Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Recycled Pencil Pot with Has Bean bags

Continuing my occasional series of things to make by recycling Has Bean coffee bags, see here for the wallet idea

I now present the Has Bean Coffee Bag Pencil Pot.

This is recycling at it's best, you need a clean baked bean can for your pencil pot.

A few old Has Bean coffee bags. 

A rectangle of felt cut to 23.5cm x 10.3cm (make sure it's Has Bean Red for maximum impact!), and a small piece of elastic to fasten with a button or stud.

Having cut your piece of felt to size, to fit around the can, you then cut bits of coffee bag and stitch them into whatever pattern you want directly onto the felt.

Once you've covered the piece of felt, trim off any overhanging edges so you have a nice neat rectangle again, see below.

Next you can have some fun by embellishing bits 'n' bobs onto the can wrap. I've cut some fabric coffee beans and stitched some other fabriccy bits on too.

Time to do the fastener. make a small loop with your elastic and stitch in the middle at one end but on the back of the design. To make it neat I've put a square of felt over the loose ends of the elastic.

Then attach your button or stud to the opposite end for the elastic to loop around, I found some heart shaped paper fasteners, very appropriate for the coffee we love!

Et voila! that's it, your wrap is all ready to pop around that old recycled can and make a lovely new pencil pot. Or coffee tool pot!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Screen Printing - first attempt

I haven't really done screen printing before despite doing quite a bit of printing back in my college days but that was letterpress and lithography.
I had my appetite whetted a few weeks ago when I had a quick go at an open studios event.

That lead to me ordering a basic set of equipment. I've just got a frame, ink squeegee and 3 pots of ink. The red is a fantastic shade of pillar box!

This is a very simple stencil I cut out as my first design which I decided to try in 2 colours.

Here's the red going down

Time to dry it before getting the black ink out.

The frame with the red residue didn't wash up too well, maybe I should've bought some frame cleaning fluid or if anyone knows what I could try to get it any cleaner I'd love to know.

Next is the black

I'm liking the fact the result is quite crisp. I tried it on a patterned fabric as well as the plain cotton.

The finished ones are drying before fixing with the iron. I only managed to get 3 pulls before the paper stencil went soggy!

Not sure what I'm making these into yet but I had great fun faffing about with these and I think screen printing is definitely something I'll get some mileage out of.

I even quite like the waste paper my ink spread onto!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Architectural embroidery workshop

It was bitterly cold in Hornsea yesterday for the workshop with some sleety showers and then a tiny bit of snow here last night, not good.

The embroidery workshop was something completely different for me and was run by the very talented textile artist, Gina Smith who is part of the Diverse Threads group in North Yorks. Gina is particularly into architectural embroidery which is kind of building up layers of fabric and then embroidering or embellishing upon them. Below are 2 of Gina's textile artworks.

The subject matter is not necessarily architectural but for this workshop we were asked to take our own picture of something like a building, a doorway, archway or such to work upon.
I took a view of the Shambles I had, with hindsight this was rather too detailed for a first attempt and a bit ambitious! I think some of the other ladies had been on a similar workshop last year and they knew to take something simpler.

We were given an info sheet on what items we needed to bring along and I had slightly mis-read one of the most important bits which meant I got into difficulties as the workshop progressed. In the items to bring, it referred to 'shears', I interpreted this as scissory things or pinking shears, it actually meant shear fabrics, floaty silky, organza type stuff which I had very little of and not in the colours I wanted to use. I only sussed this out the night before when it was too late to change my project or buy more fabric. Anyway, the shear fabric was needed to build up layers, to create shadows, to insert other bits n bobs between layers and so on, so it was really was a big part of it. I on the other hand had been thinking we were using cottons. 

Cutting to the chase, you needed to draw your photo onto some backing fabric, being quite bold in biro.

You then put another piece of plain cotton over the drawing, opaque enough to see your pen lines. You then select shear fabrics for the background and it is almost like painting as you cut other shear bits up and place them in position for the different parts of your picture.

At this point I realised mine was too complicated and I didn't have the right colours of fabric to use.

The horrible chiffony fabric had a life of its own and wasn't good for cutting small bits which my picture consisted of. This is about as far as I got as we neared the end so not much of a result to show I'm afraid, and no actual embroidery on the fabrics.

I wasn't put off by my lack of success, in fact I will be keen to try again but that will be at a time I can concentrate more, when the weather is good and the light is good and when I have some suitable shear fabrics to use. So you could say a work in progress which is going to reappear at some point next year perhaps.

An interesting way to do textile art and with a lovely group of ladies so a good day was had by all.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Tweed things finished

This has turned into a hectic week and tomorrow I'm going on an embroidery workshop in Hornsea so I have lots of bits of fabric and equipment to gather for that.

I've managed to finish my Harris Tweed jewellery. I'm frantically trying to get on top of craft work because once the weather turns very cold as predicted tomorrow, it really will mean I slow down and my hands and feet will be too cold to work on much. We were trying to hold off putting the central heating on until the end of Oct but it's going on tonight as temperatures plummet this weekend.

Here's the wrist cuff with the addition of some embellished tweed scraps and buttons, I love the earthy colours

The brooches have embellished bits too.

I have some new screen printing things to play with but that will have to wait for another day!
Keep warm everyone!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Pure wool fabrics for new jewellery

This week I'm making textile jewellery in some beautiful scraps of pure wool, naturally dyed fabrics.
There's a lovely, woolly smell to the fabric but it frays a lot so it's not the easiest thing to work with and especially on a small scale.

I'm working with Harris Tweed which was kindly donated a couple of years ago by a bloggy friend who used to live up there. I just love the colours on the long thing which is going to turn into a wrist cuff.

The brooches are nearly finished.

I'm also working with scraps of woven, tapestry wool fabric which I got in Wales from the Trefriw Woollen Mill. This is really thick to stitch, a bit like carpet!

Have a good weekend! x

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A couple of new fabric bird brooches

I've got lots of brooches and things just nearing completion and here are 2 new bird designs which I've just listed in my Folksy shop.

These are lightly stuffed have felt legs, they measure approx 9cm across from the widest part, tail to beak.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Shaheen's soup for tea

If anyone else follows the wonderful Allotment 2 Kitchen blog then you will probably have read about the blog's author, Shaheen, winning a Covent Garden Soup competition.
It was to create a seasonal vegetarian soup and Shaheen won with Butternut Squash & Black Turtle Bean with Jalapeno.
Here it is, I found this in Morrisons today

I was so excited to find it and how brilliant for Shaheen to have her recipe recreated by Covent Garden Soup and in the supermarkets.
It was very delicious with a kick of heat from the jalapeno which was just the thing for a chilly evening.

You can read more here and Shaheen has a link to the recipe if you'd like to try it out at home.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Brooches, iPhone cases & felt biscuits

Had a really productive day on Saturday delivering my goods in York. I dropped off a batch of Nutcracker Cut & Sew kits to the Sunday Nest above Me & Mrs Fisher cafe.

Whilst I was there I picked up one of their lovely little scrap bags and some woven ribbon.

From another shop, the Viking Loom, I got these lovely fat quarters.

Next stop was The Attic to deliver iPhone cases and coffee brooches, and also to have some delish coffees!

Brooches, some of which use coffee sack

A few final iPhone cases, the red Bob the Bunny has sold straight away!

This one is in Harris Tweed, donated from a bloggy friend who used to live up there.

And now for something different as it's been gadget cases for weeks!..,  although not terribly original as handmade biscuity things are popping up everywhere.
There were some felt biscuits in Mollie Makes some months back and I think they were just ornamental so I've done something similar and made brooches.

Very easy, this is a jammy dodger in progress.

Sandwich the bits together and stitch on some detail.

Add the sugar for a finishing touch with some small glass beads.

Ta dah it's done, and now I'm on with iced rings, it's nice to do something frivolous now and again!