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1  A poetic Halloween neighbourhood. in Halloween Decor and Parties by P_E_S_T on: October 29, 2014 12:16:12 PM
I was so excited to see a block house swap come up, and Ive been itching to get back into paper crafting - so the halloween swap was just up my street.
In the end, I began by writing a rather spooky poem...... followed by the creation of a little neighbourhood. Each house was sent to a different partner. You will see that each partner received a different character from the poem.
The "moon", in the window which appears when you hold it up to the light, came by pure accident. I stamped and embossed onto something which we call kite paper over here - creates a rather spooky effect dont you think.
The piece was finished by tucking the poem into the door at the back which means the whole piece becomes almost like a little book when you look at the back.

Anyhow...... I will start you with the pictures and end you with the poem ...... dont get scared though mwahhahahaha

"And now for the poem Wink "
In an ancient woodland, not far from me
Lies a house thats called Chelwood thats dead as can be.
How can a house be dead you cry
Well read on dear friend and Ill tell you why..

In 1808 the master did write,
That music could be heard in the depth of the night
And though he would pace up and down on the stairs,
Nothing could be seen, nothing was there.

He ordered the priest to come and spy,
But even the church could not work out why,
The piano would play, and the gramophone sing,
The violin screeched and the doorbells would ring

In 1815 the master did write
Im going quite mad from this noise in the night.
Im sure I heard footsteps around and about,
But no one was there when I gave a shout

It was that same year that the locals do say,
The master stopped visiting in town by the day
So they sent young Gemma, a brave lass its said,
Though Im saddened to tell you that Gemma too is dead

She was found the next morning, Dead by Fears
Frozen stiff still covering her ears
And the music was calling from out of the door
And the Master was lying flat on the floor

Now, the next bit seems odd but Ive heard it tell
That over his corpse danced 4 ladies from hell
Singing and dancing and cavorting with glee
A gaggle of witches to bring sin to thee

And so it was decided, this house had to go
The priest was dragged back even though he screamed no
And in a circle round the house the villages stood
As the priest muttered words from under his hood

And as the prayer was spoken, the house did scream
Windows and doors and chimneys gave out steam
And as if with one almighty sigh
The house in front of them began to die

This house called Chelwood is a beautiful spot
Myself and my children walk there a lot
My son found a piano key just the other day
And Im sure last night I heard it play..

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2  Another re-loved book :) in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by P_E_S_T on: October 08, 2014 05:02:13 AM
I was recently paired up with Smeddley in the IYP swap, and from talking to her - I wanted to give her something really personal Smiley As I am completely addicted to finding old dust covered books and re-loving them with some art work, I chose to make another of my re-loved books.
I asked her to write down a number of scentences beginning with the words I am. ...

This is the result. Smiley

THis was an interesting page to make. As smeddley had written I am imaginative, I chose to spill a load of paint on the page and then imagine something in the paint....... the dragon appeared quite wonderfully Smiley

And of course the final bit Smiley At some point during our conversations, I discovered smeddley quite likes looking out of a window at a cool fall day. I just knew I had to make her a window to look out of Smiley

Im not an artist, by any means. The paintings are nave, but these re-loved books are really a space I pour my heart into.
Comments always welcome Smiley
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3  "the bird collector" a trilogy in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by P_E_S_T on: October 05, 2014 04:19:52 AM
I was recently paired up with ArtsyCandice in the IYP, and was taken with an idea from the moment I read her questionnaire. She mentioned that she had a rather wondrous hobby of collecting bird skeletons............ In my mind flashed a memory of a documentary I had watched where elephants, on coming across the skeletons of their dead, turn the bones over and over in their trunks as if they are receiving stories from their ancestral trails.
I was taken to write a poem, and from there came a felt sculpt and a drawing. They are a group of pieces, and I cant even bear to split them up on here.
Please enjoy my little trilogy..

The poem reads......

Caressing the bleached white memories,
the bird collector smiles.
A new ancestral song winds its way though
ancient pathways to her soul.
Where bones grow wings,
and skulls reclaim sight.

This bird collector is like no other,
she does not cage the free.
Nor gather still, silent frames.
Instead she seduces the spirits of
winged folk,
calls them into her being
and awakens a new breath within.

Thanks lovelies for browsing
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4  Re: IYP 26: So you think you can craft! Gallery in The Swap Gallery by P_E_S_T on: October 05, 2014 04:10:15 AM
Finally, I have some time and space to share a wonderful COUPLE (yes that's 2) lovely parcels. I joined a threesome (all the puns intended) with ArtsyCandice and Smeddley, and they both spoiled me in the most wonderful ways.
I feel truly goddessed Smiley You will see why Wink

Both parcels arrived on the same day and so it was like Christmas tearing open my parcels..

First from Smeddley....

These are to add to my crochet bunting Smiley

My first hoopla Smiley SQUUUUEALLLS with delight

You have no idea how gorgeous this little mini matchbox house frame is - I just love it and am going to hang it somewhere secret in my house for people to discover

So..... Now onto my lovely parcel from ArtsyCandice

I have the most beautiful place for this lovely feather artwork

Squuuuueeeeeeeeeels at this teeny goddess brooch

So little story about this........ artsycandice gave me permission to photocopy some of the gorgeous "colouring in goddesses" that she has drawn in here. And yesterday at my womens group (Im a psychotherapist and facilitate womens groups), One of my lovely ladies who was deeply in grief, was sat in a circle of women colouring one of these in. It was a profoundly beautiful moment and she gets to take away a wonderful colourful memory

IN LOVE with this book !!!!

This gorgeous wall hanging is pride of place in my barn

Girls, you captured so many aspects of me in these wonderful boxes. Opening them was truly wonderful and demonstrated that you both crafted from your heart, what else could I ask for.
thankyou and blessings to you both x
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5  Gathering apron for Allotmentessess :) in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by P_E_S_T on: August 06, 2014 08:26:36 AM

I was recently in the Hippy swap, and my partner had requested a Gathering Apron as she has recently started growing her own veggies.
Having never heard of one before, I scoured the internet and my own allotment needs and came up with this idea Smiley
Id also like you all to hold in mind (no envy please Smiley ) that whilst coming up for ideas for this swap I was away in France, camping in my very secluded mountain top field. I think the design bears the influence of my time, and the fabric and lace was bought from the market there.

So the difference between an apron and a gathering apron, is its usefulness in carrying home your produce ! I made this possible, by stitching across the middle width of the apron to create an easy fold, and then using my favourite snap machine to place snap fasteners all around the outside so that you can turn the apron into a more hardy gathering accessory.

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6  Pic heavy tutorial, sewing machine meets soldering iron :) in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by P_E_S_T on: July 31, 2014 02:16:58 PM
I was recently in the fabric journal swap, which I joined with every intention of testing out a method of sewing art which a friend talked to me about ages ago.

It has been an amazingly beautiful method to play with - and I wanted to share it with you so that you can have a go.

I apologise in advance for the huge amount of photos but it is far easier to explain visually don't you think Smiley

Firstly......here is a fairy themed piece I made for sharalee

And now the how to.......
So firstly heres what you are going to need.
A sewing machine with the ability to use a free motion function, a free motion foot, some organza fabric in different shades, some sateen (make sure you test its burn factor, to assess take a small bit and try to light it with a match - if it melts easily then you cant use it). A backing piece of fabric (this can be anything - your not going to see it) sissors and cotton (a main colour and a black) a soldering iron, some decorative bits (buttons, jewels etc)

So to begin you need to cut out bits of sateen and layer up onto your backing fabric. This can be as random as you like.

Then take sections of organza and layer up again. You will have fun doing this and seeing the different shades you can make. It reminds of tissue paper or water colour painting

Pin up round the outside. Notice how blocky this looks at the moment (wait for the magic)

Ok now we are going to talk machines and the importance of having a free quilting function. WHen you free quilt you need to be able to turn off / lower your tracks. This is so that you can be in control of the fabric.

and OFF  notice that I have also attatched my free motion foot and I have chosen a stitch where the needle position stays central.

So now we have our machine up and ready, lets secure all that fabric down by hemming round the outside using your colour thread

Ok, now you can trip off all the floaty bits. If I was you, I would leave a little border in case you want to use your piece later on and need to turn the edges. Keep your trimmed organza !!!!
Once you are all trimmed we can think about design. Now Im liking doing silhouettes at the mo, but Ive also done some very simple applique work. Whatever you do - draw out your design on some plain paper first and then draw onto the BACK of your piece.

Back to your machine, and with the BACK facing up, and using a black thread - use your machine to "draw around the outline". In my honest opinion when you are free motion stitching - the faster you can get your needle going up and down - the better. THIS DOES NOT MEAN you have to move fast, in fact go as slow as you like as there are no treads controlling you, but the faster needle speed means that you get nice curves and no big long stitches.

Now when you turn your piece up the right way, you can clearly see where your main picture is going to go, and where you can avoid in the next stage

Back to your pen and paper, and this is just to get you to practise "drawing free hand", create a relationship between your hands, your eyes and free and easy swirls and closed shapes. It is really important that you have a good few closed spaces of varying sizes - all will become obvious later on.

Over to your machine - and PLAY !!!, get the colour thread on and just go for it, all over the place. Doodle till the cows come home, and having outlined your main silhouette - you know exactly where not to go. You will notice after a while that as the swirls and doodles force the fabrics to lie closer together - the blending starts to happen and it all gets a little magic (see I said there was magic)

NOw we can do some scribbling. Your going to use your needle like you would a pen and literally scribble into your silhouette using the black thread

Coming on huh !!!

Now remember those bits of trimmed organza, Im going to use them and a little bit of patterned fabric to make my wing. These little floaty bits of fabric provide interesting movement to your final piece. They could be tails, curtains, rainbows..... oh Ill let you tell me what you make . Can you see ive used the same scribble method to sew the wing down

Right - Sewing machine can go away Smiley go have a cup of tea and a slice of cake and raid your husbands shed for the soldering iron Smiley
Now these things get seriously hot - and each one is different. I start by heating mine up to its hottest and then adjusting it as I go. Basically you want it to melt the organza, not set fire to the whole thing, and preferably not burn holes through the whole piece.
This is where it will have really paid off for you to test your Sateen, as if it is burnable you are going to be hugely disappointed Sad SO CHECK IT RIGHT xxx

What you want to try to do, is use your soldering iron a little bit like a pencil, and "draw" around the inside edge of all of your "closed shapes" which you made in the colour thread. After each one, use your nail or a pair of tweezers to lift up the organza bits from the centre of the shapes and pull it away. This is seriously addictive and makes me go ooooo and ahhhh every time.

Now I could stop there and show you where weve got to - but hold your suspense people !!!
I managed to find a rather fabulous machine in ALDI (do you have that in the states ?) Anyhow it is like a soldering iron but you use it to press gemstones into fabric. Essentially it heats up the stone, melting the glue on the reverse so that it sticks to the fabric. But if you don't have one of those, you could always use a little super glue. So...... get bedazzling !

And with a twingling button eye - my piece is complete Smiley

Below are the fabric journal pieces I made for the swap. I would love love love to hear if you play with this technique - please post your photos in the thread and let me see Smiley

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7  Re: Fabric Art Journal Pages Swap RD 3 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by P_E_S_T on: July 30, 2014 08:44:02 AM
What a wonderful morning Smiley The postman brought me parcels from both my partners. Im so so so so happy with my first journal pages.
I don't have any at the moment, and instead of putting them into a "book", Im going to start collecting them (yes Im so in the next swaps) and in the end I will sew them all together and make a wall hanging.
Sharalee, in answer to the question you posed in your letter - Im currently putting together a photo tutorial for the soldering iron technique I used..... so keep your eyes posted Smiley
Abeeroad went with my four seasons theme and "woman" theme. And sent me two lovely pieces. I cannot believe the amount of time taken in popping all those little French knots for the leaves. I love it so much x

Sharelee went with my four elements theme Smiley and also made me a lovely little purse with some beaded safety pins for me to make up. Sharelee, I have often looked at the TM patches with wonder, and you made me a piece inspired by those ! - I love it so much.

Thank you so much lovely ladies......... Now ..... when is the next round Wink Please prompt me if I don't see it x
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8  Re: Hippy Swap Round 9 (SU 06/02/14-06/23/14 SO 07/31/14) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by P_E_S_T on: July 22, 2014 07:52:54 AM
Driving back home from my wonderful French retreat. Thought I would share some of my findings from the local flea/charity shop. Actually it was more like a warehouse !
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9  Re: Hippy Swap Round 9 (SU 06/02/14-06/23/14 SO 07/31/14) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by P_E_S_T on: July 07, 2014 09:44:13 AM
Just had to share this afternoons gatherings with my fellow hippyesque compadres Smiley xx
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10  Fairy shrine from an old clock in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by P_E_S_T on: June 14, 2014 01:07:39 PM
I was recently partnered up with a wonderful young woman LAFAiry, in the fairy swap. She has written a really good fairy story and I was lucky enough to read it.
I wanted it to inspire a piece of craft for her, and though the fairy is not from any particular character in the book - this piece resembles the opening chapter.

Cue handsome prince riding through the woods, who spots a glowing light in the distance (I used the old part of a clock cog), On venturing further into the woods - he comes across the lights source, a fairy.......

Comments always welcome Smiley Hope you enjoy her. She is made from a really old clock surround, parts of the clock itself, wet felting and polymer clay. Her wings are ironed bubble wrap

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