Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Archive for January, 2017

Brush Writing

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After Monday’s post about mark-making tools I decided to have a go at lettering using a brush and ink. It was more awkward than I expected to achieve a neat result, but I quite like the slightly naive/rustic look that the technique lends itself to. I used water colours to add borders to the papers.

Hand-Woven Cowl

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I have finished the cowl that I started last week. I had planned to cut the ends of the warp threads once I had joined the ends of the cowl together, but decided instead to keep them as fringing, and I am really pleased with how it looks. I twisted the scarf before joining the ends together (like a mobius strip), to produce a crossed-over detail at the front when the scarf is being worn (this also helps it to sit nicely).

I have previously woven scarves, but am very taken by this cowl so intend to make another one soon- and to take the opportunity to experiment with pattern and texture a little more!

Monday Mood Board- Drawing

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Lots of different tools can be used for mark-making, and can produce a variety of different effects. I haven’t taken the time to do any drawing or painting for a while, so this is now on my to-do list. Sometimes just playing with different tools can provide inspiration.

A Work in Progress: Weaving

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I am currently weaving a wool snood/cowl, using a mixture of mohair and merino yarn. The purple and grey yarns (the weft threads) are relatively chunky (Rowan ‘Cocoon’), but weaving rather than knitting means that the finished material isn’t so heavy/thick. I have previously knitted a cabled scarf using Rowan Cocoon and it is lovely and chunky, but too warm for all but the coldest of days!

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Monday Mood Board: Bunnies!

I seem to have acquired quite a few rabbit-related bits and pieces, including jewellery, stationary and small ornaments, some of which are shown here. I think I’ve always found the motif appealing, and can clearly remember particularly liking a picture of a black and white dutch rabbit in a Ladybird book when I was about three years old. Rabbits also make me think of spring, despite there being no shortage of them in the UK year-round!

I made the necklace and knitted rabbit shown above (the knitted rabbit is a great quick Easter gift); the ornaments and buttons are vintage; the blue wooden brooch is by a modern designer-maker (I am embarrassed to say that I can’t remember her name); the gold charm is modern.

Simple Storage Box DIY

To start the new year as I mean to go on, I have been having a tidy up of any bits and bobs that seem to be without a proper home. I needed a box to store some papers and photographs (a kind of memory box), but didn’t want to pay the kind of price required to purchase a nice decorative one! I found a brown cardboard box of perfect proportions at the local bargain shop, and decorated it myself using (imitation) gold leaf to make rustic-looking polka dots.

I drew circles in pencil onto the box as a guide (I drew around the base of a small plastic pot), and then glued torn up pieces of gold leaf in place (they were leftover pieces from other projects). For a super simple DIY project, I am pleased with the outcome: decorative storage at a bargain price! I like storage to be attractive as well as useful (you do have to look at it after all), and this technique could be applied to boxes of any size or shape, and would also be a nice way to make decorative gift boxes.

For a few other storage ideas please see these posts:

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A Little Embroidery

I made this little silk purse as a present, and it was a great small project to experiment with embroidering with silk threads on to silk cloth. The silk threads have a lovely lustre, making the colours glow, and thread slides so easily through the fabric. The finished piece is relatively delicate (I think that the pale silk fabric would mark quite easily), but was made as a decorative piece for someone who would appreciate the techniques and materials used.

I always seem to forget quite how time consuming embroidery is (if you want it to look neat and tidy!), but I enjoy the process as well as the finished piece. This was just a simple design, but I didn’t plan it out before I started sewing which made it slightly more complicated to complete than necessary!

I have seen some beautiful (and often very intricate) antique and vintage embroidered purses, an I can certainly appreciate the time and skill required to produce them- and am inspired to try to achieve that level of detail and neatness one day!

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