Saturday, May 25, 2013

bunting manufacturer

To go along with the teatowels for the fairies in the tree house I have now made some bunting for celebration days.  An etsy description might read:
Bunting in 77 length with double sided fabric flags in garden theme with 24 cm ties at each end. Cotton rope and flags.

Here to show you the size of the bunting is that 20c piece or if you have a ruler the flags are 35 mm x 35 mm high.

All packed and ready for posting in the handmade kraft box with stamps and SewingByMail's very own postmark!   No I haven't changed my Etsy shop name, this one was used just for this occasion. The box is just 8 cm x 8 cm x 1 cm high.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

thinking small

In a town far, far away is an elm tree and in that elm tree 'lives' a fairy. Or wee folk as some call them.

Items I make end up in my Etsy shop, worn by friends and family or created as specially commissioned greeting cards.  Last weekend I received a request to make something for a tree changer fairy setting up home in the country.  People in the town have noticed one of their trees now has a staircase, a window and a garden.   What was needed was some tea towels to hang on the washing line.  Small tea towels, very small ones to be used with some very small pegs.  You know the ones, the ones that nearly every papercrafter has in their stash.

I took inspiration from the much used and blogged about Tekla tea towels, the white ones with the red stripes down each edge   Tekla tea towels have been seen as valances on beds, cushions and curtains.
These are my creations.
 Against the 20c piece you can see their size, a small 1:12 scale.

 To hang on the line I also created some clothes.  Like the tea towels, their scale was 1 : fiddly!!  But fun too.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


There have been a few coincidences and circles of ideas tonight.  Yesterday I came across a tutorial on how to make feathers from old book pages, a piece of wire and glue. Karen on her blog, Todolwen, shows several examples and a tutorial.

Tonight I watched Jennifer Byrne's interview with Ian Rankin on ABC 1.  She highlighted that Ian started his first Rebus book with a sentence that he went on to use to close his last Rebus book.  Well his last until he decided to give his Rebus character another life or a longer life in a new book.

After the program finished I started a journey on the internet and though it was only half an hour ago or so I don't know how I got there but I came across the story of the exquisite book sculptures left as gifts in literary centres and a museum around Edinburgh during 2011.  I had followed the story for awhile at the time when they were trying to discover who created these wonderful pieces of art. Sleuthing at its worst the spoilsports wanted to expose all but it didn't happen.  It seems people wanted the identity of the creator and gift giver left as a mystery.

The full story of the sculptures can be read here along with the photographs and a transcript of each of the tags dedicating the art to an institution. "This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…… &...."

Many of the sculptures use, that is, cut into or carve up completely Ian Rankin's books or make a reference to them in some way.   Knowing of eight of them, when those documenting the appearance of these gifts realised there were suppose to be 10 sculptures some sleuthing occurred to find out what shelves the missing two had been left on.
The artist left the 10th item at the same institution she left the first. The beginning and the end.
The tag and explanation with the tenth sculpture finished the story, or so it seemed. 
Like Ian Rankin's Rebus series of books, the ten was to become 10 plus 1.  A parcel was left at the Edinburgh Bookshop for Ian Rankin  to open. In it was gift number 11 featuring the marvellous skeletons in the photo above There they are celebrating the end of a novel in a book coffin: skeletons, malt whisky and music coming from vinyl on the record player.
Looking at the detail of the 10th sculpture: a cap made from a wren's wing, you will see the beautiful detail of feathers made from book pages.   They are inspiring in their detail.  They show incredible attention to detail and application of skill.

I was thrilled I got to read more chapters in the story of the mysterious paper sculptures.  Now to begin making feathers just as artful that started with Karen's inspiration.

Friday, May 3, 2013

there is a hole in it

Once upon a time in my early card making days when I was mounting photos .... of roses ... I bought packets of cutout cards.  They had cutout shapes such as ovals, circles and Xmas trees.  I had grand dreams of making my own cutouts in the shapes I liked and from the card stocks to suit the photo or the person the card was being made for.

Take one Grand Calibur + one(!) set of Spellbinder dies and I have that as a reality now.

The Grand Calibur cutting mat takes a full sheet of A4 cardstock so I can now cut and emboss an opening (almost) anywhere on the front of a card. The finished card can be DL, my favourite 17.5 cm x 12.5 cm or even full A5. Any choice of cardstock texture and colour, finally. Great flexibility.

The same is possible with an electronic cutter, like a Silhouette, to cut anywhere on a 12 x 12 inch mat. Designing for electronic die cutting machines provides enormous flexibility and some great brain exercises when I create my own shapes and add fonts.

Then again I also appreciate the rounded finish of a Spellbinder die cut opening and the embossed edge. I used the Spellbinder hexagon shapes to create these cards.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

design make-over

Some while back I created a card design for a class with a masculine theme and strong colours.

With a request for some Mothers Day cards I chose to use a favourite paper series, the Prima 'Romantique Collection'.  Why favourite?  Because it has roses of course!  It was lovely working with these papers to recreate the design above.  Rather than alpha stickers I used rubons.

I put a panel of printed paper on the back for the hand written personalised greeting.
Once again I used hand drawn stitching for the bunting edges.  I would like to try the look with machine stitching sometime.