Archive for April, 2008

25
Apr
08

Another blog giveaway…

…but this time it isn’t mine! However, I am going to enter. Cheryl had a link in her blog which I followed to find another crafty blog which I haven’t seen before, by a lady called Sandy. Sandy is hosting a giveaway, and the prizes for the two winners will be a stash of decorated paper, and a stash of cardstock. Always a temptation! If you would like to enter the giveaway, you must leave Sandy a comment and put a link to her blog site on your blog. Easy as that! This is the link to Sandy’s blog and this is to the page about the giveaway. I have had a peep at Sandy’s art and I’m very impressed. I am going back for a peep when I finish this post.

Talking about paper, I am meeting up with my friend tomorrow morning for coffee and she is bringing me a stash of paper. She has had a clearout and as they need the space for an impending arrival in September, she decided to dispose of the paper. Remembering my card-making, she very kindly offered it to me. Wow! I’m very excited! Thank you kell 🙂

Now, I’m off to read Sandy’s blog! 

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23
Apr
08

Purple magic

Well, in the post below, my friend commented that she wasn’t surprised one of my designs for a quilt was purple. As it happens I won’t be doing that particular design just yet. But I have been working on a cushion cover, which is purple. I have handsewn it, not being sure if I would be good at piecing everything together, but now that its just about right, I will re-enforce on the machine before adding the wadding and back panel. I am also going to put a plian cream frill around the edge. This is the cushion design, and I love the fabric combination so much that I really wish I had loads of it to make a full size quilt. I can’t even remember where some of it came from. It’s all from my stash!

This afternoon I went along to the local quilters shop to buy material for a quilt. I have signed up for a beginners class on Friday and they asked me to pop in and choose some fabric in time to get it washed ready for the class. Well….it’s like taking a kid to the candy store! All I can say, is thank goodness I knew what I wanted, colourwise  before I went. There was so much to choose from! I wanted to make a lap quilt in turquoise and brown. At one point there were three of us milling around pulling out bolts and scrutinising matches. Eventually we came up with a combination which will work really well I think. So…Friday is my first lesson, and I think it will be about rotary cutting and templates etc. Anyway, it will be a few weeks before I really get going, but watch this space for updates. The shop I went to in Aberdeen is amazing. Mary and Karen do lots of their own designs which you can buy in kit form. Have a look at their website at Patchwork Creations. It’s well worth a look and you might find yourself very tempted by one of their beautiful kits!

Meanwhile, here’s a couple of photos of the fabrics I chose, and the quilting tools I also bought. Unfortunately the photo doesn’t do justice to the fabrics, which are much more vibrant in real life, and the ivory looks more washed out than it really is.

 

Fabrics

 

 

Quilting aquisitions

 

22
Apr
08

A wonderful software programme

 

I am going to make a quilt. Something I have been interested in for a long time, but the time has come and I am deciding on a design. It will only be a lap quilt, and I will probably do a cushion or two first for practice. I got the graph paper out and started designing. Of course it was a laborious process and at the back of my mind, I thought there must be a programme out there for the computer which would speed things up. I was too wrapped up in what I was doing so just continued with my crayons, colouring squares and counting, until my OH said he thought there must surely be a programe. I did see if I could use Corel Painter for it, but it didn’t seem to do what I wanted, so I went to CNET and did a search and I found the perfect programme in the hobbies section. Its called Creative Designs Chartmaker and you can use it for embroiderie, cross stitch, quilting, beading etc. I have had great fun playing with it, designing all sorts of cross stitch motifs, and quilt patterns. It is available as a free trial for a month, and then you have to buy it, (if you wish). Its about £15 I think, but it is so easy to use, and perfect for the job, so I will be buying it. Check it out if you need something to help design patterns. I have cross stitch design CDs, but this is much easier to use, for designing from scratch. You don’t have the features like downloading your own pictures etc. That’s not what its for, but for saving time with the old graph paper. you can’t beat it!

 

 

 

22
Apr
08

Long time no see…

It seems ages since I was on here. So much for being disciplined abd writing every day. Trouble is, I have an interest in too many things and I don’t have time to devote to them all. I love my art, but equally love my crafts, and my writing. There are different aspects to each, such as reading , which also take up time, and then there is life, which has a habit of impeding you, just as you think you have everything under control. Not that anything has happened to impede me lately, but I just get very tired!

I have been busy though. Very busy. I got Corel Painter X for my birthday and have been playing with that. I wasn’t convinced that it was going to be worth all the money I paid, (which in itself was a fraction of the full price), but I have to say, I am hooked! The variety and options for brushes and techniques is mind boggling, and it will take me a long time to become really familiar with it. I lost the programme the other night. It wouldn’t open up for more than a second and then crashed. After two hours of trying every possible remedy and reading what folk on the forums said (it is apparently a common problem) I eventually said to my OH, that the logical explanatopn was that I had done something while using it to change it in some way which it didn’t like. So I thought back to what I had done…the last action being to import a photo into the resources file. So I deleted the photo and hey presto, back to normal. I eventually discovered that the picture should have gone into another folder, within a folder, which was within a folder in the resources folder…if you follow. So now we know! The point of this story being that I was wondering what I was going to do without my Corel Painter X. I am already relying on it!

That aside, I think the results of my efforts are getting better as you can see above. When I consider my work a year ago when I first began art again after a very long break (35 years), I think I have come a long way. Still much further to go, but it is a very pleasurable journey!

 




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