Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Egg Banner

Egg Banner, originally uploaded by Tea Potty.
Happy Easter! Enough people liked the Valentine banner, I thought I'd do one for Easter as well. Please don't use commercially.

I've got so many other Easter projects to do still, but this one was the easiest to get out of the way first. I'm going to print off a few vintage Easter images, cut them into ovals (using the EGG banner ovals as template) and string them on ribbon to make a horizontal banner this time.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Emergency Tea & Cake Fund

Emergency Tea & Cake Fund, originally uploaded by Tea Potty.
I got tired of searching through my purse for spare change yesterday, so I came up with this solution. I took a tiny tin that I've had for ages and created two stickers. Presto! Introducting my new Cake, Tea & Parking Meter Emergency Fund. I hereby swear to always, always keep enough change in here to afford the aforementioned.

Yes, I know that is what a coin purse is for, but if you saw all the copper in mine you would understand. I can never find the correct coins exactly when I want them. The euro system uses way too many coins. Why do they make a two cent coin anyway?

Thanks to Graphics Fairy for the fantastic images!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Back at square one..

Back at square one.., originally uploaded by Tea Potty.
I was going to wait until I had a few more squares done, but I'm too geeked about this to wait. I recently discovered 39 Squares. This project is so me! It is exactly what I was looking for when I started embroidering last summer -- something that I could learn on and practice on, but is still creative, meaningful and quick.

As I'm not terribly confident at freehand embroidery, I put some planning into my squares before starting. I've decided that I'm going to use this on a pillow and that the squares will be a bit bigger than an inch by an inch. I also decided that the squares should be about my family, so I made a list of symbols using the 39 Squares flickr group as inspiration.

Then I used the table function in Word to create a table of 5x5 squares at, or close to, full size. I sketched out my ideas on this table using coloured pencils (keeping in mind my chosen colours). I rearranged the squares a few times to balance out the colours, patterns and shapes as I wanted to avoid repitition. I know I won't stick exactly to the layout, especially as I'm sure to run into problems with my more difficult images. I do have a few back-up images in case.

So now I've sat down with my floss, buttons, beads, and trim and am busily stitching away!

I've also finally finished Mariana by Monica Dickens. It really shouldn't have taken me so long, but at the moment most of my evenings are dedicated to embroidery. The book was OK. It would've been a much better book with some harsh editing. The second half is much better than the first. My next book is Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons, who wrote Cold Comfort Farm.

Friday, 12 March 2010

March hares, scones and chocolate eggs

March Hares, originally uploaded by Tea Potty.
At last the snow has given way to mud and my spring flowers are coming up. Spring is here for sure now. The robins have returned and the fields are alive with rabbits, deer and pheasants.

My other half returned yesterday bringing back a small hoard of British goodies, most notably Cadbury eggs and clotted cream. Both are luxuries that we don't indulge in very often, but we haven't had either in a long time. I'm sure we'll make messy pigs of ourselves. My daughter hasn't had a Cadbury egg before, so I'll be forced to share one with her. I honestly prefer some of the other Easter candy a bit more, but beggers can't be choosers.

While I type, I have a batch of scones in the oven -- an incentive to keep me from staying on the computer too long. For traditional British scones, try here. Standard scones don't have fancy flavours. Plain is best, though the odd raisin or currant is acceptable. Eat them hot if you can, but you must eat them fresh. Go on, force yourself, there aren't many in a batch anyway. They're a good excuse to break out the teapot and have a tea party.

As for toppings, expect to find clotted cream and strawberry preserves at a good tea room. Real whipped cream and strawberry jam do nicely too. All this being said, I have seen my husband scoff down dry, stale scones smeared with butter and apricot jam.

I do have a recipe for clotted cream, but I have never made it. It is so bad for you that we don't eat it very often and I didn' think it was worth the trouble. If I find it, I will post it.

While my husband has been away I've been crazy about rabbits, or is that, "mad as a March hare"? I've finished a rabbit hand towel made of recycled linen, a softie and an egg cosie. There are great rabbit shapes on LollyChops and a good rabbit egg cosie template at The Yvestown Blog. The softie began life as an egg cosie, but I quickly realised he was the wrong shape and his had was too big.

As for current projects, I'm in the middle of embroidering another t-shirt for Rose and a nautical terry cloth towel (an experiment to see how it works). I've stared a cameo project for Rose's grandmothers -- check out a great tutorial on Petit Debutant. I have yet to start Rose's felt Easter basket and a set of tea towels for a friend's wedding present.

That's my timer. I think I'll have to pry my husband and daughter from the oven door. First, I'll wipe the drool off my keyboard --- mmmmm, hot scones dripping with cool melting clotted cream and jam...