15 April 2015

Around here

It's been busy.
We've been soaking up the last days of Easter holiday and trying to get out in the sunshine as much as possible.
We headed out to a new to us, National Trust property with beautiful grounds.

And impressive architecture too.

We went on a long family walk up all the locks near Devizes. It is truly quite incredible. 

I think there are close to fifty locks, all up one hill! We were about half way up when I took this photo.

I took the camera on a workout. Don't you love that green door?! 

My brother made friends with a cow...

We celebrated this special lady's 21st in London. 

And headed to the icebar for drinks. It was definitely an experience although at the end of 45 mins I had to admit that I had paid to stand inside a freezer!  

It's been a busy few weeks. 
Tomorrow I head back up North to start my final term as an undergraduate! Where did the time go? 

9 April 2015

One photo & Twenty words

Apologies for those who have seen this already on Instagram!

Taking my camera he said, "up you get" as we passed this tree. He knows I want photos before I've asked.

My challenge for you today. Find one photo and choose up to twenty words to tell its story. Jot it down and link back here. The link will stay open for a week so you have plenty of time to join in! 

8 April 2015

Sewing the Coco Dress

Sewing clothes is where I am finding my current groove.
I enjoy the methodical step by step nature of it, the way different pieces come together to make a whole garment and of course that I have something to wear at the end of it. 

I have wanted to try the Coco by Tilly and the Buttons for a while. 
What initially put me off was that it was designed for stretch fabric. I have a basic sewing machine and was daunted about putting some stretchy material through it.

Last weekend I was in Southampton for a friends 21st. Before I caught the train home I quickly popped in to fabric land and found this lovely stretch stripey fabric. It was super cheap and the label helpfully told me nothing about how much lycra it had in it. I figured though that if it went wrong it wouldn't be a huge loss. 

Thankfully both my machine and the fabric held out. This was the quickest dress I have made to date. One afternoon was all it took to cut, pin and sew the dress together with Tilly's helpful instructions and photos. 

After an afternoon of sewing with it, I think I am a convert to sewing with jersey knits. This material is so soft it's like going out in my pyjamas and it wasn't nearly so hard to work through my machine as I thought it would be. 

I am now scheming and dreaming of more things I can make with pretty jersey stripes. I see a wardrobe of Breton tops in my near future....

Friendly reminder about one photo and twenty words tomorrow (the 9th). The premise is easy; pick one photo and try and tell its story in just twenty words, then link back here! It promises to be fun. 

2 April 2015

Paint and photoshop

A while back I stumbled upon this tutorial about how to make a repeating pattern on photoshop.
I stored it in my mental list of things to do when I am on holiday.

Faced with a rainy afternoon last week, I picked up my paintbrushes and had a go.

The idea is very simple. Paint some patterns with watercolours. I chose organic shapes and then various 'splodges'. That well known technical term!

I then scanned this whole document to my computer.

Once I had opened it in photoshop I extracted each shape and cleaned them up a bit.

I then opened a new document and copied and pasted to my hearts content, adjusting the hue, the size and rotation of each shape. It was incredibly fun to sit and play with things I had painted on a screen.
I loved that I could duplicate bits I liked and delete the things that weren't so good!
It also surprised me which shapes I had painted that were really useful 'fillers' on my design.

Once I created my pattern I followed the tutorial steps to 'tile' it and create a repeat.

I am thrilled with how these turned out. I printed both patterns off and made two little notecards.

My next plan is to make a pattern for some place cards for the table on Easter Sunday. Watch this space!

Isn't the internet a wonderful thing! A whole new world of craft awaits!

26 March 2015

A dress in the making

I set aside this holiday for a project. 
A sewing project. 
My graduation dress, with fabric bought by the boy. 

It is so nearly done and I can't wait to share it in full. I decided that I would try and document the process using my big camera as it really needed a workout. I think it's fun to do a 'photo essay' once in a while. 

It's good to be back with my sewing machine. 

19 March 2015

Project Life week 7

Oh this project.
I'm going to be honest, year three is tough going. Or maybe that is because year three of uni has coincided with year three of project life!

I don't like to use the word 'behind' on this project because from experience I know it is all about the ebb and flow. The pages will come when they are ready.

I got down to this page last week and am pleased with it. My best pages happen in about half an hour. All the little bits seem to come together and they work. I think too much thinking kills this project which is why I am keeping it chilled about 'catching up!'

So this is what week seven looked like....

I had lots of phone photos this week which seem to fit well into the 4x3 portrait pockets. I like this pocket layout because I also got to include lots of pattern paper which can stand alone. I like that it builds colour across the page.

I built the left hand page around the stories I wanted to tell. I started on the top row with those contrasting sky photos which were an ideal prompt to put down more general thoughts about the week.

On the row below I added the photos from our trip to the Train Museum and the bottom one focuses a bit on valentines day. I often build my pages like this. Focusing on the photos and then working out how I will tell the story.

The second page is a more traditional format. I like to use my SLR photos to their best advantage so tend to pop them in bigger pockets. I decided to use the two photos of me side by side but switched one to black and white. I like that contrast between them.

There was lots of journalling on this page too. I tried to keep it cohesive by using the same font throughout and used one of my favourite techniques which is writing directly on the photos!

The more I write about PL the more I am reminded of how good this project is. I'm giving myself permission to take time on it this year though. Let's see how that pans out!

What are you working on at the moment?

16 March 2015

Me on Monday

It was a big sigh of contentment "ah, I'm home" kind of a weekend. It was a five hour train journey, embroidery and lots of reading kind of weekend. It was a laughing round the table with the family and the boy kind of weekend.

It was of course a celebrating mummy weekend, a sunday roast with Granny weekend, a Rugby watching afternoon and a chilling out kind of weekend.

And me on Monday? That looked like sitting in a pub with the boy by the log burner, enjoying scrummy food and sheltering from the decidedly un-spring-like weather.

It was the best start to a long holiday. And now, the work commences....

I'm joining in with Sian's lovely meme today. Pop on over to her blog to find out more about what she has been up to this weekend.