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Archive for the ‘Upcycling’ Category

I’m on a roll!

An upcycled bracelet,

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Pisces necklace,

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Branch necklace,

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Green daisy necklace,

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Broken vintage brooch turned into a pendant

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…and another upcycled broken brooch. This one does actually have embroidery in it!

The main piece was a ring brooch in lovely condition with all the original stones intact, but no pin, so I got rid of the remains of the pin mountings and decided to fill the middle with a back stitched spider’s web, rather like a Dorset button.

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I’d got about a third of the way through the stitching when I looked on the back and decided I preferred that effect. So out it all came and I started again!

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Much better.

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Filling up the space nicely…

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…and completed.

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The thread is quite a thickish cotton and the web is really firm and sturdy. The back is neat too, but I’m pleased I chose to restitch it.

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I added a vintage bar tie-pin as the brooch back and it covers the scars of the old closure quite nicely.

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Very pleased with this!

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The only other sewing I’ve been doing is a major repair job on one of our Scunthorpe Little Theatre Club costumes – a wartime woollen coat that somebody has turned into a pirate captain type coat. Various seams have given way and the gold braid is coming adrift everywhere.

Not creative in quite the same way, but extremely satisfying.

 

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I’ve been upcycling jewellery recently and having a lot of fun putting bits and pieces together to make something from nothing. I had a small lot of vintage 1970s silver tone ring blanks which were crying out for some nuggets of sea glass.

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Then I used freshwater pearls and seed and bugle beads in a variety of shades of green to create a set of sea-themed dangles for my Mermaid’s Garden dangle ring. The centre is finished with a piece of ‘coral’ I beach-combed from Claigan Coral Beach on the Isle of Skye as a child in the 1970s. I always thought it was actually coral, but according to the internet it’s ‘desiccated and sun-bleached algae’ which is much less attractive sounding!

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Then an assemblage piece – Ship’s Wheel Locket. The original vintage goldtone locket had a slight depression in the front so I shaped a piece of polished broken abalone to fit into it and then added a lovely ship’s wheel charm on top of that so the sea green swirls of the abalone can be glimpsed through the spokes of the wheel.

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Lastly I reverted to embroidery for the Cottage Garden pendant. This gold tone pendant had a pierced pattern around the edge which was just begging to have some sort of thread added. I chose a heavy Caron cotton thread in lovely muted cottage garden shades and added a simple row of slanted stitches, following the pattern of the holes.

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Then it occurred to me that I could do a sort of back-stitched spider’s web around the champagne coloured diamantes and turn them into flowers, which worked very well.

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Always good when a plan comes together.

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A couple of years ago I was delighted to come across a vintage white metal brooch with spaces I could fill with stitching. An offcut of pelment vilene and a few french knots later, I created one of my first upcycled brooches.

So I was delighted when I found a very similar brooch recently. Pink vilene this time…

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…and tiny stem and lazy daisy stitches in a single strand of silk made tree branches with leaves.

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Another branch on the other side with cream french knots for cherry blossom and odd blossoms and leaves in the central section.

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Mounted into the brooch.

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And popped into my Etsy shop. Another quick finish.

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Saturday sort of got away from me. I knew I wasn’t going to make the morning session of our Embroiderers’ Guild meeting but I had high hopes of making the afternoon. That was a mistake. I finally walked through the door at about 3pm and by the time I’d caught my breath, looked round at all the various boards, tables and displays and sorted my travelling book there was only enough time for chatting (always good, though) and putting literally a handful of stitches in one of the activities that our new chair, Ruth, had organised for us.

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Pauline had finished her bookmark and was happy to let me photograph it.

 

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Another group was stitching heart shaped decorations. This one is Julie’s:

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Debbie and Janet pulled together their matryoshka with the examples Ruth had already stitched for me to photograph.

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There was also another flower shaped decoration or similar but I didn’t manage to find any worked examples of that. It looked like a nice selection of fun things to stitch and even though I only had an hour, it was lovely to relax with some straightforward stitching and good company.

I’ve also been making some more ribbon roses to turn into pendants. This one has fly stitch leaves, stem stitch stems and lazy daisy sepals in variegated coton a broder with a woven spider’s web rose and french knot buds in pale blue silk ribbon.

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And this one has fly stitch leaves, split stitch stems and lazy daisy sepals in variegated perle with a woven spider’s web rose and french knot buds in crimson silk ribbon.

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A weekend of nice quick little projects.

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I put the final french knot into my huge piece for the Victorian Box Project  two days ago and after nearly 15 months, it was a fabulous feeling!

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I stabilised the back before I sent to bed so it could dry overnight and the next morning got the box out ready to attach the stitching. So excited! I laid it over the top of the box and stretched it over the sides and that was then I discovered that it had shrunk somewhere and wasn’t going to fit. Fortunately I have some leeway around the edges, but it’s back to the drawing board for the moment.

So to cheer myself up I picked up the brown and gold sea glass watch case pendant I showed a couple of posts ago.

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I love those tiny nuggets of very rare yellow sea glass I picked up at Seaham and the colours work perfectly with the watch case.

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I’ve also started a real upcycled piece, creating something from nothing. I started with an offcut of some hand made felt I was cutting up for another project and a piece of bent gold coloured wire that came out of a job lot of broken jewellery. Trimming the felt slightly I evened up the shape and attached the wire with straight stitches in fine silk thread. The longer stitches were topped with french knots – what else! – in a heavier mercerised cotton and I used the same thread for running stitch around the edge.

 

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I attached a pelmet vilene backing with beaded blanket stitch…

 

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…and an odd link I took off a vintage rolled gold watch strap yesterday will make the perfect bale to turn it into a pendant.

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It was a pleasure to finish the little Bossa Nova Rose from our Embroiderers’ Guild Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery workshop last weekend. I didn’t follow the instructions when it came to the leaves, going for fly stitch over blanket stitch and not adding the fine pale green edging it suggested because I felt the sheen of the thread gave enough definition.

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And then quickly finished as a card.

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My first sea glass and pocket watch case pendant positively flew out of my Etsy shop and I’ve started another one to go with a harlequin case of a gold coloured collar and engine turned back. I’ve got some tiny pieces of very rare yellow sea glass and some ordinary brown to add to this.

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I also turned some off cuts of hand dyed fabric, the batik I’m using above and some cotton print in shades of brown into some strip patchwork which I used to cover a grotty looking cabochon pendant…

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…turning it into an upcycled patchwork pendant with added vintage lace and flower trim.

Lots going on!

 

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I’ve had the idea of turning an old pocket watch case into a pendant for a while now, but it wasn’t until yesterday, when after a challenging morning helping my 11 yr old to muck out her bedroom, I felt in need of something simple and soothing to stitch. The watch case itself was ready to go, I just needed to find the fabric…

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…then track down the Dinky Dyes variegated silk I knew I had that would go with it, select three tiny nuggets from my sea glass collection…

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…and I was good to go. Seed beads first.

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And then the embroidery – feather stitch using one strand of the silk and scattered trios of french knots.

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To finish I layered a piece of wadding over a circle of card and snipping the edge of the fabric, I wrapped each tab round the card and lightly glued them to the back before setting the whole thing in the watch case.

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It’s been a long time in development, but I’m absolutely delighted with the result.

If you’re interested, you can find it here.

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