Wednesday 30 May 2012

TAST 22 and Dandelions

Take a stitch Tuesday - the stitch this week is knotted cretan stitch. I use the regular cretan stitch a lot but I've never done the knotted version before. I think you can get away without being too neat with this stitch, so it suits my style [messy]. I have used the stitch to couch down dyed laces and a piece of hand made felt. I thought it would be nice to include a bead as I stitched each knot, which I did, but I didn't like it so I took that row out. I used thin thread so that the needle would go through the bead, I probably should have stitched with thick thread and then put on the beads afterwards, but I decided to leave it. The buttons are also hand crafted, made from recycled buttons. 
Click on images to enlarge

It was a lovely day last Saturday and it was my birthday so hubby and  went for a walk around the woods at Causey Arch in County Durham. There were lots of dandelions to photograph.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Art Buttons and New Store

More buttons - this time I have used images from The Graphics Fairy
The images have been reduced in size
My article in Cloth Paper Scissors about the making of buttons like these

This week I have opened up a new store at Zazzle. If there is anything that you like on my website that you would like to see printed on something for sale at Zazzle, please let me know and I will see if it is possible.

Friday 25 May 2012

TAST 21 and SC

Take a Stitch Tuesday- this weeks stitch is butterfly chain stitch.
This is a new one for me and it is quite easy, having said that I kept doing it wrong, putting the thread around  the needle the wrong way. I've used screen printed fabric for the base and it does look a bit puckered in places but I think that is OK for this particular project, it is part of a fabric journal. Each chain is worked over three straight stitches but for one row I used wooden beads instead of the middle straight stitch.
Click on the images to enlarge

I thought I had better post my pictures before the month ends
The challenge this month is fruits and veggies
the cherries are painted with watercolours and white pen for the highlights

the apple was done with brush pens

and the banana is pen and watercolour

Thursday 24 May 2012

Nail Buffer Stamp and Collages

Have you ever used nail buffers like the one above with the red background - don't throw them away when they are worn out - they can be used for mark making stamps. And four usable sides means four different patterns.  I used a 'dead' pen to score a pattern with, a craft knife to cut a pattern and make lines, and an awl for the dotty one.
More pages from sketchbook 12 - watercolour and wax backgrounds, found images

Sunday 20 May 2012

Tick Tock, Altered Clock

Not everything always goes to plan and one example of that which I have decided to share with you, is this clock which was originally a plain white plastic clock which I wanted to alter. My plan was to to decorate the sides with crackle paint, but I found that the bottle had dried up. So instead I used acrylic paints and cling film. I tend to use cling film over and over again for altered books as I think anything extra it picks up adds to the texture. However I didn't want it on the clock, I just wanted it white - too bad, I got extra colours. I sanded it too to make it look distressed and one side now looks OK. For the face I combined two pictures, a clock face and another lovely picture, both from The Graphics Fairy. I placed it onto the clock and replaced the hands but found that the paper moved so I decided to glue it in place. Bad move - it crinkled up and looked awful so I had to remove it. I then thought I would print onto a transparency, just a pretty picture and use the existing clock face on the actual clock. This I painted but it came out a lot pinker than I was expecting, I was going for an aged looking brown. After printing the transparency looked strange, it appears that the black ink did not work so I just got the coloured part, which I accidentally smudged when it was still wet. After sorting out the printer I did another different picture on top of the last one just to see if it worked and it did. I re-assembled the clock and guess what - it still works- amazing! I could re-do the clock but it is just hanging in my work room so I am not sure I can be bothered. But it is possible to alter a clock, so if you have a boring old clock that needs a spruce up - go for it. If you need some lovely images The Graphics Fairy blog can be found here.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Rolling Stamp 84, Fabric and Paper

My arty friends and myself set ourselves challenges and one for this month is to use/do something with a tube. I haven't made a rolling stamp for a while so I thought I would do a new one. I used it on the background paper above and on the fabric below. The fabric was used originally as a pressing cloth when I used to steam digitally printed fabrics and it had some marks on it. I have been adding paint splodges on purpose to try and make it more interesting and I used the new rolling stamp on it in two different colours. I've started to quilt and stitch on it since taking the photo and I will show you the progress in a few days. Click on the images to enlarge. There is a picture of the rolling stamp below and the marks it makes.

Wednesday 16 May 2012


The stitch this week is Bullion knot stitch and I have just realised I have missed off the word 'knot' on the ribbon tag. The background is screen printed fabric, the house is hand painted/stamped and appliqued [with plastic windows] then hand stitched onto the background. There is also some patterned fabrics, dyed lace, beads and an altered art button [see yesterdays post]. My plan was to stitch the button on with bullion stitch but it was not possible. I've used bullions for the tree, the flowers, the smoke from the chimney and on the ribbon tag.

Another page done for the fabric journal. This is what I have so far, when I hold them together they seem fat enough for a journal, so I am thinking of sewing them up. Or maybe doing a cover and adding two more TAST stitch pages to the inside covers. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

More Art Buttons

I had a session of making more art buttons, and used some of the clear buttons I received from Sherry which I mentioned yesterday. I have an article in the present issue of Cloth Paper Scissors on how to make/alter buttons like these. They are offering free trial issues if you have never seen the magazine before. 
For the buttons above I used a clear button and a laser print, some old designs I had on the computer.
The pink and green ones below are artwork [prints with scored foam and ink pad], also clear buttons.

These were an ink jet print, a square labyrinth I also had on the computer and I used clear buttons.
The spotted one was a cardboard domino [from a cracker maybe?], the other a laser print, both with clear buttons.
The sheep are an inkjet print on clear buttons - part of a design for fabric

These below were made a little differently to the above. They are also made with a laser print but the white paper is removed just leaving the black toner ink. These were not covered in the article so I will explain here. Use buttons that are pale or clear as the ink will not show up on dark buttons. Glue the right side of the art work and the flat side of the button and press together firmly. Let it dry completely. To remove the paper, place the button on a cutting mat and score around the button with a bradawl. I find it works best if the bradawl is dipped in water first, just to dampen it, but not soaking. Tear off the excess paper. Lightly dampen the paper all over the button with your finger and gently rub off with a thumb. The paper should come off but leave the toner ink on the button. If you rub too hard the ink will come off too, so be gentle. Let the button dry and repeat the process if it looks like the paper as reappeared. Use an emery board to smooth any loose bits of paper around the edge. Use the bradawl on a cutting mat to poke through the stitching holes, both sides. You could apply a top coat or two of acrylic wax to the surface if the ink is on the top of the button but I have not done this on the clear ones below as the ink is on the underside of the button. 
I used coloured buttons for the ones below and the inside of recycled envelopes [these particular ones were from a blogging friend Doreen in Australia] There is a slight fault on the green one - this is because I didn't put the glue on properly.

Monday 14 May 2012

Swans, Cygnets, Sketchbook Pages, Button Gift

Before my daughter and husband got the train back to London we went to Herrington Park and we saw lots of swans, a pair of them had baby cygnets. But it was really cold.......

When I got back home I opened a lovely packet of buttons which had come from a blogging friend - Sherry. Check out her blog, she is always creating lovely things.

More pages from my big sketchbook - number 12

watercolour background and found images

 and all the rest are watercolour and wax candle background and found images

Sunday 13 May 2012

A trip to Beamish

My daughter came for a visit and we took advantage of the good weather and visited Beamish - the living museum of the North.
There is lots to see - these were some of the goodies in the shops

This is a nursery in one of the houses
This is near the entrance to the mine

click on the images to enlarge