Thursday 31 December 2020

Goodbye 2020 ...

 It's been a quiet month on my blog ... inspiration was on holiday and sadness took its place.  Christmas was very different this year and plans changed every day until Christmas Eve when everything was finalised.  The important thing was to ensure the safety of all the family and to ensure that no one was on their own and this we achieved ...

Since then I've been trying to look forward ... tomorrow sees the start of the New Year and who knows what will happen!  Usually I spend the end of December trying to decide on my new year's resolutions ... this hasn't taken me much time this year as I'm not making any!!!  There are lots of things I hope will happen and lots of things I hope to do but I will not be making plans ... I'm going to try and live each day as it comes.  

I've been spending time creating in my art journals ... all my thinking about 2021 led to this:

Before I finish I want to say a big Thank you to all my followers, to all my visitors and to all that have left such supportive comments over the year - I appreciate each and every one of you.  I wish you all the very best for the New Year and hope that it will not be long before we can hug family and friends or at least see them.

Say Safe!

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Stamplorations December Reminder ..

 Just popping by to remind you all that you still have time to play in the December challenge at STAMPlorations:

I've taken the colours and shapes from the photograph and used shimmer paper for the sentiment.

I used:

STAMPlorations - Christmas Bell Medley
CUTplorations - Christmas Bauble #1
                        - Merry Christmas
ARTplorations - Oh My Stars Stencil
Distress Inks - Pine needles, Carved pumpkin and Spiced Marmalade
(This post contains affiliate links when you click on them and place an order I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you)

I look forward to seeing your projects.

Saturday 5 December 2020

Guest Designer Christmas Card Throwdown ...

I am so excited to be posting today as a guest designer for the Christmas Card Throwdown Challenge  ... I was chosen as a winner last month and invited along to Guest Design.  

This month, instead of the usual four challenges they have each month, for December the choice is yours ... 

... simply pick a challenge from this year's challenges (you can find the details in the archive tabs on the blog) and get creating.  
I chose the April 2020 Colour Challenge:

Which one will you choose?

I used:
STAMPlorations - Hello Christmas Stamp set
Dienamics Stitched Squares Nesting dies
Robert Addams Trellis Die

This is the card that was chosen as a winner:

I hope that I have inspired you to join in with the challenge!

Have fun!

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Snowmen ...

It is only at this time of the year that I make more than one card of the same design ... but as we get nearer to Christmas it becomes a necessity.  Every year I promise myself to start making Christmas cards earlier and every year I get to December and still need cards ... at least I am predictable!  Today I thought I would share these cards, one design different colours:

A simple design that I could use for multiple cards using different stamp sets and backgrounds.  I first created the background using a stencil and distress inks to create a water colour effect,  The Snowmen were all stamped and heat embossed before colouring with Zig Real Brush markers and then fussy cut to provide a focal point.  The Snowmen were adhered to the card base with foam adhesive for added dimension.

I used:
PaperArtsy - JOFY 17 stamp set
Impression Obsessions Cover a Card Snowflakes Stencil
Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers
Distress Inks - Tumbled Glass, Speckled Hen, Salty Ocean

I'm entering the December challenge at Country View Challenges - Anything Christmas.

Stay safe!

Tuesday 1 December 2020

STAMPlorations December challenge ...

 Well done ... we've made it to December and it's time for the final challenge of the year over at STAMPlorations ...

I've taken shapes and colours from the image and added shimmer for the sentiment.

I used:
STAMPlorations - Christmas Bell Medley
                              - Christmas Baubles
CUTplorations - Merry Christmas
Distress Inks - Carved Pumpkin and Pine Needles
(This post contains affiliate links when you click on them and place an order I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you)

Check out the blog for more inspiration from the Design Team.  I hope you can make time to join in with the challenge and I look forward to seeing you creations.

Stay Safe

Saturday 28 November 2020

Pink and Brown Tag ...

 Another dreary Saturday afternoon ... chilly weather and overcast sky ... and we are still in lockdown!  It makes you wonder when all this is going to end.

I've just made a tag with a colour scheme inspired by the current challenge at Color Hues - this time the choice is Pink and Brown, another colour combination that I don't think I've ever used.  I finally came up with a design for a tag:

I stamped 5 outline circles which I masked before using a collection of small background stamps to add colour and interest to the vertical line - for a grungy effect.  I die cut and stamped 'Christmas' and adhered the panel to the tag with foam pads to add a little dimension.

I used:
Gemini Christmas die and matching stamp set.
CUTplorations Stitch Tag Nesting die
Simon Says Stamp Lots of Dots
Kaisercraft Wood Grain
STAMPlorations Mixed Media
Lawn Fawn Milos ABC
Memento Rich Cocoa ink
Distress inks - Picked Raspberry and Vintage Photo
Ranger Archival Ink - Potting Soil.

Keep Crafting!

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Christmas words ...

Popping in to share a card inspired by the current challenge at AAA Cards - along the edge:

... actually two cards, one design, two colourways!!  I'm not sure I like them - there is something not quite right about them but they were fun and easy to create.

Keep crafting!

Monday 23 November 2020

Begin Again ... 2020 Textile Projects

Today I'm sharing a number of 'other' projects that I have completed throughout this year.  

On the Friday before the UK's first full lockdown I was lucky enough to spend the day learning to weave ... I hadn't realised that I wanted to learn but a dear friend suggested it might be fun to try.

The two pieces on the left I created on the course, top right I created on the child's vintage loom in the bottom right photograph.  We enjoyed the day so much that my friend and I have invested in a small loom to share - so more projects will follow.

I like to have small projects on the go that I can do in the evening in front of the TV, this year embroidery has featured quite heavily.  I began by trying different stitches on a narrow strip of fabric which I eventually turned into a book.

Inspired by my love of the seaside. but unable to visit because of the pandemic, I created a triptych:



and Sand

I played around with circles:

Sometimes an idea for a project pops into my head for no apparent reason on this occasion it led to a
nother stitched book this time created from a piece of screen printed calico:

These projects all involved hand stitching but I have been machine sewing as well - the quilts I have already blogged about.  I've also created some useful things too:-

Pencil cases:

I created the fabric for the blue one using my gelli plate.

Finally on the textile front I have been stitching masks for family and friends - never in a million years would I have thought I would make face masks and find it sad that I needed to.

I think that's it on the textile front or at least completed projects!!

Stay safe!

Along the edge ...

I've started the week with that Monday morning feeling ... I'm sure I should be doing something useful or important but instead I have been messing around with paper and card.  Even this had me going round in circles ... I did mange to create a couple of cards:


Simply die cutting and sticking!

I used:
Various snowflake dies
STAMPlorations - Alpha die; Merry Christmas sentiment die
Gelli print for the snowflakes

I'm entering the current challenge at AAA Cards #179

Keep Safe!

Sunday 22 November 2020

Begin Again ... 2020 COVID Projects

Another post reflecting on the year ... seeking out the positives! 

I have been involved in two projects that were initiated in response to the pandemic - the idea  was to create a record of the impact of lockdown and subsequent restrictions on us all.  Both involved creating squares for a quilt.

The first of these projects was launched by OVADA (a contemporary art space in Oxford) - The OVADA Covid Quilt Project .  The brief was to create six inch squares using embroidery, stitch, applique, weave, sew, knit or print - as long as the base was fabric.  It would be a virtual quilt initially but once lockdown was over the submissions would be stitched together to make a quilt to provide a physical record of the times ... this would be exhibited at some point in the future.  Inspired to join in I thought I might create a couple of squares ... I ended up creating quite a few:

Quite an eclectic collection from hand embroidery, to machine applique and the final panel of boats is based around sashiko technique.  The two squares with hands on were both lino printed.

The final panel leads on to the second quilt project that I have been involved in - 'Same sea, different boat'.  This project was the brainchild of Sue Brown a printmaker based in Cheltenham, in the UK, in partnership with Littleheath Barn Studio and Hope and Elvis.  This time the squares were smaller and the idea was to combine collagraph printing with stitch or just stitched.  Sue offered to print a collagraph plate that others had created which would then be returned for further embellishment - again the brief was to design something to reflect our experience of the pandemic to become a social document of our shared experience. I created two squares ... the first a collagraph print enhanced with stitch:

After stitching:

The second square was just stitched:

Over 300 squares have been created and combined to make a number of quilt panels which are already being exhibited in the Museum in the Park, Stroud.  I managed to visit before the current lockdown began, hopefully these photographs will give you an idea of the scale of the project:

These are two projects that I never imagined that I would be involved in - they involve real artists.

I do hope you have found this interesting and hope you will pop back and check out what else I've been doing.

Stay Safe

Saturday 21 November 2020

Begin again ... 2020 Quilts

The upside to having time on your hands free from work obligations - is time to complete some of those projects that have been on the go and 'almost' finished.  Years ago, 2012 to be precise, I created the top of a quilt - it was the first time I had attempted a machine quilt.  That was as far as I got until this year when I was determined to finish it and I did!  I layered it up with wadding and a backing sheet and then machine quilted it - nothing fancy just stitching in the ditches, I found this quite a challenge on a domestic sewing machine as the quilt is large enough for a double bed.

For years my Mum has spent many an hour cross stitching pieces ... and for almost as long she has been trying to decide what she could do with them (there were in excess of 250!).  I thought that I might be able to incorporate them into a quilt - and that is exactly what I did! 

This shows the work in progress - I started by edging each of the pieces before then stitching similar sized panels into long strips which in turn were then stitched together.  I had to 'audition' the layout on the lounge floor as it was the only space big enough! Some of the cross stitch pieces were on two inches square!  Once the top pieces had been stitched into one piece it was layered with wadding and more of the cream calico and then machine quilted.

Here is the final quilt (double bed size) with the edges all bound and the loose threads removed.

So that's another two positives from 2020!

Keep well!