Sunday, 25 June 2006

Here is a bag I made for a recent swap. It's an enlarged version of a jewellery pouch that my Mum bought me years ago. I used a cream jacquard for the outer bag and pockets and green homespun for the lining. I then used green cebelia crochet cotton for the edging and drawstring cords. The cords were a little long but they can be easily shortened.
I stitched a round pincushion from the jacquard and finished it with some SRE irises and a beaded edging which doesn't show too well in the photo. The pincushion is attached to the centre of the pouch with a velcro dot.

Friday, 23 June 2006


The section I embellished on this CQ RR block reminded me a little of tree bark and as it will eventually be returning to U.S.A., I decided to embroider some Aussie wildflowers on it. I began by sketching out a rough design on some paper. Once the placement looked okay to me, I threaded up my needle and started stitching, using what I call my 'freehand' embroidery.
There are some gumnuts and blossoms (eucalytus), bottlebrush (callistemon) and some wattle (acacia). FinallyI added some of our tiny stingless native bees. I stitched all of this with DMC stranded threads using straight stitches, french knots and lazy daisy stitch.
I didn't do any seam treatments as I had already taken up quite a large space and I am only the 2nd of 12 to work on this block.

Monday, 12 June 2006

Here is the recipe for the cinnamon dough that I used to make the buttons, beads and gingerbread men for the raggedies in the previous post.
Mix 1/2 cup of cornflour, 2 x40g or 50g (1.9 oz.) containers of cinnamon and 1 of ground cloves. Place in bowl and set aside.
Put 1 1/2 cups of applesauce ( either commercial or homemade applesauce or tinned pie apples that have been blended to a puree ) in a saucepan and add 2 sachets of gelatine. Stand for a few minutes then heat, stirring constantly until simmering. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until a dough is formed. Knead well, wrap in plastic and rest for 10 minutes.
Then the fun begins. Either roll out and cut into shapes or hand-mould them as I do. I usually make stars, hearts, gingerbread men and beads, using a skewer or darning needle to make holes for buttons, gift tags or christmas ornaments. Air dry on sheets of greaseproof paper on a rack, turning several times a day or for beads, string on dental floss and hang to dry. I find that the slower they dry, the less cracks will appear, but they can always be patched up with a little moistened dough. The whole house smells lovely during this process.
I have kept buttons made from this dough for years. I think it might keep indefinately if kept dry, a little like bread dough. I once read somewhere that to refresh the lovely smell, just lightly sand and rub with a little clove or spice oil. My buttons, etc. are stored in airtight jars with whole cloves which I buy more cheaply in larger quantities from a local dried flower outlet.
From September, I usually start making old-fashioned pomanders from oranges studded with the cloves and rolled in spices. One year I made miniature pomanders from cumquats and decorated a small Christmas tree with these, cinnamon dough ornaments, raffia bows and topped the tree with a tiny hand-stitched country angel. I gave it as a gift to my best friend who was thrilled with it.

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

These are some that I've made for various swaps. My first doll was the one that can be seen on top of my craft cupboard in a previous posting. Once I have some very dark brown mohair I will be a little closer to completing her. She reminds me so much of my High School Headmistress LOL.

Above right - "Raggedy Spice"- Her necklace, buttons and the gingerbread man are made from cinnamon dough. The pin was made from a free online pattern ( I think it may have been a 'Mogs Design' )
Above left another Raggedy made from the same pattern for a friend's Birthday.

This teddy was made from mock suede and was supposed to have worn a dress, but I thought 'he' should sport a tie instead. As my swap partner lives in NZ, I embroidered the raw silk tie with Australian wildflowers.

My version of "Lalie Rose" a design by Judy Gray from a Homespun Doll and Bear Mag.

Monday, 5 June 2006

These are part of another block in the Herb Garden RR. I was very happy with the 'parsley' - I dyed some flat silk thread in the microwave with 'Ozecraft' dye, pulled some threads along one edge until it ruffled up, then stitched it down to form a clump.
I need to have more of a go at different seam treatments, they always seem to be greatly lacking in my work.

My First CQ
The very first CQ I ever attempted was a Herb Garden RR. Here is a section of a block entitled 'Culpeper's Garden', one of several that I worked on. This was also my first try at SRE and embroidery other than cross stitch.

Friday, 2 June 2006

Here is another of my recent finds. These wooden cotton reels-69 in all- were languishing in an old cardboard box in a backyard shed.
Tomorrow I plan on checking out our local thrift shop. Haven't been there for a while. I once scored some lovely vintage hankies for 10 cents each and two heavy shot satin evening dresses ideal for CQ. All sorts of interesting things there. Just have to be there at the right time.
Well, Winter is officially here and don't we know it! The wind started blowing a gale this morning. All it succeeds in doing is drying out our soil still further and absolutely no sign of any rain in the near future. If they weren't on water restrictions, I'd get my daughter to wash and polish her car (used to always work without fail)