Monday, 23 June 2014

Hand Quilted Starry Night Notebook Cover

My daughter and many of her friends are great fans of the BBC series Dr Who. I also have fond memories of hiding behind the sofa when I was a little girl whilst my Dad watched it too (although it was broadcast in black and white then)!
Last year I was delighted to discover that a large selection of Dr Who themed fabrics was available from American company Spoonflower, so I ordered a couple of cotton fabrics which were specially printed to order. I have always admired the work of Vincent Van Gough so I was particularly taken with this "Starry night landscape - blue police boxes (1350 dpi)" by Bohobear (Kristi Duggins) . This design was based upon episode 10 of series 5 "Vincent and the Doctor" which was first broadcast in 2010. The Doctor (then played by Matt Smith) and his assistant Amy Pond travelled back in time to meet Vincent Van Gough and there were lots of references to his paintings in the plot and sets, etc. Kristi designs lots of interesting, current fabrics and you can see more of her work on her Facebook page here . I chose the Kona cotton which is a good weight for quilting as I thought the swirly design would lend itself well to being quilted.
I decided to hand quilt a notebook cover, which was originally intended as a 20th birthday present for one of my daughter's friends, Lindsey. However I have never hand quilted anything this detailed or this size before and I hugely underestimated how long it would take me to do. I started the project last June and worked on it for several months. I finally completed it yesterday and gave it to Lindsey for her 21st birthday! Apologies for the long, photo heavy post - but having spent over a year making this I feel justified in showing it off at last! As usual, please click on the photos below for a larger view.
The front of the finished book cover.

The back cover.

Inside, showing the ribbon marker and extra bookmark.

Inside the front cover, showing the construction of the pockets.

Detail of the glass beads and key charm used on the ribbon marker.

A close up of the fabric, showing the blue stitching around each tiny Tardis and the swirls.
I used white metallic thread to quilt around the larger white stars too.

At this angle it's easier to see the depth of the quilted texture all over the outer cover.

A close up of the bias binding at the bottom and the bead detail.

A close up of the pen holder loop made from bias binding and trimmed with narrow ribbon.

Finally, I adapted this card (originally shown on my blog here ) and gave it to Lindsey along with the notebook. I hope that she liked them both!
I really enjoyed making this notebook cover. It was challenging as I didn't have a pattern or any instructions to follow - and although it's not perfect I'm really pleased with how it turned out, especially as it was my first attempt at anything like this. I struggled with my old sewing machine when it came to making up the cover. It's over 36 years old now and was making strange clunking noises and breaking needles - but I was determined not to be beaten! If I had a better sewing machine I would like to have a go at machine quilting one day - I'm sure it would be a lot quicker!
Thanks for reading this far :)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Cure For The Monday Blues Challenge # 21 - Placing Pizzazz

I have been feeling in a floral mood today - probably because we have some gorgeous blooms out in our back garden at the moment. I'm not sure exactly what these purple flowers are, but they have very dark centres and pretty frilly leaves and are looking particularly lovely this year.
We built an arbour last year and planted some honeysuckle at the back, which we took as a cutting from my Dad's original plant. We bought a pair of red climbing roses to train up the trellis each side - we chose these as my Dad used to love roses and David's Mum used to love red flowers, so we thought it would be a nice way of remembering them both. This year they are doing really well and have produced some stunning velvety red blooms, so I couldn't resist taking some photos to share.

This week Taheerah has chosen an inspiration photo which also has bright flowers, , so I decided to focus on those and design a more Clean and Simple card. Those of you who know me will realise that I don't usually do CAS - I am always too tempted to keep adding layers and embellishments - so I think I've been much more restrained for once - Lol!

Source: Pinterest
I decided to concentrate on the three blooms in the inspiration photo above, so I selected the pretty peony stamp from JustRite's "Seeds of Summer" clear stamp set (CR - 03755) and started by stamping it onto some Friskett masking paper and cutting it out carefully to make a mask. Working directly onto a white DL card blank I then stamped a vertical row of three of the peonies using Watering Can Archival Ink and my mask. I used Tim Holtz Distress Markers in bundled sage, festive berries, mustard seed and spun sugar to scribble some ink onto an acrylic block, then I picked this up with a fine detail tipped waterbrush to watercolour the flowers. As I hadn't used watercolour paper the card warped a little, so when it was dry I found my iron and actually ironed it smooth again!
Please click on the photo for a better view.
The Thank You sentiment is from Clearly Besotted's "Many Thanks" clear stamp set and was stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento Dye ink. I used foam tape to adhere the sentiment to a banner which I made by stamping the polka dot background from the "Gingham & Co" clear stamp set by Waltzingmouse Stamps with Rose Bud Memento Dye ink and trimming into a banner shape. At this point I had to sit on my hands to stop myself from adding anything else!
So I have probably shocked you three times today - with a CAS design, doing some ironing, and (very unusually for me) completing and blogging a card several hours before the actual challenge deadline! I think I'd better go and lie down in a darkened room!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Cure For The Monday Blues Challenge # 20 - Love's Young Dream

Challenge number 20 for the Cure for the Monday Blues (see full details here )
was to make a card using this lovely photograph as inspiration.

Source: Pinterest
The photograph shows a pretty bedroom that was designed for a young girl, using pinks, pale aqua, touches of gold and splashes of bright, vibrant colours. Further information about the design can be found here where you can see all the attention to detail and some before and after photos.
I decided that I'd like to try to replicate the pretty floral rug on my card. Here is a close up of the actual rug design which can be found here .

I started by making an A5 card base from some sturdy pale pink pearlised card, then I used an A4 Spellbinders embossing folder to emboss a strip of darker pink card with a polka dot pattern. I highlighted some of the dots with a Distress marker to mimic the bedspread and adhered the polka dot strip to the left of my card blank. I cut a smaller rectangle of Papertrey Ink pale aqua pearlised card for the floral panel then used Versamark ink and gold embossing powder to heat emboss the sentiment (from Hobby Art's clear Sentiments stamp set - CS026D). I also heat embossed the chandelier from the Elusive Images UDLSP0329 Bella stamp set (now Chocolate Baroque) onto pale pink card and fussy cut it out. I used Memento Teal Zeal dye ink to stamp some of the doodled swirls from Elusive Images stamp sets UDLHC0131 and UDLHC0132 and one of the small flowers from the Fantasy Floral set (UA4SP0185).
For the brightly coloured flowers I used a selection of coloured card and dye inkpads, together with a white pigment inkpad. Some of the leaves were from the Chocolate Baroque Tangled Garden stamp set (UA4SP0400) and some of the flowers were from the Fantasy Floral set (UA4SP0185). The rest of the leaves and flowers came from set UDLHC0100 FunkyDoodles - Fresh and set UDLCH0101 FunkyDoodles - Retro. After I had stamped everything I fussy cut it all out and then edged each one with a broad black Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen. I made sure that I covered up all the cut edges with the black ink so that I'd have a crisp outline. I further embellished some of the flowers and leaves with an Inkssentials white pen and a fine black Pitt pen.

Please click on the photos for a clearer view.
I then began the labourious task of layering everything onto the aqua panel using double sided tape and foam pads. Where leaves and flowers were overhanging the edges I trimmed them off flush. Some of the flowers and leaves were partially raised on foam pads and those in the foreground were raised completely. I stuck the panel to my card base using some strong red lined tape then finally I shaped the chandelier and adhered it with tape on the outer edges and foam strips in the middle.

This close-up photo gives you some idea of the dimension of the floral panel. The colours are much brighter in real life - unfortunately it was dark when I took my photographs and they appear more subdued.
Although I had started making my card early on Sunday afternoon, it took me much longer than I anticipated to complete it (over eleven hours in total), so I wasn't able to enter it into the challenge in the end. However, I enjoyed revisiting some of my older stamps and CASEing the rug photo and I shall be sending my card to a friend who has a birthday later this week. Thank you for looking!