Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Quick update

not as much stitching as I would have hoped for a day off work, but I had a lovely lunch with a friend in town :)

I also went into Spotlight - for ONE thread & walked out with a few more... but they are working so well with my project!
These are metallic & pretty tricky to work with, but are creating a nice effect.
Also I wandered past the bargain bin & simply could not resist these transfers... they'll come in handy one day:
And this is where I got to:

Monday, 27 June 2011

Work in progress

Here is a little update on the Biscornus I am making
I have finished the big one so far, & am now working on the next one.

Today however, is the first of my 3 days off work - yah! although this morning I had a wisdom tooth extracted, all went fairly well, but my jaw is sore, & I haven't had as much coffee as normal (with half my face numb until noon I didn't want to risk hot liquids).
I started a piece I am making for an exhibition. I'm not sure of the rules in terms of publishing & so I will show you what I have so far & how I got there. The theme is "Glistening Waters"
One of my most favourite places in NZ is Moeraki - just down the road from home & so my plan is to create a postcard. Thanks to Janine for inspiring me!

Firstly I printed the picture (weird then to show you a picture of a picture)

Next I chose my material, tacked an outline & added some angelina fibre. This fibre was ironed between two piece of baking paper as thick as I wanted it.
Next I cut some pieces of black velvet fabric into a rough outline of the boulders. My main reason for using this fabric was that it stretchy & the darkest fabric I had.
Then some stitching got done:

this is all very new to me, I hope it all goes ok... stay tuned

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Something a little different

at the beginning of the year I issued a challenge - as did some of my friends which is how I got started - to create something hand made for up to 5 of my friends. 4 responded - making things a little easier & recently I completed my first one & since they have now received it I can post here my "how to"

Inspiration came from here:  I think cutoutandkeep is one of the most inspiring sites I have found, admittedly not everything there is what you want, but if take a little time, browse a few pages, you should find something to inspire you.

"Record Books"
You will need an old record (hard to get new ones) mine cost 50cents from the recycle tip shop - score!
A4 paper, an oven, Chalk/dress makers pencil, scissors, Glue, needle & thread & sandpaper. (I also recommend a kraft knife/box cutter & a scorer).
Firstly, I take 20 pieces of A4 paper & put them into 5 groups of 4 pieces & fold in half.
Next I decided that I wanted to have some fancy edges, & I have a fancy trimmer :) Yes it has a light!!
Mark 4 places on the spine, ensure that all 5 bundles of paper line up & then use a needle to make holes in each of these places.

I double thread my needle, tie the end & push from spine through to centre of the pages of one bundle then through adjacent hole & loop through where the end is tied, this I find the easiest way to keep the thread secure. Then through the next hole & up through the last, then ready to sew the next bundle of papers together & to the first one.

 Hard to explain the above, I guess have a go, look at the pics & if you need some help  let me know... I'll try to explain more. One important thing is pull the thread as tight as you can, without bending the papers.
Finally I added a cover coloured page - sorry no pic of this by itself.
Then work on the Front cover.
I took a thick piece of card & covered the book of pages & worked out the best size. I also centered it & made a hole in the centre. This is the stencil for the record. Line up the hole in the record with the hole in the card-stencil, decide the angle you want the cover to be - judging from the label & use chalk or a dressmakers pencil (in my case) to mark on the record around the cardboard. This will be where you cut.
Turn your oven on - not too high, 100 degrees should be enough & place your record on an up turned bowl. WATCH the record. after a few minutes it should flop - when it does this, use an oven mitt to take it our & quickly cut the lines marked - ordinary scissors work! You will feel the record stiffen before you are finished, simply put the record back in for warming & do it again until you have gone all the way around. Do not worry that your rectangle is misshapen - simply heat a little, place on a chopping board (or between 2) & place something heavy on top. My sewing machine in it's case seems the right weight to me.
Once it is as flat as you can get it, use some sand paper to smooth off the edges.

Next step is the back cover. In the spirit of recycling, I like to use the record cover - some of these particularly from the 70's are VERY cool! & there is more scope to use the back of it or the front or a bit of both. Using the stencil again you need at least this amount of cover, I also allow approx 5mm for the spine & then some cover for the front as card is stronger than paper for the record to attach itself.
Then add in the paper to the back cover using PVA glue or a glue gun - which ever you would prefer.
Then use a glue gun to attach the record on the front & you are done :)
I erred in the fact, that I neglected to photo graph the end result, however here is one I did earlier (didn't like the size as much though)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

When things go wrong

Sometimes, things go wrong - let's face it, I don't think I have ever done something that I didn't have to unpick at least one stitch on. Normally errors can be fixed - redone if caught early enough & covered up if not too bad.
Sometimes mistakes can really work - the cat I completed 1/4 of the size it was supposed to be worked out but other times things just go wrong.
It's not all bad though - if you learn from the mistakes. Here are two from this year:

This is way too pink & too blue in the hair - I tried to use some software to put a pattern together, not good software. I have tried this again on my mum's software & will give it another go. I did learn that stitching from the computer is very doable for me (due to the trial software not being able to print it).

 This was one items from the mystery package I got from the Fox Collection. It is meant to be a picture about vinegars it came in kit form with some beads & buttons for embellishments. Nice idea, but I don't really like vinegar & couldn't see an application for it (other than wall hanging), but I thought i could change it a little & just put in Wine & port, instead of vinegars & turn it into one of those Wine bottle aprons.
That would have been fine, except that the pattern called for the stitching to be done with 3 threads, rather than 2, which is what I normally stitch in & I did start this way, but then changed at some point & didn't realise my error for some time, so I gave up. there was also some other error I made along the way... this stitching was not meant for me.

Now I'm working on a Biscornu Xmas tree in back stitch... here's my prep work:

Then I hope to do something with this:
It's Angelina Fibre... I have some ideas, but probably wont get started with it until the end of June.