A New Adventure Into Digital Fiber Art

I try to learn at least one new technique in January, this past week I have ventured into digital fiber art with the help of a wonderful new book by Wen Redmond. I love this book, it’s opened up a whole new world to me, this is my first piece of digital fiber art.

P1390510I don’t have any fancy photo manipulation software but after a google I found iPiccy.com which is really quite easy to use.
IMG_9310This is the photo I started with, I did some manipulations and saved a whole host of versions that I liked including the ones below.

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treesxxx

trees1zzI wanted to try out layering so I nipped out into the garden and took a few bush pictures.

P1390474 (2)Then I started out layering images.
merge17I decided to print this one onto my fabric, I think I chose it as I was reading a magical book called ‘The Snow Child,’ also I felt this image had an Arthur Rackham quality to it.
picture1After some painting, stitching and collage here is the final result, it’s a lot more sparkly in reality than it looks in the photo.
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I can’t wait to start on another one soon, I think I’m hooked. Now if only I could get a better photo, I will have to get the light tent out and try again.

 

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First walk of the year

We had a walk on new ground this week, it was our first walk of the year.

Great Sca Fell is not to be confused with it’s more well known namesake, it’s a genteel  fell in the Uldale range, standing at 651 m.  The walk was 6 miles in total and as my back has been acting up it was a nice easy start to the year having spent the past couple of weeks as a couch potato.

Great Sca Fell is the high point in this photo.P1390234

The paths are pretty good most of the way.

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Lots of lovely shots for painting inspiration along the way.

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I love how the low sun and long shadows emphasise the topography at this time of year.

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Almost there.

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There were some lovely views towards Skiddaw.

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You could just make out Scotland in the distance.

P1390278This walk is a great introduction to fell walking for those just starting out , it’s one I will definitely do again.

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My first make of 2017

I’m pleased to say my enthusiasm has returned, I’ve made something!

I have my Grandpa’s leatherworking tools, as you can see the box contains all sorts of interesting things, including a proggy mat hook, a fountain pen and a collection of pocket watches. It’s a box of treasure.
P1390211One of the fun things is trying to work out what the tools are for. I think the thing with the wheel is for marking the leather for hand sewing. I thought these other tools were punches but I have discovered a box with press fasteners, and the instruction sheet so now I know what these are for.

P1390209I really want to try hand tooling leather, as my Grandpa did, I thought making a belt might be a good place to start. I found a tutorial online, and bought a belt blank, buckle, dye, and everything else I needed to get started.

What I didn’t have I just improvised, I made the holes with an awl, but I think a punch would be better, I thought I’d inherited one but I can’t find it.
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I found the damp leather much easier to stamp than I thought it would be. Once stamped the belt was dyed, then treated with neatsfoot oil, and waxed.

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P1390213I thought the belt blank was very easy to use, but they are quite expensive so I plan to have a go at making my own and riveting on the buckle, watch this space.

I hope you have a creative 2017, Happy New Year!

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Using a Hague linker to sew up knitwear.

I finished knitting my jacket; it’s been a long time since I knit a garment on needles so I was pleased I actually got to the end. The merino wool was quite expensive so I wanted to get it sewn up straight away to see if I’d got the sizing correct.

This old Hague linker was sitting in my Dad’s loft, it hadn’t been used in over 20 years but I thought I’d give it a go, it makes sewing up very easy, neat and quick.

It’s all threaded up ready to go. It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped as the yarn was too thick, but I can give you an idea of how the linker works, but it’s better suited to 4ply yarn.
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This is the finished jacket , now I need to make some buttons, oh btw it fits 🙂

P1390201You feed the edge of the garment onto the prongs.P1390161Then with right sides together you push the other piece of the garment onto the prongs. It’s really easy to pattern match.
P1390162Then you weave in the ends.P1390163Thread up and you are ready to go. I’m doing this video one handed so I apologise for the quality, but it shows how the linker works.

You can sew up really fast with it if you are using 4ply and you aren’t holding a camera, there is even an electric version with a foot pedal.

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Merry Christmas from Kiln Fired Art

Christmas cardI’d like to wish all my blog readers a Merry and Peaceful Christmas, and a Happy and Healthy 2017

All the best

Jill x

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Bringing joy into a dull day with Ikebana

At this time of year it’s easy to let the dull dark days get on top of you, but there is beauty and joy around you if you look for it.

I decided to see what was available in the garden to make an ikebana arrangement to brighten my day. No shop bought flowers in these arrangements.
ikebana vaseI know it doesn’t take much to make a lovely ikebana arrangement, the viburnum was poking through my fence from next door, it smells divine.  Ivy grows just about everywhere, and the skimmia looks good in arrangements most of the year.
ikebana ceramic bowlSo basically with a few pieces of foliage that were going unnoticed in my garden I have brought a bit of joy into my day, that’s why everyone should have an ikebana bowl.

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A Creative Day With Friends

I had a lovely creative day with friends last Saturday. We have these get togethers where we each decide on a project for us all to do. I took my watercolours and Jean had something planned to show me.

It’s always very relaxed with us doing our own thing, as well as teaching / learning new skills. There is always copious amounts of food and wine, music and chat too.

I have wanted to get back into watercolour painting for a while but something has been holding me back, so when my friend asked if we could paint watercolours it was an opportunity to get on with it and stop procrastinating. I painted several small landscapes thinking they were a great way to ease myself back into it, and also I wanted to make some very affordable art for my shop.

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Jean planned for us to do some plaster casting with a sea theme.
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I love the detail I managed to pick up, I may develop some ideas into my ceramic work.

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I love my plaster tile, there is so much detail to look at.

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Last Friday’s Day Off

It’s that time of year when I seem to be thinking about work 27 / 7, after a while I know I have to take a break. This week has been so beautiful I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone as they say so we headed off to Keswick for the day.
P1380588I knew that there would be some amazing photos as the fell tops were covered in snow.This is Skiddaw looking majestic all cloaked in the white stuff.

P1380607P1380609P1380617P1380611P1380634P1380635We had  a pub lunch after our walk by the lake, and then we did a bit of Christmas shopping, we both needed new fleece jackets so that’s our presents sorted.

I think I’m just about ready for another trip out.

 

 

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Reaching 200 !

I have finally reached a milestone that I set myself a few weeks ago, I now have 200 listings in my Etsy shop. It’s been a challenge getting there, people keep buying stuff 🙂

If you think managing Etsy is easy, it’s not, actually it’s a bit of an enigma, they keep changing the algorithm which affects whether you get found or not, so you have to keep working on your shop constantly.

I’m quite pleased how my shop is looking

Christmas Decorations
christmas decorations Melted Bottles

melted bottles

 

Ceramic Jewellery Making Suppliesceramic beads

Handmade Jewellery Salejewellery sale Dichroic Glass Pendants

dichroic glass pendants a

Ceramics For The Homeceramics for the home

I also have recently introduced 2 new shop sections, watercolour paintings and felt art.  My watercolours have sold quite well so far, I will be adding more to these sections next year.

Watercolours
watercolour painting

Felt ArtFelt painting

I really feel I have achieved something getting to 200 listings, it has taken some time, I’m sure it won’t stay there for long but that’s a good thing, right  🙂

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Why we should buy handmade this Black Friday / Holiday Season.

In this throw away society I think it’s time we stepped back from big business and ‘keeping up with the Jones’ to buy the latest model, fashion brand, or ‘in thing’ and considered how buying handmade can benefit both the buyer and the maker.

  • You are buying something unique, your friends won’t have the same.
  • You are buying something to treasure that will give you pleasure for many years to come, not something heading for the tip in a few months when it goes out of fashion.
  • When you buy something handmade you are buying into the years of experience and skills learned by the designer maker, as well as the time involved in making the item.
  • Micro businesses need our support to survive, to artists and craftspeople every penny counts.

Etsy is a great place to find handmade Christmas gifts. I’m a member of several teams on Etsy, one of my favourites is the Craft Pimp team. We help and support each other, a bit like an ant colony really, I bet CP team mates are laughing at that one, but it’s true , you feel much bigger and can achieve much more with team support.

So here’s some items from the Craft Pimp team, go and explore their shops and see what an amazingly talented bunch they are.

Here’s a lovely set of handmade lampwork beads from KitzBitz Art Glass they would make the perfect gift for someone who loves making unique jewellery.

handmade glass beads

Handmade lampwork beads from Kitzbitz Art Glass

Jolene also has some beautiful handmade envelopes that would make giving something small a bit special.

gifting envelopes

Handmade envelopes from Kitzbitz Art Glass

It’s time to ‘Deck your Hall’s’, Cornish Dragon has unique handpainted Christmas stars

Christmas tree decorations

Handmade Christmas stars from Cornish Dragon

Victoria also makes the most exquisite art dolls , I think Pip is my favourite , there’s so much detail in this doll, she must have taken hours to make.

handmade dolls

Cloth Art Doll from Cornish Dragon

Izzy beads makes incredibly detailed whimsical beads that are miniature glass sculptures, this Christmas hare is one of my favourites.

lampwork beads

Christmas Hare Bead from Izzy Beads

Laney says she makes beads to make you smile, and she certainly does that in bucket loads. These pink pig beads would make anyone smile

glass pig beads

Lampwork piggy beads from Izzybeads

Beads By Kat has some lovely seasonal lampwork beads, you could have them just in time to make something to wear at the office party.

seasonal jewellery beads

Lampwork beads from Beads By Kat

Or how about this wonderful miniature underwater world, this would make a beautiful gift for sea lovers or the mermaid in your family. There’s such a lot of detail to look at in this underwater world.

lampwork beads

Seaworld bead from Beads By Kat

If you are into archaeology or geology you will love these beads from Pandanimal, I love the crusty stone look of these lampwork beads.

handmade glass beads

Lampwork beads from Pandanimal

I love these lampwork disks, they would make a pair of gorgeous earrings.

earring components

lampwork discs from Pandanamal

And of course there’s me, but if your read my blog you will know what’s in Kiln Fired Art’s Etsy shop already.

I’ve just done a quick count and between us we have over 450 unique handmade items in Craft Pimp team collective’s shops, so pop over and have a look, you really don’t want to miss anything.

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