Monday, 28 February 2011

Foil Winners and Whale Ahoy

My daughter Tylah gave me two numbers off the top of her head, between 1 and 18,

( there were 23 comments, one duplicate and four were my own lol)
so comment numbers

6 and 9 are the winners of the gizzit foil.....

Well done Sunny and Claire!

All I need are your addresses and I will pop them in the post this week for you ............. then you can get stuck in and play !

I have completed my wolves and the heart kite hangings, but still looking for the right bits to hang them off before I post them as finished.
But my whale is taking shape now .
His eye is a dressmaking pin at the moment, so it wont be yellow here after.... though maybe if it were red he could be an
the sea is an old voile head scarf and the surf was also a scarf that had lots of glittery threads in it which I sat and teased out -tedious-!

Whale is black denim, not too sure about his tail yet, it doesnt stand proud enough of the background, maybe I should have put black fusible on it to firm it up abit or even doubled it and trapped wire within.....why didnt I think of that before now? duhhh
The tail needs the edges sealing off, forgot to do that before I stitched it down, but easy enough to still do it if it remains this way.
The white underbelly is a vintage piece of table cloth and theres a small strip of torn denim at the horizon level, though it maybe should have been a darker colour, but its too late now lol..anyway, the moons glow is highlighting it..ish.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Gathering in the goodie's

So since the date is almost here, I have bundled the foil up and am making up the envelopes for the winners, two as promised.
There's a good 3' x 2' wide of the gold foil and some additional colours too, so a fun to open goodie bag, once I've popped one or two other bits in as well.
Short and sweet today, more later :)

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Dye results, silk pieces on Ebay and old underwear!

 My friend Jean from the 'jeans muse' blog recently featured pictures of some delightful old victorian/edwardian childrens white fine linen bonnets, mostly hand stitched and one showing signs of repair and most with some signs of wear and slightly worn fine hand made lace.

Well, I managed to buy them off her cousin who had acquired them and although the temptation was to simply treasure them in a basket and fondle them lovingly now and then, because they seemed to have been made with care and skill for children now long gone.... Id also got an idea how to use them, individually in mixed media collages.

But.... then I bought a £1 bunch of eucalyptus branches from outside a health food shop and its leaves were long and thinner than my own rounded eucalptus tree.
So I made up a dye bath and also wrapped the twigs and leaves around tins with an assortment of fabric bits and afew long rusty nails.... and yes... one of the bonnets was cut apart and underwent a make over.
I feel guilty telling you, because these are small miracles that have survived so long and may well deserve to be in a museum...and I was right up to the last moment of cutting it, in two minds if I should do this....... but now its done, I still do feel guilty you may be relieved to know but .... the results are pretty good never the less.
This eucalptus obviously renders back not russet or yellow like my own but these are the results, above and lower down, on the bonnet and its lacey edges.. and below on a white bodice piece from a charity shop blouse.
Something Gothic springs to mind so far.
Spot the butterfly ish shapes below?

Then I stumbled on these old underwear garments at car boot, niether had ever been worn and were water stained  and the folds were marked where theyd been folded in packets.
So I washed them and they are fine old vests from yesteryear! One with sleeves that come to the elbow and both are half way down my thighs almost to my knees, and Im 5' 8" ! Now I recall seeing my Granma wearing much the same kind of vest, though a worn one and much thinner quality than these.
They are a 1930s? cream colour, not so yellow as in the top two pics and the lower one has come out white in the picture for some reason, but isnt at all........!

Even the labels are a joy arent they? Think I will use them both in the
(for visually impaired children) Topic Boxes Im putting together at work. They will be great for 'The way we were' box.
Now if anyone knows where there might be a liberty bodice..........that could go in too, and I promsie not to try and dye it!

Now I want to tell you folks about an Ebay seller who is selling vintage silk kimono pieces currently and I want to recommend her to you, so you will buy her silks and then I can't buy any more!!!
She is selling them for a song, theres no one else buying them, they are FABULOUS and reasonable sized pieces in mixed packs.
Not only do they come beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, but she includes a hand made card with each pack and a small little fabric wrapped posey of lavender!
She lives in Preston in the Uk and so please have a look at her ebay shop...shes no relation, I wont get a discount but I might then back off buying for a while!

Look what I just bought
I doubt this lady will starve if I dont buy ALL her silk pieces but I have NO discipline to not buy from her at the moment, now Ive seen how beautiful the silks are...please help me, by spending your money ... cos Im running out!! lol

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Remember the Foil Giveaway! and my almost finished pieces

Don't forget to leave a comment on the Feb 7th post if you want to be entered for the Transfoil giveaway  :)
Okay I reckon this one above is done, except for the fact it still needs backing. I filled in the trees abit and added a few berries and some additional 'fur' on one of the wolves. The wolves are made from colour catchers.
This silk heart kite, which is sailing skyward in search of lurve..... is laid on some lovely pieces of naturally dyed cotton fabrics I sent for recently
from 'Gerdiary'.
And I have forgotten to get her blog addy, so will have to insert that later.
Think it would be but do look in her online store which you can link to from her blog.
 It also just needs backing, so its ready to hang. I used the woven moon with the painted lace on it, to look more like the moons surface...silly I know but I quite like that idea.
The blue and white circle-y fabric is that cheap mans shirt again... same as  the sky in the wolves one. 

And this piece I began today but am in two minds what to have gliding through the waters....the Loch Ness 'Monster' or a whale.. I may need to do another, and then do each!
It has a tasselly bottom edge which may or may not stay in situ and the fore ground waters will probably have some other blue silk threaded through it yet....

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Beasts but not so fantastic-al

A quick post with my 'fantastical' beasts in position, but once I got the idea of placing wolves howling at the moon, I couldnt do the Jude fantastical thing to them lol
Funny but by posting work on the blog, its like I suppose, pinning them to a pin board so you can 'see' it more clearly? I dont have a pin board, simply hang things round the house, so I can look at them to see whats missing or seems out of place? By fusing the two, wall and blog, I seem to get a better 'eye' on them?
Im getting dafter maybe as I get older lol but it seems to work for me~

Its not quite finished yet and I have unpicked all the metal thread that criss crossed the moon previously. I realised my woven moon was overworked with thread and it was too shiny and colourful for what I wanted.
So now there is just silver, matt thread holding the moon in place at its edges and the hue around it, is no longer trapped by zingy thread.
I used some of my rusted and onion skin dyed fabric as a surround to lighten the scene up abit.
I need to handstitch differently on the small fir tree at front and it is isnt backed yet iether.
Driftwood wont work as a hanging rod for this one, I will have to go hunting for a piece of windfall wood or maybe rusted metal.

Okay took a leave day today from work, so I can lunch with my luvly leggy daughter Tylah.
We went to see that Black Swan movie the other night........ we both disliked it. The only clever bit was where the ballerina 'grows' feathers whilst she's dancing.
There was a long disco scene with dreadfully powerful flickering lights, that affected us both and niether of us are given to flickering 'triggers' and both well used to disco lights!Posted by Picasa
I'm surprised they hadnt put a flicker warning on the film to be honest. It made us both feel sick and look away, so if youve an issue with flickering be careful if you go and see it!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Landscape awaiting its beast-s....

Don't forget to comment on the Feb 7th post and maybe win the transfoil giveaway!
This above is what my 'Creative Gene' had me do at the weekend, its 'Jude' inspired and will feature some beasts shortly, but not so very fantastical. Have used some of the kimono silk  that I bought from Japan on Ebay. I cant let it sit in the basket forever, I must use it! These two are lovely medium weight silks with an almost crepe feel to them. Its a far nicer feel I think, than the fine, silkier versions Ive used previously.The sky is dyed cotton ~ a mans shirt for next to nothing at car boot, but I liked its colouring and faded out dyeing. Stitching this was SO relaxing!
And this smaller piece unearthed itself when I was sorting out. I must have done it way back, but am wondering if that too will weave..despite the spangly threads and lumpy whatever its called, that you daub on, then heat gun so it puffs up.......stuff! The backing was space dyed medium weight cotton twill, that I dyed during one of Shelagh Folgates great Challenge workshops.
What on earth made me clart all  that gunk on it, when it already had such a great colour!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

By far the best kosode and other bits

Nothing short of STUNNING this white one. This is it from the back, thats someones dark jacket on the right side. Yup.... silk. The kosode not the jacket!
Now Anne admits these most likely would not be worn  in an everyday life, maybe as an art kimono, but she stitches them because she loves to do it, not so that they would be worn especially. 
These were just a few and she couldnt tell us how many she's made .... not only fabulous workmanship but all finished too!

Mind you we didnt ask her how many kimono UFO's she had at home....

Sashiko, which to all the world looks like our Blackwork, is simply running stitches. They made cloth stronger, made it more robust for every day wear. But obviously it was boring doing zillions of running stitches so they devised patterns and Anne made this short jacket in sashiko. This was made from squares so no fabric is wasted, to the traditional  short, almost boxy, jacket design.

Annes samplers for the jacket to get the hang of sashiko.........

Annes shibori............. and as she explained how its made, it makes you appreciate the hours that go into achieving this technique. A whole kimono might take a year of someone tying oober thin, but strong, thread tightly round ... pin head small pointsThen when the fabric is dyed, the weeny pin points with thread round them, stay white! And they are ruched slightly and elastic, in that you can stretch the fabric a little. For that reason it is often used for the Obi ( sash) for childrens kimonos, allowing them less tightness on the waist.
This pale indigo kosode was shibori dyed cotton, but using running stitches and the fabric was then pulled tightly together, guess abit like when you smock, then popped in the dye pot.
The pink sample below shows the weeny, weeny sizes of pin points made to achieve the finer sized shibori effects and it was really very stretchy.

This silver fish was on the undersea kimono, on one of the pendulous sleeves.
The something or other tree here, its name escapes me, was on  another kosode, but I thought the way it had been stitched was wonderful. there were cranes below the tree.
No, birds .... dont be daft!

And lastly this quilt has been made by our childrens group EYELETS, and is being entered into the quilt competition at the NEC in March. Isnt it fun! 

Kimonos ~ but made in england!

Our East Yorkshire Embroidery Society (EYES) group met today and our fellow member Anne McNamara talked about her kimono making. Her son and daughter both live over in Japan and that is where she developed a passion for making them.
I had to record some pics here, because some of them were simply wonderful. It takes a great deal of mathematical precision to be sure that patterns meet at the edges and that would have stopped me straight away lol But what Anne has done on some of these was stunning. The one above was cotton and the cotton and wool ones were incredibly heavy!

This black silk with sashiko stitching to decorate is actually the lining to a HUGE cream and black one made to celebrate Bachs music...guess she likes Bach!

This stunning jade one also cotton but with silk inserts here and there, was visually striking but again blummin heavy.  It looks more blue here but believe me it was a rich jade shade.
Several members got volunteered to model the kinonos.... the word means, simply clothing, so isnt the name of the design Id thought.
Incredibly, much of this stitching was by hand!

Think the passion flower one was a rayon but the stitching of the flowers was beautiful, its one of my fave flowers. The 'kosode' design kimono has 'small' sleeves, thats what the word kodode means. Though the sleeves still hung down to the floor!
'Small sleeve' actually refers to the width where the hand goes through, and not the length of the volumous sleeves.

This seascape one, a stunning blue silk, she made to celebrate the building of The Deep in Hull and a similar build going on over in Japan, at the same time.  The lining, also silk, was the most subtle shade of aquamarine and it had swirls of waves all over it in stitch, machine in this case I think.

The bottom edge (which is padded slightly to weight it) was encrusted in applique, stumpwork and collaged fabrics, which formed a reef, around which all manner of striking fish swam! 
More pics in next read on!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Anderson shelter, compost erosion and the Gorgon-to-be!

This is as much as I'm going to do on the simple Anderson Shelter 3D model for the WW2 Topic Box. The top lifts off for a fondle of whats inside. The previous one Id made had an open part that small fingers are able to poke through and feel the insides. But I reckon this will work better for what our VI kids will need.

Took a peek in my compost bin, at the roll of fabrics and leaves that are stewing in there and its colouring up nicely. So I nestled in back in the debris and have left it for another month or so.

Since Ive now started the Greeks Topic Box, I couldnt believe my luck when I found this awful looking doll in a charity shop. She has the ideal snake hair for the Gorgon!
So will reclothe her and she can represent that mythical creature.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Celebratory Giveaway!

To celebrate my having 15 following readers, I am going to have another Transfoil Giveaway~ I get it for next to nothing locally, so am happy to share it with you now and then.

This will heat set with an iron or pressure transfer onto an adheisive layer and works brill on fabric and on cardstock too.
But since this is a spontaneous idea, I've no photo at the moment of what you can win ...oops..... but pop back to the previous foil giveaway and that will give you an idea.

It will be about 3 metres of gold transfoil that is about 2' wide and an assortment of other colours too, silver and copper and white for sure.
And if you have one of those tag guns for basting or...attaching price tags to items .. then I may also throw in a generous handful of those plastic widget strips, though they are lurid pink......but easier to see right?

If you dont have a basting gun I will think of something to include that will tickle your creativity I promise you.
It's my way of saying thankyou to you, for cyberly popping by from time to time.

SO leave a comment on this post by 27th Feb. if you want a crack at the foil.
Do say whether you have a basting gun and please be sure you allow me access to an email to contact you, or check back on the 1st march and I will announce the lucky who so ever it is, then!

By all means spread the word if you would like to.
I wont bamboozle anyone into becoming a follower, so that they can win and am happy to include 'passers by ', although I suppose that does reduce your odds.... sorry lol
Overseas is fine too, am happy to post out overseas.
Hope you'll give it a go.

If you havent used it before, there is lots of advise online if you google 'using transfoil', but any problems just ask and what I don't know am sure someone else amongst us, will do!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Woven hearts, bits and a pin or two

Its that time of year when couples are the vogue, Valentines this, that and the other all around us. Not so much fun for us, now singlies, who stand no chance of having a card ever again lol  But I do remember the thrill of both sending and receiving Valentine cards, so dont decry the Love hearts movement lol ...... and good luck to those lucky enough to receive cards and  gifts...go enjoy!
So I gave in and made afew hearts, in woven theme here above, since I'm still learning along with Jude and her Cloth Whispering.
The top pic is upholstery fabric strips and the one above has velvet and kimono silk pieces within its weave.
Also some unwound strips of sari fabric yarn are lightly couched down on it, to me, almost like ......the arteries are they? that allow the passage of blood from ventricle to ventricle? No guess they are not exactly arteries but you get the idea right?
It seems apt to me, to have a woven fabric heart, symbolic of the hearts journey along its lifetime. The falling in and out of love with who so ever, be it partner, relative, passer by or any unknown that has reached into our heart and made it yearn or ache.
The heart 'breaks' and 'mends' many times throughout its lifetime, physically maybe and emotionally certainly, so there will be signs of that, small scars ~ or tears in its fabric in this case.
There's 'heavy' .. but proof that I do often have a reasoning behind what I make! 
The pins are little simple makes. A fulled scarf, an edge off a crochet doily, a key shaped button and a small tassle, teased apart and stitched down...the key to the heart -ish.
The white button pin has nothing at all to do with a heart or Love, it almost made itself as I sat watching NCIS.......gosh Gibbs is tasty!

 The pink heart pin worked for me until I stitched in the spidery looking thing...which definately needs more doing to it, so it looks more flowery and less spidery! ( Gibb's fault, I was yearning abit by then....)

The weaving on the plastic ring thing..........not sure if that will work, but am hoping that the woven fabric strips will turn this into a bracelet of sorts. It needs more fabric woven in, so watch this space........if it doesnt work will let you know!
And two more woven sample pieces here, with kantha-ish stitching. The white will become moons when I've cut them out, once I know what I'm going to do with them. 
I'm just enjoying the process of weaving in the fabrics and then holding them together with simple stitches. Its almost catharcic .. spelling?... but it's definately very relaxing.
This bottom piccy will be another heart. I cut out a second heart shape from the cork-like fabric and will stick it onto a square of wood, as in the first pic shown above.
The wooden squares were table place mats that I picked up at a car boot someplace. I simply screwed onto the back, the tiny hooks that miniaturists use for latching hooks on dolls house doors. Then added string so it can be hung on the wall.
This weaving has a rich velvet, pink voile laid over red cotton teeshirt strips and some burgundy paisley satin like fabric...that was UNUSED coffin lining ! 
This fabric was donated to Scrapstore, but I don't think they told everyone where the fabric had been donated from lolol no surprise why not!
Naturally given its provenance, I had to have a metre!