Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Merry

Thanks for visiting my blog this year and sharing the journey with me so far.
I am going to have a couple of relaxing weeks with my family in the sun and will be back blogging in a couple of weeks.
Hope you have a lovely Christmas in Sun or Snow ...see you in 2011

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Hot off the press - Angel wings to decorate a bottle of christmas cheer - felt layers with hand-stitching and beads. I have several more cut out that didn't quite get completed for this year...a nice hand-stitched project I can keep on with in 2011.Gift from a friend - microscope slides bound with copper tape and wire. I love these.Stitched Angel quilt made by me in 2007 - pattern by Susan-Claire Mayfield...almost "red" work :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Paper, Card and Stitch

Ready to share a couple more small projects I've managed in the last week.
First up, small books that would be great stocking fillers : You can make them with double-sided paper, or simply glue thinner paper together as I did. Reinforce the cover with an extra piece of thin card between the papers. Fold the pages in 1/2 and slide inside the cover. They are fixed together with brads, the fastenings of which are hidden on the back with the extra paper strip.Next up, another wee gift box idea from the book I used for my "Apple for the Teacher" project : Simply cut and I just used decorative tape inside to hold it all together.I had fun with my Xmas cards this year. Decided I wanted to make them, but then was running out of time so had to keep it simple. I like torn paper, and started by adding metallic stitched stars.Then ran out of what was loaded on the bobbin, and tried a variegated instead, and ended up with this kind of thing....even got creative with words. Still aiming for a post about angels before Xmas. Talk to you soon...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Image transfer techniques

I really like getting each new Quilting Arts magazine, and I especially loved this issue because of the awesome transfer technique inside. I have tried a few different methods of image transfer with mixed success. Liz Kettle shares her technique for transfers with water-soluble paper and I thought it was worth a try. I've found a YouTube demonstration by Liz of this technique here with written instructions on her blog HERE. I used a sheet of Paper Solvy, and printed a lovely Klimt image on it through my printer. She says to use Matte Medium, but I just used a cheap Reeves gloss gel medium applied with a foam brush to both the fabric and the image, then burnished them together with a brayer. Lift the edge to make sure the transfer is happening.When you are satisfied, peel all the paper off to reveal your image. I was thrilled with the results, and will definitely use this method again.
The other method I like to use is transferring to contact paper or packing tape. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer has produced a one-minute YouTube to show how to do this which I share here.
She demo's with packing tape, and says to use a magazine image. I have also done this exact thing with sheet music, book pages, and photocopies, and used contact paper (that you cover school books with) for larger images, all to good effect. The great thing about this method is that it doesn't reverse your image so you can use music or words.
On this postcard I photocopied both the quote and sun image and then transferred them to contact paper.
Hope you enjoy having a go at these techniques.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Apple for the teacher

This book has some very cool ideas for paper gift-giving. Click here for Amazon's link to look inside.I really liked the project of cutting an old paperbook book to the shape of an apple. I have made this one for Sam's teacher. The edges are inked with versacolor ink pad.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stitched Treasure Box

Last week of school - Yay. Had a great weekend - fabulous weather for the Touch finals, Sam got Most Valuable Player award in his T Ball (junior softball) team, and the Mums' birthdays both went well.
I made a small stitchy project was for my Mum's 70th - needed something to 'wrap' around the money gift we gave as a combined present. The original pattern is by Carol Fletcher and can be found in Quilting Arts Magazine #20. Have just discovered this project is now available free from Quilting Arts here (Dec 19)
This project has been on my 'must try' list for a while, so I was very happy to finally get one done, and I did it all in a day. So - quick project and really fun - I will definitely make more. Really useful for holding a voucher or cash. A couple of in progress pic's - this is the lining - I free-motion stitched from this side with the lovely variegated rayon ("Cradle Mountain" colourway from The Thread Studio) I had used for the satin stitched edging in the top and the metallic thread was in the bobbin, so when I turned it over it was all glittery and lovely.Finished with handstitched sequins with a small bead on top.Mum loved it.
And I have been particularly loving Jane LaFazio's beautifully stitched projects on her blog this past couple of months : particularly her Nostalgia Series here and here, and her latest inspiring creations with teabags. Check out her Slow Fiber set on Flickr - gorgeous.
Enjoy your week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday sharing

This Santa was created during a playday about 6 years ago!
We have reached the end of another busy and social week and are on the countdown to kids finishing school - Wednesday at 1pm. We are looking at a busy weekend of Bulls Xmas Parade, Mother-in-law's birthday, an afternoon of Touch rugby finals and my Mum's 70th birthday. Will share more on Monday.
I have still had time for fiction in the last week or so. Have read the first 5 Harry Potter books - never read them before and wasn't sure about them to start with but having read the 5th one which was a lot 'darker' I am now saving the last 2 for my holiday reading.
In the meantime, I am really enjoying this : an historical novel about a young woman's struggle to become a doctor during the Civil WarThese are the blogs I am currently visiting daily:
Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Xmas
Traci Bautista's 24 holiday inspirations
Free daily images from Lisa Volrath
Holidays Handmade - lots and lots of ideas over at Balzer Designs
Plus I enjoy the occasional dip into the Journally ideas from Ali Edwards' December Daily and have newly discovered Reverb journal by Hope Wallace Karney
Woke at 5am this morning with my head full of ideas of what I could still accomplish before Xmas, and have started and almost finished a small stitchy project today, so stay tuned.
Have a happy weekend

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Xmas crafting

I have been thinking about crafting Xmasy things and really enjoyed looking at these 2 books over the weekend.I especially like the heart ornament on the cover, and may well try to make angel wings and halos which attach to wine bottles for gifts! This book also contains some beautiful projects - if only i had a girl so I could make the sweet angels and pixies...
And although I would love to be showing you projects I am currently in the middle of, being a relatively new blogger means I can cheat and show you some of my Xmas creations of previous years instead!
This small quilt hangs in our entrance way during December - a pattern from an old NZ Quilter magazine featuring a NZ Christmas tree - the Pohutukawa. The triangles are pockets that could hold advent sweeties.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sharing the love

Sun-filled days at our place.Our creative playday on Tuesday was a wonderful sharing of ideas, and lovely food, but not a stitch made! Never mind - it was awesome for 4 crafty girls to just spend some hours together - the gift of time was welcome. Thankyou Katherine, Lisa and Tracy :-)
I am catching up on blogs I follow and thought I would share some of the blog love I have discovered today - so many creative people....
First up - a lovely free december calendar page in gorgeous pinks from Freepeople
Fabulous ideas from Alisa Burke for using book pages to create for Xmas and beyond
A beautiful white heart page made by DJ Pettitt - perfect for the season
Dina Wakely continues to inspire with inky tags -- I want some more Colour wash inks ;-)
December Collage Challenge by Green Paper - 1 week to do it...
And you can also get free image postings from Lisa Volrath here :: new images every day of December
Enjoy and I'll share more again soon.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seasonal inspirations

We are almost to December and my days over the past week have been filled with sunshine, school athletics day, a training day at the library, and working in the garden. I haven't been doing much in the way of crafty stuff, but a few weeks ago our quilt housegroup made a start on Xmas cards. I had a go at a few different ideas....I really want to make more of the Ruth Rae style that I have shared before - bottom right with music/text/organza combo.I borrowed the Xmas tree stamp below and I really love it. I have embossed it with Distress embossing powders, and the heavier Opals on the right.I want to add some stitchy elements to these bases, and have other crafty ideas for xmas which I really hope to make a start on this week so thought I would share those bits of inspiration here.....they are only small so I hope to get something done soon.
Christmas Fairy Shoes still on my list from last year - from Annette Emms pattern
Really love these sweet stitchings from Donna Downey
Karen's Whimsy site has some new images for Xmas - she also has tons of other lovely free images for your art.
And some blogs to follow in December for projects :
Tim Holtz is doing his 12 Tags of Xmas again
Click on my Holidays Handmade button in the righthand column for info from Balzer Designs.
And if you are looking for something a wee bit different to watch - try this Tim Burton DVD.Whimsical with just the right amount of scarey.
Am having a stitchy playday on Tuesday with a couple of friends, so will share the results of that and some book reviews with you in my next post. Happy rest of your weekend.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ink on my fingers

On Saturday I managed to get myself some of Tim Holtz' lovely masks - I got the flourish, borders, and a couple of minis and thought I would show you what I did with them. First up was a tag - I swiped a couple of distress ink pads over the baking paper, then misted the ink with water. The tag was then wiped over the mixture, dried with a heat gun, and re-swiped. You can see here the baking paper with beads of ink and the wet tag.Click here for a video by Tim Holtz using the distress inks in this way. The resulting dry back and front are a lovely mix of colours. I then used the small flourish mask (from the Regal set) to decorate the tag front. I just used a little VersaMark ink cube for this because that was the nicest colour I had to stand out against the dark background. In Tim Holtz' YouTube of using the masks, he throws all the surrounds away. But as you can see, you can use the left-over bits as well like a stencil to get the opposite image on the back! Then I wanted to have a go with the borders - again I inked using the mask, and also the leftovers....then I finished the journal page.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Best of the week

Have been reading and enjoying thisSaw this DVD - my husband and I both enjoyed itMade another couple of cards - this is the one I remembered to photograph!Making (slow) progress on the applique quilt - liking the checkerboard sashingsLess than $10 for these useful lovelies - 3 sweet heart stamps; I have wanted a date stamp for journalling for a while now; and the cardboard cutout borders are so cute.I have added a badge to my sidebar for Balzer Designs Holidays Handmade week of craft coming up soon. Check more details here Maybe we can do some projects together.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spray paint and stencils

Part 2 of our play day from last week - I am an admirer of Dina Wakley's graffiti-type journals using spray paint. She has a good-looking on-line class called "Graffiti of My Life" - other sample pictures from her blog here. Also don't forget to look at Martha Lever's chunky book created from that class which I shared in the last blog post.
Been wanting to try this kind of technique, but no spare money for a class at present so armed instead with an online tutorial by her with some useful tips, Katherine & I had a go -in the garage. We didn't have the proper sprays, so our attempts were okay but not great to start with, although watering down silk paints seemed to give a reasonable result through small atomiser bottles. Part of the problem was the paints were too runny with fine stencils. The most success came once we started using grungeboard stencils as a resistThese examples below show a lovely page in Katherine's journal which she had painted first and then sprayed through a stencil on top. The ones on the right show how I used a grungeboard cutout as a resist, and then flipped it over onto the lower page so we got the coloured opposite image.Katherine left me with several atomisers of watered-down silk paints to try, and today I used the lot! Love the ones using the grungeboard swirly designs. You can see I also used an ordinary alphabet stencil, and I also had a heavy piece of cardboard with holes in it which was the remains of a board game with the pieces taken out - more stuff to keep! I am happy with the papers I now have, and will try & create some pages inspired by Dina. The colour mixes are lovely, but I quite fancy the grungy one using just black spray too.My next plan is to purchase some proper sprays (eg. Smooch Inks, or Glimmer Mists or the Adirondack Colour Wash sprays - the challenge is finding sources and the best price in NZ - any suggestions?) and do some more experiments....I would also like to try making my own stencils. Will share more as they the meantime, this is another cool tutorial by Dina using Ink Resist technique (written, not video this time) and this is a link to an interview with Dina which I liked once again for the pretty pic's of her work :-)
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