I’m slowly starting to get back into work again and I have dyed up a batch of silk scarves. I had fun playing with the tying techniques as always and I even did one quite complicated design.
I used different techniques and different colours on each of these scarves and they’ve now gone to Y Galeri in Caerphilly to hopefully be sold.
This is the other scarf, which went through a few stages of tying and dyeing. I would have to charge more for this one purely due to the time that I’ve spent on it…but I’ve fallen in love with it anyway so it’s staying with me!
A week ago I went to a brilliant workshop with Cath Lewis at Craft in the Bay, Cardiff to learn how to use devoré paste to eat away parts of fabric. If this is done on a mixed-fibre fabric you can end of with a lacy effect – great fun! I treated it as a day to play and experiment rather than create a finished item so I now have a pile of interesting samples:
Shibori-tied onto a pipe then the devore paste was applied before the fabric was dyed.
I drew the paste onto the top section using a squeezy dye bottle then sponged it onto the bottom section.
This one didn’t quite come out how I’d planned! Leaves drawn on in devore paste then more leaves in dye, which neutralised the paste where they crossed.
I painted the paste on with different tools.
I applied the devore paste through a stencil.
I drizzled the paste on then drizzled on dye.
I applied a design in thickener and dye then applied devore paste over that once dry to give a reverse effect.
Not all of the samples are brilliant pieces of art but I certainly learnt a lot and I’ve got some great ideas from playing around. I think that I will turn the sample in the first picture into a piece of art as the colours are lovely – maybe layers of machine and hand embroidery over the sea-like waves.
Oh dear – over a month without blogging! Things have been busy. We’ve had our utility room ripped out and new cupboards put in as well as us ripping down lots of wallpaper and getting ready to decorate. And I think I’ve also felt rather overwhelmed with everything. I’ve hibernated to some extent, curled up on the sofa with my two cats and a fluffy throw. But I can’t do that forever so this little project is my foray back into the world of creativity.
We’ve inherited loads of keys with this house. We know what some of them are for but there are a few randoms that we haven’t worked out yet. They were all on random key chains with logo-ed fobs or old labels that had been crossed out and were rather worn. This didn’t suit my rustic key box so I had to find a project that could improve my keys.
Some rough drawings to come up with ideas for my key fobs.
After sketching a few ideas in my journal I got out some Shrink plastic at started to play
The before picture! Just a few of my boring house keys.
It always amazes me how tiny Shrink plastic can shrink too. These filled my baking tray before they were heated.
The after picture! One set of keys looking a lot cuter.
And the three sets of keys looking pretty in my key box.
Once I’ve worked out what the other keys are for I can make little drawn fobs for them too
Here’s the latest view of my studio – looking good isn’t it? I still have some odds and sods that are without a home but I’ve done a lot of the organisation and it’s actually usable now.
Here’s my fabric corner – shelves full of organised boxes with labels stating the contents. I’ve separated out the fabric for toiles, the patterned fabric, the solids, the jersey knits and the recycled linens. I’ve run out of boxes but hopefully I can complete this process soon. It certainly makes me happy to look at such a tidy space
And here’s one of the shelves that I made. I have 3 of them running along the wall on the left of my studio holding lots of ribbons, buttons, threads and beads. I’m so pleased that I recycled these shelves out of wood that I already had and I learnt numerous skills while creating them. It’s going to be wonderful to work in this space now and I’ve already started a small project to warm me up.
I’m still working on creating a nice space in which to work. The shelves and cabinets are now all in with a wall of desks down one side of the room but I’d really like a long shelf above those desks on which to keep my bits-and-bobs that I need close – threads, buttons, needles etc. I was also inspired by this image on Pinterest to have hooks under the shelf that I can hang scissors and things from:
In the interests of both ecology and economy I’ve decided to create a set of shelves out of materials that I already had at hand. In my last studio I had some rather industrial-looking shelves with metal brackets and wooden horizontals. I’d already painted the wooden shelves white so the wide ones can be used as my new shelves and the narrow ones will be the backboard that I’m screwing everything onto. I wanted wooden brackets that I could also paint white. One of the cupboards didn’t survive the move and had to be replaced so I’ve decided to become the Queen of DIY and cut the side of the cupboard down to create triangular brackets.
I used a set square to mark out lots of triangles (more than I’ll actually need in case I make any mistakes). I’m now busy sawing into my cupboard…
Yes, that is me wielding a panel saw. I’m determined to learn new skills and take a real part in creating my new home. It’s going pretty well so far and I have 2 brackets fully cut out and sanded. Once I’ve got a third one I can paint those up and attach them to the shelf and backboard. That will be one section of the shelves that I can put up and check everything’s ok, then I will move on to the next 2.
It feels so good to be moving furniture and fabric in to my studio! We worked hard on the weekend to complete the painting so that the first set of shelves could go up by the end of Sunday and I could start filling them. Initially I’ve just put anything on any shelf so that I at least can have the floor clear as well as knowing how much space I need. Eventually I hope to put things in order with different types of fabric grouped appropriately – stretch fabrics in one place, printed wovens in another etc.
It felt amazing to put my mannequins up as it started to make things real.
I need to decide what other storage I need – some drawers for the smaller things and maybe a cupboard or two.
I’m planning to have 3 work desks against this wall and I think a shelf above them would be a good idea with hooks underneath for the regularly used items such as scissors and rulers.
It’s so exciting and I wish I could get it all finished now!
I’m slowly getting the painting done in my studio. It does seem to be taking forever but just looking at this work-in-progress picture makes me realise that it will all be worthwhile.
That ‘blank’ look is exactly what I need for my studio as the boxes and boxes of fabric will give plenty of visual stimuli! I think it’s looking so much better. Unfortunately the other side still looks like this:
I just need to keep plodding along, painting a little at a time and believing that I will come to the end of the wall one day!
Wow – over a month since I’ve blogged! Sorry about that, but I do have good reason. First I had flu and then I moved house! I think it’s pretty understandable why I fell off the radar for a bit, right? But now we’re in a lovely house and we’re starting to find things in boxes again, although the bread bin and my sewing pins are still missing
My whole house looks like this at the moment – livable but messy and not so great on the decor. It’s going to take time to sort everything out because there’s so much to do but I’m looking forward to a lot of it. We’re got furniture on order for the lounge and I’m in the process of thinking about colours. We’ve also had some new flooring put down in my studio so I just need to paint it then we can start moving my furniture in.
It’s going to be a great space once it’s completed – so much bigger than my last studio so let’s hope my productivity will go up as well.
I’ve been asked to write a review of one of Beads Direct‘s new Take a Make Break projects. They’re encouraging people to stop for 10 minutes to enjoy making a simple beady project, maybe with a cup of tea or a choccy biccy, as a relaxing few moments out of our busy lives. My package arrived this afternoon and here is what I found:
Very intriguing…the project is a ‘Milan Leather Bracelet‘ and there were full instructions as well as everything I needed. I was meant to be doing something else but I put that right down and started on my new project!
The materials for each project can be bought straight from the project page on the Beads Direct website – you don’t even need to work out what you need as you just click on the button at the bottom and it automatically adds everything you need to your shopping basket!
The instructions were really easy to understand and I quickly set about feeding the memory wire into the leather casing. It was pretty stiff and my fingers slipped a bit so I used some nylon-coated pliers to help me coax the wire down the narrow channel. After trimming the wire I just needed to use a little of the glue to attach the decorate gold ends and wait for it to set. I was pleasantly surprised by the end pieces as I had expected them to be plastic coated with a metallic paint but instead they felt weighty and cold and much better quality than I’d imagined.
And here’s an action-shot of me wearing the finished bracelet while typing up this blog post:
(Taking one-handed photos is not easy!)
So that was a nice, relaxing Take a Make Break
Full disclosure: I wasn’t paid for writing this review but I was sent the materials to create the bracelet for free as well as this rather nice Take a Make Break mug:
Issue 2 of My-Creative Diva is out today!
And I’m on the front cover!! Ok, I’m not the pretty model in the woolly hat but I’m in the side bar – the Diva Makeover. Not sure I like having a photo of me without any make-up on on the front cover of a magazine but at least the made-over image shows how I can scrub up.
My textiles project is a simple but dramatic table runner but what I’m really proud of is the fashion spread – it looks gorgeous this month! It’s not all my work as it would be nothing without out wonderful graphic designer but I do love how it all fits together.
Started getting ready for Christmas with issue 2 of My-Creative Diva.