SAL Update: what I did on vacation

September 1, 2019 at 9:51 am | Posted in Other Crafts | 8 Comments

As indicated in my last post, I spent the last three weeks in beautiful Ireland, and I didn’t take Mr. Iguana with me. There has been other crafty stuff happening, though!

I wrote on here before about the community art project I was planning for the Dublin 2019 Worldcon, and I’m pleased to report that it was a huge success! I couldn’t keep the big grin off my face most of the time, nor did I want to! You can read the posts I wrote during Worldcon at the Raksura Colony Tree blog. I’m hoping to add more pictures there soon. Here’s one of my favourites, me and author Martha Wells in front of the tree:

The Colony Tree in Dublin - Martha Wells visited!

An actual update from Mr. Iguana will hopefully happen three weeks from now!

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Linda, Mary Margaret, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Clare, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn and  Sharon.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.



June 20, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Other Crafts | 7 Comments

Last weekend a friend and I used the Textile Art Berlin as a convenient excuse to spend a few days in Berlin. This is a two-day festival celebrating all kinds of textile creation. We went on Saturday, and it was hot, hot, hot. We still had a great time looking at everything on offer.

In the afternoon I had booked a workshop for making yarn buttons with Helene Weinold, who runs the Knopfwerkstatt. Buttonmaking is an old craft, but using the wonderfully colourful threads on offer today, it has a lot of appeal. Here’s my haul from the two-hour workshop:

Yarn Buttons - Workshop at Textile Art Berlin 2019

I’m particularly fond of the button on the lower right, it reminds me of watermelon pieces. They look pretty good for a first try, and the general principle isn’t hard. When finishing off the botton on top of the picture today, I realized that I’ll need quite a bit of practice to get any good at this – the tension was way too tight, which made it really hard to do the sewing bits at the end. I needed a pair of pliers to pull the needle through!

The workshop came with a warning that this can be addictive, and I think the danger is real. I might just have to order a pile of button blanks and go play.

Thimble (or Money) Pips

January 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Other Crafts | 1 Comment

My nieces are not so little anymore, so in addition to their traditional book they tend to get a bit of money from me these days. Since just putting the money in an envelope is boring, I’m always on the lookout for nice ways to package things. Luckily, with enough time left before the holidays, I stumbled over this tutorial for thimble pips.

I immediately realized that those would be perfect to package a bill or two, and I’m sure teenage girls have always a little something to put into a pretty container. So off I went, and here are the results:


Just a few scraps of a pretty fabric are enough to make one of those. They are a bit fiddly, but I followed the tutorial pretty much exactly and they came out great.

It’s all in the presentation

November 2, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Other Crafts | Leave a comment

So, after making some nice earrings, where do you put them? They definitely don’t come with a nice jewellery box from the store! 😉 One possibility is to make a box for them to live in, also very nice if you want to give a pair away as a present. Origami to the rescue. There are literally dozens of different patterns for origami boxes out there, but I wanted one with an integrated lid, so I ended up with this one.

To make sure the earrings wouldn’t rattle around in the box, I cut a piece of felt the size of the bottom of the box, stitched a couple of buttonhole bars on it, and attached the earrings:

The felt fits snugly on the bottom of the box:

And this is what the closed box looks like:

It’s not perfect, since this is the first time I made that pattern, and I haven’t been making any origami for a while, but you certainly get the idea. Using really nice paper would make that a really classy box for a nice present, all handmade. 🙂

Beaded Jewellery

January 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Other Crafts | 1 Comment

Although I usually don’t wear a lot of jewellery, I sometimes have the urge to make some. Here are the results of some small projects I made a while ago:

Beaded Jewelry

The bracelet was embroidered an a light blue fabric band 2.5 cm wide, the closure is a piece of velcro. For the embroidery you take all the beads for a whole line on the needle, take the needle down at the end of the line and on your way back to the beginning you couch the thread down between the beads. I cut the band a bit more than twice as long as the finished bracelet, so I could make a nice clean backside by folding it back over the embroidery and sewing the edges together.

The brooch is about 4.5 cm in diameter. I made it mostly in a 90 minute workshop at a crafts fair a couple of years ago. You take a pretty dense fabric, lay it double and draw the form you want (a circle in my case). You then sew it together, cut out the form including a seam allowance and turn it inside out. Fill the little resulting pillow with wool and sew shut. Then you start to embroider the beads on it, using a double thread and always stitching through all the layers, so the filling gets compacted. When finished, this leads to the pillow being really stiff. Attach the fastening needle to the back and voilà, a finished project!

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