Tag: dragon

Waving Them Off

While I do have another 76 new myrtle leaves that I could show you, I thought for a change, we could have something different.

Two of our favourite members of staff at Dragon and Little Lion’s nursery are moving on to other things. We decided to make themĀ  a little something to say thank you for all their care and patience over the years.

I spent the first six months or so of Little Lion’s nursery career popping in to feed her on my way to work, and had lots of time to chat about the joys and trials of our kids with E. As befits a young lady with very strong opinions, I thought a rather Tudor colour scheme and regal font would suit her daughter.

Millie hand embroidery - Misericordia 2016

L was one of Dragon’s favourites, she shared his love of Star Wars and general sillyness. He spent years pulling on the neck of his t-shirts and stretching them out of shape, and it was only recently that we realised that he was trying to copy an off-the-shoulder top that she wore (which led into a useful discussion about what sort of necklines would be best for that sort of thing), and he still pops into nursery for a chat with her.

She’s off to start a university course, so we decided to make her something inspirational for when the studying gets a bit dreary.

May the Force Be With You - Misericordia 2016

It was a bit of an emotional handover, but I was really glad that we were able to give them something to remember us by.

Next week it will be straight back to the leaf updates.

By the Burn, By the Sea

You find us in the middle of the middle week of the summer holidays.

Summer Book - Misericordia

We have explored the country and the sea and now we are returned home to test the limits of our imagination, patience and co-operation.

Summer Book journal with kids - Misericordia

In the hopes of creating a new tradition, we’ve started a Summer Book. There’s a slight nod to the educational goals of writing and drawing, but mostly I want to promote journal-keeping and delay the inevitable ‘Can I watch something?’ for another 10 minutes or so. It was great while we were away, but it’s suffered a little since we got home and have been surrounded by our familiar pursuits.

Last gasp stash - Misericordia

I did manage to finish my shawl, even though I ran out of both the original wool and the emergency wool just in time for the bind off. I’m hoping that the contrast edge evokes sea foam and not desperation.

Diving In Shawl - Misericordia

As a first piece of lace, I’m very pleased with it, but as a shawl, I’m still looking for the best ways to wear it. Maybe a shawl pin?

Myrtle Leaves in stiffener - Misericordia

There was temporary relief from the willow leaves by way of some myrtle leaves, but I’m hoping to get the last of the willow applied this week. Off I go!

Bunting Frenzy

I can’t get over how miserable I was this time last year…

Bunting Layout - Misericordia

But here we are, and I’m up to my elbows in a very pleasant project: Little Lion’s Birthday Bunting.

Bunting Layout - Misericordia

It started when The Flat Buddy offered to organise an interactive baby shower for Dragon and we came up with the idea of people making and sending in bunting flags. It was a huge success, and hanging out of the Birthday Bunting marks the beginning of birthday festivities.

Blue and purple bunting - Misericordia

Now that The Flat Buddy is several hundred miles away, I organised Little Lion’s Bunting Appeal (discovering in the process just how much work went into the whole thing) and again was properly overwhelmed at how lovely people are.

Taggy Lion Bunting - Misericordia

Even Dragon got into the act, designing two flags and doing some of the stitching himself.

Dragon's First Embroidery - Misericordia

I’m looking forward to getting it all stitched together in time (I hope) for birthday festivities on the weekend (and more cake, which we missed doing this week).

Shirt Label Bunting - Misericordia

Deeds not Words Bunting - Misericordia

In lieu of cake, here is a photo of the Lovely Young Man posing expertly in his Gentleman’s Relish. Because he is as wise as he is tall, he’s already worn it enough to avoid the Boyfriend Jumper Curse, which we’re all very pleased about.

Gentleman's Relish - Misericordia

Done and Done

An unexpected feeling of accomplishment is filling the air.

Hoop back - Misericordia

I’ve finished my last commission (no photos, the usual gift embargo applies until the New Year) and I’m ready to set myself some impossible crafting goals for the holidays.

As an aside, I tried a new method of finishing the back and I can’t decide what I think about it.

Here we have the makings of Little Lion’s Hebrew name embroidery, her name means queen, so I pondering something regal and ornate.

Gold and turquoise embroidery thread - Misericordia

I’ve also promised Dragon some work on his quilt, so here’s hoping for a few quiet moments (and possibly a slightly more seasonal chill in the air) to make good on my promise!

I hope you make it through the last week before the holiday, don’t forget the odd deep breath and solitary outdoor walk may make all the difference.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Hello Friday, are you here already?

Matches and candles - Misericordia

It feels like I’ve hardly turned around and this week had disappeared in a puff of sulphurous smoke and a rustle of wrapping paper.

Brass menorah and blue and white ware - Misericordia

Hanukkah started on Sunday evening, and Dragon announced he wanted latkes every night (shortly before deciding he didn’t like latkes). I gamely carried on for four nights, but after suffering intense salad cravings, I’m letting it slide.

The craft fairs were successful, I sold some things and got quite a few enthusiastic commission possibilities, so I’m looking forward to seeing how those shape up.

Scissors and embroidery hoop - Misericordia

I have one piece to finish up and then I’m going to devote my holiday to regaining a bit of making inspiration. I’ve been finding myself aimlessly scrolling through the moderately entertaining dross of the Interwebz instead of making, so I’m going to pull out some family projects that have been neglected of late to see if I can get my needles dancing.

Knitting and Bunhilda - Misericordia

Now is the Season

I think I’m starting to develop that slightly rictus grin of a person who has realised that they’re carrying one too many plates after insisting that ‘No, I’m fine, honestly!’

I’ve managed to schedule the first craft fair of the season on the same weekend as having folk over for Thanksgiving, so it’s been a little frantic around here.

I’ve got a stand at Dragon’s school Winter Festival, so it will be a relatively relaxed affair (I hope). He’s desperate to help (I think he really wants a name-tag), so we’ll see if I can maintain a calm and happy craft-fair-face while he assists.

Out of interest (and not in the least apropos of my parenting challenges), how often do you ‘water’ your Christmas cake? I think I might have overdone it last year, is once a week enough?



Cooking up a Storm

Sometimes an idea takes a hold of me and I get a bit carried away.

So it was when I went looking for some fake food for my friend (and former Flat Buddy)’s two year old.

There wasn’t much interesting food online, so I decided to make some myself.

I had a blast, and duly sent off an always-fresh hamper of goodies. Of course, now Dragon wants his own set, so I have more to do, but it was a nice little project, and even more fun knowing that the recipient’s parents are just as likely to play with it as she is!

(Dragon took a lot of these photos while we were at his grandparents’ over half term, and that combined with an unfamiliar light profile means that it’s taking ages to edit these. I’ll keep adding them as I get through them, but consider this your amuse bouche.)

Playing Away

I have a confession to make, I’ve been flirting with another media recently.

(No, I haven’t started vlogging.)

I keep finding myself craving paint, pencils, and brushes. This has only been amplified by a ‘thank you’ voucher for Greyfriars Art Shop which is gently smouldering a hole in my pocket.

I’ve been working on Little Lion’s baby book (and catching up with Dragon’s book) and I’m really enjoying it. Sometimes I can even release my grip enough to let Dragon* help.

As my maternity leave comes to a close, I’m pondering the next steps for Misericordia. Since I’m running a part-part (part?) time operation, the evolution of my work can feel very slow sometimes. My mind certainly works a lot faster than my fingers!

I definitely want to work a little more drawing into my embroidery, but what that looks like remains to be seen.

While I’m pondering, what are your favourite art supplies? This voucher needs spending!

*Check out the finished birthday turtle costume finished well over a week before his birthday!

Moderate or Good, Occasionally Poor

I’m wafting gently through the weeks at the moment.

The weather is nothing special, I’m in the middle of two medium to large projects that I can’t really show at the moment, and my companions are mostly silent (but good company).

It’s quite soothing, but the odd day of excitement (Dragon’s school induction!) takes me rather by surprise and I end up needing half a day staring out the window to get over it.

I’m still picking away at things, even if it is in slow motion.

I’m Not Afraid of Hand Work

Well, this is quite exciting, Dragon has a proto-quilt!

I always joked that I couldn’t have another child until I finished Dragon’s quilt and, as I type this that’s sort of true (but I’ve scheduled this to post about 10 days after I’m writing it).

My mum was due to arrive on a Saturday morning, and since I’d need to use the spare room/dining room to lay out the quilt ready to baste it, I planned a whole Friday to spend on it.

I thought I’d experiment with starching the top and back before I basted them, especially because there’s an awful lot of linen blend in there, so a little glide between the layers was going to be a good thing.

I’ve been using this tutorial from Oh Fransson! recently, where you lay out the wadding and the top, roll them up, and then lay them out on the backing.

All was going well for the first part, but the quilt top was a little bigger than I remembered. So I duly rolled it up and spread out the back, ready to tape to the floor.

If you have a cat, you’ll know that there is a point where the cat will come in, roll around on your project and generally require you to take a very deep breath before you do something you regret.

That was only a precursor to the realisation that the back of the quilt was smaller than the front, and that I didn’t have enough of the gray linen to just cut two long pieces to go at the top and side.

Six and a half hours of hand piecing later, I had extended the back sufficiently to lay out the top again.

Problem Number 2 then reared its head: How do I centre the top onto the pieced back so that when you turn it over, the binding and the seams of the squares run parallel? I fussed and fretted over this all of Friday evening, until I realised this – No one is the boss of me. Just because I have found someone’s technique useful in the past, doesn’t mean that I always have to use it.

Because the back is more detailed at the bottom left and fades to monochrome at the top right, I could line up the top and back edges at one corner and allow it to go where it pleased as I moved diagonally across.

Once I whip stitched the edges on two sides, I set off with another new method of basting, pad stitching, taken from tailoring, but quite effective and surprisingly quick for basting (some of that may have happened at 4am when I couldn’t sleep).

Overall, I’m quite pleased with how it came out. I appreciate there’s a significant amount of hand quilting to do still, but at least it’s ready to pick up and start.

I’m also glad I remembered who is in charge in this making lark (me, in case I need to check back later on), and discovered the pad stitch method of basting.


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