Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Kiss!

Ever since I did Terri Stegmiller's "Paper Quilting Exploration" course I have been looking for an excuse to do more of this technique and especially more birdies ;0)

Well my chance was on this quiltie to Pam via Unlimited Textiles.
The theme was Winter Wonderland and I chose to do these two little robins.

The background is fabric paper using tissue and fine fabric, the robins are made from scrapbook paper.
I used a couple of strands of fancy wool for the branches and free machined spines to look like fir tree branches.
A twinkling, solitary star looks down and sari ribbon makes the frame.
The quiltie measures 5 inches square.

Merry Christmas Pam!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moon Goddess

My very last arch of the year long swap at Textile Challenges is for Carol Rowland.
Carol likes fantasy figures so a Moon Goddess came to my mind.

The background is calico painted and stamped with acrylic paints. The detail on the side is drawn with pen and ink.
The goddess herself is one of my drawings that I scanned into the computer and printed out on to cotton.

I get the printable cotton from Crafty Computer Paper. You print the image, cut it out, peel off the backing and iron in place.

I wanted it to look like she is gathering energy from the moon so I used metallic thread to sew the energy lines and added seed beads for sparkles.
The edge is satin stitched with metallic thread.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mayan Sun

The theme for November on Unlimited Textiles was "The Latin American Way"
I really fancied doing something bright, colourful and based round carnival.

So what happened?
Well the thing is I have a fascination for Mesoamerican cultures and elements of this just slip into my work from time to time.
In fact I am working on a body of work on this subject with my good friend Jan.
So you see the Mayan vibes just took over ;0)

The background is made up from layers of cottons and organzas. I wanted the simple quilting to represent the stone blocks used in Mayan buildings.
The sun was an important symbol to these people and mine is made from some of my handmade silk paper attached to the background with seed beads.

This quilt is now on the way to Marga in Florida. Marga lives the "Latin American Way" so I hopes she enjoys my interpretation.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Ceiling Boss

This is the penultimate arch in the year long arch swap on Textile Challenges.
This one is for Carol Taylor.
Carol likes Gothic architecture and, a girl after my own heart, purple ;0)

This piece is based on a ceiling boss from Exeter Cathedral.

I started with black cotton velvet and bonded metallic foils to it using Bondaweb. I covered this with a black chiffon scarf and quilted it all with metallic thread.

The detail is made from 2 layers of silk paper I made a few weeks ago, on top of each other and the edges zig zagged on the sewing machine.
The very centre is beaded. Zig zag detail is used to represent the stone struts.
I'm hoping Carol will like this piece.

I will be at Exeter Cathedral tomorrow for a Carol Service. We visit at least once a year and the architecture never fails to impress me. I really enjoyed interpreting it this way.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Flower Cardian

I have a new cousin. Well I think she is a cousin!
She is my Mum's, cousin's granddaughter.

What ever she turns out to be on our complicated family tree, Eleanor Faye will be much loved and receive lots of attention.

I will be going to see her for the first time on Friday and I am taking along this little cardigan that I have made for her.

I love to knit and this was a joy to do.
I haven't done a picot edge before so enjoyed that but, my favourite part was knitting the little flowers. I added antique mother of pearl buttons.

Of course such a pretty confection needs to have a partner so I bought a pair of denim dungarees for Eleanor to wear too ;0)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Floral Arch

This is my arch for Cathy on Textile Challenges.

I'm running late again which gives me the opportunity (at least in my own mind) to stay in my comfort zone and play with one of my favouite techniques.
So here we have layers of painted nappy liners and organzas zapped with a heat gun and lots of machine embroidery. I love the depth and texture this technique creates.

The arch is now on the way to Cathy, so I hope she likes this technique too.
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Proud of my friend ;0)

Just popping in to tell you how proud I am of my friend Pat of On a Whimsey.

Pat does the most fantastic encaustic art and I am the proud owner of a couple of her pieces.

She has now written fab book all about this great art form.
You can find out more about Pat and her book at her Bookstall. Pat O'Neil's Bookstore.

Good luck with your project Pat.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

October/ November!

I'm not usually one for wishing my life away, but I am glad that this year is drawing to a close.

Our daughters wedding was, of course, a wonderful highlight, but I seem to have bounced from one wall to another and hitting the floor (actually) more than I have stayed upright!!

My muse has stayed away for quite a long time and I have to say I don't blame her!
She did pop back for a few days earlier this month and has just called in again today so some activity has been apparent in the studio of late.

Halloween is the day before my birthday - yes I
was born on All Saints day, you can tell can't you?
Can't you??
Well of course I love the festival Halloween brings as I have lots of people calling round and they get dressed up for me too. How wonderful is that ;0)
I love to hand out the sweeties and Fred the dog loves it too. His tail wags furiously at the hugs and pats he gets, he really does think it is his birthday.

The theme on Unlimited Textiles for October was Autumn or Halloween and our swaps were a 5ins quiltie and an art doll.
My art doll was the pumpkins, two for the price of one ;0)
They are layers of organza and cotton batting with felt and embroidery features. I was really pleased with them and their toothy grins. Claire liked them too.

My quiltie was an Autumn theme. The background is a piece that Laura (my daughter) made last year, it reminded me of a windy day.
I made an organza flower that was supposed to look like a Chrysanthemum but didn't, nevertheless it did look like it was blowing in the breeze.
I have it on good authority that June liked it ;0)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Egyptian Arch

This is the Egyptian Arch I made for Gillian on the yahoo group Textile Challenges.

I wanted it to look like a very old textile. Well, maybe I went a little over the top with the distressing and ageing but all in all I think it turned out OK

The image is printed on muslin and stitched on to some silk paper I had made earlier.
The background is rust dyed and stamped cotton.
The little embellishment is a tile from a bamboo place mat. I coloured it and stamped it with chalk ink pads.

I love doing Egyptian themed items but forget that in between projects.
This time I have made a note to myself - do more on Egypt.
Not sure where I put the note though!! Sigh.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A little floral quilite

First let me apologise to all who went to my website yesterday. Thank you for letting me know that the page wasn't working properly.
The host was, apparently, upgrading so many websites were affected.
It is now working - I hope ;0)

One of our new members on Unlimited Textiles was so eager to swap I did a one to one swap with her.
This is the little quiltie I made. It measures 5 ins square.

The main background is velvet and the floral panel is made from layers of cotton batting, painted tissue paper and painted Lutradur.
Lots of swirls and a flower were free machined on the layers. I added beads to the centre of the flower and a couple of silver dragonflies finished off the sparkle.

Unlimited Textiles is still open for new members. We are a small and friendly group.
If you are into textiles of any sort and love to swap Unlimited Textiles may be the place for you.
Click join on the home page, tell me a little about your self and where I can see your work on line ( just as I am nosey), I will approve you asap.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Butterfly Fairy

Do you remember the butterfly from a few posts ago?
Well this is her big sister the Butterfly Fairy.

I have always loved butterflies and dragonflies and drawn (well my version of drawing) them since I was small.
Having made the butterfly and fairy I now wonder why it has taken me so long to make them in textiles.

Like the butterfly I used my hand dyed cotton for the wings and dress and the same cotton, un-dyed, for the arms and face. As you can see the front and back pieces are heavily quilted then put back to back with satin stitched edges.
No fairy is complete without her jewels so seed beads and a flower bead were added for sparkle.
She measures approximately 11ins by 7ins

I enjoyed making this Butterfly Fairy so much this has started me down a fairy road so watch out for some more ;0)

You can find this little lady on my website here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

At Last

Well, after what has felt like an age, the lounge now has its bookcases and books in place.

We do have a couple more crates in storage but they are not filled with all books. We think we have two more shelves worth of books and as you can see there are two shelves waiting ;0)
All my craft books are safely ensconced in the studio.

It has been two long years since we had our books around us and all the music accessible and it feels really good.
We sat in the lounge last night exhausted but very happy.

You can see Fred, in the last picture, proudly modelling the new look and his favourite toy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Westward Ho!

The sun was shining - yes it was! - and Roger was off work so we decided to visit Westward Ho!
We had visited once before but so long ago we couldn't remember it. Westward Ho! is only 45 minuets drive away, so off we went.

Westward Ho! is named after the book by Charles Kingsley who lived in Bideford, just a few miles away. It is the only town in England to be named after a novel and the only town to have an exclamation mark in it's name.
The town itself is only small but has lots of shops to nose around in and two lovely bakers shops - yum!
The beach is golden sand with the sea perfect for surfing and a pebble ridge to protect the town. This ridge is natural and is about 2 miles long, 50 feet wide and 20 feet high.
Why I didn't take a photo of it? Silly really but we walked the other way!
Here is a photo of the ridge - I wish I had taken this one. You can see where we walked on the photo above opposite the ridge. There are some fine apartments along the coast with fabulous views of the sea and beach. We bought a lottery ticket when we got home so hopefully we will be able to afford one of them next week ;0)
We had fabulous "Doorstop" sandwiches in one of the tea shops called Tea on the Green and Fred was brought a lovely bowl of refreshing water. We sat and watched the world go by, a great way to wind off a lovely walk.
We will definitely visit again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fly, fly, butterfly.

As you probably know I am part of a great team on Etsy known as BBEST (Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team)
It is a great team to be part of and there is always something interesting going on.

September sees a swap with the theme of "Butterflies".
This is in honour of Pat who is stepping down from the admin position she has held wonderfully for some time.
Pat's Precious Quilts butterfly is loved in the forums.

I decided to to a quilted butterfly for the swap.
I used some calico that I had dyed with Dye-na-Flow and cut two sets of wings.
I quilted each set with little circles then put the two sides together, quilted the body and some lines on the wings. I did satin stitch all round the edges.
I added little beads on the body and added curly wire for antenna.

So the butterfly is already to fly away.
I don't know who this will be going to yet but I hope it will be liked.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

ATC Challenges

I love the challenge swaps on Textile Challenges.
Granted, I don't join every one but I really like the way you are made to think with them.

The first ATC was "O is for......"
I thought of all sorts but after finding this little piece of silk that I had painted some time ago it hit me!
I'm really not sure what sort of silk it is. It was a creamy colour and was quite thick. It was just a small piece in a packet labelled "Slub Silk.
Anyway I decided to stamp a paisley type pattern on it. With some bright seed beads " O is for 'Ot and Spicy" was born.
This ATC went to Anne Marie.

The second one was rather tricky. It had to be embellished with sequins. I don't have a lot of sequins, most are flower shaped and I didn't want to do floral for this one.I had a good shuffle though my goodies and came up with two
strands of sequins, on silver one gold.

Another search resulted in finding a piece of calico that I had painted with layers of texture medium, acrylic paints and gel medium. I had stamped on it and written a prose that Roger had written ages ago all over it. I wasn't happy with my writing so the fabric was at the bottom of a drawer.
I had some fabric over from the burnt nappy liner work I had been doing and cut it into a star shape. And there was a shooting star ready to blaze its way to Jan Lewis (I can't find a blog or website for Jan, but if you know of one please let me know) .

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Little Quiltie

There isn't any theme for our swap on Unlimited Textiles this month so I rummaged though my stash to see what would inspire me.

I found a piece of dress velvet. It has a gorgeous feel with little sequins on it. The print is in shades of pinks. From the lightest shell pink to deepest maroon. A very rich fabric indeed.

There in my images was this lovely lady with flowers the same colour as my fabric! I found some lace in the same colour ways and this little quilt was started.

I had some pink metal roses that seemed perfect and added some beading down the side of the image.

"Smell the Roses" journeyed off to Jill who liked her.
I have been doing a lot of abstract things just recently so it was a good exercise to go back to using images again.

Another award - yes for me!!

I have been nominated for this great award - yes me - I feel so honoured.
Thing is I have not one but two nominations for it.
After getting the "I love your Blog Award" earlier this week it just made my year ;0)

The nominations come from two fantastic artists. They are Janine of Althea Perigrine who does awesome artwork and Pam of Magdalene Jewels who makes fabulous jewellery.

Thank you both very much.

Now I am supposed to nominate 7 other blogs. Does that mean I get to mention 14 blogs??
Either way it is a momentous task.
Just be an awkward person - because I am - I am going to nominate 6 blogs ;0)

Anna of Sakura Jewellery
Claire of Spirited Soul
Linda of LinDeZines
Carol of Taylor's Textile Trials
Susan of Random Blethers
Jill of Meandering Muse

There are so many more I could nominate - just look in the side bar - but these are the ones my pin found today. I hope you enjoy looking at them.

Oh the rules of the game for the nominees are:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

Thank you to Pam and Janine again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Slash and Burn

For July (yes I was late - again!) on Unlimited Textiles our swap theme was Slash and Burn.
So OK, not a lot of slashing here but plenty of burn to make up for it.

The background of the first two pieces was made by free machining painted nappy liners to organza. This was zapped with my heat gun - I love my heat gun ;0)
Then placed it on wool felt and covered with a chiffon scarf. I free machined all over the fabric doing freehand flowers and swirls.

The finished background fabric was cut into the pieces I needed and I beaded the centre of the flowers and dotted sequins and beads here and there. I put a tiny silver dragonfly onto the Quiltie.

The third piece is based on stone walls again.
First, painted Bondaweb was ironed onto cotton velvet.
Next, I stitched painted Bondaweb to organza and played with my heat gun again ;0)
Pieces of this burnt fabric was stitched to the velvet. All of this was covered with dark red organza and stitched with a straight stitch.
I burnt away most of the organza. Little seed beads were added to look like raindrops.

A lot of the walls here are painted with Oxblood
Red paint. I love it when this starts to peel.
This is the look I have tried to get here.

Pat got the first ATC and Patsy gets the other and the quiltie.
I know Pat liked hers, I am keeping my fingers crossed about Patsy.

On a side note:
Unlimited Textiles is open again for sign ups. This is only for a short time so if you are into textiles, love to swap would like to join this talented group, go along and sign up, let me know where I can see your work (I'm just nosey) and I will approve you asap.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Stone Wall Inspiration

This arch is for Hannah.
One of the themes she chose is Nature and she likes blues, green, golds, and purples.

Well this isn't strictly nature but is inspired by the walls in Devon.

We have lots of lovely dry stone walls and cob and stone walls.
Cob is a mixture of earth and clay.
I love the texture of these walls and the way moss clings to them. I have enjoyed seeing the rain sparkling on them this year too.

I think of these walls as part man made and part nature and a what a wonderful combination they make.

I started out making this arch by painting bondaweb and bonding it to organza. I blasted the fabric with the heat gun and allowed it to bubble and go quite hard in places.
I cut up this fabric into pieces I thought could represent stone slabs and stitched it down onto cotton velvet. I also put some strips of gold organza on and stitched them down and zapped with the heat gun again.
I added little beads to represent the raindrops, we have had a lot of them this year.

What you don't get here is the texture. It has a rough feel and I think feels a little like the stone wall it is made to represent. I hope Hannah thinks so too.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Leaf Arch

This arch is for Judy Bartel.
She said she liked trees and leaves so a branch came to mind.
The background is hand dyed cotton with free machine embroidery.
I had intended to do the leaves in organza but, I was having a painting week and when I saw the painted Lutradur I just knew it would work.

I lightly drew the leaves on the lutradur (I get a bit carried away otherwise) and free machined the edges and veins.
I used a very small zig zag stitch to make the branch on the background.
I continued over sewing the branch lines whilst catching the bottom of the leaves in place.
The edge of the arch is satin stitch.

Very plain and simple but I like it and I hope Judy will too.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I ♥ Your Blog

It is always a buzz when you find out some great people read your blog. But is so much more when one of those fab people tell you how much they love what you write by giving you an award.

Anna of Sakura Jewellery is a very special person and makes the most beautiful Jewelley. She has given my a I ♥ Your Blog award.
Thank you Anna ;0)

The rules are as follows:
1) The winner can add the logo to their blog.
2) Link to the person you received your award from.
3) Nominate 7 other blogs.
4) Link to those 7 other blogs from your own.
5) Leave a message on the blogs that you nominate :)

Now to nominate just 7 blogs from my vast reading list (that is why I never get any work done!) is a very difficult task.
So if you are not on this list it isn't that I like your blog any less it is just that the pin I used didn't pick you out this time ;0)

My nominations are:
Kari - Painting Lady's Weblog
Emmy - Cramzy
Sandy - Focus on Fibre
Gunnel - Gunnel's Blog
Pat - Precious Quilts
Val - Val's Musings
Maz - The Artful Zebra

I urge you to go and look at these great blogs. Lots of inspiration and lots of great writers. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guest Book

This is the the guest book I made for Laura and Toby's wedding.

I used a pattern by Sue Bleiwiess to create the silk cover. The centre piece is the original textile piece I did to make the wedding invitations
and the closure is made by Zuda Gay.
Inside are cream pages bound with the red ribbons.

The centre piece is made from cream velvet with
a gold organza overlay. The gold frames are gold velvet. I made the flower with layers of silk and organza. The centre is heavily beaded with brown and gold seed beads.
A photograph of the finished piece was printed it on to photographic paper and used as a motif for the invitations.

I do make invitations and bridal cushions for other people so it was a wonderful pleasure to do this for such a personal reason.

Details of my custom stationary can be found on my web site Alis Clair

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


You bet I am excited.
I just had to tell you about the article I have written for Fibre and Stitch.
It is on one of my favourite subjects, Mermaids.

I hope you will go along and have a look at this fantastic on line magazine.
It is always packed with wonderful ideas and articles and is worth every penny each and every month. Very few magazines deliver as much as this one does.

And this month you get me too!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Wedding!

Laura has had music in her life since before she was born.
From Classical to Pop and from New Age to Musical Theatre.
All her activities have been around music and dance.
Music has played a very large part in Toby's life too.
They were brought together by a mutual, musical friend nearly 10 years ago.

Music still plays a major part in their lives.
From the first note of Hubert Parry's "I Was Glad" as Laura came down the aisle - sang by the 3 choirs who wanted to sing from the heart to this special couple - to the last note of Eric Clapton's "If I saw you in Heaven" as the new Armstong's left the reception, the day was filled with music and the love it has brought them.
Even the best version of "The Teddy Bears Picnic" I have ever heard was sung during the afternoon.

In the evening a Ceilidh band played as all joined in the dancing and festivities. Roger and I managed a, not too bad, Rumba when we joined the newly weds for the the first dance of the evening and we even joined in on The Lovers Knot, the first dance played by the band. It was great fun to watch as people danced frantically to the great music, laughing as they got tangled up or caught the wrong partner.

It was a very special day filled with love from both families and the wonderful friends Laura and Toby have gathered around themselves.
Even the sun joined in the fun and shone brightly for the afternoon and evening.

Laura's dress was a gorgeous gold colour set off by the bright red of the bridesmaids dresses and the Gerbera's in the flower arrangements.
The bride and bridesmaids wore gorgeous matching pendants made by the fabulous artist Zuda Gay.
I didn't wear a hat but, although you can't see them here, had sparkling jewels in my hair.

I may be biased but it was definitely the very best wedding I have been to.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Couple of Arches

You may remember that the year long swap on Textile Challenges is on textile arches. The arches measure approximately 8ins x 4ins.

The first arch here is my May arch for Arleee.
When I made this I was doing Terri Stegmiller's Paper Quilt Explorations course and it definitely influenced this arch.

Arlee said she liked "funky" Baroque" and "hot colours"
Well these are cool colours, but there is a touch of baroque in the centre jewel and I think it is very funky.
Arlee liked it and that's what matters ;0)

The second arch was my June arch for Kate.
She said she likes autumn colours and vintage people (dressed or not!)
Well vintage nudes are just my thing.
I had some lovely autumnal fabrics and added a little touch of lace.
The one thing I think it lacked was a feather.
So I am now on the hunt for some lovely feathers.

Oh yes, Kate liked it ;0)