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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Kantha stitched Bird Danglies on: May 16, 2015 01:50:38 PM
I was recently in the bird swap, and it was an ideal opportunity to make something inspired by Kantha stitching.
Kantha, is a very easy form of sewing, and is essentially rows and rows of little running stitches. By putting them in different directions you can create a lot of texture.
You tend to use kantha with a "sandwich" of fabric, your top layer, a thick wedge layer and then your backing. This density means your stitches also pull the fabic in, and - in the case of these little tiny art pieces - kantha-ring around the bird has meant that the bird "pads" out.

You can see the Kantha stitching better in this picture. Yummy textures all created with the simple running stitch

These two pieces were a king fisher and a sissor-tailed flycatcher. I have a dear friend who does metal stamping and I had her stamp some little tags with the words "King" and "fisher", and I found an old necklace in a thrift store with a fish on it that was just perfect for one. Then the words "sissor" and "tailed" for the flycatcher.

I hung them from one of my handmade beads - which are all made from scraps, scrap fabrics and scrap beads re-purposed from unwanted jewellery.

The whole thing was then bordered with some long recycled sari ribbon which I have donated to me from my lovely friend in India who runs a womens refuge. There, they take old saris and turn them into yarn and long ribbons. I get all the off cuts that even they cant use Smiley

I really enjoyed doing these pieces, and will most certainly be making some more. Kantha works wonders on small spaces Smiley

2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects / Indian vase from scraps on: May 09, 2015 10:58:42 PM
Oh I love playing with scraps. and this project was no exception. SOme of you will have seen from a post earlier this year, that I have a barn where amongst many things - I run a group for Upcycling crafts.
This project came from scouring the net for ideas as to what to do with all the scraps, from the scraps !!!

I have a lovely lady, who runs a womens refuge in India. In order to raise funds, they repurpose old saris into yarn and silk ribbons.  She often sends me bags of the bits even they cant use.

I watched this tutorial on you tube for some inspiration and just played and played.

Essentially, you need to get a little basket by your machine and start saving everything. The threads you cut off, the little shreads you trip. The ends of ribbon that you would normally chuck. Save it all.
Then iron it all onto fusable lining. Just group it in random patterns and iron it all on.
Then, lay a piece of cheap organza over the top. It needs to be the cheap stuff NOT silk organza, as you need to be able to burn it.

Take your sewing machine and use every single stitch pattern you have to create lines and lines of funky patterns.

Finally, grab your heat tool and melt away the organza. You are left with little patches of it here and there, which personally I love - but you could go overboard and melt it all if you need to.

you end up with a piece of fabric that you can do lovely things with. Im seeing bags, and boxes emerging !
cut mine out into a simple box shape, embellished it with seed beads and then lined it, to make this holder for crochet hooks and knitting needles.

Amazing what you can reclaim from your bin isnt it Smiley
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Fairy garden accessories on: May 09, 2015 10:47:15 PM
Oh I just love fairies, and I love stalking craftster partners. And when you can stalk craftster partners and you end up with fairies - Well, its just the best day ever !
My latest swappee was a newbie in the yarnies v sewers swap, and when I read that she would like (in the future) to have a little spot for fairies in her garden. I just knew I had to make some accessories.
Cue me on complete fairy overload Smiley

First off, some spare wings, they do get torn so easily. these are made using a new technique Ive learnt. I love love love free motion stitching, and when you combine it with some soluble fabric and organza, you end up with a stiff product that could be wings, leaves etc etc.

Then I decided to felt the fairies some hats - You know, just in case they wanted a day out

Of course it wouldnt be faery ville without mushrooms. And these little toadstool cushions, I hope will soften the load on any fairy bottom

A little bunting perhaps for a fairy party ?

And finally, a little wittling and a couple of prop sticks from which to hang the bunting, or the fairy wing washing line

There are no words to express how much I loved making this little set Smiley
4  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects / Pillow art :) on: May 09, 2015 10:39:50 PM
I was recently paired up with a newbie craftster in the sewing v yarnie swap. and as you all know, i do love to spoil - especially newbies !!!
She is a lovely lady and has a 3 year old daughter who I just knew I wanted to work into this swap. I asked my partner to get her daughter to draw me a self portrait and a picture of her family.

With a little bit of artistic license, I used my free motion quilting foot and a plethera of scraps to make these cushions Smiley

Here is the self portrait in its original form.....

and the pillow that matches

You can see that I turned a couple of the block scribbles into a chicken and a crown

and here is the original family portrait

and once again, my take on this Smiley

I just loved making these, I hope you like them x
5  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Cooking on a wood burner ? on: March 25, 2015 10:36:38 AM
Ok folks, I want to do se polymer with my craft group this weekend - slight problem is my only heat source is my wood burner. It's obviously too hot inside (open fire) but do you reckon if I put two foil tins and sealed them together on the top - it would bake ok ?
Anybody ever cooked polymer on a wood stove before ?
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / felted knitted bowls (with link to pattern) on: December 28, 2014 06:12:15 AM
Oh you guys are going to love me.
If you havent experienced the joy of knitting something and then felting it - you truly have not lived.
This pattern is so very simple, and produces the most lovely bowls.
Id love to see your colour combos

7  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Photo transfers with a bit of free quilting on: December 28, 2014 06:08:15 AM
OHHHHH I looooved making these.
When I begged to be paired up with Artsy Candice for the Stocking swap, I just knew I wanted to incorporate some of my fungus photos into a piece of art for her. (she shares a love of the wilderness)
I have been meaning to try out the whole freezer paper thing for a while. And so this seemed the ideal time.

Firstly I printed off the images onto some thick muslin backed with freezer paper. Then I backed them with batting and another layer of muslin. THen I free quilted into various sections.

Strung up with some of my friends nettle yarn, and then fringed with even more nettle yarn and various beads. I actually fell in love with this as it grew. Let me know what you think

8  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Felted painting pots on: December 28, 2014 06:03:30 AM
Ever year my family and I travel to a rural part of France where we spend 3 weeks soaking up some sun and walking through deserted mountains and farm land.
On one such walk, at the foot of drive way we came accross the bins from a local dairy. Next to one bin was a box full of beautifully simple little clay pots. Much to my husbands dismay, I collected half of the box and bought them home.
All cleaned up, they make the most lovely little watercolour paint pots. As soon as I saw them however, I knew I wanted to do something else to them.
Its such a simple little project, but i just wet felted all over them. Cut off the top and hemmed it with a blanket stitch. I LURRRVE these. And much as these ones got sent for a swap, I have made so many more
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Felt embroidered cuff on: December 28, 2014 05:59:57 AM
I begged to be paired up with the lovely Artsy Candice again for the recent stocking swap, and I had a lot of fun trying to think what to do.
She had a number of felt cuffs posted on her pinterest and so I had a go.......... let me know what you think x

10  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / A poetic Halloween neighbourhood. 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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