Crafts · Painting

Canal Boat Painting

A [British] canal boat of traditional long, narrow design, steered with a tiller; spec. one not exceeding 7 feet (approx. 2.1 metres) in width or 72 feet (approx. 21.9 metres) in length Oxford English Dictionary

 

Narrow boats are wooden boats  used on canals. They were traditionally drawn by a horse walking on the towpath led by a crew member. It was and, indeed still is,  common practice to paint roses and castles on boats,  their fixtures and fittings. Common surfaces are furniture, coal hods and buckets.

Today the boats are mainly used for leisure purposes but can still be seen in all their glory, having been painted in the vibrant colours.

Traditionally oil based paint was used for this technique, but I will be using DecoArt Traditions. These are really good quality acrylic paints which will more than stand up to any uses my students will have for their finished items – not much chance they will be painting canal boats – but you never know!

i painted these wooden spoons as a class project on a cruise. It went down really well with the passengers and, funnily enough, one of them has a canal boat!

 

 

There are many books available……I really like this one by Anne Young
Crafts · create · Embroidery · Tatting

Felt hearts with a difference

I love combining techniques to create OOAK items.
 
I make these felt hearts in two different sizes and they look beautiful as door or drawer knobs, hanging on coat hangers or as pin cushions
 
 
I use Sizzix dies to cut the hearts and use polyester filling. My preferred embroidery floss is DMC and I like size 20 thread from Lizbeth for shuttle tatting  
 
Once I have completed the embroidery and/or tatting I sew two hearts together using either a running stitch or blanket stitch. I find it is best leave approximately a one inch space to insert the stuffing (it’s a good idea to measure enough floss to sew around the heart without a join)
 
This is an example of a heart I teach as part of enrichment programmes on cruise ships –  
it takes about 60-90 minutesto complete one. It is a simple design and good for beginners. Most of us learned to do lazy daisy (chain) stitch at school and it’s like riding a bike! 
Here I have combined silk ribbon roses and leaves with a tatted edging pattern by Mary Konior and French knotwisteria 
 

….more tatting with seed beads

 


Hollyhocks and cottage garden flowers with a tatted butterfly

 

……scattered French knots around  roses and added a seed bead to each stitch around the edge

 

These are fun to make and you can make them as simple or busy as your hearts desire!

 
I hope you enjoyed seeing these and please visit again
 
Gill

 

 

 

Crafts · create · Jewellery making · Necklace · Silk ribbon

Beautiful Silk Shibori Ribbon

“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.

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I am loving working with this medium and, already I have been inspired to try new things to embellish the projects. I have just about mastered beading Swarovski Rivoli chatons and am working on learning the soutache technique.
This piece of sea glass and pearls is encased in soutache cord
The possibilities are endless with shibori and the sewing is something you can really get absorbed in – the only down points are pricked fingers and picking up dropped beads which seem to get everywhere!
Thanks for your visit – I would love to know you have been and it would be lovely if you leave a comment
Bye for now

Gill

Crafts · create · Painting · She Shed · studio

She shed or We shed? decor

Come into my studio…..

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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        

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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

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Some of my hand painted cards

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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

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This lovely girl was painted for me by my very dear Facebook friend, Laurie May

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A get well card from my headmistress and school friends when I was 14!

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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 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

Crafts · create · Silk ribbon

Decorate a ballet shoe competition

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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

Good Luck

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Crafts · create · Painting · She Shed · studio

She Shed? We shed

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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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

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Crafts

All wrapped up for Christmas

 

 

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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.

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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.

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Here are some of my gift wraps from Christmases past

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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

Gill