As we are having such glorious weather I thought it would be fun to create some interesting storage jars for any seeds you have hanging around. I searched for small toy animals in a charity shop, where I found these wooden bunnies that I thought would be perfect for this project. I then discovered Rustoleum’s wonderful Universal paint that works on all surfaces, and doesn’t even need priming, and can be left outside. I thought that’s perfect for this project and so easy to do.
Using the universal paint, spray the toy and the lid of the jar in a bright primary colour.
Using the glue gun, stick the toy onto the center of the lid. Take the string out of the label and spray with blackboard paint. Leave to dry. Stick a binder reinforcement over the hole and re thread the string and then using chalk write the names of the seeds on the labels and tie round the jar.
I purchased a simple frame loom from a thrift shop but the similar can be found at Hobby Craft or Tiger or you can make your own using a picture frame and some nails. I displayed the hanging from a broken branch I found in the garden.
Plastic bags in a variety of colours
Cotton warp thread or string
Fat twig or thin branch for hanging
Cut the bag into strips 0.5cm wide. Knot the strips together so you have one long strip.
Thread the loom by tying on the thread at one side and then going backwards and forwards between the top end and the bottom end of the frame. It is important to maintain an even tension. Tie off the thread in the same way as you tied on the thread.
So that the weaving doesn’t fall out when you finish you will need to make a twisted header. Cut a piece of warp thread about two and a half times the width of the warp. Twist the thread round each warp thread in turn. As in the image.
When you get to the end of the warp return in the opposite direction push the threads down and tie off at the end.
Thread the plastic onto the shuttle and then starting in the middle of the warp take the shuttle under and over until you reach one end, then go back the other way.
As you work push down the weft to cover the warp. When you have made a stripe of one colour change to another.
To make tassels cut strips of plastic (blue)about 20cm long. Choose a middle section of the hanging and put the blue plastic behind two warp threads at the same time. Wrap one side round one thread and the other round the other , pull the threads through to the front of the hanging. Add as many of these as you like. Mine was so bunchy that when I hung it up I gave it a bit of a trim.
Weave another block of flat weaving. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to finish off.
Pull the ends off the loom and then thread onto the branch. Cut off the warp threads from the other end of the loom and knot them one to the next one.
Check that you are not creating a waist by pulling in the sides of the warp as you work.
When this book fell into my in box I was
delighted as it is a technique that I have tried out myself and the results can
be rather random. Heather Fletcher is a true professional and manages to get
great results, and with her clear, photographed step by step instructions you
dear readers will be able to do the same.
Heather is a surface designer who works in many different mediums including marbling, suminagashi, pochoir, linocut, and woodblock printing, Heather incorporates them into her current practice focused in the following areas: artist books, hand lettering, graphic design, surface pattern design, quilting, and illustration (hand and digital).
a brief introduction to the author, the book opens with a short history of
marbling. The first half of the book divides into three chapters starting with
the studio and how to set up, the tools and materials needed and paints and
the bonuses of choosing marbling as a craft is that it requires very little in
the way of specialist tools, most of them you will find in your house. You are
given instructions on how to make your own marbling combs.
teaches classes on marbling and other surface design techniques at Minnesota
Center for Book Arts, Textile Center in Minneapolis, and around the world.
are many “systems” for marbling paper, each using a different kind of paint
(ink vs. watercolor vs. oil
acrylics) and different substances to float color on the surface. In this book,
we use fluid acrylic paint and carrageenan. Through teaching marbling, I found
that these two materials are the easiest to work with for marblers of all
levels—from beginners to seasoned professionals. Both carrageenan and acrylic
paint are easily available through online retailers and at your local art
recipe is given for making your own carrageenan ‘size’ and as it is a seaweed
extract it is often used in the food industry as a thickener. It can be safely
poured down the sink after use.’
second part of the book is called patterns and describes and shows the
foundation patterns and further patterns based on those.
reader is then given techniques to marble on paper and then on fabric. Finally
there is a troubleshooting section and a resources guide.
Heather’s surface designs are represented by MHS Licensing and licensed to manufactures and put onto products for home décor, hydration, wall art, tabletop, wallpaper, and quilting fabrics.
Second Hand September aims to raise awareness of fashion’s environmental impact
Create a twenty first century version of a nineteenth century, Smoking Cap from an up-cycled 1980’s jacket. I made this for my brother who loved wearing smoking caps. Here it is modelled by the beautiful Elsa.
The embroidery on the Jacket was beautiful but the style was somehow lacking. So I chose to turn it into, what used to be called, a Smoking Cap. This is in essence a pill box shaped hat often with a central tassel.
You will need
Old lined jacket
Pen and paper
Optional a tassel
Instructions .We made a pattern with the crown, top of the hat having a 18cm diameter. The brim of the hat is 8cm deep x 59.5 cm long including the seam allowances. Cut a paper pattern and then cut a calico pattern and sew the calico brim onto the calico top. Try it on for size and adjust as needed. It should be a little bigger than the finished hat, as the finished hat as a layer of wadding in it.
Cut the jacket into pieces and then lay the pattern pieces on them so they use up the best parts of the pattern. Pin and cut out the pattern pieces. Remember to add more seam allowance if you need to make a join.
Cut the interfacing so that it is slightly smaller than the pattern pieces. Pin it onto the wrong side of the hat’s crown and brimSew the wadding onto the brim. Pin the crown onto the brim, and sew them together, including the wadding around the crown
Using the jacket lining, make a lining for the hat as you did the one from calico. With wrong sides together, and the bottom edges turned under to neaten, sew the lining into the
outside cap. Sew a tassel into the centre of the cap.
Deidre Hawken makes what might loosely be called hats or head pieces. However that description does not do justice to the exquisite intricate pieces of work created by this multi talented designer. I and my photographer went to interview her recently in her studio.
JB.I know you as a hat designer and maker, but I understand that you also design and make jewelry. Can you tell us which discipline you trained in and how you came to practice both?
DH I trained in theater design, sets and costume, at the Central School of Art and Design, now Central St Martins.
I worked as a Theater Designer for some time and I was an Art Director for a couple of design companies, but I have always loved the design and making process. I have made costume accessories for The Royal Opera House, English National Ballet and the BBC, I also designed a run of windows for Harrods, Harvey Nichols, and made props for Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Asprey Ltd and I had an exhibition in Fortnum and Mason among others, and I created collections of jewellery with my sculptor husband for various fashion designers.
JB.What is a typical day for you?
DH. There is no typical day! I could be designing hats or jewellery or researching new work, seeing a client or dealing with boring administration.
JB. What do you love most, about what you do?
DH.I love researching ideas, it is now so easy on the internet, and as I said I love everything about the making process, especially dyeing fabrics.
JB.What do you dislike most about what you do?
DH Any kind of administration.
JB.Have you ever worked for anyone else? Or done any collaborations ? If so with whom?
DH.When you are a designer for the theater you’re basically working with and for the director, but I have been a freelance designer most of my life. I did collaborate with a jeweler, we were asked to make a joint piece, but I did not really enjoy the experience. I have also made jewellery with my husband.
JB.What made you want to start your own creative business?
DH. I love working for myself, although I sometimes have an assistant on a really big job, such as when I made jewellery for Saks 5th Avenue.
JB.Have you had any training recently? If so where and why?
DH.Not recently, but in 1998 I won a scholarship to study couture millinery. This was through QEST, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust. There are no age limits and but you do have to fill in a very difficult application form. I trained with Rose Cory in Couture Millinery and had an internship with Stephen Jones. I also went to America and studied at the Met.
JB.Can you describe your creative process?
DH.First I have an idea, then I research, choose the materials. I only work with a few materials, leather, silk taffeta, silk velvet silk organza and organdie. I dye all the fabrics myself using Dylon dyes. I then decide how to make the headpiece or perhaps a collection of jewellery. Most of my headpieces are one off designs. I never make another piece exactly the same.
JB.What are your biggest challenges?
JB. What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field today?
DH.It has always been difficult to be self-employed, especially in the Creative Sector, I believe good training is essential, also you must have self belief.
JB.Compared with when you started, do you think it is easier for designers to set up on their own nowadays or more difficult?
DH.I think it is harder, as everyone thinks they can be an artist or a designer.
DH.A very tricky Summer Pudding Headpiece for submission for the London Hat Show early 2018.
JB.Do you teach or run workshops? If so where?
DH. Not now! I have taught at various Art colleges and was an assessor for the BA Jewellery course at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and design, Dundee for three years. I have given many talks including one at the V &A and many workshops all over the country.
JB.What is next?
DH. I am developing a range of headpieces which can be displayed as Still Life’s in acrylic cases, which I am finding very exciting.
JB. That is a great idea, your work is far too lovely to store out of site, in a hat box.
Many thanks Juliet
I did this interview over a year ago, however this week I had the email below and this image. So I wanted to share it with you.
‘I just wanted to let you know that a Cauliflower headpiece of mine has been included in the latest exhibition at the Costume Institute, part of the Metropolitan Museum, New York. I was so thrilled it was included! I am attaching an image of it in situ, the exhibition is called ‘Camp’ Notes on Fashion.’
Print Play is the perfect description of this book. It is about printing and and at the same time playful and fresh.
The authors Jess Wright and Lara Davies are “Home-Work” – two textile designers and screen printers from Melbourne, Australia. The creative duo have worked together for the past 7 years teaching screen printing and design, as well as bringing their own colourful textile designs to life! Jess and Lara’s obsession with colour and pattern is tangible and is evident in everything they create! Enthusiastically converting ideas from their imagination to reality (usually with music playing in the background), the pair produce screen printed textile prints that are thoughtful and fun.
Adding a little objet d’art to the simplest everyday items, these textiles become functional and are turned into tote bags, make up bags, cushions and even wallpaper. The book opens with a really great contents page, a real appetite wetter, with small images of some of the projects you can make.
The instructions for printing are very clear and easy to follow. There is a section on different kinds of inks, things to consider when choosing colours, and both the authors describe their own preferences when it comes to colour and design and they also show their own design processes.
You are told about creating an inspiration board and then you start on the projects that on the whole are easy and incredibly effective.
This is hand holding at its best. A really great book especially if you are new or inexperienced when it comes to printing.
Pocket Full of Pebbles, in Cowes Isle of Wight when I came across this delightful book by an Isle of Wight author and artist. She has taken a dolls house decorated it and created scenes for her story. This book is an excellent example of crowd funding working, to produce a book with a clear message that is : Parents and other adults should not limit the activities of children or choose how or with whom they play .
As someone who wrote children’s books in
the nineteen eighties I was somewhat surprised and saddened to find this
message is still needed.
I grew up with Janet and John books, where John did things with his father and Janet looked on passively. At art school I was, and still am, a feminist. When I had my own children, boys first, I bought them dolls and buggies and wouldn’t let them have weapons of any sort. This didn’t prevent them from making them out of sticks, lego or anything else they could lay their hands on . My daughters played with Meccano and Lego. They climbed trees, learnt to sail , drew, painted and played with dolls, and one has studied disaster management and the other has a degree in architecture.
Getting back to the book. It is made up of wonderful rhymes.
princess loved skateboarding and she found it rewarding
use the rainbow as a half-pipe when she flipped it upside down
was liking being reckless, while the ninja made a necklace
the brightly coloured flowers as he sat upon the ground. “
It is a story about a brother and sister and the different ways they are treated. Happy to say by the end of the book things have changed, the parents have seen the light and the children play together doing both quiet and physically challenging activities. The drawings done by the children in the story, have been created by the author’s own children and are fabulous.