Tuesday 7 September 2010

Brooch or Necklace

Brooch or Necklace, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

This is a continuation of the embroidery that I blogged about a few days ago. The beads on the inside of the pentagon were sewn one and then another couple of layers were added to the bottom to provide stiffness and cover the bead sewing. These layers were some plastic a4 pockets and some acrylic felt. A very fine soldering iron was used to cut the shape out and fuse the layers together. Unfortunately the silk layer prevented the edges from being sealed properly and the edge looked very rough. Also, I didn't like the pale blue edging on the pentagon. So, another lines of beads was added to the edge.

I haven't decided if it is going to be a brooch (pin) or a necklace.

Shimelle September 6th and 7th

Two more lessons learned.

I can use my mobile phone as a wi-fi hot spot, even at home. I can only use it as a mobile phone at home when I am outside, imagine, a phone which works better on the Internet than as a phone.

Using a sharp needle when sewing with metallic thread will stop the thread from twisting.

A Strange Dream

Last night I dreamed that Moira Stewart rang me up to tell me that I had got the gift aid donation wrong for some people that were coming on a course and that it would affect their tax bills and they might be one of the million or so people that will be getting letters from the tax authorities. I was able to tell her that ticking boxes for gift aid did not make any difference to how much tax people paid.

For those of you who don't know, Moira Stewart is a news reader, firstly on the TV and now on the radio. She has the most gorgeous voice and perfect diction. Our tax authorities have got a new computer system and have worked out that a million or so people have either over paid or under paid tax and the Inland Revenue are sending letters out to these people to let them know. A few 10s of thousands are being sent today.

Monday 6 September 2010

Beautiful Barbie

Beautiful Barbie, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

This is the right hand side of the spread in Pascale's "Barbie" altered book. I printed a copyright free stock photo onto tracing paper and then "painted" it with water colour crayons. I sprayed it with a white colour wash spray to blend the colours better.

Barbie Imposters

Barbie Imposters, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

This is the left hand side of Pascale's "Barbie" altered book. The book is an old mathematics book. I wanted to leave some of the age visible so gessoed the inside of the page. It has blue water colour crayon painted over the gesso followed by some red, soft pastels. A swirly stencil has been used and painted with silver paint. The dress is a peel off sticker and has been painted with silver paint and had silver glitter sprinkled on top. The lines of the dress have been done with a peel off/acetate pen.

The imposters are Tina, Tressy, Sindy, Pound shop look a likes, Bratz, Crissy, Maxie Girlz and Tammy.

Barbie Spread

Barbie Spread, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

This is a spread in Pascale's "Barbie" altered book. We are doing a round robin with the ABEurope yahoo group.

Shimelle - September 5th

September 5th, originally uploaded by juliestenning.
Sunday was play day at Mavis'. I stitched the rest of Shortie and stuffed it. I also attempted to stitch the head on but due to one of the lessons learned, had to do it for the fourth and final time on Monday.

Lessons Learned:
When you need unbreakable thread, test it before using it.

How to make a wobbly head.

When stuffing fingers, wind stuffing around the stuffing fork in a corkscrew fashion. This makes it a nice shape for fingers.

How to do a surgeons knot and square knot.

A bank sinker is a fishing weight, shaped a bit like a foot and can be used to weight dolls down.

How to create a gusset so the creature has a large bottom.

Shimelle - September 4th

September 4th, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

I spent some time on Saturday September 4th experimenting with the embroidery sewing machine. It is much newer than any other sewing machine I have used and I have to get used to making sure that a cap is put the end of the spool and that it is better not to chop off the loose bit of thread when winding the bobbin.

Shimelle - September 3rd

September 3rd, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

I needed a pair of shoes to wear with a dress. I have plenty of sandals and ankle boots but no dress shoes. I was successful and managed to buy a pair of shoes. The prompt for the day was about feet and the manager of the shoe shop kindly allowed me to take photos. I love the look of high heels but find them impossible to wear. I suppose I already knew that "Desiring high heels doesn't make them fit any better" but I still desired them.

Shimelle - September 2nd

September 2nd, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

We visited the Courtyard in Hereford on Thursday September 2nd, to see Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick. I spotted these chairs in the restaurant and learned that "Chair arms do not have to be fixed to the back".

Shimelle - September 1st

September 1st, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

I'm doing a month long workshop with Shimelle at www.shimelle.com. Each day we are journalling what we learned that day.Shimelle gives prompts each day which you can use if you wish. I have decided that I won't have time to use scrap booking and collage techniques. I am going to create a book and have it printed by blurb.com. The book is 7 inches square.

We visited Brighton Pavilion on September 1st and learned that "King George VI was the last Emperor of India, the Last King of Ireland and the first Head of the Commonwealth".

Introducing Shortie

I made the head for Shortie in September 2009, at Jan Horrox's workshop. I finally finished him today. He is from Ute Vasina's pattern. I sewed the hands on the embroidery sewing machine.

Ann K - do you recognise the shirt?

Mavis - the feet wouldn't sew right because I have turned Shortie into a Mermaid with feet, i.e. the front of both legs are sewn together and the back of both legs are sewn together rather than each front sewn to each back. He is just going to have to have an apron.

Saturday 4 September 2010

The Embroidery Sewing Machine

Some of you will know that my mum and I share an embroidery sewing machine. It usually lives at mum's and she is three hours car journey away from me, so I don't get to play with it very often. It is a complicated little beast and each time I go and play I have to learn how to do it all over again. I am on annual leave at the moment and the beast is living at my house. One of the main reasons for having the machine is so that we can both make tidy hands for dolls. We both find it difficult to make them using an ordinary sewing machine. I now have a fool proof method of preparing dolls patterns and turning them into patterns that can be read by the machine. I've also created a set of videos so we can both review them when we have forgotten to how to do it. I've stitched a pair of arms with it today and will be putting them together with the rest of the body tomorrow.

The other thing I have done is prepare a vermicelli pattern and also some shapes to make brooches (pins) and necklaces.

This is still work in progress. You need to use stabilizers in the hoops when using such a machine. It stops it from puckering. I used a layer of water soluble stabilizer followed by a layer of white silk. Next came some fabric and thread scraps, along with bits from a white plastic netting bag. Purple organza was then put on top along with another layer of stabilizer to complete the sandwich.

The vermicelli pattern is one that I designed and converted into a sewing machine pattern. I stitched it in purple and then moved the pattern two stitches to the right and stitched it again in pale blue. I fancy doing a small piece with vermicelli where I move the pattern a few stitches along and change thread each time until it gets too thick to work with. Finally, I created another pattern of shapes, added a layer of felt to the bottom of the sandwich and used the machine to satin stitch around the edges. These will now have some beads added and probably some stiffening. The finished results will be posted here some time soon.

New Inn, Blagdon

Yesterday we were taken to the New Inn in Blagon in the U.K. The view was absolutely gorgeous. The pub is very nice as well. You should book in advance if you want to eat at the weekend during the summer. You can see it in Google maps here.

Click on the picture to see a larger view.