Category: Craft

Update x

The crochet is going great guns, particularly as we’ve come up with the perfect project to encourage repetition, practise and ideal tension: We’re making what can only be called ‘little socks’ for my dining rooms chairs to replace those sticky pads that only work to gather dog hair.

We did experiment with a garden string and twine, but for ease of make we’re going with a thick grey wool, though we’re both anxious about longevity – time will tell.

It also helps that the six chairs round the table are back with their newly woven seating, looking enticing.

So that’s only seven chairs and twenty eight more socks to go..

Laters, Kate x

575 Wandsworth Road

 

It won’t be this year I get to see this house – visits are limited in numbers and duration and this years slots are already full – but it’s on the bucket list.

 

The house is the work of Khdambi Asalache, a poet and writer of Kenyan descent who also worked for the BBC and the Treasury.  He started making fretwork to cover up the damp coming from the next door launderette, beginning a project that would last another twenty years. He would use abandoned wood, doors and boxes first cut to size then carved using a single knife.

 


(More details from National Trust and pics from Pinterest)

An extraordinary testament to patience, human endeavour, love and creativity.

Laters, Kate x

Wiser x

 

It’s going to be some time before my fingers can instinctively do this, but I’m having my first ever crochet lesson today and my eyes can’t wait.

 

They’ve been checking out all the incredible designs a simple hook and a piece of yarn and a little bit of yearn can make.

 

I’m very lucky – I’m learning from a highly skilled older lady in my neighbourhood courtesy of The Wiser Collective, a group set up by local mums Claire Redway and Sarah Laffey which aims to link up the generations in my area and

  1. offer practical support for families living apart from their relatives
  2. build connections and provide purpose for potentially isolated older people
  3. offer a sense of neighbourly community and companionship for both groups.

It works on the idea that there is so much we can learn from a group that all too often find themselves isolated, and there are things that as busy families we can offer – large meals with laughter can be something we take for granted.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

I can’t wait

Laters, Kate x

Inspiration x

 

This morning I have two fruity magpies in the garden which proves that the days are pushing towards spring and that there has been enough time to retrospect the New Year.  I’m not a great believer in resolutions, but I ‘ve found that organically something takes root each year, even if it’s unintentional.  This years adaption has emerged like a fresh breeze, a feeling of wonder, a walk in the park:  One day a week, usually a Wednesday, I take something that has intrigued or justified further exploration and follow it back to it’s roots, taking in the offshoots along the way.  This week didn’t start with a person or a thought, but a podcast.  There are so many out there, the only stipulation was it had to last ten minutes – the time it takes to tidy a kitchen. I found ‘The Psychology behind with Dr Linda Papadopoulas’ I listened, enjoyed and went back for more. That’s when I found her interview with Jordan Stephens from the Rizzle Kicks,(also to be found on Spotify) the cheeky scamps of British hiphop remembered with joy and mental connections of summer fun and lazy days. This was overlaid with the memory of a talk Jordan gave about toxic masculinity, a subject normally avoided by your average rapper. It paved the way for an inspirational interview that leaves you rewinding it in your head for a long time afterwards.

The next step back along the chain was the original Ted talk: Everyone loves an underdog, given by Jordan that inspired Linda to interview him. It’s the anti-hot house talk that many parents need to hear, how expectation can be a killer of growth. In it he mentions an ex-girlfriend, Cecilia Knapp who’s a writer, and you’re in the moment thinking what is this bed of creativity that bled, fed and made these attitudes? So you follow the story because Cecilia Knapp has made a Ted Talk too.

And I can only hope that by now you are as blown away as I was by her talent, performance skill and art, revelling in her silky words, caught in the rhythm of her mesmeric story telling.

The final step was to her website, to find she regularly gives performances – and that’s where this story will end – a trip to a poetry reading given by Cecilia Knapp, because I’ve never been to one before.  But I couldn’t be more excited: There are times when the internet becomes a weapon of war, anger and destruction, but like most things, it has a flip side, a slip side where, with the slightest of pushes, a wondrous world of imagination awaits.

Laters, Kate x

Project x

We spent last week in the far north of Finland, 120 miles within the arctic circle: A fab and magical holiday – proper photos to follow – but it blew my mind to be miles away from anywhere, in a winter wonderland deep with thick, pure white snow,  and  somebody  still  had  the  guts,  gall,  initiative  to guerrilla  yarn  bomb…that’s not a tree with a strange disease in the picture.

I’m loving the way this Street Art is developing, mutating different yarn crafts, particularly the use of embroidery.

But not only is it a new take on embroidery, it’s the re-imagining of the holding structure: Anything with a grid is fair game.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

It’s a new way of looking at our black and white world…and seeing potential.

Laters, Kate x

Winding up x

It’s half term next week which means we’re leaving the darkness of winter and transitioning properly into spring.  We’re going away – everything is booked except where we are actually going – we’ve never left it this last minute before.  It feels decadent.  If we weren’t disappearing I’d be tempted to make one of these lights – such a simple, clever idea.  You take the metal skeleton of one or as many lampshades as you like and wrap them with embroidery yarn…genius..

 

If you prefer to buy your lampshade ready made (and they don’t come cheap) check out Wera Jane and, for inspiration, Ana Kras.

 

I didn’t know you could get embroidery thread in neon pink…

Laters, Kate x

Swing by x

A main focus of the garden planning is creating an area that people want to be pulled to, that’s different from any other part of the house.  I have always been a great admirer of the American porch – cool, shaded, sociable, restful, a place to sit and while away time without over missing the seconds ticking by.  A place you want to go with a good book and a long cold drink to hide away.  So on the list of musts, after pergola comes  swing chair..

(All pics Pinterest)

Bring on summer!

Laters, Kate x

Random x

Why have something full sized when you can have it in miniature?? Random but true – these edible delights were spotted on Pinterest…but the mind blowing bit is they are all made out of the humble pipe cleaner!

Feel like making one yourself and the web is full of brilliant tutorials like this one.

It’s like balloon art without the effort

(All pics Pinterest)

 

I want!

Laters, Kate x