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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas presents - part 1 : Tea Set

Good morning everybody! Today I am presenting you the tea-set I made for my God-daughter for Christmas. In Summer I had made her some felt pasta, biscuits etc., but her mother told me that she actually had neither tea cups nor tea pot! So I thought that it was the perfect idea. Plus since I am not going back to France this year for Christmas time because of the imminent arrival of our second child, making the set out of felt proved to be the ideal idea: it is very light!
I first started searching for patterns, but did not really find much which was simple enough for my taste - it had to be so easy that I could do it in just a few hours (which I did in the end but spread over several days).
I came accross this tea-set which is for sale. I never thought of buying it since I knew I could make it myself and for much cheaper, but it more or less inspired me (I am pretty sure I can safely say that I did not copy it).

I chose the size I wanted (height, width, length) and thought it would be sooooo simple to draw a pattern from there! But in the end I had to call to rescue two physicists! J. from Switzerland and my husband (a huge thank you to them!), they did all sorts of calculations for me and came up with the pattern shown bellow (the brown circles are mine and served a a base for their calculations):

Once the pieces cut, I put some rick-rack band along them so as to decorate the plain (although not too sad looking) felt - oh by the way, I chose thick felt so that the cups and tea pot would stand properly on their own.
Who says tea cups, also says tea bags! I made seven with thin kitchen curtain fabric (no idea how this sort of fabrics is called) and  filled them with remains of fleece and felt cut in mini-pieces. I obviously attached a string with a label on top to the bags. Miniature job really but wait to see the final picture, it was all worth it!

Sewing everything together was not necessarily a very easy job, but my favourite part was the bottom circle. Somehow it was fun to sew it, at the end one could not even see that it was two different pieces of felt fixed together!

Aaaaand, tadaaaaam! Here is the whole thing together, little H. can play happily and serve tea to her dolls and her parents!

 A few more Christmas-presents posts are coming soon! Since I do not know how much time I will have in the next weeks, I am writing them ahead and programming their publication. This way I hope to avoid a long blank period of time :)

[Scheduled Post]

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Monday, 10 December 2012

Embroidery Starter Set with videos

If you remember in Summer I had the visit from my 14 yo cousin, J. Well it is now her birthday and I have put up together a small embroidery set for her, just in case she fancies carrying on what I started to try teaching her in six months ago.

A small fleece and felt pear to carry her needles. I did not find a tutorial, but just images on this blog here. I thought it was a brilliant idea!! I decided for a pear instead since I knew I had some leftover of a really lovely green fleece and I started making it. Mine does not have a pocket for the scissors as did not have enough fleece for that and the shape wasn't appropriate. The button isn't as sweet and fancy as the one on the apple, but it is a button from the collections I inherited from my Grand-mother and I thought the colour was just perfect. The white inside is felt as I have no white fleece (it probably means I should go shopping :-p ).
I even embroidered the core and pips to make it looks a little more realistic :)
To go with the needles, I got J. a measuring tape, a small thimble (hopefully small enough for her thin fingers) and a pair of lovely scissors. I remember how delighted I was when my Grand-mother gave me mine, I still use them with pleasure.
To get her to use those needles and co., I made up a tiny teeny embroidery set, with thread, cloth (with a motif) and a mini-frame in which I hope the cloth with still fit once embroidered.

Joyeux Anniversaire J.!
 And because we are over a thousand kilometers apart, I unfortunately cannot teach her the different stitches while sitting next to her, which is why I have put up together a small booklet with some stitches and I am now posting some videos (in French, sorry!) so that she can also visualise a couple of the stitches. Maybe some of you might like to look at them too and either learn from them OR correct my mistakes!

[Scheduled post]

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Challenge : "Un mot, des titres" - Session 12

Here we are again, back to the Challenge meaning: switching to French :)

Le mot de ce mois-ci était "blanc" (et ses dérivés). J'ai eu beau chercher dans ma bibliothèque personnelle, je n'ai vraiment rien trouvé! Hiver oui, neige oui, noir oui, des tas d'autres couleurs aussi, mais blanc malheureusement non! Mon cher mari a eu la gentillesse de m'emprunter un livre à l'Institut Français de notre ville où il prend des cours. 

ATTENTION: je préfère prévenir que ce livre (et mon commentaire) ne sont pas adaptés aux enfants! (à mon avis)

"Le Petit Aigle à tête blanche" de Robert Lalonde 

Livre que j'avais choisi dans le catalogue en ligne, au hasard, sans regarder ni commentaires ni résumés sur internet... Erreur fatale! C'est le genre de livre que je n'aurais JAMAIS lu si j'avais vu ne serait-ce que le résumé en quatrième de couverture. Et c'est typiquement le genre de livre que j'aurais laissé de côté si je n'avais pas eu le Challenge et un article à écrire. Je ne le relirai pas. 

Voici un résumé que je viens de trouver en ligne (n'ayant plus le livre entre les mains, je ne peux pas recopier ce qui y est écrit):  
"Au début du siècle, sur une terre agricole inculte, fleurit un garçon qui n'aura pour seul lumière qu'un livre d'André Gide, les Nourritures terrestres, qu'il mettra en pratique en canalisant toutes ses passions sur son frère. C'est après son renvoi de chez les frères qu'il reçoit l'illumination : il est poète. Lentement il élabore ce principe simple : «le paradis n'était pas ce qui était arrivé, et dont il fallait à tout prix se souvenir, mais ce qui pourrait arriver et que le poète avait mission d'appeler, comme le sorcier appelle la pluie ou le soleil». Au seuil de sa mort, l'homme nous raconte sa vie."

Pour ma  part je ne saurais trop que dire... L'écriture est assez particulière, parfois très sympathique, mais trop souvent bien trop chargée d'une multitude de qualificatifs qui finalement n'apportent rien sinon de la lourdeur au texte. Le sujet du livre en lui-même est assez particulier. Le narrateur raconte sa vie, en soit rien de bien anormal, mais il n'en raconte pas tous les détails (heureusement), il choisit principalement de parler de sa vie sexuelle et amoureuse qui chez lui a commencé très tôt! De tous ceux qui auront lu ce livre depuis sa publication, ai-je été la seule à être choquée des activités de l'auteur et de son frère? Des activités de l'auteur et d'un jeune homme au séminaire? Des activités de l'auteur et de certains bûcherons? Et puis des hommes, il passe à une femme, puis de nouveau des hommes. L'auteur parle aussi de sa folie, de sa poésie, mais je n'ai pas réussi à en saisir la portée, voire la (potentielle?) beauté.

Je me suis accrochée tout de même afin de pouvoir écrire cet article, mais un sentiment de dégoût, d'étonnement et de frustration (de ne pas avoir choisi un autre livre) m'a accompagnée tout au long de ma lecture. Quelqu'un connait déjà ce livre et aurait quelque chose de plus sympathique à dire? Pour ma part je ne le recommande pas du tout!

Bonne journée et à bientôt pour la prochaine session - ou peut-être pas! Cela dépendra de la date prévue pour rendre nos copies et surtout de mon état de fatigue après avoir accueilli Bébé n°2!