30 July 2007

Printer update

I was going to go to PC World tomorrow to buy a new printer so I unplugged the old one from my computer so I could take it with me as they will take old ones as part of 'The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive'. As I was taking the leads off it I noticed there was a piece of paper stuck at the back. So I took it out and just for curiosity I put it back on my computer to see try it and IT WORKS. I'm still going to buy a new printer though, I've got my eye on a HP D7160 but as Mum said if mine is still working hang on and see if you can get a better deal anywhere before buying. Mine is an Epson and it is inclined to get clogged with dried ink if you don't use it for a while, which from the research I've done the HP don't.

TAST update

I've caught up with my TAST samples at last, though I must admit I've left out satin stitch and long and short stitch for now. I couldn't get any enthusiasm for them but I'll come back to them some time.

This first photo incorporates (blimey that's a big word for this time of night) Half Chevron - Bullion - Sheaf - Arrowhead and French Knots.

and this is last weeks Buttonhole Wheel stitch.

I'm all up to date with my stitch samples now, I know there's no hurry to do them but I'll have to try to not get too far behind with them in future.

26 July 2007

Artists Muse Chapter 4

I finished Chapter 4 last week but kept forgetting to post about it.

This months challenge was to take up to 12 different coloured fabrics or paper and cut them into several different sized pieces then put them into a paper bag, shake them up and take 1 piece out at a time and put it on to a piece of fabric or paper. Once you'd put them down you couldn't move them.

I tried it first with tissue paper and rice paper I'd coloured

then I'd bought a spiral stamp for 20p in Rennies Art shop so I used some copper acrylic paint to stamp on top to add a bit more interest.

I decided to have a go with some nappy liners as well. I coloured them with some Procion dyes I had left over so I'm not sure if they will come off eventually. I used the same spiral stamp but this time used some 3d medium instead of paint. When I heated it I discovered the medium had taken up some of the dyes from the nappy liners by accident but it's given an added dimension to the work that I hadn't expected.

More dyeing

I did some more dyeing at the weekend. A few of the Rust dyed pieces hadn't done very well so I decided to over dye them with some Procion dyes and this is the result.

I also tried dyeing some threads for future use in projects so that it is easier to match the colours, you can't always get what you want.

and these are a couple of small pieces I dyed with different colours for something I want to try at some point when I have time.

25 July 2007

No Printer

I went to print out the 2nd lesson for my Temple Dancer doll class and my printer is broken, boo hoo!!! I can't complain though I got it free when I bought my computer 5 years ago in August. What I want to ask if you have any recommendations on a replacement. Mine is an Epson C60 stylus inkjet (not made now). I'd like one that is suitable for ordinary printing but also suitable for printing for textiles you know the sort of thing, T-shirt transfer, printing on fabric etc. So any advice gratefully received.

20 July 2007

Temple Dancer Body

I finished sewing together the body for my Temple Dancer doll yesterday afternoon.

It wasn't too difficult a task as long as you pin well and take it slowly. The most difficult part was attaching the neck piece to the breast piece but if you follow the letters that you write on to each pattern piece with water soluble pen it's easy. I can't wait for Tuesday's lesson we do her legs and start to stuff.

18 July 2007

Temple Dancer online class

I got my 1st lesson yesterday in the online class I'm taking with Joggles. This is going to be so much fun.

I managed to buy the correct cotton fabric last week but only in white so I tried dyeing it with tea bags this afternoon and this is what I got.

The original white is on the left and the tea dyed on the right quite a pleasing flesh tone don't you think.

The only thing I couldn't get in town was armature wire, but I googled and came up with a place in London that sells it, they are a Theatrical Chandlers I ordered it late on Thursday of last week and it came first thing Monday morning, I would have got it on Saturday but for the post strike.

I wasn't sure if I'd got the right thing but when I compared it with the wire on the Joggles website, phew! it was right.

More Rust Dyeing

I've been trying to put this post on my blog for the past 2 days but each time I've tried we've had a thunder storm and I've had to shut the computer down.

I've just copied this from a website:
You should always turn your computer off during thunder storms. Computers can be sensitive to power line interference, and thunder storms can cause power voltage spikes, brown-outs and melt-downs!

Anyway back to Rust dyeing. These first 2 are on 100% cotton

these 2 are on cream poly cotton

I decided to try some pink poly cotton with this sample

and these last 2 are some multi coloured I tried but I don't think the steel wool was in contact with the fabric enough, I'll have to try again.

15 July 2007

Rust Dyeing

I've finally got around to having a go at Rust dyeing. I did try a few weeks ago with a few screws we'd taken out of the numbers on the front door because they'd gone rusty but it didn't really work. So I tried with the decorators steel wool that I got from Wilkinsons when I went to town last week and it worked brilliantly.

I used some patchwork pieces I bought from Abakhans for 50p a pack. They where just big enough, about 12" square to layer with the steel wool and put in nappy bags overnight to work.

These first two are on a pale cream poly cotton

and these two are on white 100% cotton

I'm not sure what I'll use the fabric for but it will no doubt come in useful one day.

I've got a few more pieces but by the time I'd recharged the batteries for my camera it was a bit too dark to photograph them so I'll do them first thing tomorrow and put them in my next post.

PS I've had to edit this post. I hadn't noticed until Doreen said the poly cotton looked darker and I checked them and realised I put the photos the wrong way round.

Rag rugging

While I was making the spine for my journal I showed it to my Mum who said she can remember doing this when she was a child in the 1930's. Back then no-one had fitted carpets like nowadays, if you wanted any floor covering you made it yourself. She said they used old hessian bags from the greengrocers and the rags where pieces of material from any old thing they could find and they didn't have anything as posh as a latch hook to do it with they used a pipe cleaner bent in half to pull it through holes they pushed in the hessian. Each year before Christmas her Mum would make a new rug to put in front of the fire in the front room and the old one would get put in front of the fire in the kitchen. When you think of it recycling is nothing new, people of my Mum's and Nan's generation who didn't have a lot of money did it as part of everyday life.

14 July 2007

1st Journal

At last I've finished my 1st journal. It's taken over a week to do because I kept getting distracted by one thing or another. I'm quite pleased with it, it's not bad for a 1st attempt but I can see they could become addictive.

I used some of the fabrics I dyed a few weeks ago for the front and back covers with flower and spiral stamps on the patches. The spine is strips of the fabric with some eyelash yarn in between.

Can you guess what the inside front cover is made from. Give up .... it's the kitchen towel I used to print the coloured papers with.

and the back inside cover is from another piece of kitchen towel.

You can tell that I like bright colours can't you from the coloured papers inside. I can't stand wishy washy colours.

BTW I forgot to say this journal is a little larger than A5 in size, about 9" by 6.5".

11 July 2007

New Blog

I've set up a new blog to record my journey through the C & G Embroidery Certificate with Distant Stitch. The work I'd done was getting lost in all my other posts so I thought it was better to have a separate blog to use just for that and so it's easier for Sian to review it.

08 July 2007

New computer

I'm thinking of buying myself a laptop. I've had this computer 5 years in August. My Uncle Walter had died earlier that year and left a small pension to be divided between his remaining sisters and my brother and me as the children of his brother and it was enough to buy a computer. At the time it was the latest model but technology has progressed so much over the years and it is getting a bit slow now so I thought I'd look into getting a laptop. I have an idea which one I'd like but if anyone out there can give me any advice I'd be grateful.

Hot water saga

I have my fingers crossed plus anything else I can cross that the saga of the hot water is over. The trouble we had getting the landlord to fix the water heater. We had no hot water from Thursday 28th June until Friday 6th July, we had to boil a kettle for each time we needed any. You'll remember from another post we had the electrician then the plumber come to look at the heater, well I phoned on the Friday and they said oh, the plumber will come on Monday morning to fit a new element. Well did he turn up, did he **** (insert own swear word) so I phoned the landlord only they couldn't do anything their computer system was down and could only deal with emergency repairs. You would think they would have some back up system in place wouldn't you, anyway I phoned again on Tuesday, computers still out of action so I finally got through on Wednesday. The girl I talked to said she'd phone the plumbing company would I hold on, I got so fed up of waiting I hung up, phoned later and you never get the same person twice in a row so I had to go through the whole story again. This time I said would they ring back when they found out what was going on, so half an hour later they rang back to say the plumber would be here between 9am and 1 pm on the Friday. Hurray he turned up at 10.30am and put in a new element. He had to drain the tank of water and wanted to put the hose pipe out of the back door but the door was stuck with the damp from all the rain we've been having, so as I was trying to pull it open the handle came off in my hand. So now we can't get out of the back door until that is fixed and the poor plumber had to empty the tank in to buckets and it took ages but eventually he fixed it and now WE HAVE HOT WATER!!!!! and after all the messing this is what he had to install.

Postcard swap

Lynda got a bit carried away at the beginning of the month making postcards and offered to swap. Here's the one I got on Friday morning, isn't it brilliant.

She also kindly leant me a DVD called Retro Rags Workshop: Funky Fabric Books by Traci Bautista so I spent yesterday afternoon getting messy with paints. I'll post what I make when I finish but I need to get some rug canvas to make the spine for my book.

07 July 2007

Pass it forward

I've just seen this on Anne's blog and I've decided to join in.

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week... LOL... but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.
So anyone up for it.

02 July 2007


Carol has given us a challenge:
My challenge for you is to find something in your studio that you haven't used and go and experiment with it.
Back in March I bought a Needle Punching Kit but so far I've not tried it, so I decided that would be my challenge.

This is my first try with some of the fibres that came with the kit

and this is done with some silk tops.

I quite enjoyed using the hand held needle punch but I think if I was going to do a lot of this technique I'd invest in an embellisher. So I will have to start saving!!!!

01 July 2007

The Artists Muse May Challenge

I've finally managed to complete my challenge for May only 2 months behind. While I was doing it I kept feeling that something was familiar and I can't figure out why. I've looked at blogs I read regularly to see if it's because someone has done something like this but can't find anything so my apologies if anyone out there has done a piece similar to this I honestly didn't mean to copy.
The theme for May was 'the Spring of Creativity'. The challenge was to create a fibre piece to depict flowers. I chose Level 2: Create your flowers on a pieced green background using 3 or more green fabrics.

I started by painting nappy liners with silk paints then cut them up and ironed
them on to a piece of cotton then used a fancy stitch to make it look as if it was appliquéd.

The flowers are made from some crystal organza and when I started to put the pearl in the centre I realised it reminded me a bit of a 'Scabious' or to give it it's other name a 'Pin Cushion Flower' which considering it is a piece of sewing is rather apt don't you think.