Author Archive | Liz

Spoonflower top!

In September 2013, I won a Spoonflower giveaway: a Wiksten pattern for a top and 3 yards of Spoonflower fabric printed in the design of my choice. Exciting! At that point, I hadn’t had much experience with Spoonflower or putting designs into repeat but I knew I wanted to use my own design on the fabric so it took me a while to take advantage of my win and actually order the fabric. I wanted to get it right so before I ordered the actual yardage I got a few swatches made.

A row of Spoonflower swatches

A row of swatches of my fabric designs – it works out cheaper to put them in collections and order several at once.

The swatches are printed on silky faille which is a 100% polyester fabric and is really drapy and prints the colours very faithfully to the image. I finally decided which designs I wanted to order so I got a yard of the fabric below:

The fabric printed by Spoonflower that I used for my top - I called it 'Fairy Garden'.

The fabric printed by Spoonflower that I used for my top – I called it ‘Fairy Garden’.

and two yards of this one, which was the one I originally thought I would use for the top:

Spoonflower fabric called Watercolour Kaleidoscope

This fabric was based on a painting made wet on wet using inks – I called it Watercolour kaleidoscope.

I received the fabrics last May and since then have been looking at them, stroking them and being afraid to cut into them!! I finally came to the conclusion that Watercolour Kaleidoscope would be a better design for large drapes or cushions and that I would make the top out of Fairy Garden. It was a bit of a tight squeeze to fit the pattern pieces on to one yard of fabric but I think it was the right decision.

The completed top.

The completed top – one of our cats, Ziby, decided he wanted to get in on the act!

Here it is hanging over my printing table.

Close up of neckline

A close up of the neckline

I experimented with which binding to use – the fabric is quite slippery and needed quite a bit of care to stitch properly.  I rejected silk or polyester fabric for the binding and in the end used this red lawn fabric which is made of very fine cotton – this was a lot easier to control than the polyester.  I ended up putting it round the hem as well as the necklines and armholes because it was easier than trying to fold over the curved fabric twice – and it meant that I could make the top that much longer.

The red binding pinned on to the neckline ready to be stitched.

The red binding pinned on to the neckline ready to be stitched.

Another view of the top.

Another view of the top.

It fits really well and I’m pleased with how it looks.  Well worth the wait!  By the way, if you fancy buying some of either of these fabrics, they (and others) are available in my Spoonflower shop.  And now I have started filling it, I intend to continue adding to it!

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#trainticketart Progress Report

Well, I'm glad to say that I'm on track with my #trainticketart challenge so far! In fact, I can't believe it's been 6 days already. I've really been enjoying it and it has been really freeing to doodle and create without any pressure (except for the motivation to get SOMETHING done every day so I can post it on Instagram!

It's not too late to join me – you don't have to use actual train tickets if you haven't got any, use any labels or tags (or business cards for that matter). I've put a link on the sidebar to it, and all you have to do is tag your art with #trainticketart and put it on Twitter or Instagram or leave a comment here if you don't do either of those.


These are the ones I've done so far

This is today's, a quick and simple jaggedly design. I set up a 'recipe' on IFTTT.com to send it from Instagram to Evernote and am writing this post directly in Evernote.

Yesterday I went to The National Archives in London and as I was coming out, there was a family of gorgeous swans swimming in the lake outside the Archives so that's why he is in there.

This was the first day's picture. There is a dogwood bush in the garden (at least, I think that's what it is called, it has bright red stems in the wintertime) and the leaves are two colours as if they have been nibbled round the edges with a different colour. Not quite these colours, the outer one is more creamy white than yellow….

I'm going to try and do a progress report every week but if you want to keep track of how it's going, follow me on Instagram!

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Train ticket art project

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen me posting slightly curious photos of what I was doing last week.

A few years ago, I started collecting train tickets rather than throwing them away after journeys, because it occurred to me that they were the perfect size for little pieces of art or personalized labels/tags or business cards.  In the UK they are just a bit smaller than ATCs (Artists’ Trading Cards), and have nicely rounded edges.  Also, whenever you go on one train journey you seem to acquire about 8 of these, particularly as it often works out cheaper to split the journey into two rather than buying one for the whole way (even if you stay on the same train for the whole journey) – daft, I know!

I’ve been randomly experimenting with them over the years, painting over some of them with black or white gesso to cover them, but last week I realised that I have several hundred of them now so decided to do it systematically.  It was also fun to look back over where I had been and recall nice memories of days out.

I laid down some textured wallpaper (which has now been randomly decorated in a pastel coloured rectangular grid!) and here is the first lot of tickets.

This is a mixture of white gesso and opaque white screenprinting ink which was getting a bit thick and needed to be used up.

I painted the first side and left it to dry.  I got bored with white after a while and mixed some Dr PH Martin inks into it to have a bit of variety.

Once dry, I flipped them over and repeated the process.  The whole thing took me most of last week but it was quite a meditative process and now I have a box of ready made artist cards.  Now, the thing is, I’ve been feeling that I need to do a bit of art or sketching every day to keep my arty mojo going …

So…. I’m going to set myself an Art Challenge: to paint or draw on one each day … at least until Christmas.  I’m not going to labour over them or take a great deal of time, just have fun and splash paint or mess around with a pen and a doodle, and I’ll post them on Instagram using the hashtag #trainticketart .  If you would like to join me, I’d love the company!  Let’s see how much #trainticketart we can produce! Just leave a comment here,  post pics on Instagram or Twitter or on your blog and if it takes off I’ll start a shared Pinterest board to pin them all.  Let’s see if we can create a buzz!!

Here are a few examples of the cards I’ve already experimented with:

Hope to see you on the journey!!

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