Sunday, 22 April 2012

I like to make my friends their birthday presents. Not entirely sure that they always like me making it, but they seem to make the right noises in the right places!

But I also want to know what they would like as sometimes, even though we may have been friends for years, I'm not really sure what their preference is. And we've all been bought presents that someone else has admired, haven't we?

So, I was shown a chaise longue on a phone from here, although the one in question is in red. So I was thinking (as I do) about using the tree theme but adding cherry blossoms.

First, to make the blossoms. Tried lots of techniques, first with stuff I already had. I hoped my sizzix would go through the fabric The leather was too heavy for the effect I was after, anyway.

I bought some polyester two-tone fabric and organza. I tried circles and five slits, then melting the edges of the polyester to form the petals a bit like here. A bit dodgy! It does look like flowers, but the organza in particular was a little prone to flames (!) and I did end up with some quite hard edges. I'm not renowned for my patience......

Then it came to me - as these things do - why not 'cut' them out with my fabric master? It's man-made materials, so they will melt. The above pictures are my practice attempts:
  1. single layer
  2. two layers of organza, fused together with Mistyfuse
  3. one layer polyester, one organza, just placed together and cut out
  4. as above, but layers Mistyfused first
  5. single layer of polyester
None of them were quite what I had envisaged - until the additions of beads and stitched lines for stamens. That lifted the whole thing! I eventually went for number 3 and this is the result:

I am pleased with it; it has come out as I had in my head, which is very satisfying. I enjoyed the design process, too.

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Well, hope you all had a nice Easter. I’ve had a couple of weeks off work and this last few days I’ve been home alone, just me and Cassie (my dog). The weather has been somewhat variable with brilliant sunshine one minute and heavy rain the next.

So, for the latest kiln work. First of all, I had an order to complete; set of 4 coasters that will be a wedding present.
I cut the hearts out of copper sheet and, using an embossing tool, embossed them with hearts and swirls. The smaller pieces are confetti - very thin glass in shades of pink. Cover with another layer of glass and fire to full fuse.
Simple but very nice; I've sold quite a few of these.

Then some experimenting. I saw some work by a glass artist who had made some beach huts out of glass and fancied a go. It certainly put my glass cutting skills to the test and these seem to be improving. I also made the flower panel, cutting the petal shapes.

One of the experiments didn’t go quite so well. I’d read that you can put organic matter between glass (top centre). Although the organic matter burns off, it should leave a residue, sandwiched between the pieces of glass. I used a skeleton from a physalis but I think it may have been somewhat too skeletal, as all I seem to be left with is a lovely clear piece of glass.

Win some, lose some!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Another (slightly shorter!) absence!

Hi all!

A quick check in! Haven't had much time for indoor pleasure at the moment; with the lovely weather, I've taken the opportunity to work in the garden, starting preparations for this year's Open Gardens in June. This has been happening for over 10 years now, organised by the lovely Lesley from Riddlers Cottage Flowers.

On the glass front, I've had a couple of learning curves (prefer to think of them this way rather that disaters!). I've learned:
  1. If you place more than one sheet of thinfire paper on the shelf (patchwork style), you get lines on the back of your pieces. I didn't think a layer of paper could make so much difference!
  2. When peices are refired, they may spread further than they did at first. (I was banking on the rule that says glass spreads to '2 layers thick')
  3. When peices are refired, air bubbles may pop, leaving a hole in the glass surface.

I discovered (2) and (3) after deciding to refire after (1). At least, now I know!