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1  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 ?
2  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





http://www.heavydutydesign.com/alicethelma/2009/03/free-pattern-felted-nesting-bowls/
3  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


4  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
5  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


6  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..

7  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Another re-loved book :) 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
8  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / "the bird collector" a trilogy 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
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Gathering apron for Allotmentessess :) 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.



10  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Pic heavy tutorial, sewing machine meets soldering iron :) 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.
ON.....

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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