29 April 2015

And I'm back

It's been a funny few weeks around here settling back into the final, final term.
The crowning glory of it all was handing in my dissertation yesterday.

All 14,003 words of it.
It's been a process, but one that i've enjoyed, strangely enough.

My sweet supervisor came to have a photo with us and then we all headed out for brunch together. I am so thankful for kind academics, and inspiring teachers. They really have made my degree so fun.

Now 'my baby' is out of the way, i'm hoping normal service on the blog will resume. I promise it won't be all about exams though, because goodness knows, that's all we seem to talk about around here at the moment. Bring on some real, crafty life!

15 April 2015

Around here

It's been busy.
We've been soaking up the last days of Easter holiday and trying to get out in the sunshine as much as possible.
We headed out to a new to us, National Trust property with beautiful grounds.

And impressive architecture too.

We went on a long family walk up all the locks near Devizes. It is truly quite incredible. 

I think there are close to fifty locks, all up one hill! We were about half way up when I took this photo.

I took the camera on a workout. Don't you love that green door?! 

My brother made friends with a cow...

We celebrated this special lady's 21st in London. 

And headed to the icebar for drinks. It was definitely an experience although at the end of 45 mins I had to admit that I had paid to stand inside a freezer!  

It's been a busy few weeks. 
Tomorrow I head back up North to start my final term as an undergraduate! Where did the time go? 

9 April 2015

One photo & Twenty words

Apologies for those who have seen this already on Instagram!

Taking my camera he said, "up you get" as we passed this tree. He knows I want photos before I've asked.

My challenge for you today. Find one photo and choose up to twenty words to tell its story. Jot it down and link back here. The link will stay open for a week so you have plenty of time to join in! 

8 April 2015

Sewing the Coco Dress

Sewing clothes is where I am finding my current groove.
I enjoy the methodical step by step nature of it, the way different pieces come together to make a whole garment and of course that I have something to wear at the end of it. 

I have wanted to try the Coco by Tilly and the Buttons for a while. 
What initially put me off was that it was designed for stretch fabric. I have a basic sewing machine and was daunted about putting some stretchy material through it.

Last weekend I was in Southampton for a friends 21st. Before I caught the train home I quickly popped in to fabric land and found this lovely stretch stripey fabric. It was super cheap and the label helpfully told me nothing about how much lycra it had in it. I figured though that if it went wrong it wouldn't be a huge loss. 

Thankfully both my machine and the fabric held out. This was the quickest dress I have made to date. One afternoon was all it took to cut, pin and sew the dress together with Tilly's helpful instructions and photos. 

After an afternoon of sewing with it, I think I am a convert to sewing with jersey knits. This material is so soft it's like going out in my pyjamas and it wasn't nearly so hard to work through my machine as I thought it would be. 

I am now scheming and dreaming of more things I can make with pretty jersey stripes. I see a wardrobe of Breton tops in my near future....

Friendly reminder about one photo and twenty words tomorrow (the 9th). The premise is easy; pick one photo and try and tell its story in just twenty words, then link back here! It promises to be fun. 

2 April 2015

Paint and photoshop

A while back I stumbled upon this tutorial about how to make a repeating pattern on photoshop.
I stored it in my mental list of things to do when I am on holiday.

Faced with a rainy afternoon last week, I picked up my paintbrushes and had a go.

The idea is very simple. Paint some patterns with watercolours. I chose organic shapes and then various 'splodges'. That well known technical term!

I then scanned this whole document to my computer.

Once I had opened it in photoshop I extracted each shape and cleaned them up a bit.

I then opened a new document and copied and pasted to my hearts content, adjusting the hue, the size and rotation of each shape. It was incredibly fun to sit and play with things I had painted on a screen.
I loved that I could duplicate bits I liked and delete the things that weren't so good!
It also surprised me which shapes I had painted that were really useful 'fillers' on my design.

Once I created my pattern I followed the tutorial steps to 'tile' it and create a repeat.

I am thrilled with how these turned out. I printed both patterns off and made two little notecards.

My next plan is to make a pattern for some place cards for the table on Easter Sunday. Watch this space!

Isn't the internet a wonderful thing! A whole new world of craft awaits!