Friday, January 30, 2009

London and Rothko in the Tate Modern

We spent the day in London yesterday to see the Rothko Exhibition in the Tate Modern.

The exhibition is on until the 1st of February, and I highly recommend it if you can make it. I was deeply moved by Rothko's imagery, which in its apparent simplicity leaves space for the viewer. There is a lot of interesting information about his life and the way he works as well. I suggest you go there early as the queues around some of the exhibits can get quite long.

We also had a look at some of the other exhibitions, I especially enjoyed the Poetry & Dream collection which 'shows how contemporary art grows from, reconnects with, and can provide fresh insights into the art of the past'.

It was a long day and very cold but I saw The Globe which is situated almost right next to the Tate and there was a lovely sunny view across the Thames to St Paul's. We managed to fit in Borough Market for lunch and Convent Garden as well before we went back off home.

Although I am very tired today, I feel inspired by the art I've seen and simply by having had a day out away from everything.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hair Slides

Sorry guys, these are all presents, however, I will make more to go in my shop or you can pre-order yours now.

Dramatic Midnight Hair Barrette

This one is for Alison. She asked me for a hair barrette in midnight colours.

I've used silk rods in black and purples, a vintage blackberry bead, and some Magatamas in purple. Underneath the 'silk rose' is a flower crocheted from cotton and black lurex thread for added sparkle.

Underneath that is a needle felted black and purple leaf and 2 wonderfully soft pewter coloured marabou feathers.

It's quite a large barrette which will allow you to put long hair into a pony tail or chignon. Perfect for a ball. No slippers required. :-)

Purple Flower Slides

These are needle felted in purple and black 100% merino wool and adorned with a very pretty vintage lucite black flower and some purple shimmery Magatama beads. The hair clips are perfect even for very fine hair and they look pretty AND keep your hair looking tidy or out of the way.

Red Flower Slides

These are needle felted in two shade of red 100% merino wool and adorned with a very pretty vintage lucite black flower and some purple shimmery Magatama beads. The hair clips are perfect even for very fine hair and they look pretty AND keep your hair looking tidy or out of the way.

The dramatic Midnight barrette will be available in various colours and two sizes, and cost around £16. The needle felted slides also will be available in various colours and cost £9 per pair (prices do not include P&P).

I have also just bought some different slides - smaller and suitable for little girls and others in a figure of eight shape and black and dark brown. Watch this space.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Creation of a Tony Hart Gallery at the National Gallery London

This is a really worthwhile cause. Tony Hart had a huge effect on lots of kids and many of them are now artists themselves. He never received any recognition for this during his life time, however, it's time that we do something to ensure that his achievement and the positive effect he had on children are recognised.

Creation of a Tony Hart Gallery at the National Gallery London

Friday, January 16, 2009

London Marathon - Sponsor My Friend Caroline

My friend Caroline is running the London Mararthon this year for the MS foundation, but more specifically for her sister who has MS. This means an awful lot to her and she's working hard - both at the fundraising side and the running.

If you can afford to sponsor her - every little bit helps...

Here, once again, in her own words:

After several unsuccessful years of applying to run the London Marathon, I have finally been offered a place! For the past 10 years I have run 5 and 10k' events and half marathons, but 26 miles is a first for me. I have no doubt that this will be quite a challenge. I will be following a strict training and diet programme . . . no wine!!

But I am inspired on two counts. Yes, the thought of running 26 miles, alongside 40,000 runners exhilarates and at the same time terrifies me, but also I am running to raise much needed funds for the MS Trust - a charity which was the first port of contact when my sister, Yass, was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

I hope you will be supportive and above all sponsor me to run the marathon in support of my sister and the MS Trust.

I thank you in advance, and wish you all well.

The link will also be on the left-hand side for you so you can access the fundraising page at any time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Finally - The Raspberry Sorbet Jelly Clutch Bag

It took forever and a day since the original post of the jelly yarn bag, but - after waiting for the second ball of yarn (due to customs and slow shipping), unraveling and re-knitting and waiting for some beads to match the gorgeous colour of the yarn, here it finally is:

The Raspberry Sorbet Jelly Clutch Bag

This new design is still similar to the original design but I've changed the front and side panels, which gives it more rigidity and pizazz. The little plastic berry beads are vintage and they've been sewn onto the bag with illusion cord to make sure they stay where they are and the thread isn't visible. It also allows the bag to be gently washed in soapy water.

Since there was some yarn left I thought I'd add a little purse, either for money or makeup or an MP3 player.

The perfect bag to take out on a night in town. Nobody will have one quite like it - total glamour. :-)

If you want to make something with jelly yarn, here are a few tips:

  • Use the wipe that comes with the yarn regularly, it makes it a lot easier to knit/crochet the yarn if it's not sticking to the needles/crochet hook.

  • If you make something with a regular shape (rectangle, square, triangle etc), pin the item onto some cardboard and gently blow dry it with the hair dryer set to its hottest setting. This will have the same effect as blocking with knitted/crocheted garments and straighten out any irregularities and give you nice straight edges to sew together. Leave to cool before sewing together.

  • Knitting/crocheting jelly yarn is tough on your hands, so make sure you take breaks now and again or your hands and fingers will be really sore.

And here are a couple of links:

To order or buy it in the UK, I Knit London.

To order it at the manufacturers in the US: JellyYarns.Com This page also includes some free patterns and info.


My raspberry seacell and merino shrug is also nearing its completion. :-)

Earrings - Hoops, Black Cats, Lambs, Shells, and Heavenly Blues

I've been having fun with black plated hoops and other goodies I bought from Studio Sen on Etsy (materials for the first 3 pairs of earrings).

The first two pairs of earrings are mine... but I have more of the 'ingredient's available.

Going in Circles Earrings

The blackplated hoops are 2" (5omm) in diameter and adorned with a lovely hammered sterling hoop. The ear wires and head pin are also sterling silver.

I love the contrast between the smooth black matte hoops and the shiny textured sterling hoops. The black plated hoops are very filigree and look elegant against the silver.

Black Cat Earrings

The little black cats are made from mother of pearl and I love their cute little faces. They are surrounded by laser cut filigree hoops in the same smooth blackplating as the hoops above. The hoops are quite large (55mm) but because of the elegant filigree design also extremely light. The findings are all oxidised sterling silver.

Little Lamb Earrings

These are so cute - little mother of pearl lambs surrounded by green frosted Japanese seed beads (aka grass) on silver plated just over 1" (30mm) hoops. The headpin is sterling silver. These will either go in my Etsy shop or you can buy them directly now for £10.

Shell Circle Earrings

These are just sooooo stylish and elegant. A vintage brass shell with a lovely gingerbread patina hangs within a blackplated hoop. I've used blackplated ear wires for these as well. The headpin is oxidised brass. Available now or later from my Etsy shop for £12.

Heavenly Turquoise Earring Selection

My friend as me to make her some sterling earrings with the long oval design that I have used for other earrings (e.g. Pink Grapefruit Set and Happy Tears Set). She wanted pale blues but I wasn't quite sure what kind of feel she was after so I made three different pairs.

The first one is my personal favourite.

Pebble Earrings

I've used wonderful beads in striated blues - one pebble is a turquoise frosted blue, the other is a creamy very pale matte blue - and combined them with seedbeads in coordinating blues. The ear wires are handformed and hammered and the earrings are about 2" long. These will be £12.

Rose Bud Earrings

In this set I combined lampwork beads in a blue,white and pink rose design with Swarovski beads in pale blues and a very soft rose colour and a few matching seedbeads. The sterling silver ear wires are handformed and hammered and the earrings are about 2" long. These will be £12 now or later from my Etsy shop.

Blue Daisy Earrings

These are so pretty and dainty. Glass flowers are combined with faceted and seed beads in coordinating blues and embellished with little drops. All findings are Sterling silver. The sterling silver ear wires are handformed and hammered and the earrings are about 2" long. These will be £12 now or later from my Etsy shop.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another Flapper Hat

... this one was a commission... so is already spoken for, too. However, if you're interested, let me know. This particular design was knitted in Debbie Bliss Cotton in teal but is available in different yarns and colours.

I've used a cabbage rose pattern with leaves from a Nicki Epstein book called Knitted Flowers that is widely available. I love her books because the instructions are simple and to the point.

Magpie Magic

adopt your own virtual pet!

Click on Tarantella to wake her up. :-)

Teal Hat and Scarf - One for the Men

And here's one for the men...

This one's already spoken for, but if you're interested I am happy to make another set in various colours. Just let me know what colour combination you'd like.

The yarns used are Lang Mille Colori (50% new wool, 50% nylon) in shade 088 and Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran (100% merino wool) in teal and charcoal grey.

The hat is my usual beanie hat design with the brim of the hat knitted in charcoal grey, the bit above the brim knitted in teal and the stripey bit is knitted in the variegated Lang Mille Colori.

The scarf has been designed with cycling and other outdoor activities in mind. It's been knitted in moss stitch which keeps the scarf nice and flat - almost like a woven fabric - and with a hole in the scarf where the other end of the scarf can be pulled through. This means the usual bulk of a knotted scarf is gone and the scarf will easily fit under a coat. It will also stay in place and hang elegantly rather than be scrunched up. The scarf (because it's doubled up) will still keep you nice and snug and warm.

The fringe has been made with Debbie Bliss yarn in teal and charcoal and strands of the Lang Mille Colori.

Below you can see the lovely silkiness and softness of the Lang yarn. It's slightly slubby (uneven in width) which adds texture.

The price for a set is around £40. Both hat and scarf can be hand washed in hand warm water and dried flat.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Discovery - Mineral Makeup

I know, I know, this has nothing to do with jewellery or knitting or crochet or felting.... BUT it's too good not to share.

I just bought myself some mineral makeup from BilliEMinerals on Etsy and it's fantastic. Mineral makeup has been around for a while in the States, but it's only just become more widely available over here. Which is a total shame because it's so good.

Here's an article in TimesOnline what it's all about: The mineral make-up revolution

The nice thing about it is that it's good for the environment, good for your skin and best of all it makes you look good.

has some lovely starter kits at very reasonable prices and most of all Sher is one of the nicest people I've met on Etsy and extremely helpful. And, despite my fears, mineral makeup is easy to put on, stays on all day and your skin feels totally natural.

Here are some of the pictures from her Etsy shop (reproduced here with Sher's permission):

This is one of the foundation kits and it looks far more complicated than it is in reality. All you need to do is apply the magic powders gently with a brush in the right oder: primer, concealer, foundation, veil/bronzer, and then the blusher. Easy! Almost like painting a picture and the result is just as satisfying. I never thought that such a small amount of powder could achieve a much better result than any traditional foundation.

Here is a selection of the fantastic eye shadow colours she sells:

Another good thing is that a little of the magic powders goes a long, long way. Depending on how much you put on you can achieve effects from totally natural to way over the top. It's fun just playing with it. And the colours sort of seem to react with your natural skin tone and assimilate to look just right. Almost like one of those magic mood rings! ;-)

Sorry, I know this is a shameless plug, BUT for a good cause. I think the stuff is totally magic and wanted to share. I did a lot of research before I decided to buy and this was my 'best deal'. As I wasn't sure about it at all, how it would work and how to use it etc I wanted to buy from someone who would be there to help and Sher has been so helpful and answered all my many questions, which was very reassuring and exactly what I needed to make the jump.

So, before you go out and buy that new foundation/powder/blusher/eyeshadow give this a try. You definitely won't be disappointed. :-)

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