Local Heart, Global Soul

May 22, 2010

Three Bored Housewives make a crafty business!

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still in the small north Canterbury town of Culverden.

It’s located about one hour north of Christchurch the South Island of New Zealand’s largest city, on State Highway 7 that leads inland to the Lewis Pass.

It’s also on the way to the thermal village of Hanmer Springs.

Culverden has a population of between 400-500 and apart from being a stopping point for refreshments for motorists, earned most of it’s keep as a service center for the local rural community.

As outlined in yesterdays post,  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/new-post-86/ the Tea Rooms is a well known landmark and stopping point for people travelling to Hanmer.

Across the road from the Tea Rooms is a shop that is the initiative of three local ladies.

The “Three Bored Housewives”  is a co-operative gift and craft shop. (“Mockett’s” is the name from the building’s former life,  it used to be a motor mechanic garage)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s a brilliant example of a small community capitalising on the talent of local skills and materials and and I’m surprised and delighted when I enter to see that the shop is jam packed with a vast array of locally produced wares.

The shop name is also delightfully witty and although these housewives may have been bored when they founded the shop, by the looks of things now, surely they don’t have any time left to be bored these days?

The shop is a treasure trove of arts and crafts, and the variation of what’s on offer is rather unexpected considering the size of the town and surrounding community.

Let’s take a look around and see what catches our eye…

Items range from the cute,  to funny, whimsical, practical, functional, tasty, decorative, and useful,  so the biggest problem with this place seems to be a very good one…  where to start!?

If you are looking for a handcrafted gift  for someone then this kind of place might well turn up something different that is prefect. I like the fact that local materials are used in things like the wooden bowls,  that the soaps are handmade, the aprons home sewn…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

What a cool little business… I like cool businesses, don’t you?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 21, 2010

A quick and easy craft project that’s literally Child’s Play…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,The Hague — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I try to read other people’s blogs and make a comment when something catches my eye…

Yesterday I was reading Mallory Murray’s blog ” Modern Mind, Vintage Heart-  Handcrafted, Homemade, Heartfelt”  a blog also on WordPress.

On February 17th   Mallory posted an crafty idea that I had never seen before and it took my fancy. It can be found at the link the the bottom of this post.

It’s a little square of fabric that has little loops of ribbon sticking out that babies and play with, feel and suck. What a great idea !

A neighbour just down the street had a baby boy  at Christmas time, so this unusual idea really appealed to me. I resolved to make it some time.

Today my teeth are feeling better and some medication is helping with the cold so after a nap this morning I bought my sewing machine out to the dining room table so that a friend could sew a little project that she had planned, and she had a few scraps of fabric left over, which I duly scrounged err,  I mean recycled quickly into a little gift for our little newest  little neighbour.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Thanks Mallory for the inspiration…. this took no time at all to stitch, if you don’t count the time  it took me to re-pin the ribbons so that the loops were on the inside with the tails sticking out, when the right sides of the fabric were together. (Luckily the penny dropped before I actually started sewing.)

I did take one change and one short-cut. The change was to add two thin pieces of fabric to the inside of the square to make it a bit firmer.  The short-cut was  I found that it easier to leave a little unsewn  piece between the last ribbon and the corner on two sides, this meant that when I turned it though afterwards that I would have had to fashion those two edges back into a corner.

It was more fuss that I was up for with this cold and a simple tuck under on the diagonal was quicker and easier so I  did that instead.

Cool little project and fun to stitch. Thanks!

Here’s the link to Mallory’s page and the original idea.

http://mallorymurray.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/quick-cute-baby-gift-project/

January 22, 2010

Embroidery test fabrics: for learning or dabbling…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you are a needleworker, chances are that you like to dabble in several  variations of needlework.

I’m a cross stitcher and an embroiderer… some of my embroidery is general stuff that I have been doing for years but sometimes I fancy trying out a new thread or stitch.

That’s when having a piece of fabric especially reserved for dabbling and experimentation  is very handy. I use this too when I haven’t done a stitch for a while and want to check that the tension on the thread looks the same throughout the piece.

No matter how well you stitch, if you haven’t done a stitch for a long time, then the beginning will always be a little too loose or a little too tight as you get back into the swing of things again, so even a small amount of the required stitch on a test piece of fabric will make an enormous difference.

Sometimes too, I just can’t be bothered to stitch a full piece at all, I just want to experiment with a combination of stitches to see how they might sit well together… or not.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here’s the tester on silk that I did for the little  pillow for our wedding rings for our wedding day…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here is a sample where I also stitched the names of the stitches for reference…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…starting a Bullion Rose…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

High count Linen or even-weave  fabrics for embroidery are expensive so if you can save yourself some blunders on the fabric intended for a special project (and a lot of stress and frustration) then a test fabric that you keep in your sewing drawer can be worth it’s weight in gold.

July 6, 2009

Quick and Easy felt Wreath Ornaments… Step-by-Step

Filed under: Craft,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I usually avoid craft kits kits like the plague, preferring to take an idea, and build more or less the same item out of my own materials… but this time I happened to see a kit whilst browsing a craft website looking for something else, my daughter took a shine to it and on a whim I bought it. As usual with 8 year old kids, by the time it actually arrived in the post, daughter had lost interest and found yet another thing to fancy and beg for… (which for me wallet burned and lesson learned, No, I didn’t buy)

Since I didn’t want it to let it sit in the cupboard forever looking forlorn and surprising myself that I actually liked it a lot more once it arrived than when I had seen it in the photo… I picked it up to make one of the ornaments for a friend who I know appreciates hand crafted gifts.

So I sat down one evening and got going with the pattern… first cut out the pieces you need (there were several patterns of various shapes in the kit)… I did also photocopy the felt pattern itself because then if I wanted to make more of them later, I could get them all the same size. (personal use only, we are not talking mass production here LOL)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Using a metallic thread, lazy daisy stitch an inner circle as marked…

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Then using tiny cur out circles in cream felt, sew them on.. you can use a simple running stitch to secure it but I prefer Blanket stitch because I like the neater outer edge…

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Then in the center of the wreath, sew a ring of sequins using seed beeds in the middle to keep them in place. ( a beading needle makes this quick work…)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Then add sequins in the center of the cream circles, secured with larger circular beads…

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Then, after cutting out the center hole, I sewed the backing layer to the front side using Blanket Stitch.

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

I then Blanket Stitched the outer edges together and once several scalloped edges had been completed, I stuffed it with small bits of filling as I went. I carefully added an organza decoration to the top and inserted a thin piece of ribbon into the top ( the ends tucked in between the two layers of felt) so that it can be hung easily onto the tree.

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

I cut out the pieces and sewed the metallic thread and the circles on one evening…

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

… and after the kids were in bed, finished the rest off the next evening. So, a quick and easy ornament in two nights. Note to self: next time shift the organza flower down a bit to match the position of the rest of the small cream circles, yep , sigh, I’m a perfectionist.

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

Wreath Christmas Ornament (photo © Kiwidutch)

I’m planning to re use the basic shape and general idea to make more of them, each with free hand embroidery and a slightly different look, but with the same beads and colour scheme. That way they will all look like a matching set when hung up together on a Christmas tree.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good the finished result tuned out.. moral of the story, never judge a kit by it’s cover.

Have a go and surprise yourself!

Blog at WordPress.com.