Sunday, January 21, 2018

Corinthian Tin Number two

This is another Arnott's Corinthian tin. It's a different shape than the one I posted about before. The last one was a large round flat tin, about 5cm in height . This one is still round in shape, but smaller in diameter and much higher. It's actually a better shape for these biscuits than the previous one.

This tin has a date of 2004 on the base and I know I bought it. I would have bought it for the biscuits though, not the tin, though the tin is still used for storage.

I've spotted one for sale on the internet. People must be still wanting them as the price is amazing. I am assuming it is only for the tin as the biscuits would be long out of date and stale.

So what is my tin used for storing now? More beads of course!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

An Arnott's Corinthian's tin

Tin number six is an Arnott's  Corinthian tin. Once again, I am not sure where this tin came from, probably my Mum.

Corinthians are a long, cylindrical wafer biscuit filled with flavoured cream, and I first remember seeing them in my late teens. I remember some member of the family bringing them into the house at Christmas time, and we were all in awe over them. My Aunt used to visit and bring unusual things with her, so I have a funny feeling it was her who first introduced us.

The original ones were vanilla, but now I have seen two different flavours of wafers spiralled around, and different flavours in the cream fillings.

I've searched the net to see if any are for sale, but alas I cannot find one.

My tin now houses packets of beads, something else I have to sort through.

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Falcon Castle Tin

My next tin is a Falcon and Castle one. Not sure where this one came from, it could have come from my Mum's, or it could have come from a gift  somewhere way back when. I have a feeling it came from my Mum.

The sides of the tin and also the rim holds lists of ingredients in a few different languages. I can see English,  figure out French, maybe German, and what seems to be Arabic.

It used to house chocolates and toffees which had originated in Germany.

These are for sale on the net too but only for a few dollars.

I remember this tin holding my Perle embroidery threads way back in the early 1980's. I didn't have many then, I was only just introduced to them at the time.  I was doing  the creative correspondence course back then, through the Embroiderer's Guild here in Sydney, and they used to send thread packages to use in the exercises . I remember being sent lots of new to me threads, the Perles being just one of many.

 Now this tin  still holds threads, but an assortment of different odd bits & pieces. There are some Perle 5's, some old Semco stranded, some old Broda No 4, some leftover Minnamurra hand dyed stranded, and even some little square mirror tiles! Sounds like this tin needs to be sorted.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A 'Wind In The Willows' Tin

Now we have my "Wind In The Willows" tin. This is one that I bought myself some years ago because I liked the tin. 

It was different to anything I had seen before. It's quite a big tin, big enough to fit a layered cake into.

Because of it's height, there are lots of lovely Wind In The Willows scenes all around it.

The tin originally held something called 'Heartland Cookies'. I remember at the time they were not up to Arnott's standard, but after all, I had bought it for the tin not the contents. I've tried Googling Heartland Cookies and  they seem to be an American thing.

It's a fairly modern tin as it has bar codes on it. It is dated 1996 and was imported by Woolworths, though I know I bought it another store. There is a readable stamp on the base that tells me so.

So what does my Wind In The Willows tin hold now? Embroidery threads of course, in particular my DMC Perle cottons. The tin is so full of threads that it is bulging, I really must sort through it. Maybe one day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Tim Tam Tin

This tin was given to me as a Christmas gift quite some years ago. As you can all probably read, it is an Arnott's Tim Tam tin. Needless to say the Tim Tam's did not last very long and the tin was quite quickly put to another use.

Tim Tam's, for those readers that are unaware of them, are an Australian iconic chocolate biscuit. There a two chocolate biscuits joined together with a chocolate filling, then all coated with chocolate. Very rich and very indulgent. These days there are all kinds of Tim Tam's, from dark chocolate, white chocolate, caramel, and so on. Every so often they will do a special run of a special flavour combos to bring awareness to some charity. I've seen salted caramel, peppermint, choc orange, a mango one and my all time favourite of white chocolate and raspberry.

The photo above shows the side of the tin, while the one below shows the lid

So what does my Tim Tam tin hold now that it is empty of Tim Tam's ? More thread of course! This time it is metallic threads for my sewing machine.

I googled this one just for the fun of it to see if anyone was selling one, and yes they are. It's selling for nearly as much as my Queen Elizabeth 11 Coronation tin ! I must keep track as to the values I find to see what my tin collection might be worth.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Queen's Coronation

This is the second tin in my collection. It is one that celebrates the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11, way back in 1953.

This tin was also owned by my Mother, I vaguely remember it as a child, and I think it may have housed her crochet work that she was working on at the time. In other words, it became  a work tin.

The original purpose of the tin was to house biscuits by Peek Frean (Aust.) Pty Ltd. Boy is that a blast from the past! I have not heard of them in years!  The sticker is still on the base of the tin, even after all these years. The biscuits included tea snacks, oranges and lemons, lemon puff creams, lattice, cherry ripe, pat-a-cake, caramel creamette, wheat crunch, cream wafer, krusta, dainty cream, honey snaps, shortcake, custard cream, and bourne-vita cream. This tin was before my time and half of those biscuits I have never heard of. I do remember dainty creams and honey snaps, and lattice biscuits and custard creams are still made today by another well known biscuit company.

A tin similar to this is also for sale on eBay. I's not got quite the same price tag as my  tin that I posted about yesterday, but it is still more than I expected.

So what have I got in this tin today? Embroidery threads of course, the more unusual ones of my collection. There are metallics, variegated threads, hand dyed threads, vintage silks, textured threads, and even some of my own hand dyed ones.

Another special tin of my collection be re-purposed and used.

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Tin Collection

A few days back there was a discussion on one of my on-line sewing groups about tins and what we use them for. The girl that started the discussion was using hers to keep lollies and chocolate in, close by to her sewing machine so she could snack on sweet treats while she sewed. In my book that is a no-no, eating anything while sewing will give sticky and dirty fingers that might get on good fabric. I like to keep my sewing clean.

It got me thinking about my tins and what I use them for, so I went trough and dug them all out, photographed them, and was amazed at just how many I have. I would even call it a collection. Most are in use. I will endeavour to show them off over the next little while.

This first one is one I inherited from my Mother after she passed away. It was my Mother's button tin, and I remembered it from when I was a child, and I do sew. I had to fight for it, as male member of the family 'might want to sew a button on one day'. I didn't get it at first, but some months later it was handed to me.

I was more interested in the contents than the tin itself. When I brought it home I couldn't wait to see what treasures were inside. Mostly the buttons were men's trouser buttons, or shirt buttons. There were a few odd ones in bright colours which were plastic and probably date back to the 60's or 70's. It wasn't really the treasure trove that I was expecting. I have my suspicion that someone else was allowed to go through it and  take what they wanted, it wasn't as full as I remembered.

To this day this tin still holds buttons, just practical, serviceable buttons, nothing fancy. But I now think the real treasure is the tin it'self. When I photographed it, I turned it upside down looking for markings. Buried deep in the rusty bottom, was an indent that I had to take into good light to read. It simply said 'MacRobertson's'. So off to ask Mr Google I went.

So what did I find? My button tin hails from 1910 ! My Mother wan't even born then! So I have my suspicions that this tin was actually my Grandmother's! My Nanny was a dressmaker too, so now I feel even more privileged that I have it. There was one similar on eBay selling for a considerable sum! Mine is not quite the same. The size is, and so it the design on the lid, but the one on eBay has writing on the side that says it contained 'Opera Jubes', whatever they were. Obviously lollies of some sort, probably a jelly jube. My tin has no writing on the side, just on the bottom.

I was surprised at how much the seller was asking for this tin. To me now, my tin has much more value, knowing now that it came from my Grandmother, and her hands touched this tin nearly every day.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Art Journal pg 10

Page 10 of my art journal lives opposite page my page 9. I prepared it and painted it at the same time. From then on I worked on the two pages treating them as one. I figured when  the page was opened, you will see both at the same time, so they have ended up similar, but not exactly the same.

Both were prepared with mod podge, both were painted and stamped, and yes I hated both. Both got the cut out paper treatment . The cuts were randomly done on the paper, so the holes are different shapes. The patterns that I drew inside and around the holes are also different, but the two pages flow well together.

In the beginning I hated these pages, but by adding the paper and patterns in and around the holes,  the pages have been  brought to life.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Wishes

Just popping in to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas. May your day be filled with joy, happiness, family, food, and of course some creativity.

This little Christmas Bell will by now be adorning a Christmas tree somewhere. I have actually made twelve of them to give to family and friends. They should all be at their final destination by now.

The decoration itself is done in Hardanger work with some counted thread work used to create the poinsettias and holly leaves. Once cut and blocked, the bells were then backed with felt. They were made using a free pattern that I found on-line.

So Merry Christmas everyone, and may your day be happy and bright.

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Stash Buster Baby Blanket

I've done a few baby blankets now, but this one is the first one that I have not used a pattern for. It is also the first time that I have combined knitting and crochet together.

It began when I heard through the family grapevine that one of the nieces was trying to have a baby. I thought I could make a blanket for her now, and  it would be ready if and when this baby arrived.

I was thinking that I could order some more wool through Bendigo Woollen Mills, then remembered I had some in my stash that I had purchased many years ago. It was acrylic, not my favourite to work with.

At the time that I purchased the yarn, another lady I know had just had her first daughter and I wanted to make her something small, so I only purchased a few balls of the pink and the white yarn. I stared on a little matinee jacket, but felt the yarn was not suitable for a newborn's skin , and I changed my mind to make a blanket instead. Silly me, of course a blanket was going to take way more time and way more yarn, so back to the shop I went to purchase more. As this stage, the store was only selling whole packets of yarn ( they we going to close down so I found out later), so ended up with ten extra balls of pink and ten extra balls of white. Mmmm......... a lot of yarn, but I knew it would all get used one day.

Needless to say the original purpose of the yarn didn't happen, it ended up a blanket that I gave to a family member when she had her daughter. That blanket can be seen here. Even after completing a blanket, I still had heaps of yarn left, and thought that if I combined the two colours together I could get another blanket for this hoped for baby.

So then I started searching the internet for ideas, and found one that had a border of granny squares .  It got me thinking, and I started making granny squares. Then I had to work out the center, it had to fit, so some maths was involved that didn't really work out so I added in more granny squares to compensate. I pondered over what pattern to put in the center, and decided to use just plain old moss stitch. It would give a texture without distracting from the granny squares, and it wouldn't curl at the edges and make life difficult. Then I added another  border in pink, also in moss stitch.

OK, so the blanket is finished. The original family member that I made it for is still not pregnant ( as far as I know), then when she does conceive, it may even be a boy. So what do I do with this blanket? At the moment it is packed away ready for the first baby girl that comes along. There are at least two babies due within the extended family in 2018, but I have planned other projects for those two. We will see, it may even go to charity yet.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Art Journal Pg 9

For this page I mixed up three colours of  paint, a green, blue and white, then proceeded to paint onto a previously mod podged page. Then using a cork, I stamped little splodges for my numbers using white paint.

The numbers were then outlined in my wedge tipped felt marker to make them stand out.

At this point, I didn't like my page very much, it was too green. I am more of an aqua green person, so the page sat there while I decided what to do with it. I had this idea that I could cover it up with something else.

The something else turned out to be a scrap of recycled paper, I used the other side of something already printed. I first cut it to size to be a bit smaller than the page, then folded it onto sections and cut randomly along the folds. This created lace type effect, still letting in some of the green but not all. I also cut the shape of the number nine out of the white paper to make it more visible, then glued the cut sheet over the top of my painted page.

This left some lovely holes now that were open to some decoration. The decorating came in the form of my trusty fine tipped felt tipped pen.

In the end I love how this page turned out. It is definitely a 'me' page, full of holes and lacy effects. I will certainly be one that I will use for inspiration for my stitching.

A Lace Book Mark

I have a few lace book marks now, this is the first one that I have used variegated thread in. I had picked up the thread in Spotlight one day , wondering how it would be for my lace making. In reality, it is a bit flimsy for a bookmark, I think I would like it with a bit more oomph. Still it's pretty.

So how did this book mark come about? I was searching through my patterns one day looking for another handkerchief edge to work. I found one, and beside it was this book mark. They both looked easy, mmmmmmm......... yeah right!

I drew up the pricking for the edge, and was so grateful I started on a sample first. No matter how hard I tried, or how many times I tried, I just could not work it out. In the end I asked the on-line community of lace makers that I know who gave me all kinds of help. The main piece of advice I got was that it was 'triangular ground', so the research began. It took a while, but thanks to You-Tube, I now know how to work triangular ground.

OK, so I got my edge started, but I needed something to take to my lace meeting. The edge was being worked on my block pillow, and it is a bit bulky to take to our limited space. So I drew up the pricking for the book mark. It could be worked on my cookie pillow and there was room for that at our lace meetings.

I wanted to have it started at least before the meeting, so that I wouldn't get stuck and have nothing to do for three hours. So a week before I wound bobbins and tried to start it. I got so far then got stuck. The pattern had something called a double eyed spider, something I have not done. It's in one of my books, but no matter how hard I tried I just could not work it out. I think I was just in a hurry.

In the end I changed my pricking, and put in a whole stitch ground diamond instead of the double eyed spider. It looks OK, not as pretty as the spider, but still pretty.

Ok, so this one is finished. What's next? You will all just have to come back for another visit to find out.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Art Journal Pg 8

This page of my supposed art playing has been done for quite some time, about six moths in fact. I have got a bit bored with it and left it for some time. Well, maybe not bored, just not happy with what I am doing. This page is OK, it's some of  the subsequent ones that I do not like. But more about that later.

This is page eight, and the page  is similar to page seven. It was first mod podged, washed with colour, then sprinkled with salt and left to dry. The lines are drawn with a fine black felt tipped pen, then the number eight was cut from a magazine and glued in place.

Art and drawing comes way behind stitching in my life. I am trying to get better. Art is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and mine is maybe to be used for inspiration for my stitching. Would I use this one? Maybe. Maybe a cut cross section that has been enlarged. Watch this space to see what happens.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Bobbin Lace Hankie

Behold, my new lace edged handkerchief!

It's been a very long time happening. from the first day I contemplated making it, until the day it was finished, it has been nearly eight years. Mmmm..... that is a long time, but there are prickings to draw up, handkerchief linen to source & buy, decisions to be made about thread, threads to source & buy, decisions about how big to make the pricking, then sourcing and buying a lace pillow to work it. Then we get to the actual working of the lace itself, which took me about two years. I might add here that there have been plenty of other projects happening over the same time frame.

Lets start at the beginning. Quite some years ago I acquired a book called 'Bedfordshire Lace-making' by Pamela Nottingham. When I looked through the book, my toes began to curl in absolute delight. Another lace-maker I knew also had this same book , and as it was set out in lesson format, we decided to work through it together. I might add here that that challenge has long gone as life has got in the way for both of us. I have still continued on in my own time though.

For the lessons up to this point, I had only done samples, and I was tired of making samples. I wanted a finished project, so I decided to make this edging into a handkerchief .There was lots of learning involved, from using slubby linen thread, to making even tallies ( yeah right!) and working six pair crossings to make those little flowers. Then there was the joining. The little flowers were certainly a challenge, and there are no two alike. Someone told me it is just as in nature.

I was advised to use a linen thread, but in reality I may just not ever use it again. The slubs made it difficult to tension, especially in those tallies. It also snapped a lot, meaning there are joins in my edge everywhere. I was told that linen thread is the traditional thread used in Bedfordshire lace, but recently I was told that a lot of Bedfordshire lace makers now use cotton thread. Mmm...... something to think about for the next one.

There are 224 tallies in this edge. I have been told that I have to make 1000 before I can get the right. I think I have a few more to go. The next ones will be in a cotton thread I am sure.

Once the lace was finished and joined, I then had to mount it to my linen fabric. I had a few different suggestions as to how to do it, but chose something called 'Nun's Stitch' to mount it. I had to find out how to do it, then learn how to do it, but in the end it was easy, and it gave a little pinstitch along the edge which is pretty.

It may not be perfect, but the mistakes and inconsistencies in it show that it is hand made. I am extremely proud of what I have done. It is my first ever bobbin lace handkerchief edge that I have done and there will be more. Watch this space!

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Christmas Star

This is the third in my series of bobbin lace Christmas decorations, and I  think my favourite one yet. The patterns have come from an old Anna magazine. I have used the same thread as the other two, a DMC Cordonnet Special No 50. This thread is fine for cloth stitch, but it doesn't handle plaits and picots all that well. I was warned many years ago about using crochet threads, something about the direction of the twist. I may have to just remove the picots off it if I do any more.

Still, it is done, and will hang prettily on my Christmas tree in a few months.