Monday, 31 January 2011

One World One Heart 2011

Hello and welcome to my blog - new friends and old!

I’m so excited to be participating in this event again. Last year was my first time and I found it such a rewarding experience in many ways.
For those of you who don’t already know me, let me introduce myself - I’m Sherry from just outside London, England UK. I’m fifty, fat and fabulous - well, I’m two of those things anyway! I live with my very understanding husband John who has to put up with my absences as I’m prone to disappear to my craft room for hours at a time! Sound familiar? It’s lovely to meet you all - kindred spirits!

I love trying all sorts of crafts - ATCs, altered art, paper dolls and am presently into all things fabric. I also love blogging and that brings me to what this post is all about.

If you click on the OWOH logo above you’ll be taken to Lisa’s blog A Whimsical Bohemian, who has organised this event for the last four years and tells you all about it. In brief it’s a worldwide event open to all active bloggers (whether or not you are participating in this event) and gives us an opportunity (by visiting blogs) to get to know each other and also the chance to win some prizes! We all love prizes don’t we - I know I do!

I have on offer here four prizes and if you’d like a chance of winning one of them all you have to do is leave a comment on this post, making sure there is a way I can contact you if you are a lucky winner and also so I can visit your blog too. The winners will be picked at random and will be announced here on my blog on Thursday 17th February and I will email them telling them the good news and as soon as I have the postal details, will send the prizes off.

So, enough rambling I hear you say -
what are the prizes?

PRIZE No. 1 - Fabric Rag Quilt Bag (Purse) & Pin Cushion

This little bag (measuring approx 10”x6”x3”) is made from 100% cotton fabrics in a patchwork style, each patchwork square is padded with a thin layer of felt. I made the bag following a video tutorial from Chic ’n’ Scratch live.

I didn’t have the exact Sizzix Bigz die used in the video, but instead adapted one I did have called ’Tag, Super Scallop Crescent’. For the outside, I used a fun patterned fabric called ’'Travels With My Aunt' from Woodrow Studio. On the plain squares, I did an assortment of rubber stamping (with Distress Inks) such as European postage marks and stamps (since the travels on the fabric were all around Europe).

I think this makes a great little sewing bag, so to go with this prize is a cute little pear shaped pin cushion. I got the pattern from this blog

Mine is rather skinny though as I only used four panels of fabric and I added a large button at the bottom so it can stand upright and keep all your pins safe!


PRIZE No. 2 - A Fabric Collage Hanging ’The Briary’

This is a fabric hanging measures approximately 6 ½” x 7 ½”. It is a mixed media piece made up of a piece of cross stitching, music paper, lace, buttons and a rusty old key! If you want to know more about how I made it, further details are on a previous blog post here.

All it needs is a small piece of dowling to go through the lace hoops at the top and it’s ready to hang!

PRIZE No. 3 - ’Clarinda’ a Paper Doll

Clarinda has featured on my blog recently and if you want to see some more photos of her have a look here.
Her body is card and her limbs attached by brads, so she
is moveable (and likes to dance!!). Her head is moulded from air dry clay and painted with acrylics and pens. Her hair is a thick unravelled cord. She’s wearing a ribbon skirt and a knitted top - and stockings too although they don’t show up very well. She’d love to dance her way to your home - just leave a comment and she might do just that!

PRIZE No. 4 - Tim Holtz inks!

There are two Distress Ink pads, ‘Dried Marigold’ and ‘ Scattered Straw’ and two bottles of alcohol inks (both from the ‘lights‘ range) - ‘Shell Pink’ and ‘Salmon’ They are all brand new and unopened - Santa left these in my Christmas stocking but I already had them!

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So there you have it!
 To recap, to be in with a chance of winning a prize all you have to do now is leave just one comment on this post. The winners will be announced here on my blog on Thursday 17th February - please make sure there‘s a way I can contact you!
If you want to continue along the OWOH path and meet other bloggers and be in with a chance to win more goodies go to Lisa's blog
and check out the list of other participants.

All that remains for me to say is, Bonne Chance,Viel Glueck, Goed Geluk, Buena suerte, Good Luck
 - and to thank Lisa for all her hard work in organising this fantastic event once again!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Mini Fabric Collage Swap

Mini Fabric Collage Swap

The Winter Swap on Linda’s 'A Swap For All Seasons' blog was to make one mini fabric collage measuring 5” x 7”Linda paired up all the participants and advised us that as long as the base was fabric, we could build from there use any medium as long as it was whatever we thought our partner would like.
My partner for this swap was Hope of Pixie’s Ponderings who now lives here in the UK in Lincolnshire but is originally from (as she puts it) ‘the wilds of Northwest Arkansas’ in the USA. Hope described her style as eclectic and gave me quite a lot of information as to what she liked. I narrowed it down for the collage to ‘toadstools, owls and natured-inspired stuff’ She told me there were no colours she disliked and that she leaned towards whimsical in style.

Armed with this information this is what I made

I started off with a cotton then sturdy webbing base (as described in a previous post). I built up a landscape with various colours of organza fabric which were held into place with the tree which I machine stitched on.

The tree is brown felt cut from Tim Holtz’ Alterations Sizzix ‘Branch Tree’ die. I hand stitched the flowers with beaded centres on and the cute little wooden owl buttons (I painted in their eyelids as they looked a bit scary otherwise). I added Glossy Accents to their eyes too so they look all twinkling in the moonlight! The moon is a piece of silver ribbon highlighted with some Ranger’s Stickles (Crystal colour) and I also highlighted some of the branches of the tree with it to look light moonlight. I suppose the background should have been darker if it’s night time, but this is a whimsical piece so I think I can get away with it!

The (intentionally) wonky picket fence around the tree is a piece of lace cut from Tim Holtz’ Alterations Sizzix ’On The Edge’ die called ’On The Fence’. I wasn’t sure if lace was going to work but I was pleased with the result. The toadstool is another wooden button which I coloured with paint and more Stickles and added Glossy Accents to the top.

I finished it off with some assorted fibres and lace.

Here’s what the back looks like. I made an image transfer onto fabric using Golden’s Regular Gel (matte) medium and a print onto copier paper with my inkjet printer.
I did intend to use the image transfer somewhere on the front of the collage, but as it evolved there was no place for it, so on the back it went - and it became a useful place for my details!

We were to leave our pieces unfinished so our partner could decide how they wanted to use them.

I made a card to go with the collage with an appropriate verse (photocopied from a book of music and suitably aged with some Distress Inks).
You may be able to see another wooden owl button in it's un-painted state - with the scary eyes!

I’m pleased with how the collage turned out and am so glad that Hope likes it too (phew, that's a relief!) I’m looking forward to receiving mine in return.

Thanks Linda for organising another great swap, I really enjoyed this one!

Handmade HEART Swap


I signed up for this swap last December which is being hosted by NoodleBubble (just click on the picture above to go to her blog).

The theme was "Handmade Hearts" we needed to make something heart shaped, any medium as long as it was handmade 'anything goes'.

Noodlebubble allocated us a secret swap partner and told us who we should send our hearts too in good time for Valentines Day.

Well, this morning I received my heart, what a lovely surprise it was too.

It was made by Karen of
 who paints the most beautiful whimsical portraits and she very kindly also sent me one of her magnets and a card with her prints on - I love them all!  Thank you again Karen.

The heart I made is for someone who doesn't have a blog and she doesn't know her heart is coming from me, so I think it's safe to post some pictures now!

My heart started off a card shape which I covered with Plaster Cloth, embedded some tiny gems into and painted with acrylics and embellished with some small beads and finished with a hanging glass bead.

I made a little paper bag for the heart to go into based on a video tutorial from Roben Marie-Smith.  If you want to see some beautiful examples of this
technique go and have a look at Jenxo's blog (thanks again for the link Jen!)

You may have guessed already, my swap partner's name is Vicky!
I hope she likes the colour green as she's getting a green ATC with an altered domino on too!

My heart will go off in the post tomorrow for Vicky.

Speaking of hearts, I've got my prizes ready now for the
 event which starts on 30th January - I hope you'll come and visit me for a chance to win one and I may see you along the way!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Paper Doll - Pink & Green Challenge

I haven't made a paper doll for a while so thought I'd keep my hand in and made this pretty one.

She fits the challenge over on The Ribbon Girl Blog

where you are invited to make any sort of project
 as long as it fits the colours pink and green.

Do you like her pink knitted jumper?  It was an off cut of machine knitting my Mum gave me which I chopped and stitched.  It's not exactly a jumper but more a cropped top with arm warmers - maybe she's a dancer - if that's what dancers wear!

She's stopped dancing now - lol, to show off her lovely sheer ribbon skirt which is attached to the body with a few stitches at the waistband.

There isn't much green is there?
Have a look under her skirt!

Lucky she's not shy!
Her stockings are actually sheer light green ribbon attached to her legs with Glossy Accents and two cute heart shaped buttons at the top.

She has green in the ribbons in her hair too.  Her hair was a piece of thick black braid I had in my stash which I unravelled to make her lovely curly hair!

She also has green flower ankle warmers - like all the best dancers!

She's a loving kind of girl and is holding a little wooden heart

She's also wearing a silver heart around her neck with green ribbon
(she likes her jewellery large, but of course takes it off when she's dancing!)

Just in case you're interested, here's what the back looks like.

Best keep her hanging up (by the little loop) so we can't see the back,
 not as pretty as the front!

The Ribbon Girl challenge ends on 30th January and there are some ribbony prizes for the lucky winner!

Good luck if you're taking part too!

Matchbox received!

I mentioned in my previous post that Jan of Jan's Arty Journey makes the most amazing altered matchboxes - well here's the proof!

I received this beauty in the post today and my photographs really don't do it justice, it is fantastic!  It has a lovely UTEEd altered jigsaw piece on the front as well lace and sewing notions - all the things I love!

Look what was crammed inside! 
 I particularly love the tiny cotton reel and the altered bottle cap.

Everything was beautifully packaged and there was this gorgeous tag attached too!

Thank you again Jan I really love it
 - I do have a problem now though -
how do I fit everything back inside the matchbox?  LOL

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sewing Themed Altered Matchbox

This is another matchbox I altered for a one to one trade with a sewing theme and now I know it's been received I can post it here.

I must own up to getting inspiration for this box from the very talented Trudy - who I don't think has a blog, but you see a photo of her matchbox here.

The dress form (from Character Constructions) was rubber stamped (with Dew Drop Brilliance ink) onto Shrink Plastic and stuck onto the box with E6000 adhesive. 

I covered the outside and inside of the box with old dress pattern tissue paper (adhered with Liquitex matte medium) and did a bit of rubber stamping over the top.

The drawer pull is a little bit of Tim Holtz tape measure attached with an eyelet.

Inside is a small assortment of sewing bits and pieces.

The mannequin was moulded from air dry clay from the 'Mini Torso Set XXLge' by Krafty Lady.  Once dried, I covered it with Tim Holtz tissue tape and attached some finishing ribbon and a button.

I'm looking forward to receiving a matchbox from my swap partner Jan who makes the most amazing altered matchboxes!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Fabric Collage - How I Did Mine

I think I may have another addiction (as well as altering matchboxes that is!) - fabric collages!

This post follows on from the previous one where you'll see I've made 3 of these collages in not as many days!

Here's a brief summary of how I put the 'Daisy Cottage' fabric collage together.

Start off with the cross stitched cottage

Cut a rectangle of cotton for the base

and re-inforce it with something sturdy - I had this roll of strong hessian type stuff which was ideal.

Machine stitch the hessian strips onto the cotton base (sorry the photos are a bit dark)

I machine stitched up and down each row and top and bottom, this is what the back looked like when I'd finished.

Stitch a narrow edging of lace around all four sides

At this point I machine stitched a handwritten label on the back

That's the base done, now to start decorating the top.
  I decided to use some paper - sheet music and aged it around the edges with Distress Ink.

The next stage is the most time consuming, but also the most fun - sorting out what layers to use.  I laid the various lace and fabrics onto the base before stitching anything down to get a rough idea of what it'd look like.

When happy with it, start stitching!

I coloured a bright white lace flower from a curtain edging (thanks Mum!) with Distress Inks so it blended in better.

I also added a few beads to the cross stitching, a vintage button for the centre of the flower, some hanging beads at the bottom and a horseshoe for good luck at the top right hand corner.

I gave it a simple hanger of twine (braided three lengths together and knotted them at the back). 
Here's what the finished back looks like.

 I attached rusty keys to the first two fabric collages

I think I now need to go shopping and hunt down more cross stitched cast offs, lace, buttons, keys - and anything else which I could use to make more - these addictions must be fed - lol!

Thanks for looking!