“With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown”– Chinese Proverb
Who doesn’t love silk? Any of you who know me or follow my blog will know that I love working with silk ribbon. Recently I came across picture of a project made with Shibori silk ribbon. I had never seen, or heard of it before, and it is not surprising that I had to try it.
According to Wikipedia the earliest example of the shibori technique dates from the 8th century, in Japan.
The modern method is to wrap ribbon around a pipe, tightly wrap a cord around it, scrunch the fabric together, then apply cold water dye with a sponge.
I ordered ribbon from Etsy and waited patiently for it to come across the pond to Scotland. Unfortunately I had a little shock when Royal Mail popped a card through my door advising that I owed over £11 custom duty in addition to £11 postage! I have known for years that you pay duty if your order is above a certain level, unless your package contains a gift (from a residential address in the US) or is samples.
….I grudgingly lol paid the money and received some beautiful ribbon.
After having made a couple pendants (see above pictures) I decided to make a bib necklace
This type of work, along with beading is normally worked on a specialist backing material such as Lacy’s Stiff Stuff. I was sure there must be a cheaper alternative that could provide the same benefits.
I discovered I could use Vilene Heavy duty Interfacing and, guess what? It had all the qualities I was looking for – it can be coloured with permanent markers, cut to shape, pieces can be butted together and it can be painted with DecoArt So Soft Fabric Paint so that any parts not embellished will blend in.
For this necklace I cut out a template, interfacing and suede backing material, then painted the interfacing with a 60/40 paint/water mix of So Soft paint. I then left it to dry overnight.
My beading needle went through easily and I had no problem gluing on the suede backing when the project was complete (I used Crafter’s Pick glue)
In the picture below you can see where the backing is showing. Most of this will be covered with beading, cabochons or rhinestones but, if there is a part showing it will now hardly be noticeable.
Come into my studio…..
It was a lot of fun deciding what to put in my new shed/studio. I wrote about the construction in a previous post here
The furniture was made to my specification and was painted with @DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint. The colour used is called Everlasting, a very soft white.
This paint is so easy to use and gives excellent coverage when updating furniture and accessories. The best thing is no priming or sanding is required; this saves lots of time and effort.
To seal the pieces and add durability I then brushed on two coats of Americana Matte Varnish
Now for the accessories…..
I love the trolley/cart purchased from @Hobbycraft and painted some accessories to match it using DecoArt Multi Purpose Paint in Soft Jade – what a great match!
This chandelier was in the attic for around 20 years! It was really rusty and, to be honest looked ok but not quite the look I wanted.
I removed the original drops and replaced them with a selection of coloured crystal ones. I didn’t have any purple ones so I coloured a few with a purple Sharpie to co-ordinate with the velvet sofa (you could also use DecoArt Glass Paint). After painting it with the Soft Jade paint I sanded it in parts to give a more vintage look.
The piece de resistance for me is the armoire. It was made to my spec and holds lots of my favourite things, including pointe shoes I decorate with hand crafted silk ribbon roses. The bottom drawer holds fabric and embroidery hoops.
I found this garland @The Range at a bargain price of £10.99 and glued on a few more roses for effect. You can never have too many roses!!
I have some lovely antique lace I wanted to keep tidy so I printed off images from @thegraphicsfairy, photos of roses in our garden and some I had painted, and made the shaped cards. The lace stencil, and the image on my paint storage cupboards are both from http://www.decoart.com
Some of my hand painted cards
I have had this book for almost 70 years! It is huge and I can only imagine how I must have felt owning this book that was probably taller than I was!
Some of my felt hearts embellished with embroidery and tatting
This lovely girl was painted for me by my very dear Facebook friend, Laurie May
A get well card from my headmistress and school friends when I was 14!
French linen cushions – I painted the front one with with DecoArt So-Soft Fabric Paint. This amazing paint really is soft and can be washed time after time. The little angel is an image downloaded from the Graphics Fairy
Every craft room needs a pin board – I may decorate this at a future date, but don’t want it to look too fussy. It currently holds an eclectic mix of fabric painting, embroidery, tatting, silk ribbon flowers and hand made jewellery.
The best artificial flowers ever are from Bloom UK – this is their meadow flowers arrangement. Apart from the fact that it’s the wrong time of year I would defy anyone to notice they are not real.
Finally the furniture…….
I knew exactly what I wanted and was very lucky.
The lovely velvet chair and sofa are from TK Maxx (TJ Maxx if you are in the US) and fit the bill perfectly. I feel that adding them makes this a place where I can tidy away my craft stuff and use the shed as extra living room. My husband Bill and I often sit in the evening with a glass of wine – hence the name She Shed – We Shed
I feel so lucky to have this place to create, relax and display all these little things that mean so much to me.
Thanks for visiting – please leave a comment and come back to the shed soon!
Two of my favourite thinks, apart from raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, are being creative and watching ballet.
I embellish pointe shoes with silk ribbon roses. The ribbon is hand dyed to give an ombré effect and I use all kinds of things to make each one different. This can be antique lace, Swarovski crystals, pearls, feathers, fringe etc
I love the little Giselle book in this photo. When I was a child in the late forties/early fifties we were only allowed to read it if we were unwell, as a treat. I never saw an actual ballet until my husband and I visited St Petersburg for our silver wedding and we were lucky enough to have been booked a box at the Kirov. The ballet, of course, was Giselle. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
I was delighted when @Grishko recently used a photo of one of my decorated pointe shoes to start a competition for others to decorate a shoe.
The link, if you wish to enter is #Xmasgrishkodecor
HAPPY NEW YEAR
I am so happy with my new she shed/we shed – most of the time it is for my use but already my husband Bill and I are sharing nice times in it……hence the name.
There were so many considerations when designing the shed and we were lucky to find Allan, a top notch tradesman, who had done work for us about 15 years ago. Allan is one of these hard-to-find guys who work in tandem with you and is happy to make changes as the work progresses. He even made a bespoke armoire and paint storage table from scratch (pictures will be in my next blog).
This is a really solid shed as quality wood was used and there is 5” deep insulation in the ceiling, walls and floor. Although this greatly added to the cost it means it will be more comfortable to be in. I can design projects, create and paint here with all my books and materials to hand. I have been teaching various crafts for 20 years so have a lot of stuff!
The colour used on the outside is Seagrass by @Cuprinol. As soon as the weather improves I will paint the window boxes in a contrasting colour.
The fun part was, of course, deciding how to decorate the inside and I will share pictures in my next blog. All I can say us I am delighted with the result
“Can beauty make you cry?”
This is what I asked my husband when we were in a very special place. 25 years ago we visited St Petersburg to visit our daughter who was at university there. We had a marvellous time…..Maxine took us to the Hermitage, the St Petersburg Jazz Club, the Philarmonic Hall and last, but not least, the Kirov Theatre, previously called the Maryinski.
It was the first time we had been to see a ballet and it was such an unforgettable experience. We sat in a box just below what had been the Tzar’s box. We were handed pearlised opera glasses and, incredibly, did not pay a deposit! The intermission was so civilised with tiny little bars dotted around selling champagne and caviar.
Giselle was a beautiful ballet and I will never forget the Willies gliding across the stage like beautiful dolls.
I don’t think anything else will ever have the same effect on me, and that is why I asked if beauty can make you cry.
25 years later, I still love ballet and have managed to combine it with my creative side. I love to decorate pointe shoes in my own style; I buy pure silk ribbon, dye it and sew roses. Each rose is unique with different colours and shape. Adding braid, ribbon, rhinestones and pieces of vintage jewellery adds to the look.
Thank you for visiting and Merry Christmas,
For me, wrapping a gift is a really satisfying thing to do. There are so many options available, with beautiful paper and trimmings available. I tend to use embellishments I already have – these include foliage & herbs from the garden, brown paper and twine (great for gifts for the men in your life). For ladies I sometimes embellish with broken jewellery pieces, recycled ribbon, scarves etc.
Last week I had a necklace to wrap to give my daughter. I did have a black box the right size but it was too plain and had writing on it. I glued a piece of lovely flocked wrapping paper from @Costco on the top then added red velvet rose trimming I purchased in the amazing Garment District in New York. I then wrapped the decorated box with the same paper and felt this made it really unique, she can throw away the outer paper and keep the box (below) with the necklace in it.
If I am buying paper I like to get it from Costco, the fact that is has squares marked on the back makes it so easy to cut and crease. A few years ago I was featured in the Costco Connection magazine and using the the lovely paper and ribbon they provided made wrapping an absolute joy. May I add I am not being paid for this post.
Here are some of my gift wraps from Christmases past
My top tips for wrapping are:
Always work on a hard surface
Place the gift in a box for easier wrapping
Use the seamless method whereby the paper join is on a long edge and doesn’t show
Keep a stock of brown paper and white tissue paper in the house and you will never be stuck
Learn basic Furoshiki wrapping – great for wrapping bottles and books
Learn how to tie a classic Tiffany bow using double sided satin ribbon – add a rhinestone brooch and make a statement!
Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a peaceful and happy Christmas
Who doesn’t love roses?
I love growing them, drying them, sewing them with silk ribbon and painting them
If you would like to learn decorative painting it is easier than you think as you build on your skills stroke by stroke…….it is similar to the way you learn the alphabet or a musical instrument, rather than being born with “artistic talent”. I believe everyone is born with some creativity but often lack of confidence and self doubt gets in the way of it! I didn’t start painting until I was 55 and many good painters only take it up when they retire.
I teach arts and crafts on cruise ships, and one of my favourite things is seeing passengers who have just completed a craft project for the very first time.
I also run workshops in my garden studio near Edinburgh.
If you want to start painting there are many helpful links with ideas, tips and projects.
There are hundreds of projects for all skill levels on the DecoArt site
I painted these cards with DecoArt Americana Paint on black card. …….it is a quality paint with a smooth consistency and comes in a wide range of colours
Give it a try…….you will love it!