Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pin Cushions

A new one

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tidy Compulsions

So it rained all weekend. Ace. There are so many things to do when you're housebound. I decided to pop down the pound shop and buy some boxes so I could once and for all sort out all my material which has been up until now, shoved in a cupboard from which it spills out everytime I open the door. So voila! A day of rain later and I am organised.

Square Monsters

I made some new monsters for the stall! Here they are in four flavours. Each one was made slightly differently as I tried to work out the best technique. The stripey arms and some of the buttons came from two tops I got from Tescos bargain bin for £4. You get much more for your money than when you buy socks, so i am on the prowl now for cheap stripes. The T-shirt meaterial works brilliantly because it stretches well. I might have to get me some more of this stuff. I'd really like to start knitting some monsters but my knitting is so poor, I need to practice. Psychotic fiction makes beautiful, animated monsters which inspired these ones I made. Have a look at them here here. I also printed some letterpress labels for them whilst I was away and just ordered some small brown paper bags to wrap them in. It's all very exciting here in stall production land.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ring Making

Me and Ray embarked on another day school at White House Arts. This time we made rings. After having tried our hand at bracelets, we knew the score and decided not to overly concern ourselves with designs which required a great deal of finish. I mean who wants to spend half the day polishing. I managed to boil my silver early on ensuring that I'd have no smooth shiny finished item, but I quite like the rough effect it gave the ring. Apparently it's a sought after technique with a cool sounding name so the teacher tried to placate me with. Can you see it on the surface? The other ring has a pattern created by putting through a flattening machine with a feather. It was a great day, but both my rings are slightly too small and start to cut off my blood supply as the day progresses. But what are a few blue fingers in the name of creativity eh? Anyway Ray asked for the size information on the fact sheet so here it is. (I will bing it home with me next time, but just in case you feel the need to make me a ring in the meantime…)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Going Public

Me and Kate are thinking of doing a stall at the Brick Lane little Christmas fete thingy which happens every year. we went this year just gone and came away with heaps of stuff. Keyrings, purses, badges, all manner of useless things people had made. I loved everything.

For £50 you get a table alongside lots of illustrators, fanzine and fashion type folk who sell their small things for one weekend during the run up to Christmas. Me and Kate have been wracking our brains what to make. So to get the ball rolling I have made price tags... Now I just need to make some things for a fiver. I think Five pounds might be our theme. Everything could be five pounds! Oh I do love thinking about it. Lukily there is plenty of time and we don't need to make much as we are splitting the stall 4 ways. That's probably 30 square centimeters each.

So the question remains: What can I make quickly and sell for five pounds that the trendy young londoners will like?
So far all I seem to be making is pin cushions.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Printing part deux

Here is some other things I made on my week away. This poster is just shy of A2 size and passed through the press three times. In alot of the cases I had to change typeface when I ran out of certain letters.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Printing Week

I have been away this week printing in a letterpress studio deep in the countryside. Here is are two things I made. The word art was made out of the biggest wooden type they had, it was huge. They said it once spelt out 'Liberal Party' but all that is left is R, A, T.


Art it was in the end. This was the test piece but it's sort of my favourite because it is so dogeared and wonky.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Why I have been so Quiet

I made a pact with myself. I would start no other project whilst I was doing a baby quilt. I would not get side tracked. I feel like I have been let out of prison! I thought I would share The Slow Task of Stacy's Baby Quilt with you, you lucky people.

Weekend 1 / Step 1: Find a pattern
I took my mum to a quilt show that was like the opening five minutes of a jumble sale all day long. I felt very weak and insipid next to ladies with such drive and frantic passions, but I managed to squeeze into the Sunflower Fabrics stand and see this mini quilt made my Maggie Wise which she kindly let me photograph as I loved the material so much. I know it's flowery. I don't know what comes over me. I just get all girly and flouncy about these things. The pattern this is based on is called 'Little Stars' and you can get it from here

Step 2: Then I set about buying the material
Again all from Maggie's stall, but you can also get it from her website.

Step 3: I went home and washed it all, dryed it all, ironed it all and starched it all. Then put it away and didn't think about it for a few weeks.

Weekend 2 / Step 4: Measure and Cut
I got the huge cutting matt out and cut all the bits out with a rotary cutter. I was knackered after that and put the whole thing away for a long time. You see how long these things take me. I am very weak.

Weekend 3 / Step 5: The Sowing Machine
My favourite bit has to be the actual pinning and sowing of the top part. I can't say I did it very well. Making star points line up is hard. Mine are qute wonky but I got better as I went along.

Step 6: Working it Out
Because my pattern was adaptd there were some tense math moments where decisions were made, retracted, reinstated then abandoned. After finally deciding how it should be arranged. I pinned, sowed it all together and left it in the cupboard for weeks.

Weekend 4 / Step 7: Making the Sandwich
I taped the backing down tight on a flat surface. I taped the batting/wadding on top nice and tight, then I taped the top over it all and tacked the thing together. I hate that bit, it's boring. Back in the cupbaord it went.

Weekend 5 / Step 8: Quilting
Then I sowed down all the ditches to stabalise the quilt then I movd on to my second favourite part, the laborious hand quilting bit. I drew a design on the computer, based on one I had seen but which was too big. I made a stencil, then pen pricked it down the borders. Then I squished it in a frame, stuck a needle in it then proceeded to half watch every episode of CSI going whilst hand quilting my borders. This took a long time. I am now a CSI expert. Apart from all the bits where I look up and realised I missed the most integral part of the plot.

Weekend 6 / Step 9: The borders
I managed to tack all the borders over breakfast with my mum and sow all the borders on a very quiet sunday train journey from Cambridge to London whilst it pelted with rain outside. It was very theraputic, although I felt a bit of an old granma sowing a quilt in public. Luckily I had the train almost to myself.

Step 9: Untack it and tie it
I picked out all the tacking last night and cut off all the loose ends, one of which was quite integral which I shall now have to go and fix, but in essence it is done. I started when she was 3 months pregnant, I finish when she has 4 weeks to go. You see how slow I am. One baby quilt: done.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I Made Badges

I made badges. In a real proper badge machine. It was ace. I MUST have one. I MUST. I will spend all my day making badges which serve no purpose whatsoever. I have already lost one which said 'cake' on it. This is very sad. The 'Sister' one is ace. It's taken from the Argos Catalogue jewelry page. Steve and Caroline made this one but I made them give it to me as I loved it so much. I am going to get myself an Argos Catalogue, a badge machine and lock myself in a dark room only to emerge bedecked in badges. Alternatively I might deck out my sock monkeys in them. Yes. This is a plan.