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1  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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2  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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3  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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4  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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5  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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6  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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7  Another re-loved book :) in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by P_E_S_T on: June 14, 2014 01:01:20 PM
I was recently in the fairy swap, and having just finished one of my own "re-loved" books, I knew I had to make a fairy themed one for my partner. On a trip to my favourite charity shop I came across....... can you believe it !!!! an old Grimms book !!! What better book could I have discovered for this project
What is hard to see from the photos - is that I also managed to get hold of a sheet of tiny little sticky back jewels which I used throughout the book, and it met it was all sparkly :O GOOOOrgeousness.
Lots and lots of photos Smiley

Enjoy - and let me know which is your favourite Smiley

These fairy charms were rescued from an old childs bracelet (yes I found it at the charity shop) and were perfect for dangling off the edges

My favourite page......

thanks for stopping by Smiley
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8  Re: Fairy~ish Gallery in The Swap Gallery by P_E_S_T on: June 14, 2014 12:52:26 PM
Im glad you liked it all, Im posting up the pic of the other bit I sent you as it was my fave thing. Our lovely hostess, has also written a rather fabulous book. It was hard to pick just one bit to inspire me, and so I went for the opening. Though the figure is not in anyway representative of any particular character in the story - the scene is from the beginning where some rather handsome prince spies a glowing orb in the trees (represented by the clock cog) - on venturing onward - he discovers a fairy Smiley

Hope you liked it Smiley
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9  Re: Fairy~ish Gallery in The Swap Gallery by P_E_S_T on: June 11, 2014 12:06:36 PM
HA - so, I got the best package so far (well I would say that because our lovely organiser was my partner Smiley  )
This is a wonderful fairy themed package of wonderment. We both love Brian Froud and Lady cottington, and so of course my box of goodies was full of squashed, pickled and sections of fairies Smiley
First up = the most glorious pair of wings !

Now a good deal of fairy jewellery, including a little pot of pixie remnants Smiley Im imagining some horrid little child pulling those bits off like I used to with daddy long legs. (Come on - weve all done it !)

A wonderful pair of horns ! - would you ever need another pair ! apparently my son is pinching these for his next fancy dress costume

And now some gorgeous art work. The smaller pieces Im going to use in my next re-loved book and the larger piece I might use as a cover for something.

Thankyou dearest one x It was a pleasure to unwrap Smiley
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10  Incentive / wish / spirit dolls in Felting: Completed Projects by P_E_S_T on: June 11, 2014 02:54:46 AM
I recently was part of a swap that was so in keeping with me, I just had to join. It was the Spirit doll swap, as I explained to the organiser - spirit dolls, or as I call them Incentive dolls or wish dolls are something that I make often with clients (im a psychotherapist). The making of a doll can be a deeply moving experience as you are making a human form and will, inevitably project qualities of yourself on to it.
I really enjoyed making the spirit dolls I've shown here, - when I make one, I sit with the person for whom I am making it in mind. And as I work, the doll seems to take on its own personality.
Im not going to name who I made them for, as the wishes or incentives that they wanted are personal to them.

This first pair, were for someone who wanted to hold both life and death - beginnings and endings, in equal balance.
I finished the "life" piece quite easily, but as I began to form the "death" piece, it literally fell apart on me - PROCESS me thinks !!, yet instead of giving up - I "let go" of my intended form and allowed it to become. What it taught me, is that death itself has so much to do with "letting go". The space it created in falling apart a little enabled me to hang earth found objects that had "let go".

The next wish doll was for someone who's health has been something shes had to fight for, she wished for strength, and for healing and had an affiliation with turtles and the sea.
As I set about forming this doll, I also had the feeling that this doll would need to "let go" a little and so she too had an hollow bottom. This enabled me to hang from it wrapped sea glass.
For me this doll has so many hidden meanings - its colour - turquoise, represents hope. The back of the doll carries a reiki sign for strength using stitching and a spiral metal charm and also I think looks like a turtle shell. The sea glass, tumbling beneath her reminds me of how those pieces of glass have to shatter and break, then survive the tumbling of the sea before they re-remerge as the most beautiful pieces of treasure. Much like life me thinks !

Ok last set ( I promise - way too many photos but I had to share)
And these are not felted, but made using eco and upcycled fibres, as my receiver is a vegan. She has a daughter and they live very in keeping with my own family, respecting the seasons and festivals. I wanted to make her some spirit dolls that would nestle upon her alter, and so I made her a mother earth and sister moon set of dolls. These are made from old towels, old silk scarves, a little bit of fimo and finally wrapped with nettle yarn and adorned with a metal tag.

Thanks for looking - must've taken you ages to read all that Smiley
Comments always received lovingly Smiley
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