Monday, 30 May 2011

Wedding Plant Pot

My friend's upcoming wedding has quite a nature theme.  I'm honoured to have been asked to play a part in the ceremony and as part of that I have been asked to bring a plant pot.

I've been out shopping this morning for something very special, something the bride and groom can keep and enjoy for the rest of their lives as well as on their special day.

Having chosen this beaut fully made white plant pot with a rustic style handle, I wanted to keep the design very simple but still add a personal touch.  I've decided to go with Anita's Glitterations stickers in white which catch the light beautifully.

I've arranged them on both the front and back of the pot.  And finished with a white organza ribbon which matches the favour boxes.

Wedding Ring Cushion

I had a leftover quilt block from another project and felt inspried to make a quick ring cushion.  I really can't stand to waste anything!

It's made very simply form two equally sized squares of fabric sewn right sides together.  I've left a little opneing for inserting stuffing which has been hand stitched closed after the stuiffing was added.

The ribbon has been hand sewn in place with the stitches going right through the cushion. 

Handmade Paper Favour Boxes

Here's some favour boxes I've been making for a friend's wedding.

They are made form two 21cm squares of handmade paper.  Each has been scored using a score board an equal distance from all four edges.  The little squares made at each corner have then been scored diagonally form the centre out to the edge of the paper.  The boxes are then easily assembled with a little PVA glue.

Ribbon has been stuck around the edges of the lids using 6mm double sided tape.  A hole has been pieced using a piercing tool and a blossom threaded through it.  I have secured the blossoms in place with a little clear tape and trimmed off the excess wire.

These boxes could be made in different sizes but these will be filled with soil and seeds ready for the guests to plant in their gardens.  The bride has requested handmade paper which will compost relatively quickly so that there is no need for guests to remove the seeds and soil from the box before planting.

Stylish Stepstools

I have a bit of an obsession with these step stools.  They come from IKEA with a piddly price tag of £10. The thing about them is that they are really sturdy.  Like a lot of IKEAs stuff the term "built like a brick out house" springs to mind.  I have one in the shop and it's in constant use but still looks like new.

The trick is to add a couple of layers of varnish after the paint has completely dried.  Paying particular attention to the corners and the steps which will get the most wear.

This one is a very simple design in blank and white to match Boyfriend's kitchen.  I usually use rubber stamping techniques to great effect.

I make use of old paints and reduced tester pots of mat emulsion.  They make a great very cheap base coat.  For the black areas I have used Acrylic paints.

Use a mat clear varnish available from DIY stores.

Celebration Bunting

This is another quick and easy project that is great for using up leftover scraps of fabric.

Cut triangles from just about any fabric you like.  Mine measure 10 inches tall by 8 inches wide.  I love my rotary cutter and matt for this sort of cutting which would otherwise take hours!

Place two triangles right sides together and sew the two longest sides.  I've used a 1/4 inch seam allowance but it doesn't really matter as long as the seam allowance is the same for all the triangles.

I found a 25mm wide ribbon or tape is about right.  Be sure to leave about a metre at each end of the bunting for tying.

Place the ribbon flat on your sewing machine and place the first triangle right side up half covering the ribbon.  Fold the ribbon over the triangle so that the raw edges are covered.  Zig Zag stitch the ribbon in place.

A Little Project for Leftover Yarn

As a thrifty gal I can't bear to see anything go to waste.  I'm fanatical about finding useful projects for even the tinniest amount of left over yarn.

So here is my latest effort and also my new camera case.  I've cast on enough stitches to cover the front, back and sides of my camera.  Stocking stitch until my camera cosie is just a little longer than my camera. Cast off and sew the side and bottom seams.

To keep my camera safely tucked into it's cosie I've added a little button form my stash and a little loop of yarn to fasten it.  So now I can kiss goodbye to (any more) scratches on my camera. The only thing is OH wants one too . . .

Ahhh! Ive run out of yarn!!

We've all been there, we think we can push our luck, we're sure we've checked the pattern but when we reach for another ball . . . Horror! It's the last one! There's not enough yarn left to finish our project and all our hard work has to be ripped out and started again. Soul destroying!
It's almost impossible to buy a specific lot number of a specific yarn. Different lot numbers will have very slight colour variations. Although they can be invisible to the human eye it can show up like a sore thumb on a sweater.
The only good thing to come out of it is that we only make this mistake once in our lives, so devastating are the consequences.
Obviously my advice is to learn from the mistakes of others and ALWAYS ALWAYS check you have plenty of yarn to finish your project. But that's little comfort when we're faced with our ruined work.
However there is hope on the horizon. There are solutions and work arounds to save your hard work.
Firstly start as soon as you notice you are running short on yarn. The earlier you start compensating the less yarn you will use.
Forget about using the same yarn to sew up. A different lot number or even a different yarn can be used.
If you catch it in time, is it possible to use a different colour or yarn for the cuffs? If you don't fancy this look and manage to get a different lot number of the same yarn use the odd ball for the cuffs and collar. This will hide the change in dye lot.
Check the sleeve length. Can you loose a couple of Cm's off the length of the sleeve? Make sure that you make the reduction before the shoulder shaping.
Use the odd lot numbered ball for the last few rows of the sleeve. The change will be hidden in the seam.
I hope these suggestions can help you save ripping out a carefully knitted project. I'm off to hunt the interweb for one last ball of Paton's Smoothie in discontinued Chocolate! But what will I do with my hands while it arrives?!?