Monday, 30 December 2013

Tweedle dee

Tweed made a huge impact on Autumn interiors, (it is a recurring theme) our leather sofa needed something warm, nothing is nicer than tweed and wool. 

I decided to make a set of cushions working loosely with deer, so created this little friendly chap. The blue is an dissolvable pen which disappears once the embroidery was done, in a little water. 

Hand embroidery is a pleasurable delight, while slower than a sewing machine, I love the connection with creating each stitch - there are times when hand made is nicer to do than machine stitching,  I love the irregularity outlining the deer in blanket stitch and using stem stitch to follow the curves of the antlers. 

Then it is a case of trimming the tweed to a square and edge strips to frame it. 

 I love the way the deer's body is a diagonal while the strips are fairly straight, it creates a lovely contrast.

The back was made easily; lay a zip under the folded bottom edge, stitch in place. Fold the top piece with a deep fold, (enough to cover the zip). It is simply a case of following the bottom stitched edge for about 2 inches, then going vertically up until you reach the other zip edge. Stitch along until you are 2 inches away from the side, stitch vertically down over the zip again and then stitch along to the edge. It creates a lovely concealed zip effect on the back keeping the cushion nice and soft with no hard zipper.

I always push stuffing into the corners of the cushion, it creates a nice neat edge then add the cushion. 

I made another three cushions with the tweed, creating a trio. The left hand deer is a machine embroidery pattern, the patchwork squares were angled again to give a more interesting effect.  The blanket is a beautiful blue welsh wool we bought at the Country Living Christmas Fair. 

Now the sofa is a cosy warm place to watch the crackle of the log fire hearing the wind and rain pelting against the window, a perfect winter's evening. 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Is it me?

My inbox gets a round up of all the blogs I follow, a daily flow of inspiration and ideas but recently I have found my heart sinks when see the email. Rather than feel inspired I end up feeling overwhelmed, everyone seems to have been really busy while I find I can't concentrate on what I was doing. 

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy reading other people's blogs, or looking at what other people are up to, but it is as if someone creeps up behind me and whispers in my ear …. and I have that sense of failure, or that I am not doing as well as this person or my projects that up until that moment I was proud of, suddenly seem poor in comparison to the 'wonderful photography' or the 'staging' or a host of other reasons why something seems to shine out more. Or there is an idea I have for a project, just when I think it is uniquely mine, I find there are already several websites that are way ahead of me. 

This is a strange time of year, the run up to Christmas, a few weeks ago I was excited, all the projects I would do, how wonderful it will all look. I would see cooking programmes and have an urge to make my own marshmallows, or Christmas cakes, or mince pies, handmade stockings, bunting, Christmas decorations, beautifully wrapped presents. As the weeks progressed the picture of my Christmas was becoming more sparkly, and rich but this week reality hit me. None of the projects are even started let alone completed, I simply don't have the time. 

My children have plans for their own Christmas Day, while I will be seeing them, it won't be like the fantasy I have in my head. There is a huge sense of loss when I realise that the dream will never be a reality. That isn't to say it won't be wonderful, it just won't materialise  as I imagined it would be,  I feel like a child who sees a toy in a toy shop but never gets to touch it. It is still there tantalising me, this fantasy Christmas that might have been. 

While I am already putting myself under so much pressure, round the corner is the New Year, with the resolutions to be thinner, fitter, healthier… more creative time, more organised, more more more! 

The internet is brilliant, there is no denying it, so is the Television, there are some fantastic creative people around - but there comes a point when I have to step back for my own sanity. I have rest from the computer for a while - disengage with the whole Christmas machine that we are caught up in from September onwards, and simply be. 

It is then that I am able to work out what I really want for Christmas: that is simply quality time having fun with those I love. 

Merry Christmas 

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