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Archive for the ‘Swaps and Challenges’ Category

Welcome Back

Here we go with another Stash Dive Challenge, our toys tools of choice for May are; Paint, Gelli Plate, Stencils, acrylic paint, pens & pencils. Go forage, hunt out your favourite materials and lets get messy. Plus free online workshop series.

Mixed Media May; Stash Dive

Mixed Media May; Stash Dive

This month I challenged myself to try new colours for my palette, baby pink, lemon and Pale umber, Powder blue and also orange! Pastels are so off topic for me so it was time to give them a try. I’ll share my results with you later on. How about trying a new medium, there are so many interesting options out there, add some dimension to your projects with texture paste, layer things up with some gel medium which is not just a glue but can be mixed with paint for a glaze or as a resist to certain areas of your work too.

I hope you will join me for this challenge and try some different colours in your palettes too, would love to see what you come up with.

Links

Adventures in Acrylics Online Workshop

Need some inspiration, check out my mixed media workshop series I posted a couple of years ago.

Lets make something in May, if your mojo has been flagging lately, grab an old paperback and get messy with the paints on the pages, its a great way to kick start your imagination. Rip tear and punch out the results for some great motifs and backgrounds for your mixed media projects.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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This month I’m going to try this marbling kit.

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit

As soon as I saw this kit on Create and Craft I just had to get it, I’ve always wanted to try marbling. After some research into the process and chatting to my bookbinding friends who also paper marble I think this will be a wonderful way to try the process in a smaller more achievable scale.

Once I’ve had a play, I’ll let you know how I get on and hope to write a review and maybe some tutorials, we’ll see how I get on. I bought my kit direct from the makers and added some extras; the Violet coloured paint and the comb you see in the next picture.

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit plus Violet paint and a comb to help create patterns

Marbling 4 Fun; Marbling kit plus Violet paint and a comb to help create patterns

Feeling tempted? Check out You Tube for Marbling 4 fun tutorials and also well worth watching are the ones for Ebru, which is Turkish marbling. Let me know in the comments if you are interested in this too and I’ll share my links for some really wonderful marbling sites and videos.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Well we got through the dark days of January and here we are in February. Time for a new stash dive. This month I’m going for some colour to brighten up a gloomy time of year. Lets have some drawing fun and have a go with doodles. Dig out some coloured pens and pencils and chill out with some creative scribbling.

Art and doodling great stash dive for Feb 2014

Art and doodling great stash dive for Feb 2014

How about you, do you doodle? Its very relaxing, as a lot of the time you aren’t too focused on where the design is going, just scribble away till you get some thing you like. I used to doodle a lot in my teens but gradually gave it up. When I saw Jenny Doh’s book it inspired me to have another go.

Will you be joining me for some arty fun this month?  Do you doodle? I’d love to hear what you like to draw the most. Don’t let the gloomy weather get you down, why not choose your own colour for your day and wear something bright that makes you happy or create a project with a happy colour.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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So here we are in a brand new year, what will be the creative challenge for 2014? Well as well as getting back to more art when my hands allow my new passion is for dressmaking. I tried last year but didn’t have the skills, so this year I have started again but with books and DVDs to help me learn how to create the clothes I’d like to wear and fingers crossed that will fit me. Now while it’s still dark n gloomy in the middle of the UK winter, what better time than to hunker down with some books and DVD and get learning. So here is my collection for this months stash dive;

Stash Dive: January 2014

Stash Dive: January 2014

I heard about the Threads DVDs thanks to a sewing forum that I’m a member of. Threads has a website and you can preview some episodes from the DVDs and purchase them for download if your internet is kind. I bought season one on Amazon and after finding out it would play on my TV/DVD set up got very excited and DH gave me season 2 and three for Christmas. The Dressmaking book is from him too, isn’t he wonderful.

Fear not, this is still a papercraft/art based blog and hands permitting there will be more of that this year but winter isn’t kind to my dexterity so actually ‘doing’ stuff has to wait for the better weather. So while I’m waiting I’ll be doing lots of research on all kinds of stuff, so I can share it with you in the form of reviews and hopefully more tutorials this year too.

How about you, what do you do with long dark winters? Do you create in the gloom or research to improve your skills and look for inspiration for when the light improves?

Lets hope 2014 will be better than the last four years.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Last month I started a sew along to create an advent calendar, did you make one too? I’d love to see your pictures. Here’s how mine turned out.

Finished advent calendar project 2013

Finished advent calendar project 2013

I started by ironing on lightweight interfacing onto the back of the panel (well DH ironed it on for me) We did this as there was so little fabric on the turn ins that I was worried it would fray.

Makower Advent calendar Panel.

Makower Advent calendar Panel.

Advent calendar panel: Backed with interfacing

Advent calendar panel: Backed with interfacing

DH had the idea of putting a thin strip of iron on interfacing on to the top and bottom edges again resisting any fraying and to stop things catching on the edges of the pockets. Thanks to my crocked hands DH put this on for me too. Turned into a joint project ;)

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on. (Backs of the pockets)

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on. (Backs of the pockets)

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on.

Any pockets that spread over more than one square had box pleats. First I placed the pockets in place and sewed along the dotted line between the pockets. Next I pinned the two side edges in place and sewed the other edges in place. This has made for a nice secure pocket that should stand up to a few years use.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on. Match them with the squares on the panel.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on. Match them with the squares on the panel.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets with box pleats pinned in place and sewn along dotted line to form center of pleat first, this makes them secure.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets with box pleats pinned in place and sewn along dotted line to form center of pleat first, this makes them secure.

To hang the panel I made some tabs using the same fabric that was going on the back and I sewed those across the top inside the seam allowance and pointing down towards the bottom of the panel, so that when it’s turned through they will point up.

Advent calendar panel: Tabs to hang panel, pockets sewn in place and top stitched the edges to firm up the result.

Advent calendar panel: Tabs to hang panel, pockets sewn in place and top stitched the edges to firm up the result.

Not convinced that sewing into wadding would be a good plan without getting LOTS of fluff into the machine. I pinned the tabs in place so they didn’t get in the way, pinned the backing fabric on to the panel, right sides together and sewed around three and a half edges. I clipped the corners and turned everything right side out. Next I put the wadding into the ‘envelope’ of fabric and DH pinned it in place using curved safety pins. Then I sewed around the inner side of the decorative edge and finally it was finished.

I sewed around the fireplace area of the design and around the clock to highlight that. If I’d thought in advance I’d have sewed some blue ribbon under the pocket but I didn’t think of that till the pockets were already in place. DH pinned the bottom edge in and I top stitched around all the edges. This looks nice and holds things firmer.

Can’t say I loved the process, it took ages coz I over thought the whole thing made worse by never having quilted anything before and I was scared of getting wadding jammed in my machine. Change your needle as you go through the project it helps a lot. I am very pleased that I went with the interfacing, it has given a nice sturdy result and having now seen a few of these made up in a shop, I like the result the interfacing gave and would do it that way again.

Did you make an advent calendar for the sew along? I’d love to see your results.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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November already! Where has this year gone! Now the evenings are drawing in, I hope you will join me for some mixed media fun with the latest stash dive.

Stash Dive #3 Mixed media meets texture

Stash Dive #3 Mixed media meets texture

In this months selection we have;

  • Stencils. Mine are Tim Holtz Layering stencils but find your favorites
  • Acrylic paint
  • Texture paste
  • Texturing Comb but time to experiment with anything you can find to create texture in your projects
  • The DVD is Seth Apter’s Mixed Media Surface Techniques

This challenge isn’t about acquiring new stuff but having a search through the cupboards for all the lovely materials you have but perhaps haven’t used in a while. Let have fun discovering the wonderful world of texture.

Will you join me for this months challenge? I’d love to see what projects this challenge inspires. Do share a link to any creations that you make from these kinds of materials.

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie :)

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How about a totally different challenge? Would anyone like to join me for an Advent Calendar Sew along? Last year I bought an advent calendar fabric panel, printed on it is a Christmas design and pieces to sew onto it to form the pockets for an advent calendar. The one I chose was 899 Fireplace Advent calendar; The Henley Studio Makower UK.

Makower Advent calendar Panel.

Makower Advent calendar Panel.

The principle with these calendar’s is that you cut out the smaller squares  and then sew them onto a main image panel. You back the piece with batting and another decorative fabric on the back. Got to admit I have wanted to do this for ages but have been tying myself in knots about just how to go about it. There are instructions on the panel but I fell into my usual trap of over thinking it, I put it away in the cupboard until now.

Any hoo, I figured if I turned it into a challenge then maybe some of you lovely readers might like to sew along with me to create an advent calender either for your own home or as a gift for someone you love. After looking up the brand name on my panel I discovered that Wendy Gardiner has made a tutorial for how to put one of these panels together.

If you would like to make an advent calendar too you could either use a panel of some sort like this, there are other brands too, or there are also lots of tutorials on You Tube and online if you want to quilt your own designs. Perhaps you’d like to make a garland or any other kind of fabric advent calendar. It would be nice to see some projects made from panels but any kind of fabric advent calendar you choose to make would be welcome to join in too.

So how about it? Would anyone like to sew along with me? I’ll put some links in below so you can see the kinds of panels available, they are quite easily available on Ebay as well as online sewing shops. You can even get an advent calendar design card to use with a Slice fabrique machine if you want to choose your own fabrics and colour scheme.

Links

Check out your favorite sewing store to see if they have any designs you like, or pick your favorite fabrics to create your own Advent calendar.

If you want to design your own style of calendar don’t forget you can use other design cards for the slice for cutting the numbers. The sturdier dies like Sizzix and heavier die cutting machines like Big shot have been shown on C&C cutting felt and cottons. Christmas designs like trees, numbers and holly etc are bound to feature on your favorite craft sites any time soon.

This is a great challenge for anyone else like me who bought one of these and hasn’t yet made it up, or for those looking for something a little different and hand-made for the Christmas season. The panels are ideal for total newbies to sewing as it’s just straight line sewing but there are also Character advent calendar’s like Tilda dolls who wear clothing with many pockets that can be left on a child’s bed for the more advanced or adventurous fabric artist.

To join in with this challenge just leave a comment in the post below. I am also running this challenge on The Sewing Forum, which is a great place to learn, share ideas and make new friends who sew. I know its early for Christmas projects BUT its to give people chance to get their calendars in to give us all a fighting chance of getting them done in time for December 1st.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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