craft, crochet, knitting, sewing, Spain, Uncategorized, vintage, yarn

Adventures in Sewing and Crochet

So this week has been a real learning curve for me, following my sewing course recently… Mum came up to visit and we finished off a crochet clutch bag which I was making with a lovely taffeta fabric lining and finished off with a vintage brooch.

So I decided to make another one in a soft rose pink and to learn from my mistakes and difficulties.  Without Mum there is was even more of a challenge, as she is very experienced at sewing.

I messed up the measurements (twice!) and had a complete mental block at one point, so had to ring Mum to ensure I had remembered it all correctly…

Once I had sorted it out I forged ahead and was thrilled with the result.  Mum provided me with the beautiful oriental-style fabric which I used for the lining.  The brooch may be a temporary option, I may look out for one which goes more towards silver.  I love scouting antique shops and car boot sales for vintage brooches.

I’ve managed to find a company who produced labels to sew / iron in at very reasonable costs – Wunderlabel – so will see how they come out and then add the clutch bags to my Etsy shop.

These have really given me the bug to start in a slightly new direction and focus more on specific ranges, more work to come on this but I feel very excited about the future of my Etsy shop.  I also have some plans to do a few craft fairs here and there.

Now I’m on to more bags with some lovely yarns… Some Drops Cotton Merino DK from Wool Warehouse in cream, silvery-grey and forest green (although this colour did not come out well in this poor light!) and also some Lanas Stop Merino DK in this amazing rust/ginger shade, which I bought in Marbella.

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Andalusia, architecture, art, photography, Spain, spring, travel

Andalusian Art and Culture

Having been to Andalusia a few times now, I have a real appreciation of the lifestyle and culture, the laid-back attitude and, of course, the need for a siesta in the middle of the day…

Marbella is a lovely resort which has been revived and refreshed to something more like its 1960s heyday (although, thankfully you don’t need to be a millionaire to go there now!

Apart from the miles of golden beaches, the main draw of Marbella, for me, has to be the Old Town.

The Old Town is a winding maze of cobbled streets, cafes, restaurants and shops, selling everything from linen and cotton clothes and home furnishings, to local artisan shops and designer handbags, with wisteria, bougainvillea and hibiscus spilling over you from the balconies above.

Only 45 minutes away by a very reasonably priced direct bus, is Malaga, birthplace to the artist Pablo Ruiz y Picasso.  A beautiful city with architecture old and ancient a-plenty to feast your eyes upon, including this beautiful former Hospital and the Roman Amphitheatre ruins.

As Picasso’s home town, there are a number of Museums / Art Galleries – we decided to go to the Museo Picasso Malaga – which appeared to be the largest, but also had an additional exhibition on which we wanted to visit.

I must admit to never having been a big fan of Picasso, from the few pieces that I have seen, but my view has definitely shifted now, having seen the range of oeuvres including sculpture, ceramics, print-making and his early, more naturalistic paintings.

The additional exhibition was a touring exhibition called Energy Made Visible, focusing mainly on Jackson Pollock’s Mural which was commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim for her New York abode.

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Although I love Pollock’s drip painting, it was one of the rare occasions when the other exhibits – including those who both inspired and were inspired by Pollock – were more interesting than the main feature.

There were works from artists and photographers that I did not recognise, such as Barbara Morgan, Herbert Matter and this painting by Antonio Saura – La Grande Foule (the Great Crowd) which made more of an impression on me than Pollock’s work.

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Initially this looks a bit bleak, but in reality the faces vary from comical to the downright scary.  Being a complete geek, I couldn’t help but see a misshapen Darth Vader in the figure on the bottom row, just before the half-way mark.  Can you spot him?

My final surprise was to see a work by Andy Warhol, another artist who I have always thought was over-rated.  This work, entitled Yarn Painting was so eye-catching and bold.  Regular readers will know why I laughed when I found out the name of the work – as a mad-keen crafter, I spend half of my time looking at or working with fibres and yarns!

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This exhibition is on in Malaga until 11 September so, if you get a chance, take some time out and enjoy Andalucia!

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Marbella Crafting Fun!

Well, I’m pretty much unpacked and back to normal (ish) after my trip to Marbella with Mum.  The dull British weather has certainly brought me back down to earth with a bump!

I managed to find the haberdashery/wool shop again in Marbella, but was a bit disappointed with their lack of range.  I did manage to find one yarn that I really liked – Retinella by Oso Blanco.  It’s a mix of Merino and Acrylic with a bit of Polyester to add a bit of sparkly shimmer.  It feels like an Aran / Worsted weight but knits up as Bulky.  I’m making a stretchy V Stitch crocheted scarf with this.

I also bought some more of the Marbella Cotton which made up lovely coasters which I left at the Marbella apartment last time and was glad to see that they are still there being used!

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On our last couple of days we wandered around trying to find a shop that we had seen earlier in trip.  The Old Town in Marbella is full of windy cobbled streets which all look the same, but I have a pretty good sense of direction (usually!)  We found the shop but on our way discovered another Wool Shop which had a fabulous range of Lanas Stop yarn.  This is really good quality stuff – I bought some in Bath and it cost me a fortune, but made up this lovely simple ribbed Alpaca mix scarf for my Dad when I first learnt how to knit.

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So I went a teensy bit mad, bought some gorgeous Extra Merino double knit in burnt orange, to make a scarf for Mum, and Algodón Soft which is 3-4 ply and I’m not sure what to do with it but I’m sure it’ll make something very pretty.

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More news to follow about my Etsy plans and also naughty cat behaviours!

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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Evening all!

Nature and colours have always been fascinating to me – why is it we are often drawn to similar colours or combinations?

My natural predilection is always jewel colours – ruby reds, azure blues, dramatic purples and wonderful emerald or jade greens and turquoises.  This hand-spun wool is a perfect example of these preferences…

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I’ve just returned from a lovely week in beautiful Marbella in Andalusia, it was a very inspirational trip in more ways than one.  I often find I get stuck in a rut of using these (albeit gorgeous!) colours to the exclusion of others.  Of course, not everyone has the same taste as me!

But this late Summer break has turned my head (and I don’t just mean the handsome Spanish waiters!)  – I seem to have a new fixation on fiery latin colours…  The latin culture and bold nature and colour schemes all really appealed to me.

Just look at these bonkers white and pink hisbiscuses (am I the only one disappointed that the plural is not hibiscii!?) – and the trees – not sure if they are also hibiscus but they make quite a show of themselves!

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The planting schemes in the parks was what I like to call “bonkers” but extremely cheery.

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And talking of bonkers, this tree seems completely alien-like – I have no idea what it is but it reminds me vaguely of ‘Cousin Itt’ from the Addams Family…

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Most of my week was spent in the Old Quarter – with cobbled streets, gorgeous knicky-knacky shops and – joy of joys – two haberdashery / wool shops.  This naturally resulted in some distinctly latino colour schemes in the resulting purchases and plenty of inspiration to take me into the colder months.

 

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I’m sure I’m not the only one with a natural preference for certain fabrics, colours or styles!

Lou x

 

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Latin Colour Inspiration – Fiesta or Siesta!?

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