Posts Tagged ‘pebble’

Once ‘Regency Romance’ had been put to bed, my next focus was on making a variety of stock items and preparing for the craft fair to be held at the local high school on July the 1st.

I came home from work and sewed every evening.

I beaded thrifted silk scarves:

Created more sea glass pieces with green glass:

These became cards…

…and this one was mounted onto a canvas.

I used some free gift buttons from a recent issue of ‘Mollie Makes’ magazine to make some more quick cards:

They’re stitched onto samples of silk matka fabric with silk thread.

This one is made with a scrap of lace and some hand dyed fabric from the creative and talented Karen at Stitching Life.

I made another couple of felted spiral brooches:

and added more felted pebbles, some felt and crazy patchwork hangings, some beaded earrings and a felt flower pendant.

On the Saturday I got together all the things I thought I would possibly need to dress my stall, labelled, tagged and priced and packed everything up for the Sunday. I felt I had priced my goods competitively, I had a range of items from £1 upwards and I was quietly confident.

On Sunday morning I arrived in good time and set up. Apologies for these photos, taken on my camera phone indoors, but it hopefully gives an idea of the range of what I made and how it all looked.

By the end of the day I had sold three items, totalling £10.

I don’t think it was that I had overpriced my stuff – it just didn’t attract any attention – only one person looked at the silk scarves and no one showed any interest in any of the sea glass pieces. People just walked past without a glance.

I suspect some of it was to do with the demographic of the punters. It wasn’t a purely craft fair in the end and most of the people who came were parents etc. from the school’s catchment area. It simply wasn’t their type of thing.

That said, it was still very demoralising, especially after I had worked so hard to create a wide range of items for sale on top of a very busy and stressful day job, the new production for SLTC and trying to run a family!

As a result I just couldn’t face picking up a needle for several weeks. And the next project was looming: ‘Cycle Song’ and the Brumby Bash.

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I also brought a dozen or so fat, round, sea tumbled pebbles home from Southwold.

Grey; typically East Anglian.

For each one I made a dense nest of vibrantly coloured fleece and wrapped it closely in the fibres. I carefully soaked the parcel in warm water, smothered it in olive oil soap and gently began to squeeze.

After a little while the fibres start to mesh together and you can handle it a bit more firmly. Then you can roll it, like rolling a ball of clay or plasticine between your palms, until the fibres are firm and hard, covering the pebble like a second skin and the pebbles become bright and beautiful in their new coats.

So tactile, they make lovely paperweights…

…or lots of them, heaped together in a pottery bowl, make a wonderful display.

This one has a cobwebbed covering of silk.

I think it’s the easiest felting to do. My 7 year old came to see what I was up to and with minimal input successfully made two lovely felted pebbles of her own.

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The pink and green embroidered rock I previously wrote about here was another of the finishes I managed over the Bank Holiday weekend.

I remembered to bring the rock home from school to cover and found a perfect match in a lovely piece of pale green hand dyed fabric I bought recently from Karen, at Stitching Life.

I wasn’t able to make my stitches as invisible as I did with the black/grey pebble but it’s a completely different sort of fabric and a rather odd shaped rock.

I was asked a couple of months ago to run another practical activity at our Embroiderers’ Guild in November and embroidered rocks seemed like a good idea, so I now have two finished examples.

I need to get well ahead with things – it’s going to be a very busy summer and autumn!


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When I taught the embroidered rocks before Christmas I did one example (a black and grey one) for the Y6s who were already fairly competent embroiderers and a separate example for the Y5s who weren’t.

For the Y5s I focussed initially on couching as it’s fairly straightforward and makes up quickly, but many of the children were eager to develop their stitch repertoires and I also demonstrated eyelets and french knots for them on my example piece.

I based my colour scheme around a piece of roving that was quickly to hand during the lesson, and as it’s not my favourite colour combination, it’s been relegated to my handbag kit, for setting a few stitches when out and about. But I’m about to start a birthday card for my youngest and I need this hoop, so at last, an incentive to finish it!

I showed the children different ideas for couching their thicker threads.

They loved the encrusted effect of masses french knots. I used double and single ones to vary the texture.

And I really like the smoother texture of the eyelets.

The rock I need to cover is at school and it’s the Easter break at the moment, so this can go away for a while.

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Now the Christmas crazy patchwork is away, I’ve been able to finish a couple of small projects.

The first was the embroidered rock. Last seen looking like this:

I cut off the excess fabric, gathered it round the edge with running stitch and fitted it over the pebble which had been bound with the offcuts of calico to make it a better size.

You can see the calico underside better in this photo. It’s laced across the bottom to give a snug fit.

The flat embroidery has adapted to the curved surface of the pebble even  better than I hoped.

I used a lovely smoky grey piece of commercial knitted fabric rather than felt for the underside as it was soft and flexible, making it better suited to following the curves of the pebble.

The grey fabric was also gathered with a running stitch but the raw edge was folded inside, leaving the folded edge to be ladder stitched to the calico, just under the line of the embroidery.

I’m very pleased with the finishing. The knitted fabric was very forgiving and happy to be eased into nooks and crannies and the embroidery just fell neatly over the top.

It’s about 4″ long and 2.5″ wide and sits perfectly in the palm of my hand.

The second was a small project rather than finishing an existing one; a card for my husband’s birthday and it proves that the sashiko bug is not yet out of my system.

This time, rather than working a kit, I chose a scrap of indigo dyed cotton and used a shippo variation pattern from Susan Briscoe’s book ‘Japanese Sashiko Inspirations’. I drew it out on paper first to make sure I understood the construction and then used a fabric marker to transfer the design to the fabric.

I stitched the design in some of the variegated sashiko thread I bought at Harrogate in November.

Then I used another piece of indigo dyed cloth to back and frame the piece.

It’s just been mounted onto a piece of card and hidden away until Saturday.

The decks are cleared now for me to finish something that has been hanging around since the summer of 2004. More details to follow!

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