Wednesday, 24 November 2010

so much to do... and Maisy making trouble!

Well it has been three weeks since my last post and that is because I have been busy busy busy! I have two pieces of statistics coursework due on Sunday for my MSc and I am away for the weekend at the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate for the weekend. So I have been working like madeto get them done and handed in before I leave. One is done and the other one is .. well... started! I never was very good at stats!

So there has not been much in the way of creativity going on lately - even with Christmas looming! However, I got a magazine recently with fabric bug brooches in and I decided to have a play with the idea using needle felting. So when I wasn't reading about p-values or undertaking Chi-tests (don't ask) I had a little go.

And here is my first attempt.

He has a needle sculpted body which is hand stitched with tiny sequins so he sparkles like a real beetle, and dyed pipe cleaner legs.

I have stitched felt on the bottom to make sure the legs dont come adrift!
The pipe cleaner legs give him an authentic looking insect bounce, which confused someone!

Maisy is not quite sure what to make of it!!
But she still tries to see if she can eat it!

The beetle looks fabulous on a jacket and I think I may make a few more for unusual Xmas gifts (once the essays are out of the way!). It could make a nice class for needle felting beginners!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


Well I can't resist playing around with something a little different. And the latest thing to catch my eye has been Steampunk. For those of you who haven't heard of it, wikipedia describes steampunk as the product of a world where steam power is widely used (i.e Victorian Britain) but introduces elements of science fiction and fantasy - or how our world might have looked if Charles Babbage had actually built his Difference Engine in the 1840's. It draws on the writing of Jules Verne and H.G Wells to create a world that might have been!

This has a definite appeal, with the blending of sexy Victoriana and hard elements like watch pieces into a steampunk style. The clothing can be amazing!

For example, this fabulous Victorian Leather Dress Coat available on Etsy from ImperoLondon. The genre involves clothes, artifacts, music and for me it is all about the jewellery!
London Particulars (again on Etsy) have this splendid example, a necklace incorporating a vintage watch movement with Light Blue Sapphire Swarovski Crystals. How imaginative!

For me it is about the mixing of materials and styles into something fresh and unexpected. I have always been attracted the mechanical, and I admit to having a small collection of clockwork toys and the odd vintage compass and telescope lying around the house. So this blended approach appeals to me and this steampunk Ring from Antige is a perfect example.
At first glance it looks interesting, but not extraordinary, until you realise it is set on a watch face. Groovey or what!!!! It seems to be 'the in thing' at the moment - even BeadStyle Magazine have got in on the act with the November issue and a steampunk special (though it is a much more feminine and less industrial approach that the above examples).

So as I love a good looking band waggon to jump on,  I have been on the hunt for watch parts - visiting local junk shops, charity shops and anywhere else I can think of but sadly no joy! People seem to throw old watches out and so I had to resort to buying some bits and bobs! This is what you get for $18 on ebay (and they are TINY!)

I am still keeping an eye out for old watches/watch faces so if anyone knows any good sources I haven't tried I would love a tip! Just leave me a comment and I will be your friend forever :)

While I was looking for watch parts,  I came across the etsy shop of Porkchop and couldn't resist a purchase! Now I have a collection of wooden keys and other oddities! Oh the randomness!
I am keen to integrate them into some of my jewellery, and possibly some wall hangings too. I will just have to see where the mood takes me! I love a challenge - now I just need some time to settle down and play!!!