Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Brown paper packages tied up with string!

I recently took part in a swap on Ravelry, with some of my friends from the fantastic Ankh Morpork Knitter's Guild (the Terry Pratchett fans' group in ??possibly the biggest online fiber-crafts community??).  Anyhoo, a swap is where we set up a group of people who all get to make and recieve gifts for each other, which as a crafter is really cool as we're always making stuff for non-crafty folks who often don't appreciate the time and effort that has gone into their gift.

Part of the deal is that we share photos and write up about what we've recieved, so I thought I'd share here too . . . plus I can share photos from here to the swap thread . . .

So, here's the parcel which arrived from my lovely friend Ilwin in the Czech Republic!

And on top of the box, when it was opened - uh-oh!

All of the things.  Presents, and postcards, and a bag of teensy seed beads, and CHOCOLATE!   MMMmmmmmMMMMm!

The first of the handmade goodies - a row-counter necklace (isn't that clever - the beads can be slid up and down and they stay where you move them to - I'll have to figure out how to use it properly), some sparkly dangly earrings, and stitch markers for crochet and knitting.

I may have mentioned my fandom . . . 

TWO crocheted scarves!  How gorgeous are these! The purple one is folded over, and has it's own wee shawl-pin.

Some acrylic yarn in jewel tones, which will be very handy - I love fancy yarns and all, but bright cheerful acrylics are what I most often find myself crafting with, and don't those colours just make you smile!

But what's this?  Who's been sleeping in MY yarn?

It's the feegle, of course!  I shall have to find a suitable containment method for this wee scunner, or he'll offski with the chocolate and any "medicinal" liquids he might find about the place!

I wonder if he has a name . . .

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Two for joy!

There is still work to do, but I finally have a working studio!

It's been up and insulated for a couple of weeks now, but on Thursday of this week Andy the electrician came and connected a new fuse box, so I now have one double socket . . . which doesn't sound like a big deal, but it so is!  It means I can get out there after dark and have a light to switch on.  It means I can leave a tube heater connected on a frost-prevention setting, so the stuff I take out there won't get damp from condensation.  It means I can put a proper heater on when I want to do a bit of work.  In short, it changes a shed into a workspace that is safe for my materials and comfortable for me.  There are more wonderous sockets and switches to come, but this first is the one which really makes the difference.

I got a bee in my bonnet earlier in the week, and bought some cheap vinyl so the flooring would be down before the electrician came, and on Friday night I decided to race down to Ikea in Bristol as soon as hubby got home from work, to get a bit of storage and lighting sorted out.  I bought myself a couple of £15 (???!) Laiva bookcases, some Kallax storage units, a Hektar floor lamp (which will live next to my table as it angles light downwards like an oversized desk lamp), and four Ranarp spotlights (which attach via a lovely big springy clamp, so I'll be able to move them around and focus light wherever I need it).

Yesterday was spent putting things together (oh, my poor hands!), and today I have been hauling every crafty thing I can find out of the house and finding it a new home.  I may have a couple more balls of yarn than I, strictly speaking, need (seeing as I have filled all the storage space I had intended for yarn already), but I also have a vintage glass-fronted bookcase and a charity-shop bureau which have yet to be brought out of the house, so I might manage without another late night drive to Bristol.  You can't see all the yarn in this photo . . . it's hiding just to the left, and in those boxes with the square holes at the bottom . . .

It's so quiet out there, compared to the hubbub of children and tv and central heating that you hear in the house.  I could hear magpies scuttling about on the roof out there earlier, and last night there were tawny owls calling each other from somewhere not too far away.

In my rummaging today, I found a piece from the life drawing class I took before Madam was born.  The tutor had said at the start of the pose to think of Egon Schiele, so my pencil moved with a nervous, jittery energy, and I drew this.

I've brought it out to the studio, not as  pin-up, but as a promise.  I can do this.  I can make things worth looking at.  This is my special talent, and dammit I'm going to USE it!