I don’t really know why this postcard evokes an image of “hot tropics” for me because (a) I’ve never spent any time in the tropics and (b) I doubt that there would be flowers that colour anywhere, let alone the tropics! Every time I look at it, I think and feel the same thing so while I can’t explain it, that’s what it is going to have to be called.
I began this one with a background of silk paper which I made ages ago covered with a layer of black tule into which I machine stitched long leaf shapes. Then I satin-stitched around the edge with a primary coloured variegated cotton before I cut back the surplus black tule so that I only had the leaves and the background silk paper. I tried various ideas but none of them worked until when I was rummaging through the boxes in my studio I found two bright blue material artificial roses and the colour fairly shouted at me to use it. I pulled one of the roses to pieces until I finished up with four flower shapes and a plastic centre. Even ironing the petal shapes didn’t completely flatten them so I still finished up with slightly puffy 3D flowers . Because they didn’t fray around the edges, it meant that I only had to chain stitch around them to keep them in place. I rather liked the way that they overlapped the satin-stitched edge of the postcard so I left them there and added some bright green leaves which were cut from a green dyed silk rod, so they didn’t fray either. All it needed then was a wrapped satin stitched stem, yellow beads in the centre of each flower and straight stitches in a dark blue Kreinik fine braid for the stamens on the petals. Easy peasey but very effective and it will go in my postcard frame next to the pale coloured “Goodnight” postcard.
This photo shows the postcard and one of the squished fabric roses which I pulled apart.
This is one of my favourite vintage postcards, entitled “Goodnight” and features a darling little boy holding a candle. First of all, I used only antique and vintage broderie anglaise lace pieces to stitch into a crazy design around the cotton print in the centre, so I finished up with a lot of different shades of off-white and cream and several totally different floral designs. The print came out a funny sort of blue-green colour so I decided to stick to just three colours when it came to the embellishing – cream, a very pale apricot and an equally pale sludgy blue-green like the photo. My biggest problem was keeping the colours pale, my natural tendency was to go brighter……..however, I think the pale colours suit the little boy going to bed and the old cotton laces. Here is the finished postcard……
This is the original postcard once the cotton laces had been sewn into a crazy design ready for embellishing with beads, sequins, an antique cream silk thread, one strand of Rajmahal Art Silk thread in a pale apricot, two sludgy shades of DMC stranded cotton and a skein of Minnamurra stranded cotton which had been dyed in exactly the right shades of blue/green and apricot.
I have been working on my second postcard this week, this time it had an underwater theme. I started with a backing of silk paper which I made about a month ago, using various shades of coral pink, watermelon pink, apricot and pale peach. I laid a sheet of hand-dyed tissue-tex which I bought from The Thread Studio over the top which because it was so fine, allowed the pinky tones to show through.
Some of the threads I used were unpicked from their original form, such as the sparkly green/purple yarn which I unpicked from it’s companion yarn of matching chunky wool and the variegated “sea-weed” at the bottom right of the photo. This was originally some chunky 1/8th inch wide knitted rayon tubing but once it was undone, it formed a really curly frizzy yarn which was perfect for couching down in a wriggly sort of sea-weed looking plant. Other than that, I used hand-dyed ribbon floss, re-cycled sequins from an old hand-bag, glitter threads and clear plastic “bubble” beads.
The last photo shows the silk paper which formed the backing for the stitchery. The tissue-tex which comes in white or black looks like tissue paper however it is very strong and can be sewn through quite heavily by hand and machine without tearing.
I had a play-day in the afternoon after Mary had returned to her sister and niece for the rest of her holiday. I got out all the interesting materials which I had bought from The Thread Studio plus lots of other bits and pieces and started to make a postcard – the hardest part was getting my brain back into thinking creatively.
I started with some fabric paper which I had made earlier using some brightly coloured yarn from which I had unravelled black and gold yarns from the ball. I had ironed the “paper” which melted some of the fibres – oops!! however Mary had suggested that I use the mistake in the postcard. Well it looked a bit like a twig so that set the theme. I glued three skeleton leaves in place which I had already sprayed with copper paint then covered the whole lot in black net. After I had machine stitched around the leaves and twigs in a copper coloured machine thread and also sewn the main vein of each leaf, I cut away the net from the leaves only, exposing the fine veins. For the gumnuts, I glued on some metal foil scraps which were also gold/copper tones and I used a variegated blue/pink/silver machine thread to sew horizontal lines over the black net background. This livened up the postcard but it was still too “in my face bright” so after I had satin-stitched around the edge of the postcard with copper metallic machine thread, I sprayed the whole lot very lightly with the copper paint. That was much better. Before the gumblossoms were hand-sewn with roughly satin stitched edges then a fringe of copper crinkled Angelina fibres was sewn around each flower and bud, I coloured the area around each bud with a copper Shiva paint stick. I trimmed the Angelina fibres down to size then ironed only the middle of each flower to melt and secure the fringes but I left the edges un-ironed so they are still separate and fluffy. It still needed something so I sewed that multi-coloured dragon-fly in place as he had all the colours of the original background wool in his wings. Well, it was a learning experience, if nothing else!!
These are the materials which I used to make the post-card. Timtex, Spray paint, Shiva paint stick, Angelina fibres, wool, PVA glue, metal scraps, metallic thread and sprayed leaf skeletons.
This is a photo of the finished post-card. Maybe I sprayed too much copper paint over the bright colours of the background material – but it was an experiment in “what would happen if……” so in that respect it was successful.
I have just finished my third UFO for 2006. I’m doing well, only 37 more to go!! This one is a little ATC size tartan purse or pouch for a Scottish friend, Lorraine. I sewed lots of little scraps of different tartan fabrics to a foundation then embellished them with stitching on the seams, embroidered thistles, White heather and bluebells, using tiny bluebell shaped beads. Because the tartan itself was so busy I only added three charms – all Scottish, then added a black suede backing piece and lined it in tartan taffeta. I bound it in tartan bias-binding and added gold herringbone stitching and a black beaded fringe.
These are my favourite two ATCs from my gemstone collection. Bearing in mind that these are only 3 1/2 inches x 2 1/2 inches, there is a lot of tizzy glitz on each one. The Opal one which is my very favourite is just covered in black sparkle which once again has been killed off by the scanner, and includes six little real Opals which have been created by sandwiching a thin slice of opal between a backing and a resin “bubble”, however they were perfect for my ATC. I was thinking “Mardi Gras” colours while I was working on this.
To see the large size photo, enter this link into your search engine.
This ATC just MIGHT finish up with my good friend Linda from Chloe’s Place if she is very, very good and grovels and begs nicely. My starting point for this ATC was the gold fan charm which adapted beautifully into the Peacock’s tail. I used only Peacock colours on this ATC which represents Bornite and needless to say, I had heaps of fun, always with Linda on my mind!!
I have been working on more ATCs based on the colours of Australian Gemstones, similar to my one featured way back on Feb 12th which represented Copper. This first one represents the gorgeous soft minty greens of Malachite. I was lucky to find a broken necklace at the local St Vinnie’s op shop which was exactly the right colour and that became my starting point.
The second ATC is totally glittery gold. Unfortunately, the scanner “killed” the sparkle but makes it easier to see the stitching and embellishments. I needed to bring in the black fabric and spider’s web to make a contract between all the glitz!
This is the third one based on Argyle Diamonds which come in White, Champagne, Cognac and Pink. Once again, this ATC is really sparkly and features lots of diamantes and sparkle. The two champagne coloured flower centres and the white circular “diamond” in the centre were earrings, once again from St Vincent de Paul’s op shop. I paid $5 a pair for them and when I got home I noticed that they were still on their original cards and had been priced at $47.95 pair…..bonus!!
This is a very gentle ATC representing Amethyst. My five year old grand-daughter brought me the plastic butterfly and two little flowers from her own bead box and suggested that I sew them in the very centre……so I did! I loved her input and interest so I might make her a little purse out of the ATC.