Sunday, 30 November 2014

Eight & Sixteen in November

Here's a recap of some of our posts over at Eight & Sixteen this month. We're now moving into the 6 month mark of e&s and I can't believe it! It's been so much fun working with Erin and creating this crafty space, thank you to everyone who takes the time to pop over and have a read, it means a lot :)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What I'm Watching When I'm Crafting

When I'm crafting, I go through phases of working in silence, singing along very badly to music or watching all sorts of TV. At the moment (maybe because of the colder weather and darker evenings) TV is currently winning, so I thought I'd share some recent favourite shows.
I know that lots of people have specific routines for how they work, and I didn't realise that for me this actually extends to exactly what I'm watching; it turns out I have specific tastes depending on the craft!

House, M.D

I was super excited to find House on Netflix a few weeks ago. J introduced me to the show back in our teens, but I started watching it with him from season 3, so now I'm starting afresh! I adore Hugh Laurie (Jeeves & Wooster and A bit of Fry & Laurie are old favourites!) and think he's great in this. The show has become the soundtrack to the big "Chair Project" mentioned in my last post; J and I have been working on it together and House is the perfect accompaniment.

American Horror Story

AHS isn't technically on my list anymore, but I loved the first two seasons so much that I thought they deserved a mention. Generally I hate horror/gore so was dubious about this show, but it was so addictive. It became a great show to crochet/knit/weave to as if things got a little scary, I used my crafting as a "hide behind the cushion" alternative! Unfortunately I thought season three could have been amazing but lost its way a bit, and I haven't even moved past the first episode of season four which is super disappointing.


I've heard people talking about this show for years and have seen snippets here and there, but I've just recently started watching it properly and really like it. I can't quite place my finger on why, but I guess there's something endearing about the family, and it always makes me laugh. Karen is just hilarious. I find myself planning with this on in the background - jotting down new ideas or writing up blog posts and editing photos.

Russell Howard's Good News

I've always liked Russell Howard and I love this show, it's perfect for some light-hearted humour whilst I'm working. This tends to be on when I'm at the sewing machine - it's all bite-sized information and punchlines so it doesn't matter if I miss a few bits 'coz I'm sewing.

Life Story

And finally, this doesn't quite count as I find myself very distracted by Life Story - or anything presented by David Attenborough in fact - but this is another show that I put on when I've got computer work to do. There is something so perfectly soothing about David Attenborough's voice, and whilst I rarely take away any knowledge from the shows, I love watching them and am always in awe at the world we live in.

There are of course countless other shows I could talk about; Friends, Sex and the City, Jonathan Creek, Black Books, Fawlty Towers, QI, Harry Potter etc., but as I said these are just a selection of current favourites.

So, I'd love to know - what are you watching when you're crafting?!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Crafting: Taking on Upholstery

I have been sidetracked by yet another DIY project. The list is getting out of hand (note to self: I still have a wedding dress to make!) but this armchair needs me, and I it.
It started when I saw an old Parker Knoll armchair in a charity shop, but admitted defeat when J pointed out that it was clearly too big to fit in the flat. So, I took to Freecycle, Gumtree and eBay and started searching for the perfect armchair. It proved to be a frustrating search - everything was either too big, too expensive or in need of too much work. I kept looking. I sulked.

Then a few weeks ago leaving work, I was talking to the girls about this elusive chair that must exist. We walked about two minutes up the road and found the chair - albeit disguised in really gross fabric - abandoned outside someone's house. I went over and asked if it really had been abandoned; it had. I taxied it home.

So here I am right now, sat looking at this chair that so desperately needs reupholstering. Not that Pixel seems to mind the fabric - she hasn't stopped sleeping on it since it arrived and actually gets quite irate if I start examining any part of it.
The frame is in great condition and the size is perfect, so I'm just trying to convince myself that I can take on upholstery and win.
I've already watched countless videos on how to reupholster yourself, finally found a reason to buy myself a glue gun and have just won a huge roll of fabric on eBay that will hopefully be perfect.

If you have any tips or advice for me then I'm all ears, 'coz I have a feeling that I might be a little out of my depth!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Super+Super: Embroidery & Printmaking Book Reviews

Embroidery and Printmaking by Claire Culley and Amy Phipps, published by GMC (£12.99 each, available HERE).
Copies c/o GMC

When these books landed on my doorstep a few days ago, I was pretty darn excited. I've met Claire and Amy a few times through their collective Super+Super, and have enjoyed blog meet ups and craft evenings in their midsts. It's so exciting to see how well they're doing!

These books are full to the brim with perfectly accessible and contemporary projects alongside tips and tricks to get you started. They range from lazy crafter projects for those easily distracted, to full on weekender projects for the craftaholic so there is definitely something for everyone. Whilst I'm more inclined to head to the more in depth projects, I think it's great that they've provided simpler projects too - if you're new to either embroidery or printmaking then these books will be a great starting point.
I'm also very taken with the whole aesthetic of the books. The photography and design is all spot on, and I think any crafter would love to keep these books on their coffee table.

Printmaking is the kind of book that has you flicking through and instantly getting those "itchy fingers". You know the ones, where you start mentally searching your home wondering if you have everything you need to get making immediately.
I've had screen printing on my "to learn" list for a long time now, and the tips in this book have shed some light on the process making me even more eager to get learning.
The projects in this book range from clothing to homewares and all have a wonderful texture about them. The act of printing is so satisfying and produces such unique results, and I think that the girls have really captured the beauty of that in this book.

Out of the two books, I thought that Printmaking would be my favourite, but Embroidery has proven me wrong! I've already bookmarked two of the projects that I think would make great Christmas presents, and of course I was totally besotted by the cactus sampler!
Again there are great tips and tricks in this book to help with different stitches, and so many different ways to breathe new life into old items. Upcycling on top of everything else? It's a win win.