I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Sew far, sew good

Hello all!  I'm delighted to be putting in a guest appearance over at the Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog today for their new challenge Sew Sweet.  I was honoured when my Even Tinier Houses were selected as their winner a month ago, and that led to this invitation.

I say "delighted", but I have to confess the theme gave me a moment's pause.

Sewing is not one of my comfort zones... I'd happily leap in to ceramics, woodwork or even metalwork, but sewing machines break when I sit down at them.  (Yes, sewing machines plural - twice in my life it's happened when somebody's tried to teach me to use one.)

I used to put up my skirt hem with double-sided sellotape if it came down.  I also reduced my sewing teacher to tears in primary school when we used to do embroidery for half an hour each week.  (I'm starting to date myself there... visiting embroidery teachers in state schools these days, anyone?!)

But I do love the look of stitching on papercraft projects, and I would also love to be able to stitch a book spine or even knock up the occasional fabric project, so my motto as far as sewing goes appears here on this tag... never give up!

And of course there wasn't any actual sewing required for this challenge (though I'm sure you can if you'd like to) - just sewing-related stamps, ephemera and embellishments.  So once I'd located some PaperArtsy stamps in my stash that fit the bill, I was good to go.

I can't tell you much about the background here, I'm afraid - it's one I made a couple of weeks ago when I was playing with various embossing powders and inks and sprays.  (There was a whole flourish/embossing powder thing going on at the time.)

Frankly, your guess is as good as mine as to exactly what's going on back there!

I stamped the dress form from PaperArtsy's Hot Picks 1215 set onto tissue paper and glued it down so that it became part of that mixed media background.

I love how your eye suddenly notices it emerging from the swirls and flourishes.

I added a bit of script stamping in white Snowflake Fresco paint - it's the text from the same stamp set so the words are actually all about Victorian dressmakers.

There is definitely some gold powder involved in the background...

... so I brought that to the fore when I identified this object as a needle threading tool on the PaperArtsy Hot Picks HP1215 set.

I embossed it in gold, fussy cut it and mounted it on padded tape as one of my embellishments.

I promise you the tangled cotton thread is actually threaded through the slit I cut in the blade of the tool!

There is more thread providing a white accent and extra swirls and flourishes over the top of the background.

And I wound some of the same cotton around a tiny reel to add to the 3D collage.

The twist of lace is pinned in place with an Idea-ology Memo Pin.

Another twist of lace at the top and some distressed edges provide a nice shabby chic touch. 

The sewing packets tucked in behind are from another Hot Picks set HP1212.

I stamped them in either Coffee or Sepia Archival ink onto some card I'd inked with Antique Linen and Old Paper Distress Inks.

And here are those words, from one of Tim's sticker sets... affirming my determination never to give up with trying to get a sewing machine to play nicely with me for my crafting creations.

The tissue paper dress form had obscured some of the golden embossing powder in the background, so I used Tim's Resist Spray to create some more gilded droplets.

I think it's Ranger's Queen's Gold, but don't hold me to it!

I hope you've enjoyed this little sideways step into a different theme (what, no meadowflowers?!), but you'll notice I stuck pretty closely to my colour comfort zone to stay happy!

Thanks so much to Cec and the team at the Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog for having me as a guest, and I hope you'll check out all their amazing Sew Sweet projects and be inspired to join in over the next fortnight.

Thank you for dropping in today.  The weather is less sunny here, so my mood is a bit less sunny than it has been, but I really don't have much to complain about compared with many.

I hope you are staying safe and staying well, and finding ways to make the best of the strange times we are living through.  Take care, and I'll see you again (very) soon.

Women derive a pleasure, incomprehensible to the other sex, from the delicate toil of the needle.
From The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Not this woman!  I'm far more in tune with this second quote...

I couldn't sew on a day like this. There's something in the air that gets in the blood and makes a sort of glory in my soul. My fingers would twitch and I'd sew a crooked seam. So it's ho for the park and the pines.
From Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge this week is to make something which is Not A Card
At Tag Tuesday they are playing Anything Goes for this fortnight
The More Mixed Media Challenge is playing Anything Goes + Optional Yellow - well, there's Gold and there's Antique Linen, and that's pretty yellowish for me!


aussie aNNie said...

SEW artsy and brilliantly designed, love the snips and lace and all the goodies...artistic Allison.xx

Valerie-Jael said...

Gorgeous tag, so much to see and enjoy. Sorry that sewing machines break down when you go near the. Mine does't break down but always has hissy fits! And thanks for linking your beautiful creation to Tag Tuesday again, much appreciated! Hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

I am so with you on the sewing - would love to have a machine to sew on projects but (apart from having no workspace for one - not sure sewing on the floor is a good idea) I am sure I'd get stumped by it. But a great tag for the theme, very ingenious. Take care.

Cocofolies said...

Hahaha, I'm like you... stitching and sewing machines are a pet peeve of mine!
However, I think your tag is fabulous!!!.... perfectly suitable to the theme, and very clever ;-)
Also totally gorgeous, a great tag for your Guest DT spot, congratulations Alison!
I love your background with the embossed swirls and these PA's beautiful stamps, a perfect match! And all the elements gathered and put on it are charming, as well as your choice of words 'never give up', so useful here :)
Corinne xx

Cocofolies said...

And thanks for your wonderful comments on my blog too this morning Alison... this is so kind, I appreciate them and your appreciation a lot. But really, I don't know why you don't receive all my new blogpost notifications... I have encountered an error at some point in the recent past, maybe it's the reason. Please tell me if you get it again, and maybe we could try to unsubscribe/subscribe you again? xxx

Meggymay said...

A fabulous project Alison, I love all the sewing details you included. I'm with you and the sewing machines, digital sewing was a great find for me in crafting terms. I used a lot of the iron in binding back in the day, I wonder if you can still buy it.
Stay safe and keep well.
Yvonne xx

Fonda said...

Lovely tag!

Lagene said...

WOW I love, perfect ideas for our seamstress friends!

craftytrog said...

So beautiful and inspiring Alison xx

sarascloset said...

Alison, I'm just delighted with your non sewing sewing themed tag you made for The Funkie Junkie Boutique blog! Thank you for all your hard work/play. That background is amazing, and a wonderful collection of sewing themed elements compliment it. I so love both of your quotes, and I'd say I fit into your same category. Sos you've only broken two machines??? My Mom sure did try her hardest to school me on sewing, but I must really be a disappointment to her in that department! As for my high school home economics class (which was required back then), I'm embarrassed to say Mrs. Lokey had me suspended from school for my clearly spoken thoughts on that subject.

sarascloset said...

PS I have a special vocabulary every time I sit down with needle and thread.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

That's a rather ingenious tag for someone who doesn't sew. Believe me, this is incredible. I can't sew a straight line and have also used that tape for "hemming" a large fabric I purchased to turn into a tablecloth. There was no way I could hem 1/4 seam allowance.

I adore the needle threader and the way you built it up. I like that you used a tiny spool of thread. Although I sew, I have never followed a pattern and prefer sewing paper to paper. I'm just in awe of your willingness to meet this challenge. You ROCK, dear Alison.

experiments in paper said...

Clever and beautiful.... I love it! And that needle threader - brilliant, and especially since it "works"! As usual, your composition is wonderfully balanced, and intriguing at the same time. Quite inspirational, and reminiscent of Bernadette Banner's work - fabulous Victorian/Edwardian fashion, all hand sewn. I hope you have a lovely, sunny weekend.... xxx Lynn

Chrissy said...

I love your sewing themed tag Alison, love the colours and patterns, the tiny needle packet and the thread, all so well combimed with that tiny spool of thread and all your other details..fabulous.


pearshapedcrafting said...

I love your style - no sewing required sounds like a plan to me! I have used my sewing machine recently for crafting, but I only turn the wheel by hand as using the pedal sends everything crazy on paper! This is a wonderful selection of all things sewing to turn this into a stunning sewing themed tag! Hugs, Chrisx.......humming 'The sun will come out tomorrow'...please!xx

My name is Erika. said...

Beautiful tag Alison. I am glad you told us it was a needle threading tool. It is a gorgeous piece and almost looks like a kilt pin (there must be a better name than that). I just don't know off the top of my head what that is. I'm doing a bit of catch up. Hugs-Erika

Christine Alexander said...

Beautiful Alison, so many sewing notions peeking out of your tag.

Diana Taylor said...

An absolutely delightful tag - I love the beautiful additions, the needle threader is quite a spectacular centre piece (and something I am now having to rely on a lot with my 'old' eyes!). I love the subtle stamping, it all works so perfectly. And also a big thank you for your lovely comments on my blog, I so appreciate your visits.
Diana xx

Jenny Marples said...

Ooooh, love how that dress form fits so perfectly with the flourishes in the background and the way you've carefully cut out the embossed threader, even going the extra mile by threading it. As always it's a piece that reveals more each time you look at it and has a beautiful vintage feel. Thank you so much for sharing your huge artistic talents with us at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog. Hope you are staying safe and well xx

Redanne said...

Alison, the second quote is definitely more like you but you have certainly risen to the challenge with your sewing themed tag! I love that swirl background and the wonderful colours you used. They really help the needle threader to take centre stage on your beautiful tag! Anne xx

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, this is a beauty! I love how you added the different layers to the background and the EP and gold looks so pretty 😁. The lace with the tiny cotton reel is gorgeous too. Happy and creative wishes! Stay safe and keep well! Hugs, Jo x

Sue said...

What a beautiful tag, full of tiny little details, the swirls and the cold embossing are just magical! I never had any interest in sewing either though my mum did try to teach me. I could never cut around a pattern, my fabric always looked like I'd used a knife and fork or my teeth to cut it out lol. Take care, Sue xx

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison,
So much to take in here, all the beauty, starting with the tak- so so gorgeous, and then the added story of stamps and cut out pieces, all in harmony with the golden touch and the white onto blue . So sweet with the little roll of threads . A gorgeous tag with the sewing history from back then.
Hugs Dorthe

Craftyfield said...

Simply delightful Alison! Not a sewer either and have broken several needles in the past but not the actual machine...

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

You've been busy again since I was last here, gorgeous tag. Thanks for sharing. Big hugs, Angela xXx

Patty O'Malley said...

Awesome tag, Alison!

Margaret Mifsud said...

Wow! You have tackled this Challenge head on and you have totally aced it Alison! The background is stunning! I absolutely adore the colour combo .. one of my faves .. and the textures are awesome! I'm not much of a sewing enthusiast either but I do love all the little sewing bits and pieces you managed to layer on this tag. So gorgeous! Stay safe and well! hugs x