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41  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Fabric Art Journal Pages Swap RD 3 GALLERY on: July 27, 2014 08:59:48 AM
Are those tiny bugle beads as leaves on the Winter tree? Brilliant!!!

Here's another shot of the "Dawn Chorus" page, that shows the colours a bit better:

And now I'm worried that fancybutch's envelope hasn't arrived yet. Of all the ones to go wrong. Angry

42  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Vintage Craft Projects / Diamond Dye Rug Book 1899 on: July 25, 2014 06:38:28 PM
I bought this lovely little booklet yesterday at a used bookstore (for $2!). It's a catalogue of hooked rug patterns from the Diamond Dye Company in Montreal, dated 1899. The book is in astoundingly good condition for 115 years old - it could be brand new, except that the paper is a bit yellowed.

"The colored plates shown on outside and inside covers and throughout this book are the richest and most novel designs for Rugs and Mats ever placed before the ladies of Canada. The designs for working up are on a special quality of Hessian  manufactured for us in Scotland. These Hessian designs are artistically colored, corresponding with the plates in this book, and are ready for hooking." (Hessian is what we would call burlap today.)

I thought I'd share these great Victorian images. They seem quintessentially Canadian, and not only because of the snowshoes and toboggan designs!

If anyone wants to use one of these designs for a craft project, contact me and I'll send you a higher-quality scan.

43  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Fabric Art Journal Pages Swap RD 3 GALLERY on: July 24, 2014 06:23:48 PM
I debated doing some decorative stitching or ribbon around the aida piece but in the end just liked it as simple and clean as possible.

I know it's just my laziness, but I usually opt for simple and clean. It always seems to be the right choice!

And Angielou, I have to admit I like the BACK of your batik page even more than the front. Maybe it's the simple, clean thing again, but it really makes those shapes seem so mysterious!

44  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Fabric Art Journal Pages Swap RD 3 GALLERY on: July 23, 2014 08:22:33 AM
One the things to look forward to when I got home after my vacation was a pile of great pages waiting in the Gallery, and I wasn't disappointed! It's mean to pick favourites, but I have to admit I especially love P_E_S_T's work because of the tight, scribbly machine stitching. That is exactly what I'd love to do, but it always comes out looser and sloppier when I do it. Practice, practice, practice. Tongue

The other treat that awaited me at home, of course, was the amazing page that fancybutch sent me. It was only coming from across town, so it got here quickly.

I think I said I love being surprised, and she sure did surprise me! This luxurious rectangle of felt is the thickness of a pancake, and as soft as a puppy. The stitching on the Aida cloth is so fine it almost disappears. I had to take a photo of the back too, as it's completely different from the front:

I hope you were half as pleased with it as I am, Robin. It's a fabulous thing!

45  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Fabric Art Journal Pages Swap RD 3 Send out July 22 on: July 23, 2014 01:52:53 AM
Hey, everybody! I'm back from my vacation, and although my ambitious plans for crafting while away didn't work out (even though - or perhaps  because - almost all the people I spent time with were artists), I managed to get the remaining work on Smmarrt's page done when I returned, and then conceived, started, abandoned, agonized over and finally completed Fancybutch's page in only 24 hours. All three pages went out on time yesterday.

When I got home, an amazing page from Fancybutch was waiting for me. I'll post photos in the Gallery very shortly.

I was visiting friends and family in British Columbia, and got to visit my favourite store in Vancouver, Maiwa Supply on Granville Island. Maiwa is worth crossing the continent for, and I never ever visit without buying more than I intended (or can afford) and regretting so much more that I haven't been able to take. This time it was mostly hand-dyed embroidery thread (for some reason I simply can't find perle cotton here in Toronto), some cochineal dye, and a handful of bits and pieces. Next door at the Silk Weaving Studio, I got more embroidery thread (hand-dyed silk this time) and went weak in the knees handling some of the fabrics. But my suitcase was already full, so I resisted buying any, as I somehow also managed to do at the Cloth Shop. I wish Toronto had a store full of wonderful quilting fabrics like this. But then, perhaps my stash is better off for having it remain so far away!

At a wonderful flea market in Victoria, I bought a few pieces of Japanese textiles (including some of the most amazing embroidery I've ever seen) and a box of antique sewing needles. I somehow managed to pass up an entire suitcase full of antique lace, even when it was pointed out that if I bought the suitcase too, it would be quite convenient to take home! And then the day I left, I found a huge stash of good DMC floss at a favourite thrift shop in Kamloops. I didn't buy it all, but that's as far as my resistance went. After all, everybody needs more embroidery thread, don't they?

A good trip made even better by some excellent craft shopping!


46  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Fabric Art Journal Pages Swap RD 3 Send out July 22 on: July 15, 2014 08:49:38 AM
Oh dear. Five days into the vacation, and so far I've only had time for about a half-hour of stitching. Laughing, eating, telling stories, shopping and seeing cool stuff is taking up too much time!

47  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Fabric Art Journal Pages Swap RD 3 Send out July 22 on: July 09, 2014 09:11:28 AM
I'm leaving tomorrow for ten days vacation, and still haven't finished. Embarrassed I have goatgoddess's page 99% done, but won't get it in the mail before I leave. Smmarrt's is about 70%, and looking terrific, but that's because I've opted for a rather labour-intensive technique. My original idea of fancybutch's page was a wash-out, and I haven't got back to it yet. So I'll be taking all three with me and finishing/mailing them from the West Coast. (Well, probably I'll bring fancybutch's back to mail here, as it would be absurd to send it all the way across the country since she and I live in the same city!)

48  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Sewing Table gets a new life on: July 09, 2014 09:05:01 AM
That IS smart! My cabinet has exactly the same problem - not that I can't fit my knees under it, but that the thread holders on the inside of the doors won't fit under the skirt when they have thread on them. Angry I have to admit I never thought of simply cutting the skirt higher! It's only that deep to hide the machine when it's folded in, but I almost never fold mine away and I wouldn't care anyway.

49  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Spoolie Pincushion Queen Reigns on: July 02, 2014 05:39:41 PM
Okay, she's brilliant (but she would be, wouldn't she?), but I want to hear more about the sewing machine table. How exactly did cutting out such small wooden circles give you more knee room? And why did you have to shorten it for your new machine? Do you have before and after photos?

50  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Fabric Art Journal Pages Swap RD 3 Send out July 22 on: July 01, 2014 04:54:59 PM
Why do things never come out the way they looked in my mind? I wish I had some kind of mental 3-D printer that would just re-create what I imagine instead of my having to try to make it out of real materials. Almost always a disappointment. Of course the final result is often better than I thought it was going to be, but it's still never quite that original Platonic item that first existed at the back of my mind.

That being said, this level of griping indicates that I am finally attaching bits of fabric to each other, with so far uninspiring results.

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