Monday, 26 September 2011


I think I may be in love with this hat. It was sold at Susanin's couture, vintage textiles auction in 2007
It is circa 1962 and is made from green velvet with a six lobed shaped edge shape with green beads. On each lobe sits a pair of embroidered owls one large one small with rhinestone eyes. A whimsicle touch is a single gold metal handwith rhinestone bracelet spaced amongst the owls. Item has a green veil

Rosy ~ Posy: Stumpwork

Rosy ~ Posy: Stumpwork: Part of my holiday potholder swap requirement is to send along an ornament and in one of my old Inspirations magazines is a beautiful stu...

Sunday, 25 September 2011

How To - Make an Art Quilt Style Mixed Media Canvas - Autumn Owl part 2

Welcome to Part Two of my Autumn Owl tutorial.

Last time I had finished appliqueing the trees and had done some decoration/embelishment on the branches give a helping hand when starting to decorate it.
This time I'll be filling out the background of the trees and doing some more embelishment on the branches

Things you will need for part 2

1: PVA or craft glue

2: paintbush

3: an old book or decorative paper

4: embroidery threads

5: leaf ribbon, fabric leaves, more twigs and small metal flower spacer beads

This is where I left the canvas last time

Step one is concerned with using your paper to create a background.

I'm using an old penguin book with beautiful yellowing pages that was falling to bits with a broken spine. You can use any type of paper you want from newspaper, handmade paper to tissue paper and coloured paper but I am using book print as our subject is an Owl and they are the creatures of wisdom and learning so a written background is very fitting

You will need to tear your paper into small pieces the sme size as your fabric scraps and gently paint them to the white canvas with your glue and leave to dry for about an hour and a half

For the next step you will need fabric leaves and ribbon. I simply cut my leaves from a leaf print fabric. You could do the same with a floral fabric if you don't fancy leaves or simply cut out leaf shapes from any fabric you have in your stash

Cut out your leaves and cut the ribbon into 3 - 4" lengths and stitch into your branches wherever looks right. Remember to leave space for your owl!

Now stitch on your flower beads. You can also add red or purple beads in clusters for autumn berries

The last thing in part two in to make a perch for your Owl

You will need a preferably bent twig or piece or chair cane approx 3" long. You need to wrap it in either cotton, thread or a light fabric and stitch it onto the canvas in the botton quarter of the piece.

This is what you should have after this session. With your own twist of course

Next time I will be making my Owl and giving options for other techniques for your feature creature

Treasury Features

Thank you to everyone who has featured out items in treasuries over the past month

Saturday, 24 September 2011

How To - Make an Art Quilt Style Mixed Media Canvas - Autumn Owl part one

This is my first ever How To for my blog and its series on how to make a decorative canvas for your wall.

For this you will need

for part one

1: a canvas

2:embroidery thread and thin yarn in natural shades such as green, brown, purple,yellow and orange

3: sewing needles

4: scaps of fabric. You will only need small pieces as no branch piece needs to be bigger then one inch

5:twigs, fabric leaves, flowers,acorn caps, nature ephemera

6: anything else that is small, decorative and takes your fancy.

Step one is to unwrap your canvas. I'm using an 18 by 24cm one.

Step 2 is to tea stain your canvas. I dislike white surfaces and its always nice to start with something that gives you the feel of your surface. Leave it to dry and you can now think about your design.

I started by drawing a simple tree branch design in paint on my computer and transfered it to my canvas. You can either draw in from the screen or print it out and use tracing paper to copy your design.

Once you have your image on your canvas you can then start embroidering your outlines. For this I used embroidery threads in yellow and green, some dark purply/grey handpainted silk yarn and brown knitting yarn. A mix of textures as in nature.

When you have finished your outlines this is what you should have

Now is the exciting bit.

The next step is filling out your tree branches. You will need you fabric scraps and more embroidery cotton

You need to cut each piece of fabric roughly to the size you need as you stitch it. For the multi coloured branch each piece is around half the width of the space and I have used large raw stitches to add to the organic nature of the piece

This branch is a mixture of suede,silk,cotton,curtain fabric and acid etched damask.

Once you have finished you branch I suggest you add a couple of small twigs by oversewing them onto the already stitched canvas to give you a feel of how you are progressing

The second and third branches I have used the same technique but have used a single fabric one a pale fawn/grey linen and the other a green gold loose woven heavier fabric

The wonderfull thing about this is that you don't need to finish one layer before starting on another. I have already suggested the adding of small twigs and now on the other branches I have added french knots and small circles of yellow and green fabric to represent lichen on the plainer branches along with some fabric ivy leaves

You will need to fill in the other branches in the same manner using whatever fabric you wish but not making any single piece bigger then one inch.

Remember to leave to botton horizontal branch free of embelishment as that is where you will put the owl.

Next post will be filling in the background

Friday, 23 September 2011

A Walk in the Woods- sketches,photographs and inspiration for mixed media art quilt canvas

This morning I took a walk in the woods to gain inspiration for my latest project. I am making 2 mixed media art quilts on canvas to go on the living room wall.

This post is very image heavy

This is the entrance to Shotover woods

The first thing you see when you step off the track are millions of acorns, some up to 2" long

I couldn't resist these blackberries

A fly on a leaf is slightly strange but I managed to get close enough to reflect his lovely green tones

The white dot on this acorn looked simply stunning on the nut brown

Deep into the interior

A fallen acorn branch amongst the green

I love bracken, esp when its in mid turn from green to gold

The play of light and dark

Blackberry Flowers

Red berries with purple leaves (not shown up as purple as they did in real life)

Bright green leaves

A fallen acorn leaf branch on the woodland floor


Monster fallen branches

Some pages from my sketchbook