Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tea Bags as paper for backgrounds

As a follow up to the previous post I have also used the remains of used tea bags to make backgrounds.
The beautiful colours that you get if you allow the tea bag to stand for several days will astound you.
The first photo shows the finished paper and you can see that I have rubbed "Goldfinger" gold on the bottom section and bronze in the middle section and on the top and the sides I have left them untouched.

The first thing that you have to do is save all your tea bags after making yourself a cuppa--but don't squeeze all the water out or if you do then dunk it again in some more water.
It is important to start with a wet tea bag.
Now stand them up to allow them to dry( like little soldiers) with the tea leaves still inside because this is where the colour comes from.

After about 2 days they should be dry and you now have to open the tea bags to remove the dried tea leaves--it doesn't matter if you tear the paper but I do try not to at this point--no reason really -I just find it a challenge to see if I can do it.
I know there are different shaped tea bags but these are the ones we use.

And this is what they look like empty.

I then proceed to use the same method to make the paper as shown in the previous post but I lightly sprayed Walnut ink on these to get the extra brown colour that I was after.
I know someone is going to ask "Why not just use Walnut ink in the first place without all the drying business " and you probably could -but I just love to see the colours that the dried out tea bag gives.
I have also used the tea bags in an art quilt which I blogged about here

Friday, January 25, 2008

Serviettes as Backgrounds.

Before Christmas I was showing a friend how to make my serviette backgrounds and it wasn't until yesterday that I finished it off so here are the instructions.
First you need a fancy 3 ply serviette and you remove the bottom 2 white sheets leaving you with the top coloured layer.
I love this serviette but unfortunately they are no longer available.

The first thing to do is tear the serviette up into pieces and put aside.
Next you need a sheet of cartridge paper (like in childrens sketch books) some PVA glue and water( 50/50) of each and you proceed to glue the pieces onto the paper--no particular design just cross hatching them and continue until you have glued all the pieces down.
You need to use plenty of the glue/water mixture because this helps to create the wrinkles on the paper which creates texture--

Here is a picture of what it looks like with the gluing partially done---

The sheet completely covered and moist---------

While it is still wet add some other colour to it by dripping inks or dyes onto the wet surface
If the inks aren't spreading across the paper just spritz it with some water to help it along.
The ink travels across the paper like veins.
I have only used blue Quink writing ink here but you can add several colours if you like.
Don't worry if it looks like you have added too much ink because it dries out different to what it looks.
I also spritzed it with 2 different Moon Shadow Mists sprays.
Now leave it to dry--and don't worry when you come back to it and the edges are all curled up-just iron them flat--between a couple of sheets of glad bake(to protect the iron) or you can speed up the process with your hairdryer.

This is what I used for the colouring part of it.

You can see by this photo how wet it is---

When it was dry I gently rubbed "Goldfinger" paste over the top just enough to hilite the wrinkles.
This picture shows on the left side Goldfinger added and on the right side no Goldfinger.
I have been a little bit heavy handed with the Goldfinger on the bottom left hand side.

Here is a closup of the dry background without the Goldginger-----

And here is a closeup with the Goldfinger added

You can see some of the original orange colour showing throug on the bottom right side.
Nellie asked if I could stitch onto the finished piece which reminded me I had meant to add that
I have also used a fine cotton as the base instead of paper which then allows me to stitch into it by hand or machine.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

ATC's and the yips

I received these two ATC's late last week and once again I have failed to post them here--I think I have had a touch of the yips lately and my brain has been on holidays.
Anyway these 2 beautiful cards arrived from Jan who is a new blogger and does amazing altered art pieces.
At present she is involved in swaps with altered jigsaw pieces-- drop over and have a look at what she has been doing--and while you are there you will be able to see the ATC that I sent her because---that's right I forgot to take a photo of it--as I said the yips again.
Thank you Jan and I am sorry for being so forgetful.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

TIF Challenge Finished

I have finished my January Crazy Patchwork block in Sharon B's Take it Further challenge.
I am very happy with how it has turned out and I am now looking forward to the February colours.
I did not have to buy anything which is one of my aims to completing this challenge and I will have to admit to not being able to find a few things after my big clean up mainly my special Crazy /Pwk button collection but between now and February I will find them and put them in a safe place.
I have added a few colours in threads that are not in the original colours but it needed a lift and I promise not to tell anyone if you don't.

When I have finished all of the 12 blocks -I am going to make them into a fabric book

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Postcards received

I received my Calendar Girls January postcard from Jenny yesterday and it is beautiful.
It is funny but we always say that it looks much nicer in the flesh and this one is no exception.
I don't know why this happens.
Jenny has needlefelted the background and the vase is made from Lutrador.
Thank you Jenny

I received this postcard from Jacqueline several weeks ago and had forgotten to post it here--sorry Jacqueline.
Again this is a beautiful card with great texture but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get the true colour to show up.
I love it Jacqueline.

Monday, January 14, 2008

TIF Challenge Week 2

So after the big clean up I can now get into some sort of creative mind and approach all the commitments that I have for January.
The first one is the TIF challenge being conducted by Sharon B and I have chosen the colour theme as my option.
I have changed some of the fabrics from the ones that I showed last week because I found some nicer ones during my cleanup.
The purple colour is still photographing as Royal blue so you will just have to trust me that it is purple.
I have all the threads and laces etc. ready to start the embellishing so that is the next step.

The finished size will be 8 inches (20 cm) square.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Year -New Beginnings-BIG clean up

As Sharon Boggan often says "Settle down-grab yourself a cuppa as this is going to be a long one"

Well after seeing Sharon's weigh in of her stuff I decided that I needed to do something about the state of my sewing room-it was a disgrace and an embarrasment and it was hindering my creativity big time.

I have taken photo's so that you can see what I mean so here goes the guided tour.

When you walk in the door -on the right is a bookshelf which desperately needs a tidy up.

Next we have boxes -boxes and more boxes and then there's the stuff on top of the boxes.

This is the R/H corner of my sewing table- the plastic drawers contain paper art stuff.

Under the sewing table--Where do my feet go?- the big black tool box on the right contains all my Machine embroidery threads----

A blanket box next to the table----could never get into it because of all the stuff on top of it

The top shelf of a cupboard ----

The middle shelf of the same cupboard----

The bottom shelf of the same cupboard----

Patchwork fabrics and anything else that I could squeeze in there---

The Glitzy fabrics that one seems to collect are stored in the boxes under the sewing table-- you can't see them but they are there.

Now let me tell you it has taken me 4 days and nights to clean up this room and this morning it was a delight to walk past the room and be greeted by such a wonderful sight ---How long will it stay like this--I don't know but I do know I don't need to buy anything--"need" being the operative word here--for a very long time--but I am sure I will see something in the future that I can't live without (wink-wink) isn' that the way it goes.

And by the way I have thrown out 10 big garbage bags of stuff--all rubbish -no good things in there-but I have a clothes basket of patchwork fabrics that I will sell later and 2 clothes baskets of stuff to take into The EG for their recycle table and another pile I am donating to charity.

Oh and this is Ebony's room where I had to put all the stuff that was on my sewing table and the floor so that I could get started.

You will have to read on below to see the results----------------

Ta Da The new Beginnings

And this is how it looks now--starting from the left as you enter the room --the fabrics cupboard has been culled --I didn't need all the patchwork fabrics that I had--I haven't made a quilt since 2002 and I still have 6 quilts on the bottom shelf that need to be finished in some way.The boxes contain laces -ribbons and other small things.

This cupboard has all my paper art and mixed media stuff in it and folders full of things that I can't live without.

On the bottom shelf -the first 2 folders on the left hold all my TAST samples.

The box is next -you couldn't see it before for all the junk.

Now it is full of wools and fancy fibres --for felting and making tassels.

The sewing table- yes it was there after all and all 3 machines will fit on it now.

The wall behind the table has all the bits that I need at arms reach and I didn't touch this.

The boxes--well they are still there- sorted- and all labelled with what's inside minus all the clutter that was on top of them---16 archival boxes full of everything a girl needs to create whatever she wants to.

Next came the bookcases but I haven't touched them because I knew that I wasn't going to throw anything out and I can clean that up next week.

Then next comes the stamps and stamp pads---this is not really a proper way to store these things but I just have nowhere else to put them.

Behind the stand are the rolls of fabrics etc and I haven't touched them either because I did that before Christmas--and the 2 boxes near the doorway hold all my embroidery threads etc.

Stephen's reaction when he came home from the cricket--and he had to go and lie down because of the shock.

Ta Da and this is what he saw-I still have things under the desk-the black tray to the left of the chair holds all my tools i.e. heat gun- soldering iron -small paper trimmer you get the idea-and the plastic boxes are full of ---you guessed it more fabric.

I forgot to mention that before I retired I worked in a Sewing machine shop for 2 years and before that for 10 years I worked in a FABRIC shop.

The end.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Make my Day Award

I have been nominated 3 times for the "You make my Day Award" by Annica--Micki and Ati--and I thank you ladies for thinking of me when you were choosing someone.
I am supposed to nominate more people who make my day but everyone whom I would nominate has already been nominated several times before so I think I will leave it at that.
Thanks to the above 3 ladies for thinking of me.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

TIF Challenge and a birthday

This year I am doing the Take it Further challenge with Sharon B as a follow up to the TAST challenge that I did last year.
There are 2 parts to the challenge -the first one is the concept part and the second one is the colour part.
I have chosen to do the colour part because I have decided to do a crazy quilt block a month incorporating the monthly colour scheme.
These are the fabrics that I have chosen but the colours are not photographing correctly--for instance the colour on the left is really a purple colour not royal blue.
I will add other fabrics and laces in these colours as I go through my stash because I have decided to only use fabrics and embellishments that I have already and I will not go out and buy more "stuff"- if I don't have it then I will have to make do with what I have which is my challenge to myself.

The other thing which I have waited until today for before posting these fabrics is that I have been blogging for 1 year today.
I have stated previously that I only started blogging because of the TAST challenge and I thought it would be nice to start the TIF challenge on the anniversary of the my first day of blogging.
I look forward to this years challenge and given what a great experience last years challenge was know that I will enjoy this one as well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Follow up to "Old Habits"

When I posted on New Years Eve regarding my Mothers NYE cleaning habits which I have continued to do myself I had no idea as to where she aquired this "tradition"
Imagine my surprise when I received a comment on my blog from Judith in New Zealand who stated my mother must have scottish ancestry as this was a custom that her Mother and Father had as well.
I e-mailed her to say that it was true that I have Scottish ancestors and she sent me a copy about this custom.
Part of the information she sent me was---------

**During the day of Hogmanay the household would be busy cleaning so that the New Year could be welcomed into a tidy and neat house. It is considered ill luck to welcome in the New Year in a dirty uncleaned house. Fireplaces would be swept out and polished and some people would read the ashes of the very last fire of the year, to see what the New Year would hold. The act of cleaning the entire house was called the redding, ie getting ready for the New Year. **

To read the rest go to the link below

Thank you Judith-----
Aren't bloggers wonderful people!!!