Friday, 30 November 2012

Anyone remember the old party games?

Best be quick- It's the last day to sign up for the December Fabric Postcard swap on Stitchin Fingers, the theme this month is "Toys". I wanted to do something special so I planned to do a chess set that folded into the postcard size... but then realised that the squares would be TINY! 
So I racked my brains a bit and remembered a game we used to play at parties... great fun running around with a blindfold, and to get to stick pins in the wall, my word, such wickedness!
So this is my tiny, portable version of an game- Pin the tail on the donkey.

Here's the outside, there was  little point making it just 1 postcard size, I doubled it so you get a bit more to play with, well, my swap partner will...

And here's the cute little donkey. His tail is secured onto a piece of velcro, which sticks nicely to felt. Hours of fun, eh! Well, maybe not, but it was fun to make and I hope it inspires a few more portable games to be created. I've just heard, my swap partner is in Oz, I know there is still a memory of alot of our old traditions so maybe my partner will be familiar?

Here's a link to download andd print your own donkey... printable_pin_the_tail_on_the_donkey

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Spiritual Beings; Journal spread

We are nearing the end of our first round of Pass and Paint swap on Willowing, I've only got a few more to do. It's been great seeing the different journals, styles and ideas, so many talented artists about!
Here's my spread in Karen's journal, whose theme was "Quotes"... I spent a long time trying to decide what quote to use, but none really grabbed me till today... it has been attributed as a Native American saying.

I can relate to this and decided to get to work on it straight away... something simple and airy seemed appropriate, and I'm so pleased it came together so easily. A few little gems stuck in place really finished it nicely. Hope Karen likes it.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Beautiful Babe Backpack...

It's official now, and sew I begin in earnest to create our Yule gifts for family and friends. I've been racking my brain for ages and still haven't decided on a complete list, so I've begun with one that I knew I had to make... a gorgeous little backpack for  my best friend's soon-to-be-3 daughter. Being a cutie little girl it had to be a cutie backpack so this one is made from a very tactile brushed denim in pink, with fuschia lining and accents/pockets. It's a similar design to the rucksack I've created the tutorial for in the textile how-to section... a change in size, fabric and accessories and ta-da, a unique bag for another unique person!

I do hope she likes it- well, of course she will, it's pink! I've also listed it on Etsy and Creative Stores as a basis for personalised backpacks. Great birthday presents as well as for Crimbo.
I'm also thinking about making bags and rucksacks using my own fabrics, so I've begun an experiment on Spoonflower- if you'd like to see what I mean, why not visit the collection?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Medieval mixed media fun

It's taken a while, but I've finally finished my spread in Beth's journal Bygone Eras, which is part of our 15-15-15 international swap hosted on Milliandes. We're 2/3 through now and it's getting exciting and frustrating at the same time...
I've always been into the nicer side of medieval history, you know- the flowing gowns, knights on horses, dragons and chivalry... so it had to be my theme for a bygone age. 
There's a few personal photos in there, and it took a while to find the right images to go with, but here it is... almost complete. (I've finished it, but there wouldn't be any surprise if I posted it complete, eh Beth!)

This is the 2 page spread together, and I've put each page on my 15-a-15-j-15-m section if you want a closer look.
There's a bit of my chainmaille in there, some embossed copper, lots of stencilled gel medium, acrylics, pastel pencils and inks. Hope Beth likes it...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Stationery Give Away...

While my girly kitty is sadly, possibly, on walkabout, I cannot concentrate on new artwork, so I have been developing a range of stationery sets that will be downloadable on Lulu, and possibly Etsy again.
Do you fancy getting a freebie and helping me out at the same time?
My first published set is Lobelia- a Funky Kalona Creativity Artphoto, which is a photo that I have taken, them subjected to my favourite plug-ins and filters in a couple of art programmes.

Here's the link to the set, just click on it and go through the process- it is FREE so you won't have to fork out for a test run.

Once you have downloaded, can you please open it up, and print one of each, then let me know how it has printed- that's the important bit for me! I need to know if I need to change any settings so that it prints well over a wide range of printers. It will only be available free  for 50 downloads.
You can use the set as often as you like- even forward it on, but please link or give credit back to this site, the download has no restrictions, but it is still my copyright on the images.

I shall be adding more shortly, I'm just tweaking the layouts. I also used to have card sets on Etsy, and I shall be reinstating those shortly too... I have some great christmassy ones I'll get on first.

Enjoy the set, and don't forget to let me know how they go.... xxx

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

How many reindeer were there?

Even with my memory being great when I was younger I still cannot recall the reindeer names... I always miss one- or more! Just how many were there really?
Well, I have completed 6 so far... seems like a normal number for a set. How many sets I get made will depend on how quickly I get my other gifts completed.

Here is the fabric version, I have put a tutorial for them in my textile tutorial page. Why not have a go yourself? They don't take too long, but are well worth the effort. I shall be making a few more sets, and probably use a couple of different shapes too... well, it is Yule.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Yule decorations already??

Well, sad to say, Yes! In all the shops already....I am one of these people who, although enjoying the notion of celebration, is totally fed up with the increasing over production/saturation and ongoing ruthlessness of retail xmas. The exploitation of staff at xmas, and the bullying of customers to buy more, for ever longer periods of time really makes me mad. Yes, you guessed it- I worked for a big retail store, one of the many who care only about year on profits... but enough of that... xmas should be about friendship, love, sharing and remembering. So on with the sharing....

So, Yule decorations already? Sadly, if you're actually making them then they need to be finished in good time, so I have started super early this year, and as Palma has started the 2012 Wichtel Swap already I've begun my countdown for crafting.
The swap calls for a hanging decoration and this years theme is "Reindeer". I had a good mooch online to see what was about, but wanted to do something original. I know a cutout isn't particularly original in itself, but I hoped that collaging the paper might go some way to help. 
So I spent yesterday gluing, pressing, cutting and sewing... not so difficult, but sometimes it's simple ideas that work out best... see what you think.

The sewing was pretty hard on the fingers so I actually resorted to digging out my rarely used thimble- unheard of! 
I really like how they've turned out so I'm going to spend tomorrow joining fabrics to make quilted versions... I'll let you know how they go...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Teeny Tiny Twinchie Books

My latest book project has come about courtesy of Sonja's swap over on Milliandes. She loves recycling so that is the theme for this book.
I wanted to try something new so I spent some time going through my books and opted for a Jacob's ladder style with 3 sections. It looks straight forward, but my is it fiddly! 
For my recycle theme I chose "natural and man-made", I use alot of both types of materials so have lots of both stashed away. I keep a jar by my sewing machine that I put my cut threads in and thought this was the perfect time to use a few. Liquitex make a very versatile, and fun, medium especially for pouring. It dries clear and flexible and is perfect for so many projects (I also use it for all my collage, gluing and waterproofing) I laid out several layers of threads and poured the medium over until the piece was thick enough and fully soaked. Then left it to dry overnight. It will peel very nicely off glass and smooth plastic!
While it was drying I gathered some other suitable bits and bobs, and one material I was determined to use was a lovely piece of recycled plastic from my friend Carmina. It is fused plastic bags.. and so versatile.

Here's how one side turned out... the threads hardened beautifully, and although it is flexible the threads and small size render it quite robust. The fused plastics were folded and reheated to double the thickness, but I still needed 2 layers to make the page. I added some elements symbolic of nature and technology to balance the theme. 

Add a little handmade paper and a band from leftover bits and there you have it, a complete recycled booklet. 
I doubt I'll attempt a tutorial for the book, it's quite a fiddly exercise, and with more pages it would be even harder to portray... so I'll leave you to have a look online, or try a copy Alisa Golden's Handmade Books which is what I followed. I might take a deep breath and try a longer one! Just not today...

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