Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Productive day, despite mishap

Today I finished two books I started late yesterday afternoon. My work rate is gradually picking up.

The book on the right is for MIL's birthday in September. The embroidery thread I used for the stitching is from a box of embroidery thread she gave me as she no longer does close work. The colors are neatly ordered (not by me!) into 3 layers, with like colors together. Fabulous selection! It's a hard bound book, and as usual I had a bit of trouble getting the needle through all the layers. I used a thimble but also a bit too much force and the needle broke through the thimble and went into my finger. Ouch! After doing a bit of first aid I took some time out. Wouldn't want to bleed on the book after all that work. Also raided hubby's workshop and found that pliers are great for working the needle through to the other side, so I'll use that in future. When he finds out he will probably use that as an excuse to go to Bunnings and buy me my own pliers.

The other book I'll be taking to the U.S. along with others that I'll be making, to give as gifts. I've done tortoise shell stitching which I think is so pretty. The little print, which seems to be almost 3 dimensional, is just cut out from a glossy catalogue. I'm always on the lookout for such things now to use as decoration. Now I know why people into crafts are always talking about storage!


Sue said...

Your books are beautiful and I'm sure you MIL will appreciate the gift!
A needle poke can be so sore.
Storing crafts is always a challenge, isn't it!!

Robert said...

What a wonderful idea for a gift! I think craft gifts mean so much more. Everytime she looks at the book, she will be reminded of her family! I think we lost so much folk art in America. I've attended museum exhibits that show beautiful work done by quilters and weavers.

I enjoyed doing craft projects with kids, such as paper mache, when I was teaching. It opened up a whole creative side in me, which I didn't know existed.

Val, you've inspired me to develop a crafts hobby! I am finally going to register at that pottery class at the local adult school!

Annette said...

Val, what about using an awl to pre-poke the hole for the needle? After my first book, I used an awl and it made all the difference in the world.

Tammy said...

those are some beautiful books you made!!

PEA said...

Your work is amazing on those books...everyone who will be receiving one as a gift from you will be delighted for sure:-) I've poked my finger with a needle a few times and ouch, it's so painful for a few days!!

Meow said...

Val, those books are wonderful, I love them.
Oooooh, I winced when reading about you poking your finger ... I've done that, and I reckon the blunt end of the needle does more damage than the sharp end ... which is what I'm presuming you did !! Owwww !! Hope the throbbing has stopped !!
Enjoy the rest of your Thursday, and have a great Friday.
Take care, Meow

Lindsay Lobe said...

A gift that is designed and made by you means so much more. I am sure the recipients will be delighted.

Best wishes

Val said...

Thank you for all your commiserations on my needle pierced finger. It was the blunt end of the needle too, which I hadn't really thought about until Meow mentioned it. Aaargh! It makes my typing a bit slower too, which matches the slow download time on my internet connection (we've been demoted to dial up speed until tomorrow (the first) because we went over our download limit.

Annette, I do pre-poke the holes with hammer and bodkin/awl, but the trouble starts when I need to sew in the same hole more than once. Things get a bit crowded. Mel gave me a proper awl, that you use to sew and repair tents (from his boyscout days!), and I think he need to show me how to use that.

Robert, I think that crafts are on the way back, judging by all the craft-devoted blogs I see. Quilting is really big here in Australia. It's fun to do something like a craft as it's a chance to meet new people, share ideas, etc. I'm looking forward to my next workshop on Tuesday. A former colleague will be there, as well as someone I met at the last workshop.

John Cowart said...

Hi Val,
Of course I know nothing about your craft but I have an idea that may help. Could you use a small drill to puncture the holes for the cords. My son gave me a drill for model ship building and it made work much easier. I think it's called a Drummel or something like that. It's a power drill a little larger than a fountain pen. Saves a lot of hurt fingers.

Alice said...

Hope the finger is feeling much better, Val. Great work you're doing with the books. Very creative.

Jeanette said...

Hi Val
Your very creative nice book
Ouch that hurts hope you didnt get any blood on the books . pricked my finger many times doing tapestry
Take care hope Carlton has a win for you .

Go Tigers!!!

Kerri said...

You sure are having fun making those books Val, except for the poked finger, of course. Ouch, that hurts!! They'll make wonderful gifts which will be so appreciated, I'm sure.
That recipe sounds delicious! That 'day in the life' sounds just perfect. Good for you!
Judging by all the crafters and wonderful creations I see at craft shows here, crafting is alive and well in this country!
Regarding the Japanese beetles...thankfully, we don't have many and they haven't actually bothered our gardens much at all, although this year there were more than usual. They bother the roses more than anything.
Hope you have more of those wonderful 'your time' days :)

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Your poor finger! I'm glad you found your husbands tool to finish your books. Your books are lovely Val...You do a beautiful job making them.

Ampersand Duck said...

Yeah, bugger the awl, Val. Go the power drill with a thin 'bit' (but remember to take the bit out before putting the drill away otherwise the bit snaps, take it from experience). Put some box board on either side of the book, clamp it with bulldog clips, sit it all on some scrap wood, and drill the holes in seconds, feeling the buzz that you get from being a Woman Using Power Tools. use your husband's at first, then get your own. A dremel is a great size for bookmakers, but if too expensive, just get a cheap drill and a box of thin bits. Needlenose pliers are every crafter's friend, and so is your trusty toolbox, which fills up very quickly.

For those who feel weird buying tools: buy yourself all the tools you need as presents for your husband, then borrow them back ;)

Ampersand Duck said...

... but if you have to use an awl to poke holes for japanese bindings, remember to wiggle the awl thoroughly to make allowances for multiple needle entries! Other bindings don't need larger holes, but these do (as you've found out!)