Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Cushion Cover Finished

 I've been working on this cushion cover, on and off, for a couple of months and I've finally completed it.  I thought I'd show you, stage by stage, how I did it.

 Firstly the inspiration came from my friend Helen who drew and then screen printed this gorgeous face and script onto a piece of cotton.  I'd seen it and asked if she had any spare if I could have one to embroider and make into a cushion.  Isn't she clever, I couldn't draw that in a month of Sundays.  Then as I was taking a batik class and had been experimenting with lace as a stencil to two ideas came together and I got to work.

 I stretched the piece on a frame and used a vintage piece of lace from an antimacassar (it may have been my Grandma's but as I collect this type of lace anyways I can't remember) as a stencil for the beeswax, and 'framed' the image on two sides.

 I was very concerned not to get the dye on the face and yet I wanted to have a crackle effect over the script to the left.  This called for some serious, careful scrunching of the wax!

 I first painted over the dye (Dylon Burlesque Red) but was happy with the light results, I wanted a stronger, deeper colour.  So I ended up immersing the whole piece in the dye bowl.

 Then, obviously I couldn't waste the dye so other batik lace pieces went in together with scraps from my stash.  I love dying all different fabrics and trims in the same pot as they all take up the colour slightly differently and I have lots of pieces to then use to embellish a piece and they automatically 'match' the main piece.

 Here it was, all dried and the wax taken out by ironing and washing.

 Now came the auditioning and patchworking of pieces to enhance the main piece

 Maybe this....

Or this?....

 When I'd settled on an arrangement, and sewn the main pieces together with my trusty machine, (or I'm liable to keep changing things and not getting on, lol), I began embroidering.

 I used simple back stitch to enhance the hair and a kind of satin stitch and couching on the lips.

 The crocheted piece was dyed with tea to give it a more vintage look and couched down into place

 Now I all I have to decide is where to use it! 

 And try to keep the cats off of it!

 The back I kept deliberately simple, just two offcuts of co-ordinating fabric and an envelope finish.

I've really enjoyed working on this and now have to find another project to take my interest, sure another project will present itself soon.  Maybe if I use a vintage photo as the focal point and do something similar......

Monday, 15 July 2013

Time for some Cat Photos me thinks.....

 Merlin - sniffing out a barbeque in the vicinity....

 Mickey - your pincushion looks nothing like a cat....

 Hutchie - Feed me now!

 Billyboy - deep in thought....

Archie - my camoflage is working.....

Have a good week all, keep cool and keep smiling.... 
PS Other captions welcome!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Visit to Rock Cemetery, Nottingham

 It was a blisteringly hot day yesterday, when my friend and I visited Rock Cemetery in Nottingham.  It had long been on my mental 'to visit' list but when I saw my internet friend, Linda of Blue Eyed Girl fame's photos recently I knew I just had to go now.

 There were angels galore in this Victorian gothic cemetery, built in and around old sandpits and sandstone rocks.
 I thought I'd share a few of my favourites with you.  The graves were tightly packed together, no paths between them and such a mixture of statues and crosses.

 Whilst it was nice to wander about on a bright and sunny day, I couldn't help but wonder how the atmosphere would change on a say, misty or frosty day.  I feel another trip is needed later in the year.

 Some lovely iron work,

 beautiful carvings,

 and wild flower settings really give much to the overall atmosphere and ambience of the place.

 Unfortunately the couple stripped and sunbathing, together with the family having a barbeque in one of the shallow caves did not add to the experience.  Whilst I am all for the living appreciating the resting places of the dead, these behaviours just smacked of over familiarity and were inappropriate; especially when there was a park next door but I assume no park keepers in the cemetery.

But the cold of an autumnal morning or the damp of a winter's day should soon put paid to such interlopers and am looking forward to my next visit.