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Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Projects

A pincushion cuff I made for a swap recently.

Here it is modelled by "Thing", which is a really creepy dummy hand that I use to take pics of mitts, gloves, etc, and now it's obliging me with cuff modelling. Thank you, Thing! Remember tha Adams Family?

Another foiling project. This is a pen tub that I made out of a piece of cardboard mailing tube. The base is a circle of card with a thin bangle glued around the edge to hold it in place.

Birdhouse embroidery on paper

A couple of summer bracelets. I sent one of them for a swap and kept the other but I can't say which one as the recipient hasn't received it yet!

And I got to know my Bernina Embroidery Module a little better. I love it. One of the things it can do is to make lace motifs. You just have to thread it with some pretty thread. I used this one.

Hoop up with some soluble stabiliser and fit the hoop. Program the machine to stitch out a design that will work for lace (I chose a butterfly) and I programmed it to stitch in a couple of sizes and pressed start. Then I went and had a cup of tea and came back to find my butterflies all sewn out. I took it out of the hoop, tore away the excess stabiliser and then held the motifs under cold running water for a while. Tada, lace butterflies! I think I might make a choker type necklace with one of them.

Lastly, I've been making Tandletons - TA (Tatted), NDLE (Needle Lace), TONS (buttons). First, you make the bases with Hanah Silk Bias ribbon.

Then you decorate them. You can use traditional embroidery stitches, ribbon embroidery, needle lace, tatting, beading, etc. I've finished four up to now.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Printing on Fabric and Image Transfers

I often find an interesting image that I would like to either put onto fabric or use on paper or card without either just printing it directly onto the paper or collaging it. In the first case, I've used those special fabric sheets that you can buy to go through your inkjet printer but those work out very expensive so I've also used my own fabric ironed onto freezer paper and put that through my printer in an effort to economise. With this more economical method, I've found that the results are very much affected by the quality and type of fabric used. One obvious example is, if you use a fabric with a very open weave, you will not get a very good image. I used the printing on fabric method for my Pink Lady and Sepia Lady fabric postcards which you can see here.

Recently, I've been experimenting a bit with transfers. There are many ways of transferring and, depending on the medium used, you get a different result but, generally, the transer images will not be as sharp as those printed directly through a printer. You can, however, get a more 'arty' look with transfers. It all depends on what sort of effect you want to create.

Some examples of various mediums that can be used to transfer images onto paper or fabric are gel medium, Citra Solv and Pinesol. I had tried transferring with gel medium onto Lutrudur for this project but had not tried the Citra Solv or Pinesol. A search for a Citra Solv UK stockist unearthed this supplier but they don't have the Citra Solv concentrate which appears to be the product used for transfers. As I haven't been able to find a UK stockist for Pinesol either and the thing that these two products seemed to have in common was that they had a high concentration of citrus in them, I decided to see if the general purpose lemon cleaner that I use in my kitchen would work. So, a little while ago, I tried transferring some images for ATCs onto card with my general purpose lemon cleaner and it worked! These are the results I got.

I did try on fabric too and got a more blurry image. I like the effect of the general purpose lemon cleaner transfer on card. It gives a sort of grainy, aged look.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What I've Been Up To

It's so easy to get behind with blogging but, because I've kept this blog going for so long, I feel it's a shame not to keep it up. I find that the longer I leave it, the more onerous a task it seems to be so I'm just going to get on with it, Please expect a long and photo heavy post and, if you make it to the end, you deserve a trophy! LOL

This is a bird's nest necklace made from wire and beads that I was inspired to make by a charm I received in a swap a while ago. I didn't have the right gauge wire so it turned out a bit bigger than the one I got in the swap and I would have preferred to do it in copper rather than silver but didn't have copper. Oh, well, at least I had a go at wire wrapping the nest.

A Marilyn button fairy.

I've been experimenting with different fairy wings.

The top ones are made from fantasy film that has been stamped and then ironed. The middle ones are vellum with butterfly wing peel offs stuck on and then cut around and the bottom ones are printed with an inkjet printer on transparency.

The bottom wings in the photo above are just cut out of glittery paper. There are loads of different ways of making fairy wings and these are just a few of them.

More ATCs. This one features grungeboard letters on foiled and painted Vilene.

I made this set of seven teabag folding ATCs below for a swap I'm taking part in. I decided to try teabag folding and it seemed a good idea to make some of them into ATCs. I stamped a script stamp with Versamark and then embossed with tinsel gold embossing powder and then I used joss papers at the sides. Six were for the swap and I kept one for my personal collection.

Then I made some more and used them on greetings cards.

This one uses the pentagon fold.

Finally, some more that haven't found their way onto ATCs or cards yet.

Now for general greetings cards that I've made. The first one is a fox side stacker easel card.

A squirrel twisted pyramage.

A layered card on acetate.

And a card that I made using one of the captured flowers ATCs I did and a polymer clay butterfly.

Then I had a go at making some Kanzashi flowers. A friend of mine bought me the book "Kanzashi in Bloom" a while ago and I've been meaning to try them for ages. They were fun and satisfying to make.

Then it was back to the cardmaking with a butterfly easel card.

And my first try at decoupage.

A couple of ATCs on which I tried a new (for me) background technique using embossed wax paper as a resist. On the first one, I also overlapped some mica tiles to resemble cracked ice.

After that I wanted to try foiling so I went into foiling mode and, first, made this journal cover.

Then I used the foiling to alter an altoids tin.

This is what it looks like inside.

I decided not to make it into one of those really arty shrine type tins as I actually want to use this one to hold things.

I also made a journal page with the foiling. This is for a swap.

Lastly, here's another journal page in which I photoshopped a pic that I took on Deal pier last year and a custom image of a girl with a balloon from Deviant Art. I like the contrast of the two images and the surreal feel of it.

Well, I think that's me for now! Phew!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Book Page Blooms Tutorial

I've been making flowers out of book pages lately. Here are some pics of some of them.

They are all made from book pages except the bottom one in the second pic on which I used the same method but with scrapbook paper.

First, cut 10 to 20 squares from book pages.

They don't need to be absolutely perfect squares but get them as close to squares as you possibly can. The size of your square is obviously going to dictate the size of your flower. I suggest you start with about three inch squares for your first flower until you get what you're doing, then do whatever size you like.

Take a square and fold it in half diagonally. Fold it diagonally again. Then take the flap of the triangle on the right side and fold it over to the left so it looks like this.

Turn the piece over and fold the left layer over to the right. Let it open up and you'll have a piece that looks like this.

Close it up again. Find the point that has no open edges because this is the tip that you will sew through and which will hold the whole thing together. Hold that tip (this is shown at the bottom of the piece in the following photo) and cut a curve across the top. You can do this by eye but I've marked with a pen in the photo below approximately where you need to cut for ease of reference. Please note that you need to cut through all the layers.

Once you've cut it, mark your piece with a cross as you're not going to use this one as an actual petal but rather as a guide to where to cut all the other petals.

Now, start to make your petals proper. Take a square, fold it into a triangle, etc, etc, as above and when you come to the cutting part, just place the first one you did with the cross on over the top of the petal you're working on, line it up and use it as a guide to cut the curve so that they will all look the same.

I've been using eighteen to twenty petals on my book page blooms but, for this one, I'm just going to use twelve petals and see how it looks. Once you have the number of petals you've decided to use, thread a needle with some strong thread. I used six-stranded embroidery thread and just separated out two strands of it and used that. Make a knot in your thread and start threading on the petals by going through the tip of each petal like this.

It's important to make sure that you actually pass the needle through all layers when you sew through the tip.

You don't need to thread the petals right down to the knot. That's just there to make sure if you do, the petals you've already threaded don't come off. Here I have about five or six petals threaded. You can see how it's beginning to fan out into a nice round flower shape.

Now, I've threaded on all twelve of my petals.

At this point, remove the needle and make sure that the petals are all lined up and none have got caught inside the other, then pull both ends of the thread until the flower is as tight as you would like it in the centre. Next tie a surgeon's knot. That's just an overhand knot but you pass the thread through the middle a second time before pulling tight. I then usually do a reef knot on top of that just to make sure it stays secure. Trim the ends.

Decide which is the top and which is the bottom. Have the bottom facing upwards as now you need something to stick on the bottom to stabilise it. I used some round wooden toy parts that I normally use as button blanks but you could use a circle of sturdy cardboard or chipboard or whatever. Glue your circle onto the bottom of your flower.

Once the glue is dry, turn the flower over so the top is facing you as it's now time to decide what to put in the middle on top of your flower. How tight you pulled the threads will dictate how big the hole is in the middle of your flower and hence whether you use a bead or a button in the centre. In this flower, I have quite a small hole so I will use a bead. Tada, another book page flower!

Try them with recycled newspaper, recycled gift wrap, recycled magazines, several layers of tissue, crepe paper, oddments of scrapbook paper, whatever. Note, that if the paper is relatively heavy, it's a bit difficult to keep the petals aligned. This happened with the one I made with scrapbook paper so I ended up gluing the petals together across the whole edge of each one rather than sewing them at the points. I only used ten petals for the one I made with scrapbook paper as that's all it really needed with the thick paper. You can also use fabric but you have the raw edges showing where you've cut the curve and, although you can singe the ends to stop any further fraying, I, personally, don't like this look.

If you let the petals go all higgledy piggledy when you pull rather than lining them up, you will end up with a ruffle flower. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions!