This lovely wooden box of letter (and number) stamps was a lucky find at a car boot sale last year- the set only cost 50 pence and didn’t appear to have even been used!
So far I have only used the stamps to label a couple of Christmas gift tags, so hope to come up with a few more uses for them, starting with a spot of printing on fabric.
One advantage of only having my current craft stash to use this year (see my crafty New Year’s Resolution for 2016) is that I have started taking a good look at what I already have, rather than being distracted by shiny new purchases. I have actually felt a little uncomfortable coming across a few lovely items (like this one) that I have hardly used, and hope that I will be able to rectify this over the coming year.
I’m looking forward to stamping my mark on some new projects…!
This garland hangs above a print tray in my studio that contains a rainbow of vintage wooden cotton reels. I enjoy crocheting, and had wanted to make a crocheted flower garland for ages, but I struggled to find the time in between other projects. However, with the help of a 50p crocheted mat from a charity shop (see picture below), and some pompoms left over form another project, I managed to make a quick and easy version, that is still handmade.
The garland is a great project for using bits and pieces of vintage haberdashery, or odds and ends from your craft/sewing stash! This is how you can make your own:
- Wash and iron your mat (handmade mats/doilies like this can be found in charity shops and at car boot sales with relative ease. The great thing about this project is that if part of the mat is torn or stained, then you can discard that section and still use the rest!).
- CAREFULLY unpick the stitching that holds the individual flowers together.
- Select- or make- your pompoms.
- Attach a pompom to the bottom of each flower. I sewed mine on, but this was time consuming and fiddly. With the benefit of hindsight, next time I will glue the pompoms to the flowers, taking care that none of the glue is visible on the final piece.
- Select, or make, the string that the flowers will be suspended from. I crocheted a base chain to the desired length, as I felt that it was in keeping with the flowers.
- Sew the flowers to the string. I don’t think that glue could be used for this stage, as it would be visible on the finished garland.
- Hang up your garland and enjoy!
There are many variations that can be applied to this project: try dyeing the crocheted flowers; use a brightly coloured ribbon or piece of ricrac for the string; use feathers, buttons or beads instead of pompoms; try crocheted flowers of different sizes on the same garland; use pompoms all in one colour for an understated look, and/or match the colour of the pompoms to the string or flowers; make a large pompom from yarn, and attach a smaller crocheted flower beneath instead of on top…etc…..
This is one of my favourite parts of the studio, and looking a it makes me want to sew! The wooden reels are mainly Silko cotton thread- I am (slowly!) trying to collect all of the colours, which have amazingly evocative names such as ‘Light Mole’, ‘Dark Gobelin’ and ‘Gay Kingfisher’. I recently came across a magazine advert for Silko cotton threads dating from the 1930s, and apparently they produced over 250 colours- it may take me some time to complete my collection! As well as enjoying admiring them, I do also use the thread, particularly when I have more than one reel of the same colour. The cotton thread is thicker than the commonly available cotton thread made today; this makes it ideal for sewing thicker fabrics, and for embroidery. So, useful as well as beautiful!