Sunday, 21 December 2008

Birds Birds Birds

Had fun making these birds from felt that had been painted with gold acrylic and embellished with stitching. Some of the beads are had made paper beads and the tassel is felt, ribbon, cord with lots of 'found' treasure attached, keys, shells, charms etc.

Monday, 1 December 2008

'Tis the season to be jolly.......

A little wall hanging for the Christmas Season......

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Golden Years Remembered

Last November my lovely Mum & Dad celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary, something which, a few years ago we didn't think they would achieve as my dad was seriously ill. My sister and I gathered family and friends together for a surprise party to celebrate the occasion.

Since then I have been working on a book, filled with pictures of the evening and a poem that my sister and I wrote for mum & dad. Something that they can pick up and put down to remind them of the fantastic evening we all had!

Front cover of the book. This is mount board covered with hand made paper.

The inner pages were made using silk in various shades of gold and cream. Each Photo was mounted onto a tag made of decorative card with ribbon down the middle The picture was then mounted onto the ribbon. Each photo tag sits in its own little pocket made of parchment paper and edged with tea dyed rick-rack.

Each photo has a ribbon running from it to the top corner and is linked to the next one by a heart charm.

The poem is on deckle edged card which has a gold edge. The poem was read out on the evening and culminates in the toast to mum & dad, there was not a dry eye in the house!

It was an evening of love and laughter and Mum & Dad were 'toasted' with much cheering and handclapping. A memorable evening for everyone!

Monday, 10 November 2008

A Little Somthing for a Friend

Here is a little 'something' I made for a friends birthday. She always has loads of bits of paper around that the writes her shopping lists, to do lists etc on so I decided to make a her a book with laminated pages. That way she can keep her lists all in one place!

The cover was made by stamping a leaf and flower design onto some pale lilac fabric using fabric paints. It was then layered up and I quilted round the flowers and leaves and added some shadow quilted flowers.

The inner pages were made by laminating pretty notepaper, so are wipe clean. The pages were sewn onto fabric windows....very tricky as the laminated paper is very slippy!

There are four laminated pages in total.

The cover of the book with the finished stitching.

The inside of the front cover.

Lastly I made a tie with some very thin dusky pink and grey ribbon with added beads.

Happy Birthday My Friend x

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Faerie Bag

I'm off to Ireland shortly to visit with my family. Whilst I'm there my cousins daughter will be celebrating her 6th birthday. Well you can't go to a party empty handed so I made her a faerie bag. Hopefully I will be able to find a little faerie book to put inside it too before I go.

The bags itself was made from a woolen blanket that I had felted and dyed, and is lined with cotton fabric. The faerie was taken from Jillian Sawyers book 'Faerie Lights'. The bottom of the bag has boxed corners to give it a square shape base.

The tag was made from felt, I made a silver cord to attach it to the bag and added some sparkly buttons, a star and a butterfly to the bottom before attaching it to the bag handle.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Creativity, Fun & Laughter

Have just had a fabulous fun filled weekend with Dot and two lovely ladies, Maggie & Linda that we meet at Beer Quilters Retreat earlier on in the year. On the menu was burning using a soldering iron and heat gun, free machine bowls, laughter and chit chat!

I made this book cover ( using Anette Emms technique ) by layering felt, a piece of rust dyed fabric, strips of lace, newspaper ( tea dyed) foils and old sheet music & covering the whole lot with a piece of sheer. I then free machined into it using tree bark as my inspiration. Once I was happy with the overall appearance I then burnt into it using a hot air gun. Finally I applied markel stick to the areas i had burnt away. Lastly I added a a silk band with free machined leaves on it so the book could be closed securely............what am I putting in recipes!

I really enjoy building up 'fabrics' to use as the basis for this sort of project, may have to do a few more!

I also made a cover for next years is made using free hand cut curves ( Alicia Merritt) so I was able to show Linda & Maggie how to do this simple but effective technique. It has simple felt machine appliqued flowers on it.

Lastly we had a go at making bowls. This is a fab way to use up all those little scraps of fabric and thread that have been cut off. Chop all the bits up and sandwich between water soluble fabric. Free machine into it and then place it in water long enough for the fabric to dissolve away but not to wash out completely. You need the stickiness to give the bowl shape. Place the piece over a bowl or similar to give its shape and allow to dry.

Once dry beads, feet, silk rods etc can be added.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


I have just spent a wonderful week in Devon with a very special like minded friend. We had a fab time making a mess ( me more than her) with screen printing, mono printing, laminating and printing using all sorts of blocks, both home made and bought. I am really pleased with the fruits of my labours!

I bought Ruth Issetts book Print, Pattern & Colour at the Birmingham Quilt Show and have been devouring it over breakfast for the past couple of weeks. These are my completed pieces. I really enjoyed this method of printing and adding colour and could have happily carried on for ever, or until I ran out of fabric!

This is the book cover I made to go over one of my sketchbooks with one of the pieces of fabric. I had quilted it previous to stamping and dying it so see what difference it made using Ruth's technique. It worked just as well either way.

We had a go at screen printing, something I had not tried before. I had found this image of a tree on an old Halloween decoration and loved it so photocopied it to use on a screen. The fabric above was mono printed using anaglypta wallpaper, then the flowers were printed on and finally the tree was screen printed over the top.

The tree on a piece of mono printed fabric donated by my friend!

We also had a go at laminating, new to me also.... from the book by Leslie Morgan, Claire Benn & Jane Dunnewold. I had chosen sunflowers as my theme.

The image on the left is in colour and the one on the right is also sunflowers but in black and white, both were torn collaged pieces of paper on sheer fabrics. I really like the black and white one as it is very soft to look at.

And finally, a couple more prints that I did!

This one is a freehand cut stamp made out of funky foam.

This on was made using commercially bought stamps.

And finally.................

One last screen print that is unfinished......................

Am really looking forward to our next week/weekend together.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Triptych Finished At Last

Well I have finally finished the three mixed media boards to go on the lounge wall. Just got to wait for hubby to get the drill out now!

Sunday, 31 August 2008

More Silverclay

This is the other half of the Angel Wings that I made. One half was for me, and the other half was for a friend who is very special to me and without whom my life would be far less rich. She has now received it so I can post the picture of it.

Thursday, 28 August 2008


My sister & I have had a lovely day playing with Silver clay making jewellery.

It was hard to get a really good photo because of the light reflection in the bowl. Anyway, it's got small flower with a Sapphire in the centre and a ball with silver sprinkle dust on it in the bowl and the band has a wavy edge to it. Some parts of it have a very shiny finish whilst others have been left burnished to give a bit of contrast.

The pendant above is an angels wing with the word dream. The feathers were etched into the damp clay and the lines were darkened after firing with liver of sulphur. ( Think 'stink bombs here !! ) The letters were impressed using rubber alphabet stamps.

This is the pendant my sister made. It has a dragons head on with mountains in the background. Its beautiful.

What a truly wonderful way to spend a day together.

Monday, 18 August 2008


I've added a few more shapes to my canvas boards now and a little bit of black and white tissue. Have decided not to add any more as I am quite pleased with the textures and shapes I have created.

I have given the three boards an initial dry brush coating of cream acrylic paint, then another dry brush coating of the same colour emulsion paint as is on the walls.

Finally I have again, very lightly dry brushed over the raised edges with a slightly stronger tone of colour to match and add a bit more depth an highlights to some areas. I like the fact that you can still see some of the colour showing through from the papers etc that I have used to add texture to the boards.

These are my pieces of fabric ready to be cut up into their shapes and edged. Embellishments still need to be added before they are attached to the boards.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

And There's More

If doing all that rust dying wasn't enough we decided to make books as well. There is a poem by Kathleen Raine that I have liked for a long time called 'Spell Of Creation' so decided that I would like to put this poem in my book. I decided on a star shaped book and set to printing onto some hand made papers.

My inner leaves and pages printed and ready to be put together

I decided to write the poem, and another one on the inside leaves where it would be almost hidden

The book put together with some extra little books hidden in the folds onto which the poem would be re-written

The book from above showing the construction and layout. Not all the pieces are attached here.

The poem written on the little booklets tucked inside.
The finished book just waiting to have its cover put on.

I feel a Christmas theme coming on for a book this shape but made in fabric!

Fun With Rust Dying

Have just had a fabulous weekend at home with Dot. We had a go at rust dying following the instructions on Purplemissus blog. Undaunted by the fact that it was raining and we couldn't be messy outside we set to inside. It has to be said that doing this indoors is not the best of ideas as ferrous sulphate and caustic soda in a tea bag solution smells foul! But we had great fun anyway.

These first two images are of the fabric first dipped into a solution of soda crystals then into the teabag bath followed by the ferrous sulphate. The very vibrant piece in the bottom right hand corner of the first photo is felt from Whaleys.

The second two photos are the fabrics dipped into a solution of vinegar first. The instructions did say white vinegar ( not white wine vinegar as Dot kept telling me! ). We didn't have very much white vinegar so sloshed some malt into the mix as well. If in doubt, experiment! The colours came out a lot more muted this time, especially on the papers. I used a pippet to apply the ferrous sulphate solution to some of the pieces so that I would have more control over the outcome.

Our lovely array of 'RAGS' hanging out to dry after washing the dye out!

I was ever so pleased with most of the results. A piece of cotton velvet that was dunked into the dye baths took on a beautiful rust and purple hue but all the purple went when it was washed out and I was left with splodges of dark brown, very disappointed with that but I will over dye it with a couple of other bits I didn't like so they won't go to waste.

A Book For My Sister

A little while ago, well quite some time ago actually, my sister asked me to make a cover for her journal. She wanted a moonlight scene with a stone circle and hares. So after much mulling over fabrics, designs and general faffing around I set to in February and this is the result! It is heavily layered and very textural.

This is the front cover of the book with a full moon lighting up a stone circle
and a moon gazing hare. Texture on the stone was created with a
heat expanding medium.

This is the back cover with free machined skeleton tree lit up by the moonlight.

This is the book opened out. Jacquie wanted a spiral and a dragon but didn't know what to else to put in there so I chose a Celtic knot as it represents our Irish heritage and
it is intertwined just as we are.

The Dragon! Friendly but fiery in colour.