Sunday, 28 April 2013

Shop opening

Oooh look who I just happened to bump into yesterday:

my gilet doesn't do my any favours does it! I honestly don't really look like a Michelin tyre man!

I popped into the new sewing shop opening in Moseley by Lauren of Sewing Bee fame yesterday with Julie and Aimee - we had a lovely time.

The shop is located in the Moseley Village in Birmingham - more details here.  Its a lovely place to visit with some lovely fabrics, a little coffee shop area, some fabulous Rowan wools and a wonderful light space for workshops on the second floor.

Thanks for looking - Got the sewing bug from Solihull

Friday, 26 April 2013

April Tag

Here is my take on T!ms April tag:

Oooh I have had such fun playing with these paints - they are lush! I am not sure whether it's because I have been busy sewing lately and not doing much papercrafting which is why I have fallen in love with tag making again or whether I just love it, love it, love it anyway and the love has never gone but just been on hold for a while!

Anyway some lovely new distress paints turned up last Monday but rather than just getting them straight out of the box and having a play I waited until I finished my quilt (on previous post) - so glad I did as it's now it's basically finished and not back on the UFO pile again!

So I opened Broken China and Mustard Seed and got swishing.  My stockist didn't have the metallic paints in so I mixed mine with the Antiqued Bronze stain which also gave really pleasing results.  I then coloured over the tag with Salty Ocean, Barn Door, and Wild Honey inks.  I love the background to this tag - will definitely be organising a workshop to teach this technique soon!

Then I had a fabulous play with the new butterfly die I bought last week (it was half price whilst I was teaching at Hobbycraft - so were a few other dies and it was funny how myself and the five wonderful students at my workshop cleared the shelf!).  Anyway I cut the butterfly out in white cardstock and then warmed up my melt pot.  Melt pots are fabulous tools - I have to admit that quite often I have a play and then its tidied away into the cupboard for a while but I still so love it and the effect it gives.  I heated up some Interference Blue UTEE and then added some red, blue and yellow To Dye For inks - I was aiming for the marbled look but slipped and ended up mixing all the inks together to give this lovely peachy/orangey colour so I dipped in the wings - love the tip from Hels last week on Create and Craft to use the heat gun to tidy up the edges - I never knew this so now my melt art can take on whole new look! whoo hoo.  Then I got out the Clearly For Art - this stuff is so fabulous - but as I had used a die I cut out the wings and then covered them with Red Pepper, Butterscotch and Stonewashed alcohol inks and then using the script reflections stamp, stamped the image with Archival Ink and wiped it away - such a cool technique and hence my beautiful butterfly was created!

I quite liked the idea of making up another little butterfly using cogs so these were my metal elements that I covered with Broken China and Mustard Seed paints and then completed using a metal spinner and a Prima Engraver Brad.  I didn't mix the colours up too much as it I wanted to it to look like patterns on butterfly wings.

I tattered and inked the edges of the tag with Vintage Photo, added a couple of stamps from T!ms Nature's Discovery set, cut and stamped out a ticket and stuck all my elements down.  The butterfly body is just coloured with black soot stain and glossy accents.

Love the technique for the ribbon although I used muslin - with Broken China, Mustard Seed and Antique Linen paints finished with Worn Lipstick stain.

All in all a lovely few hours play :)

Thanks for looking - having a playday Friday from Solihull

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Keeping warm with T!m

I regularly use my sizzix dies for sewing and rarely publish them but in January I decided to go for it big style and started a T!m sizzix quilt.  When I discovered he wasn't going to be at the NEC Trade show in February I put it on the back burner as I wanted to show him it in person but a couple of weeks ago I got it out of the unfinished pile and got on with it.  I had done most of the blocks and had cut out the small squares so it just needed piecing together.  I first put it together with 9 blocks on the front and the text blocks on the back to make it double sided but then decided I wanted a longer quilt with a plain back - so that slowed me down for another week or so whilst I unpicked some blocks and reorganised it so that all the text blocks which were going to be on the back were now on the front and here it is finished:

Here are a few closeups:

had to have cogs on it of course! all pieces are machine stitched - I am just coming to grips with machine quilting but I am pleased with my results - my Bernina doesn't have a blanket stitch so this is the blind hem stitch - its actually grown on me now and I am going to be using it a lot more - my eye sight is making sewing by hand a pain as I usually do it in front of the telly in the evening but too much close work and watching tv is becoming a struggle in dim light - I probably need varifocles.....

obviously needed to make a sewn sleigh out of the sign post die - I was (in fact still am) so excited about all the fuss this stirred up - I had over 3000 blog hits!

I haven't got the witch die so this is actually from the mask - I drew around the outside and then appliqued her on, and lastly but obviously never least:

a few quotes, rather than stamping them (which I have been known to do on my quilts!) I used the wordplay die and cut out and sewed on all the letters individually.

Used some moda fabrics (browns, creams. light grey and blue) and then a plain grey and black, various dies, threads and beads.  Might do some more free motion quilting on it at a later date but for now its done!

Hope you like it - this will keep me all nice and snuggly next winter - although three weeks ago I could have used it couldn't I! but now the weather has turned I will display it with pride draped over my settee until the autumn.

Thanks for looking - all cut out and stitched up from Solihull

Monday, 15 April 2013

April Showers Blog Hop

It's my day - yay!  Thanks for popping on over to see me as usual I had plenty of ideas of what to use for this blog but in the end settled on two.  Firstly this one:

I guess it needs an explanation eh?  Well when I think of April I always think of April Fools day.  Years ago in the late 70's early 80's there used to be a programme on BBC1 called That's Life - and one Sunday evening they did a documentary about a dog driving a car - it was quite a long documentary and quite interesting showing, I think, an Old English Sheepdog driving along in a car all by itself - of course this was an April Fool with an apt title of Lirpa Loof (which is April Fool spelt backwards).  It's funny what you remember isn't it because I would have only been at about 10 years old but I always think of this on 1st April so I have done a mug rug to celebrate the fact!

I found the picture of the dog and car on the internet and reverse drew it onto some Heat N Bond which I then ironed onto my fabrics and then cut them out to place them on the rug.  The letters are from a sizzix die and are applied the same way.  I machine appliqued around the all edges - I am still only just starting out with machine applique and am still not sure whether I like the stitch my Bernina gives or not!

My next one I have actually made two of:

Again I used a sizzix die for the flowers and appliqued them in the same way - I finished off with buttons and have only just realised how creased it is after looking at this photograph! oh well.

Here is a closeup of my machine stitching:

What do you think? It's not quite as neat as hand blanket stitch but it's ok isn't it - think I will keep practising with it for a while.

Hope you have enjoyed your visit here - if it's your first I hope it won't be your last and if you are one of my regular followers thanks for popping over.  Sorry I was late visiting all of the posts last week but I was on holiday in a hotel and the Wi-Fi wasn't working - have caught up now though and love all of the inspiring mug rugs I have seen so far!

Here is todays schedule for the hop:

I would also just like to say a big thank you to Erin and Mdm Samm for organising this wonderful hop - I really have enjoyed putting my mug rugs together.
Thanks for looking - Dancing in the Rain from Solihull

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Exciting news

I was walking through the Mailbox in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago (it's where the Fat Face Birmingham shop is based and their sale was on....) when I saw two shops called Birmingham Made Me selling local artists artwork.  So a quick chat and a showcase of my blog via my phone was enough for me to get the go ahead to produce some artwork to be sold in the shop.

Today I took in some pictures and cards and they have all been accepted!  Whoo hoo, it's not just the privilege of knowing that my handmade items are being sold alongside the likes of Harvey Nichols, Bang and Olufsum and the fabulous paintings in Castle Galleries but there is also a Tardis upstairs so I am secretly hoping that there will be a visit from the Doctor himself who may pop in and buy one of my items (well you never know and a girl can dream!).

If you want more information about the Mailbox details are here.

Thanks for looking - a local artist from Solihull