Silk ribbon

Pointe shoes…..

 

 

BA2C4462-B224-468F-A7FB-86F8DFB433F8“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.

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7BE83E81-695F-4148-A2FB-28114A6D922CI 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.

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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,

Gill

 

 

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

Painting

Canal Boat Painting is fun

I have been working on some new designs to teach on  cruises later this year.

One of my classes will be canal boat (narrow boat) painting for beginners.

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!

There are many books available……I really like this one by Anne Young

This style of painting is not too difficult if you are prepared to practice stroke work.
Happy painting
Gill
Uncategorized

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
Uncategorized

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

Crafts

The beauty of silk

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“My Mother was right; when you have nothing left, all you can do is get into silk underwear and start reading Proust”   Jane Birkin

Who doesn’t love silk? I certainly do and I think I have loved it all of my life. My late Mum was in the WRNS (Womens Royal Naval Service) and in WW2 she was in charge of parachute packing in various locations in the UK

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I remember that, when we were children she made us underwear using parachute silk.  Hence my love of beautiful fabrics.  My Mum went to run her own soft furnishing business and made lots of our clothes including my wedding dress.

I digress and now on to crafts – I have been teaching crafts for many years and am mostly self taught. I am always trying new things, but love crafts that have limitless options.

Silk ribbon embroidery is a very enjoyable craft. My first introduction to it was when a friend bought me the book called Roses written by Di Van Niekerk. The projects in this book are exquisite and the instructions well written.  I never copy projects as I prefer to do my own thing but it is good to have a well written book to guide you into doing things right.

 

I just can’t believe how long it is since I wrote a blog post. My old blog link is still live at http:// http://www.gillcolthart.blogspot.com

 

 

 

Crafts

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!