Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fabric Stamping

Once again the ladies on the Three Creative Studios forum have us exploring an interesting technique this month - stamping.  You can see more examples on their forum/website here: 

I'm afraid I don't have anything glamorous when it comes to stamps, using some quite crude home made pieces for this [some lollipop sticks and nylon rope glued onto blocks of wood].  I started with a piece of plain black cotton, which I stamped, then backed with black Shapewell and cotton wadding prior to doing a bit of free machining to give it some texture.  I then foiled some of the open areas, to give it a lift.  Goodness, black picks up all the fluff!!!!   I have only foiled with gold - the camera seems to be saying there is another colour there, but it's wrong.

I have used Timtex to give it some body, fusing inside and out before doing a very close black satin stitch all around the perimeter.  The back view shows a little more of the design.  I finally found a use for those little brass washers I bought at the Hardware [stitched at the centre of the spirals], not to mention the fine gold elastic cord I've had for yonks.

I also knew exactly which fabric I would use for the lining.  It's been in my stash for a number of years.  This fabric is black cotton with a one-quarter inch square gold grid pattern, just right for this project.  I have added a large 'keeper' to the inside in order to accommodate the back of one of those spiral bound notepads.   I like this type of notepad, as you can tear out a page without having your book look a mess.  Can't wait to use this one.  I have a few off-cuts, so may try to make a postcard or two for a quick swap soon. 

I have enjoyed this little experiment, and will buy something a little more glamorous for future 'stamping'.   

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Needlecase #10

I'm getting there!!  I knew sooner or later the patchworker in me would appear, so this time around I used a little of that experience to settle on a theme for October.  This one has been made using an origami technique, and fabrics printed with an oriental theme.

The design for the centre was taken from a little booklet purchased from Chandler's Cottage.  You can see lots of beautiful quilts, etc. and fabrics on their website: 

This centre piece was originally 10 inches square.  I am having great success with the finishing of these needlecases using pelmet vilene for the stiffening on most projects.  This stiffener makes the whole needlecase nice and firm. 

This is the inside of the needlecase.  This fabric was purchased almost ten years ago, along with several others in that 'story theme'.  I have mountains of plain purple and I really don't know why, as purple has never been one of my favourite colours.  However, it works well with this fabric, and I also had the purple wool felt, so the colour was set in concrete, so to speak.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ticking some more boxes

I finally managed to tick some more boxes this week, finishing a few little things I've had on the go.  Thanks to some gentle prodding/encouragement, and advice from my friend Isabell, I've finally got this little stitching experiment made into something.  I am so pleased I went with the gold lining [thanks again Isabell].

This began simply as an experiment using one stitch for texture.  I've used a variety of chain stitches and threads, but I am not sure if they can all be clearly seen.  The starting point was a simple A4 sheet of paper, several wavy lines drawn, paper cut on those lines, and then each segment was flipped, etc., prior to using as templates for marking the stitching lines.  I added a few beads in several voided areas, just for my usual BLING.  BTW, there are still lots of chain stitches that I have not used!!  I particularly love the look of the cable chain, done in black perlĂ© thread.

Some time ago I posted a picture showing a journal I'd made using brown paper shopping bags [courtesy of an online lesson by Sue Blueweiss].  I wanted to try another with a different colourway, and I've not long finished this one.   I really enjoy making these, and hope to make a few more before Christmas.  I put concertina pockets into the inside of this one, and added some decorated shipping tags.  Perhaps these would make excellent travel journals.  The old map image I found on the Interent, and thought it suited the brown and gold outside colour.

I've almost finished my October needlecase, so should be able to post it next week.  Not long now and the Twenty/Ten Challenge will be done and dusted.  I don't think I'll commit myself to such a discipline in 2011.  It has been fun, but perhaps it would be sensible to have a break next year and work on things that take my fancy 'at the time'.  That sounds like a spoilt brat talking, sorry!! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Favourite Photos

These last few weeks have seen me fall into a stitching abyss.  I need to start some things, but outside influences have kept me from doing just that.  In an attempt to free up some of my computer space, I've been trying to cull some photographs.  I thought you may like to see a few that I really like.  The photograph above was taken late one July afternoon a few years ago.  I liked what I saw, but had no idea that it would translate into such a lovely shot.

Early one morning my husband and I were driving around the property where we live, looking at the height of the rising river.  These galahs were helping themselves to next door's sorghum crop.  This is only a small portion of the flock that had descended for a feed.

Again, one of those shots you make and don't think about.  Often you don't see the detail until you load the image onto the computer and view it on full screen.  This sun shower [around lunch time] was quick, but each drop looks like snow falling.

Most of the time our landscape is brown and boring, but after rain we are often blessed with some amazing floral displays.  We have two different types of bulbous plants that appear out of nowhere after substantial rain.  This yellow lily would rival any that we would see in a well planned garden display.

I can't believe that this flower is actually part of a plant that is considered a pest here.  I snapped this close-up just moments before my husband came along with the slasher [on the sides of the property roads] and made short work of anything that had dared to put on a show.  This is the flower on the plant we call Scotch Thistle, and it's no wonder it's the subject of many embroideries.  It is just beautiful.

And now, last but not least, this is an extreme close-up of a new frond on my birds' nest plant.  I am constantly amazed at this new digital technology, and can't believe that a camera I can hold in the palm of my hand can produce such photographs.  I just love it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fabric Postcards

Not long ago I participated in a group postcard swap on the 3CS forum.  The theme for this swap was 'On Broadway'.  It is all over now, and we have all received our swap cards, so I thought I would share the ones I received as well as those I made.

 These are the four postcards that I received.  Each one of us seemed to associate musicals with the theme.  I am so pleased to have taken part in this.  It's good to stretch oneself at times, as I struggle interpreting a theme.   But, I have to say that I've so enjoyed receiving such pretty 'mailart'.

I took this photo before I sent off my efforts.  I can't help but be amused at the similarities in thought processes, as well as the fact that some of us even broke the background in the same way.  These are the things I find interesting about projects such as this.   I have to apologize for the incorrect spelling on one of my cards - oh dear, I won't print out things again before I double check!!!  I did make an extra one, and sent off to a lady who unfortunately had taken ill and couldn't participate.  I do hope she is now feeling much better.

Whilst on the subject of fabric postcards, I would love to share this one with everyone.  I was fortunate enough to be chosen as the winner of this lovely card made by Kathy Shaker.  It arrived last week.  It is just lovely in 'real life', so many little bits going together to make this sweet card.  Kathy is a friend I've made via the StitchinFingers site.  You can see more of Kathy's inspirational work on her blog: 

Thank you Kathy!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mission Accomplished

I think just getting to blog this week has been a 'Mission'.  I've had an injured dog as well as an injured husband to look after, and have been neglecting my stitching and blogging.

Some time ago I shared a piece of blackwork with everyone.  This has finally been framed and ready for somewhere to 'live'.  The matt board was not of my choosing, but now that I've laced the embroidery and it's sitting in the frame I suppose it will grow on me.  I think I would have chosen something a tad darker, but after waiting for some time to have this done, I'm not going to worry about it anymore.  I do have this design drawn, and the stitches catalogued/charted, as well as the colours I've used.  If anyone would like more information about this, please email me, and I will endeavour to help you with it.   Although the Noshi as such is not my design, working it in coloured blackwork most certainly is.

I have also been waiting to have this cross stitch framed.  This piece was started in 1995, but I only finished the stitching a few years ago.  I had this lovely Tasmanian Oak frame, which I gave a facelift.   The chart was in a Burda magazine I had from my dressmaking days.   Again, I think I'd have chosen a slightly darker green matt board, but this pale green has grown on me also.  Please forgive the reflection on the glass here, I just could not get a photo without having this problem.

Tomorrow will be busy for us.  We will be watching the 1000km car race at Bathurst [on the television].  It will be the tenth, of the tenth, of the tenth.  I wonder if there's an omen in there somewhere.............