Wedding fascinator

My spell check doesn’t like the word ‘fascinator’, and I don’t blame it. It’s slightly better than “head thingy”, which is what I’ve been going with up till now.

I mentioned in March that I was working on a crochet project. Now that the bride has had a chance to wear it I’m ready to share photos 🙂

I learned some basic lace-making for the purpose. I’d be happy to post a tutorial if anyone wants one (leave a comment). The bride’s favourite flowers are all very difficult to crochet flat, but I’m quite happy with the amaryllis design I came up with (see the aforementioned post). The design on the other side is not representative of anything in particular; it was inspired by some lovely images of crochet I found on the web. There’s a tiny shamrock in one corner for luck.
I’m open to the idea of making these by commission, if you’d be interested please leave a comment or take a look at my Etsy shop.


The Art Assignment is an excellent project based largely on YouTube where professional artists give assignments to the audience. I’ve been following since the beginning, but I’ve never submitted anything before. This is my poem for the Quietest Place episode.


“Walk to the quietest place” he said.
I would, but walking won’t help.
My whine comes with me
Growing louder as I feed it with attention.
I can go to the quiet places
But I won’t find silence there.

“I would if I could” I said,
But would I?
I didn’t meet in the middle.
But here I am doing by not-doing
Because I hear what isn’t there.

Sneak peek: crochet amaryllis (flat)

This is a sneak peek at a project I’m working on. I’m very happy with this crochet pattern I came up with for an amaryllis flower, so I want to share it now. I’ve never tried writing a crochet pattern down before, so please let me know if anything’s unclear.

ch 4 and join with a sl st in a ring
sc 9 around ring
ch 15, join with 3rd stitch on ring 3 times (making frame for front 3 petals)
finish each petal:
      sc 12 around ch of petal frame
      ch 1, dc around petal frame, ch 1 (making petal point)
      sc 12 around ch of petal frame

sl st your way to the centre ring, in the middle of the 1st petal
make another 3 petals as above

A brief literacy narrative

I see you reading cereal boxes 

and I remember that desperation for text

First thing in the morning
Give me something to suck into my brain
as I suck the final sugar-frosted honey flakes
up with the sweetened milk.
Anything: the oft-read pulp on the box
Its meaning as nutritious as the contents.
I slide a book over to you
Not the ideal one for the circumstance,
I’ll think harder about it next time.
I should probably think harder about the 
contents of the bowl.

Lepidoptera ISS

Karen Nyberg will be returning from the ISS in a couple of days. While on board she experimented with weightless crafting (video here). Now she’s inviting quilters to contribute blocks to be combined with hers (flyer here).

I know I’m a bit ahead of the game (the deadline is next August), but I got excited about the project, and finished it!

The flyer calls for a “star-themed block”. I guess it might be cheating a little, but I went with an image of the ISS. I’ve enjoyed watching it zoom by a few times, and I always describe it as looking like a very fast, very bright star.

I based my image on the patch for Karen Nyberg’s mission to the ISS. It came out looking a little moth-like (which is appropriate enough), so I call it Lepidoptera ISS.

It took me a while to figure out how to do the stars. I would have liked to mimic the style from the patch a little more closely, but I couldn’t get an effect I liked. So I used two different circles that my machine does automatically and added crosses in straight stitch.

The dimensions are 9.5″ x 9.5″, which is just a bit too large to fit into any of the envelopes I have. I was quite pleased with the solution I came up with for posting it.

I have a watercolour pad with nice thick sheets of about 9.75″ square, so I took two of those to make an envelope. I didn’t want to risk the fabric sticking to the tape though, so I added “cuffs” of standard-thickness paper. I was trying to figure out how to tape it all together without getting any glue on the block, when I realised that the cuffs don’t actually need to attach to anything.

So I sat the block on one watercolour sheet, popped the cuffs on the four sides and sat the other sheet on top.

Et voila.

Display Case

I collected some lovely bits and pieces on my recent trip to Newfoundland. It was such a wonderful holiday, and beachcombing was an integral part of it. I was originally thinking of making jewellery from these bits, but I have a terrible habit of losing and breaking jewellery. And besides, one of the pieces was much too big to wear. So I decided to frame them!

I found a nice deep frame in Ikea, though it’s designed to hold a picture at the front, so it required some modification. Here’s a photo of the frame with the glass and mat board clipped down.

I used PVC glue to stick two layers of fabric down to the back board. I chose an aquamarine fabric to contrast with the rust of the largest beach find (see below). The cream was necessary to stop the wood effect of the back from showing through.

Once that dried I trimmed the edges.

Then came the turn of the glue-gun. It might have been wiser to practice more, but I totally got away with it. The glue gun stuck each part fast to the surface below it.
Next, I needed some spacers to hold the back at a distance from the mat and glass. I have been saving almost all of the cardboard that’s come into the house for several months now, so I was able to just cut some pieces of nice thick cardboard for the purpose.
I was very haphazard about cutting out the pieces, but they worked out fine. They’re also glued on with the glue gun. Possibly overkill, but I had it right there ready to use.
A little black poster paint, in case the viewer should get an angle where the spacers become visible.

For some reason, I’ve only ever seen masking tape hold backs on pictures. I don’t know why that is, but I didn’t see any reason to break with tradition. It’s not terribly neat, because the only masking tape I have available is a very wide roll, but then again, it is the back.

Et voila!

Quick hit: superhero cape

This one is fairly self explanatory. Ingredients*: one old t-shirt, one snap fastener

It makes a great superhero cape and requires the minimum of sewing ability. I was tempted to just leave the neck of the t-shirt whole but then I though “strangulation hazard”, so I added a snap fastener. I didn’t even bother sewing up the edges, t-shirt fabric pretty much doesn’t fray. Five minutes work!

* I did a latin course with the Open University a couple of years ago. There were a few delightful moments of recognition, like the time I realised that “ingredior” is the verb meaning “I go in” — hence “ingredients” == “things that go in”.