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!