A little embroidery!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I think I mentioned in a previous post I was learning embroidery. I haven't done any since I was in school where we learned some basic stitches but I'm always keen to add to my skills so I found a couple of online classes to improve my abilities!

The classes I took were on CreativeBug, which I already have a monthly subscription to because they have such a great variety of classes! I did the embroidery sampler and embroidery sampler advanced classes there. I didn't make the actual sampler being demonstrated I just wanted to learn all the stitches so I could create my own designs.

Blitsy had a great deal on hoops, embroidery threads and the special marker that disappears with water. So I snapped those up and waited for them to arrive! The butterfly I appliqued from some white felt and embroidered over.

I have been doing a lot of sketching of wildflowers recently and that inspired the design. Although initially I only sketched part of the design, I added more as I went along!

I tried to include a variety of stitches I learned in the class, like the satin, chain, straight, back-stitch, some couching with wool and french-knots.

The project I had in mind for this whole embroidered piece is for a cover of a sampler notebook of all different types of stitches. I think it'll make a nice keepsake to hand-down to Isabelle.

I'm really happy with how it turned out! So the next challenge is to make it into the cover for the sampler notebook! I have found a youtube video on how to make a fabric covered notebook so I'm hoping that will help!

Here's the entire piece, the butterfly will be on the front of the cover and the other side will be on the back. I'm going to add some interlining to add some body to it, thanks to my mom, she has lots of supplies!

The butterfly is my favourite butterfly, the orange-tip butterfly, we always see them in the garden in the summertime!

I did work on this over a few weeks, doing a little bit here and there, but it was wonderful to see it growing and I just love all the textures!

I did learn a lot as I went along, experimenting with the number of threads I used and adding shading with different coloured thread. The only thing I'd like to do differently for my next project is use a linen instead of a cotton to make it a bit more durable. But I'm definitely hooked on embroidery, it's like drawing with thread! : ) Enjoy the rest of the weekend and I hope you make some time to be creative!

Owl Illustrations

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

So I finally got around to illustrating some of the owls that I saw at the Scottish Owl Centre for my bird illustration challenge. First up is the Eurasian Eagle Owl.

I'm still trying to get comfortable with my style, I think it's evolving, I'm never sure where it's going to take me next! I used a mix of acrylic paints, white pigment pen and black ink pen. Here's the Snowy Owl, like the one Harry Potter had! : )

And finally my favourite owl, the Barn Owl (the european one, I only recently found out there are different types of Barn Owl around the world!).

I've lots more owl photos that I took at the Scottish Owl Centre to work from, so I'm sure you'll be seeing a few more owls popping in from time to time! : )

That's all for now, I hope you like my owls! Have a creative week! : )

A Few spooky projects...

Monday, October 5, 2015

I'm not ready to start Christmas projects yet but here's a few fun Halloween projects I had published in the October issue of Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine. These fun Ghosty treat bags are SO easy to make, they're simply glassine bags (these ones are from SRM Press) that I rounded at the top (I drew around a roll of tape, stacked a few together and cut around). Stick on some googly eyes, cut out a fun and expressive mouth shape from black paper and punch a hole in the top and add some twine. They're really quick to make and would be great filled with marshmallows or popcorn! Kids would have lots of fun making these too!

I also made this fun Halloween garland using simple shapes, circles, stars and bats cut from coloured card. Once I cut out all the shapes I stitched them altogether on the sewing machine. Templates for these are in the back of the magazine.

I love lots of lanterns at Halloween, this one I made from just black card and vellum. I love how effective some simple paper-cutting and piercing is. Obviously you'd use a battery operated tealight with these but they do cast some pretty cool spooky shadows! The template for the pumpkin face is also at the back of this issue.

I love making pop-up cards, I drew a haunted house for this card but I also used stamps and dies from Clearly Besotted Stamps (Halloween Spirit and Fright Night).

I used my Silhouette machine to make this really cool fake book treat box (3D Book Box and Spells Book Cover files from Silhouette Store.) It did take quite a while to make so I don't think I'd make many multiples of these but they are really cool.

Here's the inside, I lined the inside cover and outer edges of the box with some lettered patterned paper.

I really liked how the gold mirror card worked so well with the purple card, I hardly ever think of using this type of card but it really adds something special to this project!

I had 10 projects for this feature, you can check out the rest of them in the October issue of Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine (issue 148). That's all for now! Have a great day! : )

Covered Sketchbook

Friday, October 2, 2015

So I used my hand-painted patterned paper to cover a sketchbook! The sketchbook I've been doing my daily sketches in (if you follow me on Instagram). I picked out one of the rich berry colours and painted a sheet of paper to line the inside of the sketchbook too.

The sketchbook was a kraft covered one with staple binding but when I was covering the sketchbook one of the staples came away from the cover so I was given the opportunity to try out my bookbinding skills!

I used some of the holes that were already there from the staples so it was pretty straightforward and I already had some linen thread in my sewing box. It's really strong stuff and I love the natural colour.

It actually added a nice extra handmade feel to the outside of the sketchbook too! I think it's a good idea to make something you're going to use every day that little bit extra special. To entice you to use it more! : )

I love how it turned out and it feels great to touch too! I thought I'd give you a peek at a few pages from my sketchbook too.

It's just a place to experiment and get the creative juices flowing. Anything goes really, paint, pen, pencil, collage... I usually set a limit of 30 minutes so as not to overwork things, as I have a tendency to do!

I usually sketch things out in pencil but I went straight in there with a black pen for this, very liberating actually! With surprising results.

This one is a mix of black pen with acrylic paints! I've been sticking to my favourite subjects at the moment, nature but I'm hoping to get braver and try new subject matter. Oh I've also been dabbling in hand embroidery, it's a slower process but I'm really loving it! I'll share some of my results soon!

That's all for now, hope you have a lovely weekend! We've had some unexpected sunshine all this week but I think the rain is about to return! It was nice while it lasted though! : )