Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas Challenge Results

Further to the pictures of my box which was to be entered for the Christmas Challenge here are the entries for it. We are a small group with not everyone entering.

I'm really delighted to say that my box won first prize and I received some lovely threads and beads as the result. 

Hardly a test of my skill amongst such a small number of entries but still not bad for someone who hated sewing all their life, gave it up in the second year of high school back in the dark ages to take up cookery  and who in April 2009 was looking on Youtube to find out how to thread a sewing machine.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Latest ramblings

Finally finished my craft fairs for this year, bit of a relief really as the house is a bit of a tip after spending so much time sewing but there are more exciting things to do than housework. Need to think of some new lines for next year but my first craft fair isn't until Easter so there is plenty of time but feel free to send me any ideas you have as its great to get feedback.

Getting on with my last project for the City and Guilds on walls. Had a bit of a writers block on the subject at first but the ideas are starting to flow in and think I've decided what to make for it. Need to do some background work and experiments first though and probably won't get round to making it until after Christmas but the last day of the course is 11th January so need to get on with it.

The Christmas Challenge is going to be judged by the chairman of the Embroiderers Guild on Monday so fingers crossed.

Just made a box as part of my daughter in law to be's present. I was lucky enough to find a beautiful triple dyed Batik with butterflies on and used it as my inspiration.

That's it for now, happy crafting.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmas Challenge 'The Essence of Winter Part 2'

In a previous post I showed my challenge for the textile group I go to but decided it didn't really meet the criteria of 'a substantial amount of couching' so decided to make something else and as I haven't made many boxes went for that.

It is made from felt and pelmet vilene with couched threads, organza leaves and has been lined with a wintery type fabric. The work is being judged by the chairman of the Embroiderers Guild in Norwich so I am a bit nervous as she is going to leave constructive criticism.

"All That Glistens"

I'm a bit of a closet Bollywood fan, not the singing but the fabrics and saris they wear. I love sparkly things and think over the winter I'll start experimenting with new designs to incorporate some of the fabrics I got this week from Ivy House Studio. Now I'm going to bore you with them and will show you what I create at a later date.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Sue Leonard Magic Metals Workshop

Thought I had better write a post as my blog is getting sadly neglected at the moment.

On Saturday I went to a workshop with the Embroiderers Guild in Norwich on metals with Sue Leonard who does lovely work and at the end of the day I realised my experiments were rubbish. We worked on copper and brass shim and copper and brass mesh.

The first thing we did was colour them by holding over a candle and this gave a great effect. This was to help any chemical agents we used to take better.

I only used lemon juice and balsamic vinegar but you can also use other agents such as wine vinegar and bleach. Then leave them for at least 24 hours.

This is lemon juice.

and Balsamic Vinegar

I think that the solid metal takes the effects better than the mesh which looks great just coloured with the candle.

We also coloured some lace paper which Sue layers with the metals and they look great placed over the shim.

I embossed some metal which looked quite effective

Some crimped examples which are useful for bits you make a mess of.

You can use a stamp to cut out shapes and use both the bits with holes in and the cut out bits in your work.

No idea what I'll do with the samples yet and will have to order some more shim to practice and do some stitching onto. I've also put in a request for a book The Art of Stitching on Metal by Ann Parr for Christmas which will hopefully give me some more ideas as metal can be very effective when combined with fabrics and stitch.

I've also just had a delivery of some shiny fabrics which I'll put in my next post so I can see me going sparkly next year.

Four more craft fairs before Christmas then a few months off to design and rethink new ideas.

Friday, 4 November 2011

City and Guilds Leaf Project

I've been busy finishing off my second project for the City and Guilds with this one being on leaves. The leaves I made for the finished project were shown in a previous blog post.

Had to do some background work such as leaf printing.

Also made leaves in various ways such as organza, stitching and cutting out with a soldering iron and using plastic which was inspired by Kathleen Laurel Sage which I am particularly pleased with. The plastic was purchased from her at the Knitting and Stitching show where her lovely work was on display.

Also did some printing and then stitched onto it.

The final leaf piece which is for assessment and will also be for the Hardingham Textile Group's Christmas Challenge is called The Essence of Winter and shows ( I hope) frosted leaves on the snow.

The mount is made from padded silk dupion as I wanted something soft I could sew over. The background is first a layer of foiled organza topped with metallic organza which is a lovely fabric as once wetted it goes into lovely folds. Threads were then couched on followed by the leaves and finally some beads before being mounted in a box frame.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Fabric Caskets

About a month ago I went to a Macmillan coffee morning and donated some of my work for the raffle, one of these being a fabric casket. I haven't made any caskets for a while and didn't intend to but the lady that won the casket came into the fair on Sunday and ordered a 'girly one' for a Christmas present. I made two similar ones so I wonder which she will choose. Photos taken at night so colours not very clear but they are pink and purple.

For our Christmas challenge at my textile group we have to make something titled 'The Essence of Winter' and this much include couching so that is right up my street. As my next project for the City and Guilds is on leaves I thought I could be crafty and combine the two so have been making organza leaves to include. Not sure what I'll be making yet but will post the finished item.

Off to the Norwich Textile and Bead Fair on Sunday which unfortunately is the last one. We are quite short of creative textile suppliers in Norfolk so it will be missed. Must try not to spend too much though after my recent trip to London.

My next craft fair is on the 12th November at Lincoln Hall in Hingham run by Daisy Boo's. It is usually successful so fingers crossed.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Craft Fair Hingham Sports Hall Sunday

Been busy today sorting and pricing things for the craft fair on Sunday. It is advertised as 'massive' and although its a large hall I'll believe the massive fair when I see it.

Taking my usual bags including a couple of butterfly ones with matching purses.

Lots of cards.

As well as the usual array of mobile phone cases, fairy slipper, bowls, vases and brooches. I'll post a pic of the stall and let you know how I get on.

Off out tomorrow too as Raggle Taggle Beads are opening a shop at Hackford which is only a few miles from me. Shouldn't really buy anything but they are tempting me with great opening offers so I can't resist. Then onto Central Hall in Wymondham to visit a craft fair. Sorry I'm so obsessed with textiles and crafts but at my age not much else I can get excited about.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Mary Crehan Workshop

On Friday I went to a talk by Mary Crehan on her darning method for creating standing stones. It was a very entertaining talk as she has a wonderful sense of humour and it turns out I know her daughter from doing a course together.

This was followed by a workshop on Saturday to produce a piece of work based on stone. It was a full day with some lovely work produced, not mine which is far from finished but if it turns out well I'll post at a later date.

We drew some lines on paper and placed this under scrim on a frame. 

Here are some of the threads I'm going to use.

As you can see nobody got there work finished as its a slow process although some people used big stitches and thick thread so made better progress.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

City and Guilds

I'm about half way through my City and Guilds machine embroidery course and its been great. Our first project was based on shells and the next one will be on leaves which I love.

As its only a level one course the work isn't too heavy and its the first year the Embroiderers Guild in Norwich have run it but hope they will do the follow on one next year.

Just thought I would show some of the prep work I did on shells and the finished item.

I made some stamps out of funky foam and used those to print.

I used bleach on a stamp and discharged dye from black fabric. The other stamps were stitched around in different ways.

For my piece I decided to make a purse in cream and pink as these are the colours in many shells. The purse is in silk dupion with silk velvet shells attached using applique.

Although I'm not really into quilting I thought it would look apt to have a quilted purse with wavy lines to represent the sea.

Lavender bags

I've been making some heart shaped lavender bags for the craft fairs I'm doing before Christmas.

I've started making my butterflies on dissolving film now and think they work out better.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Knitting and Stitching Show

Had a great time last week at the Alexander Palace last week but didn't really come home with any photos. There was some great work there but by the time I got round to seeing it I was laden down with bags having spent far too much money so just thought I would share part of my stash.

Can you spot my favourite colours?

Thursday, 29 September 2011

"Concepts and Meanings" Eastern Region Textile Forum Exhibition

Visited Dragon Hall yesterday for a textile exhibition by the Eastern Region which continues until 9th October.

There are also workshops and courses running at Dragon Hall until November and these cover such subjects as Art Clay Jewellery, Felt Work, Textile Art, Drawing ect.

Works shown included Norfolk Triptych an embroidered landscape by Jacqueline Glyde.

A felt wall hanging by Laura Guida

This realistic work called The Mark of Time by Sue Blackburn

Sorry didn't get this artists name

Joy; Three women expressing joy through femininity by Glen Gerrard Joy.

Regeneration by Gina Ferrari who I was lucky enough to chat to as she was stewarding at the time. I love her machine embroidery work and her blog is well worth a visit.

Love this couched tree bark by Sue Blackburn.

Off to a coffee morning tomorrow in aid of Macmillan nurses. I have given the organiser some of my pieces for the raffle and am looking forward to the lovely cakes they have there.

Really looking forward to next Thursday when I am off to Alexander Palace for the Knitting and Stitching show. Pictures to follow.