Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Picnic that Never Happened

A while ago we went to an outdoor dinner with a group of friends.  We all brought parts of the meal, and I was responsible for the decor.  I decided to use paper that I had at home to create place mats and candle holders.  I was rather pleased with the outcome.  (*)
But the weather did not play it's part, and the wind howled.  We had to pin everything down while we ate and at least one of us was planted with a flying plateful of a neighbour's liver pate - thanks to a cheeky gust of wind. 
So - actually the picnic did happen, but the decor didn't.  It stayed packed safely away from the elements.
I did use the handmade paper decor at a family dinner later, but I didn't get any of the lovely early evening, candle-lit dinner by the seaside pics I was hoping for :-)

Place Mats
I decided to base the place mats on a hexagonal shape.  I was reminded that a hexagon is a polygon with six sides, which  I could create by placing 6 equilateral triangles together.  (You can get an idea of this when you see the folds on the place mats)
I took some leaves from the garden, placed them on my triangle and used them to make a decorative edge.
This is the pattern I created (and which you can copy and print out if you would like to make one too):

Monday, August 25, 2014

Re-styled Cardigan

I thought I'd show you a project I did a while ago.  A friend gave me a beautiful cotton cable jersey that she was no longer wearing.  I wore it as a v-neck pullover for a while, but decided I would rather have a cardigan.
I had some crochet cotton in a similar beige colour.  I bravely cut the jersey down the centre, using the cable pattern to guide me in a straight line.  I turned and pinned the raw edges in by about 1cm, and secured them in place with a blanket stitch.   I then stitched blanket stitch around the neck edge as well as the sleeve and hem edges.
This gave me a basis for the crochet work.
I worked around all the edges in double crochet.  I added a few extra rows up and down the centre section to make up for the turned in raw edges.  I finished these edges these off with a simple picot edging.
I attached a simple crochet covered button on one side with a crocheted a chain stitch loop fastening on the other.
It's been a lovely addition to my wardrobe and a fun artisan project for this enthusiastic novice crocheter:-)  
Here it is seen cheered up with a favourite lime green thrifted scarf of mine. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cords - Rainbow Tinted Coils

I have a copy of Elizabeth Glasier Foster's book - Embroidery and Design in the New Stitchery, published in 1926.  Included in this volume is a chapter on making the most interesting cords.
Her colourful encouragement lights up the black and white pages with expressions like:
"Cord constitutes a very effective, artistic and most inexpensive form of trimming for dresses, hats and all sorts of household articles."
"The twisting and the twining of the bright-coloured threads into rainbow-tinted coils..."
I think it would have given Elizabeth great pleasure to know that almost 100 years later - cords are still being hand crafted.
I have been trying out this simple and satisfying technique to make some necklaces.  I like the fact that the cords are washable and gentle on your skin.  The Kanzashi necklaces that went into the Freshly Found store a while ago have twisted cord strings.

Now This new limited edition series of necklaces have vintage needle gauge bells as their pendants!

Do it Yourself:
Choose 5-10 strands of crochet cotton.  Experiment with different colours and thicknesses.
The strands should be about 3 times as long as you would like the finished necklace to be.
Knot the strands together on both ends.
Secure one end onto something solid - a hook, a door knob, a chair leg, etc. Use a pencil to help you twist the cords from the other end.
Keep on until the cord is tightly twisted.   
Take hold of the centre with one hand and the 2 ends with the other, and let the cord double back on itself and twist together.
Knot the ends together and trim and comb them out to form a tassel. 
Attach onto your Granny's Bell Needle Guage :-)
Or Buy a ready-made one online: 

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Book Logs

The phrases: 'Book Folding' and 'Folded Books' are right up there in the top 10 search keywords that bring people to the Freshly Found blog.
We have done a fair bit of book work over the years at Freshly Found.
With life being rather chilly here in the Southern Hemisphere, I thought it may be a good idea to warm up the view of the fireplace with some 'logs'!
[Please don't actually set them alight in your fireplace, unless you want a quick short blaze]
These Book Logs are made from Basic Barrel Roll Fold.  You may like to pop over to the Freshly Found Tutorial for that.  Happy folding!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Launch of The Golden Paw Society - Freshly Found Was There!

Thanks to The Highway Mail for mentioning Freshly Found's presence at the launch of the Golden Paw Society.  The theme of the event was recycling, which is where we fitted in.
I am so grateful to charities like the SPCA for the service they provide for recycling businesses like Freshly Found.
while I was there, I snapped some pics of the delightful venue.  Pop over to the Freshly Found Durban Blog to read about Marilyn's Tea House at The SPCA

The Kloof and Highway SPCA launched their Golden Paw Society on 29 May at their premises in an attempt to get the community more involved and more aware about what goes on at the SPCA.
Barbara Patrick, manager of the Kloof and Highway SPCA said, “Our first priority is to get to know our community and get them to know more about us. We rely on the support of our community for finances and their time to help us.”
Marketing manager, Barbara Laubscher also emphasised the importance of getting the community involved. “We have a small staff and we need the community to become part of our family. We need the community to be our eyes and ears to report animal cruelty. There are also ways you can be involved however small from collecting coins, to donating clothing and items for the Village Green shops to spreading the good work of the SPCA to family and friends.”
The Golden Paw Society meetings will take place on the last Thursday of the month. The meetings are a way of providing feedback to the community about the SPCA’s latest projects, getting the community involved in the SPCA and letting the public get to know the faces behind the SPCA.
If you would like to become involved, contact Barbara Laubscher on 031 764 1212/3.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kanzashi Flower Necklace

Japanese styled fabric flower necklace created from local vintage sari fabric. 

Threaded with a hand-twisted cotton cord and finisnished off with touches of crochet.
New in the online store. 
More colour options coming soon!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Washi Proteas

Today is the start of the annual ECR House and Garden Show.
Freshly Found proteas will be on display at the Washi Bug Stand. 
Each Protea is decorated with Washi tape from their range.  In particular, we used the recently launched Candy Stripe Protea Design by Surita Brink.

Follow Washi Bug on Facebook to keep up to date with events at the show.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mixed Bunch of Proteas

A new option in the online store - a bright mixed bunch of Proteas!
The flowers are made up from a variety of coloured and painted recycled papers.
Each bunch consists of 7 proteas, 4 origami lilies and 5 feather leaves.
Freshly Found was delighted to donate 1 of these bunches to the Durban etsy craft party last week.
The bunch of proteas is long lasting and is great for home decor or for commercial reception areas.
The blooms have a very high recycled content and local crafters are involved in hand making them, so they have an appeal to those who are environmentally and community conscious.
Visit the Freshly Found Online Store to find out more

Monday, June 09, 2014

Azuma Bukuro Bags

Azuma Bukuro - Quite a mouthful! 
A  clever and simple traditional Japanese style bag. Also called a wrap bag or triangle bag. [I believe Azuma means East and Bukuro means bag or wrapping] 
It's made from a rectangle of fabric that's cleverly folded and stitched. 
I made myself a couple from vintage sari fabric.
I have some beautiful vintage Japanese saris too and I am making them up into bags for the Freshly Found online store.  The pretty print of the patterned border creates interesting lines when made up into the bag.
When the handle is untied, the bag can be neatly folded up for storage.
The pink and white version shown here is available in the online store.  If you would like to make one yourself, there are a number of tutorials online.  Burda have a well illustrated tutorial for making this  "Triangle Bag" and Mifuku have a photo-illustrated Spanish and Japanese Tutorial too.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

White Washed Proteas

A new batch of proteas with a slightly different finish

Whitewashed book paper and paper twist stems.