Tuesday, December 31, 2013

T for tuesday

My post for T for tuesday today is more pages from my teapot themed sketchbook

These are all teapots from my small collection.  I used to have many more, but after lots of life changes and moves, the collection is now just the ones I really love.
Have a great tuesday!

Monday, December 30, 2013


I was actually inspired to do a tiny little bit of patchwork!  I was watching just hands on TV, which is an english online quilting site. the video was japanese folded patchwork by Lesley Brankin (which is a subscription video, but you can see a preview of it on the site).
We have done a lot of this patchwork at our quilting group, in fact I made a lovely bag out of it a few years ago, but the difference here is that Lesley pieced the fabric for the circles first.
See how this design is a simple sort of butterfly.
However, on the back....
You get a cute little kimono shape!
I enjoyed this immensely and I might even create a quilt!  But don't expect any results very quickly.  I think this might be a project to do when I don't want to do anything in particular.

Happy creating!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Green and copper

If you follow my blog, you will remember the copper and paper collage with  a sprig of leaves a few days ago, and how I liked the little woven detail at the base of the plant.
I have used this to make some little embellishments for one of my needlefelted pieces that was waiting for inspiration.
You can see here I have used a piece of a computer as a jig, to hold the four thick pieces of wire whilst I am weaving them with some fine wire.  You could probably use some plastic canvas in the same way.
Here is one of the finished little embellishments placed on the needlefelted piece.
And here is the finished piece with the little embellishments stitched on.  I am afraid it is slightly too long for the scanner, so the bottom is cut off I really need to think about this when making small pieces.  Also it is a bit crooked, but that is just me placing it on the scanner.
I am quite pleased with how this one is turning out.
I have really done a fair bit of work during December and I thought you might like a look at my design wall at present.
These two pictures overlap, so as usual I couldn't fit it all in.  I like walking out into my studio each day and looking at what I have achieved.  It is extremely satisfying.

Happy creating!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A lace sample

Last night, I had a quick go at making a piece of lace on organza.

I was a design I had been playing with in my sketchbook, but I think I need a bit more practice and perhaps a paper pattern to keep it a bit tidier.  As you can see I kept making the flowers bigger.  I worked in a hoop and simply drew with the machine.  when it was finished, I simply cut it out.  I looks a bit flat and opaque here, but in reality it is very transparent and filmy.  Another idea to use on my crazy quilt in the new year.

Happy creating!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Collages 16 to 20

Here are a few more collages.  I am amassing a collection, now and know I will always be able to find some inspiration by looking through them.

This one has two hand dyes, a cotton and two pieces of felt.  The central green square is washi paper.
This one is all furnishing fabrics and a piece of felt across, again.  I like these thin lines.
This is a furnishing fabric, but it is turned to the back side, showing these chenille threads that are woven into the front.  The leaf shapes are cut from ultra suede, and I think they echo the pattern in the background nicely.
This is a needle felted mess.  but i am sure I will play with it later.  I just felted lots of scraps of fibres down, with no thought of a theme, then added the leaves and flowers on the left from my sample box.
Another needlefelted foundation.  This one is made from offcuts of felt that I was given a while ago.  My husband said it looked like cow hides, but I can see lots of birds flying around.

Happy creating!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

heavy metal

A bit late blogging today, I got sidetracked by a little patchwork project and it is nearly time for bed.
We had a nice, quiet Christmas day and are now getting back to working.
today I am showing a WIP which is not textile, but does have fibres in it and a tiny bit of weaving, but it is not finshed as I want to do a lot of stitching on it.

It is a tree or shrub, made from copper wire (retrieved from the power supply of an old computer) with leaves cut from copper foil and copper mesh (which were stolen from my husband)
The background is Japanese washi paper fused to felt with fusible webbing.  The paper is very textured and I am looking forward to stitching on it.  I will also be securing the leaves properly with some stitch and beads.

Oh, and theweaving?  If you look to the very bottom, you can see that I wove the stems together with some fine wire and I really liked the effect.  I think I will be making some embellishments using this technique - in fact I have the perfect background for such embellishments.

Happy creating!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

T for teapots

Today I am linking to my friend elizabeth's blog, for T for Tuesday, which I forgot last week.
My T for Tuesday is of course teapots.

This is a three page spread from my sketchbook with lots of different teapots jumbled together.  I think it fits into the theme pretty well!

Happy creating

Monday, December 23, 2013

A flock of locals

Because I am who I am, I decided this morning that I needed to make something to give to family on Christmas day.  We no longer give gifts, but something little and hand made can easily be given.
I decided to make some needlefelted birds and have made three, but my little fingers are a bit sore from being poked, so I'll make three more tomorrow.
Here are my little birdies, which are all based on birds I can see in my garden.

The one at top left is a Thornbill, the top right is a flame robin and the bottom one is a blue wren.  They do not have eyes yet and I think the robin needs a little adjustment, but they are cute.
Here they are standing up. I still think the robin looks a bit like a duck, but oh well.

Happy Creating!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Collages 13 to 15

I am really having a ball making these collages.  I don't have any rules and just put together what makes me happy.  In the new year, I will start doing some embellishing, but really I can see a great reference building up and of course I am using up fabric.

This first one is very simple and uses shirting fabric.  This one is really just about the colours.  The fabric was very thin and I can see the shadows where it overlaps.  Instead of worrying about this, I am thinking that the stitching might make a feature of these areas.  Remember there is no such thing as a mistake, just a new way of thinking.
This one has a wide variety of fabrics, from chiffon, to metallic textured, satin, tulle, organza and even some heat distressed chiffon.  In the centre of the piece on the tulle, is a fragment of the fabric that inspired the arrangement of the fabrics.  In this one I am embracing the frayed edges and untidiness.
This one was inspired by the colour scheme of the floral fabric at the top centre.  It uses velvet, textured metallic and satin, satin, silk, painted chiffon, baby wipe.

As you can see there is on theme to my collages.  I am exploring art elements in a very broad sense line, shape, space, texture, value and color and always learning about what I like and what i don't.

Happy creating!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Some sea life

I finished another UFO today.  This one I started quite a while ago, in fact a year ago!

It is a seahorse free motioned onto a blue and white collage.  I have added beads, more free motion, hand stitch and couching.
 Here are some close ups of the stitching
I also finished the edges, beading of course.   Here is the finished piece hanging.
So, that is my art for today.  Hope you like it.

Happy creating!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Felt and a few beads

I did say that I had a new piece finished/almost finished.

This piece was needlefelted a little while ago with black felt, organza and silks.  The black lines are needlefelted from the back and the beads are handmade fabric and paper beads.  I have also beaded the entire border (But it was a few millimetres too short for the scanner)  I love all the frayed edges, but not sure whether it still needs a bit of stitch.  hmmmm.  I'll just have to think on it a bit more.

Happy creating!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I'm hot and you're not

Another stinker of a day today, 40 degrees (104F)  and we had to go into town into the bargain.  Because I didn't wear my sunglasses, I ended up with a raging headache.  I sure am looking forward to the cold change tomorrow afternoon!
Here are a few pages out of my daily journal

This one has many many layers, but started out as a waste paint page.  Of course I love feathers, so I added them.  I like how colourful it turned out.

This one is about having a bad hair day, lol.
hopefully I will get around to scanning the work I have done in the last day or so, including a finished(?) textile piece for tomorrow.

Happy creating

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Almost didn't blog today.  It was a stinker of a day, nearly 40 celsius, but in the end, I got a bit done.  my studio was melting this afternoon, so I resorted to reading old Quilting Arts magazines in the main house.
Haven't taken photos of the morning's work, but here are a couple of journal pages a' la Dina Wakely.

 This one suggested the seahorse to me.

This one didn't give me any clues, so I just did some leaves.
these pages are fun to make.  I suggest you visit her blog, or get her new video. She also has online classes.

Happy creating!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Collage a day 9 to 12

Here are four more fabric collages, numbers 9 to 12.  i am really enjoying making these and my mind is always racing, thinking what I can put on top of them, because they are just foundations.  Some of them suggest something to me, some don't....yet.  but I am slowly building an inspirational book of collages to work on and that is my purpose.


This one has a background of velvet.  the rough strips are ripped pieces of coloured baby wipe.  i put the skeleton leaves down and decided I wanted to add something else, so the orange leaf is a metal pendant that I got from some junk.

This one has black velvet, black linen and a strip of checked shot satin down the middle.  The leaves are cut from - again baby wipes.

The background of this one is a patchwork of baby wipes (I do have a huge collection!) and suggested a sea theme to me.  The shells were cut from a napkin fused to cheesecloth that was lying in my to do pile.  Because they were fused to cheesecloth, they are stable for stitching, but also, because the cheesecloth has an open weave, it fuses down to the background.  Bonus!
This last one is very simple, but I can see lots of embellishment on it.  It started with the lace which I dyed/painted with some spay ink.  I let it suggest the background colour. first of course was the baby wipe (top right), then the magenta linen and turquoise linen, then a piece of charcoal coarse woven fabric.

Most of these collages use recycled fabric samples that I get from a recycling depot.  I am not picky about what I collect.  some might be things like knits that art quilters wouldn't usually use, but i find they can be stabilised easily.  As you can see above, i will us almost anything to give colour and texture.

Happy creating!

Monday, December 16, 2013

I did it!

A few days ago, I was trying to do some digital collage and since it had been so long since I did it and I was using a new program, I had difficulties doing what I wanted.  But I persisted and I did it!

It always seems impossible until its done
This has three layers.  The background is one of my fabric collages.  The leaves are from one of the monoprints I made the other day and of course the text is the third layer and is a quote from Nelson Mandela that I thought appropriate here!


I also finished a piece I had been working on quite a while ago.  The background is a collage of lots of greens, in chiffon, satin, silk and even painted batting under tulle and is quilted with a very multi coloured thread.  The crocus are made with green and lilac satin and are raw edge applique with free motion bobbin work.  the stamens are hand embroidered and have beading at the top.  I think I have made something lovely and all it needs now is a frame.

I hope you enjoyed my adventures today.

Happy creating!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Free motion grid

I started this free motion motif a week or so ago and haven't got around to finishing it until now.


I put some organza and satin  bits on a piece of bond n stitch (This is a water soluble stabiliser I got from the Thread studio) This stabiliser actually allows you to iron the pieces on like a fusible.


I free motion embroidered a grid and some circles


I also added a second grid and circles

this is the back (as you can see my tension was a bit loose)


And here it is after being washed out of the stabiliser and dried.  This was a lesson on checking tension and going slowly, but I still like it and it will probably go into something.

Happy creating!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How to be creative without producing anything

I have been very creative today, but it did not yield results.....yet.
I was inspired to do some digital collage by a post here.
But long long ago, when I was using photoshop elements, it seemed easy.  My new laptop only has Gimp.  I know I can do what I want, but the how is another thing.  It did not happen today, but I will keep trying (or I will go and get photoshop elements again)
so What have I got to show? Not much - two started journal pages.

This page is a rubbing over wire (which I learnt from design matters tv), using water soluble crayons. needs more work, of course.

This page is using a couple of things i created today.  On the left is a stencil I created from one of my drawings and on the right is a stamp I created using fun foam after watching the new Art journaling Live recording from Interweave.  It is not a new technique, i have seen it before, but the video was very inspiring.  It was the tracey Bautista part of the video.
I really like both the stamp and the stencil, but of course i need to play with them a bit more.

Happy creating!

Friday, December 13, 2013

collage 5 to 8

Here are the latest in my collage a day challenge.

collage 005
Being a landscape artist at heart, I had to put together a little landscape.  This one has, from top a hand painted fabric, two pieces of a cloth I used to clean up, a piece of cheesecloth also used to clean up and a piece of my ironing cloth.  Lots of recycling there!
collage 006
This red collage (I think red is becoming my new favourite colour) It has two shades of red satin, Three different red chiffons, two red cottons (one commercial, one painted),  A peach satin, a red knit, a piece of a lolly (candy) wrapper and two little wire spirals.
collage 007
This very simple collage I intend to add a lot of embellishing to it.  The background is a commercial chiffon.  the orange block is velvet and the leaf is a gelatin monoprint on chiffon.
cllage 008
This last one started with a baby wipe again.  From top are;  a violet satin, the baby wipe and some woven wool, a commercial cotton and black canvas.  The little extra bit is a knit fabric.

Hope you enjoyed these.

Happy creating!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Monoprinting mania

In recent months I have become obsessed with monoprinting.  I do have a synthetic gelatin plate, but I find it much easier to get good prints using a plate made from gelatin.  The moist nature of the plate and it's softness allow the use of lots of different things and my favourite are leaves from the garden.
today, I have been printing most of the day.  I uploaded about 35 prints and since this was not all of them and they all have at least two layers, it means I printed around a hundred times.
Here are a few of the prints I did today, most of which will go into my new leaf sketchbook, either bound in as pages or as collage elements.

These two are probably my favourites.  both of them were failed prints, but when they were overprinted, the messy background became the focus.  The great thing about printing leaves is that after you print the empty silhouettes like these above, you peel off the leaves and viola'-

You get these leaf prints which have all the veins of the leaves in them.  I love them.  They are like magic.  If you clock on the photos, you are taken to flickr to see them closer up.  Also, you can click through to see my other prints, that I won't bore you with.

This last one is also a technique I like to get with the leaves.  Overprinting to get the leaf shapes filled with pattern.  I could do  this for ever!

Happy creating!