Monthly Archives: March 2014

Butterfly Boxes ..Tutorial

You would be forgiven for thinking I was going to give you a tutorial about how to make a butterfly box for the garden.

But no.

I often find in the charity shops old books that are a bit past their best, a bit raggy but the contents interesting all the same.

Now I don’t discard these after I’ve read them. I will often find another use for them.

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A simple but effective end product.

This started life as a small flat box measuring 14.5 X 12.5 X 2.5 cms.

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Cut out the centre section with a scalpel leaving a border of about 1.5 cms.

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Glue all the openings closed.

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Using your chosen paper, this could be wrapping paper, old book paper, magazine paper. Start to tear, not cut, strips and glue them all over the centre piece that you have cut out.

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Turning this over and neatening the edges.

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Next do the same with the box, but just fold and glue the paper around the back as you will be putting one bigger sheet on the back to neaten.

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Make sure the front edges are neat.

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Here I have used part of a whole sheet to cover the back.

Don’t you just love some of the names and dates of the roses.

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Box made ready for the butterflies.

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For the butterflies I found a sheet of wrapping paper.

Carefully cut out 3 butterflies and gently fold up the wings to give them some shape.

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Align the butterflies and glue.

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Glue the card into the box and hay presto you have a butterfly box.

The box on the left has been wiped over with a damp tea bag at the point prior to placing butterflies, the one on the right is untouched.

Here are a few more things that I have done with old books and card.

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 I hope this inspires you to look at old books in a different way, and I hope it gets your creative juices working….

 

 

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Dark Matter

Today things seemed to have taken a turn in the garden.

New leaves are unfurling everywhere and the ground is erupting with the promise of summer abundance.

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           Peony ‘Molly The Witch’

Always the first peony to flower here and so welcome.

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            Fritillaria Imperialis.

Always have to watch for lily Beetle.

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        Epimedium Warleyense

 A lovely spring ground cover, with leaves tinged purple/red.

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            Euphorbia Amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’

Not to everyone’s liking as it can spread, but the spring colour is stunning.

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         Saxifraga Fortunei’Rubrifolia’

  Glossy, always healthy, green leaves with a deep maroon underside. An impressive plant all through to autumn.

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         Acer….now unknown as I cut the original down and this is the graft that grows. I like it much better.

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          A seedling Auricula not a good specimen, but I will keep it all the same.

I always get such a buzz from seeing all the new growth in the spring, it’s almost worth going through the winter for it….

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Best Friend Bearing Gifts

Cathy arrived this morning saying ‘I saw these and thought of you’.

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Three wonderful farm trays, dating from 1963,1964,1976.

‘What are you going to do with them ‘ she said.

Well two hours later Mr Malc converted them into this.

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So now the trays hold my overflow of seedling and young Auricula.

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Thank you Cathy and Mr Malc for making my day.

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A Tidy Workroom is an Unproductive One.

After finishing the two bags and after all projects come to that, I like to have a good tidy up. There’s nothing worse than starting a new project only to find half the things you need are in the wrong place or missing.

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I thought I would give you a little tour of my tidy space. The room has two windows one at the front facing west, so really sunny and bright. This is where I do all of my sewing. Being a sunny room I always keep my machine covered when it’s not being used. Underneath the worktop I keep four other different  machines, cottons, buttons, you name it it’s under here.

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Cottons Galore…..

I made some curtains for the front of this area, I find it easier to use than having doors. The fabric is appliqued with imaginary flowers and foliage, all made from a sample book of fabric.

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The curtains have been recut and made to fit as my room had a different setup a few years ago.

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Doing this type of applique is very therapeutic, as I can just let my imagination go mad, I wasn’t trying to copy real flowers.

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Also on this worktop I have my PC and a  small TV on the wall, this doesn’t get used much but it does come in handy now and again.

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This is the view towards the back. This is where the sampling and pattern cutting goes on, as you can see I have a bit of a thing about scissors, and that’s not all of them. Behind the white curtains I keep all my fabric. I use to have it open, but I realised that the fabric was fading on the front edge. Underneath is all the paraphernalia that goes into the making of all the things I do, like zips, studs, dyes, felting stuff, you name it it’s here. Now you know why my granddaughters like to be let loose in here.

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Megan printing fabric that she used to make a little elasticated skirt.

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Imogen displaying the little houses they made for Halloween last year.

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My sister often brings her granddaughter round during the school holidays. Then the three of them have a ball using all the beads and glittery bits to create something special. Here they have made a triangular bag, all of their own design.

As a lot of you put photos of your sheds and garden work spaces, I didn’t think you would mind me putting my favourite work space on.

It won’t stay tidy for very long so make the most of it …..

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The Bag Lady stikes again.

At the end of January we went to Castle Donnington where I bought some lovely soft leather.   Actually I bought 2 lots.

The first one to get made up was a soft grey glove leather. There was only a small amount so I decided to make a clutch bag for special occasions.

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          Lovely soft grey leather.

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                  After sampling I put swatches etc in a journal.

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For this bag I decided to sew it up using the leather itself. I have never stitched using this method before and I found it to be quite easy. I just had to take care when pulling the stitches tight.

For the lining I found a piece of curtain fabric in my stash pile. This had large monochrome prints on it, so I managed to use one large motif which filled the bag flap nicely.

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            The lining is bonded to the leather.

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             The front of the finished bag.

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               The back showing the fastening.

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           Now all I need is a special occasion.

My second bag has taken a lot longer to design and make up. I knew that I wanted a large weekend bag, but I had to figure out the make up, the order in which you put a garment / product together. So this is again where sampling and drawing helps me get my head around all the problems that might arise. This bag has been my biggest bag and biggest challenge yet.

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For both bags I needed some metal fixings. The oval rings and the button studs. I couldn’t find them locally so I sent for them from the internet, but they took nearly 3 weeks to arrive as they came from China. This was a bit frustrating as once I start something I have to carry on till it’s finished, I like a clear run.

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         Rearing to go.

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         ‘Golden Lily’ William Morris. A Sanderson print.

I had no problems looking for lining for this bag as I had been given a piece of William Morris printed upholstery fabric a few years ago and this has been waiting in the wings for just such a mammoth task. The fabric dates from the 70’s, and matches the brown leather perfectly.

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                  All cut out .

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            Assembling the bag handles, using electric cable as the inner. A bit of recycling here.

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                  The inside of the bag, there are two large pockets inside to take all the little extras we ladies like to travel with.

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              The bag handles attached.

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                 All labelled.

The sides of the zip placket fasten down at the sides with a matching metal stud / button.

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              Finished ready for the spring holidays.

  Now where shall we go this year…………………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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