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.

Something from nothing…

Something from nothing...

Something from nothing…

Today I just had to share my latest ‘crafting’ discovery …. water-soluble fabric stabilizer.  You may already be aware of it and have probably used it, but I only stumbled across this product last weekend while browsing youtube.   I was looking for fresh ideas to use up scraps of fabric and during my search I came across a lady called Jan Tillet making bowls from left over snippets of fabric and threads.  Jan’s work is very beautiful and this struck me as a really exciting way to recycle odd scraps and a great way of making something from nothing!  The scraps are sandwiched between two layers of water-soluble fabric stabilizer and then machine sewn all over using a free motion embroidery foot, being sure to cross the stitching over and over again to link it all together.  Once the piece has been covered in stitching the stabilizer is all but rinsed away in cold water and the newly created fabric is draped over a bowl and left to dry.  The aim is to leave a little residue of stabilizer your work so it will stiffen and retain its shape when dry.

I gathered up various scraps and had a go, experimenting with different textures and colours.  Some peices have been put to one side to be worked into future projects while others went on to become bowls.   When making the bowls I found my work needed much more stiffening (maybe I didn’t leave enough residue) so I experimented with spray starch and the far cheaper option of PVA .  I am a big fan of PVA and always have loads to hand, I found that soaking my work in it, before drying on the lowest heat setting in the oven for 20 mins, gave it a much firmer finish which I was happy with.

One of the experimental pieces.

One of the experimental pieces.

Colourful lacy bowl made from fabric scraps.

Colourful lacy bowl made from fabric scraps.

So far I have made three bowls, the first was a colourful one using snippets of organza, chiffon and ribbon which looks really pretty and lacy.  I put a tea light in it for the photo (above) but I wouldn’t recommend using it this way as it could pose a fire hazard!  The other two bowls were both made from hessian, one in its natural state and the other bleached with Milton’s and mixed with strands of tapestry wool.  I particularly like the bleached effect and, as this is the largest bowl, it has made a great bread basket.

There are endless possibilities for using this technique and the great thing is that every piece will be unique.

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

Show & Tell…

Every other Monday a group of local ladies, myself included, meet at the Community Centre in Horncastle.  Our one common bond is that we all enjoy doing crafts of one sort or another, whether its knitting & crochet, patchwork & quilting, felting, rag rug, lace making, cross stitch…..the list is endless!  For a couple of hours we chat and work on our individual projects, sharing a mutual enthusiasm for all things handmade.  Today was ‘show and tell’ which involved everyone bringing something they had created and showing it off to the group.  There is such a lot of talent around, and so much of this creative work would otherwise be hidden away, that I thought I would put together a collage of some of the pieces to share with you, I hope you enjoy them.

A few examples of the fabulous craft work on display at the Community Craft gathering.

A few examples of the fabulous craft work on display at the Community Craft gathering.

3D Needle Felting

Last Saturday I attended a 3D needle felting workshop in Heighington run by Robyn Smith of Feltybits.  Robyn began by showing us various peices of her fabulous 3D work and she explained the different techniques of producing the shapes.  We were then asked to chose what we would like to work on and Robyn supplied us with the Merino wool and all the help and advice we needed.  One of the peices we were shown was a tiny toadstool which immediately took me right back to my childhood and the many hours I spent drawing toadstools and elves!  The workshop lasted four hours and it took me all that time to do the basic toadstool and elves body but I loved every minute of it.  Sunday afternoon I was in my element – adding the details including the tiny flowers and the ladybird and putting features and clothes onto the elf.  I was so pleased with the result….I am now even more hooked on felting, if that’s possible.!!

3D Toadstool and Elf created using Merino wool.

3D Toadstool and Elf created using Merino wool.