What a lovely, cozy, creative week it’s been! This morning I finished one of my latest patterns, A Silk Route Pillow. I’m very pleased with myself, as this is the first large project that I started and finished, without putting it down to work on something smaller. I don’t know about you, but with me “putting it aside” usually means that it goes in a drawer and disappears from sight for a very long time…
Not this one though. I’m really glad how it’s turned out. I stitched it on Natural linen, with my very own woolen embroidery threads (about those more in a future post!). I’m really happy with the colour (Tudor Red).
I called this pattern A Silk Route Pillow, as I felt it was such an eclectic pattern. It beautifully blends western and eastern styles in a harmonious pattern. The outer border is nearly Scandinavian, whilst the zig-zag border resembles Armenian (and traditional Dutch) designs. The central motif could be an Arab mosaic.
Earlier this week I realised that we didn’t yet have a Christmas wreath. I decided to try my hand at salt dough – something I used to do lots with my mum, who was always very good at it. We’d go to markets and sell hand made wreaths, little dolls and other things we’d come up with. Happy memories!
For this wreath I used the following recipe:
3 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
1 ¼ cup water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Add the flower to a large mixing bowl. In the middle, pour the cup of salt, and slowly add one cup of water to the salt. Now mix all ingredients carefully, adding the oil as well. If needed, add more water – but be extremely careful, as you don’t want a sticky dough! If the dough gets too sticky, simply add more flower, until the dough has a smooth texture.
The dough is now ready to work with, or can be stored for a few days in the fridge (wrapped in clingfilm). You can make anything you like with the dough, but remember that objects should’t be too thick, or else they won’t dry properly. If you need to make larger objects, create a centre of styrofoam or tin foil. I made a base of tin foil. I then rolled out a sheet of dough (very thin) from which I cut my leaves. From the top down you place your leaves, as if they were roof tiles. Once the leaves meet again at the bottom, you can embellish it with a dough ribbon, flowers, or anything else you think is suitable!
Bake your dough in the oven at 100ºC for several hours (you an up the oven to 125ºC towards the end). The dough should be hard when taking out of the oven. Once the top of your work has hardened fully, it’s worth turning your work around, to bake the bottom.
Once cooled, you can paint and varnish your work. Using a few layers of glossy varnish will protect your work, so you can enjoy it for many years to come!
I’ll be making a few more small things these days, and will probably post the results here as well.