Sunday, September 28, 2014

A is for... Applique

Applique is a less familiar craft than the last few have been and my experience with blanket stitch is extremely limited so this isn't perfect - but I don't mind. Which is good because I'm usually a perfectionist and it's nice to find some not-perfectionism.

I chose my colours and got to work. I wanted a more electric blue but couldn't find one, I think this one turned out very well all the same. I chose felt over fabric to avoid fraying issues.

As with the other letters I didn't use a pre-made template but worked my own out. I had to adjust it a little and if I want to do any more small felt cut-outs I'll need to get a more suited set of scissors (an xacto knife just didn't work out).

I'm tempted to get an early start on the next letter which I hope to have done tomorrow - the technique I've chosen can be time-consuming to do on the scale I usually use. For that one I'll go totally pattern-and-template free...

Edit: slightly further on than tomorrow, perhaps... I chose to use a very fine canvas. No regrets as the progress is looking great but it's 4x more work so please bear with me!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Next letter...

Okay... things are on the improve so the next letter is underway.

This photo was taken last weekend on a trip to Port Pirie and I finally adjusted things to my satisfaction today. The photo was taken in Napperby Gorge. I plan to show more of the photos later, though not in this cut-up form.

I've not fixed it to the backing yet, I want to work out how I present the final thing first.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Night Vale Public Library Card - DIY

I was working on a creative idea... but another distracted me.

If you were to use the image with a barcode generator and the graphics program of your choice - Paint is enough - you could make a functional card. Laminating it would be a plus. Whether or not your library would accept it is an entirely separate matter...

I might mess around and make a fancier one at some point but this isn't a bad start.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Daily creation: Button letter and discovery of tiredness

I'm continuing to make an effort to create something any day I have an opportunity. It's only day two though, so not getting especially excited yet.

This is part two of a small project I'm working on. I know roughly what the elements of it will be but haven't yet worked out how I'll assemble it.

There's not a lot to say about today's work - sewing on buttons is, I hope, a near universal skill. I often go through quite a process in selecting buttons for a project but I was feeling a little tired this evening so went with a colour selection that came out of a mixed pack of buttons rather than going through my stash of second hand buttons.

This is up a little later than I intended - sewing the buttons on highlighted my tiredness. Last night's book was really good and while I had no trouble during the day I'm starting to feel it now. Several times I had to backtrack a moment and remind myself that buttons need to be treated rather differently to beads.

As with yesterdays, this isn't utter perfection. I can see the flaws, but hope they are not so obvious to others.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Creative Boost - Starting a project... plus technique

I've not had a terribly creative year thus far. It's time to do something about that. I've got a plan that should see me taking on a creative task each day for the rest of the week that will result in something that I hope will be fun. After that I'd like to see if I can maintain that. It might not be something very big - and it might not be a craft as such. Perhaps a photograph beyond the happy-snap variety or something creative in the kitchen. Perhaps even a blog post - my output this year has been somewhat low.

Today's part of the project is a letter embroidered on card, a shade wonky as I worked from scratch without a template. I've been making cards and other objects this way for a while. Although I read craft books/blogs for inspiration I often deviate from patterns and instructions or just plain old make it up as I go. That's how I learnt this craft, the technique is not revolutionary but I arrived at my current method through trial and error and expect to keep refining it. Here's the back and a quick technique run-down to give you an idea how I did it.

I started by ruling a vague size and position, from there on in this was entirely freehand withut so much as a straight edge. It was nice to do as I generally lack confidence in my ability to draw and draft things - even simple things. It's not absolutely perfect but I think I like it that way...

Initially I thought that I'd use a couple more colours I'd picked out (a lovely turquoise and bold orange) to add a flower motif but ultimately decided that'd make it too busy in the context of the project I have in mind.

I punched the holes out with an awl - when I first started making embroidered cards I used a needle. That's a good way to hurt your fingers. I had to punch from behind - I prefer to punch from the side I'm going to sew on to keep things tidy but this particular project didn't lend itself to that as I was avoiding the use of any kind of template which is really necessary for that.

Even-ish spacing is nice but there are certain points - corners and points along a curve - which are going mandate positioning. I punched those first and then worked out how many holes needed to go in the spaces between these.

The stitching is a sort of modified backstitch done with a fine tapestry needle - it's efficient with thread while getting the look I'm after. I started off with a doubled over thread and rather than knotting brought the first stitch down through the doubled over end to secure it.

If working on a card I need to keep the back as flat as possible, and then I use a piece of masking tape to catch all the ends (you only need one as you can unstick and restick it repeatedly) however that wasn't an issue here so I just knotted the ends.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Unique books

This is a quick post while I am out and about. I bought a wonderful book this afternoon. Although the original publication is a lovely one (with game boards and a ruler printed on the endpapers) it is not this that is most wonderful. Rather, it is that a previous owner has left their touch throughout and made a unique item of this copy, something a freshly printed book cannot offer. I am fortune to have a couple other such books, one from within my family, and they are truly delightful.