Got back yesterday from another weekend with faaaamily. This time it was way up north to a party celebrating my dad’s wedding. The packing and the journey went amazingly well. DH and I had not a cross word to say to each other. The kids were really well behaved. Betty often gets car sick and is not allowed books or toys to play with. We’ve also resisted the lure of a DVD babysitter for fear that it would exacerbate the car sickness. What we’ve opted for is a really cheap and cheerful cd Walkman and a case full of talking books (and a near constant supply of batteries!), which seems to keep her amused pretty well. We just hear the occasional giggle or singing along to a song from Fantastic Mr Fox.

Anyway, the weekend was lovely. My dad didn’t want a present seeing as it was his third wedding, plus DH was doing photographs for them. But I didn’t want to go empty handed and wanted to make something. After a bit of google image searching I came across something I liked the look of. Now I’m not entirely sure of the etiquette when it comes to, um, being inspired by someone else’s work. Part of my being a dilettante is being able to be inspired by other people’s ideas but not great a coming up with my own. I’m like those people who forge Old Masters. Well, you know, obviously a lot less talented! If these forgers can meticulously reproduce these wonderful works of art does that make them artists too?

Unlike the forgers I’m not selling my copy just giving it as a gift. Hopefully if I link to the original the crafter will be flattered at my imitation and will appreciated the traffic in return. And you will all see that hers is far superior.

Lovely heart sampler

I found it on this site and this is the Etsy shop for Minature Rhino. Unfortunately she isn’t selling any of these samplers at the moment, hence the need for me to make my own!

And here’s mine:

I was discreetly trying to finish it right up until the last minute. Then after I’d wrapped it I had to unwrap it so that DH could take a photo! I used a lovely silky linen remnant that I got from from eBay (though it looks a bit weird in the photo). I printed out the words using a font that I liked so that I could trace it on to the fabric. I wasn’t the size I wanted though, so I ended up doing it free hand. I traced it onto the fabric using a kind of carbon tracing paper. To be honest, I’m not sure I’d use it again. It was quite hard to use, wasn’t very fine. And when I inevitably deviated from the pattern it left a smudgy mark which was difficult to remove. I need to investigate better ways of marking a pattern if I am going to keep going with embroidery.

I think they liked it. I deliberately left it for them to open after I had gone as I was worried they’d think it was a bit wanky rather than kitch like I was going for. I’ve had enough master pieces presented to me by my daughter to know the plastered on smile and I didn’t want to see it. They text me on the way home to say they would treasure it. I wonder if it is ‘treasure it in a special box’ type treasure it or whether they’ll actually hang it up…

oh, hello from Ballpoint+PenLeaving embroidery in the hoop is the technique du jour from what I can see in my limited journeys into the craft world. Some other examples I love are this large hoop from Ballpoint+Pen.

Notes from rugglestitch

And these cute little designs from rugglestitch’s Etsy shop. This is a bandwaggon I’m going to be jumping on!

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