More Doodling

Some more doodles.

On these two I took a line for a walk.

Some bone patterns.

Some flowers.

I liked those flowers so much I did some more.

Taking more lines for walks.

Finally, I did some lines and had fun reversing the colour. I’ve done this before with cut paper. It’s very effective I think.


Peacock Wedding Fascinator

For the wedding I decided not to wear a hat, as though I love hats I didn’t want a typical mother of the bride hat. After our fun fascinators at the hen do I thought I’d try and make myself a proper one for the big day with the proviso that if it looked naff I’d do without. Following on from the bag I took my inspiration from Pete the peacock who has adopted us at work.

He’s such a show-off!

First I experimented with beads.

That’s actually black wool, but my camera refuses to show it properly. Then I started playing around with designs.

Three options and the clip I used. I think I got it in a market in Rome. It doubles up as a brooch back.

I ended up buying some peacock swords, which I curled. They are so sumptuous.

Assorted feathers glued to a circle of felt.

The flower covered the base.

The end result, which I did wear.

Crafty Hen do

One of my lovely daughters is getting married soon, so this weekend we had the hen do, which involved lots of craft, naturally. We started by making glass charms with circles of polyshrink plastic and wire embellished with beads, so that we all knew which glass to use. Then we pulled out the fake flowers, feathers, net and ribbon and went mad making crazy fascinators.

Sporting our glamorous headgear at the pub.

We also painted tote bags.

I went a bit mad the next day and thoroughly covered both sides of my bag.

This was the first side, where I added some pink as a contrast. On the other side I kept the colours analogous.

Some details.

These birds and other areas were done using markal sticks (shiva in the US ).

I’ll leave it a few days to cure then iron it to fix the markal. As you can see I got a bit carried away, but had so much fun.

Batik Paper

We had a fabulous afternoon at Wey Valley Workshop recently where one of the members organised a workshop on batik paper, which is basically like batik on fabric, but on paper (obviously). We used different sizes of tjantings to draw on the paper using paraffin wax and painted them with inks. When we were done we ironed them between sheets of plain newsprint.

They are so yummy. When I got home I had to do a bit more, but using markal sticks this time.

Quite different, but still lovely. I’m not sure what to do with them – maybe cover a little notebook or use them in a collage.

Tie-dye bags

I had some fun at work recently tie-dyeing some bags, which we hope to sell at our summer fair.

These are 2 bags scrunched up in some tights to get a random effect.

This is how they looked when they came out. The one on the right was more tightly scrunched.

And this is how it came out.

This is the looser bag. We also pleated and clipped another bag.

Before and after taking the clips off.

I loved these results. The clips rusted a bit so I got a some extra unexpected marks.

These 3 were all dyed with an indigo blue procion dye. We also did some of the kind of tie-dyeing people often do on t shirts, tying loads of marbles into the bag.

It took a while doing this, but produces a fun result. They look pretty gorgeous when still tied up – love those bobbles.

And here the bag is once all those marbles were taken out. I couldn’t resist saving all the wooly bits we used to tie up the marbles as they were so pretty.

The dyes we used were magenta, turquoise and lemon yellow procion, which were tray dyed, pouring the dye over the bag. It was a bit tricky getting to all the bag because of the way it was tied up, which is why we ended up with so much green.

Some details.

I hope you liked seeing the results of a fun afternoon.

Makeup bag for Christmas 

For our secret Santa at work I’ve been making a makeup bag as my gift. A couple of years ago I was given thus gorgeous curtain fabric sample by a friend,  who thought I might be able to do something with it.

Embroidered curtain fabric sample.

I’ve just made a simple flat zipped pouch. Here it is halfway through. 

Pouch in the making.

The bag has interfacing sewn to the outer fabric to give a bit of body. The blue zip picks up a colour in the butterfly wing and the lining is green. I covered the ends of the zip – that caused me some grief. If you make one of these bags be careful not to make the coverings too thick. When I’d finished I couldn’t push out the corners and ended up dismantling the whole thing so that I could cut out the excess. It was a combination of having 4 layers and using a heavyweight furnishing fabric. 

Never mind, it’s all a learning process. I’m very pleased with the result. 

Butterfly pouch

Back of butterfly pouch

Inside the pouch.

As a finishing touch I added a little butterfly bead to the zip.
Hopefully it will well received. 

Recycled denim rag quilt – finished

I posted about this quilt I was making a while ago and have been meaning to show the finished product. 

Stitching detail

The woolly back

The back is made up of a mixture of blankets and felted jumpers. I laid them out in a series of cross shapes,  which I quilted using a complementary colour of rayon thread. I haven’t snipped the seams like I’ve seen on the Internet, but I may change my mind. We don’t have a tumble dryer, so that bit’s not going to happen anyway.

It’s lovely and cosy and I’m pleased with the result. Now, what do I do with all the extra squares I’ve cut out? 

Church Flowers

I’m lucky enough to be on the flower arranging team for my church. It’s always a joy to be able to create a large arrangement using beautiful flowers and foliage. In church there is a need for something large and a bit dramatic, which would be overwhelming in most people’s homes. Every time I do the flowers I mean to share them, so here are a few of my arrangements,  starting with my most recent. 

Chrysanthemums, carnations and gerbera

Another angle


Peonies, alstromeria and gypsophila

Roses and alstromeria

Looking at these it looks like I love pink, but I think it’s just what was best at the time. There is usually a gap in between so I forget what I’ve done. I’ll be making a conscious effort to do something with autumnal colours next time.

Recycling and stash busting

I’ve been collecting worn out jeans for at least a couple of years and I’ve finally got enough to make a quilt. My plan is to sew 6 inch squares backed with felted jumpers and blanket. The great thing about this is I can quilt each square and then sew the whole top together. 

It turns out there was quite a lot of planning needed as I had to have a pattern. I’m not a random kind of person.

Layout for the denim side

I’ve ended up with 9 by 13 squares – a slightly odd amount. That’s 117 in total, so then I started cutting up wool.

Most of the squares

Wooly loveliness

Despite having loads of blankets and jumpers I still didn’t have all the colours I wanted so ended up dyeing a few extras.

Wool backing

This is the layout I finally picked after experimenting for ages and going back to my stash to get yet another colour several times.

I’ll post later when it’s done. 

Experiments in paper making

My sampling has led me to paper. I started by plying some paper yarn I made when I did City and Guild. It was too weak to knit or crochet, which is why I plyed it together. I tried to knit it,  but it still snapped, so I crocheted it very carefully.

Crocheted paper yarn


I think this is too stressful to do anything with, though it was fun. Previously, I made some cord from strips of plastic bags, which I knitted.

Knitted machine made plastic bag cord

I’m trying to create the feeling of bone, which is full of holes if you see it in close-up. In fact the structure is visible to the eye.

My next thought was to create a mesh, which I could dip into paper pulp. So out came the papermaking supplies. I soaked some old paper pulp in water and then dunked some chenille threads wrapped around a frame.

Results of chenille mesh

Going clockwise from the top left are the original mesh, the chenille dunked in paper pulp, the dried paper and a close-up. 

I wasn’t that keen on the chenille,  but it was to hand and I quite like the result. While the chenille dried I used some vanishing muslin to make a net with white thread and once it was dissolved I laid it out and using the turkey baster squirted pulp onto the threads 

Before and after


Look at those gorgeous textures. It’s on top of a piece of handmade paper. 

My next experiment was using wire. I wrapped a piece of wire I’d picked up in the street round my frame and dunked it in pulp.

Paper pulp on wire

I love this, the texture and the delicious rusty colour. There are definitely some possibilities here, but I need to find some wire that will rust. 

When all that was done I did some paper making with the rest of my pulp. I included some snowy glitter to look a bit like fish scales.

Handmade paper


This paper was made with pulp I’d dried out from a previous paper making session, which is why it has a rather blobby appearance as the pulp only dissolved partially. I stuck the blender in later to make a smoother consistency. 

Blended paper

I also experimented with soluble paper and puff paint.

Puff paint and soluble paper

Clockwise from top left – paper drawn on with puff paint and free machine stitching, dissolved, heated to puff the paint and a close-up. I was a bit impatient and scorched the paper. It’s qite fun, but a bit fiddly and hard to control.

My next experiment will be with paper clay I think, but I’m beginning to think that sooner or later I need to make something.