Saturday, 30 June 2012

Felty Owl Swap

Above shows the owl that I made for our little swap.  I was a bit sorry to see this being posted off so I have decided to make one for myself.
I have never made an Owl before and I do not have any patterns so I ended up making my own.
I really wanted to have some details on the back so a hand cut flower with some hand embroidery and an added button.
I thought that it broke up the lack of colour on the back.
I also sent this keyring with an owl theme.  I did not actually make this, I found it at a craft fair.
Plus this bracelet which  I made.  I also made a whole batch last month for my craft fair stall in July.
Plus a packet of tissues with the Union Jack on them, a Cornwall sticker plus a little notebook for red
recording your cross stitch or embroidery projects with thread colour codes.
I love taking part in swaps and this very mini one suited both of us because we both have busy jobs and there was no severe pressure to be completely on time if something came up and there was no confusion or disappointment is not receiving. 
I would love to do another mini swap once the term has ended.  I have not made any ATC's for a while.......
Anyway....I am in the process of putting this owl pattern into PDF format and I shall let you know when it is ready.  I have got to make sure that it all fits when it is printed.
Take care

Friday, 29 June 2012

Owl Swap- What a Hoot!!

Excuse the title but it is Friday and I could not resist.....
I like to take part in swaps but sometimes I miss the sign up.  Tatyana  and I have been visiting each others blogs for a while now and we "met" when we were paired up for a swap.  So a few months ago I suggested a little swap between the two of us.  After exchanging a few ideas we both decided on Owls.
Tatayana's parcel arrived safely all the way from Australia and it as great fun to open.
Started off with lovely tissue paper which I am going to use in my next sketchbook.
A very striking card which I think will eventually go in my sketchbook too.
...this cute little Owl with lots and lots of hand stitched spots!  That is right, each of these spots have been cross stitched on to linen!    There is a hanging loop at the top.
So neatly stitched.
Some lovely ribbon, I will need to think carefully what to use this for.  I normally start to think about useful things for the new term in the Autumn.  Especially wallets and notebooks.
Sorry...blogger does not like this picture!!   I lovely set of fabric crayons!!  This is such as great gift as I use these a lot and I have nearly run out!!  I really do appreciate these and I shall post about these as soon as I produce something (worth looking at of course).
Oh, how i love felt!!!
Then a mysterious bundle of bubble wrap.......
....the sweetest set of embroidery scissors and one of Tatyana's handmade scissor keepers with a little snail on the end.  Isn't it cute!!  Lovely colour too with the flowers all over it.
A lovely and very generous parcel Tatyana and I appreciate the amount of time it must have taken to stitch all those spots.
Tomorrow I shall show you what I made and sent to Tatyana.
Take care

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A Bag for Jessica

With my Year 8 groups I like to make a bag as I go along to help show them various stages.  One bag can usually help two groups at a time.
This time due to the amount of work on the go that I would cheat a little!  I have had a bit of fleece with Winnie the Pooh on it for some time.  Sophie did not want it so I carefully cut out the images and appliqued them on to the bag front..  Then cut a template for a capital J and added that.
I decided it needed  something to add dimension to the design, so a fabric flower with a button in the middle to help attach it to the bag.
A white cotton drawstring is added so that it is easy to open, close and hang up on a peg.
Resulting in a useful and cute PE bag for Jessica who has just turned 4 and will be starting Reception in September and lives one door down from us.
It got a lot of "aahhhs" from my Year 8 group and they in turn saw various stages and techniques as my bag took shape each lesson which they were then able to learn and apply to their own designs.
I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Floral Gift - Thank you

Regular readers will know that my Tutor Group are in Year 11 and are working their way through their exams.  The last one is on Thursday.  Once they have completed their last exam they have been appearing at my classroom door in ones and twos with big grins and bearing gifts!!  
The picture above shows a lovely bouquet of flowers given to me by Alice and her parents.  It was in the style of an upright bouquet with the stems twisted round (hope that makes sense).  Lovely flowers many of which have only just started to bloom.
The message in the card attached to the flowers was thanks from a student who is an asset to the group and the words written in the card my her parents was lovely to read.
Lovely group who I shall miss (but I shall go in for results day)very much indeed!  

Needless to say that I have also kept the lovely yellow and golden thick tissue paper for my Art Textiles sketchbook that I will be  preparing over the summer.  Oh, ever the crafter!
In the middle of report writing at the moment, but hopefully I shall be back with some crafty news tomorrow as I did manage to gain a finish today during my break.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sketchbook Pages - Oil Pastels

In my last sketchbook post I said that I was going to carry on and start using my old oil pastels that I have had since I was about 16.
Many are now broken but the colours are still as bright as ever.
Even the original box ix still hanging in there!
I went back to my rose drawing and this time I added lines of cream, pink and dark red and then using a cotton wool bud I smudge it all together a certain direction to show the curve of the petals.
I then became a little bold and decided to go straight in with a page using all of the flowers and oil pastels on their own!!  I started in the middle and worked my way out.
I do like the texture that can be achieved using the oil pastels.
I really do like completing pages and over the past few months I have gotten myself into the habit of trying to do just that.
I can see a few more cards in the pipeline.  With the oil pastel pages I think that I shall print off these pictures and mount them on to card.
This turned out to be contrast pages.
On the left as you look at the pages the roses are in oil pastels, the leaves are in watercolours with pen to highlight details.  The other page shows pen, paint and soft pastels.
A complete change in direction then comes by swapping to charcoal.
Charcoal has its place and I do not dislike this page but sorry.....the pastels have the vote.
I think that I shall use the pastels on some more pages.  The bright colours also remind me of the summer that we all hope will appear soon!!
Have a good week.
PS. I have found two City & Guilds Sketchbook distant learning courses and I am tempted to use the money I will earn exam marking to sign up for it.   What do you think?...........

Friday, 22 June 2012

Create and Craft Club

I am a firm believer of passing down skills, knowledge and techniques that can be used at home, school etc which adds to a well rounded life.  Many of which I also feel are what were once called life skills!
So I have a small craft club at school with some Year 7 students.  They have been trying skills such as basic knitting, simple stitches, basic weaving, creating items with felt and more recently.
To support the knowledge of felt we had go at wet felting.
They loved getting messy with this.........
They used a range of beads and sequins.
Used a range of stitches to add to the design.  We will need to come back to this again.
The students were then given a small canvas to paint on using fabric paints.  The aim was to take the stitched panel and continue the design beyond the stitched piece and on to the background.
Any theme could be used.  A bit of a Jubilee theme here perhaps?
I have a TA who also joins in and helps with the group.  We both like to make as well, it encourages the less confident students.  So the picture above is of Maureen's stitched Canvas.
Finally mine.  It was nice for us all to sit down painting our canvas and having a chat about anything.
The last stage was to hand stitch the handmade felt to the canvas.
They are now on display in the main reception area.  I put them up today so the students do not know yet.
I am really pleased with these as the students do not know what we are making each time and I am just getting them to appreciate that you do need to take more than 5 mins to make something!
So next week we are starting something new.
What do you think of them?  The girls are 12 and are coming to the end of their first year at Secondary school.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Twiggy's Giveaway

A week or so ago I entered a Giveaway over at Twiggypeasticks and today it arrived!
Some cute Snoopy binding/tape, a pack of buttons.  Which will come in very useful this coming week, and a bundle of Gold Glitzy tape.
Many thanks Twiggy and just as I thought, Sophie has already asked about what to do with the Snoopy tape of course,  what is Snoopy?
I also had another surprise today.  It was the GCSE Textiles exam and just as we were going to start the little pep talk to get them ready I was given these.......
I shall let you now what I end up doing with them.  I need to do some marking tonight and I am having a meeting with my Head of Department tomorrow to discuss project ideas for next year.  So I have a box with  made up examples and samples.
I shall be back tomorrow with more sketchbook pages.  Many thanks for all of the visits to the last post.  I was really quite taken aback, not only by the lovely and supportive comments but the sheer number of you who popped by.
Take care all

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Sketchbook pages- Even more...

Hope I am not boring you with these pages and I have pretty much finished these lessons but I have not filled the sketchbook.  How do people manage to do that?
Anyway, the ones above use just about everything that has been covered over the weeks. I am completing these pages much faster than I used to and I am having to snatch time here and there.
 Felt tip pens.  Not so sure about this one.
Trying to put several elements all together on to a page.  Gone for a brighter colour scheme and added some notes around the outside.  Used all sorts of media for this one.
A completely different direction with flowers and using white to highlight areas  These are some camellias in my garden, I did have to use a photo due to them flowering and now gone.  I did go on to make a card with this idea for my Mum's birthday in August.  Very organised for a change.  This was part of a task set to do.  I then took this further.....
using the hydrangeas that we have coming into bloom in the garden.  I do have a lilac colour and blue tone flowers heads.  Which are going to be huge this year.
Very happy with this page.  I then got a bit carried away and did some more pages.
Took a picture of a flower that we bought for the Jubilee weekend and had a go drawing it.  I think that I let the page dictate too much here.....a bit square looking!!!
My little paintbox has been working over time in the year since I bought it from Amazon.  I needed to buy some replacement pans of paint last weekend.  The course does not cover pastels but that is where I headed next....
I wanted to try and achieve a rose design.  I used the paints and whitener but I do not think that it turned out right.  So I decided to try some soft pastels and a cotton bud to smudge it in.  Much better.
I have not finished this yet but this design has all pastel with some paint for the leaves and bits of the background.
Next I want to try these oil pastels.  Again they were not in the lessons but I want to branch out and do my own thing as well.
There is a little story behind this box of oil pastels.  I bought these, not really knowing what they were, when I was still at school, about 15/16 years old.  I was doing O'level Art and wanted to try something new.  Saved up for them too.
They have been with me through all of the house moves, my BTEC Fashion course, BA Fashion course, City and Guilds etc.  They are still going strong.  Worth the money. 
I shall be back with the pages that I do.
Hope you are still with me.  I am really enjoying my sketchbook and I am looking into trying a course which will give me a qualification too.  That will also make me find more time to do this , I have managed it in the past.  Especially if I have to pay for it as well.
I shall let you know what happens with that.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Birdie Range - Website Product added

Just added this little "Birdie" to my website.
Would make a lovely birthday gift and the cover to removeable to put on another book.
It is all hand stitched.
My website is ideal for buying presents that you will not find on the high street at affordable prices.  When I am looking for a present I try to find something a bit different and that the recipient is unlikely to have seen before.
So if you have not looked before maybe pop over and pop me in your favourites for another time. such as that big event taking place in December!

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