Saturday, March 31, 2007

A good mail day

Well How lucky am I?
Yesterday when I went to check the mail in my Post Box it was chockers full with presents.
Because I had been away for a week and not collected the mail the Post Office had to put the surplus in another box for us.
I was so excited because I had received my ATC's from Sammy's Easter swap.
The first two are from Janet and aren't they cute an Easter bonnet and some Eggs.
The next two are from Dot and they have a fabric egg and a tiny bird on them.

The last one is from Sammy and is so full of Easter treasures.
I love them all- thanks ladies.
I also received from Sammy one of her Puzzle dolls which I had admired on her blog in February
but I never thought that I would own one.
But wait there's more--
I also received this gorgeous bunny for taking part in Sammy's swap.
But wait there's more---
Also there was a package with lace and fringing in it.
But wait there's more----
Another package with lace fabrics in it-- --Now I ask you how lucky am I?

But wait there was more---another package from my dear friend Joei from Rhode Island USA
Joei had made some ATC's from felt and added some of her hand made beads on them--made from Angelina fibres and UTEE.
She also included one for Ebony -- thank you Joei --Ebony loved it and because today was her 7th birthday it was very special for her to add to her collection.
I now have to make her a wallet to keep them in.
But wait there was even more--Joei also included some lovely sheer fabrics for me
I really am lucky and I love all of these ATC's and the extras that people have so generously given to me --I don't think I deserve them but I accept them with great pleasure.
And just to let you know all that my husband got in the mail were bills.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm Back

Well after a week of travelling by bus around parts of New South Wales and Victoria I am back home again.
We had a wonderful time and saw parts of our great country that we have not seen before and ate good food so what more can one want out of life.
One of the places that we visited was the National Wool Museum in Geelong in Victoria.
There were many great things to see but the thing that impressed me was the display of cakes and sandwiches that had knitted --yes I said knitted.
They looked so real and it was very clever how they had been done.In the top photo the Pink cakes with coconut sprinkled on them and whipped cream in the centre are all knitted and the plate on which they are sitting is knitted also.
The second photo represents a tray of sandwiches in which everthing is knitted.
And lastly a strawberry cream pie all knitted again.
How cool are these.
They would be great if you were on a diet wouldn't they?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

TAST Couching

This week the stitch for TAST is couching.
I use couching a lot both in hand and Machine embroidery. I have used a piece of hand dyed-wet felted fabric as my base to work on.
The thread I have used to couch down the fibers is the new Royal Shiraz from the Opulent Collection from The Thread Studio.
I have used Madeira Carat in 2 rows and a green felted wool thread also from The Thread Studio and a variegated silk thread of which the origin is unknown.
In the first row from the left I have used Cross stitch and French knots as the couching stitch- next is Herringbone stitch then Feather stitch and lastly Buttonhole stitch.
I could have added more but I have run out of time as I am taking off for few day break early in the morning.
I will miss my blogging but I won't be near a computer at all while I am away-- but I do hope to come back with lots of photos..

More cards Today

Today I received in the mail these cards from Linda in Perth W.A.
The Post card has one of the little faces that I had sent her on it.
Thank you Linda it is beautiful. She also sent an ATC for Ebony to go in her collection-you are a very thoughtful person Linda and she will love it when I give it to her.

Wonderful Mail

Yesterday I had a wonderful mail day because my postcard from Terri finally arrived.
This little lady decided that she wanted a fully paid holiday somewhere in the world (I think she may have gone to the Bahamas) before she came to live at my house.
Terri sent her off on her journey on the 26th of February from the US and she finally popped up in my Post box yesterday the 21st of March.
She won't say where she has been but she was none the worse for her adventure.
Thank you Terri for this wonderful postcard and it is well worth the wait.
Whoo Hoo I now have a Terri work of art. I also received from Annica the beautiful pink ATC with the white flower it is much nicer in the flesh than the photo.
Thank you Annica I love it.
And last but not least from the lovely Sammy a beautiful beaded ATC.
I must apologise to Sammy because I have had this ATC for more than a week and I don't know how it slipped by without me popping it up on my blog.
Thank you Sammy and I hope I am forgiven.

I'm a happy little blogger today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Another 4 cards

Here are another 4 cards that I made in a class last week at the shop.
The class was about making backgrounds for cards.
In the first one the section with the spots was the background that I made using a circle stamp and several different coloured inks I had to stamp on the card stock making the dots in different depths of colour intensity and the the flower was stamped on another piece of card.
There are 5 layers of card stock in this card.
The second one is a piece of black glossy card and coloured Marvy Marker pens were dotted over the card and then I spritzed it with water and placed another piece of glossy card onto it and removed it quickly and then I had the design on both pieces of card.
Next I stamped a word text stamp onto the black one using a Stazon ink pad.
The lady was stamped onto the white card and also onto a piece of the green card and I then had to cut out just the dress and stick it onto the white card over the ladies dress(how fiddly was this to do --damn fiddly)
On the background of the third one I used a flower stamp and a Versamark stamp pad which is a clear sticky stamp pad and when you use it on dark card it produces a darker image of the stamp you have used.
I used the same stamp on the white square using a pink stamp pad.

Lastly my favourite --There are 5 layers of card in the construction of this one.
The base is a tan colour with a chocolate piece next and then the cream background piece that I made.
I used Distress inks to age the edges and also to stamp the text onto it.
The piece on an angle was stamped with the Distress ink again and I filled in the dress using a cotton bud loaded with Distress ink.
Brown grosgrain ribbon and a small gold buckle was used to finish it off.
There was a 5th card but I forgot to make it smaller when downloading it from the camera and you would have to wait a week for the picture to download on your computer.
I made the 5 cards in 1 class of 3 hours and again the fee included all the stuff in the kits and the use of their stamps and inks etc.
Great value for a small class fee.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Card making Class

Let me firstly say that Card Making is another one of the crafts that I like to do.
Last week I attended a card making class at our local card /scrapbooking shop.
I often attend these classes especially if the card that they are making is different from the l ones that I usually make.
This was called a Shoppers Coupon card.
I think it is the type of card you would give a best friend because it has lots of tags in it suggesting that you will spend time with her doing girlie things.
From left to right is the opened card-then the back and next is the front cover tied with a ribbon.
This is a concertina card.

Next is page one which has 2 mini concertina albums on it with messages suggesting you have lunch or coffee etc.

Page 2 is a specialty paper with girl talk on it and a piece of lace.
The third and fourth pages both have more messages which are held on to the page by different techniques.
Each piece of paper and the tags were coloured around the edges using Distress Inks which gives them an antique look.
I enjoy these classes not only because I learn something new but I meet nice people as well.
When I attend these classes everything is included in the fee including the use of their tools.
I am hoping that I will be able to interpret some of the cards that I learn to make into fabric art.
But wait there's more--but not today

Saturday, March 17, 2007

TAST Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch

This week the TAST stitch is Up and Down Buttonhole stitch.
When I first attempted this stitch I couldn't see how it was going to work but once I got going it was easy.
I can see a lot of uses for this stitch.
My samples this week are done with Perle5 and they are both variegated threads.
The first row is a basic Up and Down Buttonhole stitch.
The second row I stepped the stitches and opened the top up to look like leaves-I also added a flower sequin held in place with a tiny bead.
In the last row I alternated the thread and I like the look of this.
The fabric I have used is a beige linen not an evenweave.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Make 5 Take 5 Swaps

Today I received my 5 ATC's from the Thread Studio's make 5 take 5 swap.
It's always exciting to receive these swaps because usually the maker is not familiar to you and so their work is unknown also although I have seen the beautiful work of one of these ladies since I have been Blogging. Working from the left in a clockwise direction the cards were from--Aimee Dodd from Geelong (AUS)-Pauline Brewis (Aus)-Margaret Roberts(Digital Gran from Wales UK)-Fran Eaton WA (AUS) and Dianne Ceray also fromWA(Aus).
What a lovely array of techniques there are here and take a close look at the gorgeous red beaded shoe.
I think I have done very well thank you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Paper clay Tiles

I went out and purchased another packet of Delight paper clay recently because I wanted to make some more tiles .
I rolled the paper clay out and then used a pastry cutter to cut out the shapes-one was a circle shape and the other was square and both cutters had scalloped edges.
I left them for about a hour and then with a stamp I imprinted the image into the clay.
I used a moon face stamp and also several Color Box mini Molding mats that I have.
The white pieces are what the tiles looked like after I had imprinted on them.
It took several days for them to dry out properly-normally it doesn't take that long but this time it did.
I then painted the tiles with Jo Sonja's black Background Paint-this is a thick paint that gives a good coverage and doesn't soak into the paper clay and it dries fairly quickly so the paper clay doesn't loose it's shape.

When the paint was dry I rubbed them lightly with antique gold "Goldfinger".
I also rubbed the sides to finish them off.
Lastly I painted over them with Acrylic wax to seal them.
When Paper clay is dry it is still pliable and soft enough to stitch into and it is possible to make holes in the tile to add jump rings or use brads to attach them to cards.
And here are the finished Tiles--they have a metallic look about them -but they are very lightweight which was what I was after because I wanted to put them onto cards that I make.
If I use the metallic ones that you can buy in the shops they are too heavy and it then costs a lot more in postage.
Australia Post make enough money out of me as it is and I am not going to give them any more than I have to.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dotee Gifts

Yesterday I received in the mail from Dot 2 fabric gifts -one for Ebony and one for me.
Dot is so generous with her gifts and Ebony was thrilled with her Dotee ATC.
Her comments were "Oh that's so sweet"- she loves her ATC's
and is starting a little collection of her own.
I was lucky also because I received one of Dot's quilties-
this is a great little work of art and it is all hand made .

Thank you Dot.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

TAST Barred Chain Stitch

This week the stitch for TAST is Barred Chain stitch.Yuk.
I can honestly say that I did not like this stitch at all.
I had to make 3 samples before I finally came up with anything that was halfway decent.
The first one was done on silk paper and the second one was on wool felt and neither of these looked any good so I resorted back to what I do best a basic sample on counted thread fabric.The one good thing about this sample is the thread that I used--which is a new one from The Thread Studio.
It is one of their own specially dyed threads called "Royal Shiraz"from the Opulent Collection and it is beautiful not only in colour but also to work with.
There are 7 different textured silk threads in the one packet all dyed in this amazing colourway.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Dotee Doll ATC's

Well finally here they are my 3 little ladies ready for Dot's Dotee Doll ATC swap.
The one with the orange background has a bit of a smug look but someone will love her just the same--maybe she thinks she is a bit better than the others.
I really enjoyed the challenge of making these little doll ATC's mainly because my ATC's are more about the background technique and not the embellishments.
Bye bye little girls.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Dotee Dolls

I am participating in a Dotee doll swap that is being run by Dot otherwise known as Dotee.
Dot is famous world wide for her little Art dolls (well in the blog world anyway) and many people have been lucky enough to receive one in these little treasures including me (and Ebony).
Dot decided to run a Dotee doll swap whereby you were to make 3 Dotee dolls and send them to her and you would receive 3 in return from other people.
Dot is doing all the swapping and returning of the little dolls (whew and what a job that will be).
Anyway here are my 3 little girls--Don't they look happy or maybe a little bit mischievous.
Maybe they know a secret and are not going to tell.
I did enjoy making these as they took on a personality of their own while I was embellishing them.
I now have to make 3 Dotee doll ATC's to send along also- well they are almost finished and I will put them on the blog tomorrow.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Easter ATC Swap

I am participating in an Easter ATC swap hosted by Sammy
It is a 5 for 5 swap and I decided to portray both the Christian and commercial side of Easter on my ATC's.
I have not added a lot of heavy embellishments mainly for postage reasons.
I made the bunnies by using card stock and a bunny punch and I put Diamond glaze on them to give them a glossy effect.
I am posting 3 of the 5 here for you to see.
The background on the first one is a bit of hand dyed fabric that I did years ago. The backgrounds on the second two are woven.
I have a friend who owns a patchwork shop and she gave me this big bag of strips of fabric.
Most people know what a fat quarter is--ie half of a half a metre of fabric.
My friend would cut the fabric off the bolt in half metre lengths and then cut the fold off and end up with 2 fat quarters (are you still with me) well the strips of folded material are what I used to weave and make the background.
What I did was to wind a dark perle cotton around a 6" square wire frame to form the warp(or is it weft) and then proceeded to weave the thin strips of fabric under and over the threads.
I selected colours to make it look like a scene.
When I had finished weaving I ironed it onto a piece of iron on interfacing to support it.
Then I cut it from the frame and stitched over it to hold it all together.
I cut it into ATC size and Stitched grasses etc. --glued on the bunny and hand stitched a cross and there you have it.
I hope the people who get them will be happy.

Friday, March 2, 2007

TAST Cross Stitch

The TAST stitch this week is Cross stitch.
Cross stitch is a simple stitch that we usually associate with kits that can be purchased in a multitude of designs and when done very well they are beautiful.
I had thought of doing a sampler working my name in Cross stitch but then decided to follow on with the colour wheel experiment again.
I have worked in the tertiary colours blending them as I went down the block.
I worked 3 rows of cross stitch in red i.e. 1 row down and then 1 row back to complete the first set of crosses and then I did another row down in red but then I joined in the new colour to complete the row back.
I continued in this manner starting the new colour on the second row- right hand side each time thus creating the shaded look until I reached the purple where I did 3 rows like I did for the red.
I hope this makes sense to you because I realise as I am typing this up that it may sound like gobledegook to every one else.
I have lightened the photo up also so that you can see the gradation of colours.In the second sample are Stars of cross stitch some are x way and some are + way and I have put them over each other I know they have a name for this but I can't remember what it is--(I plead a seniors moment)
The last sample is called Chicken Scratch -well that's what I know it as - but it does have other names as well.
I did this sample last year at the Embroiderers Guild in Canberra where we were teaching the children during the school holiday classes.
The foundation for this type of embroidery is cross stitch worked on gingham and the instructions can be found here.
After the rows of crosses are worked you then proceed to weave the thread around the legs of the crosses in a certain manner to create the patterns.
The finished design looks like lace and one of the names for this type of embroidery is Poor man's lace.
I love doing Chicken Scratch.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

ATC's and more

I have been a bit slow in posting this ATC and I have apologised to Micki for this-it looks a lot nicer than this photo shows and has the most amazing purple Bullion stitches.
Thank you Micki it is beautiful. The second ATC comes from Hilary and has a wonderful texture and the colour is so beautiful
and also has beads scattered on it.

Hillary also included some silk ribbon that she had dyed and the colours are so subtle.Thank you very much Hillary.
I would also like to tell everyone that after my big clean up I discovered this wonderful wooden desk underneath all that clutter--I'd forgotten what it looked like-maybe now I will begin creating again.