Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bigger and Brighter

Why stick to bottlecap size when you can do bigger? She says after sowing it all wrong and having to unpick it. At least it is a learning curve. It's the BigJen pincushion number two. In honour of being more technicolour I have cracked open the neon thread I bought in a village hall deep in the fens not long since.

Friday, October 27, 2006

More Bottle Tops

So I've been drinking bottled water and diet Coke all week trying to get more bottle tops. I think as soon as I try some flowery ones I'll have purged the need and can move onto something new. Until then they just keep on coming.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Vulcan Junior

Behold! My amazing birthday present from my bestest friend. It is a minature sowing machine. It sits on my fancy book shelf now inbetween the boys informations texts. As we all now boys seems to like books telling them how to do something. It'a topical because now Ray has launched her own blog. Click here to see this new adventure and ask her how she's going to top my birthday present this Christmas!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Miniature Pin Cushions

These are made from bottle tops, they're ace and they only take 20 minutes to make. I just wish I had more bottle tops. I've just been mucking about really seeing what looks nice on them. Click the link from this post to see Jen's tutorial. Her other pin cushions are amazing aswell, she's a far better stitcher than me, but for a first attempt I'm pretty pleased.

When I was a young teen I had this massive craze on friendship bracelets, I made hundreds of them. Then, as you do, I grew out of that phase but was left with a massive bag of embroidery thread of every conceivable colour. My mum used to put skeins in my stocking every Christmas. Now suddenly I have this massive resource for cake decorating. It shows that keeping something for 10 years and never touching it doesn't mean you should throw it away.

It's been raining all weekend so I'm on a cake mission for Christmas presents.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


So not wanting to leave any monkey unlauded; here is Boris the Gibbon. A thick, lumpy, bendy kind of monkey with a penchant for eating flies and watching Columbo.

Things I learnt:
You should make sure the arm seams are at the back, especially if you line up th stripes as badly as I did. See how pinning the stripes front and back can make a difference now?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Weighed Down

After long hours of experimentation at monkey HQ, Dr JJ has concluded her study of using lentils at the ends of monkey limbs to help weigh them down. Here are her findings:

• Too many lentils with warp the sock material, stretching it over time nd leaving gaps of nothing where lentils meet stuffing.
• No lentils prevent monkeys from sitting comfortably on shelves and door knobs
• With the exact right amount of lentils, especially in the tail, you can create a monkey that is reassuring to hold and will perch anywhere.
• Lentils are an overall good thing.

Above you will see Emo, with slightly too many lentils and Boris, with no lentils. I think we can all see that an inbtween lentil count is ideal.

Thus concludes the scientific study.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Red little Monkey

Introducing Slagathor. He looks like a slagathor doesn't he? It's a bit of a monkeyfest at the moment to make up for the lull over the summer when it was too hot to stay indoors. I now concluded The Great Lentil Experiment. Emo the purple goth was full of them. He sat beautifully, his arms long and stretchy, but I worried for him. I worried his sock flesh would eventually stretch and he would have empty baggy bits where no stuffing and no lentils lived. So I made another emo; a fatter, thicker beast. As soon as he has eyes I will show you the difference. He has no lentils weighing him down and you shall see how this affects him. So I decided to put some, not to many, lentils in this stripey monkey for Ruby. Ruby, being full of drool, requested a monkey with tags. Apparently babies love thick tags. So I gave this cheeky chap one on his head and one of his back making his bum a bit more sticky outy in the process. He sits well, but in the end I think a few more lentils are needed. One day I shall create the exact mix and the age old lentil to stuffing ratio will be solved. He also has medium long legs. Not as extreme as the gibbons but not as stocky as Thug.

Things I learned with slagathor
1. More lentils demmit
2. You can make a very thin tale and not need to stuff it, just put a few lentils in it.
3. You can sculpt a bum if you wish it, although it gives them a baboonesque look which is slightly unsettling.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Finish Monkey

So someone sent me some socks to make into a monkey, from Finland no less. They were expensive socks I could tell. I've only made monkeys from ultra cheapo socks or socks I have worn into the ground, and the difference in quality was noticable. I decided not to put any weights in this monkey and see how he fared.

Things I learned:

1. The more expensive socks are tighter, firmer and thicker.
Result: His arms stick out and even unstuffing didn't seem to help.
2. If you sow the arms too high up, the monkey becomes a thug.
3. If you take time to pin the stripes before you sow, they all join up better.
4. A generous toe makes for a slaphead monkey.

Behold: The Thug. His shoulders shake when he sniggers. He mutters. He eats with his fingers. There's no teaching them.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I like the Leg

Well it's been some time, but I finally have a rainy weekend ahead and nothing to do other than have a monkey fest. So without further a do I am starting three at once experiementing with arm and leg length. Emo was the longest, hence him being a gibbon. He has gone to his new owner now. Eoi lives in Iceland and is 3. Apparently he hasn't choked on an eyeball yet so all is good.

It got me thinking about my next monkey fest and whether they too should be gibbons or just long armed monkeys so I'm going to vary the length. We'll have a cheeky short yellow one first, then a gangly red one, then another gibbon and see how they all come out. Maybe a bit less weight in the arms of these ones as I think the material will just stretch overtime making for some quite wrinkly monkeys.