Friday, 29 January 2010

Little Jumping Joan Embroidery Pattern

I am very pleased to show you the first of what I hope will be many embroidery pattern PDFs! To celebrate, the first one is FREE (click on the link below to view the PDF and print it out if you wish) and I will be selling some from my Etsy shop very soon, so please watch this space!

Click this link for the free PDF pattern:

I've also anticipated that you might want to show off your creations (of course you do! Please don't tell me that I'm the only person who likes to blow her own trumpet occasionally...) so I've created a Flickr group! Which is here:

So why Little Jumping Joan? Well, I have a little board book of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, illustrated by Rosemary Wells and there's a particular picture in there to go along with the skipping rhyme:

"Here I am
Little Jumping Joan
When no-one's with me
I'm all alone"

The picture shows a black bunny in a happy, multi-coloured stripey cardi, skipping with a rope, and the sky looks very dark and overcast, but somehow it makes me feel cosy. The bunny looks like she's out in the countryside which I associate with my own childhood in Leicestershire, and the safe feeling of being alone and able to do exactly what I wanted. So I've drawn a bunny doing her own thing, not caring what anyone thinks and having a bloomin' good time!

I do have a confession to make though; I haven't even embroidered her myself yet! But I am going to, starting tomorrow (as soon as I've taken our Christmas tree down. Don't ask...) I just couldn't wait to post the PDF here. So maybe you will beat me to it and post your embroidery in the group before me!

Even if you don't download the pattern, I hope you like the drawing. :-)
best wishes
Joey x

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Cutest Lego, Ever!

If you've played the Nintendo video games Pikmin/Pikmin 2, you'll be familiar with the tiny part-animal, part-plant creatures that are the pikmin themselves, and the numerous monstrous beasts which attack the peaceful pikmin in many strange ways. The otherworldly designs of the monsters are inventive and beautiful; from frog-like spotty “Bulborbs” which munch up the pikmin like a quick and tasty snack; to the floating “Blowhogs” which puff tornado-like blasts to scatter the tiny pikmin into the path of other monsters which threaten to squash, burn, or poison them. In the game, the “Piklopedia” is the name given to the collection of pictures and information about the monsters, which you gather as you progress through the game and discover more, and weirder, animals.

I stumbled across Filip Felberg's Lego Piklopedia on Flickr quite by chance, and I'm so glad that I did. Filip has been making his versions of the wonderful creatures in Pikmin, almost entirely in Lego bricks, and has shared many of them on Flickr. I got in touch with Filip and he agreed to answer a few questions about his unique project.

I think I can confidently say that we all liked playing with Lego bricks when we were kids, and some of us haven't lost that love of the brightly-coloured, well-designed plastic blocks. For Filip, it was only by chance that he rediscovered them. “One day after I played the first Pikmin game and I was baby-sitting my little brothers, I started building a Red Pikmin with the Lego bricks they were playing with. Then I made the other Pikmins and started building some monsters; after I started uploading them on the Internet I couldn't stop!”

Filip told me that he's been working on this project since February 2009. “At the start I only used pieces that I already owned, I didn't buy any bricks at all. In this period I remember that I built pretty much every week. But after a while I needed more and more Lego in specific colours and began buying some “Lego Basic Bricks Deluxe” sets. Soon I started to buy special parts from Bricklink and because I had to wait a week or two till the packages arrived, it went weeks without any Lego building. But when I do get the packages, though, I can spend the entire evening building creations!”
The process which Filip uses to transform the designs from the game into Lego models is quite intuitive and playful. “Some of my models was made using a previous model as a guide, but only those that are really similar, like the Red Bulborb and the Orange Bulborb. Most of the time, however, I print out images from the net and use them as inspirations for my models. I don't make any drawings before I start, but I always think long and hard about what the model should look like before building”.
“I've had a lot of favourite creations from my project, but I must say that my Careening Dirigibug (pictured below) is currently my favorite, mostly because it is my most accurate creation yet (in my opinion), but also because it's very cool creature. Gotta love the Tingle reference! :P”
As well as making the models himself, Filip has also created instructions on how to make many of the monsters so that anyone else with a bit of Lego can have a go at making them. You can see Filip's instructions here:
and here:
“There's only thing that annoys me about Lego, and that is that none of their bricks are perfect squares/cubes. It really annoys me when I try to make pixelated creations, and it would be a lot more easier for people to make something that is a perfect circle or something like that. But then again, I couldn't bear it if the Lego Group suddenly began to produce their Lego in perfect squares”.
Lego have brought out their versions of Star Wars, Spongebob Squarepants and Harry Potter, to name a few. I asked what else Filip would like to see made into Lego sets. “Besides Pikmin I would really like James Cameron's Avatar to be made in Lego. It could introduce some really interesting and unique new Lego parts seeing as the Na'vi people are taller than the people from Earth. It shouldn't be impossible either, seeing as the film is one of the most successful films of all time and I'm sure that the Lego Group would like to take a part of that success! Fantastic movie, by the way!”Filip said that if he had as much time and as many bricks as he needed, he might make the whole first stage in the original Donkey Kong game. He said, “it would require a lot of bricks but I think it would be cool. Perhaps I will do it in the future”.
Filip told me that what he enjoys most about building with Lego, “is to get comments on my creations. It's always fun when someone comments on my stuff, and it helps me to continue with this project”. So, if you've enjoyed reading about Filip's Piklopedia and seeing his models, please leave your comments below and on his Flickr stream:
Official Pikmin site:

Many thanks to Filip for his kind permission for this feature and for using pictures from his Piklopedia.

Warm wishes,
Joey x

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Cute Way to Store Your Sewing Kit!

This is the second issue of Making Gifts Magazine, which features my house étui box. This is actually the first etui box I've made. If you haven't heard of étui boxes, they've been around for hundreds of years in various forms, and basically an étui box is a decorative container for small objects used by ladies and gentlemen, for example needlework equipment or grooming bits and bobs.

I decided to make mine as a little house. The roof (lid) lifts off, and the four "walls" of the house flop open to reveal pockets to store sewing things, although you can keep anything in there. There's also a little needle-book and I've made an apple-shaped pincushion which sits in the middle.

What I most enjoyed about making this was the embroidery on the front of the house; I'm getting more and more into embroidery and I can see myself making a large embroidery at some point soon... Secondly, it was lovely to see it all come together from what started out as a little idea in my mind, which I sketched out and then went through a process of designing how it would all fit together! It took a few cardboard models and lots of cheap felt to test my ideas out. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.

What do you think? Do you like it? Would you like to make one for yourself?

If you'd like to get the instructions, you can either buy Making Gifts Magazine online and have it delivered to you free (UK customers) or you can buy it from Hobbycraft stores or your local craft supplies shop.

Joey x

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Snow Season

Morning Snow by Mathew, originally uploaded by Joey 7.

After days and days, the snow is still here... and according to the BBC, tonight the temperature may fall as low as -20c in places. I'm more a spring and summer person, I'm not keen on the cold and I really really dislike slippery pavements, so much so that I've taken to wearing socks over my shoes when there's ice about. They do tend to help a little, and give a bit of traction when you're walking uphill (there's a lot of hills in Sheffield!). I must add though, they're no good in slush.

And although the cold and snow isn't my favourite weather by a long way, I have been enjoying the last couple of days of clear blue skies and bright sunshine. The alternative would probably be the usual January weather of grey skies, fog and damp...

Wishing everyone warm thoughts
Joey xx

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Beautiful Things!

Do you know about the (fairly) new galleries feature on Flickr? It's great - you can curate your own little "art exhibition" of your favourite pictures, and there's no limit to the number of galleries you can create, the only limit is the number of pictures for each gallery (18 pictures). I've created a few so far; the gallery pictured above is a collection of images of things that I find particulary lovely. What do you think, do you like it? (click on the big picture above to go straight to the gallery on Flickr to look at more of these artists' work! have fun exploring!) Don't forget to comment if you like what you see! :D

The lovely things are (from top left to bottom right):
I love the simplicity and perfection of the snowflake in "my fascination continues" by carolyn_in_oregon
the "papier mache tiger" by mumblion is just super-cute!
I really like the character designs and the neutral colours of "in the woods" by Camilla Engman
"Red Door" by Virginhoney is so cute!
The "Charley Harper Tile Mural" photographed by ilovecoffeeyesido is wonderful, I just love Charles Harper's style.
The simple beauty of "with heart" by virginhoney is wonderful.
The cute felted world by pipapiep is just too cute and looks wonderfully well-made!
I think if I had the "ferris wheel bank" by unadventurous, I would definitely be encouraged to save my pennies in it!
I love the cute little boy on this Japanese yoghurt pot by Bubi Au Yeung
This short video, "el viento/Nick" by fantasiaink is so cute and fabulous!
I adore the "baby's bookshelf" by bpotstra
I think the "wool baby" by hine is so cute and clever too!
A wonderfully neat "hand embroidered Charley Harper cardinal" by arimethia - just gorgeous!
Fantastic design for the childrens' "ANORAK magazine" by Jack Hudson Illustration - creepy cute!
The very strange and beautiful "Forest Floor Beast" by Eva Funderburgh from her series of fantastical creatures
This cosy 1950s-feel scene, "Happy Holidays Everyone" by hine is adorably perfect!
The "Suitcase shelves" by Skunkboy Creatures are both ingenious and cute!
A super-pretty coaster: "Varligt underlagg!" by TM - the crocheteer! - too nice to use!

I hope you've had at least half as much joy from looking at these beauties, as I've had in compiling this list!

Smiles! :-)
Joey x


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