Friday, 30 April 2010

A fun little skull

I whipped up this little thing this evening. I'm not sure what it is - I guess it could have a magnet or a brooch back attached to it, or a little hook to hang it up or something. It's done in white DMC glow-in-the-dark thread (I love that thread!).

Monday, 26 April 2010

Embroidered book finished!

I finally finished my embroidered book! It seems like embroidery is all I've been doing this long weekend. I took photos, but they didn't come out that well. Here are some scans, which still look a bit different from the real thing.

This is the cover, opened out. I used metallic thread (couched), which is really sparkly in real life, for the front and plain perle cotton for the list on the back page (again more shiny in real life). I was going to embroider another fish on the back but then I thought it would be fun to make the list, since all the creatures I did include have such cool names.

The second and third pages are the humpback angler fish and the umbrella mouth gulper, which both have bioluminescent extremities (done in glow in the dark thread, which unfortunately looks quite unspectacular in daylight).

The middle page is the vampire squid from hell, which again is done with the bioluminescent spots in white DMC glow in the dark floss (much nicer to work with than the other GITD thread). Also, the back tentacles are done in pale pink backstitch and french knots, which you can't quite tell in the scan.

Pages 6 and 7 are the dumbo octopus and chimaera. This is the first time I've used split stitch as a filling stitch and it was surprisingly quick and easy. I felt like they needed something to unify them on the page, so I did some waves in blue variegeted floss. The colours look slightly washed out in the scan.

I put the book together, mini-zine style, after first completing the embroidery on the sheet of linen. I had to trim the edges of the middle pages a bit to get the page widths even. Then I went along each edge with a small machine zig zag stitch. The finished book is about the size of a postcard.

And that's it. I have to admit I'm not 100 percent happy with it - it seems quite insubstantial for something I spent so long to make. I didn't enjoy working with the black linen so much - I had to give it a good going-over with sticky tape to get rid of all the cat hair! I prefer a finer grained fabric, and brighter colours, but I did choose this subject partly because the colours would be more muted (my swap partner prefers a much less vivid palette than I do). But I did enjoy doing the embroidery and it was a fun experiment. I already have something in mind for my next one.......

Thursday, 22 April 2010

My Creative Space

This week I've been doing a bit of stamp carving. I feel like I'm slowly improving - the key word here is slow, which is how you have to do it - v e r y    s  l  o   w   l   y. I'm not quite happy with the carving block I'm using so I ordered some Staedtler Mastercarve (from Dick Blick in the USA because you can't get it here. Grrr.)

So here's a little Ninja guy, and a skull based on images in the Mexican codices.

For more Creative Spaces, go here.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Next page in the embroidered book

This creature is also real. The Dumbo Octopus is another cephalopod, related to the nautilus and squid, which lives deep in the oceans. I'm not sure if this little guy is finished - his suckers look like they are floating, but it's late so I'll have a look at him again tomorrow.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

For the embroidered book.....

It's a Vampire Squid from Hell! Honestly, it's a real deep sea creature, and it has bioluminescent spots that it flashes on and off to confuse predators when they attack. I used glow-in-the-dark white thread for the spots and eye, and I wish I could get a pic of it in the dark to show how good it looks when the lights are out!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sad panda

Still haven't quite got the hang of stamp carving yet.....I do really enjoy it, but unlike most other crafts in which mistakes are easily repairable or can be covered up, with stamp carving, one slip of the cutter and it's ruined!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Fabric book

I made a little fabric book yesterday, for an Art*o*mat swap I'm in. It is made of scraps from recent projects, ironed onto interfacing and then machine stippled. I cut the finished sheet down to 8"x6", then added some random bits of selvedges plus a button and loop. I used the mini-zine method to make it into a little eight-page booklet which fits snugly into its little box. Finished size is about 3"x2".

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Embroidered buttons

Last month I participated in the Feeling Stitchy embroidered button swap. My partner has now received her package, so I can finally show a photo of what I sent. My partner lives in the USA, so for something a little different, I went with an Aussie animal theme and also included some Cadbury chocolate, silk and cotton floss piled into a little pouch.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


I finally finished the embroidery project I've been working on for the past several days! To look at it you would not believe how many hours it took me!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Day 2/4

I finished making a patchwork bag (using Pink Penguin's great tute) and need to find some cord for the drawstring. Here's a pic of the front and back, and another pic of the pincushion. It's annoying how it is usually too dark to take a decent photo by the time I've finished making my thing of the day. Hmm, guess I should start earlier :-)

Friday, 2 April 2010

Day 1/4

I spent quite a while tidying up my craft room today and consequently didn't have time to complete the patchwork bag I'm making, although I did cut all the pieces out ready for piecing tomorrow. In the meantime, I used some of the off-cuts to make another little pincushion.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Easter craft blitz

I'm going to do the thing-a-day blitz over Easter, which has started early for me, since the chocolate consumption commenced this morning. Got a big long list of swaps and stuff to make, starting with this chamomeleon which I hope to finish off tonight ......
 And I finally made a little bracelet - this is maybe my fifth attempt? I don't think jewellery is really my forte.
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