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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Burda 12/2016 #134 "Whale" Stuffed Animal

Christmas prep seems relatively under control so I decided to have a go at the Burda Whale for whale mad dbf, as a sort of crazy cushion for the sofa.

I absolutely love the result, though the embroidered eyes would have been easier done on the flat.
I used a dark grey ponte for the top, lighter grey jersey for the bottom and thick black embroidery thread for the eyes. He's now been tucked up and wrapped ready for Christmas Day.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Christmas Stocking

I made a Christmas stocking for the child of some friends.
Its based on the standard Adult Christmas Stocking from FleeceFun.com
I've added the name in red cord, this is done freehand so is a little uneven, but hopefully has character.
The base is dark green wool felt, very heavy from stash, the trim is red polyester felt from Hobbycraft (nothing like the wool felt sadly) and the red cord used for the lettering is also from Hobbycraft.

Hope the family enjoy it. I'm pretty sure they don't know my blog exists so won't be reading it so thought you could see this before Christmas! Enjoy.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Christmas Prep

I have some more creative things done by other people to share with you at some point when there is time to write a post.
I have shared before the handmade item which has the most daily impact in my home, which is this wonderful quilt which takes up most of the wall. This was made by my very artistic, creative and talented Auntie Joy.
You can read a bit more about it here.
It brings me joy every day and sometimes I sit in the chair opposite so I can look at it :-)

I am working full time right up to Christmas trying to buy gifts online or in my lunch break. I'm also trying to decorate the house and generally tidy up for guests. This is all going moderately well, but is impacting blogging and more importantly sewing.

I want to make a Christmas stocking as a gift for some friends for their new baby.... but have not quite got to it yet. They are not local so I need to crack on with that. They don't read the blog though so I will try to take a quick snap before I send it off.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Creative People - Emma's Cross Stitch Tech Support Cats

This beautifully detailed cross stitch picture was made for me as a gift by Emma quite a few years ago, this was also from the time when I had my lovely black cat and as you can probably guess a job in IT Tech Support. For a while I had this on my desk at work, but these days it is in my study at home amusing me.
As my photo has a flash issue I include a photo I found of the kit.
On the computer screen it says
- Program error
- Call for help
- You've got a real problem
- Restart
The books on the right are called "A Tale of Two Kittens" and "Of Mice and Men"

What makes me laugh too is a memory of those old computer monitors, remember those enormous things which took up half the desk before we got flat screens?
My cat liked to sit on my home PC monitor because it was warm and she got to sit with me. And when she wanted me to feed her, she would hang her long and very fluffy tail over the screen so I couldn't see, and then would get up and feed her! A clever cat.

Friday, 9 December 2016

The elastic box

I have several large shoeboxes which I use for notions storage.
It is a bit haphazard and I tend to just throw things of the right type into the appropriate box without being very tidy. In the case of zips this is not a huge problem, but the box of stretch lace and elastic was a tangled mess.
So I spent some time one evening untangling it all and winding or folding it up fairly neatly. Any short lengths were put in a zip lock bag.
Then I repurposed a too short (and too glitzy) elastic belt with a longer pice of plain black elastic.
These elastic belts with flat fastenings are great to hold trousers up when you like to wear tops untucked as they create less of a bump than a traditional belt with a buckle.

The scraps of elastic got saved for the next time....

Thursday, 8 December 2016

SWAP 2017 - 'Early Bird' Black Raglan Knit Top

After all the practice raglan sleeve tees I was happy to go ahead and make a plain black one.
It is a great showcase for an interesting necklace
I have some fabric left over so maybe another version will feature lace somehow. But the basic will be useful in my wardrobe.
It is lovely soft fabric that will be pleasant to wear.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Creative People - Jane's Cross Stitched Christmas Card

I received this Christmas Card many years ago from my friend Jane. I kept it and get it out every year. This year it is up on the mantlepiece in my current home.
At that time we each owned a cat, and mine was black. We have both since moved and don't get to see each other, and the lovely black cat is no longer with us. I love the card because of the happy memories of the friendship and also because I appreciate the artistry and time put into this little gem by a lady who was pretty busy, but made time for me.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Creative People - Dad's wine

I am very blessed to have lots of creative people in my life.

Whilst my father can handle a sewing machine (and used one to make sleeping bags, tents, various storage bags for equipment etc), used to do his own black and white photography with darkroom development, experimented on tomato varieties in his greenhouse and decided to do a second degree after retiring to keep his brain working.... I am not sharing any of those things.

This is some of Dad's wine, a white on the left and a red on the right. They are leaning up against a fishbowl full of all the corks I have collected over the last 5 and a half years (many of them from Dad's wine).

Dad uses kits of grape juice concentrate which can be bought online and likes to get empty bottles which he will then exchange for full ones. This is a very happy arrangement.
Like any craft it needs materials and equipments and he has gradually got extra bits of kit to improve his output

Any suggestions on what I could do with the corks? I have seen a few craft projects which looked fun. In the meantime I keep the bowl of corks on the bookcase and throw any new ones in there when I open a bottle. Eventually I will have enough for a noticeboard for the kitchen or a funky Christmas decoration!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Thank you and feeling everything is half way done.

Thank you for all the kind comments on my new tops. Very much appreciated.
All of the tops have been worn in real life, including the black with sparkles which was worn to a choir event on Sunday. I wore a purchased black cardigan on top, and the standard red choir scarf at the neck, so not much of it showed, though I still got one comment from another lady 'oh I like your top', to which I was able to reply 'thank you I made it'.

We seem to be in that stage at the moment where many things are started but not finished which can wear you down a bit but I will get there.

The black knit top is cut out and construction started but it is in the sewing room waiting for me to have some time to work on it.
DBF and I have planned the Christmas menus but we've not started buying any of the food yet.
I've bought some Christmas presents but not wrapped them, and some presents still need to be bought.
I've made Christmas cards and got stamps but not actually written or sent any yet.
DBF and I got the Christmas decorations out of the loft and they are sitting in the study waiting for me to decorate.
We moved the old fridge temporarily into the conservatory and the new one is on order but has not yet arrived.
I have changed my diet and have managed to lose some weight but am not yet to goal (this will be a long one)

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Raglan Sleeve Tees being worn

Here I am wearing them.
New Look Grey
Then the test of the Santa Monica Tee in a wild print.
Black and white print
and black sparkle

All the last three the sleeves are a bit long, but they are all viscose (rayon) so may shrink.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

 Another great post from Imogen Lamport at Inside Out Style (I love her advice).


I have not used diagonals very much in my sewing, except maybe some wrap/cross over type tops. I did try an angled hem on a top but never wear it. Though that may be more the print than anything else.

Have you incorporated diagonal lines into your sewing and how did that work?

Friday, 2 December 2016

Eating more healthily

So... I am trying to lose some weight and generally look after my health. I'm trying to eat better, drink more water, etc
Here's tonights dinner.
This is cauliflower 'rice' my first try at that and not bad. It has the texture and mouth feel of rice if not the flavour. If you stir it into the chilli you can't really tell.
And its with chilli con carne made with 5% fat beef mince, onions, tomatoes, red kidney beans, chilli flakes, mild chilli powder and smoked paprika.
It is all homemade all either low calorie veg or low fat protein.

I actually quite enjoyed it. There might be sewing to share tomorrow so come back for that :-)

Thursday, 1 December 2016

December has arrived

You may not have noticed but I have managed to post every day in November here on Sew Ruthie. It was a little challenge to myself to see if I could do it and I made use use of the Scheduler in Blogger to write a few posts when I had time and the schedule them for the coming days. That took the pressure off a bit as I knew I had one (or several) days in hand and so didn't have to think of something today.

It was actually a lot of fun, and meant I posted a bit more than just my usual finished garment photos, sharing some of my thought processes when choosing what to sew next.

We will have to see if I have enough to say (and the time to write about it) to carry on in December with daily posting. I love Christmas but am working right up until 23rd Dec, with family coming on 25th and 27th, then my birthday celebrations and a costumed New Years Eve party. We also have 4 choir events before Christmas and have tickets to the pantomime too. All that might impact sewing and blogging time :-)

I have taken the days off as leave in between Christmas and New Year though so might even squeeze in a sewing day when DBF is working one day! That would be very restorative and be after the SWAP starting deadline so could do all kinds of things.

My neighbours have already put up their Christmas tree complete with lights so I am feeling slightly behind already.