Friday, 31 July 2015

Fabric Friday

#FabricFriday is back!


My first/last Fabric Friday post was back in January, so I thought it's about time I did another.

As is often the case, one afternoon I was looking for some stitchy inspiration (it may even have been initially for my still-ongoing possible-quilt/quilting project) and had a gander at what Pinterest had to offer. As usual, it did not disappoint.

I love the idea of using something entirely non-traditional as a "canvas" or "fabric" to stich on or embellish a project with and found this really gorgeous mixed media piece (below) by Claudia Orengo, aka Stitch the World. It's such a beautiful way of using a lovely vintage postcard whilst simultaneously breathing new life into it.


During the same search for fabric and textile-related ideas, I also came across the work of Hella van 't Hof. She operates at a fascinating intersection between traditional sampler-style embroidery and old photographs imbued with wistful memories.


Her works have an added tactile element as the images have been printed onto canvas, providing the ideal surface to stitch onto.


I like the way these embellishments add a three dimensional aspect and often take an organic form, complementing the original photograph and giving the evoked memories a feeling of tangibility.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Colour Lovers

Do you love colour? Then you just might like this blog post!

Keukenhof view

I promised a while ago (back in May!) that I would blog about the rest of my visit to the floral heaven that is Keukenhof, because I just couldn't quite cram all that gorgeous colour into one post... well here you go - enjoy!



Possibly the cutest dog ever - it was almost as if it was posing for the picture!


We saw a stunning variety of different types of tulip (as well as other flowers) and a staggering spectrum of colours. It truly was a feast for the eyes!




Of course, you can't expect to visit Holland without seeing a few clogs...


...and we also saw the beautiful flower fields too!


I was really blown away by the sheer intensity 
of the red tulips as they were incredibly striking.


From the edges of the Keukenhof boundary you could even see groups of tourists on little boat trips along the canals running around the borders of the flower fields.



Thursday, 14 May 2015

Day Four: Bags of Fun - 6KCBWDAY4

I've been knitting since about 2001, and by anyone's measure, that's a lot of time to accrue (read: hoard!) quite a collection of crafty bits and pieces. So it's really no surprise that I have rather a lot of yarn, bits of knitting and notions.

In this post from the second Knitting & Crochet Blog Week, I talked in a general way about how my collection was "organised" - this time I've decided to focus on my two favourites which have served me well over the years.

First up is my knitting bag - it's black and white, features polka dots (always a good thing in my book!) and a pretty printed design with dressmaker's dummy silouette illustrations. It kind of "winked" at me in the shop I was working in at the time (I was the Rowan Design Consultant for the Coats Crafts concession in Edinburgh's well-known and historic department store, Jenners) and I knew I had to have it. I love the detailing, measuring tape print along the top and its sturdy wooden handles.


It's perfect for carrying any work-in-progress pieces of knitting around - there's ample space for two or three projects, and it is currently home to my snowflake cardi WIP (in hibernation...!), one of my knitting needle rolls, some twinkly teal yarn and a bag full of 4ply in assorted colours which is a lovely blend of merino wool, microfibre and a touch of cashmere.

The other crafting companion I'm very fond of is this little number:


I constructed it much like a large pencil case, so it's really just a large, lined zippered pouch. First time I'd made something like it so I was pretty pleased and it has served me well ever since as a perfect place for storing my smaller tools and notions.

Here's what's inside it at the moment:


Essentially it's anything I might need while working on a project. I think the only thing missing there really is my measuring tape and/or a ruler of some sort. This oversized purse style bag is sometimes unceremoniously tipped out and the contents can be replaced with a smallish work in progress - ideal as a wee project bag for travel!

[Please note, I'm a bit behind schedule, so the post for Day 3 is coming later!]

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Day Two: It’s All About You - KCBWDAY2

Well, today I'm writing about myself - which for some reason always feels a bit strange. I can't tell you how long it took me to compose and publish the "Bio" page on my blog, for example!

Flowers

When I'm not crafting, I can often be found doing other creative things. I have been working as a Web and Graphic Designer for a few years now - you can even take a look at my online portfolio at www.catcodes.co.uk if you like. I also love drawing and painting in one of my sketchbooks or writing letters when I have time - yep, good old snail mail. I suppose you could say I like being creative in the kitchen too, as I do like to cook and bake if I have the energy and ingredients handy!

Iris

Some of my readers may already be familiar with WildCat Designs, the knitwear accessories label I started after finishing my degree in Textile Design - I run an Etsy shop under that name and a "sister" label, WildKittens, too.

My new camera :)

When I'm out and about (I like to walk or cycle around Edinburgh, the city I live in - it's good excercise, especially as it's not at all flat!), I enjoy taking my camera or my cameraphone and recording things which catch my eye. I confess to being somewhat addicted to Instagram!

Avec le flash!

I'm a big fan of traditional old-school "analogue" film-based photography too, and have been known to mess about in darkrooms, not to mention experiment with my vintage Cosina or Diana F+ toy camera (hello, double exposures!).

Hong Meow

When I was younger I spent some time living in Europe so I got to see lots of wonderful places as a child, something which has fuelled my love of travel and learning about different cultures. I even learned to speak fluent German, pretty good French and even a wee bit of Flemish!

To see more posts on today's theme, just search for #6KCBWDAY2 on twitter or google 6KCBWDAY2.


Monday, 11 May 2015

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2015 is here!

Welcome to this year's Knitting & Crocket Blog Week!
Year 6, can you believe it?! If you haven't come across the event before, and want to find out more (or even take part!), read this blog post.


Day One (Monday 11th May): If You Were Yarn.

I've been musing over this topic for a few days now and it's quite difficult to choose! If I had to choose a yarn to represent my personality, there would definitely have to be some wool in there though.


I love being cosy and it's one of my absolute favourite fibres to work with because of its versatility, the fact it's natural and takes colour incredibly well if you dye it. My boyfriend sometimes jokingly refers to my head as being "full of wool" so it seems fitting that I'd go for a woolly yarn!

Crafting 365 Day 50: All wound up

I think the texture of it would have to be a good balance of having enough twist that it didn't split easily or look like roving but not so much that the handle of the yarn was compromised. It's go to be nice and soft! ...I'm a big softie at heart ♥

Noro Iro

Finally, I reckon if I was a yarn, it'd have to be a colourful one - maybe a nice variegated style with rich jewel tones of deep purple, teal, blue and turquoise blending into each other. Oh and as for weight... probably a useful DK!


Search for #6KCBWDAY1 on twitter or google 6KCBWDAY1 to find more blogs taking part in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2015.





Friday, 8 May 2015

Tulip Time!


I recently returned from a trip to Keukenhof in Lisse, a town which lies southwest of the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It's a place I have wanted to visit ever since hearing about it - in case you haven't, it's a world-reknowned spring garden featuring a staggering variety of flowers.


It features over 7 million flowers but is best known for its beautiful displays of tulips, Holland's national flower. The gardens showcase a whopping 800 varieties of tulip!


If I actually had a "bucket list" this would most definitely have been on it! As someone who adores tulips and loves colour, it was just such a marvellous feast for the eyes - not to mention the beautiful perfume of delicately scented hyacinth and narcissi flowers.


I really loved this vibrant stripe effect that was created with rows of different colours of tulips and hyacinths.


There were so many lovely things to see around every corner and I must have taken over a hundred pictures...


This year Keukenhof had special displays in tribute to Vincent van Gogh, one of the most famous Dutch painters.



The artist inspired some interesting displays in one of the Keukenhof flower shows.



If you ever get the chance to visit, I cannot recommend it enough, especially if you are a flower fan. Find out more on the website: www.keukenhof.nl.


Stay tuned for more floral loveliness, including pictures of the stunning commercial flower fields!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Happy Stationery Week!

This week is National Stationery Week! (Stationery geeks rejoice!)


I hardly need an excuse to get excited about stationery - it's something I've loved ever since I was a little girl. I think it was the colours and the infinite possibilities that appealed to me and fired up my imagination. Still does.


...After all, sometimes there is nothing better than the promise of a brand new pen or a fresh notebook, ripe with creative potential. A simple pleasure in life which is generally pretty affordable too!


I love to record things and plan my adventures in a diary and this year I was inspired by The Daily Roe on Instagram to adorn and embellish it, after seeing her diary/sketchbook hybrid approach to keeping a journal.


Cue washi tape and deco stickers for my Moleskine 2015 diary! Not forgetting a batch of my favourite pens for scribbling ideas, sketching and making notes with, the Pilot V-ball 05, which has a fine tip and lovely liquid ink with a nice fluidity.


Find out more about National Stationery Week on 
the official website: www.nationalstationeryweek.com


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Woolly Wednesday

Great news - Edinburgh Yarn Festival is back for 2015! Some of you may remember the first one back in 2013 (was it really that long ago?!), which was held at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith.

The return of the EYF sees the event evolve a bit - they have expanded to a larger venue and the festival now spans across two days, Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th March at the Corn Exchange.

This rather curious creature greeted visitors in 2013!

The last one was well-attended and had plenty of things for the fibre fiend in you but this year the exibitor list boasts over 100 different companies ranging from local yarn stores to independent yarn producers. How exciting!

I dare anyone to try and come away empty-handed. If the last one was anything to go by it will be a serious challenge! It wasn't just yarny delights at the festival, there were also some fab indie designers selling their patterns and there were a few stalls with some lovely notions - all in all a great way to get some inspiration for your next/latest crafty project.


There are individual day tickets (£8 each) or weekend passes (£12) available, or you can go the whole hog and sign up for the evening events (knitty pub quiz, anyone?) or alternatively take part in one of the workshops and classes on during the day!
 
For more information about the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, 
visit their website: www.edinyarnfest.com
Advance tickets and class bookings are available online.

To read more #WoollyWednesday posts, click here.