28 February 2007


I've found out what the plant was that I took photos of in Stanley park last Autumn. It's a Japanese Fatsia Japonica or false castor oil. It was shown on BBC 2's Gardener's World last year but I've only just remembered to look it up.

FINISHED at last!!!

At last I've finished my last project. At one point I thought I was never going to get it done. I must admit I was getting fed up with it. The first idea I had didn't work so I had to rethink what to do, but I got there in the end.

This is the piece of silk paper I made based on a tissue paper collage. It was about 12 x 16 inch in size. My first thought was to do a wall hanging but the paper came out a lot darker than I wanted. So then I thought I would colour a piece of silk with silk paints and embroider it but that didn't work but then when I was looking through a book on silk paper I had a 'eureka' moment. I did a few quick sketches and decided to do some lattice work.

I started to stitch strips across the piece of silk paper which took ages to do.

Then I had to cut the piece up in to strips, another hour or three.

Next I coloured a piece of silk to attach the lattice weave to. I also did a similar piece for the lining.

Then it took another hour or two to weave the silk paper strips together. I used some bondaweb to lightly attach it to the silk fabric.

And this is my finished project - I'm not sure what you could use it for, it's very light weight so perhaps for keeping stockings/tights in.

This is the front

the back

a close up of the button I covered with silk paper

and finally the lining of the bag.

Overall I'm pleased with the finished bag, it's turned out a lot better than I thought it would after all the ups and downs of this last project. All I've got to do now is some last minute written work and I can send it of to my tutor for marking. Next I've got to go through all that I've done and choose which pieces to send for assessment. That will take quite a few hours so I'll set aside one weekend to do it. It doesn't have to be in until June now because I've missed the date for sending it for March's assessment, but never mind I can take my time and mount things properly so it will look its best.

27 February 2007

Axminster threads

Norma has left a comment asking what axminster threads are. They are a wool thread used in rug making but I've used it in my T.A.S.T samples because it is nice and thick. I originally bought them to use for my weaving samples for my OCA textile project. I got them from Texere Yarns

26 February 2007

Spilt paint fabric

Remember I said I'd spilt half a bottle of silk paints, well this is the fabric I did with the spill.

I used a 2nd piece of cotton fabric to mop up some of the left overs, it's a bit mottled in places where there wasn't a lot of paint.

T.A.S.T. Fly Stitch

I've just finished this weeks TAST Fly stitch. Another stitch I wasn't too keen on. Perhaps once I start doing the City and Guilds course I want to do I will get better and become more experimental.

This first sample was done on a piece of cotton fabric I dyed with silk paints. It came out lighter than I wanted. I only used a small piece of it so I can experiment putting some more silk paints on to darken it. I used stranded cotton threads again this week.

This 2nd sample was done on linen with my usual axminster thread and crochet cotton. I am really going to have to buy some more threads to use, it is starting to get monotonous.

22 February 2007

Blue fingers...

I've just been colouring some fabric and was putting the top on the bottle of silk paint when it slipped from my fingers and went everywhere. Luckily it was only half full and I'd put a plastic bag down to work on so I managed to pour a lot of it back in the bottle. I soaked a lot of the rest up on some cotton fabric, it will come in useful at some point. I've managed to get most of the blue paint from my fingers but a few of my fingernails are now BLUE!

20 February 2007

T.A.S.T. Feather Stitch

Here is my go at Feather Stitch. I wasn't too keen on it to start, I kept forgetting to put the thread under the needle when I did the left hand stitch but once I got into a rthymn it wasn't too bad.It reminds a bit of pictures I've seen of underwater scenes with I think it's seaweed hanging down.

It was only when Purple Missus left a comment about the background that I realised I hadn't said what I'd used for this piece. I wanted to do a sample with colour this week as most have been in cream. It's a piece of linen I coloured with Javana Silk Paints and a variagated thread to sew with. I really need to learn how to use Procion dyes to colour my fabrics and threads.

T.A.S.T. another Algerian Star

I did some more Algerian Stars. This time on a piece of calico.
I painted it with some Acrylic primer, sorry the photo is so blurry.
Then I painted it with Burnt Umber acrylic. I lightly painted some Copper acrylic on the Stars but it doesn't really show up in this photo. In life it reminds me of beaten copper that was done by the Arts and Crafts movement.

18 February 2007

I'm a Pig

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

I should explain that it is the Chinese New Year today and this year is my year as I was born in the year of the pig. It's supposed to be a very lucky and prosperous year, I do hope so the last couple of years haven't been very good for me so I could do with some help.

It's funny but my nephew Joseph was born in the year of the Pig (Boar) as well 1995 and my other nephew Caleb was born in the year of the Tiger 1998 the same as my Mum, spooky or what.

Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in Europe. We have a great chinese chippy up the street that makes some of the best fish and chips you can get.

17 February 2007

I just found this link on a blog but I can't get back to whose it was, so sorry I can't give them the credit at the moment


Just gone through my Bookmarks in Firefox and it was Jackie at Stitchworks who gave the link. It shows how obsessive we can get in whatever craft we do.

T.A.S.T. Algerian Star

Here is my version of Algerian Star

Crochet cotton stitched on cream cotton though it look white in this photo.

Talking of photos, I've changed to new blogger and it's taken me a couple of goes to upload this photo, guess what, I hadn't noticed you had to put a tick in the accept terms box so the photo would upload, aagh!!

15 February 2007


I'm online at last. It used to be Telewest but they've just changed their name to Virgin media . The came to install it yesterday lunctime and only took 1 hour to do it . They had to put the cable in through my Mum's bedroom wall run it along the landing to my studio and I've had to do some shifting around so I can plug the modem in to the mains. There are only 3 plugs in the room so when I put my computer on and I can't use anything else, that inlcudes the fan heater I have to heat the room, (we don't have central heating so it's the only source of heating). I really thought that I would be surfing all day but I was online for a couple of hours last night and this is the first time today. I sat at the computer keyboard and my mind went blank, all the anticipation of being online at long last and I couldn't think what I wanted to look up.

13 February 2007

TAST Chevron Stitch

Late posting these photos of my attempt at chevron stitch.

Assorted thickness of threads on Jute.

Chevron in assorted colours and thickness of thread.

02 February 2007

Silk paper Tutorial

Lynda of http://www.purplemissus.blogspot.com asked me how I made my silk paper for my postcards so that it was soft and not to much like paper. So I thought I’d put a tutorial on my blog of how I did it for anyone else that is interested.

Here’s a link to ‘Treetops Colours’ Silk paper introduction http://www.treetopscolours.com.au/SilkPaper/SParticle.htm but I have experimented and for my silk paper I use 1 layer of silk tops not the 3 that are recommended in their instructions and in the books I have. Take Silk by Judith Pinnell and Silk Paper creations by Judith Pinnell.

Place a piece of net on a plastic sheet (I use the flat side of bubble wrap).
Pull a length of silk fibres from the tops about 3-4” long and lay on the net.

Continue with more layers of silk tops to size required

Fold net over top of silk fibres

Mix approximately 1 tsp of washing up liquid into 300ml of luke warm water and paint on to both sides of the silk

You have to use some type of adhesiive to bond the silk together. This is taken from http://www.treetopscolours.com.au/SilkPaper/SParticle.htm.

acrylic gloss medium/varnish (atelier brand, by chroma acrylics)

this adhesive is water-repellent, has enough stiffness for sculpting, jewellery, book coverings and mixed media but still leaves the silk with a crisp but pliable handle and is easily machine stitched. it is the more natural feeling of the two mediums.

textile medium (jo sonja's brand, manufactured by chroma acrylics)

this adhesive is water-proof, hand washable and dry cleanable (reduced cycle, reduced moisture, 40oc). it can be used, within limits, for wearable art

wallpaper paste containing methyl cellulose

wallpaper paste with methyl cellulose traditionally is used for adhering rice and other cellulose wallpapers. there are many advantages to using wallpaper paste - it leaves the silk with a wonderfully natural handle......

I use Atelier medium from Crafty Notions mixed 50/50 with water. I mix a small amount at a time into an empty tablet bottle as it collects surplus liquid from the wet silk and this will dilute the medium. Paint the medium on to both sides of the prepared silk working it well into the surface. I pull the top layer of net off the silk so I can check it is thoroughly wetted with medium and to smooth out any wrinkles. It doesn't have to be manipulated like when you make felt.

Move the silk to a drying frame. I’ve pinned net to a canvas frame for this purpose. Don’t leave the wet silk to dry on the plastic – it will become shiny. I put the bubble wrap under the frame to catch any drips.

Allow up to 24 hours to dry in a cool climate less if it is warm. Remove from net and iron if needed to get rid of any wrinkles.

I've had to do this post in 2 stages, naughty blogger wouldn't let me upload all the photos at once but finally got it done.

T.A.S.T. Cretan Stitch

Here are my samples of Cretan Stitch. I had this piece left over from my OCA painting and printing project. It's a sponge dipped in fabric paint on to jute.

Then I used stranded cotton threads randomly all over.

I got this from an article by Ruth Issett in an old issue of 'Stitch' .

I've used muslin, calico and linen and randomly stitched with axminster wool, crochet cotten and some cream thread I'm not sure what it is though. Ruth painted hers but I'll have to do mine when I've learnt how to use Procion dyes. When I have I'll post a photo.