Tuesday 31 January 2012

So.... did YOU win the hat?

I am so sorry this is late, the Hat Draw.....


.... was supposed to be drawn on Friday, but my memory not being what it used to be I totally forgot.  (Someone should have nudged me  ;) )

Anyway, I have knuckled down and I am happy to announce we have a winner...

The rules were people had to either "like" or comment on the hat of their choice, so first I had to draw which hat would be given away.  I used the "Fruit Machine" random name generator and the hat was.......

The GREY one.

So, as there was only one person that commented on this particular hat, there was no need for a second draw.

I am therefore please to announce the winner as HELEN BAIRD !!

Well done Helen, I will be in touch to sort out delivery.

Thursday 19 January 2012

Would you like a hat?

Well, would you?  A nice wooly hat with a difference for spring?

Well, I think I shall give one away.  You could win this one...

Or this one...

Or maybe this one.

What you have to do is go to this album....


Click "LIKE" or add a comment to the one you like, any comment will be fine.

Then on Friday 27th I will first draw a hat (Brown, Burgundy, Purple, Grey, Rainbow)  then I will draw a name from all comments and likes on that hat.  I will then send the winner that hat  :)


Tuesday 17 January 2012

Me and Barbara Windsor.

I don't think I have told you the story of me and Barbara Windsor....

I am telling you now because during a big shed tidy up I came across the Christmas Card and postcards I from Ms Windsor herself.

The story goes something like this......

A few years ago, Barbara Windsor was on a TV programme, something like those programs where you research your past.  Anyway, she had a lovely bracelet on, which was mentioned the next day on our beading forum Bead Buddies.

A few of us did a bit of Googling and found some very tiny thumbnails, but nothing we could really have a good look at.  So I decided to write to her...

Dear Ms Windsor,
Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Sue Simmons and I own and run a Bead Shop in Cumbria.
I also run an online Forum for Beaders (www.beadbuddies.co.uk/forum), and one of my members started a discussion about a bracelet you were wearing, and I quote…

Did anyone watch the re-showing of the "Who Do you Think You Are" programme for BW tonight - I couldn't take my eyes off the bracelet Barbara Windsor was sporting - caught a few glimpses of a silver thing with dotty-ed lampies I think??”

This has turned into a quest to try and find a photograph of said bracelet, and the only one we can find is a very small one (attached)

So we wondered, as a group, if you had a better photograph of your bracelet, or if you can tell us the bead artist who made it?
I know this is a really strange request, but Beaders are funny creatures and this will bother them for ages if I cannot get to the bottom of it.
Also, if you would be happy for us to do this, we would like to make you a piece of jewellery in your favourite colours, as a collective work.

Thank you so much for your time.

Didn't really expect a reply at all, well, celebrities have better things to do with their time don't they?  But lo and behold, only a few days later there was a message on my answerphone - from Barbara Windsor!!!

She just said there was a lovely story surrounding the bracelet and she would call me sometime to tell me.

A few weeks went past and I had given up hope of another phone call, when the phone rang  "Hello Sue, Barbara here, how are you darling?"  WHOOP WHOOP!!

She told me the story of the bracelet, which sadly had since been lost.  So I offered to make her a new one.

There was no photo of the piece, so I just had to wing it.  I ended up with this... my hand-made glass beads, swarovski crystal, strung on sterling silver with my signature tag.

I sent it off and a few days later got another call, she was delighted and wanted another - but brighter and bolder this time, and on elastic.

Ok, so bright and bold it was, I used orphan beads from Kathy (My Precious) and some polymer clay beads from Elise Canning, and strung them up on strong elastic.  

She loved that one too  :)

At this point we decided as a Forum that it was quite fun to send gifts to celebrities, so we got together a list from the cast of females at Eastenders and made them all a little sometime.

I sent a fused hand-made glass ring each to 'Shirley' and 'Heather' and a beaded necklace to 'Pat', and got signed postcards in return :)

Later that year I got a Christmas Card , hand signed and personal.  How lovely.

Maybe it's time to do another collective gift box .......

Wednesday 11 January 2012

A silly mistake....

I fancied a bit of knitting, but something I would actually wear and not get bored half way through when knitting it.

I found this gorgeous free pattern.....


Right up my street is this style. Problem is it was for a certain wool type, which is now obsolete, and I wasn't sure what thickness of wool it was either. So off I trotted to the local wool shop, chose a nice double knit in a random shade of blues and greys, with a silver metallic thread running through it.  Perfect.  Bought my two sets of Sz 9 circular needles and rushed home to make a start.

I dug out my Sz 9 needles and set to work.  You start by making the edge piece, which you sew into a ring, then you pick up the stitches along once edge and just work in a big round.

At this point I should mention that I NEVER do a test piece to check my gauge (Tut-Tut)  does anyone?

So, I got the rim done, that looked fine, in fact the whole thing looked fine until I did the armholes, they looked a little neat, but just a little.  I carried on, it actually wasn't until the last few rounds that I realised this wasn't going to be the big baggy waistcoat, one to fit my generous frame, that I thought it would be. In fact, it was more like a bolero jacket for my Sz 8 daughter!

I do like the pinwheel design on the back though...

The mistake?  I used Sz 9 needles, which are 3.75mm instead of 9mm needles!!!

(the top ones are the ones I SHOULD have used, the bottom ones are the ones I did)

Oh well, lesson learnt.

Right, try again..... this is my new wool, and this time I have been out and bought 9mm needles.

Sunday 8 January 2012

Butterfly Rug.

This was my third rag rug.  My first was a mixture of different fabrics, my second was made from t-shirt material, so I wanted my third to be something different.

I had seen a fellow rug makers work and among her mixture of fabrics, she had a little swish of velvet that shimmered.  I love it, and decided my next rug would be made totally from velvets.

I also wanted a different design. As I also play with stained glass, I thought I would see if I could transfer a stained glass type pattern, to a rug.

I hand-drew the butterflies on the back of the rug, but this left a large background area which I thought would be  to plain if done in one colour, on the other hand I didn't want to have too much going on in the background as it might detract the eye from the butterflies.  I decided on smoky type swirls in two shades of silvery grey.

I was plodding (or should I say, prodding?) along quite nicely when one of the ladies that run the rag-rug club I go to asked if I could get it finished by the 10th Jan, so it could go in an exhibition at our local Museum and Art Gallery.  At this point it was only half done, but I was so pleased to be asked because I am quite a new member and they only wanted four rugs in total for the space they had.

So, this last week has been a MAD prodding frenzy, cutting, poking, ordering new velvet, stressing....

But today, I finally got it finished.  Had a little hiccup in that I ran out of the light silver material, so had to unpick some bits and re-jig the swirls a bit, but we got there.

This is the front view, how it will be displayed....

And this is the back, it looks much more defined this way I think.

Quite pleased with it....... on Tuesday I will say goodbye to it for three months, unless I decide to pop into the art gallery and visit it of course  :)