Tuesday, 29 September 2015

happy birthday derek

It was our good friend Derek's birthday on Sunday so Ben & I made him a mixtape as part of his present. 

It's a fun one! We added lots of songs by bands we all saw recently at End of the Road as well as a few that remind us of good times at ATP

I hope he enjoys it. You can listen to it here if you like. I'm sure Derek won't mind...

Saturday, 26 September 2015

a weekend Shibori workshop

At the weekend I went back to the Sussex Prairie Garden for a two day workshop in Japanese Shibori, Sashiko and Boro. My mum came along, and Lucy and her sister Colette were there too, which made it extra nice - it's fun making things with others.

I've been wanting to try out Shibori indigo dyeing in particular for a while now and it was the perfect opportunity to experiment and explore the possibilities, of which there are many. On the first day of the workshop we were encouraged to make lots of samples, experimenting with different methods of resist using a variety of tools.

I made sure to document my samples pre-dyeing so I could refer to them afterwards. I love how they look in these photos too - lots of interesting shapes.

The actual dyeing process is really quick and immediate (only 3 minutes in the dye bath!), and it's so satisfying when you unwrap your fabric after dipping them in the indigo and see the finished result. 

In all, it was a really lovely weekend - we were lucky to have some delightful late summer sunshine, which was handy as there were many trips outside to the dye baths in the barn while we played with creating our samples. 

And in our lunch break we got to explore the garden, which is always a pleasure.

I got a bit carried away with the Shibori and didn't get around to trying much Sashiko stitching or Boro (Japanese make do and mend) over the weekend. The embroidery takes a lot longer than the dyeing and involves less equipment so I thought this would be something nice to practise at home after the workshop.

I came home with so many samples, as well as some finished scarves and pillowcases, which I dyed on the Sunday re-using some favourite techniques from my sample pile.

I have a few small-scale projects in mind for these sample pieces, which I'll share as and when I make them. And I expect I'll probably try some more Shibori at home at some point soon too. 

It's addictive!

Friday, 25 September 2015

a work in progress

I've recently been finding myself with a lot of projects on the go that I've started and am yet to finish. So I thought I'd make a conscious effort to encourage myself to crack on by sharing some of my projects in progress here, with an aim to finish them off one-by-one over the coming months.

1.  I have a huge pile of these crochet sample squares which I've been building up since way back in 2011. I've got a few other colours and stitch patterns I'd like to try out but I'm almost there I think. I'd better be anyway...

2.  I started making these crochet flowers even longer ago than the squares. The plan was to make a flower garland to decorate my bedroom, inspired by one made by my friend Yumi. Well, I've moved house about 3 times since then and still no garland. The good new is I think I have enough flowers made - I just need to chain them all together.

3.  Thankfully this project hasn't been in the making pile for as long as the previous two. More crochet, but this time on a large scale. I'm working on a rug for our living room. It's nearly finished...I just need to complete a few more rounds. This one is top of my to do list - I figure once one thing is ticked off the others will follow.

4.  This sweet monkey embroidery is from a kit I bought from Kirik√≠ Press - so cute. I actually bought two, with this being the easier of the two to make. I only started this project about a month ago and I've been doing a bit of stitching every week or so, so it should be finished soon.

5.  This is a small part of a larger knitted piece. I'm knitting a new cardigan and this is the beginning of the first sleeve. The back and front panels are already off the needles and I'm hoping to have the finished cardigan completed for Christmas at the very latest. Hopefully much sooner.

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Phew, I feel a bit better now I've shared my work in progress and set myself some vague goals.

Watch this space for some finished projects coming soon...

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Hanover house numbers 1-25

I'm really enjoying my house numbers photography project - I'm up to number 30 now and still going strong. Here is a little montage of the first 25...

There are some really nice finds in there - people have lovely houses! I definitely lean towards photographing more of the handmade or hand-painted signs - just look at number 18 - it's so nice (and very Brighton).

I've been uploading the photos over on my instragram account under #hanoverhousenumbers if you want to take a peek at some of the more recent ones.

Unfortunately my daily commute is changing as of next week, taking me away from the streets of Hanover, so I may not be posting as often from now on - but my goal is to reach 100 so I'm going to keep at it when I venture into town at the weekends.

Let me know if you're a local and you spot any good ones!