Welcome to my 'other blog' the one that explores my crafty side. I have been a maker of 'things' since childhood. By nature I'm creative. I still love to write, and you can click on this link to visit my blog: Hanging On My Word, which is where I indulge in the thought and word side. Although a teacher by profession, I don't offer tutorials. This is my showcase of projects I like to share. So pull aside the curtains and let's begin (I'm a bit theatrical too!).

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Fairy Tale

Sepia Saturday this week has a 1920s ‘Health Fairy’ as a creative prompt, and I was reminded how popular fairies are in arts and crafts. In the Victorian era the paintings of Richard Dadd suggested rather sinister fairy folk, but artists such as Cicely Mary Barker and Arthur Rackham painted much more attractive creatures. Fairy ‘stories’ and books about fairies are still popular today and little girls love to dress up in layers of net with clip-on wings, holding a fairy wand. There are dozens of patterns available for soft-toy making and cross -stitch design too.

Here’s one I stitched over thirty years ago (not quite sepia) for my daughter’s tooth-fairy cushion. It’s a ‘Gloria and Pat’ design from 1977, and the original verse said:

Tooth Fairy, Tooth Fairy,
Please be kind.
In this pocket my
Tooth you’ll find.
Take it out and leave for me,
A nickle, a dime,
Or maybe three.
As decimal currency was still a fairly recent arrival in Britain (the one pence was a called a ‘P’ ), it was easy to change the rhyme. I understand that these days children expect rather more than twenty pence per tooth! My son’s cushion had a cheeky - looking elf, and the following rhyme:
When at night you rest your head,
Place this pillow on your bed,
With your tooth tucked just inside
For the fairy’s nice surprise.  
This was more open to interpretation, and left it to to the Tooth Fairy’s discretion as to how much the tooth would fetch. My son tried to get the better of the fairy by hiding his tooth and was surprised to find a note from her tucked in the pocket of the cushion next morning wondering where her promised tooth was. He still has the cushion but for some reason I don’t have a picture of it. I still have both patterns too.

And here are a couple more of my fairy friends in cross-stitch.

If you believe in fairies it would be worth flying over to Sepia Saturday to see what contributors have made of the picture prompt below.

Over at my other blog you can meet some real sepia fairy folk.

Also linking to Lakota's Ta Dah Tuesday.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Elephant in the Room

In this weeks’ Sepia Saturday the photo prompt is a baby elephant. During my hunt for corresponding images on my other blog I started thinking about elephants as motifs in art and crafts. They appear in ancient coins, stamps, heraldry, sculptures, Roman mosaics, and the art of many cultures and religions; African, Indian, Islamic. In children’s alphabet books the letter ‘E’ was often represented by an elephant, and they appear in numerous children’s storybooks notably; The Jungle Book, Babar, Elmer.

 I have a cross-stitch picture of an Indian elephant with a howdah on its back, which I did many years ago, and is still one of my favourites. It came from a 1996 booklet called 'Celebrations in Cross Stitch’; a series which was published with a theme each month.  The other book is a 1943 edition of ‘Felt Toys’ by Mochrie and Roseaman.

I’ve never made the elephant from that book but I did make a miniature Noah’s ark from felt when my children were small in the 1970s. I must have used a pattern in an old pattern book;  I don’t have the pattern any longer but I do have the animals. Here are Mr and Mrs Elephant, looking a bit on the wobbly side these day.

Here’s the original prompt with the baby elephant in sepia.