Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lucky finds!

Not my work.... but I have to share a couple of lucky finds from the thrift store yesterday! First was a little table top easel which I just couldn't pass up (only $4!). It will be very useful for my pastel paintings. The second was this sweet little crewel embroidered cushion.....

I don't know whether to be brave enough to wash it or not. There is so much work in this little design. It seems to have been stitched with 2-3 strands of 6 stranded floss not wool thread. The stitching is quite fine and in perfect condition!

..... it's sad sometimes to think of all the time and skill that went into making household linens etc in times past and that fewer people seem to appreciate them. I sometimes purchase them just to 'save' them. Occassionally I use them in my work. Once I've washed this I'll put it on the comfy chair in my studio... and tizzy it up with some tassels on the corners....! I want to bring it back to life!

I'm working on a kit monogram for my hubby's study wall (started about 2 years ago and it'd be nice to have it done and framed for his 50th in July this year!) Apart from that just dabbling around with some UFO's I've found whislt tidying my studio.................!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Inner Animal!

OMG! I’m so excited! My little art quilt has been chosen as 1 of 20 finalists in the Quilting Arts ‘Inner Animal’ Reader Challenge!!

Pin from a pack of school book labels I bought for the kids... seems appropriate!

Wow! This is a first for me (I’ve entered two other challenges previously; the first being ‘The Rhythm of Life’ Quilt Challenge for Down Under Quilts Magazine and more recently the Cloth, Paper, Scissors ‘Mother Earth Art Doll’ Challenge) I’m ecstatic to say the least. I don’t know the protocol so here I am blogging about it! I’ll post my little animal quilt off to the US tomorrow…. And even if it doesn’t end up being published it feels wonderful to know that it will be included in the exhibition!

Part of a UFO I picked up again recently!

Dancing to the beat of my own drum with a huge grin on my face!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Turning Over a New Leaf

Just a quick post today...... A little something I have been playing with since being inspired by Erica Spink's tutorial at Creative Dabbling! Follow the button link Erica has added to her blog margin.

Needlewoven Leaf
on black felt

.......and here it is in my sketchbook and as a WIP

Off to do some housework. Hopefully I will get some studio tidying done this afternoon! ; )

Friday, January 22, 2010


This post title is dedicated to the theme of my very first ATC swap hosted by Lenna at Creative Swaps. I've really loved making these and am excited about receiving my swaps in return! Thanks Lenna!

Mine are only slight variations of the same layout with the text ' WILD ABOUT YOU'.

I used rusted watercolour paper as a base; ripped printed tiger paper and leopard print ribbon was glued to the bottom of each ATC first; the word 'Wild' was then stamped and outlined with a black marker, then coloured with watercolour pencil and water; the eye was printed with a hand cut rubber stamp; watered down white acrylic paint was splattered over the whole front surface and finally small alphabet stickers were use to spell out 'about you'. The edges have been darkened and a fine black border added around the edges; front and back.

I'm officially addicted to ATC's! What a lovely way to give and recieve little pieces of art!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Joyous January!

First, a sneak peak at one of the challenges I've been working on!:



It's all finished now and I'm ready to send off photos for the deadline!

January has been wonderful! We’ve had so much rain that everything is lush and green and thankfully it hasn’t been too hot; we had a weekend away at Bellingen on the motorbike (we didn’t get wet this time!) We stayed at Casa Belle which is a wonderful piece of Paradise in the Bellinger Valley just inland of Coffs Harbour in the north east of the state of NSW! This is our 3rd stay in 3 or 4 years and we just adore it! If you’re planning a visit to Australia or are in Australia and looking for somewhere to stay in this area, we can highly recommend it!

We went on another organised bike run yesterday - a perfect riding day; I had a shopping day in Newcastle (about 4 hours drive away) with my eldest daughter (Kat) last week and bought some much needed clothes, shoes and underwear!; My youngest 2 children have arrived home from Christmas hols with their father interstate; and on top of all of that I’ve been busy working on challenges! Not so much studio cleaning and redecorating happening yet but the year is yet young! I'm harvesting Button Squash, Lebanese Cucumbers & 'Jack Be Little' Pumpkins (soooo cute!) from my vege patch (seeds were all from Eden Seeds - non hybrid, old traditional, open pollinated).

Here is the first of my ATC swaps. I'm not 100% happy with it but it's growing on me! It's just so different to the other entries posted so far- which are all divine!

Here is the link to Lenna Young Andrews Creative Swaps website with updates on this swap.

This is a little piece of needle weaving in situ on a piece of black felt that I did in front of the telly the other night. There is a photo and tutorial of the technique on this lovely blog: Creative Dabbling I came across the other day! Click here to go to the tutorial.

Needle Weaving on Felt

Needle Weaving on Felt

I couldn’t immediately lay my hands on my embroidery hoop to weave onto fabric and I was itching to try this sooooooo I decided to use the felt as a base instead with very successful results. The instructions are for a brooch but I may turn this one into a necklace (I’ve been doodling ideas for fabric necklaces in my sketchbook and jumped on this technique when I saw it!) Thank you Erica for wonderful instructions!

Erica dabbles with lots of different techniques (like someone else I know!) and I'm enjoying her blog. I've just 'met' Erica and realised it is her selvage quilt on the front cover of the latest Down Under Quilts magazine! Congratualations! Click here to go to Erica's blog entry about the cover and a further link to the article!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A year of firsts!

HAPPY 2010!

Only day 5 of the New Year and already so many firsts for me!

I’ve finished the first of the challenge pieces I’ve been working on (Just need to get some decent photos printed to send in) and am very close to completing a second! Yay! I’m pleased with the first; not quite so happy with the 2nd. I’ve blogged about it previously… Hopefully it will be all done by the end of today. Here is a snippet!

'Winter Wonderland' - Detail
Hand Embroiderer's Network Exhibition Entry

There is a link to the HEN at the bottom of this page.

A third entry I would like to finish is for the Quilting Arts ‘Let out your Inner Animal’ challenge which I’ve only cut and laid out so far! So a lot of work to do and the email deadline is 22nd Jan! eek! Link here for details.

I’ve also signed up for my first swap! It’s an ATC swap hosted by Lenna Young Andrews over here. She’s a very talented lady whose blog I’ve been following for a wee while now! Check it out. Another first for me in that I’ve not made ATC’s before!

And in yet another first, I’ve opened my first ever etsy shop! Click on the link over on the left there! I’m listing some older pieces. Still have some fiddling to do with my store………

My Mother Earth Art Doll challenge entry wasn’t chosen so I can show her here now! I’m actually quite attached to her now as she has been sitting on the mantel in my studio. Not sure whether to list her on etsy or gift her to a friend; or just let her sit here for a little longer?

Earth Mother Art Doll
Originally made for the Cloth Paper Scissors Reader Challenge

Gaia's Nuno Felt Cape with embroidered details and copper coloured beaded fringe- reverse side

Right side nuno felt cape

Gaia's painted and rusted face. Hand made copper clasp and beaded earrings.

I thoroughly enjoyed making her and have a second version in the pipeworks (read that as buried somewhere under the masses of fabric and junk in my studio!) - Haven't got around to that studio make-over yet!


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