Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Anyone Off to the Beach?

If so, I've listed a new ring to help you get into the swim:

My Low Tide Ring made from pure silver imprinted with flotsam and jetsam, perfect for those mermaids amongst you listed here.

Also a pair of seaglass earrings, with more colours to follow, a bargain at £6:

And on the sea theme, the finished gansey:

And Pixie Face's very first finished object- she's very pleased with herself as you might be able to tell!

Enjoy your Easter whether by the sea or not.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Restoration Project

As a favour for my good friend Felted House who's having a really difficult year, I agreed to try and restore a pastel picture. This was a picture of her father at some point in his youth, probably dating back 60 years. Unfortunately it had been stored rolled up which had then been crushed and subject to the dreaded mould. Now I'm not a professional restorer, and let's be honest who could afford to have work done by a professional, but generally if you take the least invasive/damaging approach first then hopefully you can effect more good than harm. Artists among you will know that to remove creases, you need to stretch the paper, which involves soaking it and then taping it down to a flat surface and leaving to dry. Because the portrait was done in pastels, this wasn't an option. I decided to gently mist the reverse of the paper with water to dampen it and then taped it down to the table. I did this a couple of times over a few days and it worked quite well. I also covered it over with a sheet of large paper, but this was more to stop my 6 year old 'helping' with the addition of her crayons.
I then had original-looking paper but still the dreaded mould:

It was a bit difficult to make out some of the features due to the spread of fungus and I didn't really want to add any pastel for fear of masking the original artist's style. So very gingerly, I set about with a stiff bristle paint brush ( artist's, that is, not decorator's!) and worked away at the mould.

Here you can see where I've tackled it and which bit is still infected:

        I simply redistributed some of the pastel and it's almost as good as new. Ta da!

There are still some cracks visible, but I don't think that's a bad thing and I even managed to preserve the artist's signature.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Busy Fingers (Just not typing on the computer keyboard)

Most of you put me to shame with your prolific blogging; I just don't seem to be able to get a round tuit (the old ones are the worst aren't they). It's not that I've been off doing exciting/interesting things, just life gets in the way sometimes. My littlest has been very poorly with tonsillitis so I've been under house arrest ministering cuddles and dvds galore. Now I love watching films, but usually just once or twice. The capacity for young children to watch the same thing over and over and still find questions to ask about it absolutely amazes me. But she was too poorly for me to leave the room so I pretended to watch Dr Who with her for the 254th time, but cracked on with my knitting:
Using the organic wool and alpaca mix I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm knitting this Seachange Gansey. It's absolutely gorgeous to knit with and not a smidge of itch or scratch about it. At £2.50 for 100g from Kemps it's a bargain. I finshed knitting last night ( used less than 500g) and have blocked it this morning

Just need to sew it together tonight and then I'll be ready to go out on my trawler (not really!)

I've also managed to make some sheepskin booties for a friend's newborn:

Born out of necessity, I've discovered a cough / sore throat medicine to add to my supplies ( although one bottle's disappeared already).
Take 50g (ish) fresh thyme and juice of a lemon, pour over 300ml boiling water and leave to infuse overnight.
Strain off the liquid and add 500g sugar and a small jar of honey (2-300g). When dissolved, bring to the boil and simmer until it thickens a little. Pour into sterilised bottles and seal. I added a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and strips of lemon peel to mine for extra infused goodness. Thyme has excellent anti bacterial properties as does the lemon and honey. Take either by the spoonful, or a generous amount topped up with hot water until symptoms start to ease.