colour here.
8. Yet another one from India - this is a really effective design making use of just two colours.
9. One final one from India - these are fossil elephants but  I like the almost mirror image design here.

For more images of elephant stamps visit my Elephants board on Pinterest.

All links above are to Pinterest as a number of the items pictured are no longer available at their original link.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Review :: Anchor purse free gift

This month's free gift with Mollie Makes magazine was a little drawstring bag with an embroidered anchor design on it.

After my free gift hack last month and deciding I wouldn't really make use of a draw string bag with an anchor on, I decided to do another hack, this time just using the materials provided. 

My embroidered design was inspired by a blog post from the Purl Bee, specifically the brightly coloured geometric shapes.

I started by measuring and drawing out the grid which I was going to stitch and then I just free-styled it from there in terms of what colours and what shapes would be stitched where. The only 'rule' I gave myself in the design was to not have the same colours touching on a vertical or horizontal line.

I like the concept but some of my stitching hasn't come out flat (although I haven't yet tried pressing it to see if that would cure it). I love the colour combinations and these wouldn't have been four colours I would have put together.

Did you make your free gift as it was intended or did you do something a bit different like this?

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Repair room :: beaded shoes

The aim of this series of blog posts is to show how you can bring an item back to life with a simple repair job.

This repair room post is about bringing a pair of beaded shoes back to life - here's how ...

I have a lovely pair of flat shoes which are great for the Summer, but when I reached for them a couple of days ago I noticed that some of the beadwork was loose (on the left shoe) and some of it was missing (on the right shoe).

This can tend to happen to bead and sequin embellished items especially things that get a lot of wear or have things rubbing against them such as shoes and bags.

I was pretty sure I had beads in my stash that would be a great match for the beads on the shoes so I dug them out and set to work. The other materials I used were beading needle, clear beading thread, embroidery scissors.

The first step was to secure the existing loose threads, so I carefully stitched these into the fabric and trimmed any loose ends.

The next step was to secure the new length of thread. As the clear beading thread I was using was much finer than that used on the shoes originally I decided to work with double thickness. So I cut a length and thread the beading needle bringing the two ends together and securing with a double knot. I trimmed the ends of the knot to about 5mm (or short enough to hide under one of the metal discs).

I then sewed through the fabric of the shoe and secure the thread bringing up the needle about four beads from the end of the beaded row I would be adding to. 

These beads had been added using the couching method and that was the method I also used in my repair. It's quite a simple method of bead embellishment and involves adding some beads and then stitching back about halfway along the beads you have just added before then threading the needle back through those beads.

It's important to ensure that the beads you are adding are flush with the previous beads at all times otherwise your beadwork ends up too loose and you get gaps between your beads. You also have to be careful not to stitch them too close to the previous beads otherwise you get a bulge.

I repeated adding four beads and then stitching back through two and passing the needle back through until I got to the end. I then moved onto the left shoe which needed a slightly different repair. Again I cut a length of clear beading thread, doubled it up and knotted to secure. I started by stitching the knot under one of the metal discs.

This was a slightly simpler repair as it was just securing these metal discs, although the hole of the second disc that needed repairing has been broken so I ended up stitching over the disc. It's not quite an invisible repair but I think it was better to do this than have a flapping disc. You can barely notice it even in a close up.

Have you got any embellished items you have resurrected? Or do you have something you want to repair but don't know where to start? Do share your experiences.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Finished make :: Jumbley beady brooch

One of my favourite ever makes is a purse covered in a jumbley beady design. I used this idea in a project on my previous blog and now I've been experimenting with using the same idea to make brooches.

I've only ever used black beads in this design before but for this brooch I used a mixture of silver, clear and silver lined beads. I love the random nature of this design and think this has turned out great so I'll be experimenting with a few other colour combinations soon - maybe even a multi coloured version.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Finished make :: Floral fabric and bead brooches

I spent some of the weekend (the rainy bits) experimenting with some floral fabric scraps, including some Liberty prints I had in my stash.

These lovely brooches are about 3cm in diameter and use sieve brooch backs, such as these.

The bead embellishments pick out a feature of the floral design in complimentary colours. Each design, even those using the same floral fabric, is unique. They will make great little pressies for friends.

I think I like the pink and white one the best. Which one is your favourite?