Saturday, 29 December 2007

All sorts - not liquorice

Bits of all sorts today - working on several designs at once. Machined out 3 digitised images in white on white ready to paint and then highlight with a gold leafing pen. They will form the head of a tassel type hanging.

Then I began a layer for another piece - staining some paper with a sepia stamping ink pad then overstaining this with walnut ink. I then created a page of hieroglyphics and printed them over the top of the staining. This sheet will be torn up into small pieces to go behind some motifs when I decide how they will be created.
Then I digitised some text and machined each letter out to make mobiles for the hanging. I still have one letter to stitch out.

The next bit is for Sharon.
The thread I told you about is around £7 - £7.50 (<1000m -20g) per reel for the lge size and £2 -£2.50 (200m) for the small reel - depending where you buy it.
Here is a close up of a tassel top I made for some themed tassels - still to be completed. I have created winter and the oceans and this one for autumn where you can see that particular thread.
As you can see - it is perfect for autumn and in particular - oak leaves.

Saturday, 22 December 2007


Many thanks Lynda, Karen,Sharon and Vivien for your kind words. I am wading through the document and will be talking to the editor after the Xmas break. Will know more detail then about any changes they want me to make etc.

Have been getting on with my current piece which is now in the next phase. I am now in the process of building up layers of stitch. One of my favourite stitches - Sorbello - which is so effective when layered up -stitches on top of stitches in different textures and thickness of thread. There is a lot more to do - swathes of gold stitches from the scrim and off onto the borders and lots of clusters of beads. Here's a close up of the Sorbello st.

Now must away and wrap some presents to be delivered tomorrow.

If I don't manage another blog - merry Xmas to all.

Friday, 21 December 2007

It's here at last!!

My BIG news - the contract from the publisher for my book arrived today - all 16 pages of it.
They did say that I would receive it by Xmas - how close is this!
I think I believe it will happen now.
Nice Xmas present.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

What to do??

Once again - decisions !!
Tried out embossing a patina metal shim over a rubber stamp to see how detailed it would be. It embossed quite well considering it has a paper backing (the shim is self adhesive).
Cut it out with a random edge and now????
Found some of the old faithful tea dyed scrim still to use up (last bit!) and now it is a case of laying it out with different fibres and bits etc. until something rings design bells and then ' go with the flow' again. A material led piece.

My daughter is getting me some artificial grass bits to glue and sprinkle around the bottom of the trees I made yesterday and then they can be wrapped up for Xmas.

I spent ages this morning choosing colours of metallic paints from a place I know who has a man who mixes them and can mix a colour to order for a lot less than the big names in acrylic paints. Had my list and request for a few extra colours if he can manage to mix them - phoned - closed for the Xmas break - back January 2nd - anticlimax! (that's polite for the word I wanted to use)
Not that I NEED more paints - just would LIKE more paints.
Will try again in the new year unless I am over that compulsive urge to add to my stockpile. This has arisen from buying Sherrill Kahn's latest book - Creative Embellishments. Colour, colour , colour springs to mind.

Can avoid it no longer - must get back to the decision making thing.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Trees for Christmas!

Have just finished making some trees for my grandson's model railway. They look very effective.
Will make the rest as and when and my grandson can help. I think he would love to sprinkle the leaves on.
A couple of them need to be straightened up - storing them laid down isn't good for them.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Finished book and other things

An up and down few days.
I have now finished the book although I don't know what am going to use it for yet but that doesn't matter as it is part of my Ancient Egyptian project.
It has turned out really well considering that it began with a printing test. The rest is another 'go with the flow'.This is a close up of some of the detail. The tags were finished at about 2.30am and the lining paper chosen and applied this morning (after a sleep!!!)

It was my grandson's birthday yesterday so we had a family party. I made him a card with a clue on it for his present from us. He worked it out pretty quickly. Unfortunately the weather and road surfaces are still heavily covered in ice so he can't try it out. His granddad made a stand for it so at least he can sit on it. He's coming to sleep over tonight instead of last night. We are going to put the tree and decorations up together.

Huge up and downs with the web site. It was almost complete on Monday but I made some adjustments to it and messed up although my programmer friend said it was more DW trying to help and is often more of a hindrance than a help. He came to sort it and I have now practised some of the editing etc. and he is coming again to finalise it this weekend. He also wanted me to create a little logo - the kind you see at the start of bookmarks and in the address window to add to the site (finishing touches!!). He's getting carried away with it. They have to be 16 x 16 pixels and 16bit col. Very small but I have managed to create my logo on it. There is a final adjustment to make to the images on the first page which messed up when he programmed the text to wrap them and adjust whatever the screen size which is done and ready to upload when he has checked it - he doesn't like where DW puts the images - not good for the web he says (I need to see what he does with them and make a note for future images outside of the slideshows). He has also protected my contact link from being picked up by spammers.
I am now trying to pull back from saying -'is it possible to do.....' which it always is but with time to programme it.

I must begin making the trees and bushes for my GS's model railway - part of my Xmas present for him. Then I can get back to finishing my project. Only a couple more pieces to go.

PS - site is complete and running - at last -and I have learned a lot - a very steep learning curve and I am still near the bottom of the slope.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

New website!!! Hurray

My revamped website is now up and running although there is still some adjustments and additions to make. It can be viewed on the same link - It is basically a big gallery of my work. I hope people enjoy looking at it.

I have also finished the cover work for the dancing girls book cover. I made the background from dyed silk handkerchief fibres using acrylic medium.

The panel of dancing girls was then stitched in the centre and the borders stamped and stitched. It is supposed to look like the peeling walls of a tomb. I am now going to drill the small holes along the edges of the board before I stretch the fabric over it so it is ready to stitch the back, front and spine together.

It isn't finished yet - think I will make some tags and there is still the inside to complete.

Must print my grandson's birthday card today. He will be 8 on Friday - growing up so fast!!!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Dancers on Lutradur

In answer to the query - what do I intend to do with the tassels - well they are just part of a project. I often do projects on a theme and investigate how many different techniques, materials and mediums etc. etc. I can use to interpret the theme. It will usually include panels, boxes, bags, books, hangings, jewellery, whatever I come up with. I also include digital collages now and print them out onto appropriate surfaces.
I have produced in excess of 30 pieces to date for this project with a few more to go. These projects make very good sources for talks to embroidery groups as they include so many different techniques that there is always something to appeal to most of the members.

Which brings me to the current piece for today's blog. This was the testing of Lutradur for printing. Testing over, two prints are now to be incorporated onto a book cover having managed to blend them together. The photo was taken under a small table light and the reading was very slow in spite of the high iso setting etc to counter it - don't much like flash. I does show how nice the two images turned out which was the intention. I have free machined the hair and painted the robes with a pearlised medium which can be added to any paints to give a pearlised effect. Nice on it's own too.

Not sure yet how I am going to proceed and how much to layer up. They look quite nice as they are but I feel I need to do more. Will have to raid the store, lay some stuff on top and look at at it all for a while. Its decision, decisions again.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007


Have finished the Egyptian tassel and like it. The air dried clay makes excellent motifs and I am becoming very fond of these blues, jades and aqua colours.
The tassel head has two sides - one complete and one slightly distressed.
I used gold waxing over the painted clay but was too impatient to let it totally dry so when I had finished the tassel I had to apply the gold waxing again. It is now hanging up to dry thoroughly this time.

I am now going to play with my new printer and see what it can do. I use pigment inks in this printer so am going to see how it prints on Lutradur which will take pigment based colour. Then I can stitch and blast with the heat gun or more me - carefully with the soldering iron.
I have just embossed some patinated self adhesive metal shim which was a trial but has turned out so nice I need to use it. Not sure how yet.
I used this shim to make a necklace and it is really effective. Can't post a photo as it is in the book!
Hope to post something from the Lutradur trial ...... tomorrow????

A quick PS : printed on Lutradur using both printers - one with dye inks and the other with pigment inks. Both printed.
The dye inks stay wet on exit but dry using the hair dryer - colour strong enough but the image is a bit fuzzy.
The pigment ink exits dry and the image is much sharper.
So - if you intend to stitch and zap - it doesn't really matter - does it??

Monday, 3 December 2007

Nefertiti bag

Finished the bag at about 2a.m. and it was bright enough to photograph this morning.

I think I always intended this panel to become a bag when I was stitching it. It shouted out BAG.
The fabric is a black simulated leather - lovely and soft.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Egyptiant Hangings

Finished a couple more pieces for the Egyptian project. Like one not quite so keen on the other.

Spent a lot of time preparing images for the revamped web site. Had to take some new photos as some of the ones I had were taken a long time ago and not of suitable quality to put on site.
Some could not be retaken as they were under glass and I did not want to open them up - I have enough work on without that extra task.

Had grandson sleep over and OH away at the NEC motorbike show.

I am also turning one of the Nefertiti bust profile pieces into a bag. Looking good so far.
Have also done prep to make an Egyptian tassel. This project continues to grow.

Brought in Workshop on the web last night or should I say this morning. Had a quick look at it - there's one article I particularly like. Have done something similar in the past but it has reminded me and I think it could come in for another Egyptian piece.

Back to the bag.....