Thursday, 25 September 2014

Buttons and beads

I've been re-inspired by buttons this week. Back in 2011 I first got into making thread wrapped buttons and use them often in many of my crafts. This week I bought a bunch of perle cotton thread in size 8. They are fabulous for wrapping buttons - fine and silky, they give a lovely finish. I even made some Scottish saltire buttons.



I also bought a lovely little downloadable tutorial for quilted beads from Victoria Gertenbach earlier this year and have been making up a few beads. Although she uses quilting fabric and batting to make her beads I have made most of mine using wool felt. They are so simple to make using offcuts of fabric, you can decorate them in numerous ways and use them in all kinds of craft. You can never have too many beads. But then I'm a beadaholic and I would say that.


Friday, 12 September 2014

A load of tat

I started tatting a couple of years ago but I have to admit I've given up on it a bit. Well, maybe not 'given up'. It just got pushed into the background by the ever growing list of new creative ideas.

However, before tatting disappeared into the abyss of unfinished crafts I did try making some of my own tatting shuttles. If you do a search for tatting shuttles you will find a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Each tatter has his or her preferred brand or style. My first shuttle was a Pony brand tatting shuttle with a little hook on the end to help you unpick stitches. I used it to start with and it was great. No complaints from me. It did the job. THEN – I needed an extra shuttle to progress.

 
Tatting shuttles are pretty cheap but I bought mine online, had no local supplier and only had one proper shuttle. I wanted one as soon as I found out about two shuttle tatting. So I had a think, did an online search, saw some pictures and tried making a few of my own. They are made from paper and decorated using paper painted in acrylics. Some of the papers were made using the Gelli Plate (Yay, Gelli Plate to the rescue again!). I added some acrylic around the edges then coated them with a couple of coats of polyurethane varnish. 



I can't say I have a preference over the styles. They all did their job. I tweaked a few of the designs I'd seen online to keep the thread more secure but other than that they work fine. Not to mention they are pretty and unusual – and pretty unusual. Now I just have to get back into tatting. I've certainly got plenty of shuttles to play with these days.


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Westie

I was recently asked to draw a gorgeous little west highland white terrier in graphite. It was quite a challenge as I have mainly drawn short haired dogs before. This was just what I needed to stretch my growing pencil skills.