Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A pinch and a punch... hopefully no returns!

  Happy Beltane, or Mayday, if you prefer. I cannot believe we are here already! I guess alot of it is because I now have a weekly routine of trundling to the Bluebirds Market on a Tuesday and everything else revolves around that lately. It's amazing how quickly a week goes by... 
  Always busy, I made 7 journals last month, and tried to finish my butterfly rucksack, but it has sat next to me on the sofa while I get on with other bits like embellishments for the journals.. it's been lovely, 4 of the journals were commissions, and have all safely arrived with their new owners who are very happy, which in turn makes me happy! Echoes sold yesterday too, so I shall have to make another creamy vintage journal soon.

  I've also managed to get some work in a handmade shop in Canterbury, Whitefriars Food and Craft Market so we'll see how that develops, Canterbury is very busy with lots of students and tourists, so fingers crossed. I just need to make a few extra bits to test run over there.. some larger dreamcatchers and a new textile accessory range, based around my collaged textile pieces. Where am I going to find the time?
  I shall finish the rucksack tomorrow, then I plan for a quilted messenger bag with some of the remnants. Then onto creating one of each of the expanded textile range, and creating the first wedding album cover... looking forward to that..
  So, busy, busy, watch this space- I can't promise I'll get time to post much, time gets less each week, which is great really, but I will be posting more fabric dying techniques, my monthly beading/ quilting block and all my swaps over in the Friends' Gallery, etc


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Beading and Crazy Quilting projects, April's block

The butterfly is growing... April is the month for yellows, and it is now complete so here's a peek at the block, with the full details over on the project  page

To see what everyone else is up to visit the Beading 2013 and the Crazy Quilting 2013 projects.

Monday, 22 April 2013

More butterflies and journals

Over the last few months I've developed what was a one-off collage in a frame into a range of Artist journal/ sketchbooks... I knew getting the Cinch was going to cause problems!

Here are a few in the latest colours, I work each set in fours so they really are unique...

These are hearts and butterflies, I've also tried blinging a couple with little gems, what do you think?  I need to make some more now as I've just got a spot in a shop in Canterbury, which hopefully will be quite popular... watch this space!

Eac of these contain over 40 pages of mixed artist paper such as watercolour, pastel, cartridge, black and tracing paper. Perfect for mixed media artists who love using more than one medium. Each little section is separated with some gorgeous hand-made paper in coordinating colours. 

I'm also taking orders for these with a name added within the design, how special is that? Check them out on Etsy...

Butterflies, butterflies

  I know, I know, too long again! I'm going to have to set certain times to write my blog otherwise I'm just not going to keep up enough. I have been busy, always my excuse! 
  For those of you that know me, aside from working in rainbows alot I also tend towards purple... and use butterflies as a theme regularly, well I've found out this week that I'm not on my own. I've had orders for my collage textile journals, both purple with butterflies- wonderful, as I know my stash is full of suitable goodies.
  Without giving away my trade secret for construction here's one of the finished journals, all sent off and happily received

I've started to add little art canvases of my work too, just as an extra dimension, I know they're each unique anyway, but this makes them more so- I love making these journals!

Here's another one, a small Moleskine I made at the same time for the fun of it, I've listed it on Etsy now.

Now I need to finish the latest order... hope I get my machine back soon, after 7 months it's gone stupid and gone back to the shop, darn! 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Shibori showdown

At last today- the best bit about spending all those hours sewing tiny stitches into fabric and then gathering them up... dying and opening the stitching!

I spent yesterday sewing 8 squares for our international fabric swap which is going along great guns with lots of techniques and fabrics travelling round the world. I have also written it up as a tutorial over on my How to- Textiles page if you'd like to see more.

Here are a few typical techniques, straight lines, wavy lines, wraps and sewn circles, etc. Some are sewn with running stitch, others are sewn with a running stitch over a tiny fold which gives a lovely spotty double line.

And here's how they turned out... most of them came out beautifully, a couple needed stronger thread so I could pull the gathers tighter, but they still look pretty.Now they're tucked in envelopes ready to fly off, so I'm going to have to do a few more while I've got the dye mixed.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Blogging award- who me?

How lovely! A dear friend many, many miles away has sent me an award for my creations...

Carmina is a great talent so it is even more special that she has chosen my work for this award. You can find Carmina's blog here.


I now get to choose 4 blogs that I feel deserve a viewing and recognition for their wonderful work, so here are my choices;

Sonja's work is varied an amazing, from weaving to journals and mixed media art, find her work at Art from my soul

Louise's work is both unusual and stunning, see her work at River Girl Art

Robin is an absolute inspiration for bead work, so many gorgeous pieces and styles, check out her website and blog

Fourthly, if you want some inspiration for some really funky fun, you cannot do better than visit Gas Art's blog

 I'm sure you'll enjoy your visits!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Rainbows and Dreamcatchers

My word, it's happened again- 2 weeks gone by without a post... shame on me! As a means of excuse I have been busy though, completing Etsy orders and a few from our Tuesday marketplace. Here's a few peeks at finished work as a catch up...

 A textile covered journal in my favourite colour combo wending it's way to the US as I type....

Another rainbow journal commissioned as a child's memory book... so sweet! 

I've enjoyed making a rainbow so much I think I'm going to make myself one for my Large Moleskine, yummy!

Isn't it funny how things run in groups? Two orders for rainbow coloued journals, and  two orders for two-tone dreamcatchers ...

Purple and silver, lots of amethyst, my favourite combo- not keen on the gold... This one was great fun to make as I played with the wire in a different way... no two are ever the same, that's what I love about making One Of A Kinds, no duplicates. I'm going to start adding wire names to my wedding dreamcatchers... I'm already doing names on my beaded flower memorial frames so why not...

and what about this cute little dreamcatcher for a girl's room... pink and green, with unakite, pink howlite and rose quartz

That's not all I've been up to, but I'll leave that for another post...

Saturday, 16 March 2013

From Black & Red to Red & Black

Well, that was another quick make...  only this one was more reds than black, and I found a lovely slinky fabric to feature on the flap and pocket. It doesn't fray so I couldn't use it in the main patchwork... but nevermind, the contrast makes it better.

I think two is my limit for the time being on the Skull theme as I have some rather gorgeous butterfly and Volkswagon fabrics... I shan't be mixing them together.. two bags are coming! I am wondering about whether the try a messenger style bag using my patchwork, what do you think?  I'm building up to making I-pad cases with the leftover patchwork from each bag, too... 
I've just managed to get my Etsy listings up to date and this one is on as well, and this month we're running a FREE UK postage if you type in FREEMARCH13 at the checkout.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Rucksack heaven...

I spent last week, on and off, creating another quilted backpack. My skull fabric arrived and I spent the weekend sewing and fraying the squares... then Monday and Wednesday were spent making the bag. Much as it takes a while, the fraying is one of my fave bits, it's kind of meditative really! Plus I end up with a pile of threads that can be used in later projects...
Here's the finished bag, 

I finished this one differently- I used D-rings and a long strap for the  closure. After making a key-fob for the Coffee bag I've decided to do that for all of them, assuming I can scrape enough fabric together. I do like how it's turned out, and will be making another one very soon with more red and a different skull fabric...

I haven't got a great pic yet so I've not listed it on Etsy yet, but it will be there soon! 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mum's the word...

It's almost here... Mother's Day in the UK- isn't the US on a different date? Much as I love my mum she can be a pain to gift! She's an accomplished seamstress, has everything she wants, and has been given countless portraits, cases, books and accessories made by me over the years... every year gets harder to find something that will fit her needs and taste... nevertheless, I still would rather make something personal than buy a bunch of flowers!
While at the Bluebird Market this Tuesday I took some aida to start working on... drew "Mum" on it and began working in cross stitch. Once I got going it opened up the possibilities to how I'd complete it... the rectangle could be framed and the square could be turned into a heart.
So today I finished them both...

The question is which one do I give her? 

I decided Saturday morning when I wrapped the heart... thought it the better piece... so what shall I do with the other?

Friday, 1 March 2013

B & CQ JP Butterfly- March block

It's March 1st, where's time gone? Woosh...
I'd been looking forward to making this month's block and I made the base up ready last night... January and February's blocks are reds and orange, this month is orange and yellow so that the whole piece will eventually be rainbow coloured.

I've used a wide range of fabrics, including the sample piece that Spoonflower send, well, it fitted the theme!
For the full pic and an ongoing summary visit the B & CJ JP page .

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Woo-hoot! What a pair...

Aww... they really are quite quick to make... here's girly...

And what a pair they make! Don't forget the pattern is over in the PATTERNS section, let me know if you have any trouble with it so I can adjust it.x

Have fun!!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What a Hoot..y!

I spent yesterday at the Bluebird Indoor Market in Dover, and while we weren't selling we were chatting away... one lady, who makes gorgeous plush fabric doorstops was crocheting an owl from a magazine pattern and having a bit of trouble making sense of it... some just don't make sense! Anyway, it piqued my interest so this morning I decided to make my own... and try to write an easy pattern to go with... so here's the first one, wasn't too hard to plan and he looks great! The instructions are over in my PATTERNS section.


What do you think? Sweet or not? I'm going to do a girly version now which I'll probably get finished in the morning...
Why not gather some wool up, it doesn't take very much and you can use scraps for a funky version, pop over to the tute and have a go, promise you'll get hooked and want to do more! 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Who's for coffee?

For those of you that know me you will understand how irresistable it was to buy a certain selection of prints that featured coffee..  mmmmmm...... Kona....

and what did I decide to do with them? Well, patchwork of course! I thought that using my patchwork batik bag would be a suitable pattern for this collection. I do have two other designs, but they have more colours in them and didn't look right together, so they'll be a later project.

I spent a very happy weekend cutting squares, sewing them together... all in the same fashion as my tutorial...  quilting them to wadding and then hours of fraying the edges, I much prefer this look to a straight seam, much more character, but it does take some time!

By Monday I could get going on the actual bag... by Tuesday I could add the finishing touches, like cording, charm and matching keyfob. Oh, and this time I added quilted pads on the straps, as per my daughters suggestion.

Would you like to see how it turned out? 

I love how it turned out... and to feel it, thick and quilted, it's lovely, I'll be sad to sell it really, but to Etsy it will go. On to a gothy skull bag next, as soon as the prints arrive! 

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A little pressy... for you!

Time has gotten by me again! Busy, busy, busy! Lots to be blogging about, but little time to blog- oh the irony. A sneak peek at what I'm making this week following shortly...

 In the meantime, a little present to all my friends, both old and new, 



in the checkout at my Etsy store for a 15% discount on all my OOAK items and gifts, until March 9th.



 PS- I've also started adding items to my shop page on Facebook, some very special pieces, many never to be repeated, a few at a very reduced price- pop over for a bargain designer item.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

So, who got a pressie today?

You did?  Lucky you! A thoughtful partner-hubby who had time to go shopping... give him a super big hug later.
If, like me, you don't really "do" Valentine's day ( preferring a 365 day affair)  and your hubby works so hard he doesn't get time to search out a special treat for you, here's a little message...

Mixed media on canvas-  The Rough and the Smooth of it...
 In the wider universe we are all unique and we are all loved! 
  You too!

And if you haven't got a hubby, then Woohoo! Go girl and have a spa day, lunch in bed,  mani-ped, whitewater-rafting... or anything that you want to treat yourself with... well, why not?

Just as a little sub-note... isn't it typical, a woman came into the studio asking to buy this canvas before Valentine's day, and even though it was reduced because I created it several years ago and wanted to clear out a few old paintings, I went to the studio today to find it had been stolen! I knew it was gone several days ago, but assumed the chap who looks comes in mostly had seen her a second time and taken the payment for it. No! Doesn't it make you seeth!  It was 1/3 of the original price, and still someone had to sneak around to steal it while no-one was looking, appalling. I hope her hubby enjoys it!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Market and make its...

Where does the time go? I keep planning to do a new post, then get caught up making listings or liking some great shops on Facebook... That's not to say I spend all day on the laptop- nooo! I do get a little bit of work done too!
I'm halfway through a selection of items in my collaged textiles so I thought I'd show you my process... As I've mentioned before I make each piece on a 12 x 14" base, so once it's used up, that's it- totally unique and utterly limited. 

It takes a good few hours to cut and layer scraps of fabrics, plastics, punchinella, wool, or whatever feels right, and interweave it with embroidery and machining in different stitches and colours. Once it's finished the hardest thing is to decide what to use it for... if  I'm planning a backpack I need to take that first because it takes most of the piece, from there I choose items according to what I can squeeze out of it.. a needlecase, pincushion, and if there's any left, maybe a dongle cover or keyring...

I spent yesterday at the Dover Bluebird Market, and as usual I took along some pieces to work on, all cut, prepped and ribbons, buttons and pages chosen.
Here's what I  managed to get done...

So here they are,2 new needlecases, 7 keyrings and a pincushion...  2 more cases to go, sew in the pages and they'll be ready. Next I have to finish  a waistcoat... watch this space!

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