About steffnouveau

SteffNouveau - the new blog to accompany the StephanieFaith.net web site. A place to add the daily snippets of my life, including subjects related to art and design, expenditions, gardening; and to showcase my latest sewing / craft projects, which will include the odd piece for sale. Enjoy! ;)

Scotty Dog Bag + Cap

my_scotty_dog_bag_cap_26june11Whilst I was studying dressmaking level 3 (autumn 2009 – summer 2010) I designed and made this Scotty dog bag from the gorgeous red tartan fabric and the black cotton I had over from the skirt I was sewing on the course. I also covered a military cap with some of the tartan fabric.

The bag has an internal snap fastening and a mid-length handle which loops round the entire bag, so becoming the base and sides. The front and back panels are circular.

The Scotty dog emblem, so popular when it entered, barking and yapping onto the 1950s’ fashion scene, is a favourite of mine.

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Copyright SteffNouveau 2013

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A Tiny Giraffe

my_giraffe_090813_01I have a ‘thing’ for giraffes, I’m not quite sure why…

In my earliest childhood when I was first discovering animals – and I couldn’t quite believe just how many species there were; as soon as I ‘discovered’ one and thought that was it, up popped another one! It made me dizzy with excitement! – I remember being fascinated at a photograph of a giraffe. As with all animals I studied it: the animal had spotty, patchy markings and a very long neck! How unusual that was, I thought. And beautiful. I drew them for a long while.

my_giraffe_090813_03In Africa they are a symbol for love.

I made my little giraffe out of felt, embroidery threads for stitching together and green mane, real onyx beads for eyes, and sequins for the patches. He is stuffed with safe polyester toy stuffing and his felt skin is worked over a pipe-cleaner frame to give him some structure…to stop him from falling over. Perfect he isn’t: the pattern I designed isn’t quite right and his little tail is a little inverted… but he is unique as giraffes are and I love him.

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If you’re looking for a good book, Tears of the Giraffe, a book from the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, the warm, so-human and humourful series written by Alexander McCall Smith is a wonderful read.

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Copyright SteffNouveau 2013

Gem Stone Necklace With Focal Butterfly Bead

mums_necklace_29july13_01I made this necklace and earring set for my mum, as it’s her birthday in August.

mums_necklace_29july13_04I believe the disc / coin, stripy gems are jasper but I cannot remember what type of gems the orange and white beads are…? There’s also a couple of solid copper beads near the focal butterfly bead – and also real copper beads on the matching earrings.

mums_necklace_29july13_02I co-ordinated the colours in the beads – the orange, white, red and green – to the colours in the butterfly.

It’s so satisfying making your own designer jewellery, especially when the items are gifts to loved ones ๐Ÿ™‚

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Copyright SteffNouveau 2013

The Brilliant Blue Of Californian Bluebells

bluebells_29july13_02What a visual treat!

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THE BLUE BELL

The blue bell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air;
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care.

There is a spell in purple heath
Too wildly, sadly dear;
The violet has a fragrant breath
But fragrance will not cheer.

The trees are bare, the sun is cold;
And seldom, seldom seen;
The heavens have lost their zone of gold
The earth its robe of green;

And ice upon the glancing stream
Has cast its sombre shade
And distant hills and valleys seem
In frozen mist arrayed –

The blue bell cannot charm me now
The heath has lost its bloom,
The violets in the glen below
They yield no sweet perfume.

But though I mourn the heather-bell
‘Tis better far, away;
I know how fast my tears would swell
To see it smile today;

And that wood flower that hides so shy
Beneath the mossy stone
Its balmy scent and dewy eye:
‘Tis not for them I moan.

It is the slight and stately stem,
The blossom’s silvery blue,
The buds hid like a sapphire gem
In sheaths of emerald hue.

‘Tis these that breathe upon my heart
A calm and softening spell
That if it makes the tear-drop start
Has power to soothe as well.

For these I weep, so long divided
Through winter’s dreary day,
In longing weep–but most when guided
On withered banks to stray.

If chilly then the light should fall
Adown the dreary sky
And gild the dank and darkened wall
With transient brilliancy,

How do I yearn, how do I pine
For the time of flowers to come,
And turn me from that fading shine
To mourn the fields of home –

~ Emily Bronte (1818-1848)

An English writer born in Yorkshire.

bluebells_29july13_04I found these in a supermarket of all places and were not expensive. I put them in a beautiful cut crystal vase, an antique – Victorian – that used to belong to my dear Granddad…who was a signwriter and illustrator by trade and a hobby honey-bee keeper and gardener. He sadly passed away too soon, in a freak accident when I was 13, oh how I miss him.

bluebells_29july13_05A bluebell or bellflower shows constancy and gratitude. In fact; it expresses a wish to say something special.
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Copyright SteffNouveau 2013

Shelly Cat ~ Textile Picture

shelleycattextile19july_03This is a textile picture I made for a friend, Catherine. I wanted to send her some cheer because of feeling poorly – and it was a surprise gift; a very personal gift too as it is of Shelly her and her husband Jim’s beloved cat.

shelleycattextile19july_04I met Shelly briefly whilst they visited and stayed with me, in their caravan in our front garden. Jim who also has a classic Sunbeam motorcycle had contacted me with enthusiasm to help restore my British Classic. Because there was – unbeknown to me – much to do to get my motorbike on the road they ended up staying over three nights!

My mum has many of her own textile wallhangings in the house and these were greatly admired by Catherine and Jim, so I thought why not make Catherine a smaller similar picture?

Ollie, their feisty cute Chihuahua puppy was another possible personality but I thought of Shelly’s beautiful big blue eyes – and the large amount of lilac felt would lend well for creating her body and face.

The picture itself has 2 layers of white felt with padding inbetween – I lightly quilted these 3 layers together with hand embroided stitches in white. Felt – lilac, white, red and blue – are the main materials used; the picture and hanger are decorated with embroidery threads, a little purple-black voile (to layer the red felt of the cushion), and an assortment of plastic and glass beads: round, cubed, hearted and flowered. If you look in the bottom-right corner you can see a blue ladybird too ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Copyright SteffNouveau 2013

Purple Mushrooms!

2 weeks ago these purple mushrooms popped up!

purplemushroomcushions_02purplemushroomcushions_01They didn’t really just pop up in the night, I made them out of oil cloth ๐Ÿ˜‰

I thought the oil cloth a more sensible material than cotton for the outdoor chairs, the cushions are better protected against rain showers (not that they are left permanently outside, but knowing our English weather – especially on the coast! – anything can happen!) Also, oil cloths come in such great patterns and colours now.

purplemushroomcushions_05

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Copyright SteffNouveau 2013

My Easter Cake!

I baked this Easter Cake.

eastercake2013_01It wasn’t a difficult cake to make. I added coca powder, real vanilla, lime juice, mixed spices, and plain chocolate chunks to the sponge mixture; real orange essence to the ready made chocolate icing. The top was decorated with Dr Oetker (eat-able!) flowers in pastel shades made from rice paper, and foil covered shop bought eggs.

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And it turned out very well :p

Not a crumb left.

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Make ~ Flower Cake Pops ~

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Copyright SteffNouveau 2013

An Owl, A Gargoyle, And A Christmas Garland

owlcushionmade4mum_dec12

A quicky post ๐Ÿ˜‰ showing just a couple of the things I designed, crafted, painted and sewed over the Christmas period.

Above is the Owl Cushion I made for my mum. This was one of her Christmas presents. The inspiration came from noticing an abundance of smallish, flatish owl cushions on the ‘net…I said to myself, wouldn’t that be fun to make!

Mum loves this colourful cushion – and it was loads of fun to make.

j_gargoyle_060213_03

Above: The Gargoyle I designed and made out of polymer clay, painted with acrylic paints and finished in a glossy varnish. This little fellow was one of the Christmas gifts I gave to my fiance.

Gargoyles are said to offer protection against evil spirits – despite their un-pretty appearance! But I think this one is rather cute, don’t you?

I will be adding the other photos I took of the Gargoyle to another post, which shows different angles ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

christ_garland_2012_01

Above: the Christmas Garland I made. The wonderful shapes of the robin, reindeer and snowflake are pre-cut-out plywood shapes bought from a seller on ebay. There are many others (it was difficult to choose!). I painted the shapes before hanging them via paperclips on a green organza ribbon, that was strung across the fireplace.

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And now we have spring with Easter on the horizon! I wonder what crafts that will bring? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Copyright SteffNouveau 2013