Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Magic View - Style - Lines

I am quite smitten with this photo recognition trickery on Flickr - it's interesting to see photos grouped together that you wouldn't normally connect and it also has made me start thinking about the composition of my photos and how others might see them. The 'Style' section has loads of great categories. Today we're looking at lines. We're back home at the weekend, so normal blogging service will resume soon after. Don't forget you still have time to enter my Scissor fob giveaway too! See you soon. xxx

Ireland 2010 034 Germany August 2009 168 bench Flo Day 6 - more Castle Howard (19) Lovehearts cowl WIP 006 64 Crayons done! (8)

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Getting fobbed off! - a giveaway

It was a good friend's birthday recently, and although I was unable to send Kat a knitted gift, I did manage to sew a little 'something' for her. When I was at Fibre East, I bought a cute sheepy scissor fob which I have attached to my sewing scissors. Kat has recently started quilting again, so I thought a scissor fob might be a fun gift for her. I rummaged through my scraps of fabric and found the perfect piece - a comical sheep. In no time at all, I had a finished scissor fob. I had some scissors in my gift box and I added some pins to the pin cushion. Quick and simple! See for yourself!

sheepy scissor fob (1)

sheepy scissor fob (3)

sheepy scissor fob (5)

Scissor fobs today are more of a decorative item, used to personalise a pair of scissors and make them identifiable. I've attached my fob to my sewing scissors to make sure that they don't get used for cutting anything else apart from fabric. Also, if I'm using them sat on the sofa, they can't slip down the side so easily. In the 18th century, because clothes didn't really have pockets, ladies used to have chatelaines to carry some of their most  frequently used items such as scissors, keys, thimbles, watch etc, suspended on a chain or cord from their waistband. 

Scissor fobs are so simple to make, you can easily make one for yourself if you'd like to. You'll need two pieces of fabric measuring 11cm by 8cm, preferably one patterned and the other plain. 

scissor fobs (1)

With wrong sides together, sew around the edges, allowing a 1cm seam, and leaving a 3.5cm opening either side of one corner. (You'll need to do this to turn it the right way round and add stuffing later.) I stitched one stitch diagonally on each corner to help with the shape when turned the right way. You can see from the photo below. Trim the corners off so that there's less bulk to deal with.

scissor fobs (3)

Turn the fob the right way out and press, folding over the corner seam where the ribbon or tape will be attached after stuffing. Push a pen lid into each corner to ease it out. Fill it with toy stuffing until it's quite firm, especially if you are going to be using it for pins too. Then it's time to attach the ribbon or tape. I found some fun tape with a tape measure printed on it - I thought this might be useful as an emergency measure! Allow about 30cm to attach to the fob. It's a little bit fiddly here as you need to tuck the ends inside the fob, between the front and back fabrics, and sew a seam close to the edge. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is, honestly! I made these in less than an hour! 

scissor fobs (6)

scissor fobs (8)

I made this one especially for a zombie-loving friend; I thought she'd laugh having to stick pins into the little zombie on the pin cushion!

scissor fobs (10)

I'd love it if you had a go at  making one for your scissors. But if it all seems like too much, I'm offering you the chance to win one in a little giveaway. It'll be my blog's 7th birthday (Really?! Have I been blogging that long?!) while we are away, so to be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is tell me what your favourite celebratory cake is and which of the scissor fobs you'd like if your name is first out of the hat. You have until the end of August to leave a comment. It's open to everyone, wherever you live. I look forward to drooling over your cake choices. (Mine is carrot cake by the way!) xxx

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Magic View - Landscape - Forest

Some more photos from my Flickr account that have been grouped together using Flickr's photo recognition and classfied as landscapes of forests. Enjoy the lush green coolness. By the time you read this, Mr JK and I should be on our way to Germany. I've scheduled a couple more posts while we are away, including a little giveaway, so pop back over the next two weeks, won't you?! I'll see you over the Bank Holiday weekend, once we've collected Flo from her cat  hotel. The cases have not yet been brought down from the loft, so she hopefully has no idea what's in store for her in the morning! xxx

Wells Boxing Day 2013 017

Day 6 - more Castle Howard (62)

Blickling Park May Day 2015 (13)

East Ruston Old Vicarage May 2012 018

London April 2011 045

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 18 (8)

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A Cushiony Ta-dah!

It feels so good to be blogging about something I've made, after what feels like a lifetime (yes, I know, it's actually only been 7 weeks) without much creativity. Mr JK and I are off to Germany at the weekend and we will be visiting our friends Andrea and Wolfgang during the course of our travels. They became grandparents for the first time last year and it's Lenia's first birthday this weekend. I made a crocheted ripple blanket after her birth which was well received - here's a quick reminder of how it turned out ...

Baby girl ripples (4)

I thought it would be fun to make a cushion to go in Lenia's nursery too. I looked for some inspiration on Pinterest, and decided to make one with some bunting as well as Lenia's name stitched on. It was a toss up between applique and free motion stitching, but I decided on applique in the end. I haven't tried free motion stitching on my new sewing machine yet.  If I was to make it again, I would probably use a different colour thread for the applique to give more contrast. That's why I added the green ribbon and button, to make things pop a little more. I need to practise sewing curves, they were quite hard to do! But all in all, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

cushion for Lenia (1)

cushion for Lenia (2)

cushion for Lenia (4)

cushion for Lenia (8)

What have you been busy creating lately? xxx

Sunday, 9 August 2015


new wrist splint

I have been 'promoted' to a soft splint, which allows me a little more movement, so I have been sneaking in the odd round of sock knitting! I have to apply an icepack to my wrist four times a day to try and reduce the swelling, but I am hoping that it is on the mend. Fingers crossed. I am desperately trying to finish a pair of socks for Wolfgang as our trip to Germany is coming ever closer! 

Last week, my friend Diane came up from Devon for a couple of days. You may remember me teaching her to knit socks earlier in the year, and crochet basics last summer. Her teenage daughter Eve came along too and we had a wonderfully crafty time together. Eve wanted to learn to knit, so she rummaged in my stash of odd balls and chose something colourful for a simple garter stitch scarf. She picked it up very quickly and went back to Devon with scarf number two already on the needles! Not only was she interested in knitting, but Eve wanted to do some sewing too. So I showed her how to do machine applique and she made a panel which she then turned into an envelope cushion. Here's her starfish cushion - pretty impressive for a first go with a sewing machine, isn't it?!

Eve's cushion (1)

Eve's cushion (3)

Yesterday I went to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham. It was a loooooooong day as he coach left at 7:30am and I got back home just after 9pm, but it was worth it. Lots of fabulous quilts on display as well as plenty of fabric on sale! I was particularly interested in the quilts that had been made by schools. Here are a couple of them...

Festival of Quilts 2015 (5)

Festival of Quilts 2015 (6)

Festival of Quilts 2015 (25)

Festival of Quilts 2015 (9)

Festival of Quilts 2015 (12)

Festival of Quilts 2015 (10) 

Festival of Quilts 2015 (11)

Festival of Quilts 2015 (8)

Festival of Quilts 2015 (2)

These amazing quilts were all made by primary schools (if I remember correctly) and it's definitely given me some ideas for a big textiles-based project at school next year. I'll keep you posted!

While I was there, I had a bit of a 'fan moment' when I realised that I was standing next to Kaffe Fassett! He was signing copies of his many books. I snuck a photo of him for you!

Festival of Quilts 2015 (1)

Of course I brought back a few souvenirs of my day! A couple of sewing patterns, some fabric to make a top for myself, an assortment of fat quarters, some gorgeous pieces of Liberty lawn fabric and a bag of scraps for applique. Oh go on then, since you asked so nicely, you can have a look!

bounty from festival of quilts (1)

Mr JK was in action today, running the East Coast Half Marathon. It was pretty hot, so his aim was to finish rather than go for a personal best, and he was pleased with his time. He is training for his first marathon in October, so is building up his mileage - this week he managed about 33 miles. Rather him than me! I'll be back soon with some sewing to share with you. xxx

East Coast Half Marathon 2015 (10)

Friday, 7 August 2015

Magic View - Landscapes - Field

With a bit more free time on my hands, I have been looking at Flickr, the website where I upload and organise my photos. They have a new(ish) feature called Magic View - some kind of photo recognition takes place which then arranges your photos into sets, according to content. It's by no means 100% accurate, but it's interesting to see what has been grouped together! Here are a few of my photos that were grouped as landscapes of fields. I'll definitely be sharing more of these with you over the coming weeks. So sit back and enjoy! xxx

Lake District April 2012 (88) March 2014 afternoon walk (1) Skye day 7 018 Scampston walled garden day 2 (45) Blickling woods May 2015 (12) Orza WIP (2)

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

What's all the fuss about?!

mice are nice! (8)

Meow meow everyone, Florence here! I've got a bit of a dilemma and I'm hoping that you'll be able to lend a paw and tell me what you think. Many people think that cats spend most of their time asleep. It's true that I like nothing better than curling up for a nap somewhere comfortable. However, I do also recognise that it's important for me to keep in tip top condition and I try to exercise regularly to keep my flabby underbelly at bay! Tree climbing in the garden is a favourite pursuit, but when I'm indoors, my Mum and Dad have a selection of toys to keep me both trim and entertained. I must admit that I consider myself a bit of a rodent connoisseur, being the owner of a number of rather splendid imitations. Allow me to acquaint you with some of them.

mice are nice! (1)

Laser mouse. One of my oldest toys. Just the slightest click on the button has been known to rouse me from a deep sleep. Guaranteed to provide hours of fun, although I do find it a tad frustrating that I never seem to catch anything! Very hard to get my paws on that blasted red light and I feel exhausted after the chase!

mice are nice! (2)

Leather mouse. This one is rather flat which means there's not a great deal to get my teeth into. It does have fur at least, so resembles the real thing. Great for throwing around as it's quite lightweight. I can really show this one who's the boss in this house!

mice are nice! (4)

Shaker mouse. This one has something inside it so it rattles a bit as I play with it. Has a bit more weight to it so I can give it a good pounding with my back feet. The string tail is a little rough in my mouth though!

mice are nice! (7)

The pastel twins. This pair can often be found on my Mum's desk, so when I'm helping out, it's easy for me to extend a paw and knock one or other about for a bit of fun. I must admit to them being one of my favourites.

mice are nice! (5)

Woolly cat nip mouse. This one was created just for me by a friend of my Mum's in the USA. Crafted from luxury yarns (of course!) and filled with top notch cat nip, playing with this beast gives me a wonderfully happy, drugged up feeling. Perfect for when I want a deep sleep afterwards. 

mice are nice! (6)

The All American duo. These two also crossed the Pond to come and live with me, and like their knitted cousin (above), they too are filled with cat nip. I prefer the dark blue one as its fluffy coat makes a very satisfying sound when I claw it.

So I think you'll agree with me that I certainly 'know my mice'. I could appear on Mastermind, no problem. Name: Florence, Specialist subject: mice in all their guises.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the tale. Yesterday started out pretty much like any other day. Slept a bit, ate a bit, went for a constitutional around the garden, smooched a bit, had some lap time and before I knew it, it was time for bed. I followed my Mum and Dad upstairs and settled down on the bed for a sleep. Woke up around 3am and decided it was time for a bit of exercise. I padded downstairs and searched for something to play with. Nothing! Zilch! Nada! So what does an enterprising kitty like me do? Go and wake up Mum and Dad and ask them to find my toys? Nope! I did what I thought was the most considerate option - I went outside to search further afield. I have been known to take my toys outside on occasions, so I was most hopeful of finding one of them in the naughty corner of the garden. No such luck. But while I was looking, I came across the most wonderful thing ever - a new furry mouse!! I couldn't believe my good fortune, so I carefully picked it up and in through the cat flap I came.  Of course I wanted to share my good news with Mum and Dad straight away, so I hurried up the stairs and into their bedroom, announcing my arrival with a somewhat throaty meow. I couldn't speak as clearly as usual because my mouth was full. Oh my, then the fun and games began. I dropped my 'toy' on the carpet and it started to move, all by itself! And when I say move, I think that this was the Usain Bolt of the mouse community. It sprinted along by the skirting board at a tremendous rate and I leapt and pounced to my heart's content. And you'll never guess what? This mouse made a sound too! It squeaked most satisfactorily when my paws made contact! I think that the squeaking woke up Mum and Dad, because the lights went on and Mum got up to see what I was doing. HAVING FUN!!!! By this time, the little mouse seemed to have a mind of its own and was running about across the bedroom and behind the bedside table. I got so much exercise, it was brilliant! Sadly, Mum decided that my new toy had to go, and before I knew it, she'd whisked it off somewhere - what a spoilsport! Mum and Dad were not amused by my antics and told me so in no uncertain words! So what did I do that was so wrong? Please tell me.
Meow meow meow for now. Flo xxx