Monday, March 26, 2012

still collaging

 More pics of progress.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

wooden boxes and blocks

 I recently bought these wooden boxes and blocks in an online sale.  They were in a closing down sale and I paid the princely sum of $12 in total.  If I add up the price tags on them the total comes to about $300.  Have to be happy with that!!!
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

collage episode 3

This morning I started to make some lace on soluble film:  I am not sure which brand it is because I picked it up in an op shop with some other goodies.

This is the stitching before rinsing it out

It is important to make sure that the stitching connects and crosses over or you just end up with a long string of stitches.

This film was quite heavy so it was difficult to wash it all out - if you leave any residue the lace will be stiff and harder to work with.

Once I was sure that it was thoroughly rinsed I gently squeezed out the water being careful not to let it tangle or break threads.

This is how it looks partially stretched and still damp on the ironing board.

The machine stitching took some hours so in between times I painted the canvas with Gesso to make it more textured.
  I sprinkled some glitter on to the wet Gesso just to make it more interesting,

  It dried quite nicely.
 Tonight I will start to construct the collage.

Friday, March 23, 2012

update on collage

This is the next stage of my collage.  In fact it will be the basis of the collage (I think).  I have a lot of difficulty layering things, even when I want to.  I need something to tie it all together and this is it.  I found this lovely yellow fabric poppy in my cupboard and new immediately that it was what I needed.  There are also some little leaves made out of silk paper.

Tomorrow I hope to do some serious work on this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

bargain table

Feed time with the twins is becoming a bit of a challenge.  They are 18 months old now and they should be able to feed themselves but it can be pretty messy.

They sit in their little wooden high chairs (I bought the two from a restaurant closing sale.  2 for $14) and I use a a stool with a wooden top for a table (another bargain in a lot bought at auction).

This arrangement has worked well so far but now the two little girls delight in pushing their food off the table and onto the floor.  They pick up their bowls and spill the contents onto the table: 3 meals a day x 3 days every week.  Messy.

This situation has had me bothered for a couple of weeks.  I don't want to buy anything else: no room and I don't want to spend the money.

The little top of the stool (table top) is too small and slightly concave.  It is attached to the stool with two small screws so can be removed easily enough - but then what to use as a replacement top?  

A search of the workroom revealed a craftwood tray that I have had for years.  This will be perfect I think.  

A scrounge around in the shed resulted in suitable screws to fasten the tray to the frame of the stool - they are not the same but they work.  I just had to drill a couple of holes and paint (paint from the op shop) the tray and voila!

This is going to work so well and will be good for finger painting, drawing etc as well.

Although I didn't use it in this project I just had to show you my latest toy (I mean tool) it is a battery operated reciprocating saw.  Quite small and very useful.  I can have this after all my clever shopping at the op shops and online auction sites.

Monday, March 19, 2012

balancing the elements

I was up and about before 5 am this morning so I spent some time fiddling around with this collage.

 These dried flowers looked pretty on hand made paper.

This fairly chunky silk paper with some gold chain, mistyfuse and metallic frame might be a bit heavy.

I like the effect of this for its quirkiness.

Another try with the silk paper.  Still not right.

I'll mess about with this again tomorrow.

Any comments and suggestions would be most welcome.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Autumn collage on the table

This month I have received some Mistyfuse and Foil from The Thread Studio you can check them out here and this has really inspired me to do something creative.

  I checked out some ideas here and then rummaged around in my workroom to see what I could do.

First I found some copper metallic Angelina fibres.  

The Mistyfuse is very fine and lovely to use:  I laid the black mistyfuse on some baking paper and spread some copper Angelina fibres on top and laid the white mistyfuse on the top.  After covering it with another sheet of baking paper I ironed it thoroughly
 You can see from the photos that it is still quite transparent (or is that translucent). 
 Having done that I collected things that I liked including a canvas I had painted yellow some time ago.

 Among the bits and bobs I found some paper, ribbons, fabric, dried flowers and free machine made lace to mention just a few.

This collection will sit on the table for a few days - I will place the pieces and leave it for a while and then move them around until I am happy with them.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

reading for inspiration

 Today we called in at the library:  this is a wonderful free service which I should use more often.

Anyway I came home with five books to enjoy.  

The first is called Textile Style, Decorating With Antique an Exotic Fabrics by Caroline Clifton-Mogg.  This book is filled with pages full of gorgeous fabrics, rugs, scarves, shawls and other textiles  used in interior design. 

The next book is a small book on sketching.  Collins 30 minute sketching by Alwyn Crawshaw.  I hope this will assist me in my efforts to translate the things I see into designs.

 The third book is called Sacred Doorways, a beginners guide to icons by Linette Martin.  It is a detailed account of the history and techniques used in creating the icons often seen in Orthodox Churches. 

I borrowed this just because it interests me:  one of my daughters belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church, as do her 3 children so it helps to understand a little of what we see when we go to a service.

The Way We Live By the Sea, Stafford Cliff & Gilles De Chabaneix contains 256 colour photographs relating to seaside living.  I could just pick this book up and spend hours browsing and drooling.  The colours, patterns, architecture and scenery are all so inspiring.

Of course there had to be one book that features techniques to instruct and trigger the imagination.
Felt to Stitch, Creative felting for Textile Artists by Sheila Smith starts with explaining the preparation of fibres for felting and then illustrates various ways of creating felt and then some simple projects.  This is a really comprehensive book which I think I might have to invest in sometime soon.

Friday, March 16, 2012

back to the stitching at last

 At last I have had a little time to finish off a work in progress.

You might remember this little stitchery from a few days ago.

Well I decided it would make a good box top - but what kind of box?

 I had bought a couple of little wooden pieces in a second hand shop some months ago.  They have been in the cupboard just waiting for me to be inspired.

It turned out that the little piece of stitching was exactly the right size so I found a metal circle (button back) and glued some padding on both sides of the circle and attached the fabric.  The back is finished with green felt to give a neat appearance and I am really pleased with this little project.  I am not sure what I will use this for - perhaps pins or pot pouri.  

The important thing is that I have made something from beginning to end.  Quite an achievement for me at present with most of my time going into painting the house.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Welcome to a new life

Today our family welcomed Chloe Annie: this little girl is the daughter of our nephew David and his partner Janine.  That makes me a great aunty again.  

We have much to be thankful for.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


 Today we celebrate 43 years together.  We were married at St.Marks Anglican Church in Forest Hill.
I grew my hair: it took the better part of a year as it had always been short.  The veil was borrowed from my cousin and Mike gave me the gold heart shaped locket.  I carried a white leather prayer book with a pink silk rose on top of it.

My tiny tiara was hidden in my hair but it sits in my sewing room on the shelf now.

We had an alcohol free reception and most of our guests finished the celebrations at a party at Mike's parent's house.  

After the reception we were to spend the night at our rented flat.  We were unaware that the locks had been changed earlier in the day and of course we didn't have a key.  A drive down the highway and we found a motel to stay in.  The manager obviously didn't believe we were married and put us in a room with single beds.  We laugh about it now! 


Monday, March 12, 2012

Step by step

 Today we went back to buy some sample pots of paint for the trim of the house.

The first pot was too blue so we had to go back and decide on another colour to try.  The young woman in the paint department was happy to discuss the tints that made up the final colours I was looking at which was really helpful.  We finally settled on Malay Gray for the window frames and other trims and Burnished Bark for the steps and decking.

 Now that the decisions have been made and we are both happy with the colour scheme I feel as though a burden has been lifted.  I know it sounds silly but I was dreaming about paint colours last night.

Anyway I have decided to make another knot garden and I managed to sketch up a preliminary design to work on.

 I am going to use felt for the background on this project and as you can see I have plenty to choose from.
I might even use my embellishing machine for some of the elements.  

In the meantime I will keep on with my painting: it really provides a lot of thinking time once the decisions are made.