Thread Bobbin Tutorial

As I was winding some embroidery threads onto bobbins yesterday, I realised I was almost out of them. Not being all that close to a craft shop, I pondered what to do. I noticed a couple of thin cardboard packets from chocolate blocks and realised they would be perfect for making some new bobbins. Bonus is that I am reusing cardboard.

If you don’t have cardboard chocolate packets, have a look at what other recyclables are around your home. Tissue boxes would suit, the thinner packing put between new shirts and sheets, cereal boxes, tea boxes etc.

* If you use cardboard that was from a food product, just make sure there is no food residue left on the cardboard.

Step 1. Open and flatten your cardboard, and trace around an existing bobbin. Try to fit as many shapes onto your cardboard as possible – we may as well make as many as we can! As you can see, I used the packets from Cadbury chocolate; enjoy the chocolate and then reuse the box. Mmmm.

Step 2. Carefully cut out the bobbin shapes, using your tracing as a guide. On one end of the bobbin, make two small cuts in the shape of a ‘V’ which will allow you to tuck the ends of your threads away during winding.

When I am about to start a new bobbin, I write the colour number plus the brand of yarn on one end as well as in the center of the bobbin. That way I can easily replace that colour when I am running low, or have just run out of the thread.

Step 3. Wind some thread onto your bobbins. Hey presto! You have made some new bobbins and you have reused packaging. It’s all good!

Feel like reading more creative posts? Head over to Kootoyoo for this weeks edition of My Creative Space.

Less of the Meh

Less filled with ‘meh’, today. Instead, I am happily covered with Kitty fur after my very snuggly Max Kitty decided it was snuggle afternoon. Awww. I am not, however, happy about the humidity today, but then again, I never am. Humidity and alyshajane’s are like oil and water – they don’t mix well!

Over the weekend, the Husbitect and I visited Birkenhead Point, not so far from the Sydney CBD. We visited the newly refurbished Spotlight there and I was pleasantly surprised with the range of crafty items and how well the store was stocked and organised. They still have a few things to put out, but it was wonderful to walk around. The Husbitect mused that if we won lotto, I could spend a serious amount of money in that store. He’s right! One item I really wanted but was a tad too expensive was the ‘L Letterpress’ kit. Although after reading this review, I am feeling mighty glad we didn’t buy one now!

But, what did I buy?! I replenished a few of my embroidery threads, DMC, in some lovely shades including some lovely purple hues. I also snapped up some of the mushroom Christmas decorations as they are far too cute for me to resist. I have a vintage, white Christmas tree and I am envisioning some decorating of the mushroom type tomorrow. I also bought some black aida material which I am going to use in some geeky, SciFi projects for the Husbitect. My other purchase was a fabulous embroidery hoop from Clover. My previous hoops were like reliable, but older, Holden cars. This new Clover hoop is like the Audi of the embroidery hoop world. I think so, anyhoo. Since I cannot afford an Audi, I shall enjoy my Audi-esque hoop instead.



The hoop in action! Still working on my mushy embroidery!

After enjoying a very delicious serve of tuna and salmon sashimi from a lovely Japanese eatery, we wandered around and happened upon the pet shop. We usually go in and have a look at the kittens, and talk of how we would love to get some and how our Maxie can be Grandad Kitty and teach them how to miaow for food, how to run around the house in the middle of the night and make the most amount of noise, and also, how to do the fluff-yourself-up crab walk!

We marveled at a huge fish tank that had teensy tiny baby prawns floating around amongst the fish and agreed that another tank was one of the most lovely shapes either of us had seen. After looking at the other fish and then the birds, I spied a large cage near the door that I had glanced at when we came in, but not really taken in what was inside.

I looked at the sign. SQUIRRELS. *Squeeeee!* I squeed aloud a little and ran over to see my first ever Squirrel! They were Indian Palm Squirrels and yours for the sum of $1200+ each. Unfortunately, the shop had some very noisy children playing with the squeeker toys, so the Squirrels were staying in their nesting box. But I did get to see a tiny Squirrely face peeking out! I was quite excited at finally seeing a real, live squirrel, but felt sorry for them in their tiny cage. I said ‘Squirrels’ quite a lot for the rest of the day, and told anyone who would listen about seeing Squirrels. hehe.



One of my softie Squirrels with some mushrooms.

French Knots, Oui!

My creative space this week sees my little mushroom having some filled in spots. I decided to go ahead with french knots and am quite chuffed with the result. The texture is just right and looks nice against the long and short stitch I used on the main body of the mushroom.

My first tries at french knots can be seen at the very top in the first two spots. I kind of had it, but the knot kept getting a bit messy. I searched for a better tutorial on french knots, and found this one by Mary Corbet (must see site, btw). They key action, which was missing in the other videos I watched, was gently pulling the thread so the knot slides down to the base of the needle and then keeping the tension as you pull the needle through. I think you can see the difference in my french knots in the rest of the spots. Top two are a bit messy but the rest are pretty good.

I debated briefly on removing my first two groups of french knots, but then decided to leave them in because they show my progress and also, handmade isn’t meant to be absolutely perfect. At least, not in my view. To me it adds a bit of character. And also, I have no idea how to remove embroidery stitches! hehe

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Em-Broid-er-eeeee!

Here we are on day 17 of Blogtoberfest. The native participants are seeming to be more slowed in their intensity… Sorry! I was drifting into being the David Attenborough of Blogtoberfest! *slaps self*.

Today has been lovely. Lots of geekyness with my love and general relaxation. Some of today was spent browsing embroidery patterns online, and deciding on my next project. I have plans to make my own, very geeky, pattern. Probably SciFi based. But for now, while I am learning stitches, I have decided to embark on another pattern from online.

This lovely one is from Doe-C-Doe, who has a tremendous amount of vintage patterns available online. You can see for yourself, here. I love mushrooms; both the visual aspects as well as the deliciousness of eating them. So mushrooms had to be an embroidery subject, sooner rather than later.

I have the attention span of a flea, or a squirrel in a room full of nuts. So my latest craft obsession is embroidery. It’s not all short attention span, however, it is also partly based on the weather being warmer, and my seasonal lack of interest in wool. Embroidery has my eye now as it is cooler, and more portable. Well, at least around the house.

So in my photos you can see my latest pattern selection, courtesy of Doe-C-Doe, my brand new pink keyboard with non-stickable keys thanks to my Husbitect, my fuel of choice (wine plus unpictured cheese & pate) plus my newly traced pattern in a hoop, ready to go. I am chuffed with my new air/water vanishing pen. It makes me feel more experienced. Ahem.

* Today’s post was brought to you by Blake’s 7, Cliff Richard, Dean Martin, Doctor Who, Wine and Cheese. Plus the colour pink.

My Creative Space

I came across my first attempt at embroidery the other day, and am now adding the last few stitches to finish it. Just a little more detail on the trunk, and a couple more nuts for the squirrel. Cute, isn’t he? I found the pattern on Flickr, in the Embroidery Group pool. Embroidery is more appealing to me at the moment than knitting and crochet, no thanks to the warmer weather!

I’m not sure if I have done the stitches correctly, but I am quite happy with it nonetheless! I’m going glue the edges of the fabric to the back of the hoop and hang it up in the hoop. These first hoops I bought weren’t the best, very hard to tighten. I have some better, plastic ones now. I also enjoyed winding all my threads onto the cards and arranging them in my storage box.

I just came across a very lovely site with free vintage embroidery patterns: Vintage Transfer Finds. Do take a look, so many wonderful patterns to be found.

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