Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Today I found some real treasures at a small op shop.

The lady is a wall hanging.  

You might be picking up on the fact that I am interested in faces.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

a stitch in time..........

Today I spent more than an hour cleaning my iron: what a waste of time that was.  The iron needed cleaning because I am often too impatient, lazy, careless, stupid.............to protect the sole plate when I am using fusible mesh or glues and today I paid the price.  It was lovely and sunny outside and I was in  my sewing room cleaning my iron.  Lesson learned!!!  

While working on the iron my thoughts drifted to an item that sits on a shelf in my sewing room.  It is something I am very fond of but I am wondering if it has any meaning. 

My youngest daughter bought this at a market many years ago: she was in her late teens and loved it at the time.

Now she wont have it in her house: her 14 year old daughter loves it but she is not allowed to take it home.

It appears to be made of plaster and the reverse side is hollow (shell like). 

At present it is covered by a pillow case as one of the little girls I babysit seems to be frightened by it.

I find the detail and the rings and chains to be quite beautiful and the 
eye is fascinating.

It is about 40cm from base to top of head. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

beach box

We are enjoying some beautiful spring weather so a visit to the beach for fish'n'chips seemed like a good way to spend Sunday.  

The little box is progressing well too but I am easily distracted when the sun is out. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

painted satin & dyed lace

I have been wanting to make a little trinket box for some time but I just haven't found enough free hours in the day to make a start. 

 Last evening a business colleague called in for a meeting with my husband so I took advantage of the fact that I would not be missed and spent some time starting off this project.

It is to be a small square (cube) fabric and lace box suitable for the dressing table.  I started by cutting out a strip of card (acid free of course) for the main body of the box.
The fabric is some white satin from the stash and the lace is synthetic and I tried to dye it when I was with Linda years ago.  It is a very pale gold colour.

To create the colour on the fabric I dipped the satin in some lukewarm water and then used a brush to apply some lumiere paints to the damp fabric.  In order to spread it out a bit I rolled the fabric up and then rinsed it 

 under the cold tap.  I wasn't too bothered about making it even or consistent because I want it to show through the lace in a random way.

Once I was happy with the colour I placed the fabric on an old towel and ironed it till it was almost dry.

I had to wait till the morning to attach the lace to the satin.
Using mistyfuse I bonded the lace to one half of the fabric as I didn't want the lace on the inside of the box.

To give a bit more shape I have put some batting under the fabric on the inside and now just have to decide how much bling to add before making the base and the top.

So far I am quite happy with this little box.  It is quite pretty and the colours remind me of the sand and sea. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have been trying to create a collage and the result is what you see here.  The pics are taken in my garden with a few altered images included.   

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Monday, August 15, 2011

vintage linen & lace

 These are some of my recent
purchases at the op shops.

Most of them are stained or have holes in them so I will use them in some fibre art.

Some of them are really fine and delicate.
 I often wonder who made these and when they were used.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

smocking pleater

A few weeks ago I bought a smocking pleater.  I know it doesn't seem to be the sort of thing I would be interested in but I am endlessly curious about all needlework techniques.
 In the past my friend Karyn  has pleated fabric for me to experiment with and I have enjoyed using the pleated fabric in my own way.
I was visiting one of my favourite op shops looking for doileys (as if I don't have enough already).  As my purchases were being added up I glanced at the window display and there it was.  An Amanda Jane pleater.  The price was unbelievable - I could never justify paying new price - and so I am the happy owner of this amazing contraption.

It has sat on the shelf for quite a while as I have been really preoccupied with other things.  

Today I decided to see if I could use it.  In a step that is unusual for me, I read all the instructions and some smocking books before I started.  

My first little piece of pleating has turned out just fine.  Now I  need to figure out how to tie it off and secure the threads.

I am not likely to be making any pretty dresses but I might make something interesting.

Any hints or advice would be most welcome.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Crazy patchwork & machine embroidery

I am currently working on some challenges & swaps for the Embroiderers Guild UK Forum and so cannot show what I am doing until these projects end.

In the meantime I thought I would show you a cushion I made quite some time ago.

 The fabrics and ribbons I used are some favourite scraps and left overs: the burgundy and grey work well together and the ribbon and lace complement the fabrics.

The rose in the centre and the one in the right hand corner were stitched with my Janome memory craft 300E.
I had stitched the fabrics together; some by hand and some by machine and then hooped the fabric up to create the roses.

I then added lace, ribbons, buttons and hand stitching.

I am going to investigate the use of the embroidery machine in future projects.  The use of machine generated embroidery is often criticized as "not creative":  I hope to show that this is not a valid criticism.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Beautiful helebores

These beautiful Hellebores are growing in our garden and always delight me with their fragile beauty.
 The flowers are easy to miss as they bow their pretty heads and this means that  they are not a good cut flower either but they are real treasures in the garden.

They usually drop a lot of seeds and so each year there are more to enjoy.

The colours are very  delicate and the petals are like paper so they give the impression that they are painted.

Thanks for the comments on my eaucalptus flowers.  

I was surprised to learn that some of you were unaware of these amazing flowers.  I will look in some of my books for projects that feature them.  The flowers vary from white, through yellows, oranges, pinks and reds.  Some are tiny and almost invisible while others are bright and showy.  

The trees offer nectar & shelter for birds and often provide homes for small animals, such as possums as well.

In addition they brighten  up our landscape. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

eucalyptus flowers

I made this some time ago and it stays on the shelf in my sewing room.  the stem and one leaf are stitched onto brown wool felt.

The upper leaf is worked as a detached element on calico using gumnut silk threads.

The caps on the top of the flowers are worked using green felt and silk threads.

The flowers are made using red silk threads bound together, similar to making a tassel, and these were inserted in the caps and then stitched to the stem.

I added some fabric stiffener to the ends of the flowers to keep them in place.

Although this is such a simple piece I am very pleased with it.

The variety of flowering eucalypts is extensive and always interesting.  They attract nectar loving birds and provide colour in the garden.  Many of the trees have interesting leaves and bark.  They are messy, dropping leaves throughout the year and often losing rather large limbs after strong winds.  Many of them shed long sheets of bark on a very hot day in an attempt to provide themselves with mulch to keep their roots cool.  A very efficient idea.