Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Bags and dolphins

Well, I have talked with my family over in America twice already using the webcam. The first time my grandson simply waved to me and then told me he was going back into the pool now - Bye grandma - and that was that. I couldn't compete with the pool so had a good chat with my daughter instead while my son-in-law was blowing up the large inflatable dolphin my GS rides on in the pool.

(Goodness - loud thunder and lightening and hailstones - English weather!! It is in the 80's on the other end of the webcam!! Grrr )

Back to what I was saying - the second time we talked I was given a detailed run down of his day including finding a large furry dolphin in one of the wardrobes which must have been left behind by one of their guests. Probably too big to pack. They were off to Sea World next , my grandson's favourite place. One of many, many visits I have no doubt. He is going to swim with the dolphins later and he doesn't know it yet, but he is going to spend a whole day with them, feeding, looking after and playing with them. I expect that will be a very excited webcam exchange.

I gave my daughter a list of goodies to get for me while she is there. They are half the price over there. Sadly, Walmart, which was THE best place to shop for our kind of goodies has reduced this side of their sales dramatically in spite of every effort by the American quilters, sewers and textilers to change their minds. It is now only about a quarter of what they used to sell - a great pity. It was much better than the Joanne store we hear about. I am now going through my wish and replace list to give her any further lists. She has already bought the very large roll of freezer paper I asked her for, for a fraction of the price here .

Now to some creative work. I have made another bag for my Egyptian project.

I began by stripping down a hardly worn cream linen skirt. I used just one of the back panels. I spray dyed it then give it a coating of gold glimmer dust which I had to seal using 'hair spray' which seems to have worked. This dust gets everywhere and I glowed in the light for days as did everything else. Once the fabric was dyed and dusted, I stencilled the Nefertiti stencil I made onto it and stamped the lotus flower stamps I made using a subtle aubergine metallic paint. I did try screen printing but that was a disaster as the screen I made - re the DVD'd that Lynda sent me - clogged up with paint - just as well it was a tester and not on the bag. Wrong paint - it dried too quickly so back to the drawing board on that one but I will persevere- pity about the carefully created stencil though!!
I did the same for a circle base. Now I had to find a way to create a top edge which when it was closed up would resemble a lotus flower.
Eventually I came up with the solution. Six petal shaped zig zags along the top edge.
Next I cut some purple satin lining for the bag and stitched the two together. The base was stiffened with some stiff polythene stitched inside.
Those ex- bras strap rings came in useful again. (Although I did have to go and sort out some more old and never worn bras to obtain some more rings of the same size. Two birds with one stone here - more room in the drawer now!!) I covered six of them with several different threads together. These were stitched at the bottom of and between two petal shapes. I crocheted two lengths of cord using the same mixture of threads and threaded them through the rings. They were passed through two large gold beads (brought back from America a few years ago) and knotted to finish them off. In order to keep the petal effect, I stitched a small bead on each petal to hold the shape when the bag was closed.
And the finished bag which has turned out rather well. Quite pleased with it.

And here is one for Karen. I know they are a weed but they are beautiful. It is a matter of managing them. The grass verges on the country roads look so sunny and uplifting thanks to the dandelion. The seed heads too are quite beautiful and the source of many an embroiderer and artist - weed or no weed. A bit of macro lens photography here Sharon, and digital imaging to isolate it from the background.

Now to decide what do do with two printed images - one on Thai silk and the other on gold sheer fabric and the woven machined text. Decisions, decisions. They take up more time than the doing.
I'm off for a cracker and a coffee while I think about it.


sharon young said...

What a delightful bag Shirley, it worked out really well, I love that vivid purple lining, my favourite colour.
Brilliant close up of the dandelion, I can see I'm going to have to get out and use my macro a lot more.

Karen Hall said...

Really Lovely bag, lovely picture of a dandelion, I have a river of yellow running from my back door to the studio - all dandelions - quite beautiful. The people who had this garden before cultivated them for their tortoise!

Debbi Baker said...

Shirley - I continue to be amazed by your continuing Egyptian fascination (obsession?!) I've missed commenting on a few posts but they have all been beautiful. I love the petals on this last one and reading about your process made it very interesting - you are very inventive.

hippopip said...

Beautiful bag in my favourite colour, and I love the shape and the top.Regarding paints for stenciling/screenprinting Texiscreen Aqua AJ are brilliant and can be used to just dye fabric as well I get them from Mascoprint www.mascoprint.co.uk they are not cheap but they last for

Purple Missus said...

Yet another beautiful bag. I love the opening on this one, great design idea.
Shame about the screen. Are you going to have another go or have you given up on that one?