Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A bit too much wax!

Another fun technique! This one was inspired by a Linda Kemshall tutorial on DMTV. I got a bit slap happy with the wax and ended up obscuring the image totally, however it was great fun using the hot gun and watching the wax slowly drip off and reveal the design. These should have been delicately waxed papers stitched to a stretched canvas board but this stuff is such fun to play with. I think I forgot what I was supposed to be making and just enjoyed moving around the molten wax.

Another thing that happened with using so much wax is that the papers become so transparent that the stitch shows equally from the back - what I intended to be ladder stitch has become a kind of zig-zag because you can see the workings quite clearly.  It has taken some time to clean the work room tables and floor from this  piece of work, a little wax goes an awful long way.

Friday, 23 March 2012


It started out as a tidy 'all the journals that keep falling out of the cupboard' exercise. It's great to meet up with some moments in your life that you had completely forgotten.  I can't pin the date down but this journal contained samples from a Margaret Beal course at Artvango of many moons ago. So Thursday was dedicated to the soldering iron and some organzas.

With the help of a potato masher as a stencil one of the samples I made ended up as a little design on a piece of velvet. Many lashings of products and stitch later it has ended up as a potential book cover. I'm making a leathery looking paper background and will bond the design to it. If it works it should look like an antique bound book.

The colours will be knocked back and the background will be the same tone so it will look like a single piece.
Nothing like the work I did at Margaret's class but certainly inspired by it.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sociable stitching

 I hardly noticed making these buttons and beads today, a day spent stitching with two like minded friends passed in a flash. We had not met up for a couple of months and had so much to catch up on.  We meet up on a monthly basis as often as we can and each in turn host a day of experimental mess making, this time my friends wanted to learn how to make my embroidered beads - it's much easier teaching two people rather than twenty plus. Typically I forgot to photograph their beads ( which were gorgeous) so I'll show my efforts from the day.

I'm still working on making a vessel/vase and have felted the velvet diamond shapes onto the surface. This makes a much more integrated cloth than collaging each piece individually, because the velvet is so vibrant it still stands out from the background just as I wanted it to.

I'm doing a mixture of hand machine and hand stitch all over this piece before I attach it to a backing - possibly with bondaweb. I love the warm glow of this piece and I can't wait to see it take shape but it will not be a quick 'do' as the garden
must take precedence at this time of the year and there is only so much energy to go round.
We are off to a very chic London wedding this weekend.  I wonder if they'll mind me stitching at the reception - perhaps not, it might look as though I'm bored.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Stitching at last

A visit from my brother and his partner has diverted my attention from not being able to stitch for a few days and a wonderful family weekend with big dogs and little boys just totally made up for no crafting. The weather was glorious in a way that only an early spring day can be - lots of time in the garden and the warm sun on my back - bliss!

Yesterday I mostly communed with the wall, resting after some lovely days out last week  - Ely Cathedral, The Needle Museum at Redditch and a day out at the Bullring in Birmingham - all in lovely weather .

I'm looking at producing some 3D pieces over the next week or two, it's so easy to keep producing 2D  wall hangings and to forget what form can bring to my work so I plan to start by making a simple vase shape and see where it takes me. 

I have used the needle-felter to blend some organza's to a cotton pieced base onto a wool batting. I burnt back with the heat gun and placed a design on the top using my lovely dyed velvets. I'm now working out whether to stitch before attaching  the whole piece to some pelmet backing or do it all afterwards. If I'm hand-stitching it could be a bit hard on the hands so maybe a bit of both would be best.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Sneaky stitching.

Thank goodness for the needle felting machine! I am looking for ways to stitch without putting any pressure on my arms and hands (supposed to be resting them). I'm acting like an addict, furtively adding stitch to my felting and hoping my brain can't see me. It makes me realise how necessary being creative is to me.
I love the way that the felter melds the velvets and sheers together and drags the white felt base through to the surface to blur the image.

It only takes a very few stitches to complete this piece.

Something  achieved with the minimum of effort.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Eye Candy 1

You know all those samples you acquire from all those ideas and latest products you just have to try. All the little pieces of work from courses that just seem to mount up. Well I'm trying to put mine into a  series of work that I'm calling my eye candy pieces. These are quite difficult to produce as all the elements that I'm bringing together were never intended to be part of a 'whole'. For instance this piece has dyed velvets,paper clay, foils,weaving, machine embroidery, handmade cords, painted bondaweb, crochet and beadwork amongst other elements. This first piece doesn't work as well as I hoped mainly because the design has ended up quite dumpy looking - the canvas is too small, elongating the design would have made it more elegant looking but I love the colours and the way they bounce off of each other.
This is me resting my hands and not sewing ( never going to happen).