Wednesday, 25 January 2023

WOYWW #712: Hello 2023!

Although it seems ages since new year's eve, it's my first blog post this year, so happy new year, everyone. Here's what I've been up to in January so far: 

I finished my December Care Journal with some additional pages from the Ugly Art Club challenge. Here it is on my desk and a few of my favourite pages inside:

Currently I'm working on JJJ (Junk Journal January) in another journal but I'm only doing some selected prompts. This was the "barcode" prompt:

I've also finished my second quilt! This was made with the same strip piecing method as my first one, using Moda's scrap bags, just a bit bigger. I'm testing my boundaries size-wise and this is pretty much bordering the upper limits of what I can squeeze under a regular sewing machine while quilting. Maybe I can go just a little bigger!  I got into a bit of a pickle with the layers shifting during quilting, even with the walking foot, but got some good advice online about how to reduce the puckering. It turned out ok in the end! 

I've already started working on a new quilt, but it's a year-long project: it's a temperature quilt! It involves plotting the maximum and minimum temperatures for each day working with half square triangles. I assigned cool colours to the lower temps and warm colours to the higher temps. By the end of the year, I will have a very colourful quilt top! It's too early to show you the process, but I can show you the colours I'm using: 

I've been using lots of the coolest colours this week! It's been frosty most mornings!

When I spotted this fox on the front lawn, I quickly checked that Oreo was in the house! Thank goodness, he was safely snoozing in the airing cupboard. He doesn't go out much in this cold. 

Happy #712!

Wednesday, 28 December 2022

WOYWW #708: December Recap

Here we are, the last WOYWW this year, and as such, my last blog post in 2022. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas! I started writing this post well in advance on Christmas Eve, just to make sure I don't run out of time and I'll only have to press the publish button on Wednesday.  I've been working on both my mixed-media and sewing projects throughout the month, so here's a quick recap: (picture heavy but will try to keep the blurb to a minimum!)

Desk No. 1 - working on my Care December journal in an old book with ecodyed papers - I used a combination of fabric and paper - I got stuck on day 15, but plan to finish it before the end of the year or perhaps combine it with Junk Journal January:

I've also made a couple of these cool fabric bowls following a tutorial by Kristin at Altered States Studio here. It's a bit like papermache with fabric! 

Desk No. 2 - I've made a quilted cover for my sewing machine with some Moda fabric strips from a mystery scrap bag (caution: very colourful!):

I've also finished my first quilt, which made me super proud - I'll be working on one for my hubs next as he is now jealous and keeps hinting at being "cold and exposed"! 

I also completed these Christmas projects listed below:

- an advent calendar that was perfect for chocolate coins...

- a table runner for the living room side table (spot Santa in the background)...

- place  mats for the dining table (again using some strips from a Moda scrap bag):

I've also made this Tilda sausage dog - there's a free pattern here - and lots of other free Tilda patterns here. I'm developing a bit of an obsession with Tilda fabrics at the moment and got some of Tone Finnanger's books as well (she's the Norwegian creator of Tilda) - her books are full of creative projects:

Of course, we had some snow too earlier in the West Midlands - not as much as other parts of the country though - shame it didn't last until Christmas:

And our obligatory Christmas home improvement project, fitted the day before Christmas Eve by my DIY extraordinaire husband (it's a glass splashback purchased on Etsy to brighten up the kitchen):

I'll finish off with this mugshot of Oreo, who's wishing everyone a very happy 2023!


Wednesday, 30 November 2022

WOYWW #704: November check-in

Hello again on the last day of November! I've been looking forward to this day, because it means I can start opening my advent calendars tomorrow! It's all very exciting and the countdown to Christmas always makes the cold, gloomy days of December a lot more pleasant. But more on that later. First off, here's a shot of my desk #1 (the messy one):

That's a little quilted, scrappy journal cover with ecodyed papers inside. Don't let the neat cover fool you -  it's pretty messy inside! It's almost complete now. Here are a few examples of the pages: 

Now onto desk #2 (the not so messy one):

I've  got some boxes to store my fabric in. On the right is my first attempt at crazy quilting with the quilt as you go method (it just happened to be the same size to fit the top of the box perfectly!). I've also made some coasters - this one's hand-pieced and hand-quilted with some lovely Indian batik fabric, which is quite different from the Indonesian batik - I love both! I'm a big batik fan! 

I've also been playing with fabric selvedges (selvages) - I got addicted to collecting Moda scrapbags, which usually contain the selvedge ends of the fabric - most people throw these away, but they actually make fantastic scrappy projects! You can piece them together to make a bigger piece of fabric, which then you can use like any other piece of fabric. Here's a sample - this is about an A4 size:

AND - I've also completed my first quilt top! This was done with a Moda scrapbag as well, which had slightly wider strips, so I was able to piece together a scrappy strip pattern: 

Now I'll show you my crafty advent calendars this year - there are two of them! First up, is this one from Devere Yarns - it contains 24 silk threads in different colours - I can't wait to start opening it! 

The second one is something I'm putting together myself - it's my old home made advent calendar filled with strips of fabric from Moda scrap bags - it's only half full because my orders got delayed by the postal strikes (so annoying!) - but I've got the first 12 days covered. I need two more bags to fill the next 12 drawers. It is a surprise as I open the scrap bags in the dark and place 4-5 strips into each drawer, so I don't know exactly what's in them. I think there's a trick there that the manufacturers have missed - imagine how popular something like this would be if it was available commercially! Well, I've made my own! 

I gotta run to the town today to do a spot of shopping but I will be back later visiting around. 

Happy #704 and Merry Christmas as I probably won't be back until after Christmas! 

Take care, everyone and enjoy the festive period!

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

WOYWW #699: October Update

#699! That's a great number and it falls on the last Wednesday of this month, which means it's time for me to check in with the WOYWW "crowd". So hello there! Quite a bit going on here since my last check-in. I have a brand new work desk, completely separate from my messy one! I'm not even sure how it happened but one thing led to another and I bought a new sewing machine, as the one I had was just a very basic one. However, in order to use the machine, I needed a dedicated space and my craft room is already jam packed. (I know this is something I should have considered BEFORE I made my purchase, but hey-ho, I just problem-solve as I go along!) So after some consideration, I decided to rearrange my bedroom (yes, I have my own bedroom as my husband snores terribly!) and I was able to fit in a corner desk, which allows me to set up my machine on one side and have a cutting/ironing area on the other! It's small but perfect for my purposes! So, with much excitement and fanfare, I present to you my work desk No.2! Tada! (Photo taken this morning!) 

My first little project was this quilted cushion cover made from Basic Grey's mini charm squares. Even though Basic Grey stopped producing paper, apparently, they still do fabrics! (Actually, my very first try was still on my old machine - a little pot holder, but I won't show you that - I just affectionately refer to it as the Frankenquilt LOL!) This one's still not perfect, but getting there.  A follow-up project was that fabric basket for my scraps you can see on my desk above. I didn't want to use my best fabrics in case I mess up, but it's still pretty. My husband's happy that I'm finally doing something useful, although he thought the basket would function better as a hat - he tried it on, but declined to model it for my blog! 

And just to stay true to my mixed media roots, I also cobbled up this little tag/bookmark last night using very small pieces of scraps:

While all this was going on, I also followed this year's Life Book Taster sessions on Facebook, but I only had time to compete three of the lessons which you can see below (by Jenny Grant, Melanie Rivers and Tracy Verdugo,  respectively): 

So that's the long and short of it. I'll check out your crop photos when I visit later! Have a great week and see you again in November! xx

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

WOYWW #695: September Round-up

Here I am again with my end of the month recap! September has flown by at supersonic speeds! I've flittered like crazy from one media to the other this month: from watercolours to stitching and even rock painting, though I haven't got very far with that one yet. As soon as I'd collected the stones, I moved on to something else! Perhaps my desk shot will give you an idea:

Centre stage is a card/scrapbook for my son's 18th birthday. Yep, he's officially an adult now - crazy, I know! It is New York themed with some of the photos he took while he was there and a few others I nicked from the internet. (It's allowed for personal projects, isn't it?) That's a printout of a digital collage on fabric on the cover and I'll show you the inside pages as well - all mounted on recycled cardboard backing from my watercolour pads, with a couple of waterfalls inside for the photos: 

Rather than copying my project shots off  Instagram like I normally do, here's a little group photo of some of them just to speed things up: 

(1) Watercolour swatching in a Moleskine journal that I've had for years sitting unused in fear of 'ruining' it! 
(2) Slow stitching pieces - my new passion! You know I'm not good with perfect straight lines, but I can sure do messy and organic! These were my first attempts on dyed and rusted fabric. I want to incorporate this practice in my mixed media work.
(3) The completed Ugly Art Club Five-minute Challenge journal - a quick flip-through below: 

I've also been buying textile art books and extended my already quite extensive library with these titles - I love them all! Nothing makes me happier than sitting with these books and a cup of tea!

So that's it in a nutshell. 
Sadly, I won't be able to go to the Crop on Saturday as we've started visiting universities, but I'm looking forward to seeing all your photos! xx

Happy WOYWW #695!

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

WOYWW #691: August Round-Up

Today is the last day of the meteorological summer! How on earth did that happen so fast? I won't miss that intense heat though and we might still have a nice quiet Indian summer to look forward to if we're lucky. Today's also my last chance to recap the month of August here on my blog and join WOYWW for my monthly check-in. I've been quite busy with numerous challenges on Instagram, which keep my art-making motivated and focused. But first off, a picture of my desk - it's a total tip - probably the worst it's ever been. I've been planning to tidy up for weeks and never got around to it. I will - one day when I feel like it! (and yes, I'm ashamed of it - I'm just trying to desk-shame myself into taking action)

Let's go backwards and start with that little journal in the middle of my desk. That's a spread I completed for the recurring Ugly Art Challenge #tuac5minchallenge. This challenge gives you five minutes to create a piece of art - this time we had some prompts as well in the form of tabs, which I added to my journal pages. I created this shabby little journal especially for the 15 prompts of the challenge. I won't post all of the pages here, just a few to give you an idea and we still have a few more days to go:

Before this (in-between challenges) I had some free play in a notebook journal (I keep starting new journals LOL!) I have several on the go simultaneously! 

And then there was the weekly Mixed Media Scavenger Hunt #seekgathercreate, where we had to gather 5 things to fit the prompts to create a piece of art. It's so fun! Here are just two of the examples. 

What else? Oh yeah, There was also the reelsforartistschallenge run by Roben-Marie Smith. I've created several reels inspired by this challenge. I think this was my favourite, though not the most successful in terms of likes and views - you can see all of my reels HERE

I'm also sharing my "completed" ecodyed journal from last month for the #flowersmagicchallenge. I don't think it will ever be truly completed - I can go on sticking random bits in it for ever and I still have that sidekick journal to fill (a journal within the journal)! 

That's it folks! A busy month for me in August - I'm actually off work this week, just taking it easy before the mad rush back to school next week. Early mornings again when I got so used to sleeping in until 9.00 - 9.30 on my days off - I have a lot of sleep to catch up on since January as you know! Such a relief that I can sleep again!

Sending you all hugs! I'm not sure yet if I can make it to the crop in October - but I'll try! xx