I Love Screen Printing

A little while ago I signed up for a one day course in screen printing with the fabulous Running With Scissors. Those with a good memory may remember it was here I had my first introduction to quilting and log-cabin cushion making. And now I have a new love for printmaking, particularly screen printing. I have yet to do any at home, I need to get myself a screen etc. But it is definitely on my shopping/christmas list!!

During the class I printed a folk-art inspired print onto a tea towel, with plans to frame it (still waiting) and a lovely copper sunburst onto a second tea towel, with plans to make it into a cushion (still waiting). They are pretty amazing, but the best one of all was this…..

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((Camouflage incase your wondering!!!))

I still can’t quite believe that I printed it, it’s fab 🙂 And M loves it. Now I can’t take any credit for the design, I downloaded it from the super talented Oana Befort, you can find it on her beautiful blog here. I cut the design out of an acetate, taped it onto the bottom of the screen, and voila!  Well it was a little more technical than that but all completely doable .  If you live in the area I would thoroughly recommend doing the workshop, It was a great introduction to the world of screen printing.

Now I am off to dust down the free-motion embroidery needle on my sewing machine, I have signed up to a F-ME class in a few weeks.  If I remember correctly I downed tools last time I had a go at this at home as I couldn’t get the bobbin thread to lay flat, it was all loopy.  Do you have any words of wisdom for me???

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The Dambusters

Have you heard of  the Dam Busters? Seen the film (cue very bad english accents)? You must be humming the music by now….? well it is the 70th anniversary of the famous Second World War RAF Dam Busters’ raid today, and to commemorate this there was a flyover over the Derwent and Ladybower dams, Now I am no expert but this included an old Lancaster Bomber and some small planes, possibly Spitfires??

The Derwent and Ladybower Dam”s hold great significance, as the actual real brave Dam Busters practised their bouncing bomb e here!  See……The 617 Squadron was founded as part of Operation Chastise which was a Second World War raid on Germany’s Ruhr dams using Barnes Wallis’ revolutionary bouncing bomb and modified Lancaster bombers.  Crews trained for the operation at British reservoirs including the Derwent Dam.  The German dams which help provide vital water and electrical supplies were targeted on the night of May 16, 1943, with two dams being successfully destroyed…..Beautifully displayed in The DamBusters film ( I belive it is quite accurate but I am no historian). There is a serious element too, 8 of the 18 planes who set off for that mission didn’t come home that night, 53 dies and 2 were taken prisoner of war.  Very  very sad.

Me and my little (nearly) four-year old walked to the top of Derwent Ridge to see the display today.  For those who have never visited the Peak District, this involved a serious hike up a huge rocky peak to reach the ridge.  It is the first time I have taken him to the peaks, even though we only live 20 mins away as it is not baby/toddler friendly, think steeeeep hills, rocks, stiles, loose rocky paths etc, so it was a lovely surprise when we actually made it to the top without any complaints/200 ft falls/disappearing down a mine shaft etc etc.  I think this was helped in part by his obsession with poo/beetles/mud/puddles, all in plentiful abundance.

Here are a few photos…

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The stunning view we had looking out over the Derwent Reservoir, there is a dam situated at either end but too far for little legs to walk to.

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Can you spot the well camouflaged Lancaster Bomber?? She glided gracefully through the air below us.

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The small planes, are they spitfires??? They were very fast!

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Using the rocks as stepping-stones and looking for creatures in the heather was great fun too!

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All in all a lovely day. I am very proud that we made it to the top, all the people who walked past us (we were slow but steady!) commented that he was doing really well getting as it is quite a mountain to get up! and we made it down safely too, with a little bribery of sweets to get us right back to the car. I think I may watch the DamBusters film tonight, did I mention they filmed some of it at Derwent Dam??? Go on, treat yourself to an old war film!

Freezer Paper Stencilled Octonauts TShirt

I used my first attempt at freezer paper stencilling to make an Octonauts T-shirt for my little boy. We used fabric pens and basically did a lot of scribbling, it worked really well!

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There are loads if tutorials on how to make a freezer paper stencil, the hardest part was finding some paper here in the UK. It is not the common household product which it seems to be over in the USA.

Anyway, it seems to be a big hit as he is still wearing it! If you know of any quirky stencils anywhere I would love to know, particularly boy ones!

An Elf-Whisperer Has Sent Me A Letter!

Some of you may know Ziggy Shortcrust, if you don’t then you really should.  Ziggy Shortcrust is an elf-whisperer. And she has a campervan. And she works in a children’s book museum.  And she is THE most amazing illustrator.  Nope, I am not in the least bit envious!

Ziggy has set herself a mammoth task.  She is singlehandedly reviving the art of the hand-written letter by sending a hand written and illustrated letter every day for the next year!!!  And guess what the postman brought me………………

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Only a freaking hand written and illustrated letter!  Just for me!  It is breathtakingly beautiful! My elf sews. She is pretty lovely I am sure you will agree!  If you would like to help Ziggy in her quest all the information can be found here , and please check out her blog, she is such a talent!

Now, I am not much of a letter writer.  My handwriting is not the beautiful script that I would choose.  But I like to sew.  And I have been doing some secret sewing over this weekend.  So a little parcel will soon be on its way to an elf-whisperer I know……

Versatile Blogger Award

I have been nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award by the lovely knitnrun4sanity. Thankyou very much!

My blog IS my little patch of creativity. It is really the only place where I can have things just as I choose too without having to compromise. I began this blog 2 months ago not really knowing how it was going to turn out or what I would even write about, I certainly didn’t think that people would read and like it! It means a lot to me that people take the time to read, like and comment on my posts, and even more so to be nominated for this award so thanks guys!

This award comes with rules…..

1. Add the award to your blog.
2. Thank the blogger(s) who gave it to you.
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
4. List the rules.
5. Award to 15 bloggers.
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.

The seven random facts about me are…..
1) I use exclamation marks a lot!
2) This is my favourite paper, I always have some in the house and I use it for everything from making paper-piecing templates through to “important” pictures made by my toddler to give away as presents and everything in between.
3) I have far too many projects on the go that need finishing!
4) I live in a house with a LOT of stairs.
5) I love world cinema, I would recommend Amile as an introduction. Best watched on a sunday afternoon when it is raining and all cozy inside!
6) Jaffa Cakes are my weakness!
7) I have recently started a Project Life scrapbook.

My nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award are (in no particular order)…

ZiggyShortcrust
Make Me
This is knockout
Project Awsome
Very Berry Handmade
Jess Quinn
Modflowers
Little White Dove
The Button Jar

In the short time (Hence why I have not managed the full quota) that I have been using WordPress and reading blogs it is these that have made an impression on me and I look forward to reading. They make me smile and inspire me to develop and try new ideas. I have feeling that many will not display/accept (what is the right terminology here?) the award but it is the thought that counts!

A Completely Brilliant Pin Cushion

I took inspiration from the pin cushions at Run With Scissors and fashioned my own. It is completely practical – it gets knocked on the floor at least twice an hour and thrown in the bottom of my sewing basket and a pin has yet to fall out! Plus I think it looks lovely.

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I used an clean empty half size baked bean tin, one which has a pull top so there were no sharp edges. Cut fabric to fit around tin, which I then stuck down using super glue. For the middle where the pins sit I took a complementary square of fabric, put a handful of toy stuffing in the middle of the square and wrapped the fabric – right side out – around the stuffing, I secured the edges of the fabric with a few pins, making a ball shape. The ball simply sits in the tin with all fabric edges inside the tin. Adjust the amount of stuffing until you have a snug fit.