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Sunday, 23 March 2014

SURPRISE ~ I AM ENTERING THE HILLARYS BLINDS COUNTRY CRAFT COMPETITION

Good Morning to you,


Well, I have a surprise for you this morning, as I know you will be wondering what I am cooking today..... but the surprise is..... there is no cooking.  Instead I am going to tell you about a sewing competition which I am entering, but let me start at the beginning.

Now I have to tell you, I am normally not a person who enters competitions. I have only entered one competition in my life and that was a Blue Peter Competition, oh so many years ago, when I was about 9 years old..... I did not win, much to my chagrin.... I sat in front of the television waiting for my name to be called.... and much to my disappointment, the presenter did not call out my name.....so maybe that is why I never entered another competition..... no I don't think that is true, I just never thought of entering competitions.

That is, until I heard about Hillarys Blinds Country Craft Competition.  So I popped over to Hillarys Blinds website and discovered, that they were inviting bloggers to "Cut, Stitch and Blog".  

Hillarys Blinds would generously provide bloggers with a 100cm x 100cm piece of Country Retreat Fabric, which we could do with, what ever we wanted.  At this point, I was still not going to enter the competition, I was just inquisitive, but then, I saw the four different fabrics on offer.  The first one to catch my eye was "Wild Poppies".... I love flowers, so I thought, mmm that is a nice piece of material..... but then I saw "Bird Parade" and I was smitten.  I absolutely adore this fabric and I knew instantly that, yes, I would love to enter the competition, because the fabric was perfect for me.

Firstly let me show you a closeup of the fabric and then I will tell you why I chose to enter Hillarys Blinds Country Craft Competition.


Isn't he a magnificent  Peacock.  I immediately knew what I wanted to do with this fabulous piece of material.

I really felt all the stars were aligned and I had to enter the competition because, as you know, not only does Natasha live in India, but  Danielle is in India, visiting with Natasha as we speak.

The Peacock is the National bird of India and what do I see when I am sitting on Natasha's balcony.... these majestic, graceful, Peacocks, either roosting in the trees or walking around the Nature Reserve with their Peahens following behind.

.... and there is even more, all the beads and bits and bobs which I will use on this piece of work, all came from India.  So when I say the stars are aligned..... I really believe the stars are aligned and they are encouraging me to be creative with this beautiful Bird Parade fabric.

So first things first, before I get my "creative head" into gear, I want to share with you, the music I am listening to,


the classical guitarist Milos Karadaglic.  This music is perfect to listen to whilst beading..... oops I've let the cat out of the bag and told you what I am going to do.

So let us begin.


not at the beginning, but where I am up to at the moment.  I felt this majestic Peacock needed his plumage to look beautiful and so,


I  gathered all my beads, threads and embellishments to decide on the colours to use.  It was such an easy task as all the vibrant coloured beads and embellishments were from India. 

.... and so I began.

I will not tell you today, the basics of what I did, such as cutting and basting, I will leave that for another day.  Today, I want to share with you  the exciting part of adding the beads, embroidery and embellishments.

So after the cutting and basting I needed to decide where I was going to,


place my beads.  I knew instantly where I wanted to place the circles of turquoise and gold beads.  So they were the first thing to be stitched into place.


and then I added the purple drop beads and as you can see a small heart made it's way on to the piece.... you know my love for hearts.


I then side tracked..... which I often do and added the flower shapes, then placed a bead into the centre of each flower.


I then decided it was time to think about the wing feathers.... and I had just the thing.... don't the beads and sequins look fabulous.



I had the perfect thing for the feathers on the Peacock's head..... three small heart beads.


I then added a little embroidery and used a chain stitch.  I added small turquoise, blue, gold and green beads.   The tail feathers were coming along beautifully.


It was then the turn of the folded tail feathers, so I outlined the feathers with large turquoise beads and infilled with tiny turquoise beads.


I am so pleased with how the piece is progressing.


There is still a lot to do, and I think the next thing will be to sequin the chest of the Peacock.  I will see how the sequins look before I make up my mind.

I am sewing each day and into the evening.  George has been amazing as he has cooked, while I sew. Normally I would take quite a long time to finish a piece such as this, but time is of the essence, so I need to get my shimmy on and finish. I bead for an hour and then I walk around the house and do a few stretching exercises. Then I return to my kitchen table and carry on beading. 

Because I need to finish the bead work and embroidery by the middle of this week, I might not be able to bead the whole piece, but we will see. 

Now, I wonder if you can guess what I am making.... I think you will be surprised when you find out, because I don't think you will be able to guess. What I will say, is it is something which you associate with me.... now that has you thinking. 

Also, when I have finished I will write a post about how I made the piece..... I have to be careful how I use my words as I don't want to give the game away.

So this is the reason I have not been visiting you this week, as most of my time has been taken up with sewing.  I do hope you understand.  Once I have finished this project, I will be out and about visiting you again.

Wish me luck and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,





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