Monday, 29 December 2014

Colouring sheets

I created these colouring sheets as a little extra Christmas present for my two little nieces, I'll update with their masterpieces when they're finished.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Contemporary Upholstery

Following on from my traditional upholstery post, the second day of the upholstery course was spent doing something more contemporary. I was doing up a retro sewing stool, so the method of approach was very different. To work out how to tackle it, we had to strip it bare and take it apart, which was a little scary! I was worried it would never go back together again, but I took lots of photos to jog my memory! We used spray glue, rubberised hair (which is an amazingly quick alternative to horse hair,) the staple gun, and decorative nails. I've got to say, although I like to do things properly, I definitely preferred this way of working, more problem solving and quicker results!


I chose to use some of the skimmer bird fabric I designed myself, which was left over from my degree show chair, I think it suits it pretty nicely.


The course was two days at Huntlands Farm and Lucy was a great teacher, take a look for more courses here.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Jewellery Taster Session

Back in May a friend and I went on a taster session with the Manchester School of Jewellery. In just three hours we tested so many different techniques and learnt a lot, I think we'd both like to go back. We learnt how to texture the metal with various techniques, how to create dome shapes, how to create split rings and how to solder. Testing was done on copper, as it's a cheaper metal, and when we were happy with our designs, we then translated these into silver. We had a choice of creating a pendant, a pair of studs, or a pin. I chose the studs, and created a hammered effect, with a domed shape.

Copper tests


Finished studs

Soldered backs

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Traditional Upholstery

I went on a two day upholstery course in March, as I've wanted to lean some basic techniques for a while so that I can use my own fabric to do small projects with. On the first day I learnt traditional upholstery techniques. On the second day I was using more modern techniques on a more unusual project which I'll update soon. Below are photos from the first day where I was recovering a drop in seat for a dining room chair.

Process: webbing, hessian, stitching, horse hair, wadding.

Getting the calico as tight as a drum.

Tacking the underneath, ready to do the corners.

Ready for the top fabric.

The difference in height between the old and new.

I haven't finished it yet - I need to put the top fabric on. It's a very long winded process and the old wood was really hard to hammer into. I've got to say I prefer the more modern way of upholstering as I can see that I'd actually do my own projects in the future this way with more of my own fabric designs.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Doodle leaf coasters

Following on from last weeks post, I decided to take some of the individual leaves from the tray and create coasters for another Christmas gift. I was really pleased with the finish on these, they've got a good depth of colour and a glossy finish.

And here's a little look at how the leaves started off life:

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Doodle leaves

Designing Christmas presents gave me great motivation to start drawing and designing some of own work again. These doodley leaves were fun to draw and it was great to bring texture into my drawings. I think the recipient was pretty pleased too!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Linocut Penguin

I finally replaced my horrible plastic lino tool with a Swiss Pfeil tool, which is so much easier to work with. I also got a V cut one for Christmas, so should be able to start doing some more detailed linocuts. Next on my wish list is a bigger brayer to get a more even ink coverage, and hopefully a better print. Just a simple penguin Christmas card design for now.

Finished print

The linocut and inking up

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Squidgy Rabbit

In October there was a new arrival in the Alviti family, my lovely niece Melissa. I wanted to make a soft toy for her, and found this tutorial on 'Chez Beeper Bebe.' I made mine out of a speckly pink t-shirt fabric to make it more of a newborn baby girl gift.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Christmas Makes

I had a few productive days before Christmas, baking, finishing off homemade presents and cards, and making Christmas decorations.

       Clay Christmas Decorations

I made these Christmas decorations to give to as gifts to friends. They're cut out of air drying clay with cookie cutters, with a wire hoop poked in to hang them from. They're then left to dry for a couple of days, the white ones decorated with gold ink and a festive stamp, then sprayed with clear varnish. The gold ones were stamped with letters to leave indentations, then covered with gold spray paint.

They turned out much better than my first attempt with cornstarch dough, which looked fine before entering the oven, (although the dough was difficult to handle,) but came out with bumps all over where I presume the bicarbonate of soda activated a bit too much! 


         Cornstarch Dough failures

I also made this creature for a present, which is possibly the strangest thing I've ever made, but my boyfriend was pretty pleased. I found this Chewbacca on pinterest, and downloaded the pattern here via Draw Pilgrim. I put my own spin on it by making a few alterations to the pattern and changing the way his ammunition belt was made.