Category Archives: show & tell

A Day out at Mwnt

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After weeks of rain – or so it seems – the last week has been glorious in S Wales – so we took advantage of it and had a day out around the Cardigan coast in West Wales – and I thought I’d share with you a few of the pictures I took.  Time Out from the usual stuff – smile!

I first visited the tiny Church at MWNT, yes it’s the Welsh name,  (pronounced “Munt” with a short ‘U’ – rhymes with “grunt”) nearly 30 years ago with my sister – and I’ve never forgotten it!

The Church of the Holy Cross (Welsh: Eglwys y Grog) - A small medieval stone Church by the sea

The Church of the Holy Cross (Welsh: Eglwys y Grog) – A small medieval stone Church by the sea

Mwnt is a very small community and ancient parish in south CeredigionWales, on the West Wales coast about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from Cardigan. It lies on the Ceredigion Coast Path.

It gets its name from the prominent steep conical hill (Foel y Mwnt), a landmark from much of Cardigan Bay, that rises above the beach, and was formerly anglicised as Mount. (wikipedia)

You can walk for miles along the coastal path, but you can also approach it along a narrow country lane – watch out for tractors – by car, and there is a National Trust Car Park and a lovely beach just to the side of the Church. (There is also a caravan site just a little further along, but at least it doesn’t intrude on the feeling of isolation!)

the beach at Mwnt - its a long way down those steps

the beach at Mwnt – its a long way down those steps

I can’t remember there being such easy access to the beach, or the car park being so close, 30 years ago – so maybe they have been added since then, or maybe I just remember it as being a very special place that was miles away from anywhere!  I am sure, however, that the caravan park wasn’t there at the time!

The information board in the Church, which is free to visit, and cleaned by a very cheerful lady who I met just coming out of the door, says that there was a Church of some kind there since the 5th Century, and it was a burial place for Saints.  The current building dates back to the 14th Century, with an even older stone font, which I forgot to photograph!

Inside the Church

Inside the Church

The history of the area has not always been peaceful.  Mwnt was the site of an unsuccessful invasion by Flemings in 1155, and its defeat was long afterwards celebrated on the first Sunday in January as “Sul Coch y Mwnt”. The name (Red Sunday) was given in consequence of the blood shed on that day.[5] It is reputed that the bones of the defeated invaders would occasionally be visible under the sand when uncovered by windy conditions in the early 20th century.[6]

There is no way of telling whose grave this is, but it tells its own story nevertheless..

There is no way of telling whose grave this is, but it tells its own story nevertheless..

And just outside is an interesting use of the local stone to create a drainage ditch – the National Trust have copied this on the walls of the car park!

a fishing boat setting out from Cardigan

a fishing boat setting out from Cardigan Bay

Next time we manage to get there, I’m hoping to take a boat trip around the coast – its an area where, if you are lucky, you might see some dolphins!   Hope you enjoyed the day out as much as I did – smile!  (And yes, this is a blatant advert for Wales!)

Make An Upcycled Napkin Curtain – copied from Etsy

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laurafenton

Laura Fenton is a New York City-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in many publications, including Country LivingGood HousekeepingKinfolk and Parents. She is also the author of The Little House In The City.

After living for years in a top-floor apartment where curtains were unnecessary, I recently landed in a ground-floor unit that, despite its many selling points, happens to look directly into my new neighbors’ windows. Suddenly, attractive window coverings became a high priority — but one that, I quickly learned, cost a pretty penny. Instead of investing in off-the-shelf window dressings, I decided to make my own from an excess of beloved but rarely-used vintage napkins, amassed over a decade of digging in flea markets and secondhand shops. With a little bit of stitching, my incomplete and mismatched sets of dinner napkins became a charming patchwork curtain that’s sheer enough to let in lots of natural light, while still affording (priceless!) privacy.

To make your own, you’ll need a stash of napkins (tea towels and other vintage linens will work, too), a sewing machine, a few basic craft supplies, and the Tetris-like skills to piece your design together. Here’s how.

Etsy_Napkins_Materials

You will need: 

  • Napkins
  • Iron
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Measuring Tape

Rough-out-design

First, launder and dry your napkins. Then, rough out your curtain design by positioning the napkins in a pattern on the floor or across a large work surface. Make sure you have enough pieces to create a varied patchwork; when you reach an arrangement you like, snap a pic to refer to as you sew — or better yet, leave the napkins laid out as they are.

Etsy_Napkins_Iron

Iron napkins to remove any creases (and make them easier to pin and sew).

Etsy_Napkins_Pin

Begin pinning napkins together with straight pins, starting with the napkins in the center. Rather than lining up their edges precisely, you’ll want the napkins to overlap each other slightly, as shown.

Etsy_Napkins_Sew1

Use a zigzag stitch to sew along the overlapped edges. The zigzag stitch will add extra visual interest to the curtain (and it’s also a forgiving stitch for less-than-professional seamstresses). After you complete the center section, pin a few more loose napkins from your laid-out design to the edges of the sewn pieces and use the zigzag stitch to secure. Keep sewing and pinning until you have created one full curtain panel.

Tip: If your napkins don’t create a perfect rectangle, you may need to trim some of the perimeter napkins. (Just be sure to leave a bit of seam allowance so that you can still hem those cut edges.)

Etsy_Napkins_Ties

Next, cut several 20-inch pieces of ribbon to act as curtain ties. (Ties should be spaced about five to seven inches apart. We used nine ties for our 48-inch wide panel; measure to determine how many you will need.)

Etsy_Napkins_Ties_pinned

Fold each piece of ribbon in half, measure to determine to its position at the top of the panel, and pin to the back side of the curtain.

Etsy_Napkins_Sew

Next, sew one continuous zigzag stitch across the top hem of the curtain panel and each of the ribbon ties. Use the ties to hang the panel from your curtain rod.

Make-an-Upcycled-Napkin-Curtain

Photos and styling by Laura Fenton.

Some thoughts on “A Gallery of Your Work”

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This is a follow up to the GALLERY OF YOUR WORK, that appeared on 31 May 2015.

this beautiful summer dress was made for Val's holiday - we had a bit of a panic, because it seems Royal Mail lost her package - so I sent her another 4m of this very popular red poppy material - listed in julzcrafts supplies shop on etsy - and on the 85solway account on ebay.

this beautiful summer dress was made for Val’s holiday – we had a bit of a panic, because it seems Royal Mail lost her package – so I sent her another 4m of this very popular red poppy material – listed in julzcrafts supplies shop on etsy – and on the 85solway account on ebay.

I have just updated it to include this lovely dress that a customer of mine made out of one of the fabrics that I sell.

This was the first GALLERY  that I have tried putting together, and it has given rise to various comments from readers, and the information from the POLL I put up, has been useful.

I have been mulling over the idea, and the problems with it – smile.

It takes quite a lot for people to send it photos of their work, and actually, I am as shy about showing some of mine, especially when I don’t think I’ve got it quite right!  I’m not sure I would immediately think – oh what a great idea, I’ll send a picture to this blog – and if I didn’t know the writer – I’d be uncertain about how they would use the pictures.

So, let me try and reassure you – smile.

My intentions are nothing but honourable!

The idea was simply to give people a place to showcase their work, to give encouragement and to perhaps inspire others.  You see a great idea and it creates a spark that leads to you using some element of it to improve the work you do yourself.  It may not even be in the same medium, or directly comparable!

Now, a long time ago, I briefly started degree in Photography – this was after I had already been working as a Photographer for quite a while, and had initially trained with a quite well known commercial advertising photographer in London, so I was a mature student, and joined to see if I could improve my work – and well, to be honest, to get my hands on the large format cameras the college had, which I couldn’t afford!

Not for the first time I was subjected, along with the others on the course, to the vicious system of ‘crits’ – supposedly creative criticism of your work by the tutors.  With everyone else standing by and watching, and waiting for their turn.

I don’t know why these supposed ‘teachers’ thought it was fun to rip people’s work apart – the same happens in art colleges and other creative courses.  At best it might give you some idea of how others view what you have done – at worst – it totally destroys your enthusiasm for the subject!  Makes you feel worthless, and want to give up – even if you are incredibly talented!  And all abilities should be nurtured and encouraged by tutors – that’s what their job is supposed to be about.

this is a standard advertising still life I took years ago!

this is a standard advertising still life I took years ago!

Well I might not have been the best photographer around, but I knew that the course wasn’t going to give me what I wanted after the first term – so I left!  (OK – the courses were free at the time and I didn’t need the degree.)

The point is – besides me having a chance to show off some of my old work – smile – (you can see a selection of some of my other photos on “the spare“)

– that, if you were subjected to that kind of criticism in the past, you probably don’t want to put up a photo on a GALLERY HERE!

On the other hand, if you want to promote the work you sell, you might well be interested in getting some FREE PUBLICITY!

But the idea of the Gallery is not just for those few who, rightly, take any opportunity to publicise their work – it is for EVERYONE!

I am just as interested in seeing your first attempt at something, with all its faults, as the work with the professional finish that comes with years of experience.

You may find that someone who sees it can help you out with any problems you are having – and certainly, anyone who puts up their work here is not going to get ‘pulled to pieces’ – I moderate all comments, and will not allow any nasty ones to see the light of day!

It also seems that I have not made myself clear enough about what kind of work I will put up in a GALLERY.

THE ONLY STIPULATION IS THAT IT IS CRAFT RELATED – ANY CRAFT –

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A TEXTILE CRAFT.

There are too many crafts to mention, but I will mention a few, just to make it obvious – there’s pottery, sculpture, glass work, ironwork, jewellery work, leatherwork, paperwork (not your accounts tho – smile), woodwork, re-cycling projects, mixed media etc etc – and of course anything to do with fabric, fibres and yarns.

What doesn’t qualify as a craft for the purposes of this exercise, is art work as in paintings etc (there are plenty of other places to show those) and videos – simply because they take up too much of my storage allowance!

And talking about storage space – please just send in ONE PHOT0. 

If you do send in more, I can, if I think it will show your work better, create a grid to put the other shots into the format of one image.  If you are not sure which photo will be best, you can send in more and let me choose which one to use.

THE PHOTOGRAPH CAN BE OF WORK YOU HAVE DONE IN THE PAST OR JUST RECENTLY.

NB:  If you would like to be featured in a SHOW & TELL you can send in as many photos as you like!

If you look at the bottom of the current GALLERY OF YOUR WORK, you will see that there is a note about copyright.  You own the copyright of the work and the photograph.  By sending the picture to me, you are only allowing me to use it in the Gallery, and I will ask your permission if I want to use it in any other way – as should anyone else that sees the blog – I strongly disagree with the idea of ‘stealing someone else’s work’.  However, it happens, so please don’t blame me if your picture appears elsewhere.  See my copyright info at the end of the blogroll on the right hand side of this page – and all pages!

this useful widget at the end of the said blogroll shows where the viewers come from

this useful widget at the end of the said blogroll shows where the viewers come from

The joy of the internet is that people from all over the world can see this blog and do! – I just took a snapshot of the latest figures for this blog – the widget here tells me where you all come from – and if you click on the actual widget at the end of my blogroll – you can see the that you are a truly INTERNATIONAL lot!

So – of course – the offer to host a picture of your work is open to anyone who reads this blog, or is a customer of mine and doesn’t bother to read it (smile), all over the world.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS IDEA?

How about I keep this GALLERY IDEA GOING?

I am thinking about having constant open submission, without any deadlines.

(Open submission means that anyone can send in a photo of their work – and anything you send in gets published, unless we have agreed that this photo is not suitable for any reason)

However, the current gallery is now closedBUT as soon as I have at least 10 photos waiting to be published, I will create a new gallery and then the next set of photos will form the basis of the next gallery – with any luck this could run & run!

Your comments & ‘likes’ would be greatly appreciated – I am not on twitter or facebook, but would be happy if you would spread the word for me!  I will direct my mailing list of customers – who are several hundred in number – to this blog in my next “newz from julz” – so hopefully we will find that there are enough people interested in this idea to start the ball rolling!

(If you would like to join the mailing list – please fill in the form at the bottom of the SHOP TALK PAGE)

I LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING YOUR PICTURES!

If you don’t have my email address – I took it off the site because I was getting too much spam – please either fill in the form on the SHOP TALK PAGE or the one on the CONTACT ME PAGE – and I will reply to your email address so that you can send me some pictures!

THANKS

julz signature

A Gallery of Your Work ….31 May

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scarfcopysThe Gallery

This is the Gallery of Your Work as it stands at the end of May 2015.

Are you shy, or haven’t got around to sending your work in, or just don’t trust me????

I really, really want this blog to be interactive and a place where you can go to get some ideas and inspiration!  I’m always offering to showcase your craft work – smile – either as individual “Show & Tells”, re-blogs, or to author an information sheet.

This was my invitation to contribute your work to this Gallery of Your Work.

And here are the 6 contributions – one of which is mine!

The text explaining who made the item and any details about it is accessed by hovering over the picture – to see the picture in larger definition, please click on it, and you will get a slide show.  The full text will be easily read, and you can even leave comments on any picture, for the maker!

Having taken inspiration from a fellow blogger, who put up a poll to ask people what design of crochet table runner she should make – smile – see here ……I thought I’d put up a poll to ask you to let me know whether you think I should extend this gallery idea or not!

Please tick to tell me what you think on the poll at the end of the gallery!

If you would still like to contribute to this Gallery – I will keep it open for longer – so you can still send your work in!  You can send me an email, or if you don’t have my email address, please fill in the Contact Me Form, and I will reply by email so that you can attach a picture.

3 June Update – one new submission – so I’m adding it here for now!  The response from the Poll gives me hope that there will be some more coming in – so please do continue to send me your photos.

I think what I’ll do is keep adding the pictures as they come in, and at some point – will renew this listing as the First Gallery of Your Work – so that the new photos get a chance to be in the most recent blog spot.  And then hopefully have Second & Third Galleries etc, as an ongoing theme – so – keep it in mind!  Your photos will always be welcome – smile!

9 June Update   – a beautiful dress made by Val one of my UK customers

 

This is the poll I mentioned above – 

I’ve never run one of these before so if I have got the questions wrong or anything else wrong – my apologies in advance!  The Poll lasts a week, so please do click on your preferred answer, and you will also be able to see what answers others have given as the week goes along.  Thinks – hope someone actually does use it!

Please also add any comments, or thoughts about the Gallery, that don’t fit into the set answers, in the comment section below – Many thanks – your feedback is appreciated!

 

 

NB: COPYRIGHT OF THESE PHOTOS IS OWNED AND RETAINED BY THE MAKER OF THE ITEM SHOWN – PLEASE SEE MY STANDARD NOTICE ABOUT COPYRIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BLOGROLL AT THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE.  DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT PERMISSION!

A-Z Challenge – Reflections on the Experience

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A-to-Z+Reflection+[2015]+-+Lg Well it seems I haven’t quite finished this challenge – they also want my thoughts on the experience – smile

I had an interesting conversation with Arlee – of Tossing it Out – one of the originators of this challenge, on my post Xtra, Xtra, read all about it! – see the comment section!

survivor-atoz 2015 - sm_zpsmfnq4uov So this is how I feel about the Challenge – I just about survived it!

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy parts of it, or find it stimulated me to write stuff I’d never had written if I hadn’t been challenged to write a post a day, following the alphabet – and some of those posts will soon be added to the i/sheet archive page …..but….

I do think that it is a very hard slog to post something every day, unless you just put up a joke a day, or something inconsequential – which wouldn’t suit either this crafts site or “the spare”, which is my other blog site – I split the posts between both sites, so that I wouldn’t have irrelevant subjects on this one – smile.

However, the admin for this challenge required that I show I was following the challenge on this site – so I had to clutter it up with a reference and the alphabet image for the posts I wrote on the spare!  I think I will delete those posts in a week or two, as they really do make this blog look messy – smile!

I did link up with a few new people I would never have come across otherwise, but I was quite surprised to find that my friendly comments to fellow A-Z ers were often not answered, and very few people came to my site if I hadn’t left them a comment.  I thought this challenge was about networking?

So my conclusion is, as I said in the Z post – that I will never, no never, do this again!

Arlee seems to think its a proof of stamina to get thro’ the challenge, but I view it differently – there is a great incentive to complete it because you look pretty silly if those alphabet images stop midway!   I was going thro’ the list of those who signed up for it the other day, and found quite a few who had stopped along the way, for whatever reason.  What I found heartbreaking was that in every one I found that had not finished the challenge – they had also stopped blogging!

The challenge seemed to have taken the fun out of it for them, and how were they going to continue, if they had to ‘write a note to teacher’ to say why they hadn’t done the rest of the challenge, and then go back to their original aims for their blog? And those Why’s could have been – a death in the family – a sudden overload of work (which I found I had, and sat up in the middle of the night to finish some of the blogs) – or just pure boredom with the medium of blogging!

There must be a more compassionate way to run this challenge?  What do you think?

PS: I just tried to leave a comment on Arlee’s site to let him know I had mentioned our earlier conversation, but he blogs on blogspot, and there is a convoluted method for non-blogspot bloggers to leave comments – this time it just wouldn’t let me publish the comment!  This is not the first time its happened!

 

A Gallery of Your Work ….please contribute to it!

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  The Gallery

I thought I’d put up a couple of pictures for you to see what the Gallery will look like – see previous post.

The text explaining who made the item and any details about it is accessed by hovering over the picture – to see the picture in larger definition, please click on it, and you will get a slide show.  The full text will be easily read, and you can even leave comments on any picture, for the maker!

Submissions to the Gallery are open for the whole month of May – please don’t let these two pictures be on their own for long – smile.

Update 15 May – two more contributions!  The two rows are separate slide shows.

Update 21 May – one new contribution.

 

 

 

 

NB: COPYRIGHT OF THESE PHOTOS IS OWNED AND RETAINED BY THE MAKER OF THE ITEM SHOWN – PLEASE SEE MY STANDARD NOTICE ABOUT COPYRIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BLOGROLL AT THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE.  DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT PERMISSION!