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You are more than welcome to use my designs and creations on your own site - as long as I am credited and you put a link back to www.pompomemporium.com
It was a lovely sunny day for the St Albans Pancake race. The assembled participating athletes looked fine-tuned for this annual contest. Hand eye co-ordination whilst running is the aim but evidently that was not as easy as it sounds!
In October, at the Knitting and Stitching show in London, I bought a Bernina sewing machine. My previous sewing machine had served me well for 22 years, it has been a work horse of a machine like an old friend. Now I wanted to treat myself and get a computerised machine. I have been looking for along time as these machines are an investment (investment read costly!). At one point I was disillusioned and disappointed as none of the machines were compatible with my MacBook. Manufacturers should sort that out, most designers use Apple Macs, I know there is away around it but it's a big fat faff. Eventually I settled on a Bernina 350 PE, some of the machines I saw were monsters not aesthetically pleasing (ugly, ugly, ugly), and you would need a dedicated room to house them in!
Part of the package of buying the Bernina is you get a whole days tuition at their sewing centre in London. I did have to ask about this and felt that if I hadn't known about it, did my research, I might not have been told. I think part of the problem buying at the Knitting and stitching show is it is very busy and information like this can be missed. I wanted to go on the course so I didn't get into bad habits. I had expected Bernina to contact me about the course, after I had sent off my certificate of guarantee, but as I didn't hear from them I instigate the tuition day myself. I was also given the wrong number to contact the tuition centre, the number was for a solicitors and I had to apologise profusely the three times I rang them!
The tuition day started at 10.30 and finished around 16.00 this was good for me as I could get a cheap day return into London. Pupil teacher ratio was excellent, just five students to one tutor. The tuition was bite sized with sep-by-step instructions, we watched the tutor, asked questions, then returned to our machines to produce our own sample. We glued our samples into folders that had preprinted notes already included, everything was supplied. From learning the cleaning and oiling of the machine through basic stitches to embroidery and button holes. Although not part of the course I wanted advice on freehand embroidery and the tutor gave me some tips and pointers.
It was a pleasant day and well worth attending, manuals are okay but hands on tuition is the best way to learn, for me anyway.
I do have one niggle though, my Bernina came with a selection of interchangeable feet but I was disappointed not to have an overlocker foot included, if a machine can do overlocking I think it should be supplied with the machine, it's a basic.
I wanted the card to be personal and funny. I went a round the house looking for anything that related to Steve's interests and importantly it had to be red. I think it's mission accomplished especially pleased at getting the vuvuzela (representing football) in the picture!
While shopping in Wilkinsons I came across blank jigsaw puzzles, in their children's craft section. I thought the jigsaws would make great personalised greeting cards especially for valentine's day. I suggested this to Ashley who thought it was a good Idea and set about designing and drawing his work of art. I'm sure his girlfriend will appreciate the personalised sentiment! I might make a birthday card for my mother-in-law as she loves jigsaws and at just 99p for two puzzles I think they are a bargain.
This idea is so easy, no sewing involved, just buy a roll of stockinette (it's mainly used for cleaning and polishing cars, Wilkinson sell it). Unroll a length about 60cm (24in) long and cut it. The stockinette is a tube, knitted in the round, just pull and stretch the 'loop' and that's it job done! If you don't like the unbleached colour you can dye it. I designed lampshades from stockinette for a book some years ago, I dyed it in lots of colours and it took dye really well. It's a nice scarf for spring/summer as it's made from cotton.
All you need for this project is
With scissors carefully cut the top and bottom off the aluminium can, this leaves you with a piece of aluminium to work with.
Using fine sand paper remove the print from the can, this gives the appearance of brushed metal. Wash and dry your piece of aluminium.
Make a template to draw around, from cardboard, a heart, bird or what ever you like.
Draw around your template on the aluminium.
With scissors cut out your chosen shape from the metal.
The embossed appearance is created by drawing both on the obverse and reverse of the design. A ballpoint pen, that doesn't work, is all you need as your embossing tool
'While repoussé is used to work on the reverse of the metal to form a raised design on the front, chasing is used to refine the design on the front of the work by sinking the metal. It is also known as embossing.'
Don't work on a hard surface you need to work on something with 'give' to execute the embossing technique, newspaper or a few sheets of kitchen towel are perfect.
To achieve the embossing you draw lines on one side then flip the design over and draw on the other side.
Because the aluminium is virtually free, a byproduct, you can experiment and try out designs without feeling guilty at wasting it.
The designs can be left plain or painted with nail varnish, I think the painted ones remind me of the colourful Mexican tin art, examples of which I have included at the end of the post.
Use the designs as embellishment on greeting's cards, the heart would be perfect on a Valentine.
My dear friend Leanne is organising a Tabletop Sale to raise money for Recovery insight a self help support group for people affected by Bipolar Disorder. If you live in the St Albans area why not have a table and make money from your unwanted items or alternatively come along and bag a bargain.
If you would like to book a table (£8) or you have any unwanted goods that you would like to donate please contact: Leanne on 07876 715152
Saturday 5th February
10.30 - 12.30
St Michaels Memorial Hall
Branch Road, St Albans, AL3 4SS