June 2010


Last night was the final pre summer craft night. A few of us got together in my house to make jam and have a chat. Alison gave me some of her homegrown rhubarb to use. I also used the last carton of frozen raspberries from last year’s summer bounty to make a jelly which I had prepared the juice for the day before. Sinead brought some frozen berries and Gay brought some more rhubarb and some ginger which really gave the jam a beautiful taste. I baked some scones and whipped some cream and we indulged in those with a cup of tea. We made about 15 pots of jam and there was enough for everyone to take some home and some were kept for presents. We were lucky that the 2kg of rhubarb wasn’t ruined when I got distracted and started showing the girls the various little projects I am working on! There was a moment there !!  One of the photos is Gay showing the bottom of the pot a little burnt, but luckily we saved it just in time! Sinead gave us some extra tips from a great jam book she brought and told us how her mum used to make and sell jam.  a few of us also had jam making stories from our childhood and good memories of collecting and topping and tailing fruit! Gay brought some lovely labels and wax paper so we could finish off the pots nicely. Lovely evening of chat as well. There was a photo of me holding a pot of jam with a silly face on and my eyes shut, but since I looked like a total eejit I left that photo out !!!! After summer we will continue the craft group with mosaics, decoupage, embroidery, crochet and felting and maybe some baking cup cakes too!  See ye then!

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‘The distinctive crenellated forms of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef are

variations of a mathematical structure known as hyperbolic space’

Alison and I went into Dublin this morning to see the last day of the Hyperbolic Crochet Exhibition. We had a time slot between Robert’s 3 month check up and picking the other kids up from school at 2.30pm. The Science museum only opened at 12noon. Anyway, we made it in for 12, parked at Merrion square across from the National Gallery, and found our way past Pearse street dart station to the Science Museum. Many mums with their kids born in Holles St will know exactly what route we took!!!! The exhibition was truly inspiring, there was so much detail that it impossible to absorb it all. And it was all inspired by the mathematical structure of hyperbolic space and the preservation of the coral reefs. The crochet forms were various in style and materials. Some were made from wool, (I even spotted some felted ones), plastic bags, plastic bottles, metallic threads and electroluminescent wire. Some of the structures represented were staghorn coral, aqua flora, knitted wire sea creatures, beaded plastic trash, hand spun octopi, tube anemones, and beaded jellyfish to name a few. The destruction of coral reefs was addressed using white forms which represented the bleached bone reef. The exhibition also addressed the Toxic Reef in the Pacific Ocean which is 30 metres deep and twice the size of Texas, which is essentially a garbage patch of plastics. I have included photos here, some of which are accidentally blurry but they actually look like they are underwater which is why I decided they should really be left in!

http://www.sciencegallery.com/crochetcoralreef

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The reason for the baby bliss!

I think I am beginning to get back to my crafty self after having the baby. I was in a state of baby bliss for the last few months and didn’t feel the need to craft! I have, however, begun to notice a restlessness and a yearning for creativity again. So, I am fiddling around with some of the many projects that I have in my head. I have nearly completed the resist pattern for a nunofelted top. I am taking my time with this pattern as I intend to use it for style variations if the size works out correctly. I have been adding and subtracting and dividing numbers to work out the shrinkage rates. But it is not an exact science and the top will evolve as I make it anyway. I was delighted to have the opportunity to use some of my draughting and illustration equipment again and it came in so handy!! Drawing a curved line  and getting angles right is so much easier with the right tool!

I am doing a little bit of something every day even if it is only sums!!!  One of my favourite things to do when  I am short of time and need a craft fix is to dye some fibres in the microwave. I learned the technique from the Spinners and dyers at the Knitting and Stitching show in Dublin a couple of years ago. The cone with the yarn on it is left over from a sock factory that my Dad worked in years ago and when the cones were empty my sisters and I would use them to play shop with, all various colours,we would pretend they were coca cola, red lemonade and 7up!  One photo is of the reason for the baby bliss! Coincidentally a friend sent me a blog to check out that features a 20 minute a day challenge to make something! A wonderful idea. I think I might just take up the challenge for the rest of the year!

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On Monday, the baby took a very long nap first thing when I got back from dropping the kids to school. I took this opportunity to have a rare morning of craftyness. On suggestion from Eleanor Roche of Feltmakers I made a sample of the nuno felt top I have planned. I cut a piece of the dyed silk at A4 size and added the pre-felt and roving. It felted very easily but I turned the sample over very early to rub the fibres through on the reverse side just in case. I spent the rest of that morning and a small while the next morning designing a simple long sleeved tunic and then calculating the dimensions of the resist that will be used, adding 30% to all measurements. I also cut the sinamay fascinator that I made at Marjo’s craft night and added some glue to the edges of the sinamay. I forgot to glue all the edges so will have to go back and finish that. I then made some small ropes which I had intended to add to the fascinator. I made the ropes using a combination of methods one of which Gina had showed us at the last feltmaking drop in. The ropes felted very fast and were very strong.  I’m looking forward now to making the top soon! It was a nice crafty experimenting and learning session and I got a few things done that had been waiting a while and it gave me inspiration for new projects as well!

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