Thursday 19 May 2011

Space Pirates!

Space treasure!
I'm fairly certain that almost anything can be made amusing by preceding it with the word space. For example, door frame is not a phrase that tends to elicit a murmur of excitement. Add the phrase 'space door frame ' to a conversation, however, and you're much more likely to get a giggle. Not that this has anything at all to do with this post, so, back to business.

Last week at work (at The Heathlands Project) I was asked if I could help the film group make some hats for space pirates (the theme of their current film.) Naturally I said I could and we created some really cool paper hats. However, they need something a bit more solid so this evening I've been making a pattern and prototype fabric hat. I wanted to create something recognisable as a pirate hat but with a bit of a twist so I extended the brim to quite sharp points. I have to keep the pattern simple as the people making these hats have very limited sewing experience. To my hat I added a space skull (see what I mean about adding 'space' to phrases?) because I wanted to have a variation on the skull and crossbones theme as well.

It doesn't show up in these pictures but the fabric is black and glittery, very cosmic.

Space skull

Super pointy pirate hat

Monday 16 May 2011


Butterfly in the window

I was working for Carlisle Day Services today in one of the units. One of the service users asked me if we could make butterflies, which sounded like a good idea to me. So, I cut some templates (two identical 'outlines' for each butterfly) and got the service users to cover one of the outlines with bits of different coloured tissue paper. We then stuck the second outline over the top, sandwiching the tissue paper in, and added pipe cleaner antennae. I think the resulting butterflies are quite beautiful and cheering, especially on such a wet and miserable Monday!

Person responsible for butterflies!

Proud butterfly maker

Another completed butterfly

Friday 13 May 2011

Magical Quiltage-Progress!

In out textile group we have started stitching the magical tree to the background using blanket stitch. We've got a lot of stitching ahead of us!

Stitch detail

There's a lot of tree to stitch...

The owls of Heathlands

My owl pincushion

At Heathlands (a social enterprise project supporting adults with learning disabilities, please see previous posts for more details!) I run a textile group and one of the projects I designed for the group was these owl pincushions. I wanted to give them a project that would let them try basic sewing skills (cutting, pinning, tacking, machine stitching and hand stitching) but that would be easy enough for a beginner and quick to complete so they'd get a sense of satisfaction and achievement. I think they've created some great little pieces and I love that each owl has it's own character.

Owls made by the group

In their natural environment

The Owls of Heathlandia

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Kaleidescope vest

The finished article

I have finished the rainbow vest I was knitting. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out, I think the colours are great! The pattern has three small buttons and buttonholes to fasten it but I decided to use a press stud and sew on one big button (purple of course) for decoration.

Everything can be improved by adding buttons

My favourite colors

Saturday 7 May 2011

Radio 1 in Carlisle

Me drawing away!
This years Radio 1 Big Weekend is in Carlisle and this weekend around 200 volunteers, myself included, have been helping out with community projects. I've spent the day at Longtown Community Centre designing a mural for the outside. The design encompasses the history of the area, taking in King Arthur, the Border Reivers, the munitions factories and much much more! It was quite a challenge as I wasn't expecting to be doing this and my knowledge of local history is somewhat shaky (in my defence I've not lived here that long) but with help from people at the centre and other volunteers I came up with a basic first design. I'm hoping the trustees will like it and want to develop it into a finished piece. Sorry about the poor quality pictures, they were taken on my mobile.

Detail of drawing/design

Tuesday 3 May 2011

May Day Madness!

Detail of the van covering

Detail of the minibus cover

We won!

Parading behind the bus

Banner of painted flowers
I was in Penrith yesterday preparing for and then watching the May Day Parade. I've never been to one before and it was a glorious day, which was lucky as most of the van covering was made of paper! To explain; I help run an art group for Eden Mencap Society ( and one of the things we've been working on recently is preparations for the May Day parade, with a theme of Alice in Wonderland. We didn't have a 'proper' float, i.e. a lorry, so we decided to improvise by making a covering for the minibus. We used card board and paper and then went to town on the decorations; flowers, mushrooms, flamingoes and other madness. We also made various costumes and the guys walked behind the minibus, all dressed up and looking fabulous! At the very back they carried a banner painted with exotic flowers that we had an enjoyable morning painting. To top it all off, we won 1st prize! So, a big cheer to all the people at Eden Mencap Society who all put so much hard work in, it was all worth it.