Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Using the embellisher

I am making quite good progress with this felted piece.

This is where my embellishing machine becomes really useful.  I am trying to build a really thick and textured background.

The initial work was done with a hand felting tool adding wool rovings to the grey/blue background and then some pieces of nylon/chiffon scarves.  I have left the rolled edges of the scarves on to give some extra interest.  
There is also some machine stitching and some couched yarn.

I have gone all over this with the embellishing machine to make it more secure and to create some more texture.
The tree trunk is black/green silk fibres (silk hanky) applied with the embellisher and I will build this up a bit more.
I used some spotted tulle to create the little white "flowers" in the foreground.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

fabulous peacock

Today's op shopping was a real success.

Look at this gorgeous peacock plate from Japan.  

 This little travel iron made its way into my bag.

                                          At only $4 it was a real bargain.  Will be good for ironing those little bits of lace etc.

As well as these goodies I managed to find a small electric beater for $5.00: the one I currently use was a wedding present many years ago.

There were other things that came home with me but I haven't photographed them as yet.

 Finally I couldn't resist a small collage of the colours and textures of Autumn.  It has been especially wet and we have many different kinds of fungi and toadstools in various parts of the garden.  The one in the centre picture is on a tree stump just outside our back door.  


Monday, May 28, 2012

Needlefelting workshop

Yesterday I went to a workshop at the Peninsula Arts Society.  The workshop was called Fast and Furious Felting and  the tutor was Tina Whitely.

I was not sure if I wanted to attend because I already do a bit of needlefelting and feel quite comfortable with the techniques and of course life is busy.

After giving it a lot of thought I decided it would be good to spend some time with other like minded people so I went.

Tina is an accomplished textile artist and does amazing things with felt.  I learnt lots of new things and came away inspired.  The pic shows some needlefelting I did while I was there:  building up the background is slow work and so I did some more last night.  As well as wool and silk rovings  I have used some pink and yellow chiffon which I just cut up roughly.  This will be a slow building project I think.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

evelon leaf and soldering iron

At last I have finished my leaf: it has turned our much as I had planned which is unusual.

You can see from the pic on the left that I have burnt small holes in 3 places. 

The small soldering iron is ideal for cutting the evelon.

As you can see of what is left, the cutting is clean and there is no fraying.

This pic shows the leaf on a piece of machine made lace.

This pic shows a the back of the leaf and two of the holes are clear to see.

I intend to use this as part of a collage on a mirror.

The next step is to make some gum blossoms.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Bendigo - Grace Kelly

This morning we set off early to travel to Bendigo: three hours drive from here.  Bendigo is a beautiful city which was settled during the gold rush era.  There are beautiful old houses, elegant civic buildings and impressive churches as well as lovely gardens and lakes.  

 It was raining when we left home and continued to rain for the rest of the journey.   I had hoped to take lots of pics but it was just not the right day.  
I did however attend the Grace Kelly Exhibition.

The electricity is off at present so I have limited power on my computer.  I did take a few pics while standing in the rain and I will attempt to upload them. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vintage china

I did go op shopping yesterday but was too tired to write about it yesterday.  Suffice to say most of my purchases were for the little ones I mind.  I have not taken any pics  but over the last few weeks I have bought some pretty vintage china from the op shops.
The design on this little plate would make a beautiful embroidery.  The plate is from  Cornwall in the UK.

This tiny dish featuring pansies is quite old I think and is from Staffordshire in the UK.  

Again a lovely design for satin stitch.

Finally this gorgeous fan shaped dish is from Japan although I have no idea about it at all.  The stamp on the back is in Japanese.

The peacock looks so elegant.

It really is amazing that people dispose of such pretty pieces.  Surely family members or friends would appreciate such treasures.

Monday, May 21, 2012

shaving foam paint

Today I found time to experiment a bit with the shaving cream and paint.  It worked out well but I have had a bit of trouble with the pictures so I have collaged some of the pics in the hope that they will be helpful.

For those who might like to try this I will explain the steps.  
First you need Shaving cream, paints, inks or food colouring
 a plastic tray to work in, spatulas, skewers or other tools, fabric/paper to dye and some clean bench space with a piece of plastic to protect the surface.

 I found a shallow plastic tray was ideal for this.  Shake the can of shaving foam and squirt as much as you want on the tray.  It looks a bit like meringue.  You need to smooth  it out a bit.  It should be about and inch thick. 

Now the fun starts.

 I used water colour paints I bought at the hardware store: the colours are bright and clear.  As you can see in the top pic in the collage I dropped blobs of paint randomly on the shaving cream.  In retrospect I could have used more.

Once you are happy with the position of the paint take a skewer or some other tool to move the paint around to create a pleasing design.  Next select your piece of paper/fabric and lay it over the shaving cream/paint.  Don't move it around but do press the fabric into the tray to ensure the paints adhere to the fabric.  A lot depends on the kind of fabric you use.  Some fabrics are more absorbent than others.

Carefully lift the fabric off the tray and lay it down on a clean flat surface with the paint upermost.

Taking a scraper or piece of hard plastic scrape the excess shaving cream and paint off the fabric.  This is the scarey part but it is also the most exciting part.  Once you have removed the excess your design is revealed.  

Just leave it to dry and then iron to heat set the colour.

That's it.

You can add new colours and continue to use the same shaving foam as long as it is clean enough.  Today I returned the excess back to the tray and as you can see by the last pics it was becoming quite muddy.  I love muddy colours so I am happy with that.

You can use this technique on paper, evelon, fabric, vilene or anything else you can think of.  I have used it to colour Tyvek but of course you cannot heat set the colour on Tyvek. 

There are lots of links to this technique on the web.  Just google "Shaving cream painting".  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

leaves and shaving cream

I am making slow progress with my leaf - life is busy just now.

Around the edges and down the centre I have couched down some green twine which I bought at Paper 2.

When I went to the textiles group on Friday I intended to add some beads and stitches but one of the other members had brought along some shaving cream and pigment inks so we had fun with that. I shall add some pics tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recycling and re-using

Today was shopping day.  First I went to the new big hardware barn that is in our area: hoping to find a bargain I was most disappointed and as the wallet was still in tact and I was already in Tyabb Rd I made my way to Vinnies where I picked up some treasures which I shall share some othertime.  Just a little further along the same long road is one of my favourite Salvos stores and more treasures made their way into my car: again I will save these for later.  My next stop was at the local recycling centre, just around the corner from the Salvos.  Residents drop off things they no longer want and they are sold to the public a little cost.  This is not like an op shop where everything is clean and working and displayed for sale.  Goods are just on tables, the floor or in trolleys.  The up side is that everything is sold very cheaply.
I initially went in there today because I needed a little basket for the twins to play with and I knew they always have plenty of these.  Of course I had to take a look at what else was on offer and came home with several doileys (which need a good wash), a tiny Noritake dish which is in perfect condition, rain boots for one of the twins, (I had picked up a pair earlier in the day for the other twin) handkerchiefs of course, some paper rope, a merino and acrylic dress (which I will shorten)  and of course a basket.

All of these cost me the grand total of $6.00.

 As you can see there is a wide variety of goods available, you just have to be prepared to rummage around and find what you "need".  

I am having trouble with editing and placing the pics in this blog but I hope it is not too annoying.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A little felting and an exciting link

Using my hand felting tool I added some yarn and silk to the leaf.  This whole piece is experimental as I have not used evelon before.  The hand felting was reasonably simple but I think it would be easy to break a needle as the "cloth" is fairly hard to push through.  Concentration is always needed when felting.

It has been a busy day with the twins so I have just spent a little time looking at one of my favourite blogs.

Even if you are not interested in polymer clay I am sure you will find the work interesting.  Check out the link to the flicker page too.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Evelon eaucalyptus leaf

Today I needed something to take with me to the textile art group.  I have plenty of unfinished projects but nothing I wanted to work on away from home.

I had been sketching some leaves and so I decided that something simple would be good.  Taking some Evelon I drew a leaf shape and then outlined it with free machine stitching.  Once it was in the hoop I was able to take it with me and start adding some hand stitching.  I have not used evelon before but it does feel soft and is easy to stitch on.  This is just an experimental piece which I will put in my sketch book.

In the meantime I have more designs waiting for attention.

These will be small knot gardens.  

These are good projects for the winter evenings as they take a lot of time and concentration.

I have tried to be disciplined and use my work journal every day and I am  finding it really useful.  Things I have sketched weeks ago are still there when I have forgotten all about them.  I also make notes and add samples of things I am trying for the first time such as the use of evelon and lutrador.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vintage romance

I only had time to visit one op shop on my day off today.

My choices took on a bit of a
 romantic theme.

A beautiful ecru lace and linen table runner looks to be hand made and in good condition.
 3 hearts:  a cardboard box to decorate, a tiny glass candle holder and an unusual little box with a drawer to hold little treasures.
 My handkerchief collection is growing.  These need some washing and ironing and then into the drawer for when they are needed.

A lace hanky at a wedding is a wonderful accessory.

Finally this beautiful needlepoint panel was stashed out of sight.  It is almost complete and is very old fashioned looking.  I will offer this for sale in my etsy shop in a week or two.  

As you can see there are always treasures to be found.

These were from Vinnies, Tyabb Road, Mornington.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Free machine stitching on lutrador

I am still working on my book covers.
It often takes me some weeks to work my thoughts out and then to apply them.

In this case I felt that the cover as I had originally made it was quite harsh to handle.  Not the sort of thing I would pick up.

How to improve it but not alter it too much?
First I took some fine sandpaper and smoothed out some of the lumps and bumps.  Of course this resulted in some of the paint being removed so it would need to be replaced in some way.  Using acrylic paints I coloured a piece of Lutrador which I laid onto the front cover of the book.  The excess paint made its way through the lutrador and onto the cover covering the bare patches.

Once it was dry I did some free machine stitching on the green section to create the look of grass.

Following a method used by Linda  I added some hand embroidery and then cut the piece out with my soldering iron.  Before attaching it to the book I added some blue and yellow french knots.  Then a little pva glue was ideal to secure the "grass".

In the left hand corner I added some  little fabric flowers which I had painted.

Using my soldering iron I cut up some of the lutrador and applied it to the lavender hill and the sky.

I  still need to attach the little "tree" and then decide if it is finished.

It feels much softer now so I am please about that.

The colours do not photograph well though.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vintage treasures

 Tuesday is "my" day.  It is a day to relax:  usually it includes a visit to the library and at least one op shop.
Today I found several treasures and bargains.  The pin cushion shoe is very sweet and I just wanted it to add  to my collection.

The little plate is from Devon in the UK and is really pretty.  As usual there are delicate doileys and the little round item is a tiny compact complete with mirror. 

I couldn't resist these buttons

Or these gorgeous balls of cotton yarn

Or these paints and glue.

You never know what you will find at the op shop but you are sure to find something you "need".

The highlight of the day, though, was a phone call from Linda.  It is always so inspiring to share ideas and successes and projects that need some "help".  Talking through our ideas seems to provide us with extra motivation.  Thanks Linda for your friendship and encouragement.