Summer haze in paint


Hazy summer on handpainted on bamboo silk

My last fabric order included some bamboo silk.  I’m planning to use some of this as a lining but this leaves me with spare fabric.  It’s very soft, flowing  material so I thought it might make a scarf.   The fabric is plain white so I decided to add colour and texture by painting it.   I normally use opaque fabric paint to paint on cotton and wasn’t sure if this would work well as there are specialist paints for silk but not for bamboo silk.  I decided to water down the fabric paint to try and keep the material’s softness.  I wanted the result to look like it flowed like the material does.

I decided on an abstract green, yellow and white design inspired by the long hot hazy days of the summer where the grass becomes patched with yellow in places.   I love that time of year with meadows of tall grass waving in the wind and fields of cut grass interspersed by splashes of yellow and white from daisies, buttercups and dandelions.   It reminds me of hours relaxing outside, maybe reading or making daisy chains or just lying on the grass in the sun.

The fabric had a slightly different texture when it was finished but it was only a little stiffer than before.  The painting came out really well, with spots of yellow and white and longer brush strokes of green on a diluted yellowy green background.  It reminds me of dreamy lazy hot days.

Fring of hand painted bamboo silk fabric

P. S. The fabric is very transparent so I had difficulties getting the colours/details of the painting to show as well as they do in reality.

Working wood in the hills


making wood buttons

I traveled to the hills yesterday to visit family and do some work with wood.  Willow is a great source of wood as it is quick growing and managing through pollarding, pruning the upper branches to encourage new growth, increases it’s lifespan and encourages specialist wild life.  So I also collected some green wood from the family willow tree for a willow weaving project.  Once the branches were cut I trimmed the parts too old for weaving and stripped the leaves and then weaved them into circles.  It’s surprisingly hard work as the less flexible parts of the wood need a significant amount to pressure to bend them into shape.   So after finishing a couple I decided to finish the others later at home.

Having the larger parts of the branches left over gave me the idea to try and make some buttons from them.  This didn’t workout as the wood was too green and so was too full of sap to saw successfully.   Luckily wood that had previously been pollarded from the willow had been stored to allow it to season, that is dry out so it can be used for wood working.  The wood that had been stored for a couple of years worked really well and could be sawn into even round segments.  I kept the bark on because I think it adds to the look.  After being sawn the buttons are kept in a tub with olive oil to seal them, this also made the surface smooth enough that it didn’t need sanding.  I’m going to leave them to soak for a while before drilling the holes for the button threads.  It was really nice to catch up with my family and I’m thankful for all the help, entertaining conversation and great food that was on offer.

Pollarding Willow

Woven willow circle

Willow circle

Wood store

Sealing the wood buttons

cutting buttons

Wooden button drying in the sun

Day off for a wedding


Today was a public holiday due to the Royal Wedding so I’ve not made much, only a couple of union jacks.  I’ve also had some lovely cake and a great time picnicking in a park.  So here are a couple of pictures from the day.

Making flags

Street party cake from imaginative icing

Imaginative Icing Royal Wedding cake

Jam tarts on Imaginative Icing Cake.

Flag and car

Cakes for the Royal wedding

Union flag over royal wedding procession

Picnic with flags

Tansy beetle bag competition and top design


Tansy beetle print on black

Tansy beetle

Tiny Tansy beetle

Openwork top

I’m pleased to announce that the winner of Tansy beetle bag giveaway is Julie b. Congratulations, the tansy beetle bag will be winging it’s way to you.  Thanks to everyone who entered it was great to see so much interest.  I also have good news about the Tansy beetle I saw another one very near my house on a green, which is an area of special scientific interest. I haven’t seen them there before so I think it’s a good sign.

I’ve been working on a new design for a woman’s top using fabric with a woven pattern.  It’s organic cotton woven on a hand loom in India and has stripes of openwork, little holes like lace, it’s very pretty and quite fine.  I’m trying a different shape for the top that flows out at the bottom but sewn so it still hangs flat.  If it works I’m hoping it will show the shape when you move in it.  I also had a couple of ideas for decoration around the neckline and bottom but the design on the fabric may be enough as I don’t want to make it look too fussy.  I’ve also got some plans to make the arms longer so that the fabric covers the cuffs, I’m hoping this will make it look really special.

Open work fabric

White rabbit drawing


White rabbit drawing

I really enjoyed Alice in Wonderland as a child, both the story and the illustrations by John Tenniel.   Recently its been influencing some of my art especially the symbols and characters.  My drawing above shows an updated version of the white rabbit, who’s a bit more rock and roll than the original character.  The original sketch was in pencil which I’ve finished with black ink.  I may tackle the door mouse next.

Red stripy seaside bag


Red stripy seaside bag

Having some free time over Easter gave me a chance to finish the bag I’ve been making for myself.  It’s made with red stripy material that give it a nautical feel, I’ve made it even more seasidey by painting and embroidering seagulls.  I had some problems with my original handles as they were fiddly to finish so I decided just to add a simple strap, it’s also longer than the original which I prefer.   I gave the bag a sort of crescent shape reminiscent of a ships’ bow and constructed two pockets, one for my iphone and one for other bits and pieces.  I’ve taken the bag out and about and it’s working great, it’s durable and roomy.  Now I just need to visit the seaside to test it fully ;).

Creating a bag - lining and seams

Sunny Spring


Had a lovely Easter and spent a lot of time outside, eating, catching up with friends, walking and looking at the spring nature.

blackbird in tree

Blackbird

Ladybird

Tadpoles by reeds

Bluebells

hawthorn flowers

Red admiral butterfly in flight

Flowering bluebells

Cupcake in the park

Previous Older Entries