Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Stewart Gill Sampler book

Back in Sept I went on a 6 week course with Becca from Becca's Quilt Emporium. It was all about exploring Stewart Gill products: paints, stencils, stamps etc, and at the end we were to produce a fabric book of samples. Needless to say, at the end of the 6 weeks I had lots of samples but nothing resembling a book! However, I did start work on it and had produced a cover and about 8 pages when preparations for Xmas intervened and I put it to one side. I even took some photos of the completed pages ready to post here but never did. The last couple of weeks I have managed to get back to it and have done another 4 pages (which I haven't photographed yet), so I thought I would put up what I've done so far. I hope to make at least another 4 pages before declaring it finished.
So here is my cover:

Black cotton has been stencilled and then strips and shapes of painted tissue have been ironed on with bondaweb. And the pages:

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Take it Further Challenge blog

I have just posted my TIF piece for January on the blog Debra has kindly set up specifically for participants to post their finished pieces. Whilst doing so I looked at all the other pieces up so far and the variety and quality of interpretations is really amazing. It's also led me to bookmark yet more blogs to read - whatever did I do with my time before I spent all my spare moments reading the new postings listed on Google Reader?!!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

One Year Anniversary

I knew I started this blog sometime last January and thought I'd better just check back and see when it was, and lo and behold it was a year ago today! I have enjoyed the experience of blogging and especially receiving encouraging comments so thanks to everyone who has passed by in the past year.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Mizuhiki pendant

This little pendant is made using an idea from Tvweekly's Plum & Verdigris channel - a video presentation by Judi of Judikins. It uses Japanese mizuhiki cords laid in a pattern on double sided tape, then cut to the size of a pendant and inserted. A charm was added on top then I covered the whole piece with Judikins Diamond Glaze adhesive which dries to a lovely glass like gloss. My daughter has appropriated it for her keyring.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Tag Book

First of all I would like to thank everyone for all their kind comments about my Take it Further piece in the post below. The encouragement is much appreciated.

When I went to the Craft for Crafters show at Exeter last weekend I attended 2 workshops, the Stef Francis brooch (see earlier post) and this book made using the new Bind-It-All machine which inserts wire binders. We were given sheets of double sided 12x12 papers which we folded into pocket pages and then bound into the book, and we had a sheet of embellishments to match the papers, all by Fancy Pants. Yesterday I used the embellishments to decorate the front cover of the book and to make 6 tags to go into the pockets. The set of lovely ladies that I used on the tags are courtesy of Cora of Paper Flowers. Every Saturday she posts some vintage images which she invites her readers to download and use, only asking that we leave a comment on her blog acknowledging the use. She also does lots of lovely stamping herself which is well worth looking at.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Take it Further - January

This is my finished piece for Sharon's Take it Further challenge. Sharon challenged us to either use a theme or a colour scheme and I chose the colours. I sprayed a piece of cream fabric and some stitching canvas with Adirondack Colour Wash in Eggplant. It's not colourfast but is fine for a piece like this. I wrapped a couple of chenille pipe cleaners with fancy threads and stitched some Norwich stitches on the canvas. This is one of my favourite canvaswork stitches because it's such a lovely texture and makes a real focal point. The light green stuff that looks a bit like a feather is hand dyed silk carrier waste that I bought from Stef Francis (see previous post). I stitched it down with fly stitch and some beads and then rolled 2 very small pieces up and secured them with a ring of beads. The backing fabric is stapled to a small artist's canvas with the canvas strip stapled over the top. I like doing pieces like this and am pleased with the result.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Sushi brooch

I apologise for the quality of the photo, I have just spent an hour struggling with camera and computer and have not been able to come up with anything clearer than this so it will have to do. I think it's going to be hard for a photo to give you a real idea of what this looks like in any case.

Yesterday I went to a crafts exhibition at Exeter and was lucky enough to be able to attend a workshop by Stef Francis at which we made what she calls a sushi brooch using silk rod carriers. The class only cost £2 and was really good value for money - if only to find out that if you insert your nail down the side of the silk rod you can split it into 3 or 4 layers. We used 3 rods, split them into several pieces and then rolled them up to make flower shapes. We stitched through the centres to hold them together, added a few beads and sequins then threaded all 3 on a piece of ribbon and tied them together. Then we stitched a brooch pin to a small piece of felt and stitched that to the bottom of the flowers to make the piece into a brooch.

Stef had many of her stitched pieces on display on her stand and they were very inspiring and she was bedecked with brooches, necklace and bracelets she has made using the rods and also showed us some lovely little bags she has made with them. Very inspiring! Needless to say I had to buy a couple of packs of rods to play with further

Sunday, 6 January 2008

TAST - Spanish Feather Stitch

Here is my final TAST sample for Spanish Feather Stitch. Ok, it's pretty pathetic, I don't know why Sharon had to give us a difficult stitch for the final week. I had trouble working out how to do it, and then trouble getting it to look even, and when I'd finally more or less got the hang of it, I couldn't be bothered to make much of an effort with it. Still, I have finished the TAST challenge. I have done all the stitches and it's only the 6th Jan so I'm less than a week behind in finishing it off. I haven't pushed the stitches particularly and I've tended to use aida fabric and pearl cotton for all of them, but it is still a useful reference to have and to begin to see the possibilities for each stitch. I have tackled many stitches I'd never heard of and really enjoyed a lot of them. I've even got better at French knots! I now have 2 A4 folders filled with plastic wallets containing the printed out instructions and my samples in alphabetical order (once a librarian, always a librarian!) so it is a very handy reference tool.

This is the first challenge I have participated in so I'm very grateful to Sharon for all her input and hard work. Her new challenge is called Take it Further, and although I'm signed up to it, I'm still pondering this. The challenge for January is two-fold: either someone you admire or a colour scheme of green and purple. I have started considering the colour scheme - not my usual choice of colours, but that is all to the good. I've been pulling some wools and other bits together and currently have purple fingers from spraying some canvas and fabric with purple ink!

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

TAST - Chained Bar stitch

Here is my TAST sample for Chained Bar stitch. Nice and easy and fun! I used the hairy knitting wool again at the top and a contrasting thread colour so the stitches would show up. Just one more to go!