Saturday, December 30, 2006

Secrets in the bag and round robin finally finished

Here is my effort for FAI's Secrets in the bag swap. I am paired with Flicsha and i was very lucky as she sent me the most lovely bag of goodies, including choccies and tea to drink while i made her card! How thoughtful is that! I decided to work on my imagery that I have been using for my C+G, water over the sand, as this was a good opportunity to try out different colours. I gathered up the blue metallic shot fabric and heat set it in the ove for 10 minutes at 200. I then decided I would work by hand, for two reasons, one I haven't done much hand work of late and i was desperate to feel the cloth between my hands! and two having the machine out at this time of year is a bit difficult. I seeded the rippled fabric to a bit of cheap felt. This worked really well ad I am so glad I did it as it has given me a far better understanding of how I wil integrate my heat set work for C+G. It only took going back to hand work to do that!
I was given Beryl Taylor's book for christmas and I decided I would work the diamonds in her way, so i used some of the other fabric in the bag to lace over thin card diamons. i stuffed these with some wadding and then sitched on the beads and then back stitched them to the background. On textile challenges val had challenged us to use xmas leftovers creatively, and i have a pice to follow on this, so i used a jewel that had lost it's sticky and fallen off Ellie's new barbie styling head and weaved this onto the backround with silver thread. Now Flicsha always does lovely backgrounds for her cards so I worked one diamond up for the back. It has turned out well. The pink thread i used to couch down was the only addition from my stash apart from the jewel.
This is my card from the 1st round robin, on fiberpostcardroundrobin, which is a yahoo group run by Lorraine Strohkirch. ( Who is an angel by the way) I did the background fabric, which was bubbled polyester, i bubbled it with the heat gun, like you would with tyvek. I like this because it is so much softer than tyvek. Marie and Mary then made it into a tree, I'm not sure who did which bits but, there are waxes picking up the bubbled texture, angelina, free machining and the leaf charms ( one did not make it through the british postal service!) I like it and i like what happens when you work with others on a piece, but I would have liked to see some of the original texture, it got kinda lost. Never mind that's the esence of working with others you can't be too precious about what happens to your work. I finished it with the copper zig zagging.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Snowglobes for FAI

Hello all, here is an example of the snowglobes I made for FAI.I used sweetie wrappers for the icicles, some colured papers I had done at college with salt effects. Some of the beads I made, which I have talked about in earlier posts. I used the snowflake confetti and seed beads for the shaker. I do think they look wintery.
I was also very pleased to find that a new group I had joined Arttechniques has put my FAT journal on their homepage. I was bowled over to think they thought my work was good enough! It is a very interesting group for those who have an interest in mixed media. Heartily recommend it.
By the way Merry Christmas and a great New year to all who read my blog. I recently installed a new counter and I am very pleased with it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New journals for FAT

I have finished two journal quilts for FAT this week. I did my one based on a word, I chose "LUSH", a proper Welshism. I chose this because when i first started chatting with NJ (Listmom) I used this word to describe the work on her group. A few hours later i recieved a message that basically, give up can't find meaning of the word lush anywhere, is it a complement or an insult? It was a compliment! Lush -to me anyway means that something is gorgeous beyond belief.
In this piece I used acrylic onto coton, a first for me! I then machine quilted it, free machine, making some of my favourite, childish!, shapes. I then did a bit of hand quilting/embroidery, I used blanket stitch overlapped with thinner and thicker threads, and to be honest this is the only bit I am unhappy about. I think it looks shoved on, not integrated as well as the rest. I then beaded areas to pick them out more. I then made some fabric beads by using off cuts from another bit of painted acrylic and cotton, I watered down PVA and wrapped the fabric tightly around a cocktail stick. I really like how this piece turned out, probably because I didn't really think about it, I just did it and it evolved as I worked on it.
The other piece is this months journal quilt, based on "Christmas through the eyes of a child" and this started with a drawing done by Ellie, my 3 year old. She coloured in a Rudolph with transfer crayons, and did a grand job of it. I put it onto cotton and did some hand embroidery. I then added the red strips and free machined. I then added the buttons of mittens and hats i have been hanging onto for something nice. It's not perfect by a long way, but I love it as it is a permanent record of Ellie now, what she likes! Thanks to NJ for her inspirational themes.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Water colour

This is a piece of course work for C+G based on colour theory. The student teacher, Josie, that has been working with my regular teacher Enid did a lesson with us on colour and line. We completed a pencil task of making secondary colours with different lines, e.g. zig zags, cross hatched, wavy etc. We had to use lines of the primary colour to make the secondary. We then had to take this into a colour sample. I used the imagery I have been working with this term and cable stitched the design. I used one primary colour on the top of the machine and another on the bottom in the bobbin. I like how it has turned out, but it doesn't convey the secondary colours that well in parts, probably due to the shade of thread I was using. However it was good to work this desin in coloured thread to see how different it could look.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Feeling christmassy!

I have been feeling chrismassy lately, about time since it is December. I have made these two sets of cards for swaps on FAI. The snowflake cards were made by trapping snowflake confetti between irise film from mraks and spencer, that Jan sent me. I then quilted the film down. The stocking cards are made by pressing a rubber stamp into some soft scult after heating and then brushing it with Stewart Gill paint. I then couched this down with fly and straight stitch onto a background of cutback diamonds. the layers start from the bottom, velvet, opened up inside of crisp packet, green voile, red tafetta and red voile. Worked out very well.

Contemporary Art card for FAI

This image is of the four cards I have made and now finally sent for the Contemporary ast card swap on FAI. I used acrylic on cotton, something that I have been dying to do lately but have never got the time. I also coloured up some scrunched silver foil and coloured it with copper paint and a touch of PVA this turned out well. The last touch wsa to colour up some tyvek and iron it over a ruber stamp, as per workshop on the web, but it didn't work out too fab, think i had my iron on too hot. I then quilted the lot with free machining. I loved making these and they were so quick! Its funny how things you do off the cuff work out best.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Postcards and ATC's

I thought I'd show you the snowflake cards I have just sent off for a swap with FAI. I am rather pleased with how they have turned out. I layered up a background of snippets of organza with organza in a really light blue organza over the top of the lot. I then layed down the grids in line with the work I have been doing for C+G. I then used the soldering iron to slash back through the thicknesses. I didn't think it had been very successful until I layed down the blue and silver square and the snowflake brads, then it all seemed to come together.
The purple ATC was one I made for Pam at College's significant birthday ( see Pam I didn't let you down!) I used a piece of cerise taffeta and cut through to a layer of angelina fiber. I also gathered the one corner. the idea was to give her clues as to who's was who by reflecting our work, but I decided to change the colours to ones she likes. The beads attached are from New Zealand that someone sent me in the FAT journal quilt swap. I nearly didn't want to part with it!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Heat setting recipy?!

Arlee had asked me to post how I did my heat setting, and I keep forgetting, so I'm doing it now before I forget again! I gathered up my fabric with cotton thread, just incase I melted the polyester thread. Wheni was happy with them i put them in a backing parchment parcel, or I have been told that the silicone sheet for the bottom of the oven, or baking on work well too. This is to stop too much direct heat. I then put it in a ceramic dish, because one of my friends at college had told me that if you touch the polyester on the metal of a baking tray you get one hell of a mess! I then pre heated the oven at 200 degrees. i baked them for about 30 minutews, which was longer than I expected, i had been told by Robbie at college to do it high and fast, e.g. high heat and not for long time, so I thought 30 minutes was quite long. I took them out a couple of times to check on, a few on the edges were a bit crisp, but I quite liked this. I have also heard that you can do this in a vegetable steamer, see Michelle Griffiths ( by the way a fantastic WELSH textile artist) on Workshop on the web, she has a tutorial there, I forget which month now. Hope this helps Arlee!

I have had a success this wekk, and I am really pleased with the result. As I have said in previous blogs, i have been wresling withthe cjallenge set by ME! for my textiles challenges yahoo group. I had done one reverse or cut back applique sample to show the group before we started, with wireform in it. I then wanted to do a stitched layer for the bottom layer of my real submition piece, but when I did one last I found I liked it so much that I didn't want to cover it up! This time I wasn't so precious and i just sprinkled supermend down and foiled those areas with gold, silver and copper foil.
Then I free machined some bubbly white water where the foil was.

With this as a guide I then turned it over and worked in cable stitch some wiggly reflection lines in a few colours in cotton perle. I also worked some diamons which seem to keep recurring in my work of late from the drawings of the fresh water outlet at caswell bay, on the Gower (see drawing). The middle layer of the cut back was a pice of fused angelina fiber, two hot fix colours and a non heat fix gold mixed in. The top layer is taffeta. I then used the free machining as a guideline for the sewing through the three layers. I also did this in a fine gold cotton perle.

I am pleased with the result although I think I need to integrate the top layer a bit more, I like the piece with the bubbles at the top and I think it could do with more of this. I have class on Thursday and can't decide whether to do some more or wait and talk to Enid, I have a feeling she would just agree with me, so I may as well get it done before I see her. What do you think, constructive critisism welcome?

Underneath that is what I did at design class last night. Enid found some copper shim, because I had missed the foiling class the week before. I used the design which is drawn out above and I used a well rounded pencil to press through onto some foam, you know the stuff the kids have. I love the way it has turned out. the first scan is the back and the second one is after I have painted it with blue and green glass paints. I want to do more of this, and sew into it, it is so tactile and in keeping with my want for the finished piece to be viewed unsighted.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Finish it up friday on FAT

Hello all and today has been finish it up friday. FAT 's lovely list mom NJ set today as finishing day, so I thought I'd get my finger out! I have had my tri-fold cards for FAI on the go for a while and so I thought I'd get them done today. I have been plaing with layers a lots lately, with the cut back challenge for my yahoo group textiles challenges and all. So I have layered up taffeta, snippets of organza left over from previous tasks, and overlaid with chifon. I then free machined over the top. The really twinkly one has a middle layer of angelina and I have cut back part of the squares and held them back with a buggle bead. I also used he most gorgeous piece of green slubed silk and quilted and maniputaed pleats for the green cards. I hope the prospective owners like them. Inside I stamped a tree stamp onto white cotton and appliqued it on to a red taffeta quilted ack ground.

I then went on to work on my stitched ground layer for my challenge, I had promised my C+G tutor Enid Davies that I would put a stitched into layer into a cut back, so off I set to do it. I layered up my manmade taffeta which I have been using for my heat setting work, (see previous post) with some interlining. I then whip stitched on the machine the central lines, I used a drak brown on the top and a gold underneath. I was hoping the gold would show more but it hasn't, so I will ave to think about this a bit more, maybe invert the colours. I then did my first bit of cable stitch ever on the lighter diamond areas. I love the way the tension has pulled the taffeta into ripples. So hence why I will not be using it as the ground for cut back. It is such a lovly sample in it's own right I can not cover it up! Something always stops me sorting out that layer, and I must get it done ASAP as the deadline for challenge 1 is fast approaching, on the 14/11/06. Next time I am not going to do a pattern but just machine all over so I don't mind cutting back to it! Let's hope that works!!!

FAT Hearts

Last monday FAT had a monday night challenge to make holiday heart decorations. I had a blast making these. I made the ones with the green stitching on the monday night, and have since made three more. For the ones I made on Monday I layered up velevet, angelina and organza. I then free machined the surface, one with hearts and the other randomly. I then cut back through to reveal the angelina, and the velvet. I found I had a few pieces of layers left over and so I cut those into hearts and appliqued them onto velvet. The other hearts were made by layering up taffeta, snipets of organza and a layer of organza over the top. I fused the layers with supermend. I then free machined hearts and circles and used the automatic stitches on my machine to do the third. I then attacked this with the heat gun. It brought the colour of the burgundy taffeta through, which made them look quite dramatic. I had to be very careful with the heat gun as all layers were man made ad so I could have burnt them to a crisp!
I embellished with buttons and beads, which took a while! I am going to make some more to donate to my friend Jayne's daughters junior school xmas fayre. I felt quite festive doing them! Three of them will be swapped with FAT.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I thought I'd show you my finished October journal quilt for FAT. I think it has turned out well. I like the free machining on the wall. I am al
sso pleased with the compasition, but it does badly need pressing!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I thought I'd show what Ive been up to. I have been sampling some heat set gathers to make the ripples for my C+G work. I gathered the fabric, which is polyester satin, a very heavy weight one, and taffeta. I then cooked them in the oven in a baking paper parcel for 15 minutes. the creases are now set premanently. i think they have turned out well, I now need to work into them with stitches before heat setting. The last one was foiled before putting it to cook, but the scan doesn't show it well.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

FAT work

These two images are pieces I have been working on for FAT. The first are my finished crayon cards for "Up close and personal" postcard swap. I melted the crayon onto the cotton between baking parchment, and then I added a piece on with free machining and picked out the markings with freemachining.

The second is the first layer of my journal quilt for this month, which I have now signed up for as I think I am far enough along to commit. I chose a black and white image of the walled garden at the front of Margam House at Margam in South Wales. I thought this was really complex, but I machined over a print out and that made it a lot easier. I am really pleased so far as it is turning out better than I thought it would be. I have a grey felt and a white cotton layer underneath so i will be cutting back next. Then I intend to free machine in details and shadows.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I thought I'd show you this piece of work I have been working on for college for two reasons. Firstly it is my latest sample for my sand project but secondly as it is the example I have given for my first challenge on textilechallenges. I have set a cut back applique challenge and hope that everyone will be able to find some challenge from this
, be it if they have never done cut back before or if they have done it a million times. I have tested some of the more experienced stitchers to add a challenging layer, like wireform, as in my picture here, or shim, or a pre-stitched piece etc. I haven't set a theme hoping that people will be able to come up with things for that. We'll see. Hope this thing works out. I am pleased with this sample.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just a quick note to say that I have set up my group

Just a quick note to say that I have set up my group now, on yahoo. It's called textile challenges and it's basically a challenge site, no swapping work, or if we do it will only be momentos or charms etc. The hyperlink should be below to allow anyone to go have a look and join up if you like! Hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Secrets in the bag

I thought I'd update you on the secrets in the bag project, since now Gwen, my partner has recieved hers. The first image shows the bag of goodies I recieved and the next three are the cards I made. Gwen generously allowed me to donate the third card to Fiberarts for a cause, which will raise money for the American Cancer Association. I enjoyed this task, it was challenging working with other peoples thoughts and preferences.

I also wanted to get a feeling for an idea I have been toying with. I have been thinking about setting up a yahoo group where there would be no swaps but rather challenges for people to have a go at and then post their interpretation of the task. A sharing of techniques and ideas really. I have been discussing this with quite a few people lately, especially Jan and I like the idea of somewhere we can be totally free of swaps and other people's expectations but still have a chance to see other people's ideas and to tutorial each other on what we could add\ do differently etc. Can anyone who would be interested leave a comment for me to gauge the worth of doing this? Let me know.

Momento's and crayon work

Hia, i thought I'd share these images with you. The two skinny ones are the front and back of the momento's that I made to swap with my journal quilt group on FAT. I used the lyric from the Stereophonics, "Everyday I thank the lord I'm Welsh" and translated it into Welsh "Pob dydd dwi'n diolch I Ddyw am fod yn Gymraes" and added the Welsh flag and a flower that I had used on my journal quilt. Having already recieved one from Judith I don't know if mine are as good as others, but what the heck!

The next image is from my recent experiments with
crayons for my C+G. I also am going to use them for my crayon cards for FAI. I melted some crayon chips between two pieces of baking parchment and then peeled them apart and placed a pice of cotton in the middle and then re ironed. I also ironed the crayons off the cotton onto some white photocopy paper, to remove the excess wax, and because I used transfer crayons I was able to use this to reprint onto polyester etc. Very economical! I have been messing with the colours of this scan so that it can fit in with my C+G stuff on water over the sand. I am playing with the idea of making a hanging piece that can be changed by the viewer, so I hope that it works out, as with my hubby's sight I would like the piece to be viewed unsighted also. Hope that it works out, will keep you posted!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sorry I forgot this one!

True to form I forgot this piece. This is also a C+G sample, using chiffon and free machining. This is very soft and tactile. Cries out to be touched. I love the way that the free machining gives a more matt and dull texture from the same material. I like the contrast. I have been really influenced by Sandra Meech. Well
there we go. Hope the scan is good enough to be able to see it properly.

I have a couple of things to show you today in response to a few emails I have gotten lately. I am feeling very popular at the mo! The fist is a journal quilt page for fiberarttraders, a yahoo group I have recently joined. I have loved doing this one. the topic was "All about me" and you don't swap, you keep the page and you swap charms or trinkets relating to you. I haven't done mine yet but I thought i'd stitch something in Welsh, since I am fluent. The second and third images are relating to my G+G course and are based on markings in the sand. They are just trial pieces and are unfinished. the technique is to use pin tucks in cotton and tyvek and then to chop them up, shrink the tyvek and then combine them with free machining. They are very tactile and I have used glittery metallic paint to colour them up. A decent start to the project i think. The topic for this term is "Touchy feely" and so I am going to make a very tactile piece based on the fact that hubby is registered blind. Hope you like anyway!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thought I'd give you a sneak preview to work I have done lately for group. I will be uploading them to the site but after they have been recieved. I loved the butterflies, it is a gift bag recycled given to me by a lovely leaving pupil from my form, I had a great glass haning for my classroom in it. I thought it was too interesting to throw out and as if by magic Lynn put up the mixed media swap a few days later. I love the leaf quilting, it looks like the butterfly is sitting in the leaves. The other is for a tie dye swap and I have made a couple extra so that I can send them to Virginia for the fiberart for a cause project. I will send them off soon. I have also finished the secrets in the bag cards but think I should send them off to the swapper before posting, so watch this space. Lastly my textiles group in year 11 are making me so proud and I wanted to say that publicly. The quality of work is fanominal. They are going to do really well I think.

I thought I'd show you some of the lucks I have had this last two weeks. The first is Gillian's, Devon,and is for a first letter of your name theme, I love the fabrics used. The next is also Gillian's based on waterfall's and my little girl ET loves the sparklies and I have to say I agree. The third is from Jan Lewis, in the UK and is for a tie dye theme. I love Jan 's work, she and I have a similar style and eye on thing's I think.The last is for a crayon card swap and is by Susanne in Switzerland, the circles are fab, a great idea. Hope mine are as good.