Monday, 22 February 2010

Dubai in Pictures 6

I know this is supposed to be my craft blog, but crafting is a bit slow at the moment. Not because I don't want to, but just because I allow life to get in the way. So in my frustration I took a drive down the beach yesterday afternoon in an attempt to get away from all the mundane everyday life things.

The weather is absolutely glorious at the moment. With temperatures in the high 20's during the day and a cool breeze in the evenings it is perfect outdoor weather.
This stretch of beach in Umm Sequem is known, for obvious reasons, as Kite Beach. The wind was stronger than usual yesterday and the kite surfers took full advantage of this.

I spent a very relaxing hour wacthing these guys surfing their hearts out and completely living in the moment. I went away with a new resolve to take things as they come and to make the best of it.

May this also be your inspiration for the new week.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Earlier work 4

I am in the process of cleaning up old craft 'stuff' that has been travelling with me for years. While digging through a storage container with old patterns and unfinished projects I found this butterfly.

I finished it back whenever, but never got around to framing it. I think I will now frame it and put it in the little one's room.

This is also one of those things I just made up as I went along. (I am really not a pattern person!)

The layers of fabric was placed on top of each other and basted together. Now only the embroidery and embellishment keeps it together.

Friday, 12 February 2010

hats and things from Thailand

Our Thailand holiday is almost forgotten with all the rushing around that goes with children and a household, but now that we have mid-term break (already!), I have a quiet moment to reflect on what I saw and bought. After living in Dubai for 5 and a half years, shopping is really not on the top of my list of things to do when I go to a new country. I would much rather spend my time in nature or look at the architecture and other design orientated things...and try out all the exotic food, of course. That's the reason why I only have a handful of loot from Thailand.

I bought these two hats on New Year's Eve from a lady selling them on the beach. I just love the colours! Apparently it is made by women from the Hill Tribes in Northern Thailand where they still live and dress in the traditional way. It looks like a lot of work went into making the hats - almost as much as trying to get a one-year old to pose for a photo!

Just around the corner from the lodge where we stayed I found a shop selling all sorts of artifacts including some traditional building materials. It looks like a building site, so it was only on our last day there, that I realised all the 'stuff' is actually for sale! I found these 2 tiles on a pile of reclaimed bricks.

I also found this piece of reclaimed wooden balustrade under an old table in the back yard.

So, no clothes, jewellery or shoes. Just a few pieces of used building materials. Exciting, isn't it?

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Heart flower tutorial

Valentine's Day usually pass us by without much ado, so it never occured to me to do a Valentine's blog post. Then as I was browsing other craft-blogs I realised this is the ideal time to post my long-promised tutorial on the heart-flower quilt which I blogged about last year.

This is my first tutorial so I really hope it is clear and easy to follow. I don't usually work from patterns, I just look at the picture and follow my own head, so making up instructions is a bit foreign to me. Please feel free to ask questions if anything is unclear.

The instruction sheets can be downloaded here:
heart-flower 1
heart-flower 2

I am sure there are better ways of doing this which I am not aware of, so again, please feel free to send some advice and tips on attaching pdf files to a Blogger post.

This tutorial shows you how to make one heart-flower. It can then be used for all sorts of things. Here are a few suggestions:

On bedding
A quilt (obviously)
Make a row of flowers and attach to the edge of a pillowcase and flat sheet
Four flowers as a cushion cover

In the kitchen/dining room
One flower with a border can make a potholder or oven glove
On the corner of a napkin
A border around a tablecloth
Four or six flowers as a place mat

On clothes
A border around a skirt
A patch on a pocket of a pair of jeans
As a panel on a shopping bag

Once you've made an item from this block, please send me a picture and I can share it with the other readers.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Dubai in Pictures 4

It has been a while since I last showed you some non-touristy photos of Dubai, but I have something colourful to kick off the new year's series. Just in time to cheer up those of you who are all snowed-in in the States.

This house is opposite Safa Park where I often go for a run. I've seen it many times and thought I had to take a picture, but I never carry my camera with me when I run. Yesterday I saw it again and decided to take a picture with my phone. Is it cheerful? This is only the sidewalk, so imagine what the rest of the garden looks like.

This is another house just around the corner from the park.
Not bad for mid-winter!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Soccer ball progress

I chose the fabric for my first ball a few weeks ago but I only got around to do something with it this morning. I chose the colours of the South African flag for the quilted ball and I found some great South African fabric at our new craftshop (more about that later).

Before I could cut it I had to figure out the placement of each colour to avoid having two of the same next to each other. It took a bit of trial and error to get that right. Firstly I printed the 2D configuration of the ball and started marking the colours on there, but that turned out to be very confusing as I couldn't keep track of which end fitted where. After a few mistrials I gave up!

In the end I went out and bought a soccerball so I could mark the colours directly on the ball. This worked much better and I now know where each block has to go.

Of course my sons think this is a complete waste of a perfectly good soccerball, but they'll just have to wait untill I finished ALL the balls I am planning before they can get their hands (and feet) on my soccerball...