Friday, 30 April 2010

Flowers Up-date IV and thimble related mumblings

Here is the last of this year's peonies. It has been unusually chilly this year, we are still wearing woolen jackets and it's rather unusual for soon-to-be-May. However, we were able to enjoy the flowers longer.

This is my second latest thimble. It has been quite sometime since I last finished the thimble. I have been making a lot of base rings both for thimbles and pin cushions, but they are all for my shop and therefore have to be unfinished. I do not dislike making base rings so making them is not a core for me, but every time I got the fun part, i.e. stitching, I had to stop and it's not very enjoyable after awhile. It was good that I actually finished one for myself.

When I firstly explain how I make my thimble bases long time ago I believe I said that any slippery fabric, such as fancy shiny lining was not suitable because my thimbles were working tools and thimbles with slippery lining would not stay put on the finger. Well, I should have known better but when I stopped by at the craft shop the other day I found very beautiful and shiny satin bias bindings on a shelf. I walked past the shelf eyeing the tapes but had to come back and brought three packets in dusky pink, dark violet, and dark olive to the check out counter. They are cupro, very shiny and very pretty. I told myself that I had enough thimbles, so much so I could sell, so I could make purely decorative ones, too, just so I could admire them. Why not, indeed. Since I haven't proudly posted the finished one, you can safely suppose it didn't turn out favorable. First of all, it's so slippery that I was not able to wrap the base mould with it tightly enough. I somehow managed it and then wrap the core paper around it and turned the edge of the bias binding over, and it was simply a disaster. Cupro bias bindings, at least the ones I bought, are woven looser and the edge of the tape frayed easily and it just didn't work at all. Now I have to figure out how I can use up all three packets of bias bindings...

Monday, 26 April 2010

Flowers Up-date III

It has been a bit chilly recently. Unusual, since it's normal that the temperature goes up to around 20 degrees C while it has been around 15 degrees. However, as a result we are able to enjoy the flowers longer, can't complain.

Most of the flowers are already gone but there are still a few buds left.

*** shop update ***

The medium size pin cushion making material sets are now available in these colours. The finished size is about 42-45cm (a little smaller than 2 inches) and takes about 3-4 hours to finish. They are (naturally) bigger than small pin cushion and they are made with bigger silk threads, too, so they are especially good if you found small pin cushion was too small to work upon. You can jump from here for a quick peek ...

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Share Your Thimbles April 2010 closed & Flowers Follow-up II

We had 8 people and 20 thimbles/rings this month including two people who shared their very first thimbles. Now it's time for a lucky draw!

The winner is number 4, ludovic XIV, who shared her lovely ring in blue and metallic stripes. ludovic XIV, please send me an e-mail for shipping address, you can do so from my profile page.

I have received enquiries from time to time where to find some thimble design patterns. I am regret to tell you all that there is virtually no free on-line design sources, even in Japanese. There are a few web pages (in Japanese) which shows you how to make thimbles but the only one available design is bi-coloured scales design and you all know how to make it. Debi from Temari Train ... of Thought kindly shares her diagrams and explanations so you might want to check in on her blog.

I suppose most of the Japanese people who are interested in thimble making may firstly look up online and make their first thimbles, then go buy the books for further designs. The below two books are the most popular;

"Kagano Yubinuki" ISBN 978-4140311400
"Kagano Yubinukito Hanatemari" ISBN 978-4837703082

The latter book features both temari and thimbles so it's useful for temari design sources, too, however, you need to be aware that the way the author tells you to insert a needle is from the edge toward the center while I do it the other way around, that is, from the centre toward the edge. If you are familiar with the way I do, you may find it confusing. The way she represents the design on a diagram is different, I suppose because of the way she make stitches. However, it's a great book none the less. Needless to say, both books are in Japanese.

I created links so that you could jump to Amazon Japan who ships overseas but their shipping charge is extremely costly because they only ship by courier service. I would suggest you firstly try your local bookshop or online auctions, search key words being "kaga" and "yubinuki". If you cannot find a book(s) at reasonable shipping charge, I may be able to help you. If you are interested, please leave a comment in a way so that I can contact with you, like leaving a link to your blog, web page, or profile page from where I can send an e-mail to you.

Now, peonies update.

The Blogger and I are still not on a very friendly term where uploading the large pixels photos is concerned. I took the photo this morning and I had to squeeze it to about a quater,and as a result the photo does not convey how delicate these petals look, like below.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Flowers of the Month

Long time readers may remember my obsession with peonies. In Japan peonies are in bloom in May, although for some unknown reasons, mine always start unfurling petals in the middle of April.

Here is another picture I took this morning. There should be a picture of cherry blossoms here and I did take some pictures last week, but it seems that I misfiled them and cannot find them :(

*** shop update ***

Thank you for your feed back about pin cushion making kits I previously talked about. They are available now at my shop here. Please note that they do not include any instruction therefore it may not for you if you have never made a thimble/ring yet.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Share Your Thimble April 2010 part II

I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend with your family.

Following to the previous post, here is a pin cushion I made for a prize of the lucky draw. It is one of my small pin cushions and it's about 23mm in diameter.

There is already one thimble uploaded here and I hope there will be more participants this month.

One of the ladies who bought a thimble making kit asked me if I was going to sell a pin cushion kit. I have been very behind of everything and finally I made a model for the kit.

The above is a finished pin cushion and the below is what you are going to start stitching with; a finished base ring with two rows of stitches already done. Instead of two threads, this time you work with four threads.

Anyone interested in?

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Share Your Thimbles April 2010

Now, it's the first day of April and here is another photo sharing for you.

The rules are the same:

1. They have to be your own thimbles. No borrowing the thimbles/photos from somewhere. I don't think anyone do such things, but just so it's clear for everyone.

2. You can use the ring base from the kit if you choose to do so.

3. Your thimbles have to be made using only forward stitches at this time. No back stitches or weaving.

4. You can make your rings in any size you would like, from a thimble to a bracelet or something bigger.

5. You can use any materials in any colours.

6. You have to state the size of the mould on which you form your ring base, the padding, and threads you use in the description field of your photo(s). If you chose to use a ring base from the kit I sell, the size is 50mm and the materials used are floss silk padding and Fujix size 9 silk thread.

7. You can upload as many as you like.

8. The closing date is 21st of April, 2010, Japan time. Please note that it's 9 hours ahead of GMT(Greenwich Median Time) in Japan.

9. You can upload your photo(s) from here.

As before, we are going to have a lucky draw. I am afraid that the prize is not ready yet, but it will be one of the small size pin cushion I made. I will be able to post the photo of the pin cushion within a few days, hopefully. If you would like to enter the draw, please leave a message at the discussion board, which you can find below the photos in the group page, and you can jump from here. Although you can upload as many photos as you like, you can only enter the draw once.

Here is how to upload your thimble photo:

Firstly you have make your account at Flickr and upload your photos. Then, visit the group page (here) and become a member. Then go back to your photostream page and open the photo you wish to share with us. Click the "send to group" button and then choose "Share Your Thimbles" from drop downs. You won't receive a "successfully done" message but it's done. Come back to the group pate to make sure your thimble photo is there, just in case.

My thimble for the month is another variation from bi-coloured scales design. I used only two colours to make stripes and so it is a sort of subdued. However, if you use multiple colours, perhaps in shadings or contrasting colours, the result will become very different. Of course we appreciate the simple beauty of bi-coloured scales, too. I look forward your participation this month.