Sunday, November 30, 2008

December Calendar Girls postcard

I have finished my December postcard for Jenny and I am early for a change.
I have decided to do something different to what I have normally done.
I have made the base fabric using the chenille technique----

The fabrics that I have used are calico as the base fabric then a soft green cotton --then a very open weave indian cotton batik in a bright pink and blue.
Next was a white open weave cotton and lastly a floral Christmas print.

I layed the fabrics in the above order and stitched diagonally across them covering the whole piece.
When I had finished I slashed between the rows being careful not to cut the base calico fabric.
Next I wet the whole piece and normally you put it in the washing machine with a pair of old jeans and let them do the work--but because it was such a small piece I rubbed it with my hands to get the fluffing process started.

But my secret weapon is this wire brush that I got from the Dollar shop about 6 years ago.
I think it is something that men use to clean difficult dirty places in their cars? I saw it and thought "I reckon that would be handy for something" and it is-- and it cost me $1.

I cut out some of the flowers from the top fabric and put vliesofix on the back and ironed them onto the chenille as an added feature.

All in all I am quite pleased with how it all turned out and it is nothing like what was on the original calendar but what the heck.
Hope you like it Jenny.
This is the last of the postcards for this year and it has been wonderful to receive all of them with so many different techniques.
Thanks ladies for a wonderful year and for the friendships we have made.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Do what I say Not what I do

Well like the heading says--"Do what I say not what I do"--------------
Whenever I give lessons to people on their machines be it a sewing machine or an overlocker the first thing I make them do is clean it.
Cleaning is one of the most important things you must remember --but do I always follow my own advice?
Obviously not.
I was making some Christmas ATC's and postcards for some swaps that I am involved in and wondered why things weren't going along so well.
I decided to pull the machine apart and look what I found underneath the feed dogs.
Yikes it's enough to make your hair stand up on end.
I have placed a Bernina bobbin next to "it" so you can actually see the size of "it"

I guess that just goes to show you that cleaning is necessary.
It reminds me of when I worked for Bernina and a lady came into the shop with her machine and wanted to know when she should replace the felt pad in the bobbin case.
The boss told her that there was no felt pad in the bobbin case.
To which she replied "Well what's this then" :-)
You've guessed it --there was a lump of fluff in the bobbin case and she told us she had been oiling it every week.
We couldn't stop laughing for weeks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November Calendar Girls Postcard

I have just made it by the skin of my teeth but here is my November postcard for Joanna.
I think we are all struggling at present to try to come up with something different and when it is all over next month I don't think any of us will want to interpret another flower for a long time.
But in saying that I have enjoyed this excersise and the wonderful postcards that I have received are a hilite to my collection.
This month I have used some of my hand dyed cottons for the background and the patches.
I applied the patches using different stitches-one hand done and the other 2 on the machine.
The flower has been stitched (roughly) with thick thread in the bobbin and sewn from the reverse side.
The vase is made from teabag papers adhered to fabric---one was a normal teabag and the other was a raspberry herbal tea hence the red colours in it.
I added the butterfly because there was a butterfly in the picture :-]

Only one more to go and then the set will be complete.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A few swaps

This week I received this lovely Christmas ornament and card for Maureen in a swap that we had organised between ourselves.
You will notice that Maureen has used the same print on the card (in paper) and the ornament (in fabric) how clever is that.
Thank you Maureen they are beautiful.

These are the tags that I sent to Maureen--they are made from calico which I stitched on and then they were stiffened with 50/50 PVA and water that had coffee mixed in with it to give them an aged look.

Next is a postcard from Mary Lou in Canada which was swapped as part of the Stitchin fingers postcard group.
It has a felted background with hand embroidery on it.
Thank you Mary Lou it is lovely.

This is the postcard that I sent to Mary Lou in return.
It was made on the embellisher and has hand stiting on it also.

Thanks ladies.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November TIF Block

Here is my finished November TIF Crazy Quilt block---well almost finished.
There is a small section in the top left hand corner that needs someting in it but it won't be done until I have joined it into the pages of the book because of the closeness to the edge of the fabric.
I didn't put anything in the black lace section at the top because everything I tried there got lost amongst the lace so I decided to let it be.
I did most of the stitching at night when we were in Melbourne this week and it was so relaxing to just sit there and stitch without any interuptions.

I can't believe that there is only one more challenge left for this year--where has the time gone?
And if you haven't heard by now Sharon B has moved to a new blog site here --so do drop by and take a look---all the old stuff from her "In a Minute Ago" blog has been moved over to the new site.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm Back

I'm back after a short holiday in Melbourne and guess who I had lunch with-----none other than Dianne McGrath of Faeridi fame.
It was so nice to meet Dianne after all this time.
Dianne was one of the first people to comment on my blog when I started in January 2007 and we have been friends ever since.
It is so nice to meet our blogging friends in the flesh and you often wonder "what will they be like-and -will they like me?" --well we needn't have worried --it was like we had known each other for a life time.
We ate and drank coffee and chatted non-stop for two and a half hours---it was raining outside but we hardly noticed it.
Now hopefully I have inspired Dianne enough for her to get back into blogging again.
Come back Dianne --- we miss you.

This is a beautiful book that Dianne gave me and I will treasure it forever.

When we first arrived in Melbourne and were waiting for our apartment to be ready Stephen and I went for a coffee ------now how is this for a BIGG cup of coffee--it was huge--I had to hang onto it with both hands because it was so heavy.
I asked Stephen what sizes did they have and he said "small- medium and large" so he ordered large.
He was dumbfounded when they gave them to him.

I really did enjoy it though.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More November TIF

I have started the embellishing on my November TIF block and have done a little stitching and added some lace and braid as well.
I am going to be away from the computer for a few days but hopefully when I return the block will be finished.

See you all when I return.

Friday, November 14, 2008

November TIF Block

Here is my pieced Crazy Quilt block for the November TIF challenge.
I haven't balanced the black pieces very well but I will be able to correct that once I start stitching on it.
It is hard to believe that this is the second last TIF challenge for this year --where has the year gone?
When I have all 12 blocks done I am going to make them into a CQ book........well that is my intention anyway--but maybe they won't look any good as a book.
We will just have to wait and see.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two Teddies

Today MaryAnne had on her blog 2 wonderful fur teddies that she had made and I commented that I had never made fur Teddies but I had made wool embroidered Teddies.
She asked if I could take a photo of them for her to see so here they are MA.
They are made out of wool blanketing and are embroidered with fine wool and silk ribbon.
I made them a few years ago now and I must admit it was fun doing them.

This is a close up of the cream bears tummy and feet---------

and his head.

And the apricot ones feet and tummy -------------

and his head.

What about all those tiny embroidery stitches-- phew--

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Samples from Fibre in Form

Here are some of my samples from the Fibre-in-Form online workshop run by Lynda and Carol.
The first one has texture paste and scrim laid onto a box canvas and painted with acrylic paints and Lumieres.

This one has a fabric base and is painted with acrylics and Lumieres again.

Here I have threads couched down onto fabric and then painted.
The threads give such a great texture.

This one is Texture paste on canvas again painted with Acrylic paint and Lumieres

Lastly I have couched threads and fabric -painted it with black ink and then bleach was applied.I love the distressed look of this one.

Both of these ladies are very good teachers and if you are looking to learn about mixed media keep your eye out for any future classes that they may run.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Today was Ebony's school fete and to say she had a great day was an understatement.
There were stalls selling a variety of goods--cakes--lollies--second hand books--small gifts and more plus the usual rides and jumping castles etc.
But did she spend any money at any of these stalls-- no way Hose`.
She met up with her 2 best friends Erin and Eve (the three E's) and they hit the White Elephant stall.
For those who don't know what a White Elephant stall is--it sells second hand bric a brac.
They all scored a pair of sunglasses (50c ea) and a handbag($1.ea) some fluffy bears ($1 ea.)
Ebony also got a purse($1) some pens and a note book and a few more things that she had in the bottom of the bag but the best of all was the cage she is holding to carry her Guinea Pig in ($2).
Between them they had 6 bags of stuff and you can tell by the look on Ebony's face that she was rather pleased with her loot.
Now if she would only expect such treasures for Christmas and forget about all the electronic stuff she has on her wish list I would feel a lot happier.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What I did today

Today was Paper Arts group at the Embroiderers Guild and what a great time we had.
We do all sorts of things in this group--we make cards and do mixed media stuff and learn all the new techniques that our member learn and pass on to us.
Today we were working with Paper Serviettes.
When I first discovered these beautiful serviettes I really didn't know just how wonderful they were.
Gone are the days of plain old white serviettes--they are for wiping your face when you get food all over your chin.
Now you can get them with the most wonderful designs on them which are just the thing for mixed media art.
The picture here is just one corner of a serviette and it was applied to a sheet of canvas --I should have done it on a box canvas but I forgot to take one with me but this worked ok anyway.
There are several layers of gel medium applied to the canvas and then the serviette was added and more gel medium.
Then texture paste was added around the edge--then some Tim Holtz crackle medium in 2 different colours and lastly a flourish stamp to finish it off.And this is the finished product.

All in all I am very pleased with what I achieved today.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A big Decision

I have been procrastinating about this for over a week now and after reading Paula's rant (sorry -message) today I have decided to bite the bullet and just do it.
I have decided to add a "no tag" button on my blog.

I first saw this button on Janet's blog here which she obtained from here and after reading on quite a few blogs recently how people no longer wanted to participate in the awards and memes craze that sweeps blogland continually I felt it was time for me to make my stand also.
Now don't get me wrong I am not ungrateful that people think me worthy of these awards it is just that I find it hard to take them serious anymore.
In the beginning I was so chuffed to think that someone thought that my blog was great and that they even bothered to read it sometimes- but I just find it somewhat annoying to be persistently asked to pass the award on to other people and then feel bad that I don't really want to do it.
I have taken the stand of not passing it on, hoping it will stop at me.
I have apologised privately to the people recently who have given me awards --so hopefully they need not feel upset when they read this post.
I do often wonder who thinks up these ideas and how they start to circulate like the flu virus.
And I do hope that I have not offended all my internet friends by taking this stand but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
OK now I have that off my chest I will get back to stitching and hopefully create something beautiful.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November TIF Colours.

The colours for the November TIF challenge were posted today and I can deal with these colours very easily.
The inspiration for the colours is from the picture above the colours.
I am not sure about the dark colour on the left hand side.
I think it is navy and also the one that is second from the right is a pale green but I think I will use the darker green in the swatches in the above picture because I think it will look great in between the mauves.

I don't know when I am going to get this done because I am up to my neck again in online workshops.
What with the Textured Surfaces on Fibre-in-Form and Maggie Grey's free online class to those who purchased her latest book--and Calendar Girls--and-and-and.
When will I ever learn.