Thursday, 27 February 2014

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint & Upcycling

I have spent a bit of time this week using some products I purchased with big plans probably over a year ago now. I decided I needed to get on with this while it was summer, while paint dries quicker and you can ventilate the house with open windows and fresh air. So I took to the ugly old dresser in my bedroom with 'French' in mind and the result is splendid, although it is much better in 3D reality than I can get the photos to show.
I started the process by securing the French style appliques I got from do it yourself chic with some E6000, haven't used that glue before but it seems pretty secure. I have used these appliques before and they are an easy way of getting pretty & interesting onto your project.


Then I ventured into my stash of Annie Sloan chalk paint. Again, I have used this several times before now and it is just the BEST paint ever, no sanding, you just slap it on in any direction and one coat will do. Of course if you like French Shabby it is fantastic but not for those who like clean modern lines.
No modern minimalism for me, I am definitely a maximalist girl.
The colour I chose for this project was 'Paris Grey'

Next I cracked open the Annie Sloan soft wax. First a coat of clear wax and then a coat of dark wax wherever it takes you fancy. Rub some off for lighter of leave heaps for darker. You can see where it sticks in the applique you get nice amounts of darker bits.
I also finger rubbed some European Gold Rub n Buff onto the appliques for some metallic shine and so they sparkle a little.

I also updated the hardware to some bling bling pieces I purchased from House of Antique Hardware.

LOOKING FABULOUS with just a few hours effort.
I have been a busier little beaver this week. Not only did I achieve the dresser makeover but I also started working on two quilting projects and finished the stitching on the second piece of the Winter Casket Keepsakes.
I now have the two sides done on Amy Mitten's Winter Casket Keepsakes for the Pin/Needle Keep. They are just so cute and were fun to stitch. It's slow going though as I have not been spending a lot of time on this project.
I started some preparation for the Quiltmania BOM, Di Ford's Mountmellick. I have decided for the first time ever as I normally machine applique that for this one I am going to attempt to hand applique, at least for the centre block. As there is a lot of Broderie Perse I think the result will be more pleasing. I want to start now so I am not too far behind when the next magazine comes out. So I have cut out and marked the background where the main pieces go and cut the stem strips on the bias. I purchased some hand applique needles yesterday and am now ready to attach the stems. Hopefully I will get that done this week. I also tea dyed the dutch chintz as per Di's video so it more closely matches the background. It has turned out great and I am now a huge fan and will be no longer afraid.

I also decided that after quite sometime of having all parts of the Civil War Bride Quilt BOM in my possession I should really make a start. So I got all the pieces out and made a start on the first block. Due to the primitive and chunkier nature of this quilt I am going to machine applique as Michele Hill of William Morris fame does with a 1.5 blanket stitch, nice and fine. The first block pieces are all fused on and my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 is looking forward to the action.

The evenings are still dedicated to the Needleworker's Pocketbook. I am now onto the cartouche strip with a last eyelet strip after that for this particular piece.
Apologies for the blurry pic.
Whew,  I think that's it...
...except for the mega excitement building due to the Thistle Threads CoC II Stumpwork course starting this weekend AND my casket is finally winging it's way here and I cannot wait for it to arrive all safe and sound so I can start to envisage my designs upon it. I need it before me in all it's 3D glory to envoke that creative process and to try and get all the swirling ideas out of my head and onto it's form.
What a fantastic week.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Late Summer And Weeding

It's late summer here now in New Zealand and I have been neglecting the gardening. The weeds have multiplied. Today I had a burst of energy while it was a little cloudy. I got about an hour in and the sun came out and now it's too hot to toil.

When other people look at our garden they see this....

When I look at the garden I see this.....

and this....

I did quite a bit in an hour, several bucket loads and I feel good. Still more to go, but that's for another day.
All this weeding does not make for quality time spent on stitching. For all of you in the Northern Hemisphere who are continuing to get rained & snowed upon there is an upside. While you are forced to be inside you can stitch and NOT weed!
Pretty soon it will be all turned around as it is only two weeks until official Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere. We will be inside stitching and you guys will be weeding! I hope we don't get the extreme weather down here but I don't think we will as they say it relates to the dipping down of the jet stream in the Northern Hemisphere and our air here does not do that. Here's hoping, but if it does you can count on me stitching up a storm!!!
It was what seemed to me a not so eventful week stitching this past week. I have been catching up on appointments now the kids are back and trying to sort out my studio which is still a WIP.
I was totally foiled in my attempts to complete the floral glove as I ran out of the Tire silk for stitching together the glove pieces and couching the Elizabethan twist. So it was a case of so near and yet so far. I have placed an order for some more silk and so will just have to wait to put this project to bed.
I have continued to plug away on the Needleworker's Pocketbook. I am now up to the verse and can imagine the finish line in the vague distance.

I received my kit for the first part of the Di Ford Mountmellick BOM from The Quilt Room. The patterns are issued over a 6 month period as part of the Quiltmania magazine. Di's designs using lots of Broderie Perse are just so fabulous and I am tempted to try and keep up. I have so much else on....


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Courage Of Ones Convictions

Last week I posted a link on the Cabinet of Curiosities social site that has created quite some comment. It has been a fabulous transitional journey for me and I have  received loads of positive and encouraging feedback as I make the transition from being defined only by my career choice to being defined by what I simply LOVE to do which is to create. After 30 odd years working on and off as an accountant I found myself 18 months ago in a position where I could take time off to be a full time Mum and 'Fibre and Textile Artist'. I finally have come to a point in my life where I will loud and proudly label myself by what defines ME.
The link I came across on one of my many blogging muses was over at the The Textile Blog and was entitled Why Would Anyone Pursue A Creative Path . This was a most enlightening article and opened my eyes to understanding myself as I had been struggling with the lack of interest and outright dismay displayed by many people when they ask 'what is it you do?' . Saying I was a needleworker and interested in 17th century embroidery just wasn't cutting it or getting across my passion for what I do which is not limited to needlework although that is foremost. Most  people just cannot grasp anything other than paint or sculpture as art  and the fibre and textile world has always been undervalued in respect to the skill and time involved in this art. My positivity in my craft needs to be let out!
Whatever project you choose to work on and regardless of whether or not you came up with the original idea  I still consider it art. Even if you are constructing something from a kit or embellishing something to make it your own you are still creating using your skills as an artist. Even the most famous painters copied what already existed in nature and the world around them. To work towards completely original ideas one needs to be grounded in ones craft and the skills cemented. I am still learning but working towards designing my own 17th century style casket and it is no small journey.
So from now on and with passion I will shout from the rooftops that I am an  ARTIST.
As to my achievements this week I think a 'Woe Is Me' might be more appropriate. My time seems to have been sucked up getting the kids sorted and the all the trivia of modern life. It takes a bit to catch up after a long stretch with the kids as your 'adult time' goes on the backburner and I am hoping next week will be more constructive.
Small steps were made on the Floral Glove but it is still languishing in bits on my desk...
The pastoral scene is completed on the Needleworker's Pocketbook and I am plugging away on  the eyelet and satin stitch border. Still heaps of eyelets on this project which sure do take a while. I will be happy to get through this one as I have so much else I want to do but I will jolly well get this done first. I will.


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Waitangi Day

It's Waitangi day today. Waitangi Day is a nationwide public holiday here in New Zealand. It is supposed to be about celebrating 'one nation' and New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi was drawn up by the British Government around the mid 1800's and signed by the participating chiefs from the Maori tribes who were the indigenous peoples at the time.
To those of us who are several generations in  and not claiming any Maori descendancy, not that there are any full blooded Maoris left, it is just a yearly cycle of complaint and disruption at the official celebration at a place called Waitangi.
We have very liberal government policies here around settling crown land back to Maori tribes arising from the land wars back at the time of early colonisation. But, will it ever be enough.....the day should be about national pride !!!
Well the kids FINALLY returned to school yesterday after the 6 week summer holidays but now they are on holiday again!!!....all's I got done was the grocery shop yesterday.
Not  a lot of stitching done this week and my crafty space looks like a bombsite.
It took me days just to couch the Elizabethan Twist along with the spangles to the edge of the ribbon for the floral glove. It does look pretty but the ribbon is only pinned onto the cuff. I never made my goal of finishing lesson #5 before #6 was issued but it's not too much to do and I think I will work on it tomorrow before the kids are home 'again' for the weekend.
My room, oh the state of my room. I need to tidy and stash but it takes away my stitching time. Maybe next week for cleanup when are kids are at school for 5 days straight. I suspect I may not be the only stitcher on the planet though with a room that looks like it's in need of attention.

I have been regularly stitching in the evenings on the Needleworker's Pocketbook and it's coming along. Just a tree and a deer to complete on the pastoral scene. It was slow going and parts of it were over one.

I signed up for Amy Mitten's Spring Casket Keepsakes even though I am barely moving on the Winter edition. The floral treats were just too pretty to pass up on and as one of the early orders I am getting the vintage threads. Woo Hoo.
I received my package of the tubular WireLace from Mimi'sGems this week. I ordered a bunch of colourways in the 3mm and 6mm after seeing the stuff used on stumpwork birds & insects by Michele Carragher who embroidered the costumes on the series Game of Thrones. Looking forward to having a play. You can stretch is out horizontally to around 3x it's width and if you pull it vertically it will go back to original size.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...