Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Bunting and mail art 2 swaps

Lots of busy swaps on UKStampers at the mo!
Firstly, the bunting swap. For this one we all had to make a single piece of bunting, sized 5 by 8 inches, for each of the group according to their colour theme. I decided to make mine from calico, spraying Ranger colorwash and/or Cosmic Shimmer mists through a Tim Holtz clock mask. Over this I machine stitched a meandering trail. I then hand dyed/painted pieces of cotton cluny lace with various mists and Jacquard Lumiere paints and stitched this on with a wide zigzag. Various images from Artchix and Utkupilli were sewn on and inked captions added. These captions were taken from an index page of a first world war song sheet and were quite random!
Minxy is kindly stitching the bunting into strings. I'm looking forward to seeing my completed bunting :)

We've also been signing up for another mail art swap. My postcard is again on a calico base, dabbed with Jacquard Lumiere, which gives a lovely subtle shimmer. Painted cluny lace is stitched on to appear as waves and an Artchix mermaid is stitched on with another of those song sheet titles - Sandy Hook sounded irresistible as the name of a mermaid! Thinner white cluny lace is stitched on as an accent, representing sea foam. My postcard will be sent naked through the post. I hope the recipient likes it.

UKstampers is currently signing up for a Christmas decoration swap. Do pop in and have a look on the forum, lots to do there.

Child's patchwork quilt - clowns

I've recently started making patchwork quilts. With the exception of my recent William Morris patchwork top, I haven't done any patchwork for about 15 years and those early attempts weren't quilted or bound properly. So I thought I'd start with some simple designs.
This patchwork is a simple log cabin of my own design with pink and blue sides adjacent to beige and green, arranged in a zigzag formation. The top was made from a strip roll (and a half) by Fabric Freedom called Nature's Tones - Pastel and the back is vintage Laura Ashley cotton. The quilting is a simple square design stitched in the ditch. It is approximately 150cm square.

I've now started on a strip quilt of my own design using Moda Bar Harbor scraps and vintage sashing.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The Altered Element DT tutorial - lino carved stamps

I was very excited to receive a new challenge from The Altered Element this month - a lino carving kit! I've never tried making my own stamps before so this was great fun. I thought I'd write a tutorial to show you just how easy it is to make your own stamps.
The lino was Softcut so easy to carve and had a helpful white surface to draw the design on. I decided to draw a stylized greek horse.

This was cut out using sharp craft scissors (the edges were neatened later with a lino cutting blade).

I carved inside the horse using mostly a size 1 blade. The correct angle to carve at is about 25 degrees, this way the blade glides through the surface. Carve away from yourself slowly, carefully avoiding your other hand.

To ink your stamp, pour printing ink onto a tile and load on to a brayer evenly. Apply the ink to your stamp using the brayer. Place your paper onto the stamp and gently brayer over it to impress the design. My layer is slightly thick, printing ink is not my usual medium! I'll know to add less ink next time.

Here is the first print, with another print taking directly afterwards without re-inking. I wanted to show my first attempts to demonstrate that lino carving is not difficult and gives great opportunities for original designs.

I've got plenty of plans for this stamp now and want to play some more, will be trying it out with other inks and paints - can't wait to try Jacquard Lumiere with this. Watch this space.
Lino carving tools will be available soon at The Altered Element.

Mail Art - fabric postcards

On UKStampers we've been having a mail art swap. I couldn't resist making mine from fabric :)
Here's my one for Sid, made with calico, Ranger Colorwash, and stampers by PaperArtsy, Purple Onion and Stampers Anonymous.

Loved doing this so much, I had to make another to send to Lynne from The Altered Element. This one is stamped vintage fabric, painted bondaweb, PaperArtsy image and random haberdashery.

I may have to do more, it's a lovely size to work with.