Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas gifts and New year wishes

Hia all, I thought I would share with you some of the lovely gifts I have received from Internet friends for Christmas. The first is from Jan and she got me a great gift of a postcard hanger. Now with the amount of postcards i now have in my collection this is a great idea. Here is is in my hall way with some of my favourite cards. The top two are Jan's , the next one Hannah's, the next two Lynda's and the final one is one I was bought from Fibre art for a cause last year by an artist called Sharon Neuer. The second card was a recent gift from Hannah in Australia. i had sent her something, to be honest i forget now what it was and she sent me this and a pack of lovely threads and embellisments. How come other people's "bits" are always more interesting than your own! I love this card, it has embossed velvet, a print on tracing paper, wool felt and fme and computerised embroidery. I love it, thank you Hannah.
Now on to my new year resolutions. I am not going to make many as this time of year I am always over enthusiastic and then can't stick to them, so this is the 2 things most important to me apart from being a good Mum to Ellie may!
1. Loose some weight - Now this has been my resolution since I was about 18, but I lost 3 stone to have Ellie and I want to be a size 16. I am not too over ambitious, I am not going to say a size 12 and be totally over the top. So buying clothes from regular shops is my only plan. I am going to use my exercise bike (only used it twice since I bought it in the sales last year!)

2. The second thing is more simple.I want to keep a visual diary because I can't see being able to go on to part 2 C+G next year. I have been going to college for 3 years now and frankly I am tired. Part 2 is much more demanding and unless Enid is seriously convincing I can't see me having the energy. SO with that looming, I have started to get the "fear"! What will I do when i don't have that to focus on, how will my anxiety deal with it! So I have decided to keep a visual diary, record the things i do for trades and challenges, so I can hopefully find my style. I am often so worried that i am only any good at working with someone else's technique, someone else's original starting point. Here is the book I have chosen.
It is 5x12 inches and had hard grey covers, so I decided to stick some of my favourite bits of paper on the covers. Textured wallpaper painted with metallics, I think the blue and silver is a wallpaper by Julien Macdonald and the other piece is a piece of paper I printed using the TRaci B paper towel method.
So start as you mean to go on. I am in the process of finishing a page for Kim on African masks. I did some line drawings in pen on the back of an envelope so i decided to stick it down!

Next I have been working on my first trade postcard for Carol M in the Calendar girls group. The first picture we are working from is of sunflowers and so I started sketching the bits that interested me and working on compositions for my card. there will be more to follow on this on the calendar girls blog, as I have put together 5 cards so far just for the first trade! I am going to get a jump on February too while I am off, that way I may stay ahead!

Don't forget about my last post about the arch page swap on Textiles challenges. To add to this January's challenge is following Quilting arts true colours paper quilt challenge. Hope some of you might come along and join us.

Finally can I wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope it brings you all the happiness you deserve. Last year felt long and arduous to me, and I know to some of you. Let's hope 2008 is kind to us all. Love Carol T

Friday, December 28, 2007

New arch page swap

On the Textiles challenges yahoo group, which I run we are doing an arched page swap. The way this swap works is to do an arch page that is 4x8 inches for your partner each month. This will be for as many months as we have sign ups or smaller groups if we have enough people. At the end of this you should have enough pages to make a book. If you would like to join in follow the link above, you will have to join the group, but then you might enjoy our monthly challenges. Hope to see some of you there. Love carol t

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing day

Hia all, well I survived yesterday and everyone was happy-ish! Ellie was really happy and that's all that counts! I thought I would show you a little more of the things I have made over the last few weeks.
The first is a quilty that I was way overdue with for Sandie, for a trade on unlimited textiles. the theme was Autumn and I had some how lost this one from my list of to do's. I used a piece of fabric I had sun printed way back in the summer at Deb's workshop. I used poppy seed heads and fern leaves to sun print . I then kantha stitched it in some thread I had hand dyed, and added some beads , I thought these looked like the seeds from the poppy being carried away by the wind!
The next thing to show you now are the final scarves that i made at the devore workshop. I made 6 all together. They were fab to make, I had such a fun day. I gave 3 as gifts to my sisters and Mum and kept the rest for myself. This one was Vivky's.
This one mine!
This one mine!
Mine! This one is my fav, it is shibori devore, and turned out so well.

and finally Mum's . I love the colours on this.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry christmas and Mum's bagsket

Firstly is a card I made for Gail but thought it would be nice and festive for my blog. Merry christmas and I hope you all have a lovely day
This is the bagsket I promised to photograph. This one is for my Mum, and this time I added a pocket inside for her to put her tools. I hope she will like it. I like the fabric. Got much quicker making this one too. Hope your all having a fun evening. Love carolT

Sunday, December 23, 2007


My sister this year asked for a knitting starter kit and so I have bought her wool, needles and crochet hooks. I decided that this alone was not good enough and so I decided to make her some sort of knitting bag. I saw this tutorial, via the Sew mama sew blog and thought it would be perfect, because as well as anything else and the fact that they are just gorgeous, they would stop the wool unraveling all over the house as you knit. Then I had another challenge, you see i have 2 sisters and you know what it's like can't do for one without the other. So that's why there are 2.
I have a 3rd on the way. My Mum, the inspiration for my starting sewing should get one too I think so have almost finished her's in more neural colours. I will try to remember to photograph it tomorrow, amongst the veg prep!!! Hope your all having a merry time of it!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gethin?? Whos' he!

Calendar girls, a new group I am involved with had it's first party yesterday. Well done Doreen by the way! Now part of the fun was giving virtual pressies. I gave Sharon a course with Angie Hughes which she liked. I got a pressy from Val, she made me a lovely card with little fairies on it, but what i didn't realise was that Val's fairies had granted me a wish. In the files section Val had written me pretty much my dream day, hubby and Ellie-May aside! She wrote me a fabuous pampering day topped off with a date with Gethin Jones. Now a lot of the girls didn't know who he was as they are international, so girls grab the wine, sit back and enjoy the God that is Gethin.

Merry christmas to alll my blogging friends

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the wonderful friends I have made online again this year. You are a constant source of support and advice, and more importantly fun! I look forward to a busy and productive 2008 and hope you will get all you want from santa! (Ps the top one is Welsh for me and Mags, our first language!)
Lots of love Carol T

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Things to share

Hia all, I thought I would share with you all what I have been up to of late. I have made some cards for friends. The postcard below was for Alis' birthday. I hand dyed some quilters batting, which is so soft and appliqued on a flower. It is quite simple but I love the colours and textures.I haven't found a home for this one yet!
These two cards are ATC's and I sent these to Carol M and Lynda as a thank you for the help and advice they have given me over the year, and for being down right generous.
This is my little icicle angel that i made as part of an ornament trade on Unlimited textiles. It was sent to Sue K and she has received it so i can show it now.
The final picture is of a Christmas card I made for a friend. I thought I would put it here. So consider this your virtual Christmas card. Merry Christmas all.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Hia all I have been very quiet of late, I have been really busy. We have walked in the lantern parade, which is pictured above. We had a great time despite the wet.
Today i have been on a devore course with Cardiff artist Cath Lewis. Well I had a blast, I really enjoyed it. i have never done it before and i had a good go and managed to make enough to make a good few scarves for Christmas. I am so torn there are so many I want to keep, but I think my Mum and sisters will have to get some. I was lucky and managed to pick up two of my home made stamps and so used those a good bit, but also used a lid to make the circles. I also managed to pick up a load of stencils in B+Q as they are selling them off at £1 a go. They are discontinuing their stencil range so if you are passing a B+Q it is a good chance for some cheap stencils, i got quite few, bamboo, flowers, oriental ones and mosaic ones.
We acid dyed to colour the backgrounds and then used procion for the top layer. Cath showed us a great way to shibori devore and the bright blue one in the middle of the picture is done like this. It was much easier than I thought although a bit messy, I came home with purple hands! I am sooo pleased with the results i can't say and Chris and Sandra, who run our group, fiberpaperarts, are to be commended on their choice. A fab day all round!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

My little cow!

Well my little angel will not be Mary as she wanted but instead a cow, which made me very happy! I collect cow things, plates cups, cards etc! I decided to make her a hoody style costume to get the ears in and of course a rubber glove udder!!! Check this out! ( EDIT - PHOTO TAKEN OUT AS i DON'T LIKE MY LITTLE ONE ON THE INTERNET TOO LONG)
I have also been playing with photoshop elements and altered the colours from a photo of the page i made for Mags and used a plastic filter. I love this how real does this look! Loving this programme!
Also something to note for next year, I have joined a group of frankly bonkers ladies who have just the best sense of humour to do a calendar challenge for next year. So watch out for the blog in the new year!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What's behind the door??????

Well Mags has received here page now so I am revealing what's behind the door. I thought of her and her flame colours and as she is the only Welsh speaking textile artist I know I could not leave the chance to add some Welsh to it. I decided to use the phrase "Calon lan yn llawn dioni"
which is from a hymn but is a Welsh anthem sung at all our rugby games etc. It means a "clean heart is full of goodness" So I had to use red but wanted a clean feel like the quote so chose a lace in cream.

Mags tells me she likes it and was even good enough not to pick up my welsh spelling error!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Proud of myself

I hope you will all indulge me in a bit of back slapping. In my day job teaching teenagers it can be a bit of a struggle at times and I don't always feel I am getting anywhere.
However I often upload my work to a teacher website that allows people to share their work. A few weeks ago they asked me to fill in a questionnaire about my work and this week a write up of me and my work has gone up on the main home page. This is a major deal for me to be recognised for my day job and not my textiles I am feeling so proud! If you are nosy and want a look have a look here:

Teacher resource exchange

Thanks to all my blogging friends who influence my daily work with the kids, and keep me inspired and energetic. Many thanks.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mags' page

Mags is my partner this month, and her choice of theme is doors or gates. Now as those of you who read regularly here will know I did a whole series of doors not so long ago. So I wanted to get a little away from what I did then. So I decided to use fabric instead of paper, which was different to the last lot. I decided to use up a piece of fabric I tea dyed a while ago with fruit teas and had a very pale pink-ness to it. Now I have taken a lot of inspiration from Ruth Rae, who's work is just fab and I have been reading her blog for a while now and really love what she does. So without wanting to copy her I decided to use some of her style like layers of fabric and paper, buttons and other fab little treasures trapped under things. This is how the page looked last night. Now I knew it lacked something but wasn't sure what, so today I rummaged in my paper stash for the elusive "something" else. I found a metal tray from one of Craig's fish and chips ready meals that i had been harbouring and decided to emboss that. I tried annealing it with the gas flame but it was having none of it! I also found a piece of paper from a stash trade I did years ago and decided to use that. Some buttons and paper punched pieces in paper and metal later and this is what I now have, and pretty much think it is complete.
I love the paper punched pieces. Craig thought the door didn't stand out enough so I did some hand stitch there in a pale colour as i didn't want it to over dominate.

As for what's behind the door????? Well I decided to leave that as a surprise for Mags and will share it with you after she has got it. Hope she likes it now, I chose the red as a contrast as I know she loves flame colours. I also hope it is not just a rip off of Ruth and it has a bit of me in it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Doodle sample done!

I managed to get an hour on the machine tonight after Ellie finally gave in and went to bed. The little monster has been a pain in the butt ever since the fireworks, and she does this every year, but it has proved vocal and long winded this year.
Anyway never mind, remember my doodle for TC's Novemeber challenge. Well this is what I made with it. It is a sample for my C+G file and is a little literal but I quite like it. I used foil from Fibre in form, a great site run by Carol and Lynda, who's prompt service and constant support are a credit to them.
I covered the sheet in bondaweb and then cut the shapes in foil and then bonded them in place. I then watered down acrylic paint and washed this over. I also finished this sample from earlier having been and bought better thread for FME. I am quite pleased with this, however as I am not sure where I am going with this work I don't have that sense of satisfaction that I thought I would have. I have to make an accessory for the last unit of C+G and had thought of doing jewellery but still don't feel anymore excited about it. Haven't had the lightbulb moment yet, it will come!
Thought I would show it with the flash on to show the lovely foil!
Hope your all well and I wanted to thank you all for such lovely comments and kind words of late, I always try to get back to people personally but some people have the no-reply enabled and then I can't, so to those of you who have not had replies consider this my thanks for your words!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Alis' page for me!

I recieved my first 7 inch page for the FAF swap this week, and how lovely it is! I chose the theme of "Symptuous surfaces" for my pages and I think you'll agree that Alis has hit the nail on the head! I also stipulated that the technique the person uses should be new to them and fun! Alis used carrier bags in layers with manmade fabrics like organza. I love this page!I decided to show you the side view as it is so crunchy and yummy. There are also a lovely group of beads made from carrier bags and organza, they are so lovely. The colours are soooo me, and the project I am working on.
Thanks so much for this lovely start to my book Alis.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Shape challenge

For this months challenge on Textiles challenges I set a design based challenge, with no set outcome planned, but left up to the person taking part. I set 3 tasks that people could choose from. One of the challenges was to make something based on design shapes that recur in your work. Here are two doodles I did using shapes relating to my recent project on industry, however my favourite diamonds have come through again.
This is my attempt at another of the challenges which is to doodle all over the page and to colour in shapes that catch your eye. I think there are some interesting parts here that I could work with.
I don't know if this is going to be a success, but I am quite enjoying playing and being free with it. Even though the top two pictures look contrived in comparison to the last I didn't have my source material in front of me and I just allowed the shapes to dominate and control where i placed things, though admittedly I do have a thing about balance and symmetry! I hope others in the group are enjoying it too.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

6 Inch page swap

I decided not to miss out on FAF's page swap this time round, as I had joined too late . My first trade is with Alis and she asked for an Egyptian theme. I wanted to do something that looked as though it had just flaked off the tomb wall. So this is what I did.....I used the last of my tea dyed fabric and cut it into random sized strips. I wove the strips together and then bondawebbed it to the base. I then marked out the Egyptian woman with pencil and put a layer of organza on the top and FME'd it all. I then blasted with the heat gun and stitched by hand adding some beads. Now down the right hand side you will see that i added some colour wanting it to be like the tomb paintings, but the colour was too strong so I toned it down with white acrylic over the stitches.
Now Ellie May has not been cooperating and going to bed so well since it is so close to bonfire night and all the local thug/oh I mean children are setting off fire works ever 5 minutes! So I couldn't get on the machine this week so I hand stitched the edges and stitched on a plated cord around the top edge. I finished it off with a tag I made in the summer.
This is a little close up for you. Hope you like it Alis, I really had fun doing it. It's in the post in the morning.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Well here as promised is my next light. I have had murder with this, I thought it was going to be easy and I would just stamp as I have for other recent things and then work over with doodles. But this didn't work out, I hated the first piece you will see and so ended up colouring up another piece of lutrador and starting over just doodling this time. I used the first one as a test for making a join with the soldering iron, and it does work, but isn't great as it was really hard to hold the two pieces firmly together along the whole edge. however it has held.
Here is the printed piece.
and this the doodled piece with a metallic marker
The printed one lit up
The doodles one lit up
and finally the doodled one in the light.

I don't know, you tell me was I right to just doodle it??????????
On the off chance any UK based textiles, RM or child development teachers read this i have set up a yahoo group for DT teachers to be able to bounce ideas off of each other. Here is the link.

Monday, October 29, 2007

New Light!

A new light has come on in me this week too, I am desperately trying to catch up my design work for C+G, last unit I really let it slide (Truth be told it was the last 2 units!). So with the light I made earlier on the weekend working out quite well, I thought I might do the one for the resolved piece for my colour unit in the same method. Well, on lutrador anyway. I am not supposed to use textiles as it is for design, but I am not going to use any stitch, and am going to treat the lutrador like paper and print and doodle on it rather than stitch.I thought I would have a play with the lutrador tonight to see what I could do. I had a lot of success in soldering it together to make a join, so that will work out, but I have a back up of wiring it too. I used fine liner pens on it and crayola Metallic markers on it too. I am going in to school tomorrow to retrieve my stamps that I had taken in to show the kids, and then forgotten!Now what to put on it, this was where I had gotten lazy. This work is all based on mandala's and so as part of my book I was supposed to have looked into personal symbols and meanings for me. Now I always had this planned but hadn't been bothered to get off my butt! But then I saw Susan D's Art of textiles blog this week and she inspired me to get moving.
She had been doodling with ink and sticks, so I thought I would have a go and here is what I did. I didn't think too much about it, just tried to use things I doodle in the staff room when the Head is talking! or when I am on the phone.
Next I moved on to fine liners. In my mandala (which I have cheated and already made!) I used circles and radiating lines over woven strips. So I stared with the idea of circles.
Here are some of my favourite bits.

Thanks Susan for getting me fired up again!