Sunday, 27 November 2011

Stained Glass Applique, Decorations and Resolutions

I have been really looking forward to writing this post and sharing with you my latest work, a sample of experimental applique.  By experimental, it means trying new techniques and materials.  So I have attempted stained glass applique (which as the title suggests, looks like a stained glass window) and I have used a variety of materials, including felt, satin, organza, angel hair, cotton and decorative paper.  Some of which are easier to stitch into than others.  (As I found out the hard way. Ahm.)

My Stained Glass window

Please take a closer look...

It's all stitched by hand...and took me AGES!!

Only the border was machine stitched, and I have to say I felt very nervous because I had spent so long on the central panel, I didn't want to mess it up at the final hurdle!  Luckily all went well (I hope you will agree) and it is certainly the best that I could manage so I hope it's good enough. 

Onto other crafty news, Freya has had a creative week too preparing for Christmas;

16 Christmas tree decorations for friends and family...DONE!
You may be lucky enough to recieve one of her masterpieces in a Christmas card - if you have been good this year of course. 

And I have had a productive weekend in other ways too.  I have a new resolution.  It is to take better care of all my things.  So far I have put this into action by:

1) Sewing on all the buttons that had fallen off my winter coat
2) Donating all my old clothes to charity to make more room for the clothes I want to keep
3) Getting my boots re-healed
4) Ironing all my scrap bits of fabric and storing them neatly

And I plan to;

1) Buy a large portfolio/file to keep all my fabric samples in (rather than carrier bags)
2) Keep all my shoes and boots polished
3) Re-organise my wardrobe to make better use of space
4) Keep all my craft/reference books in one place and in 'genre' order

This probably all sounds quite obsessive but I have to say I am really enjoying the process, and anyone who knows me will know that I love being organised and do have a tendency to be a bit OCD at times!  But I also think it is important to take more care of the things I have, as it will make them last longer and I will enjoy them more.  (If only I had applied this principle a year ago, my winter boots would not be in such a state of disrepair!!)  I shall keep you updated with progress. 

Off to bed now, as a new week beckons, with the prospect of one last applique sample... night night and I hope to hear from you soon.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Fiction Fridays #1 - Owl Babies

Now you may be wondering what on earth this post is all about.  Nothing whatsoever to do with patchwork and quiliting, and even less to do with obtaining a City and Guilds qualification. 

But Fiction Fridays is something that I have seen on another blog called @homedad (see link to the right) and I just couldn't resist joining in.  @homedad's blog gives a full description of what it is all about; in essence it is a pictoral celebration of all things literary for children, and of course, only on a Friday.  All in all it combines many of my favourite things - children's books with their wonderful words and illustrations, photography and blogging.  I will also be adding some props to go with my books for Fiction Friday's, as it is something that I try to do as much as possible with Freya to really bring books to life. 

Anyway, enough waffle, here is my first installment...

Here is the text again in case you can't read it (note to self - use bigger writing/larger piece of paper next week).

They sat and they thought
(all owls think a lot),
"I think we should all sit on my branch said Sarah.
And they did.
All three together

The text is not, as suggested, the first line of the book, but from my favourite page, somewhere half way through.  I love the slow, melodic pace of this story and of course that one of the main characters has the same name as me. 

As for what happens, it's a simple story.  The baby owls are getting worried because they don't know where their mummy has gone.  Will she come back? And where has she been? You will have to read it to find out.  But it's safe to say that there is a happy ending. 

It's a must read for all children under 5, and even more fun when you have a little owl to read along with you. 

Right, time for me to focus! A post is coming soon about my very nearly complete experimental applique sample.  I just need to stop blogging and get on with it!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Some sewing at last

I haven't had the chance to blog over the last week or so. I thought it best that I use my time to work really hard on my samples and then blog when I actually had something interesting to post. I have now completed 3 out of 5 samples for this module, so getting there! All the samples are based on different applique techniques, which literally means 'applying' motifs to a base fabric.  Reverse applique is where you cut away part of a fabric to reveal a design. So here are my first two samples, and I have included the designs that they are based on, otherwise they look a bit weird on their own and out of context.

Collage based on the double-headed serpent

Basic applique sample

Another design

Reverse applique sample

I also have to do some experimental samples, using unconventional materials such as sweet wrappers, felt, organza, etc.  So below is my most recent and time consuming but fun piece, based on a ceremonial headdress...

Detail on a ceremonial headdress
My experimental applique interpretation

Spot the chocolate coin wrappers - all in the name of art!

So now it's back to the drawing board planning and creating my next two samples, which are an experimental reverse applique sample and a free choice experimental sample.  I want to attempt something called 'stained glass applique' which as the title suggests, is applique that looks like a stained glass window.  I have a few ideas but I need to put them into action!  

Thursday, 3 November 2011

My Colour Collection

Well here it is at last, all of my colour work as a collection.  There are still a few loose ends to tie up and I have to photograph everything and put it into a powerpoint presentation, which I am slowly doing (it takes hours) but I feel that the last 5 months have been worth it , and that I have actually managed to achieve something after all...

And here is my final design for this module, which I then made into a large collage...

Whole collage
Close up
In detail
In case you are wondering if they are beads that have been stuck on, then the answer is yes they are!  I think there are well over 250 of them, and it took me quite a long time with a pair of tweezers and some PVA glue.  I did it while watching Kirsties Homemade Britain (which I am enjoying so far, has anyone else seen it? Although I think it is a bit of a coincidence that she is famous and wins a lot of the time) so it was not such a chore after all. 

Right, must get on, still loads to be done but I hope you like my final pieces.