CHALLENGE 2013: This was a non happening but will be part of my next years work as I work thru the year

CHALLENGE 2012 : Each month I will choose a picture from last years challenge and create a fibre art interpretation of it or piece of it using at least one new technique each time.

CHALLENGE: 2011: 365 days in picture.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

ROLL ON 2013

2013 is going to be a major challenge, but hey, is that not the whole point. I saw some work by a local artist, Anthea Martin, which was amazing and has pointed me in this direction.  Whether I will succeed, time will tell! I will be travelling along a major learning curve trying out techniques never done before.

The aim is to create 2D pictures.  Paper background, photo cutouts of parts of buildings and the rest of the picture completed by simples stitch lines and watercolour paint.  I have not decided on a size.  Not smaller than A5 and not bigger than A4. I will have to work out what works for me.

I find completing journals very difficult. I am going to use this year as my journal .... but in this space. I will document a lot more of my progress, work and inspiration along with pictures of buildings.  My only deadline is to have a minimum of 12 pages completed by the 31 December 2013.

Here goes to a wonderful journey.........................

Happy New Year to Everyone. 
 May 2013 bring you heaps of creativity, stitching, satisfaction and TIME!

Monday, December 10, 2012


I might still play around with the placings, I may not but now to think of the best way to display without knocking hundreds of holes in the wall.

It has been quite a journey but an enjoyable journey.  I have learnt a lot and will keep learning.  All time favourite technique at the moment is photo transfer and working into it with stitch.  Will definitely be doing more of that.

2013: I have worked out where I am going and I am changing direction and techniques.  Watch this space!


I cannot believe I am there and done early!  This is it ..... the final piece in the challenge.

I created a template of the zebra using freezer paper and painted.  I then added the mustard paint around the animal and used a thermo fax screen and some hand squiggles (was concerned I would damage the zebra).  Quilting was simple .... stitched around the black lines and added lines in the background.  Simple but quick effective. Very happy.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December's Choice

I have chosen to follow the same format for December as I did last year in December for the 'pic a day challenge' in that I have gone thru all my pictures and made a choice from there. I have also not made a number of possibilities but have made a single choice and it is  .....

This is not the picture I will be working from but it will be of a Zebra and will probably be a single front on face piece.   I have always wanted to do a piece of a zebra and this is my chance.  What technique? What size?  Time will tell.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Well it ended up the moth/butterfly and I used photo transfer and then free motion embroidery over the butterfly (I will call it).

I am still having problems with stretching and puckering and need to really concentrate on that.  Very noticeable on the top right part of wing.  As it is still not mounted I may get away with it with putting backing between the work and the frame.  Really enjoyed this technique again. 

Update:  I pinned and stretched on a board and managed to flatten most of the puckers down to just creases and it is now mounted.  The picture is now of the finished and mounted work.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November Possibilities

Wow, this is a hard month to choose from.  It seems to be harder finding something that jumps out at me, but, here are my choices ..........

I like the composition of this one but I have done a mushroom .......

I do like the unusual colouring and 'flower' but not quite sure how I would put this together as it is quite detailed at the base......

This one probably speaks to me the most and I would probably do photo transfer and machine embroidery on the butterfly.......

I like the crisp colours and the simplicity............


Here is the finished piece ..... am I happy, relatively.  I learnt a lot.  You need thousand of beads and lots of practice.  I also had to learn it will always look like a heavily beaded piece. Would I do another .... probably as it was fascinating sitting quietly and working with the beads into the fabric.

This is as finished as it will be for the present as I will now embellish and finish it off using beads. 

This is the technique perfected by Thom Atkins (bought his book the other day Beading Artistry for Quilts) and the technique I want to use to finish this piece. It will take some time to source the correct colour and size beads so will take some time to finish.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Okay ... they are not straight but I just wanted to see what they looked like together for the moment ......

............................ and I definitely need some more colour so the choice for October will be ..........

I have just bought a book by Thom Atkins called 'Beading Artistry for Quilts' and I would love to follow his technique with this piece.

October possibilities

Whew, maybe I will get this done before the month ends.... ha, ha!

I love the colour and simplicity of this one.  Maybe as I have been working in greys for a while.

This just talks to me ...... but I am undecided.

Back to shades of grey again .... but I do like the composition.

I would like to hang them together on a wall so I think at this stage I need to put them all out and see where I am going and what I need to help them all come together.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Completed but not finished!!  It is on the canvas but I need to finish off the sides etc.

Printed on silk background and then the actual anchor/chain is painted applique.  Because I want to keep them all as stitched 'artworks' I could not get away without the visible stitching. It did look a bit like a photograph before so I suppose it works.  This is one that has the edge as a photograph than in reality.  How does one correct that???

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Chosen One!

Decision made. 

I am going with the rusty chain and anchor catch.

I have squared up the pic and will mount it on a small square artists canvas.  At this point I think I will print the background and applique the anchor + catch.   I have some lovely breakdown screen fabric with the exact colours ..... can I position the pattern to get the effect???

Saturday, September 15, 2012

SEPTEMBER possibilities

September was the month that I ran with a theme of 'old', 'distressed', 'rusted' or 'worn'.  Looking back at the pictures not one jumped out at me.  A bit worrying!  I have chosen more than the normal 3-ish.

Quite like this but it will not be easy.  Will probably have to draw, paint and stitch.

Would probably crop this one considerably - but not so sure.

The softness and the white appeals.  Would mean a lot of stitching again and would like to try something else.

The simplicity of this makes it interesting.


AUGUST completed

This has been a very short abridged challenge this month (August that is).  I opted for the boat and to use the TAP (Transfer Artists Paper) method as I had just acquired some.  Forgot I needed to mirror it for the process so you will see that the boat has beached the other was around.

I have only stitched the boat and am quite happy with the result. It is unmounted as yet as TAP size is American and I need to fiddle with the bought frame.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August choices

While I am on a roll here are August possibilities.

Love the simplicity of the pic but again I am drawn to flora!

Although I love the pic ....not sure whether it will work!

This could work!

This one talks to me. Different content and an A4 on its side.  Possible.

I am actually spoilt for choice  this month. There were quite a few more possibilities but I had to narrow it down to these four.  Now .......................


My life is too complicated at the moment and too many things (lots of good things!) are getting in the way and ambushing my deadlines. but ..................

July is finished but not completed. i.e. still needs to be mounted but it will not alter what you see here.

I am very happy with the result and cannot believe how easily it worked out. 

I printed my cropped picture onto a silk backing and then literally stitched into it .... a bit like paint by numbers, fantastic! 

My problem is the mounting. Although I am using a small 8 x 8inch artists canvas the silk backing sheet is fractionally smaller.  I might cut out the machine embroidery and mount onto another piece of fabric.  Need to think about this one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I have chosen the baby monkey even though previously I have avoided it as I was not sure I wanted a monkey looking at me off the wall.... but..... the challenge of thread painting has got to me and he is rather cute.

I have cropped the pic to what I think is a nice composition and will again do a small canvas - 8 inch square.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Very tempted to do this one. Met up with a local artist who does the most amazing machine embroidery - Kathryn Harmer-Fox. 

Looking at July's pics I seemed to be drawn to a second black and white?

Again, maybe a bit of machine embroidery for the moth/butterfly ...cannot remember which lands with wings open etc. although it did appear to be making the most of the sun at the time so who knows.

Getting there - June!

Mulled over the piece sitting on the ledge at lunch and I think I am now getting there.

Apologies, this pic taken outside and it has changed the background colours completely. Definitely berry heavy before and unbalanced.  Unfortunately I have it mounted already so to change the background lines I think the next step is to come in with some hand stitching, possibly some seeding.  It certainly has been a challenge getting this right and I think it is because of the smallness of it - been interesting.


Finally finished or is it.?  Photographed it looks a little iffy but I need to give it a rest and then go back to it.

I have changed the ratio of berries to foliage as per the picture.  This is a little canvas (8inch square) and although made out of air dried modelling clay, painted and varnished, the berries would have been too clumsy.  The same problem I had with the dew drops on an earlier piece.  The foliage behind is too predictable and this is where I need to fiddle plus I have just realized the seed pods have no stems !

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Seeds & Pods

I came back to my car the other day to find the tree I had parked under had deposited this seed pod on the bonnet.

This got me all fired up so on the way home I stopped off at the local to pick up a pack of air dry moulding clay.  The pods are almost the perfect size for my piece so I have something great to work with.  Here are the beginnings of the seeds.

They are almost ready to be painted.  Hopefully today I will get the background painted up and the pods shaped.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


After much deliberating I have decided to challenge myself, is that not what it is about, to the little red seeds pic. 

My main 'challenge' has been to get my head around those shiny little seeds which my sister also thought would be a headache.  However, thanks to all those hours she spends with her grandchildren having fun with different crafts I think I have the answer.  Now the proof will be in my playing.

The size will be an 8inch square artists canvas and I may only produce 3 seedpods using fabric and an ultra thick water soluble film.  You leave more than the normal amount of 'film' in your piece when washing out , mould into a shape which it holds when dry.  Living in a very humid part of the country does not seem to be a problem so it should not collapse on me.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June - possibilities

Remove the side bits of the mobile and recreate just the Fish?

I am keen to work on a small square canvas and this appeals to me!

Or do I attempt to replicate as machine embroidery the amazing work of Hendrik Stroebel ?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May finished

Well, it was all kept a secret but not intentionally ..... May has been hectic but I have made the deadline. As you will see I opted for the bulrushes and the truth is it all came together over the last 24 hours.... hence not previous postings.

Background dye cloth and the leaves in the top left hand corner added with an ear bud. The foliage is made up of paint straight onto the background; fabric and painted lutradur.  The bulrushes are made out of a bamboo stick covered with batting and then some woolly white 'stuff' I had on a cone that worked perfectly - coloured it with Shiva sticks.  I have added more leaves as the bulrushes are quite chunky and I felt it needed it for balance.  Quite pleased!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May possibilities

........ a simple feather

........ farm signs on a dusty road

......... bullrushes

Posting them here I now have a different take on the one it will be.  I was keen on the farm signs but I think I am now leaning towards the bullrushes ..... as simplistic as it is it has more focus.   Could always do the other another time.  Hmmmmmm!

Monday, April 30, 2012


Done it!  Finished on time, lets hope I am able to keep this up. 

Mixed feelings about the out come.   I think I should have had less background to the mushroom and brought the tyvek at the top down a bit and had the mushroom overlapping - would have improved my depth.  Truth being I ran out of painted tyvek and was too lazy to make up some more!  Could change later if it continues to bother me.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In place

Stitched and fused in place.  Taking shape!

The bronze paint is a bit strong for my liking so will knock that back a bit.   The rest will be the beads and maybe some loose thread.  The mushrooms sprang up amongst the dropped bird seed so I need a lot more texture behind.  I need some shading on the mushrooms as well.  Tomorrow!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Materials all sorted!

This could be a first, although I should not tempt fate.

As you an see I have got all my materials prepared .... painted applique paper, painted and heat zapped Tyvek and painted local batting , Loomtex.

This also confirms the picture I have chosen ...... the 'mushrooms'.   The paint is still wet on the batting and the tyvek, added some more after heating.  I am using a black piece of cloth as the 'background' and have ironed the painted applique paper in place.  Because of the materials there will be very little stitching on this piece. Shape will be portrait.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

april possibilities

The Three ........  Fungi appeals to me,  my garden ornament could be a challenge and the Iris beautiful but is almost too predictable for me so I think it is going to be the Fungi ! 

march - finished

Overall quite happy.   Probably went to town on the water droplets but I am sure some will drop off in time as they are only stuck on.  Will still keep my eyes open for something a tad better than the 'jewels' I have used. I have also dabbed a bit of glue on top of the jewels as they had too much bling to them...... gives them a slightly matt look which is better.

Back to portrait position in the end as well.

Stitched but now the water droplets ?

Stitched and quite happy with the effect especially the 'furry' edges of the leaves.  I did go back in with my favourite fabric oil paints to tweak here and there.

Now the big dilemma ..... the water droplets!   The perfect answer is clear glass beads but as you will see from the pic they are too clumsy for the small piece and I am finding it difficult to get different sizes and the clear white colour.  My next best option is to use different size stitch on glass 'jewels', much smaller but overall much more effective.

Decision made!