Friday, 21 December 2012

Spoonflower fabrics

Woohoo! I'd been toying with turning some of my artwork into fabric so I can make truly unique bags, not just by design but with the fabrics too. I joined up with Spoonflower and uploaded some of my work. It's pretty easy to do and I hope it will be worth the expense.. you have to buy a swatch before it can be printed in quantity... 
I picked one of my abstract series, which began as a pastel spiral, and was then worked in a few favourite software programs and filters. Sets seem to work best, especially if I'm quilting, you need a variety of depth and pattern. 
So here is my first swatch

Not bad, I like how they've come out... and the base cotton is not too thin. I'm thinking of using these in a crazy quilt, they're only 8 x 8" squares so not big enough to start making bags... but now I know the design works I can play with the scale of each pattern and get what I need. 
If you have artwork that would translate into a pattern why not take a look at Spoonflower and get your own original prints!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Yule wishes to you all....

As 2012 draws to an end, I am busy remembering all the people that I've met anew, swapped with, laughed with, sighed with and hoped for... it's been a rollercoaster year but with so many new friends and such a wealth of love and inspiration, how can I not be happy and warmed by it all?

So, suitably inspired by the most beautiful glass gift that shipped safely all the way from the States, here is my year finale xmas card... and heartfelt wishes for you all...

Here's hoping we continue to travel together into 2013 and beyond... have a great Holiday!!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas list...

Having bitten the bullet for my eyelet needs I've now made the decision I'm on the hunt for one of these...

and how funny- it's also blue, when so many are pink... what is it with manufacturers that they think we must like pink because we're female? 
But, like the big bite, it's almost impossible to find at a reasonable price. If you live in the UK you can expect to pay the RRP of the American version, but in GBP, meaning if it's $106 Stateside, it will be 106 Pounds here. I know there's shipping and all that, but we really get ripped off here. It's a matter of value... and if it's only worth 106 $ it cannot be worth almost twice that in Pounds, ours are no better quality! An exchange rate goes right out the window- thanks importers!!
Anyways, off the soapbox... if I can find a way of getting one within my meagre budget I'm all for it. Just think of all the possibilities... so many more books to make....
If I can source one economically I'll be blogging about it for sure, and daresay a few more tutorials will be in the making... can't wait!

After countless searching I've given up trying to find a bargain, and I've spent the last of my xmas money  on this and some coils... it was sent yesterday, but I don't know how long it will take to arrive... so it may be after christmas day... can't wait!  Projects abound in the new year!!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Biting the Bullet!

Well, after much debating I've gone and done it!
 In fits and starts over the last year I've been going round in circles trying to decide whether to get a book binder, a crop-a-dile or a big bite... round and round.... you read one review one is wonderful- the best thing since sliced bread, then another review says the opposite! 
So  AAAARRRGHHHHH! What to do????
I've had my 3D book covers sitting around for months waiting to be punched and coiled, I've set so many eyelets by hand on my rucksacks that it hurts- hammers and thumbs don't mix! and I'm always punching holes in my journals... 
With limited funds I've opted for the Big Bite, hoping that it will be up to the job. I shall certainly be putting it to the test- watch this space!!  With heavy card, canvas, fabrics, leather, CD's and plastics regularly used in my projects it's going to be working like a Trojan... I hope!
I really don't like buying tools like this without actually getting a look first, but I've been on the web all afternoon, and as I have found only one Big Bite available I've had to order it. There are no more anywhere, can you believe it?

So, here it is, with promises of so many applications and capability... I can only hope it's not been over hyped. Hopefully it will be here before the weekend, so I'll post on Monday with a rundown of my experience with it. Oh, and wasn't I lucky- I got a blue one... not barbie pink- yuck!

Well, it's now Saturday evening but it's not here... so I guess I'll have to wait till Monday for it to arrive... projects later then! It came on Monday, and I had a quick play... so more to come... soon!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Moleskine Journal Adventure continued...

After my introduction to Moleskine journals, having purchased a letter-sized Cahier for a commission, I decided to use up the second book which has the same designer cover, but in a different colour- orange. So I took that as a starting point for the design for this one. It hasn't been commissioned, this will be a ready-made, buy as-is.
I love blue and orange together, being opposite colours they really bounce off each other creating real impact. I searched my stash of papers to create the title page first- not normally the way I work, usually it's the collage first. I found some great orange and blue papers and flowers...

Working from the title page I chose an abundance of blue, orange and pink fabrics and began to layer up...

Each layer is built of with different stitches and coloured threads, fabric, plastics, wools, angelina, paper, canvas... whatever feels right and looks right. 

Once all the elements are secure and a few contrasting stitched patterns are in place I can add the central ribbons for the spine.

I always make an extra smaller square at the same time, some of this is used for the closure and the bookmark tabs, the rest is kept as reference. Add the closure and ribbons, then add the pocket for the inside front. Once all that is complete I can measure and sew up the bottom and top for a snug fit.

I always add some extra elements, often beads and charms, but I've had this butterfly crying out to be used since I diecut it, and it's a perfect compliment for the cover and copper lettering inside. Add a little crochet flower, the bookmarkers and velcro, line the inside opening with matching poly-cotton, and ta-da, she's all done! All ready for Etsy and Creative Stores...

Perfect and in time for a christmas pressie....

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Pressie Rucksack

Lol, I'm making good headway with the pre-xmas creativity... Last week I started another rucksack, with a personal theme this time. I have photo canvas that runs though a printer so I chose a few relevant photos, funked them up a little with my favourite software and printed them out as features on the flap.
I used the same process for the bag as in my tutorial in the how-to section, adding pockets, loops etc before joining the base, then bodies together. Every now and again I have a eureka moment and find a new little trick to make it quicker, stronger or easier so I should do an update for the tutorial too.
This is an upcycled bag too! The canvas is actual artist canvas that has been worked on- it was an enormous piece but it cuts up beautifully into little abstract pieces. It sews beautifully too, strong but flexible.

Here's a closeup of  the flap, I love adding and adding the bits, watching it buildup into a little work of art, I never start with a plan, I let the design develop as it will... 

As you can see the owner to be is a horsy girl, with a thing for cats too... she doesn't know this is coming, I'm just sad to know I won't see her face when she opens it...
Just putting the finishing touches to it now...

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Moleskine Journal Adventure in Pinks

I can't believe it's Thursday tomorrow already... and I've not got half of the things done that I wanted. I did  however get an order on Etsy for one of my textile collaged books. After a bit of bantering I finally opted for moleskines as a base for further journals and ordered a letter sized cahier to see how they looked. 
I've also got some Volants coming soon, in an A5 size.
Pricing is always difficult- if I added up how long I actually spent working on the books and cover minimum wage, I'd have to charge upwards of £70.00- not going to happen! I might have to up them a little bit though... £30.00 doesn't cover the first days work. Oh the trials of being an artist.

Anyway, here's a peek at the Book of Shadows, created for Karen. 

 I'll be shipping it off to the US tomorrow, I hope it doesn't take too long to get there, and I hope she likes it.

I spent some extra time today making a title page for another journal, in blues and orange, I'll make the cover tomorrow and list it on Etsy as a ready-made, hopefully someone will snap it up for Christmas.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Crazy Quilt debut...

I've been trawling the web again, and came across a site that has given a name to something I have been doing since I've come back to textiles... the collaging and building up of fabrics... in a slightly more regimented format it is widely known and practiced as Crazy Quilting. Wow! I love the way it goes alot further than I have with the hand embroidery- I  usually use my machine. 
I've been suitably inspired to join the 2013 CQJP, who are still taking entrants till the 15th. I may even combine it this year with my 2nd year of bead journalling, who are also calling for entrants for a little while longer.

Here's something I have created for a Yule pressie, a bit of CQ, a bit of fibrework, some beading and some paintwork... how could I not mix it up? It's what I love to do!

It's contained in an embroidery frame, with spun wools, silk waste  and banana silk plaited around the frame with a tail. It's about 8" across. I have added a few more details to it now, but thought I'd show an incomplete version in case one of them peeks!
I might have to make something similar for my mum and dad...

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