Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Two lampshades.....and a li'l machine doodling!

At the risk of boring you all to death I have prettified yet another old lampshade. Ho-hum...enough already (I can read your have probably seen one too many of my tarted up lampshades to the point of ad nauseum)!! I mean would imagine my humble abode is replete with tarted up lampshades. Actually no, as I do like my path to be lit with many a splendid beacon of light! I do like all those li'l nooks and crannies to be illuminated with a lucent light. Besides, this tarting up of lampshades caper is kinda fun.

Again I have dived into my embroidered lovelies and chosen a few for the task at hand. But this time I decided to add a a li'l bit of perky colour with scraps of fabric. Are you yawning yet?? (I know I am!!!) Well, perhaps just a li'l bo peep before I send you into a soporific slumber.

I carefully snipped scraps of fabric, pulling each panel of fabric as taut as I possibly could and stitched the seams together with a running stitch in embroidery cotton. I then added a  doily here and a doily there, carefully snipping around the doilies on the inside of the shade.

And...voila....another pretty lampshade....but enough of this ho-hum shade.

Now then, wakey wakey.....are you awake!! You might not want to miss this....but then.....perhaps you might!

Now for  a really, really fun lampshade. Well it was fun for me....but then free hand machine stitching is something that really tickles my fancy. This style of stitching (which I have waxed lyrical about  previously and also here) satisfies my love to stitch by the seat of my pants. It satisfies my impetus to veer off that straight and narrow line of monotonous straight stitching, and explore the wiggly and crooked lines. I love the idea that I never really know what my machine sketching will turn out like, and though there is always a fog-like, grand plan demisting in my brainpan, nothing is ever set in needle and thread. If perchance there should be a li'l foible, a li'l hiccup, you just change the oddity into something else. There is something terribly lacking in my DNA as I get quite a kick out of making it up as I go. I love the sense of unexpectedness when drawing with my sewing machine. Of course this kinda stitching can be fraught with frustrations and annoyance along the way, but when all is finished I am usually tickled pink at the results before me and I know I have definitely learnt a thing or two along the way.

This cute tea light candle holder is the inspiration for my lampshade cover. I love the whimsical silhouettes of children intermittently placed around the glass. It is gorgeous when alight with flickering tea lights.

So I gathered together oodles of pictures that I have collected over the years, to play around with ideas for my design.

This is the plain, nothing to get excited about lampshade. One of my stitching girls, who comes for a li'l stitching fun on Monday arvos, said the other day, pointing to my rather uninteresting shade...."Kim, isn't this lampshade a little plain for you!!!!!" I kid you not. Out of the mouth of babes..isn't that just too funny. A nine year old observing that this poor shade looked a li'l out of place sitting amongst my other tarted up lovelies. Mind you this is the same nine year old who told her nan that our home is a magical place!! I suppose to a nine year old, who can stitch whatever she dreams up with whatever pretties hidden in my many armoires; then to her our li'l ole abode is magical. Of course there is nothing wrong with a plain cream shade. Indeed, in a lot of interiors this would look rather spiffy, the 'less is more' look would be's just that I want something a li'l more busy...a li'l more adventurous; an original 'Kim' design.

So....let the stitching begin!!

I decided that I wanted to stitch a tableau of cute children playing and strolling around a lampshade. Illustrations of cute children  picking apples from apple trees, children chatting, children swinging on swings, children climbing trees, children riding bikes....children laughing, chatting and having oodles of fun.

My scene opens in an apple orchard under the shade of two ancient apple trees, more ancient than Great Granny Polly, where children have gathered together to have a fun day. There's Amelia who is busily picking shiny, delicious apples. Oliver is happily swinging, glancing nervously at the plucky Clementine who is rescuing Boo, the puddy cat from lofty heights. Boo has found himself in a bit of a predicament after being chased up the tree by the naughty,  doggity dawg Maisie. Oh be careful, Clementine!

Well...that's one way of getting the apple tree to relinquish it's hold on it's bounty. 
Seb fiercely whacking the branches.

Sarah and Dimity chatting whilst Sam, who is a li'l shy, plays peek-a-boo.

There's Sally and Billy relaxing amongst the flowers, whilst Suzie bites into a delicious apple.

Henrietta is pushing her brother Sam on his trike with Scamp yapping at their heels; and Lucas and Sophie are whizzing by on a trike. Weeeee......this is such fun!

After a li'l tilling of the soil, Ali is having a snooze under the apple tree. 
This gardening caper is tiresome work.

Laura and Mikey have just finished a li'l gardening.

So.......all the boys and girls came out to play,
but have all gone home after a fun-filled day!

Having finished stitching the scene on the fabric, I then glued the fabric onto the shade. This part was quite fiddly, and a tad laborious; and though there are a few creases here and there, that I could not smooth out because of the close stitching in some places, I am quite pleased with the result.

Will this be my last tarted up lampshade?? Probably not. Will I bore you again with the finer points of yet another tarted up shade. Most probably; as already there is another idea hatching in the dark recesses of my imagination. Besides there are a few more shades waiting in the wings to be turned into an original, never to be seen before, lampshade.


  1. I love your lampshades and I think you do a beautiful job at making them.

  2. Amazing! All of them are beautiful and I LOVE the stitching one and the story. I agree with the nine year old. Your home is a magical place :)

  3. I think you do a magnificent job with your lampshades. You inspire me. Unfortunately I still haven't done one.... But oh I do love to see what you have done. Looking forward to the next one, always!

  4. You are totally amazing! The story that you made to follow your lampshade is great. It looks spectacular in that little corner. I'm so glad that you are willing to share your talent with all of us.

  5. I CANNOT get over how gorgeous your free-stitched lampshade is! What an incredible work of art. It goes so well in your room, a perfect finish here!

  6. You've made homemade toile fabric! You're brilliant. Don't ever think we will be bored with your creations. Lovely

  7. OMG that is divine! Love love love it. How clever are you? That is just the sweetest stitching, absolutely joyous. No wonder you enjoyed making this. The other lampshade is fabulous and suits perfectly with all the lovely wall frames but your toile is aomething else!

  8. Your lampshades are so lovely!! I LOVE the stitching one, I want to be one of those kids on the lampshade!!


  9. How could we ever be bored with all these wonderful works of art?! WOW - that is all :-)
    Happy weekend,

  10. I love the lampshades and the stitching one is beautiful love the blue and white colour and the story. :)

  11. I have just come over from Gilly Makes to visit you, you really do make such gorgeous things just like she said. Lovely to find another beautiful and inspiring blog to visit. x

  12. You are a master at the tarted up lampshades! And your stitch sketching is adorable! You are quite the talented woman.

  13. Wow and wow again I was 'sent' here by Gilly makes...because i had attempted a bit of lamp shade making for myself...
    i am so glad I listened to her, you have a fab blog will be following along
    bestest daisy j xx

  14. Your freehand machine stitching is amazing! If you can work such artistic wonders with a sewing machine, imagine why you could do with pen or pencils. Wow!
    Do you do much in the way of fancy fmq?

  15. As soon as I saw the first lamp shade I thought to myself "Oooh - this is my favourite of all Kim's shades". Well that didn't last long! Your stitched lamp shade is so amazing it is almost unbelievable!! I am impressed that you can draw that well, let alone sew it! I love the blue thread on white and that you were able to create such beautiful faces (the reason why I would never attempt such a thing - my stitched faces would turn out demented and awfully scary!). How long did that beautiful scene take to create?

  16. I love all your tarted up lampshades. Each one a piece of glorious art. I admit, though, I have an unadorned shade that's been calling out that it needs something more - something special - "please, just anything" - and I have yet to give it a special touch. Someday...