Thursday, 29 December 2011


A pleasant day spent doing more of the same - trying different ideas and colourways for this lovely stencil. Photo's look a bit flat but some sense of depth is being achieved. Yesterday's work was on heavyweight cotton rag paper and todays is worked straight  into my journal.

Tomorrow I shall start experimenting on fabrics. I have in mind some of my French Linen.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Back in the workroom

It's so good to be 'making' again after the Christmas break. Very soothing and calming to be playing with some rich colours.
On our way back from visiting our daughter and a wonderful lunch in Fortnums in  London last week we called into Artvango at Knebworth, as always we had a really warm welcome from Kevin (and a welcome coffee). It's a dangerous place to visit  especially when basking in a glow of Christmas largesse. I came across some cotton rag paper which I often use as it takes paint and stitch so well. I usually use the 210gsm weight but just had to try out some 640gsm I found on the shelf, it's practically a board so it should take a lot of  abuse with paints and dyes and stitch.
I have had this copper stencil which I found in an antique shop in Cromarty during my last Visit to Scotland. The very knowledgeable owner thought it may have been applied to linen that was imported into Cromarty from Eastern Europe at least a hundred years ago, may be more.

I have used procion dyes, Golden iridescent acrlyic, Inktense and gel crayons to create an image from the stencil. The next part will be to challenge my much abused sewing machine to sew around the edges of the design.
This is all part of my explorations for an Emb.Guild challenge for an exhibition in the coming year. So I really am doing some proper work and not messing about with 'eye candy' although it is a teeny bit glitzy.

Happy new year to all those people who have looked at my blog during the past year I hope to make it a more exciting affair in the coming year as I get to grips with posting and adding a bit more interest and gadgets to the presentation.
Happy crafting to all!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Looking Back

It's interesting to look back at the things that I have  been involved with this year. As per usual I have shown little self discipline and allowed myself to pursue whatever takes my fancy, from quilt making to bookmaking, drawing, embroidery, collage, crochet and dozens of other things I've already forgotten. Oh well - a lot of fun was had on the way and it all percolates away in my head and informs each subsequent piece of work.

I have also worked on a couple of large projects for a couple of exhibitions next year, I won't show any images of these pieces until the exhibitions are over but the interesting thing about them is that they are almost devoid of colour. Given that I am known amongst my peers for quite vibrant colour combinations I think they will be quite surprised by my sudden show of restraint.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Vintage Vibes

My buttons were taking on a distinct 50's feel so I have carded them up onto a pictures taken from an old American McCalls magazine circa 1954. I should have written  'elegant buttons for elegant ladies', typically I didn't give it enough thought. Too much to do at this time of year  (but then haven't we all).

I have not put this one onto the card backing yet. When it is  finished that will be the last of the handmade presents and I will still have enough buttons left to put into my components box for future projects.
I have to say I adore these  images of 1950's languid, elegant ladies and love the current vintage trend that a lot of  women have adopted. Alas being very short and dumpy does not make for elegance.....  one can but dream.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Buttoned Up

The last few days have flown by - a visit by family from Ullapool has passed all too quickly (as good company always does). Whilst chatting and catching up on news I kept my hands busy by embroidering a few buttons. I had some procion dyed linen that I had produced a couple of years ago and thought that it would be perfect for what I had in mind.

I made the first two or three by embroidering before I assembled the button -  this meant accurate measuring was needed for each design but I quickly discovered that it was much easier to make the button up before stitching.

I was amazed at how quickly the finished buttons mounted up. I shall make a couple of dozen or so to add to my component box which contains elements to use in large pieces of work, which honestly I am going to start on soon.

These are not an original idea, I have seen lots of similar (and better stitched on Flicker), however each one is a different design as I'm making them up as I go along. Another fun thing to do that doesn't demand much concentration.