Monday, 4 January 2010

New Year, New Craft?

Jamie and I started the new year in a quiet manner. We've been pouring lead on New Year's Eve: you basically melt little lead figures over a candle and then you pour the liquid lead into a bowl of cold water for the lead to take a new shape; you then hold the little "sculpture" against the light to look at the shadow it throws. This is then supposed to tell what the new year will bring you but we were both too tired to do any interpretation of random shapes. We somehow managed to stay awake until midnight, had a sparkler each and went to bed. Sounds boring? Well, it was a really nice and relaxing evening after the last few rather hectic weeks, so a nice way to end the year.

I haven't made a new year's resolution as such but I'm really keen on learning to sew this year. I bought myself a new sewing machine with some of the Christmas money my parents and grandparents sent me as my vintage Singer machine blew up the other day. I swear it was possessed! I bought it from a charity shop a few years ago but never actually tested it, so when I did the other day I was so impressed it was working and that the light even came on, until an hour later it started sewing backwards entirely by itself - I didn't touch anything - and when I pulled the plug out of the socket smoke started coming out of the foot pedal - sooo scary.

I am so happy with the new machine but as it's all new to me I need a bit of practice, so in order to get that practice I thought it would be a good idea to get started on patchwork cushions to get used to doing straight lines and seam allowances. So, here it is, my first cushion ...

... and then there was another one ...

Today I thought I'd be a bit more adventurous and try a simple skirt. It actually turned out less adventurous than the cushions as there were literally just three straight lines to sew, no hemming, nothing. I followed these instructions using an old scarf as I don't have any fabric leftovers yet - hey I've only just started. I was amazed at how it turned out and how quick it was to make; I just love instant gratification. O.k., o.k., it's an elastic waistband, three straight lines and no hems but a girl has to start somewhere and I'm proud of my first home sewn skirt.

Anyway, all this new excitement doesn't mean I'm neglecting my old hobbies. I am actually quite busy working on a big crochet throw but as it gets bigger, it also goes slower, so this will probably take me some time to finish.

Another new thing I tried this year is making yoghurt, it couldn't be simpler: warm up a pint of milk to body temperature, add a couple of table spoons of live yoghurt, pour into a thermos flask and that's it. About 12 hours later you've got a lovely refreshing yoghurt drink that tastes somewhere between kefir and buttermilk but much nicer, although I love the other two as well.

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