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It really is time I started getting some of my lovely beachcombed finds out of boxes and into the light of day and with the discovery of some findings I spent a lovely day the other week sorting through all my sea glass and pottery and choosing pieces not only that would make pretty earrings and pendants but that I could bear to part with!

First the pendants:

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I love blue and white pottery anyway, but even more so when it’s been faded by the sea.

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And this piece is just fun!

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Love the depth and richness of this blue glass.

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This piece of old bottle has the letter K embossed on the tip.

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And this is my biggest piece of Victorian Seaham glass.

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Then earrings, all in frosted white glass:

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The nuno felt made a very appropriate background!

I’ve made another section in my Etsy shop for this beachcombed jewellery. The big willow pattern pendant sold the same day as I listed it and is heading for Switzerland!

At our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting we had a fabulous talk by a local artist,  Vivienne Morpeth, about her work in felting and to really top it off, she followed it with a mini workshop with us all, taking about 45 minutes flat, at the end of which we each had a small piece of nuno felt!

This is my workstation to start – not straying far from my favourite colours…

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I was having so much fun (not to mention enjoying the delicious cakes provided for afternoon tea) I forgot to photograph the silk pieces (blue and yellow) laid out first in an over lapping pattern and also forgot to show the long wave shapes of white prefelt I cut out to sandwich between the silk and the fleece. So here is the back, with the wisps of laid out fleece.

 

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And then it was soaked in soapy water and rolled inside a sandwich of bamboo mat and bubble wrap. Fifty rolls then unroll and go the other way, repeating until the wool fibres matted together and worked into the silk. Here it is wet – you can see the silk and the wave shapes:

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And dry:

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Not sea and sand as I was vaguely planning, but sky and land. And the back is equally as attractive.

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Fascinating little workshop and a piece of fabric I love!

The cuff book is finished. But I forgot to take a photo of it! Not that it’s changed much – just had the pages stitched to the spine with a single line of pamphlet stitch, decorated with some seed beads.

So is the leather bracelet. Both flowers completed and three matching quartz bead dangles added.

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I finally found the right size drill bit to make setting the cogs easy for the black and white steampunk brooch and once I’d done that, the finishing was easy.

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Then the embroidered pendant for a bow shaped pendant brooch, missing its drop, was the next to be sorted. It started like this:

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Then I put three pieces of walnut dyed vintage fabric together and secured them with beaded blanket stitch. The back is a damask, the middle canvas and this side is some embroidered net that I always understood was associated with my great-grandmother who died in 1970.

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It was a little dull so I went over some of the pattern with silk threads in faded shabby chic tones …

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…and then hung it from the brooch.

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Rather pleased with myself. And to top all that I’ve even got them listed in my Etsy shop:  Flower bracelet, black and white steampunk brooch and pendant brooch. Wonders will never cease!

The cuff book is now lined, pressed…

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…and about to have a selection of papers stitched into it.

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A damaged leather and chain boho style leather bracelet is having new leather flowers.

DSCN1102 Embroidered like the original felt ones with long stitches in variegated thread with bead centres.

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One more to go onto here.

And a beautiful Art Deco buckle which was cracked in two places (centre and bottom right)…

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…is becoming an assemblage steampunk style brooch.

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In the background, two vintage watch faces, one further embellished with a mother of pearl disc, and a random piece of filigree added to the outside with a humming bird charm dangling from a convenient loop.

Still a little more finishing to do on all of them – I’m finding it difficult to settle to complete one thing at a time these days!

It occurred to me that I hadn’t made any more of these for a while, probably because it took forever to embroider the lazy daisy flowers on the last one but if I used some form of appliqué they should go quicker. Crocheted miniature granny squares in multicoloured crochet thread seemed like a good idea.

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And a strip of Japanese kimono silk as a backing picked up the yellow in the checks of the cuff fabric.

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I also bought a load of old watch parts on ebay recently, including a beautiful engraved gold coloured pocket watch face.

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It was the perfect size to go into the base of a goldtone vintage brooch missing its central stone.

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I love that you can turn it over and see the workings.

DSCN1068.JPG A new lease of life.

 

 

I will confess to using something I already had for the Travelling Book this month, but when I leafed through Eileen’s book and saw how much of it was inspired by gardens and the natural world, I immediately thought of the meadow grasses piece I stitched based on a piece of work from a Folio our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild borrowed from headquarters a couple of years ago.

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I photocopied the page from my sketch book with all the inspiration detail on it…

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And then tidied up the finished piece to go on the facing page.

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It’s really nice to be able to find a home for something you’ve stitched and love but have no immediate use for and also to have a bit of room to breathe this month rather than frantically stitching at the last moment!

I’ve also been enjoying upcycling jewellery. Each piece is different and I love looking at these broken down bits and working out how to make them wearable again.

The soft creamy rose pinks and faded greens of these patchwork and vintage lace covered earrings is so much nicer than the brash plastic cabochon I started off with.

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And it was lovely to sort through my sea glass collection to find some matching aqua coloured pieces to repair a bib necklace where some of the plastic decorative elements were missing. I didn’t realise quite how much I had amassed as it’s in different places according to where I collected it from!

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The central piece is from Polperro in Cornwall and most of the other pieces are from Seaham. It’s so nice to be able to showcase some of this beautiful glass. They’re both now in my Etsy shop and I hope they find new leases of life very soon!

Updates

First the french knots…

From this:

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to this:

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I’ve focussed on finishing the top edges and am trying to reduce the amount of white at the bottom. It’s still very slow going!

And now for something completely different. I’m upcycling another damaged brooch.

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Apart from the loss of one of the ribs, it’s in lovely condition.

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My idea, to fill the ribs with weaving.

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A nice heavy spring green perle has a lovely shine to it.

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The silver metal central vein and the edges should contrast nicely with the glossy thread and a little ladybird charm will sit over the damaged area.

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