Friday, June 29, 2007

TAST Week 26 Half Chevron stitch

Week 26 already and we are half way through the TAST challenge.
This week we were doing Half Chevron stitch--another new one--- well half new anyway.
I found that this stitch was easy to do and I enjoyed it as well.
I have used an Aida cloth and a variegated Valdani perle 8 thread that I purchased at the Craft show this week. I think I will have to buy a new folder to put the rest of my samples in as the one that I am using at present is bulging at the seams already.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The good the bad and the ugly

The Good------Well yesterday I went to the big craft show in Sydney.
I caught the bus up and back--3 and a half hours each way.
I brought lots of wonderful things--mostly from Dale at the Thread Studio.
The Bad------well I spent lots of money on things that I know I just couldn't live without.
This is some silk organza and silk threads..... Then there are the embroidery threads to work on my TAST samples and also to use with my Embellisher.
Had to have them.
And how could I pass up this beautiful hand dyed lace.........

Or these hand dyed wools and a little bag of Sari silks......

And these beautiful roses on a band --just what I need to put on some tassel heads.......

And I needed more stamps...I really did....not from Dale though........

And I had to get a bag of goodies for Ebony-- how could I leave her out.......(you'll have to turn your head because I forgot to rotate the photo)

The Ugly.............Well look at what happened to my purse.......

It's a good thing I had a return ticket .
So--- don't go and ask me what I am going to do with all of it ---you all should know by now that you put it in the cupboard and it multiplies when the lights are out.
Truly --doesn't that happen in your house?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tha Artists Muse Challenge 3

The challenge for this month in the Artists Muse was to create a piece of art symbolising a book from our childhood.
To be honest I couldn't remember that far back---seriously though I was never a big reader as a child but one story that I did remember was The Wizard of Oz.
I never read it but I do remember seeing the movie and I know the movie came from the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz written by L Frank Baum---so that is what I have chosen.
I have named this piece" Follow the Yellow Brick Road".
I could see the trees in the top left hand corner and the yellow road in the foreground so I just went for it and I am quite pleased with how it has turned out.
This is the fabric that I have used as the inspiration for my work.
It was part of a piece that was sent to me by Val last week and as soon as I saw it I knew that it was the piece that I wanted for my background.
Thanks Val we do think alike don't we.

TAST Week 25 Long and Short Stitch

Whew I have just made it!
Week 25 has seen us doing Long and Short stitch and I have come to the conclusion that I don't like doing any form of Satin stitch.
I don't know why but I just seem to do more reverse stitching when I do this type of stitch than with any other stitch that I have done in the previous weeks.
I don't like using a hoop and probably the only stitch that I have used a hoop with is the French Knots and that is one time when I find it is absolutely necessary-but in saying that Satin stitch is another that is also necessary to prevent puckering.
Well that is what I think anyway and I have always managed an even tension on all the other stitches so far.
Enough with the ramblings and onto Long and Short stitch.
I have used a piece of wool blanketing and DMC fine wool (I forget what it is called) and DMC floss to interpret my tiny freeform butterflies flitting around.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What I sent to Joanna

These are the cards that I sent to Joanna in our card swaps.
I couldn't show them before- but she has received them so it is ok to show you now.
The first one has a background of webbing spray.

This one has a stamp done on acetate as the feature.

The third one is a little book/card made from a leather look card stock with rusted paper on the front.

This is what it looks like opened--it has a concertina fold and the little pockets hold tags.
The paper used is a Basic Grey design.

And lastly this is the tassel that I made for Joanna and it is long overdue---I received Joannas 2 months ago.
No excuses ---I just kept putting it off and once again I am sorry for being so tardy Joanna.

The tassel is made from torn up strips of flimsy fabrics and fancy wools.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Art in the Mail

Yesterday I received this lovely postcard from Val and also in the package was----- this beautiful piece of fabric that Val had hand dyed herself in a jar.
She had also included on a note that she "hoped that I found it inspiring and could use it for something fantastic".
Little did she know that it is just the piece of fabric that I wanted to do a project that I have in mind.

Today I also received from Joanna these lovely cards and gifts.
Joanna and I are both keen on card making and decided that we would do a regular card swap.
She also included some wonderful gifts for me--ribbons -stamps-brads- and some blank cards.
How do a manage to have such generous blogger friends?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Tooth Fairy came again.

Look what the Tooth Fairy brought me ----a Huskystar Embellisher --Woo Hoo who's a happy girl...and I didn't feel a thing. After it took me a half an hour to get the thing out of the box I had to take a photo to show everyone and now I am off now to play....
Fish and chips for dinner time to cook..just have to play.
See you all soon.

Mail I have received in the last week

I have received some lovely mail in the last week.
I received this lovely art piece from Dot.
It has a needle felted background with flowers and an adorable bird-note the diamond necklace-Now there's a bird with style. Then there were these ATC's and a Dotee doll for Ebony--she will be thrilled to get these on Wednesday when I next see her.
I also did a swap with Jacqueline and received these wonderful ATC's and a tag and a mini pack of the cards that she used in the red ATC.

And this is the ATC that I sent to Jacqueline-I think this was a lopsided swap somehow-must do something about that.

Lastly an ATC from Dianne and a postcard from Carol C.
Thanks to all the ladies-I am a lucky girl (and Ebony too) and they are all so beautiful.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Tooth Fairy needs a Bank Loan

More excitement on Sunday night........another tooth is missing....the Tooth Fairy is broke....
and Ebony can't stop smiling.
And I'm Jealous because Ebony has more money than I do.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

TAST Week 24 French Knots

This week in TAST we have been doing French Knots and am I in heaven.
French Knots are my most favourite stitch of all the embroidery stitches.
If I need to fill in a gap in my embroideries then I choose the ever reliable French Knot.
I have used a hand dyed Linen in soft mauve/pink shades but it hasn't shown up very well in the photo.
The threads I used are plain and Variegated silks and cotton .

I have included some French Knot embroidered pictures that I did about 10 years ago.
The first one is an old English cottage that had been photo transfered onto cream fabric.
I purchased the print at a local craft show and my intention was to only embroider the roses on the cottage wall.
But as you can see I got carried away and did the lot and I am glad that I did.
I had this framed and it is in my lounge room.
The embroidery itself measures 10 cm by 12 cm.

The next one is another framed French Knot embroidery that I had worked off a photo which I took at Floriade.
Floriade is held annually in Canberra in the Spring (late September early October).
It is a huge display of flowers beds and the display is truly amazing-it takes weeks to set it up as the thousands of plants are grown in a nearby nursery and then taken to Commonwealth park where they are arranged to create fabulous designs within the park.
The festival runs for four weeks and the flowers are planted so as there is a continual display during the whole period.
Here is my interpretation of one of those beds of flowers.
The embroidery is all French Knots and the very dark purple ones are pansies.
I was unable to get a thread that was dark enough so I used one strand of the darkest purple I could find and then added a strand of black.
The size of the embroidery in this is 8 cm by 4 cm and is all done with DMC embroidery floss.

And here is the photo that I took at Floriade- the colours in the embroidery are the true colours
-the photo is mounted behind the embroidery for reference-for some reason it hasn't come out in the true colours that I took to show you here.

I love French Knots ------

Thursday, June 14, 2007

TAST Week 23 Wheatear stitch

Week 23 was Wheatear stitch which was another new stitch to me.
I liked this stitch and found it quite easy to do as well.
I don't know how I got behind again but I did -no excuses. I have used a lovely even weave linen fabric and the photo has come out true to the colour.
I decided to do the stitch mainly in white thread and then added a few stalks in a variegated perle 8 thread.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Cup of Tea and some Rusty Nails

Recently there has been a lot of talk about rusting fabrics and then what to do with them later.
I thought I would show you what I did with mine several years ago.
I have called this Art Quilt "A Cup of Tea and some Rusty Nails.
It measures 85 cm x 5o cm .
The base fabric is a piece of recycled fabric left over from a skirt. The blocks are made from used tea bags -which I wove into a 9 patch block and adhered to a fine iron on interfacing.
I ironed on some gold foil to give another dimension and I then bordered the blocks with the rusted fabrics.

Other sections were hand stitched with either the thread that I had tied around the fabric when it was rusting or a tan broder cotton.

I have also attached a verse to explain the process of how the quilt was made etc.
About used tea bags--what you do is save the teabags with the tea still inside and leave them to dry(on the window ledge).
When they are almost dry you open them and removed the tea from inside and there should
be a lovely brown mottled tea bag left--that is if you don't squeeze all the liquid out into your tea cup before hand.
I probably should have treated the tea-bag section in some way to preserve it but I didn't so who knows how long it will keep - but what the heck it is a good talking point anyway.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Fairies are coming

Today there was a lot happening at our place again but nothing more important than the drama involving our Princess...after having a wobbly tooth for a week..... Look what has happened..........
We hope the fairies come tonight.
The only problem is with inflation the way it is these days the cost of tooth buying keeps increasing for the fairies.
We hope they have enough money to buy the tooth.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Art for Arts sake

I noticed on Susan d's blog recently where she had posted her art to look like it is in a museum so I thought I would give it a try.
I got to the site through Helen's blog so if you go there you can to try it out for yourself.
The site is called Museum r
It reminds me of Jackson Pollocks --Blue Poles-- well if you stretch you imagination a bit it will..
Ah the things we do to keep us amused.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Today is our 45th Wedding Anniversary and among other things Stephen gave me was this loverly floral arrangement.
You don't always realise but as you get older it's the small things in life that bring you the greatest pleasure.
I love flowers-I just don't like gardening -so when I receive them as a gift they are greatly appreciated.
Thanks Stephen and a Happy Anniversary --- may we share many more together.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Painted Papers

I spent yesterday painting papers ala Traci Bautista style.
I want to make a fabric and paper book and I thought I must first get in and paint a heap of papers and build up a supply.
I used cartridge paper as the base and I just layered different Acrylic paints to colour the background.
Next I used bubble wrap and also gutter guard (the mesh you put in the roof gutters to keep out the leaves) to give me patterns.
When this was pleasing to the eye I doodled fine lines of paint in flower shapes.
These are just two of papers-one has a blue base and the other has a yellow base.
The paper is A3 size but I have just shown you the middle section.
I must get back to try some other techniques now while I'm on a roll.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

TAST week 22 Satin Stitch (sort of)

Week 22 of TAST is Satin Stitch and I have spent 3 days trying to do a sample.
I stitched and then unpicked so many times that I have decided to post something that I started last year.
My problem was not that I couldn't do it because I can (and have done on many occasions) but that I didn't like what I was producing.
Now I know that this is Bargello officially but it is also Satin Stitch sort of. It is part of a small piece that is going to be a needle case and this section measures 4 inches x 4 inches.
The whole piece measures 8 inches x 4 inches.
I will do another sample for my folder later but I have to move on from this now.
Oh the frustration I am feeling at present Grrrr.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

How far can a piece of fabric go.

This is the saga of a much travelled piece of fabric.
The story begins in a room in Upton MA where the fabric begins its life being woven by Sue B
Now Sue had woven this fabric from sari silk threads and it was much adored by many people.
Sue made a bag and a padfolio from said fabric and there was a piece left over -which Sue said" if you left a message" on her blog she would give the remnant to one of these people.
Well about 70 people left a message and the "winner" was Sandy Jandik in La Center WA.
Sandy made a vest which included the "fabric"(the link will take you there but you will have to scroll down a short distance)
Now me being the canny person that I am and Sandy being a good freind of mine I asked her if there were any scraps left over could I have them.
Well as you can see I have received said scraps here in Canberra Australia. After I trimmed them up so that I would have straight edges I had a few scrappy bits left as you can see at the top of this photo(more about them later)
I then butted the pieces together and stitched them with grey monofilament thread.

The finished piece is about 17cmlong----

by about 12cm wide...

I then used gold thread and the zig zag stitch and did some meandering all over it.

I cut out a piece of black woollen fabric and stitched the said piece of "new"fabric onto it and then covered the edges with a lovely black braid ---added some black cord for the straps and left the ends unravelled to make tassels on the sides and attached an embellishment that I had made with the hot glue gun and.......
TA DAH one evening bag...which measures 19cm by 17cm.

I then sewed the mini scraps together and made 6 inchies which I forgot to take a photo of---but there will be 2 for Sue and 2 for Sandy and 2 for little old me .