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How to stiffen tatting

I first used home made stiffener many many years ago when I crocheted baskets, snowflakes and doilies.
I made my own stiffener by dissolving sugar in boiled water. Although this did work it had certain disadvantages such as it being sticky and messy. There was aleays the risk of burnt fingers too! Also the sugar can attract pests……not a good look!
Another method you can use is making up a mix of white glue and water, but this entails measuring, mixing and mess.
I was delighted to test  DecoArt  Fabric Stiffener and it worked a treat on my tatting  – no more messy pots, bowls, measuring or burnt fingers!
Americana Fabric Stiffener can be used to shape and stiffen silk flowers, appliqués, lace, fabric, ribbon, crochet and tatting. It gives a long lasting finish and dries clear. You can add paint to it to change the colour if you can paint it when dry.
To use it simply either pour some into a bowl and immerse the item or apply to both sides with a small brush.
I prefer the brush method for tatting as it so delicate and the spaces could get clogged.
 Although one  coat   would suffice I applied two coats to each side allowing it to dry overnight
You can see on this two layer piece how well it worked and how the centre stands up nicely.
I am not posting before and after pictures as it would be difficult to show how stiff the pieces are.
These hearts are a tatting pattern by Decorama

I stiffened pieces tatting with cotton crochet thread and c-Lon nylon thread and it worked well on both

This product is:
water based
Non-toxic
Non-flammable
Soap and water clean up
If you have never tatted before but would like to try there are lots of tutorials and videos online. It is a very nice craft to do and I like the fact that it is so transportable (is that a word?)
Please feel free to contact me if I can help with links etc
Gill
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Let’s Create with Shibori Ribbon

Working with 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

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Painted roses

Who doesn’t love roses?

 

 

I love growing them, drying them, sewing them with silk ribbon and painting them

This  was card made with this Sizzix On The Edge Die and I could not wait to make some with painted roses.  The lacy edge combined with pale roses is stunning. I love painting on black  and the cards look amazing with either coloured inserts or a greeting written with white ink

 

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!