Sunday, 29 May 2011

Another week flown past.

I'm late today & I'm tired. Not sure where the time goes! There's this thing people talk about called 'the flow' & creative people get into it & forget the rest of tthe world, be it good or bad. Thing is, I seem to sew a bead on & an hour goes past without me realising. My DH looks at me & can't believe I don't realise how much time passes ;)

So I made a book, about 7"x4", for a special persons special birthday. I've been trying to make one for ages & I chose to make it for someone who will love it no matter what but will also tell me the truth about it. She loved it for real, I knew she would, they're her favorite colors.

I used Heloise's velvet for the heart, feels wonderful. Pretty lace from Aileen (see my blog roll) & the purpley red bit 2nd up from the bottom from Lesley (The road to Skye) (sorry I forgot to take a pic of the pile of fabric you gave me,thanks! ) Bits & pieces of reclaimed fabric, beads, random stitching all over, a cord & toggle type button & a braided pagemarker made from different yarns & fabric strips.

recycled papers - packaging & watercolor paper.

Seed beads down the back - spot the deliberate mistake - well, we should have a mistake in our work otherwise we might be considered trying to be too perfect ;)

I machine stitched the signatures in on (well, I now know why they're hand sewn, no room for the foot) to a single piece of strong paper (the name escapes me, gusset?) which was tucked into the little flaps so she could reuse the cover. I'm pleased & glad she is but I won't be going into production yet as it took 'too long'

I started making this purse ages ago - I've yet to find the perfect button or make one. These colors/strips inspired the card I made last post, which inspired part of a hanging I haven't started to stitch yet, which then inspired my friends book.

I used Jane La Fazio's method for the flowers - draw on the back, stitch then turn over & use the bobbin thread as a guide, brilliant!

Had a little visit from a deer near the front of the house, so sweet, just so long as he doesn't eat my garden, which has been battered enough by this wind. Forgot earlier to add my rainbow pics - the strong wind makes the weather change even faster, 4 seasons in one day turned into 4 seasons in one hour.I was out earlier today in hail/rain then did some gardening with just a light breeze to keep the midges away in the warm sunshine.

Mid week bow shot thru my over pruned Rosa Rugosa & the top of a sculpture I did a few years ago & below an intriguing low level rainbow this afternoon. I must have been tired then judging by the horizon line!

So a giveaway for my wonderful blog buddies to celebrate over 100 followers (please add a link so I can visit back!). Little books about 5"x4" , with a couple of signatures sewn in, made along the lines of my friends, but not with such detail. But where I used board to stiffen the cover in hers, I carefully used some pelmet vilene I had. Thought it would make it sturdy & now the  book pings open ;( Any ideas? I may have to add a little hook if they don't stay closed after a night under a heavy book ;)

The lacey on was made mainly using Aileens kind gift
, bits & pieces & some hand stitches,too.

Lovely velvet heart from Heloise's kind gift & bits & pieces & beads.

I'm so grateful to my followers, you've given me friendship & focus, thank you! If you'd like a little booklet, please leave a comment here. I'll draw in a week or so - my son, his fiance & my parents visit this week so the minutes will certainly be passing. Yes my boy is marrying his lovely girl, also called Emma, in about 2 years - I'll need at least that to get ready! That's another book i very much want to make, for all their wedding ideas, I'm sure we can all think of just a few of those over the next while so it had better be a decent size ;) I'm so excited!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Bit off more than I could chew

this week. I'd hoped to do another 2 pennants but I managed just the one . I've had lots in the mail over the  last couple of weeks it's been great! I ordered my first Thermofax screen when I heard that Linda was setting up a service in Australia. I sent her my drawing of a tree branch that  used in a collage here. I was astounded when it came back & looked like this

a real screen! Carefully wrapped in a piece of her lovely fabric.

I was a little scared to use it (how silly!!!!!) so I've only made these prints so far.....

A crazy painted ground with multiple images,  car manual instructions,some mulberry bark paper, pieces of stitched fabric, silk & my first jar dyeing on thin calico - the 'jar' was a hotel breakfast jam jar, what, an inch by an inch? I dropped some silk paint in on top of the scrunched up piece of fabric to see what would happen. I finally did it!!!! It was pretty wet so I laid it over another piece & rollered it about - 2 for one ;) I used brusho (ink) powder in printing medium - I was worried about acrylic paint drying on the screen but this was perfect for a test. With a bowl of water around you can use the medium with acrylic paint, it just mustn't dry.I'm delighted with how the print looks. I bought the printers medium for this purpose, as an extender, when I did a Collagraph w/s 100 years ago & I used it for lino printing in Feb.I knew it would come in useful one day ;) Now I'm excited to 'design' the hanging for which I ordered the screen. I'll definitely be getting some more screens, very good value & quick considering there are 12,000 miles between me & Linda, thanks!

Aileen was going to come by for a visit while on holiday - couldn't make it but kindly sent me the lovely bits & pieces she'd been going to give me.

I feel a pale pennant coming on! So kind, thank you ;) One or 2 people in the studio have said I should put some of my papers together (as l can't always close the drawer!) into an inspiration pack & I could add spare pieces of found fabric - we all know we'll never use all of our 'stash' in our lifetime! I've enjoyed buying inspiration packs myself, something to start you off, & my girls at the workshop I gave were appreciative of their little bag of 'pretties' for the notebook covers. So another thing on my long list & thanks for the nudge Aileen!

Then because I mentioned last week I didn't have any burgundy velvet to use ( I have other colors) the generous Heloise sent me some, lovely lucious deep pile velvet. Thank you to you for your kindness! I've never seen patterned velvet, wonderful! (I may put some of that 'flat' pile velvet I was using before in the packs ;)

meant to put this little tag on top

some neighbors came by with some found wood, so nice of people to think of me on their woodland & beach walks ;)

Don't you love that heart cone?

My DH & I have been together for 29 years (married 24) worth a card I thought.

Tricky to see but he's my star so there are 3 on the card I made & that's our little wooden boat on the bay, watercolor, just lovely.

I feel enriched by all these goodies!

So, here's the pennant

The ribbons came on a long piece of card with about 6 different kinds of cord & ribbon. A B&B guest saw what I collected & had a little clear out when she got home & sent me these. I wouldn't have chosen mint green, really but it works well with one of my old silky tops & circles a la Janet Edmonds. Oops, forgot the sketch & no sample...yet ;)

I'm taking a break from pennants this week. I want to make something useful for someone special, definitely using some of the lacey & velvet bits above. I hope she likes it, I hope I can make it!

I've achieved 100 followers, thanks so much! Now, what shall I giveaway next week?

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Two in One

It was a struggle but I got 2 little pennants made this week. It was also a struggle because I didn't do a sketch, not sure why, a little cocky maybe but lesson learnt - if you're working this precisely you can't wing it....which is what I usually do. I've been seeing a lot of blue & yellow in the garden & along the lanes.

Welsh poppies & Aqualegia

                            a buttercup amongst burnt out forgetmenots & a bee in the Siberian kale

All in a little vase

The Pennant collage I did first used those colors but I'm not 100% sure if it works & also I love the flower (inspired by Heloise to do some more brooch like flowers) but feel the pennants require padded flat shapes not 3D. I tried to do a reverse applique across the top with 3 small flower shapes, boy did that go wrong. Then I made a little bit of snipped bits & pieces fabric & stitched round & cut out little flowers - they looked sweet but rediculous so I made a little sample.

You can see I used a lovely piece of ribbon/braid given to me which I cut up into 1/3ds - well the whole point of using a neat bit of braid is that it's 'sealed' both sides & doesn't fray. Well, it frayed & needed stitching down both sides - I was just being greedy, but thanks Lesley, love purple & blue together!

That silky bit of lime green & yellow painted silk behind is perhaps a little contrasty even for me.

I feel I fared better with this one, using burn orange & burgundy - love those colors together, too.

The light was disappearing, typical, so you can't see the 'velvet' - I should have used a plusher velvet, deeper 'pile'. If I'd had some, I would have. The lovely burnt orange fabric square was given to me by Denise Huddlesdon, who used to live up the road from me & now has a holiday home up the north end somewhere, I think. She very kindly handed me bags & bags of 'stuff' - rich velvets (not burgundy ;) & small bits of dyed fabric & threads when she moved away, lovely. Would have loved a workshop by her but never did nag her enough!

Must visit a charity shop for some purple..anything & deep maroon plush velvet, mmm.

Welcome to my 99th follower but you have no link so please comment (now that we can) or add a link to your profile - I'd love to visit!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

A little more colorful

Wow, I've got 98 followers, thanks to you all. I feel another giveaway coming on !

I had the urge for a little more color this time, inspired by the fact that the informal Sleat gardening group came by - my turn to provide a cup of tea & a little something sweet. I was meant to be showing off my Roses end of June but my turn came faster than I thought & with help from my wonderful non  gardener DH we finally tidied away winter mess,  last summers weeds & the rest of the autumn seed heads. It didn't look too bad, & after a couple of weeks pure sunshine it rained on Thursday, proper sideways rain & I thought, fine, I know Murphey's Law  & did some wet weeding with the breeze dropped in my midge hood in amongst the first midges in my garden.  The next day I got lovely comments, "should be in Gardens Illustrated magazine" well I'll hang on to that one! :) & that considering it's a work in progress, & I mean beds not dug over or planted yet, "it looked like it had always been here" which is lovely as it has been a slow process on a shoestring the last 10 years. Blow me if the breeze didn't come back & the sun come out!

A tiny sample, cord & sketch

Color inspiration?

                                                            Primula, just going over

Allium, just flowering now, one of the last 2 left....mice? Damp?

Cornflower or somethig like it, ok, not really turquoise ;)

Multicolored pennant. The orange flowers aren't out yet but soon will be! All the usual applications - the Youngest likes my "crazy gold stitching" :) Nothing like the sketch really but it gives me somewhere to start - isn't that the idea?
I just want to eat this little thing!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

By the skin of my teeth

I'm here! What with a post wedding BBQ today (we're friends of the parents (now that's telling!) whoes daughter got married yesterday) the youngests 'World Challenge trip to Mongolia in June' tabletop sale yesterday, B&B hotting up, one or 2 peeps to the studio, making some felt with a friend so I could create some 'Mongolian felt' cards for the sale it's been one of those weeks.

Inspired by Ro Bruhn I made for the first time some felt circles for fundraising cards. I'd never done a felt sausage to cut up before , very exciting. They ended up minescule, about the size of a 10p piece or a quarter - if the Middlest brings some Oz currency home I'll make a further comparison.

We sold a couple & I'll put a pile in the studio with some spiel about the trip. He's been charged £250 for his inoculations against tic bourne ecephalitis, rabies & Hep B. I love the NHS, it's been good to me (Hep C was free!) but really, poor lad on top of £3,500! I made a sweet ;) little garland for the sale table - string with lots of strips of blue fabric tied to it representing Mongolian prayer flags. Forgot to take a pic. I'm sure deep down the youngest was delighted with my effort!

This weeks pennant couldn't help but be inspired by the Royal Wedding. I did watch it, caught up with B&B ironing to justify standing still for so long. Another reason I was late this week, didn't 'design' the pennant till Friday. The colors are worn by the Prince himself - the Irish Guards uniform; by the Yeoman of the Guard - they were standing half way up the congregation, I think; the Coral Scholars with the little lace collars, the divine little page boys, the State Livery worn by all the footmen & of course the Vics various at the front of the church in all their finery.

The red crosses on chocolate paper with red back & gold twist couched down with zigzag & lace from the Choir & of course the lovely dress, at the bottom. The square is organza on gold velvet - I attempted the reverse aplique Cross - from the vicars vestments - could have done with a bit more practice but it's quirky. The tear drop 'jewels'  & the diamond shape with little gold leaf pen squares painted on are also inspired by the vestments. A few beads dotted around in the corners. All surrounded by a thin piece of ribbon found while rummaging in another drawer. Probably the most patriotic thing I've made. I enjoyed it ;)

I really must make some samples for my book, but it's really quite intense once you start. Maybe if I allowed myself more time.....