I regret nothing!

I'm guessing by this point that there isn't a single living being on the planet that will read this on account of the fact I last updated back in 2016 but I'm pressing on regardless! :)

I'm annoyed with myself over it because I loved my blog, my work and boring the wotsits off you good folks who always took the time to send me good loving. But as some of you know the past couple of years have been well and truly been horrendous and it's been a monumental effort to even get out of bed some days, let alone produce new work or write about it.

Depression is a bitch and being a carer 24/7 for ma-in-law is bloody hard although I do consider myself lucky in other respects, so swings and roundabouts.

Anyway (if there is anyone out there?!) I wanted to share some good news!
The supremely posh French publication, Plaisirs de Peindre have featured my work across two pages of their fabulous magazine with another currently in the pipeline!

The wonderful and very patient Audrey Higelin contacted me a wee while ago and asked me if I would like to be featured...as ever I replied with my usual dignity and poise: "HELL YEAH!!" and much whooping and skipping around the house!

I was asked to provide a step by step demo of how I produce my little decorative cushions.  I made this particular one specifically for the magazine  I had the idea in my head for a long time and sparrows are a favourite subject of mine too so it seemed the obvious choice...Edith Piaf being known as The Little Sparrow and all that!

Step one:
S'cuse the stubby pencil but it's one of my faves! Lightly sketched out bird onto calico.

Step 2:
Starting to paint.  For my bird paintings on cushions or pennants I use artist acrylic paints (Winsor & Newton). If you're a beginner with acrylic paints don't rush out and spend a fortune of those *wet palettes*. All you need is an old plate, lay a few sheets of wet kitchen towel down on it, followed by a sheet of greaseproof paper and that's a perfect DIY wet palette. All you need to do to keep paint workable is give it a light spray with a water spray and then pop the plate into a carrier bag (try not to squash the paints!) and tie it up tight.  Paint stays workable for ages and fraction of the price too (sorry art suppliers!)

Step 3: 
Fortunately acrylics dry pretty quickly so you don't have to wait too long before stitching.  I selected colours to compliment the little sparrow.  I use all kinds of different threads from embroidery silks, machine embroidery cottons and *normal* cotton (presume that's the technical term...as you can tell I'm still a master of my craft!) :D

Step 4:
Hand stitching begins. This bit takes forever and a day to do.  I don't set out with any firm plans with any of my embroidery, I just go with the flow but feathers and birds were foremost in my mind at this point.  Looking at about 3 hours work so far.

Step 5:
BOSH! Job done! That's about 7 or 8 hours worth of stitching (insert sarky comment here!) .  Swift run over with the iron and on the next bit, which I loathe....sewing machine time!

Step 6:
There are no photo's of me working at the machine because it isn't a pretty sight. At least an hour trying to remember how it works, struggling to see how to thread it all/wind bobbins etc followed by a lot of growling and swearing!
I chose a black & white gingham for the backing of cushion and there's also a turquoise chiffon and cord thingy so it can be hung.

Step 7: 
Et voila! The finished piece with a silky turquoise tassel and a sweet little ceramic bird bead for added bling! :)

Sewing machine aside and that they take forever, I do love working on these little cushions!  Edith, as she is now known, is currently available on my Etsy shop here: http://etsy.me/2jngfuJ if you would like to see more photo's or give her a home! :)

A big thank you to Audrey Higelin and Plaisirs de Peindre for putting up with me!

So there we go the first new blog of this year?!? Think that deserves a Jaffa cake and a nap!?

A big thank you if you've stumbled across this and had a read! :)
Big Mimi Loves to you all!



Gina said…
Well I'm still here and what a lovely surprise to have this post pop up in my feed. Lovely to see how you work and I did laugh at your "normal threads" because that is what I call them when I'm teaching machine embroidery. I always say to my students they can use fancy threads (another technical term) like rayon or metallic or just normal threads!
YAY GINA!! Hello lovelies! I could definitely do with one of your classes but I'm afraid I'd probably get chucked out for my language and very bad attitude towards them! :D Thank you SO much for popping by! :) xxx
Jan said…
Congratulations for being featured in that magazine. Your work is so lovely and sometimes so funny. I bought some cards from you once because that is all I could afford. Not that you are overpriced! I know it takes a lot of time to produce these marvels. Thanks for the tip about the wet palette, great idea. I hope it won't be so long before you post again, I've missed you. I took a two year unintended break from my blog too but have recently started up again and enjoying it. Welcome back.
Your work is an amazing combination of paint and thread. I don't think I have ever seen it before. Congratulations for being recognized by the magazine. You really should be more well known.
Lyn said…
Wow I am glad I spent this evening scrolling through my blog list! I have been a bad blogger both posting and reading this year but I am going to try harder this year! I love the step by step you have done of your work, I enjoy seeing how artists go about creating!
Hope 2018 is a good one for you xxx
Awww big thank you ladies! So pleased I'm not talking to myself! :D xx
Happy New Year to you all! xxx

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