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!


Less is More One Layer Challenge ...

Time for a new challenge at Less is More and this time it is everyone's favourite - One Layer Challenge!

I have two projects to inspire you today ... both are very CAS:

Both cards involved heat embossing of a sentiment to form the focal point.  On the first card the floral flourish was heat embossed and then water coloured with distress inks - I have no idea where the floral stamp came from as it has lurked for years in my stash.

On this card I again heat embossed the sentiment before stamping the holly with distress inks.  This stamp is another one that I've no idea where it came from as it has lurked in my craft stash.

I used:
CAS-UAL Friday - Snowy Sayings
Distress inks - Pine Needles, Festive Berries and Picked Raspberry
WOW Metallic Gold Embossing Powder

Pop across to the blog and check out the rest of the design team projects.

Stay Safe!

Friday 20 November 2020

STAMPlorations Giving Thanks ...

 Welcome to this year's STAMPlorations Giving Thanks Blog Hop and Giveaway :

There are prizes to be won and lots of giveaways ... as well as an opportunity to see some amazing projects from the design team.  So get yourself a coffee (or tea) pull up a chair and check it out.  I have created two cards:

Firstly I created a background card using my gelli plate, acrylic paints and stencils - you can see the detail in the close up photograph.  The beauty of using a variety of stencils is that you create a lot of texture on the gelli plate by adding layers of colour before picking up the print, I think it adds extra interest.  I die cut the leaves to create a negative space and adhered this panel using foam adhesive to add additional dimension.  I also die cut 'thanks' a number of times to give depth to the sentiment.

This card also uses card coloured on a gelli plate plus lots and lots of 'thanks'!

I used:

I hope you will join in with the blog hop and get lots of new ideas for your creating.

Stay safe

Poinsettia ...

Good afternoon from a wet and dreary Oxfordshire ... after my very long last post I thought I would treat you to a short and to the point post.  Surprise, surprise another couple of Christmas cards - two designs using the same UNIKO stamp sets.

First ... an off the edge water coloured poinsettia:


I stamped the flower onto a die cut panel and fussy cut the edge having water coloured it first, I also trimmed the card base front.  The panel was adhered with foam tape to add dimension.

The second card could have been a one layer card if my inky finger had behaved and not put a smudge of black ink in the wrong place!

For this card I only stamped part of the poinsettia from the first card having fussy cut a mask.  I stamped through the negative space and then used the positive part of the mask to cover the flower before stamping the sentiments around it.  I coloured the flower using crayons.  At this point I had to cut the panel away from the card, trim it and adhered it to another card ... if my inky finger had not got in the way it would have been one layer!!

I used:
UNIKO Pure Florals: Poinsettia
            Festive Sentiments
Distress Inks - Festive Berries, Carved Pumpkin
Faber Castell Polychromo Crayons

I'm entering the following challenges:

Keep crafting!

Thursday 19 November 2020

Begin again ... 2020 Garden Project

I have 'dabbled' with gardening over the years but never really been into growing vegetables although for years I have always grown my own tomatoes.  This year has been very different ... with the UK in total lockdown from March and having retired I just had to find something to help fill my days and get me out of the house.  So I turned to my garden ... not only would it shift my mental focus to something positive but I could also provide my family with fresh produce.  It has been hard work but so enjoyable and, much to my surprise, quite successful as well as very tasty!

First task was to remove the pond ... we decided that maintaining a large pond was not a priority so the liner was removed and the hole filled - it took days of carrying buckets of soil from elsewhere in the garden before it was full.  I was able to save some of the liner to create a small wildlife pond.

This was to be the site of a large raised bed ... while I was waiting for it to be delivered I used some wood lurking in my garage to build a small bed so that I could start growing stuff!

I'm not a natural when it comes to woodwork - it is not a thing of beauty but it works and I soon had salad growing!  I also planted runner beans in the flower bed; pumpkin and courgettes (some in amongst the flowers and two in very small raised beds also built by me); a spaghetti squash in another gap in the flower border; tomato plants in pots; an aubergine (eggplant) in a pot; and lots of herbs in pots.

The large raised bed eventually arrived in flat pack form!  I built it, positioned it and then filled it with a ton of soil!  Then all set to start planting ... so seeds at the ready in went carrots, radish, beetroot, fennel, celeriac, leeks, radicchio and spinach and the watering began!!

Was all of this effort worthwhile?  It is a resounding YES ... we have enjoyed a beautiful bounty of super fresh salad and vegetables (and still are).  I'm already planning for next year!  I'll finish this marathon post with just a few photographs of the 'fruits' of my labour: