Thursday, November 30, 2006

WWI collage

I put the finishing touches to my world war one collage this evening. I made this for a challenge on the altered art group I joined recently. I put up a picture a while back of the collage in progress. I haven't really done a huge amount to finish it off. I added a poppy and stamped a few words randomly in the background to fill out some of the gaps. To finish off I used a mini copper ink pad to overprint directly on top of the images to give them more of an aged look.

I don't think that this qualifies as a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination but I don't think it's too bad considering it's my first attempt at paper collage.

Blog makeover

Since I have been blogging for almost a year now I decide to make a few changes to my blog as I was getting tired of the shocking pink! So I chose a new template and finally figured out how to upload the blog banner that Julie kindly designed for me a while back. I'm pleased with the new look, hopefully it will keep me going for another year :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Meme Madness!

What a great day. I was so excited when I got home not only had I managed to find a woolly hatted drink but there were two wonderful parcels waiting for me. Both gifts from art meme's I found while wandering blogland. I am so lucky to have received such wonderful art pieces .

Here is a gorgeous pocket bag made by Anna. The colours are just gorgeous. It is difficult to show the vibrancy of them under the flash light but the bag is just gorgeous. Anna also generously shared some cord made by her friend and some of her own paper beads, which I know I will love using.

The second package landed all the way from Australia. Vi created this totally adorable kitty for me. I just love him, he's so much fun. Such a character he just had to have his own blog!

I'm so excited and inspried by all of these wonderful creations I know I'm not going to be able to sleep with all the crafty ideas running through my mind!

Woolly Wonder

Look what I found in my local Sainsbury's store today. I had read about these wonderful woolly hat creations on Helen's blog and even printed out the pattern to have a go at making a hat or two myself for the cause but couldn't find any needles small enough.

So of course when I saw these for sale I just had to snap one up. You can read more about this good cause here. They only had a few drinks for sale with hats but if they have any left tomorrow I might just treat myself to another one! I know there are hundred of people out there who have made these fun hats. I wonder who made mine?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Satin stitch work out

I've spent most of the day today doing fun craft things yipee :) I had to make up for lost time as I didn't get much done yesterday as we spent the afternoon at the Seaside in Weston-Super-Mare. It was blustery and cold but the sunset was amazing. I forgot to take my camera but Mark has some pics on his blog.

Well this design is what I finally came up with for an artsnthemail swap called 'mosiacs' I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to do and orginally this was going to be the background for the card and I was going to layer on top but when I did it I really liked it just the way it was and decided to leave it as it was rather than risk spoiling it. The satin stitch on my machine has had a good work out, I had to make 3 altogether and they have taken me just about all day to cut and stitch all the pieces each one is approx 1/2" square, phew! Still it's only 5pm and the night is yet young so I wonder if I will be able to squeeze in some more and start working on the next swap. If I can keep this up I'll be caught up in no time :)

I've just noticed that I must be in a blue mood as the last two swaps have both used blue. I'll try for something different in the next one, lol!


Here is one of the cards I made for an Artsnthemail swap called 'sequins'. I decided to go abstract!

I have to admitt that I have been working on these for quite some time. Not that they actually took an enormous time to make it's just that I don't seem to have had much time for creating these past couple of weeks so I started them almost 2 weeks ago and only just got them done this morning.

I just love sequins they are probably my favourite embellishment at the moment so I had lots of fun raiding my collection for these, and it was so much easier to lay my hands on them now that I have most of my stash stored together by colour :) Actually I still have a way to go with the stash organisation but I'm trying to do a little bit each day even if it's only 10 mins and I'm gettng there bit by bit!

Goodies in the Mail

I've had lots of goodies in the mail this week which has been wonderful. I thought I'd share some pictures. First off here is a package I received from Joolz as part of the artsnthemail secret sister swap

As you can see the package was full of delicious fabrics and embellishments in my favourite colours of the moment orange and pink. It was all crammed into the delightful little tin that you can see in the picture, gift wrapped in fabric with the cutest christmas kitty tag.

I also received a surprise 'just because' package from Flicsha a wonderful lady who I have the good fortune of swapping with on several of the postcard groups I belong to. She sent me some fun fabric and ribbon plus the most wonderful hand made pin cushion. What a delight to receive such a wonderful surprise!

I've joined a new group recently to feed my new found interest in altered art. They have a monthly swap there where you decorate an envelope and fill it full of paper crafting goodies. I received a wonderful oriental inspired envelop from Elizabeth this week, packed full of wonderful papers.

I also had a wonderful array of postcards and am thinking about maybe starting a new blog sometime soon dedicated to showing pictures of some of the wonderful cards I have received this year. I love taking part in these swaps as the mail is so much more interesting these days and you never know what it will bring each day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Flamingos Revisited

I can't believe that I have been away from blogland for almost a week doesn't time fly. I had a busy weekend visiting my sister, meeting her new Jack Russell puppy, Max and trying to keep my nephew entertained while Emily went christmas shopping for him.

Consequently I haven't done much creating these past few days but tonight I had to get stuck right in and finish my page for the book RR that I'm in as I'm already a couple of days late for posting this round.

Here is the finished result. The flamingo is my first ever attempt at machine embroidery/thread painting whatever you like to call it and I think it came out pretty good, it's taken me the whole evening to get this done though so alas the housework gets overlooked again :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In Progress - Collage

Here is something a bit different from my usual fiber offerings. I have recently become fascinated by mixed media and altered art and found a wonderful UK based yahoo group to join. They are running a challenge at the moment to create a piece inspired by WWI. So here is my offering. It's still in progress at the moment but hopefully this will turn out to be my very first art collage.

Well actually I'm sure sure if I'll end up being able to call it a proper collage as to me it should have a few more layers before it can be said to be a real collage. Basically I started with a piece of canvas board which I painted with white gesso. I then took some burnt sienna acrylic paint and rubbed this over the top with a paper towel. I then added some copper acrylic for a slight sheen and on top of that rubbed in some oil pastels in various brown shades. When these layers of paint had dryed a bit I scratched back into the surface with the end of a pair of scissors. Over the top I have stuck various images and text mainly from WWI propoganda posters and finally wrapped some small pieces of jewellery wire together in which I hope looks like some imitation barbed wire to frame some of the edges of the board.

I'm thinking my next step will be to add some randomly stamped text to the exposed background and hopefully that will finish the piece off.

Monday, November 13, 2006


This evening I have been working on a page for a fabric book round robin that I'm in. The theme for Geni's book is flamingos. I have to admit to having had the book in my possession for a couple of weeks now but I've found the theme a bit daunting so have been putting off getting started. The posting deadline for this round is now looming so I just knew I had to get started. I've managed to finish one side of my page this evening and I'm pretty pleased with the way it's turned out.

I decided to cheat and make a flamingo silhouette, so here is my 'Flamingo at sunset' Actually I had a lot of fun making this in the end. I used some of the wonderful orange fabrics that Harriett sent me in my secret sister package for the sky, horizon and water. Added some free motion stitching to try and emulate the ripple effect of water and beaded round the setting sun for a little bit of added sparkle. Finally finishing off with a lace edge just to soften it all up abit.

I haven't actually fixed this page in the book yet. I have to make two sides to complete the page and will wait and see what my other effort turns out like before I decide which is going to be the front and which will be the back, lol!


Here are some cards that I've made for a vintage theme swap on Artsnthemail.

I'm a bit nervous about sending these ones out as I'm worried that the receipients might think they are a bit on the simple side. I have received some wonderful cards in this swap and I would hate to think of anyone being disappointed by my efforts.

When I saw this fabric I just fell in love with the vinatge images and just had to have it for this swap, but when it actually came to making the cards I realised that there wasn't too much I could do with the fabric without spoiling the images. I added lots of french knots to each card where the flowers were and this in itself took over half an hour on each card but once this was finished the cards still seemed a bit too simple somehow. I guess I will have to see what people think when they arrive, I can always go back and make something different if anyone comes back to say they didn't like the card.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Luckiest Girl in the World

I've had such a wonderful day today. After all of the dark days I've experienced this year this was definately one of those 'chicken soup for the soul' days. First up I went for a walk in the park first thing with Mark. If the truth be known I didn't really want to go but he kinda made me and I'm glad I did. Mark took his camera and we spent a happy couple of hours taking in the autumn colours and feeding the ducks. Mark got some great photos and hopefully he will post some on his blog before the weekend is out.

When I got home there was just a whole pile of post waiting to greet me. My patchwork magazine subscription had arrived as had three books that I ordered from Amazon. Felt to Stitch, Stitch, Dissolve, Distort in Machine Embroidery and Mixed Media Explorations. The most amazing packages though came from my partners in a secret sister swap recently held on Fabricards. I decided to sign up for sending 2 packages for this swap and both my return packages come today.
First up here is the wonderful selection of fabric and embellishments that I receieved from Louise. Wow not only did she pick out some great fabrics but there was also a wonderful cat planner, buttons, beads, sequins, crystals, ribbons, ric-rac and funky fibers. I am going to have so much fun with all of these fun embellishments.

And as if that wasn't enough I had a second amazing package from Harriett. The most wonderful reindeer tote bag that she made was packed full of three bundles of fabric. Lots of luscious oranges, my favourite colour of the moment, and some wonderful cat prints to add to my collection. I am totally overwhelmed by Louise and Harriett's generosity and of course will be making them both a little something by way of thank you soon!

Of course surrounded by such wonderful fabrics and embellishments I couldn't help but find myself in creative mood. I was tempted to get stuck in and use some of my new fabrics but they all need to be washed through first to sort out any colour run etc, so instead I got cracking on some more postcards.

I got out some of my rubber stamps (yes this is one of my favourite things to do at the moment as you probably gathered) and made some fairy cards for a myth and magic swap on Fabricards. A pretty simple design but this was quite a big swap and I'm so far behind with it that I couldn't really make it too complicated.

I also made a couple of cards for a Travelling postcard swap on the advanced group, basically a package of fabrics and embellishments have been travelling round and each participant has to chose something in the package with which to make a couple of cards, replace what has been used and send the package on to the next participant. Here is one of the cards I made. I've called it enchanted garden.

What an amazing day, I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

Bumble Bees

I'm ashamed to say that my oldest outstanding swap commitment is for the wonderful FGM group. They are having a great swap at the moment called wonderous wings, every month is a new theme and the idea is to make 6" blocks to swap with the other members of your group.

These should have been posted at the end of August so I am way behind. I feel very guilty not to have got these sent out before now, but now I can rejoice that they are done and on the way to their new homes. I haven't done much hand applique work for a while so it was lots of fun to work on these and I think they came out ok.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A new leaf?

I've got the day off work today and had planned to tie myself to the sewing machine in a bid to finish up some of my late swaps. However, I got really frustrated by not being able to find anything I wanted to I decided enough is enough and I needed to get a new system for organising all of my bits and pieces.

A quick trip to town later I came home armed with tonnes of little plastic tubs (the kind that you get your fried rice in from the takeaway, lol) and began sorting. It's taken all day and I've only just started to touch the surface of my collection of bits and bobs (giggle) but so far so good. I have decided to go with sorting things by colour as this is most often how I work these days so thought it would be easier to have all the inspiration in one place. So now I have lots of little groups of tubs like this

I've filled one tub with fabric scraps, another with all of my cottons and threads and the third has ribbons, lace, beads, buttons and sequins. I'm hopeful that this system is going to be perfect for me and the way I like to work and it should be easy to chuck everything back in the boxes at the end of the day to keep the place a bit tidier.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Star Challenge bag

I had a busy but fun weekend visiting Bath, going to the local firework display and then going out to Stourhead to see the wonderful autumn scenery there in the garden at the moment. Didn't get time for much creating though so I need to go into creative overdrive the next few days if I want to carry on the good work I have started making in roads in to the catching up I have to do with my swaps.

I managed to get one thing finished up though and that was a small bag I have been making for a challenge on BeadArt-olics. The listmom already kindly extended the deadline for me so I just had to get this finished. We were sent the polymer clay face and a few beads that we had to use and the rest was up to us. I'm pretty much a beginner when it comes to beading projects so my small bag came together with a lot of trial and error. The most fun I had was making the beaded strap but for a first attempt at designing a beaded project on my own, I think it came out ok.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bag Complete

Well I know at least one person is impatient to see my finished bag, lol. So here I am up early on a Saturday morning blogging! Actually I'm looking forward to a day out shopping in Bath today. It's only 10 minutes away on the train and it's such a lovely town with many famous sights to see. Of course the main reason for going is to visit the LQS (though Mark thinks the main reason we are going is to get some scrummy sausages from the Sausage shop ready for bonfire celebrations tonight, well I had to make up some excuse and the prospect of good food always seems to motivate him!)

Enough waffle here's my bag. I'm so pleased with the way it turned out it really only took a couple of hours to knit up. The only thing I have left to do is add some lining but I will do that this afternoon when we get back from shopping.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Busy Week

It's been a few days since I had time to post. Tuesday, Halloween, was Mark's birthday so we went to the cinema and out for dinner. Last night I was out for a meal with the girls from work and tonight it was round to Mark's Mums for dinner.

So with all that going on I haven't had much time for creating. Although having said that I have managed to finish my knitted bag. It came together so quickly half hour here and there and it was done. I just finished sewing the handles on so no pictures yet as it's time for bed. Hopefully tomorrow....