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September 6, 2012

A Bit of Mixed Media

I’m still doing a bit of flittering between different crafts. Recently I’ve been watching a load of mixed media art journaling and scrap booking videos on You Tube. I have to admit I don’t love it all, some of it seems like just sticking, painting, stamping, stencilling and scribbling a lot of random stuff on a page. But where it helps to explore creativity and generates inspiration I find it quite interesting.

I like altered books and I thought it might be good to have a go at making one that I can use to keep together pictures, ideas and bits and pieces that I find inspiring. So I bought an old hardback book from a charity shop…


First job was to create a cover so I opened it up and primed it all over with a coat of Gesso (this seems to be a staple in mixed media art), this dealt with the shininess of the cover. Then I applied a coat of grey, I’m a fan of grey.


I collected a selection of papers together to go on the cover…


And stuck them down using matte gel medium (another staple that I hadn’t heard of until recently, but it’s great because it sticks well but leaves a matte finish)…


Then I applied some teal paint to the edges and a couple of butterfly stickers from Ikea (butterflies are going to be a bit of a theme in the book)…


To knock back the colours and help all of the background materials to blend together a bit I applies a coat of watered down gesso. I stuck some grey lace along the spine and added some buttons and beads. I also did some stamping in the same teal colour with a swirly stamp I have and some bubble wrap.


I’m fairly happy with is has a first attempt. It’s pretty and not to busy which I my style.


I’ve done a bit of prep on the inside, ripping some pages out and sticking some together. I’ll show you more as it progresses 🙂


August 28, 2012

Flowers from the garden


A little bit battered from the rain yesterday x

May 13, 2012


At the moment I seem to have ‘crafting attention deficit disorder’!.  I just want to try everything and do everything.  One minute it’s sketching, the next it’s jewellery making, then sewing and now embroidery.  I have so many ideas and new things I want to try, just not the hours in the day.  

I’ve been wanting to do embroidery for ages.  I got Aimee Ray’s book Doodle Stitching a couple of years ago and I love the way she uses embroidery to illustrate in a fresh and modern way.  I didn’t follow her patterns but decided to make up my own.  Inspired by the print on a top I had, my idea was to use swirls, hearts, dots and flowers to form the shape of a flying bird.  I drew it out onto paper then copied it onto the fabric (which I backed with iron on interfacing) using carbon paper.  


Looks vaguely like a bird

I wanted a fairly subtle end result so I decided to use variegated thread in the same colour as the fabric.  Using back stitch, satin stitch, french knots and lazy daisy stitch I worked over the lines I had drawn.  It took me a couple of evenings in front of the telly to finish it off.  


I hadn’t really thought about what I was going to do with it but I had this frame which didn’t fit something else I made and I think it looks quite good in there.  I need to remember to think these things through before I start them really but I was just too eager to get going!


I will definitely do more embroidery, I have lots of ideas of what to do, but it might have to wait in the queue behind the other things I’m planning on doing.  Which craft next…?

January 14, 2012

Not a stitch or post in sight

No making lately unfortunately but I was given a couple of making books for Christmas which should provide some inspiration.

I got Lovely Things to Make for Girls of Slender Means by Eithane Farry, which is indeed lovely!  I’ve only flicked through but it is packed full of ideas on making, adapting and refashioning clothes and accessories.  I like her approach to clothes making which has a strong sense of ‘just have a go’ which I need a bit more of, I’m too cautious.

"There's probably a seamstressy way of making this skirt so that the finish is couture, but I made it up as I went along, and it worked out pretty fine.."

There are some things that I probably won’t make…

Chipfork necklace

But also some nice embellishment ideas and alternative ideas that I would like to have a go at.

Fabric corsage

China necklace

Eithane also provides loads of basics and tips and commentary relating each section of the book (the seasons) and the projects.  I’m looking forward to having a proper read.

At the other end of the spectrum (project cost wise) I was also given The Liberty Book of Home Sewing.  This has many very nice sewing projects, made all the more nicer by the use of gorgeous Liberty fabrics.  I love this apron…

Liberty apron

And another flower corsage…

Rose corsage

Plenty of inspiration.  My next project is going to be a notice board.  Post soon hopefully x

October 16, 2011

A sketchy weekend

Each year with work we go away somewhere for the weekend to do some sketching along with a bit of team bonding.  As urban designers/planners, thinking and being creative is part of what we do, but sketching in the field isn’t and, therefore, its is not something the we (I) necessarily excel at.  But it is a good skill to have and it helps you to really look at a place and I have found that I have improved at it over the years (although I don’t tend to do any from one year to the next).

This year we went to the Cotswolds.  Despite it being less than 2 hours from Cardiff, it’s a part of the world that I have never been to before and it is beautiful!  We had amazing weather to explore Winchcombe (where we stayed), Bourton-on-the-water (a lovely little town with a river running through the centre) and Broardway (another gorgeous small town).

The sketching quality was mixed.  Sometimes I’m just not in the right frame of mind and I know they’re going to turn out rubbish.  I had a couple that ended up ok with a little finishing off still to do.  Here they (the better ones) are…

A view down the river in Bourton-on-the-water

A house in Broadway (a bit of finishing off still to be done)

A couple of views in Winchcombe (a bit quicker and slightly less focused this morning. And I can't draw cars to save my life!)

Also had to take a photo of this…

A shop in Winchcombe that sold shoes and pet things. An odd combination!

And a couple other pics…

Sudeley Castle

Cute row of houses

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