Sunday, 2 December 2012

Crafty Boom!

We got a few crafty ladies in our studio who know how to turn over a stitch or two.
We, ladies also like our musicals, so we decided, every now and then, we'd take over the big TV after work, switch on a musical and stitch away at our projects for the evening with some giggles, cake and the occasional wine.
There's been alot of yarnbombing around this summer and it gave us a taste for what a little bit of Flash Decor can do. Then one week we came up with idea of doing a bit of craft bombing after hours in the office.
Of course the optimum place to decorate would have to be the one place we are never allowed into...the boys loo.

So with a tad bit of forward planning and some red wine, we got super hysterical and bombed that loo. We were in absolute stitches, the funny type, it was just deliciously ridiculous.
We had card bunting with life affirming catch-phrases, leopard print toilet roll covers, flowers and hearts everywhere, a rather fetching woollen urinal pipe cover+ guest and posters of Justin Bieber.
Yeah maybe we went a bit too far on that last one.
The reactions the next day were priceless, from fury and disbelief to cackles of laughter and jolly smiles. Some of the boys plotted revenge whilst others appreciated the supportive quotes, no one liked the Bieber and the bosses took photos of our masterpiece.It was a rollercoaster of reactions.

And then that night the lady elves took it all down and moved it in to their toilet, the ladies loo, except for the woollen urinal cover which no one wanted to touch and a Bieber poster, that ended up under the toilet seat.

I think the boys forgave us in the end and some wanted the decorations back.
All in all it was worth it, and it cheered up an otherwise average week.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Tower Block Paintings Miniatures

I got this idea, I'm really into painting tower blocks on minature canvas'
I see tower blocks everywhere, south london innit
If London flooded, tower blocks would be like ships or islands in the sea.
My sister use to live in one but they demolished it. She lived on the 15 floor and had a pigeon nesting on her balcony. We went to see some other tower blocks get blown up it was bizarre.
I like drawing buildings because of the little squares windows.
For painting I use Gouache and my canvas are titchy.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Crochet Winter Wear-Snoods

Crochet has been a big hit for me lately. It's so good to do on the bus and so portable that it's been project after project.
The cold weather kicks in and out comes the hook and yarn.

For my sis' birthday in april I made her a snood, I was so jealous as it's very warm and cosy that I made one for myself.

Of course my mum drop some hints so I raced to get one made for her Birthday in 4 days.
It's a pattern I got from Ravelry.
The key I find is the wool, as you want it to be chunky, to get that stiffness, and colourful, for fun.
The stiffness is good as a wind blocker around the neck.
The wool I used is Sardir Indie- nice chunky and colourful and a really good and affrodable site in the UK for all the colours is  Wise Badger.

Finished my mum's snood in time! Here's Mum with Snood and with her new gloves I made too

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Comfy Crocheted Fingerless Gloves

I found a simple pattern for fingerless gloves off Ravelry and thought I would have a go.
The first glove I made I forgot the abv. language and started it wrong, I had to restart and rework about 5 times but by the time I had finished, I remembered.
The glove was really comfy and flexible (I find normal gloves a bit like a hand muffler and sort of constricting).
I thought I'd give a pair to my sis too. They were supposedly for Christmas but I ended up giving them to her as soon as I'd finished them (I get over excited!) as I thought her hands would be cold now.
They are Sirdar yarn, as they have nice colours, good wool and affordable price.
I have just finished- last night- making purple gloves for my mum again super comfy. I really need to get on to making ones for myself as they are sooooo comfy.
I think I am going to be making lots for friends over the winter becasue they are sooo comfy.
I know it says for men, but they are really comfy.
Did I mention they were comfy?

Friday, 9 November 2012

Guerilla Gardening in South London

I heard about this Guerrilla Gardeners event thanks to being a follower on facebook of Carshalton Lavender. They posted about this lavender harvest at Morley College, really near to where I live so I knew it was a must for me to join in. It was one of the hottest days of the year, and I headed down, not knowing what to expect.
There seemed to be no one around, I guessed the lavender we were harvesting was on the traffic island opposite Morley College's entrance as it was covered in a blanket of purple flowering shrubs.

I saw a group gathering on the other side of the road and tentaively headed over. I happily met people who also had never done it before. We headed over to the island and spotted the organisers next to a car, hidden behind large bushes. Buckets and secatuers were provided, a quick workshop/explanation on 'how to' was given and we partnered up. 
I teamed up with the fantastic Elaine, and we discovered we were brilliant at gathering lavender. The technique is one person grabs a bunch and twists it, and the other person chops it at the bottom.
Our Lavender bushes looked beautifully coiffered and not one finger was lost. Elaine headed off, and I continued for a while. My hands and face grew grubby from the black dust that came off these traffic isdland plants. I saw the grime on my face and hands as a trophy of my hard work. Eventually the fumes got the best of me as I started to get a tickly cough, so after an hour or 2 I headed home, knackered, burnt, grubby but satisfied and reeking of Lavender.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Lavender Owls

My sister came round for a visit and some craft time at my house with a project. She was making thank you gifts for friends, little patchwork lavender stuffed owls . She made one and gave it to me, it had a knotted base which stopped it sitting so I added a flat base so it would sit and from that point on we started making them together.
She stitches the fabric together, adding embroidery as decoration, ready to be stuffed with lavender by me. Then I sew on the base and the pre-prepared eyes. So we have a good little factory going.

We got a lot of interest and sold a selection to friends, 3 for £10 or £5 each. You can buy one in my Etsy Shop The Great Escape

I love lavender, so I eyed  my sisters stash of lavender with envy. She gave me the details. The lavender stockist is very reasonable with fast service so I made some fat lavender pillows to go in my bed.
The blue one is mine, I used my favourite fabrics, one side is clouds and the other waves.
I made a green one for my mum, a purple one for my sister, a little cloud one for my friend, as a pocket companion.

I was super chuffed when a work friend brought me back a package of French lavender, I am going to save that for something special, maybe a large owl.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Carshalton Lavender Open Day- July 2012

I think from a young age I have been a fan of lavender.

My father in the garden would always grab a handful and say smell this.
We had large Lavender, Rosemary and Sage Bushes around the front and back.
I have been lucky to have plants in my life.
To this day I can't help rubbing my fingers over a lavender bush and taking a big whiff.
When I did a gardening course it was one of the ways to do plant identification, smell it first then read it's name, this would tap the memory to the smell as the two are closely related.

I became particularly attached to Lavender when I developed intense anxiety in my early 20s. Lavender and Chamomile have been my firm friends since then although my anxieties are much more in hand. My cupboards always stocked with chamomile and I have multiple bottles of Lavender oil around the house.
So when I discovered South London had it's own Lavender field I had to go and see. I found out it had an open day in July and a call for volunteers. I caught a train from Vauxhall and headed out there.

Carshalton Lavender is on the backs of the Stanley Road allotments in Carshalton Beeches, 3 acres of lavender, entirely run by volunteers.
It was a gloriously sunny day and I had my new sunhat and covered my self in sunblock.
Amongst the lavender was a little fayre of about 10 stalls selling all sorts of lavender related goods. From soaps to honey to plants themselves and they had this fantastic pick your own stand.

I asked in what way I could volunteer and was given some clippers and a bucket and asked to fill it up to sell on to those who were not able to pick there own.

Amongst the lavender, buzz hundreds of busy bees, uninterested  in me. Quite an odd feeling to gently brush away a bunch of bees whilst you chop bunches of lavender.
I was lucky enough to be able to join-in helping with using the bigger industrial type lavender gatherer, a huge vaccum like machine that two strong people hold above the lavender tops, which chomps away the flowers and sucks them into a big bag that I got to hold the end of.

So I trailed behind these guys, holding up the sack end, clambering over lavender bushes being sprayed by shrub dust. it was great fun!

In the corner of the field was a huge lavender distil where they were making oil there and then. All their lavender is distilled on site over several weekends, I have a treasured little bottle of it.

Whilst there I heard someone mention Vauxhall and I began talking to a lady, Ruth Morgan, who is considering plans to help make use of a smaller lavender field in Vauxhall park. It turns out she runs a stall at South Lambeth Market selling Vauxhall lavender bags and I had actually brought and own one of her bags, she is also friends with Stockwell Studio! Small world indeed!

The heat of the day got the best of me in the end and I headed home with honey, lavenders and a very lovely pokora from Curry Cook House who normally set up at Deptford Market (get over there and try their pakoras! -phwoar! tasty!)
I recommend anyone to visit especially at harvest time, such excellent fun! and such a unique and wonderful experience.


Monday, 5 November 2012

A Blanky for Boo

Another important crochet project was for Baby Chloe.
The weather had turned cold and I couldn't help thinking she needed extra cosieness in the pram.
So I manically stitched, for 3-4 days, colourful patches, outlined them in blue, stitched them together and sewed on a fleece lining for extra cosiness.
Needless to say Princess Booboo of Brixton seems quite snug.

Blankets were the first things I really made as they are just an ever growing square and squares were the first thing I learnt to make.
I have probably made 5-6 complete blankets ever, two of which I use regularly.
I made two large granny square blankets with big squares for a couple of friends.
I recently found out, one of the blankets I made for a friend that I had lost touch with, has become the family blanket. When I knew her she was 17 and now she is 30 something with 4 boys, so I was really chuffed to hear it had become a treasured family item and still going strong.
I spotted the other granny square blankie, I'd made years ago, still being used on my friends bed.
I am sure I am not alone in feeling chuffed and satisfied to know home made items are still in one piece, being used and loved.

Booboo's mum, my sis Ruth Miller, writes articles on an ace blog for local baby's and parents, Little Lambeth,  and also does a colomn in local paper the Brixton Bugle.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

St. Mungos' Woolly Hat Day

St.Mungos the London Homeless charity have been running a knitters challenge, all culminating on Woolly Hat Day 26th October.

The Challenge was to knit bright orange hats to be auctioned to raise money and awareness of Homelessness in London.
I piped up and asked if crocheters could join in, and I was welcomed to the fold.
Due to my lack of pom-pom skills (they always fall apart-what am I doing wrong?!) I made a solid beanie.
I have to say it was very comfy and warm. So I sent it off.

Then I went on the St Mungos ebay site  where celebrity hats where being auctioned off.
I ordered an orange woolly hat made by someone else, all monies went right back to St. Mungos.
My new, with bobble, hat is florescent orange, so I shall be quite safe on the roads!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig) in Crochet

Beth Williams and I like to annoy Emily Williams by singing Baby Monkey (Going backwards on a Pig) at her...on repeat..

So I got challenged by one of the crazy Williams sisters to create a crochet version and here it is:

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Drawing with Friends

As regular readers may know, I went along to a few Bristol Sketchers meet ups when I lived out there. A really simple concept of meeting up with a bunch of people and drawing for an hour or two.
I was pleased to discover when I started my new job in London that a couple of people in my office did a similar thing on Friday lunches, of which I have blogged about and enjoy going along to as often as possible.

It's really got me into drawing more than I have been before I'm really starting to enjoy it.
I have loosened up my attitude and aim to create and explore not to produce a photo perfect copy of what I see but just to express what I am seeing and incorporate some of the detail I see.

I am very lucky to have a lot of creative and artistic friends. Drawing with them gives me a chance to catch up with them and enjoy their company as well as getting creative together.
So this sat afternoon I had the lovely Claire and Sophie for company and we wandered along near Towerbridge, before settling in a Samuel Smiths ye olde pub.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

SMart Walks Magnetic Art

Interesting marriage between art, walking and twitter
SMart Walks took my tweet and made it art

I tweeted about my fabulous niece, then out of the blue a creative group SMart Walks, took my tweet made it into lovely magnetic art, then planted it outside Sew Over it on Landor Way, on their art walk of tweets. Very interesting and unusual project. They let me have one of their lovely magnets, which currently lives on my fridge. Here is a pic of my niece and her first hook.