Tag Archives | Etsy

January activities

snowy garden

This is what the garden looked like last week.  The white stuff stayed there for a whole week (quite unusual for this area), but last weekend a warm front came in and we had torrential rain, thunder, lightning and hailstones and now it’s all gone. The hens were a bit nonplussed by it all, and refused to leave their run even when I opened the door – normally they are falling over each other to get out! And even when they did emerge, they congregated at the back door as if pleading with me to give them their warm mash and shut them back in again…

snowing

This was one night last week when the snow was coming down for the last time.

upcycled skirts made into top

From last October two of my sons have gone off to university, leaving only one at home and it is very strange and is taking some getting used to.  As a result I have been a bit at sea here and feeling rather disorientated.  I have been getting a bit fed up of making wall art/generally stuck and have been exploring alternative ways to use my printed fabric.  Though maybe I’ll just keep it as art cloth… dilemmas, dilemmas….  I have also been getting into upcycling and refashioning clothes.  I made this top using one of Marcy Tilton’s Vogue patterns.  Every now and again I buy a sale ‘goody bag’ from People Tree, who sell fairtrade fashion, but sometimes the clothes they send just aren’t me at all.  I made this one from a couple of ra-ra style skirts in tshirt material plus an old tie dyed tshirt that the boys had outgrown.  The colours are not quite true but you get the general idea!  I still have to finish the arms and face the neckline but I quite like the result.

 

harris tweed jacket

I also bought this gorgeous Harris Tweed men’s jacket on Ebay and am busy restyling it, putting more darts in to convert it into a woman’s jacket. I plan to put new buttons on and add a few more decorative features, not sure yet exactly what.  The dressmaker’s dummy, by the way, was another recent Ebay acquisition which is becoming very useful!

 

rails of hand printed and hand dyed fabric

These are the clothes racks full of printed and dyed fabric that I have accumulated.  I think I may reopen my Etsy shop and put some of it for sale there – what do you think?   I’m not sure whether to experiment with turning it into clothes or sell it as art cloth.

cut out tartan dress pieces

Another thing I did at the beginning of December was to sign up for a Craftsy class called The Couture Dress with Susan Khalje.  So far I’ve made a muslin, attempted to fit it on myself (!), cut out the silk organza interlining and the actual fabric which is tartan Viyella fabric that I bought years ago before the UK textile industry mostly got outsourced to China.  This is the result so far!  I’ve made it very difficult for myself by cutting lots of pieces on the bias so I am unsure how it is going to turn out, but I’m learning lots of useful stuff on the way, such as how to trace patterns.  I doubt if I will ever make another couture dress as it is too slow and fiddly for me (and accuracy doesn’t seem to be within my capabilities which is why I don’t do traditional patchwork and quilting!!).  But it is a useful learning experience…

handmade books

And finally, here are a few handmade books I made recently using the instructions from Sue Bleiweiss’ online class that I took a few years ago…. Hard to believe that those covers started out as brown paper, isn’t it?  It was an opportunity to use up some of the gorgeous raku buttons I have bought from various Etsy people….

Screenprinting with Natural Dyes

When I had my great fabric decorating spree in January, some of my favourite pieces are those I screenprinted with Gocco screens.  I used natural dye extracts mixed with gum tragacanth as a print paste/binder.

Continuing the series on mud and footprints, I made a screen of these bird prints.  I actually made a tiny stamp from an eraser, printed the back of an envelope with it, and scanned it into the computer.  I then made it bigger and made it into a screen. 

screenprinted fabric, bird prints

A close up:

close up of bird print fabric

I then stuck torn masking tape over an empty screen and printed over the bird prints:

bird prints and mud fabric

bird print and mud fabric

I’ll be interested to see how these turn out when I wash them.  I have to leave them for a few months to batch.  The longer the better, really.  And I don’t plan to use them for a while so they might as well sit there….

This fabric below was printed first with torn corrugated cardboard, then printed with a couple of screens made of brick patterns.

screenprinted fabric with natural dyes

And this one is a screen of a tree, made from a photograph I took on one of my walks:

tree fabric

I printed the same screen with colours getting gradually darker.  I also printed some fabric using the same screen and another screen of a letter.

If you read this in Google Reader or another feed reader, you probably won’t notice that I’ve changed the blog ‘theme’.   I changed to this one because it is very easy to alter the way the page looks and I want to try and incorporate my website into the blog so it all looks the same and I think I can do it with this one without messing too much with the code.  But if you find anything’s not working for you in your particular browser, do let me know and I’ll try and change it.  The header, by the way, is rotating, which means you might see a different picture up there each time you come to the blog!  Fun, eh?!!

Before I finish this post, Judy Nolan from the Etsy Boomers Street Team, of which I’m a member, has written a great blog post about the way different people get ideas for their work and capture them.  She got lots of us to tell her what we all do and how we all go about things!  I think it’s definitely worth reading.  You can find it on the Boomers’ blog here.

Gocco printed House fabric

After you were all so complimentary about my house fabric, I decided that I would list some in my Etsy shop…

You can find it here.

Here are some pics of it:

In case you missed it the first time round, here is my blog post where I used it for a house journal when I was doing the second of Sue Bleiweiss’s online journal making courses.

house fabric

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