Saturday, 12 December 2009

Christmas cards

Here are some of the Christmas cards I've been making this year.

These three cards were ones I made for my last class at Kraft Crazy in Tidworth, each done using the new Elusive Images Christmas stamp sets Damask Reindeer and Harlequin Christmas, 2 gorgeous sets of stamps.  And the next 3 are ones I'm giving out this Christmas:

Finally, I wrapped some bars of chocolate to give out as small gifts and I think that's me all Christmassed out!

However, I think I might be coping with Christmas slightly better than some of my fellow bloggers - read this from Ric-Rac and if you scroll back a few posts you can also read her attempts to get her family to change the toilet roll!

Sue Roddis Workshop

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to go to the Stamp Attic for a workshop with Sue Roddis.  Above is what we made - a lovely little row of houses and here's the back with the picket fence!

Sue was a great teacher and the day was a welcome reminder of just what can be achieved with cardboard, pages torn from an old book, inks and stamps.  I also liked having a go with Wendy Vecchi's stamps and also a girl from Stampotique - bought one of those for my daughter for Xmas!
The Stamp Attic is a bit of a trek from Dorset but my fellow crafters also thought it was worth the effort as some had come from Leicester, Essex and Cheltenham.  The shop is so brimful of stamps, papers etc. it was well worth the trip and I hope I'll get the opportunity to attend future workshops.
Thanks to both Sue and Wendy for a lovely day.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Burning Issues

The other workshop I went on this week was at Stitchncraft at Shaftesbury and was all about using the soldering iron with fabric, run by Margaret Beal.  Margaret was also very generous with her techniques showing us lots of different things, many of which can be found in her book Fusing Fabric.  I had already bought the soldering iron that she sells (it has a particularly fine tip) but hadn't got round to having a go.  Well, it's much easier to do it the first time with the expert there guiding you through it.  It really is very easy though and was just like drawing round shapes with a pen except that you didn't then have to cut them out as the cutting was all done at the same time.  We each made a sampler using both the motifs we cut out of the organza and the negative strips left behind.  Then the second piece was one we did very quickly at the end just using cut up pieces of organza and fusing them to felt.  I came home with lots more cut out motifs and plan to have a go at making some cards with them.

P.S.  The scale of the photos is quite misleading as the second piece is only about a third the size of the sampler at the top!

Silk Paper

I've had a week off work and have had a bit of time to go on a couple of workshops and do some playing.  Last weekend I went to a silk paper workshop at Broadwindsor, organised by Tania from Rumpelstiltskin and run by Janet Gibbins.  It was good fun and we managed to produce 7 different pieces during the day, all made slightly differently so we were introduced to a good range of techniques.  I also had a play one day back at home and these photos are a mix of pieces I made on the day and bits I did here.  The ones with inclusions have hydrangea flowers embedded in them.  I particularly like the pieces manipulated into folds and holds and can see them with beads and stitches in them.

The leaves were made by pressing fibres directly on to the backs of leaves and felting them in place - we chose ones with nice clear veins and they stand out really well.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Doodle Book

I purchased the book Stitching the Textured Surface by Lynda Monk and Carol McFee and the publisher d4daisy is offering online classes to accompany it.  The first class was to make a doodle book using painted baby wipes and here is mine.

The baby wipes have a lovely soft feel to them and a lovely sheen.  I used Brusho paints to dye them and the colours were very bright at first but dried to a soft pastel shade - I think it was that they made me go uncharacteristically girly and stitch bows to the front! I have a whole pile of painted wipes still to use as once I got going it was very more-ish.  Of course I should have worn gloves as it has taken a week for the blue to disappear from around my finger nails.

Christmas & Calendar

These cards were ones I did for a class at Kraft Crazy, Tidworth a couple of weeks ago now.  My starting point was inspired by vintage - I wanted to try out some of the techniques you see on vintage look cards.  Somehow though, they all ended up looking just like more of my cards!  However we did do paper pleating and paper pricking, used buttons, tags, an old fashioned image and paper snowflakes.  I got a bit carried away with the amount of things included on the cards and the paper pricking one bottom right took ages to make.  Everyone was glad to get to the button tree where the most time consuming bit was selecting the buttons!  The two cards on the left both used some of the My Mind's Eye Vintage Christmas papers and I thought it was good of me to actually give away some of that yummy paper in a class!

The image in the frame in the bottom right hand card doesn't show very well but it's a paper pricked sprig of holly.  It's actually a rubber stamp that I stamped on scrap paper and then pricked round the outline to produce the image on the paper underneath - another way of using stamps which adds to their versatility.

Next week is another class with Christmas as a theme - this time using new Christmas stamps from Elusive Images.

I've also made myself a desk calendar for next year using Cosmo Cricket papers and my Bind it All to put it together.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Mermaids and Fairies

Last Saturday my daughter and I went to a class with Tania at Rumpelstiltskin in Broadwindsor and had a go with Paverpol.  The whole thing was M's idea as she had seen the samples in the shop and wanted to have a go.  I was way outside my comfort zone as I'm no good at doing anything that's supposed to look realistic (in so far as mermaids can be considered to be realistic!).  But look what we made!  Mine is the mermaid on her rock and M made a fairy sitting on a log - I was amazed that I could produce something like this and it was good fun if very messy.  M is so taken with the Paverpol that she has now ordered a litre tub plus bits and pieces to go with it and is impatiently waiting for it to arrive so she can have another go.  We started off with wire twisted into a vague shape, wrapped with silver foil and then with strips of t-shirt fabric.  Bigger pieces of t-shirt were used to cover the tail and then bits of lace were wrapped round to give texture and pattern.  M draped larger pieces on her fairy to create her skirts.  The material was all dunked in the Paverpol first as this then acts as a glue and as it dries it hardens completly so that the folds in the drapes stay put.It's a very strange texture and I must admit the best bit was peeling the stuff off my fingers once it had dried!

On Sunday I went back to Tania's, on my own this time, and felt much more comfortable playing with silk rods and cocoons.  I did a canvas which is still a work in progress as I feel it needs something else yet, but I did finish this bracelet (modelled here by M).

It's made from split silk rods rolled up and threaded onto ribbon with beads and pieces of sari silk knotted in between.  Great fun!

It's back to stamping now as the two new Christmas sets of Elusive Images stamps that I ordered have arrived and I am making the samples for my class at Kraft Crazy at the end of November.  One down so far and three to go!  The sets I'm using are Damask Reindeer and Harlequin Christmas - both gorgeous.

And tomorrow it's back to Tania's for an altered art club - have to think what to take with me to work on.

Monday, 5 October 2009


On Saturday I taught a class at Kraft Crazy in Tidworth using Stampbord and here are the samples:

According to the American blogs Saturday was World Cardmaking Day but as it happens we only made one card (back right), the other projects were a matchbook notebook, a fridge magnet and a key ring.  Most of the ladies at the class hadn't actually stamped on Stampbord before and I think they were all impressed by the quality of the surface and the difference it makes to the stamped image. The Pierrot stamp from Elusive Images really showed that up well.  It was good fun as usual and it's on to Christmas next time!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Beeswax Canvas

Another workshop at Rumpelstiltskin in Broadwindsor, this time using the melting pot.  For the first time I had a go with beeswax and we each painted a mini canvas (just two and a half inches square), covered it with beeswax and added a tiny scrapbook paper image. Here's my result with gold rub n'buff added, a metal photo corner, ricrac and a crochet flower and button.  Quite cute though I'm not fond of the smell of the beeswax.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Playing with metal

A couple of weeks ago I went to a workshop at Rumpelstiltskin in Broadwindsor run by Tanya and we played around decorating metal.  I've had the odd go before but not invested in the tools or done anything large but thanks to Tanya this is what I produced!
As always the photo is rubbish but hopefully it gives you an idea.  I decided to do a sampler for my mirror and cut the metal into 9 pieces which are each decorated differently using as many of the tools as I could.  The top right and bottom left pieces are both done using a moulding mat but the others are all just done with the various tools.  The pieces have been coloured with alcohol inks and the whole piece is really bright!
Of course, I now know I need a set of tools for myself but my house has to be rewired the week after next and that is going to cost serious money so I'm trying not to spend money on yet more stuff.  After all I could carry on creating for about 20 years just using up what I've already got!
Many thanks to Tanya for another fun workshop.  She has a really nice selection of mixed-media workshops between now and Christmas so I have signed up for several more!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Thread holder - inside

Doreen asked what the inside of my thread holder looked like so here's a couple of photos to show you:

And here's what the original beige plastic holder looked like!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Alcohol inks again

I did another class yesterday at Kraft Crazy in Tidworth using the new colours of alcohol inks. I made the projects bright and summery to really show off the new colours and the sun came out for one day at least in honour of the occasion!
The card below uses a technique I found on Patti Behan's blog where she has a video tutorial showing how you can use alcohol inks to make an animal print - very clever!

I love all the new colours, especially the brights, much more my colour range than the original selection (even though I've used them loads as well). Also love the birdcage stamp from Elusive Images on the middle card.

2nd thread holder

I've finished the second folder to hold all my DMC threads. I made it in the same way as the first but with a different colour scheme. Here's the band sampler on canvas I made to go on the front:

And here is the finished folder:

And a picture of the two holders together:

Friday, 10 July 2009

Playing with texture paste

I've been reading Stitching the Textured Surface by Lynda Monk and Carol McFee and decided to do some texture paste samples. I didn't have the products used in the book but they said to try different types so I used what I had: Dreamweaver embossing paste and Winsor & Newton coarse texture gel and gesso. I used a variety of materials: calico, hessian, velvet, nappy liner, butter muslin etc. and my dining table is now covered with samples drying. The texture gel and embossing paste are used up so I've had to stop! I'll leave them overnight to dry and then I'll start adding colour and cutting them up. The book is excellent by the way, wonderful clear photos, lots of inspiration and I'm only about a third of the way through so far.
I used Stewart Gill stencils, Tim Holtz masks and Tattered Angel masks (plus my comb but maybe we won't talk about that!)

This is what my dining table looks like at the moment - most of the samples are white on white so don't show up too clearly but wait for the colour!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

More fabric painting

I've started working on a thread holder to house all my DMC threads. It will be the same as the Anchor one posted earlier but I've used red/orange/yellow this time. Here's the material painted and stencilled with Stewart Gill paints. It's much brighter in real life but useless photography is to blame again! The back of the folder is made up ready but the front is waiting on me stitching the band sampler which I'm doing bit by bit in the evenings watching tv.
I went to Newbury Stamp show yesterday and spent far too much money as always. I bought some Glimmer Mists and screens which I have been coveting for some time so I'm looking forward to having a play with those - much more rewarding than cleaning the bathroom which is what I should be doing!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Mixed Media Canvases

Yesterday I went to Rumpelstiltskin at Broadwindsor Craft Centre and did a mixed media class with Tania. Yes, I have nearly all the stuff we used at home already but I rarely sit down for 3 hours to play with it and if I do I'm paralysed by the choices instead of just getting on and making something. Also it means I would have to clear up all the messy stuff myself - much better to have glitter and angelina all over Tania's floor! Here are the pieces finished off at home because I couldn't commit myself in too much of a hurry as to where exactly I wanted to stick each piece!
The green piece is actually half the size of the blue but I scanned them both as my photographs turned out rubbish! We painted small canvases with a variety of paints then stuck down some torn scraps of sari fabric with beading and sequins still on. We painted over the fabric, added tiny beads, glitter and embossing powder and zapped it with a heat gun which made the sari fabric distort. We then heated and painted some tyvek and stuck that on along with moulding mesh and a bit of friendly plastic on the blue canvas. I added some leaf beads to the bottom of the blue piece and a couple of buttons to the green one.
Two other ladies did the class with me, profolly and her friend Jo and profolly has posted one of her pieces on her blog here. I think we all had a fun afternoon.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Thread holder

It just goes to show how good a long weekend is for me - I can actually get something started and finished all in one go instead of having it hanging around for days, weeks, months... Though I have to admit that this is something I have had in mind to do for years!
A long time ago I bought 2 LoRan folders to hold all my embroidery threads and I like the way the threads are held on the cards and ready to use but have never cared for the plastic brown cover so I thought I could make a new one. Well, eventually, here it is, so much smarter than the original shown above:
I used the fabric that I painted and stencilled with Stewart Gill paints (see previous post) and the band sampler that I finished stitching a couple of weeks ago. It holds all my Anchor threads so now I just have to make another one for all my DMC threads. Look out for that post in a few years from now!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Fabric Paint Sample Book

I have finally finished the Stewart Gill sample book that I started over 18 months ago! It's been sat in pieces in a basket looking at me reproachfully all those months, well over half done but somehow I never seemed to find the time to get back to it. But I finally completed the last few pages, punched holes in all the pages and set eyelets and then made a little booklet to fit in the back pocket detailing (as far as I could remember after all this time) the paints and techniques I used on each page. The top picture shows the cover before I put the book together. The machine stitching and basic sewing leave something to be desired and as usual it was beyond me to produce 18 pages all the same size even though I measured them umpteen times, but never mind it's just supposed to be a record of techniques and I'm chuffed that I've finally completed it.
Below is my next project (as I just may be on a roll at the moment!) I want to make a new holder to hold my embroidery threads so I have spent the afternoon painting some fabric with Stewart Gill paints and then stencilling a design on them. Stewart Gill are having a sale at the moment and the stamps and stencils I ordered arrived just in time this afternoon for me to immediately start using the check and flower stencils. Hope to work on this some more tomorrow.