More Mixed Media…..

I have been asked to show more detailed images of how I created the butterfly and dragonfly pictures seen in my last post so here is version number three with extra photos.

The various items used was the same for all of the pictures.

Various items used to create the pictures.


Butterflies and dragonflies cut out from Farfella wallpaper from B&Q

Farfalla wallpaper sample from B&Q was used for the insects

The insects were all cut from a sample of ‘Farfalla’ wallpaper by Statement available from B&Q and the ‘text’ on the first dragonfly picture was torn from a sample of ‘Travel’ wallpaper by Colours, again from B&Q. I used a limited colour pallet of Daler Rowney sap green and process magenta for the first two versions.


Travel wallpaper from B&Q was used on the first of the dragonfly pictures and on the book cover.

Travel wallpaper from B&Q was used on the first of the dragonfly pictures and on the book cover.

Each of the pictures began with a background which was stamped using acrylic paint on a wide piece of lace. It worked out blotchy and had very little detail but, as it was only the background, I figured it didn’t matter.

In the latest picture I took my colour scheme from a sample of B&Q ‘Newsprint’ wallpaper. I began by mixing Daler Rowney ultramarine with process magenta and yellow ochre to get the background shade I wanted. This was painted onto bits of lace and onto a ‘leaf’ and these were stamped using a homemade brayer. First time round I did it using a small tin but this time progressed to my deluxe version (a piece of metal clothes rail cut down to approx 3 inches and pushed onto a small paint roller).

Acrylic paint is mixed to compliment the blue seen in the Newsprint wallpaper.

Mixing acrylic paint to match the blue shade seen in the ‘Newsprint’ wallpaper.


Frugal crafting with my home made brayer.

Frugal crafting with my home made brayer.

As the background started to take shape I loosely laid the papers to get an idea of where I wanted them.

The papers are loose laid to establish their positioning.

The papers are loose laid to establish their positioning.

More stamping was done using a funky foam flower (central area) while the green stamp in the bottom left corner was made from a leaf shape, again cut from lace and painted with acrylic (a little yellow ochre and magenta mixed with sap green). Sequin waste was used as a stencil, top left and on the right hand edge. For this a little more ochre, a lot more magenta and a little white was added to the background blue and applied with a sponge.


Stencilling with sequin waste.

Stencilling with sequin waste.

More stamping and stencilling.

More stamping and stencilling…..the hessian is loose laid and will change position before I’ve finished.

Several transparent leaves, in coral, yellow, blue and teal, were applied using PVA. Rather than pasting the leaf it’s far easier to simply lay them on the paper and apply the paste directly on top, it soaks through easily. The large dragon fly was pasted in place and strips of netting were laid vertically on the paper, and again, pasted over with generous amounts of PVA. As the acrylic paint is permanent once it’s dry you can paste over it without fear of smudging. I discovered this isn’t the case with the Distress Ink, it will smudge, so I was careful to avoid getting any PVA on the tiny dragon flies, which were the last stamps to be applied.

Detail showing the netting and leaves.

Detail showing the netting and leaves.

The ‘Newsprint’ paper was finally glued down and a border of hessian, bleached with Miltons to tone it down a little, was added to the left hand edge using a cool melt glue gun. I got my gun from The Range, it was very cheap but is in use constantly and I would definitely recommend them. To finish off bead accents were applied, again using the glue gun.

Dragonfly mixed media picture in blue.

Third of the insect mixed media pictures.

You could go on forever adding layers of transparent fabric and trims, it’s quite addictive and a fun way of experimenting with different materials/techniques.

Easter Craft Event Update…

A collection of polystyrene eggs decorated with needle felting.

Mini decorated eggs

The weather wasn’t particularly kind to us at yesterdays Joseph Banks Easter Craft Fair….the chilly wind being the major problem!  However we did get a fair amount of customers through the shop door and the majority were keen to get out into the garden to see the wonderful handcrafted goods on sale and chat to the people who had made them. As well as my felted items we had water-colour paintings by local artist Peter Skipworth.  Peter has written and beautifully illustrated a book on local walks titled ‘Step into the Lincolnshire Wolds’ which is on sale at the shop….those lucky enough to purchase yesterday benefited from a personal signing by the artist himself!

Peter Skipworth's beautifully illustrated book 'Step into the Lincolnshire Wolds'.

Peter Skipworths illustrated book ‘Step into the Lincolnshire Wolds’

Other items on sale included unique cards, jewellery and more from Handmade by Esme and colourful handmade necklaces and bracelets from Debbie of DD Jewellery and Vicki and Judith from Snowdrop Gifts  For the home and garden there were wonderful handmade gifts created from recycled wood by Palletology including the fabulous ‘Insect Hotels’ while Stephanie from Stuff with Style displayed funky wooden gifts in the form of bunting, bird houses and much more.


Handmade by Esme - one of the local crafters featured at the Joseph Banks Easter Craft Fair.

Handmade by Esme at the Joseph Banks Easter Craft Fair.


Colourful necklaces and bracelets on sale at Joseph Banks in Horncastle.

Handmade necklaces and bracelets from DD Jewellery

Recycled pallet wood made into Insect Hotels for the garden.

Insect Hotels by Palletology made from recycled pallet wood.

Stuff with Style make funky gifts such as this wooden bird house.

Funky wooden bird house from ‘Stuff with Style’.

I was fortunate to find a space indoors (only marginally warmer!!) where I sat and demonstrated needle felting to the ladies (and the occasional gent) who were curious to see how it was done.  Thanks again to all of you who stopped by and I hope to see some of you at future workshops.  Also keeping warm was Debs from Debs Makes, busy upstairs having fun with her Saturday afternoon sewing group.

Small embellished brooch.

One of Debs cute little brooches made on the embellisher.

Last, but not least, many thanks to Helena from Spare Time by Helena who kept all the crafters supplied with tea and coffee all day and Kate and Richard who manned the shop!

The next Craft Event at Joseph Banks is planned for May 31st.


Retro Van cushion created by Helena.

One of the many fabulous cushions created by Spare Time by Helena.

Easter bunnies needle felted using Merino wool onto a polystyrene ball.

I couldn’t resist making a few needle felted Easter bunnies!

Easter Craft Fair…

Poster for EasterThe Joseph Banks Centre on Bridge Street in Horncastle will be hosting another fabulous Craft Event on Saturday 12th April, ahead of the Easter weekend.  If you are in the area and fancy popping in it would be great to see you!  There will be several local crafters instore and, weather permitting, in the garden, each with their own unique collection of handmade goods for sale.  I will be sitting in a quiet corner somewhere (as ever!) giving a demonstration on needle felting, so if you see me don’t be shy – come over and say hello!  Many of the gifts on sale are suitable for personalising so this is something worth considering as it makes a fabulous gift even better!  Also we will be happy to take orders for Easter i.e. if there is something you want in a different colour/design/whatever….simply ask and we will do our best to accommodate.

Getting Creative With Tyvek…

Last week I discovered an exciting new (to me at least!) ‘crafting’ product and, having tried it out yesterday, I thought it worth a mention here.  book cover

My discovery came about as a result of buying a book from The Book Depository called ‘Three Dimensional Embroidery‘ by Janet Edmonds.

It’s a fabulous book packed with the most inspiring illustrations imaginable and great ideas for creating all manner of things with different types of fabrics.  Chapter 5 is all about using ‘manipulated methods’, distorting fabric to create form and texture, and includes a beautiful photograph of what looks like decaying seed pods.   The caption says they were made from fine-weight Tyvek but, although I loved what I was seeing, it didn’t mean a thing to me!  This changed a couple of days later when I was visiting Illustration from bookCrafty Notions in Newark and, lo and behold, there on a shelf near the felting supplies, I spotted a bag of Tyvek…fate or what?  It seems I was meant to try this stuff out!

So, for the uninitiated, what is Tyvek?  Manufactured by DuPont, it’s an extremely durable, man-made fabric, available in different weights.  Being light-weight but very tough, breathable and water-resistant, one of its most popular applications is in the construction industry.  Other uses include industrial packaging, signage and protective workwear.  Its characteristics make it an ideal choice for crafting as it can be coloured using fabric paints, acrylic paint or felt pens.  It can also be die-cut, laminated, embossed, printed onto and stitched, but the real fun begins when you apply heat to it.  This will cause the fabric to shrink and bubble and, if you apply sufficient concentrated heat,  holes will appear creating a beautiful, lacy effect.  I found you can produce some fabulous distressed effects using a heat gun, clothes iron or soldering iron (I didn’t have the latter so I simply held a piece of wire in my pliers and heated it over a gas ring!).

Anyway the result is shown below…my take on the Tyvek seed pods.  The first image was taken after holding the pod over a gas ring, supported on a spatter guard.  The second photo shows the pods after I used the ‘Papermania’ heat tool on them and then added more holes with my home-made soldering iron (hot wire) and added gold metallic thread across some of the larger openings.  My mind is racing with ideas for more ‘manipulated’ projects and I am wondering if I can find a way of combining Tyvek with felting….watch this space!

Tyvek seed pod

My version of the Tyvek seed pod

Stage two saw more holes and the addition of gold metallic thread across some of the larger openings on the green pod.

Stage two saw more holes and the addition of gold metallic thread across some of the larger openings on the green pod.