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W. I. P. or U. F. O.

          Work in Progress or Unfinished Object… That’s a question to compare with Life, the Universe and Everything … and don’t think this time I can be fobbed off with the answer “42”.

          I’m thinking along the lines that if this was an unfinished object, then we would have to at least have some idea of where the end was to know that we hadn’t reached it yet and since I no longer have any idea what the patchwork will end up as, then I guess it’s a work in progress … There … Eat your hearts out little mice.

          “Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start” … It’s OK, I’m not about to burst into song… “a needle pulling thread” and all that stuff, but the beginning goes back to the decorating of the bedroom in the old house. Terracotta and cream… “Patchwork and Pine“.

          The terracotta colour was to be incorporated via the patchwork. I bought plenty of good quality material in a variety of terracotta type shades and cut it all into little pieces… Ready for me to sew back together. Yes, to anybody who doesn’t know me this sounds quite mad, but to anyone who has known me for more than a day, it seems this would appear to be quite a normal thing for me to do. I have this template, a piece of plastic in a hexagon shape, the template gives two sizes of hexagon to use, the inside, which is the template for drawing and cutting cardboard, and the outside, for cutting the material patches.

          Take your pieces of material, wrap them around the cardboard with a few tacking stitches and sew them together… voila! … patchwork.

          OK, so its not quite that simple, but then nothing ever is. After stitching enough patches together to make one curtain I bought the lining and discovered that the sheet of patchwork didn’t hang properly…I hadn’t taken any account of the direction of the grain in the material and it was pulling off to the corner. Well, I spread the patchwork sheet over the top of the bed and thats where it stayed until I could come up with another idea.

          This picture is just half of the sheet of patchwork, see the folded edge at the bottom? Notice how the randomness of the colours come together to make a nice even pattern ?

          Come on, did you really think I would leave it to chance to make a design I’d be happy with. First each sheet of material was cut into hundreds of hexagons, then depending on what size sheet and how many patches they made they were split into equal piles, fourteen being the number of piles achieved. Next one of each from the fourteen groups were stitched together into two rows of seven ensuring an equal spread of colour. From here on in, I mostly let the randomness take over, I stitched the strips together into blocks, and then the blocks into a big sheet. Simple … but very randomly organised.

          I had thought of using the patchwork for covering my rockingchair cushions or maybe a headboard, or even making blinds instead of curtains but I haven’t made any decisions yet. I’m not good at thinking on my feet, or looking too far into the future. I do however have a plan. I’ve sorted the groups of patches into loads of separate little bags and plan to just keep sewing the patches into strips of fourteen pieces until I make another plan.

          More from before: A little peek further into the world that I’ve “Created“.

A few more Jars

        I’ve got another new toy.  It’s a wood burner, well, it’s a soldering iron really, with wood burning attachments, but I bought it solely for the wood burning side of things.  I don’t know much about pyrography, so I took a little advice from a friend and this what I came up with.  OK, so the fact that it all packed away neatly in its own case in between uses might have had a little to do with my choice too. 

          Pyrography isn’t a game I was planning on playing, it just sort of happened.  You might remember I’ve got “A few Jars in my kitchen? And do you remember how I’ve tied luggage tags onto the glass lids to say what was inside?

2013-09. Jars.

          The afore mentioned friend, a fellow crafter, burns some amazing pictures and designs onto wood by hand and I got to wondering how good little wooden lables would look on my jars instead of the brown paper luggage tags, which to be honest are well overdue for an update.   I thought about asking her to make me some tags… But then I thought how annoying I would be each time I asked her for a replacement when I changed my mind about what to put in the jars, and decided to have a go at making them myself. 

        I hunted around online for some little wooden tags and eventually found the size and thickness I wanted … with the added bonus of being able to pick a shape resembleing my jars. A little further hunting around found me some waxed leather string to tie them off nicely.

        Many, many years ago I would have played with the lettering in pencil before I began, but in an attempt to be a little more modern, I started my game on the computer and filled what would be an A4 page with text boxes of the right size, then I typed in the words I needed in my favourite font and printed out the sheet of lables. If I was really up-to-date with the latest technology, this is where I would have burnt the words directly onto the wood with a lazer printer… But where would the fun be in that… I reverted back to the good-old-days and used carbon paper.

        I’ve only made a couple of tags at the moment. My crafting friend gave me a little pot of treatment for the tags once I’ve burnt them, and I not quite sure if it gives the result I’m after so I’m going to try a different finish on another one to compare before I go any further.

In the meantime, look what’s happened to my jars…

        In the old kitchen I had them lined up along the worktop, fifteen of them in total. But in this kitchen, I have just five on the worktop in the “Coffee station” and space for two rows of four in each glass cupboard above the coffee. I acquired one more as it was given to a colleague at Christmas last year (not just an empty jar… It was full of chocolates) but that still left me space for another five.

        I’ve been keeping an eye out for a few more, but all I could find were shorter ones and since I can’t fit a whole bag of the coffee pads for my new coffee maker into the size jar that I already have, I don’t really want to get smaller ones. However, the local supermarket which is now my corner shop sells the shorter, dumpy ones… As well as taller ones with no lids, on sale as vases… I bought three vases at first, then couldn’t resist, and bought another two to finish off my collection.

        I now have five taller jars on the counter in my coffee station with lids. And eight jars in each glass doored cupboards above. Being five lids short was a bit of a dilemma at first but then I bought five of the dumpy jars, just for the lids. What, you might ask am I going to do with the five dumpy jars? … Have no fear… A plan is forming in the little grey cells already.

          More from before : Kicking about in my “Kitchen“.