Thursday, 25 November 2010

Saints and a Prince

Unless you have been away on a desert island you cannot fail to have heard the news of the Royal engagement here in Britain. This week the date of the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton was announced.

St Catherine of Siena, the saint whose feast day falls on April 29 has been chosen as the day the couple will marry next year in Westminster Abbey.   St. Catherine was the daughter of an Italian cloth dyer and she died in 1380 and is known for her spiritual writings.  However, today is the feast day of St Catherine of Alexandria and she is know as the patron saint of lacemakers.  Here is the link to my post last year giving a few more details of how she has been adopted as the patron saint of Tatters!

This is the nearest I have to a Catherine Wheel, but the stars remind us of the universe.

This is the nearest I could find to a saint! The picture was taken in an ancient, and now redundant church, near where I live. There is no indication of when it was put there, or who it is supposed to represent, it does look quite mysterious!  

The view at the side of the church.

Jane has kindly made some drawings for the button necklace which I have designed, it will be in my next post together with the instructions.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Beaded Purse

Jane mentioned yesterday that I was making one of her beaded purses, so here it is, the completed item.
As she says it is an easy pattern but takes quite a long time to complete mainly because you have to keep loading beads onto the shuttles, 175 beads on each one.  The beads make the purse very solid and weighty and for this one I have used orange beads but not all the same shade.  The little figure sitting beside the purse was originally a necklace and it was purchased in Macau when I was there over 30 yrs ago.  Some of the beads are from the string that was attached to it.   The bead in the middle of the purse is orange but has got glitter on it and because of that doesn't look like it blends in, but it does, it is just the photograph has changed it.  I fully intend to wear this purse, the cord is made out of split rings, unfortunately my attempts at making the double double stitch failed, need to practice the technique first.

The purse reminded me very much of the flapper dresses of the 1920's the way the beads form a pattern of dangling fringes!

Now further developments on my last post, I went to a garden centre where they are now giving lessons on decoupage and so I was able to pick up this special glue and brush, so now it seems I have the right equipment.

I can't wait to start the decoration on the shuttles, but as yet they haven't even been cut out!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Holly Shuttles for Christmas?

For those of you who remember this wood I am happy to inform you that the holly is now ready to be used for shuttles and strips (see below) are in the process of being made into post shuttles.  The wood had been seasoning for many years and so did not take too long to dry out.  But of course for these shuttles to be a success a lot depends on the next stage, when the wood has to be steam bent and moulded, it could split, or it simply will not bend that well.  

As you can see holly is a very pale wood, almost white, ever since we thought of making shuttles with the wood we had planned on having sprigs of holly on them.  Since that time we have searched high and low for transfers.  Many months ago Decoromana made a comment on this blog suggesting decoupage and using napkins.  Today I went in search of them, after all this is the right time of year!   A nearby town proofed to be hopeless and walking in and out of countless shops looking for them I almost gave up hope.  However, I then went to a local supermarket and of course there they were looking at me from the shelf and just crying out to be purchased!  Also there are so many sprigs on each napkin, isn't that great?

See they fit onto the wood perfectly, okay the cutting out isn't too good but I have only just rushed home with them and wanted to try them out for size.  Now please you decoupage experts out there, have you got any advice i.e. what glue to use etc.  "I'm in the garage" is expert at varnishing but how many coats?

As I said these may or may not be ready for Christmas a lot depends on how well the holly copes with the next stage of the process, not to mention the attempts at decoupage.   Will keep you informed. 

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The one that got away!

Jane has already informed the "shuttle hungry" crowd in "tat land" that some more pop-a-bobbins will be in her Etsy shop tomorrow.  However, this is "the one that got away" It had fallen off the arm of my chair when I was testing them, and had gone down the side. Unfortunately it was found when all the others were packed and on their way to Jane.  It is a sycamore shuttle and will be put in the next batch, so please don't ask for it now.  The rose it is sitting next to is the last rose of the season and has just been showered with rain.

The rod that was supposed to be delivered has still not arrived, although it has been paid for, "I'm in the garage" is chasing the supplier up, so I can report that not all the shuttles that were shown in my last post were completed.

Two of Jane's flurrries,  the colours are just right for Christmas!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Production Hold-Up

"I'm in the Garage" has just started production again of the pop-a-bobbin shuttle.  It has been a really stressful time for us since June and our lives are now just beginning to become a bit more settled.  We have spent many weekends and weekdays visiting our families, driving over 2 hours to where they live with very little time to catch up on things in our own home!  Over the months we have seen two homes be cleared of all the things inside them and life has just drastically changed for us both.  When we are lucky enough to be in our own home we have had to make numerous telephones conversations to people trying to sort out so many issues involved with caring for the elderly. Even a conversation today over the phone to someone who was booking her wedding brought a little more information.  I have to ask the couples what their occupation is to put down on a form and I found out she was a social worker, she is to date the most helpful social worker I have ever talked to, unfortunately she lives in another part of the country.

These are the latest shuttles enjoying some Autumn sunshine, and "I'm in the garage" fully intended to complete them for this coming weekend, but sadly the supplier for the all important middle bit and the tool has not delivered.

Here is a view of the wood in the garage, all ready and waiting!

And here is some wood in its raw state!

I will let you know when this batch is completed, just hope that the postman delivers the rods tomorrow. Actually it is funny if I'm not in he puts this long parcel through the letter box and it looks so odd sitting half way in and half way out, still at least it will not have to be re-delivered.