Monday, 22 September 2014

Beauty's Rose a weaving project for Stevie Nicks

A dear friend brought to my attention recently a competition on Talent House (collective of artists and competitions for artists to show off their work). The competition was to design a shawl for Stevie Nicks. Never have I been more excited to start a project!  So I did some research and pinned some ideas on Pinterest. Then I got going.

After I wove the main piece of the sample I decided on I took it off the loom and started planning out the details of the embellishments I planned on making to the main body of the scarf.
lace roses I tried out to see if I would like them
I planned one thing and then another... then tried something else and then something else again...
Time was getting short and finally I changed my mind one last time and decided to embroider using stumpwork techniques (which was nearly back to my original plan of needlelace work).

From there is all started falling into place.

These are so picture of the finished sample:

The following is the write up I did for the piece:

Beauty’s Rose

This shawl is inspired by fairy tales, dreams and enchantment. I imagined this piece after reading how much Stevie Nicks was inspired by fairy tales. I decided to take our common love of the tales and create a unique piece using my additional passion for traditional cottage crafts like weaving and embroidery, which often play an important role in fairy tales.
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories as I love the romance and purity of the message in the story. The idea that beauty can be found in everything really was a theme I took to heart.
The shawl catches the dark mystery of Beast in the handwoven black cotton threads. The soft and voluptuous threads are woven in stripes of alternating weaves. In between the woven horizontal stripes the threads are loose and open, this gives the shawl freedom of movement. Not only does the piece flutter like a crow’s wing, but the occasional glimpse of flesh (or color) as sections open and whisper across the arm and back hints of a great secret beneath.
The delicate beauty of the rose Beauty requested from her father in the fairytale has been recreated and hand detailed with rich deep red and green embroidery threads. The vibrant lush colors of the embroidered roses and leaves are the visual foil to the darkness of the shawl. They soften the darkness while making it all that much more imposing.
As a whole the piece weaves a picture of romance and love and  which I think is what Stevie Nicks embodies.

The piece if created will be 18” x 66” woven in black cotton with horizontal woven stripes alternating with ‘open’ sections of vertical threads. There will be three lines of hand embroidery running the length of the 66 inches: one half inch line of rose buds and vine; and two one-inch wide lines of roses and vine with leaves.

If you'd like to vote for my submission and to see the other submissions please do.

Other pieces of my finished work can be found in my Etsy shop or join me on FB if you want a chat or to see more process photos.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Busy the kids so work can be done... How to get some quality time in followed by free play

Every parent knows that occupying the kids with one task while you get on with another is the best way to get work done. Usually when I ask my girls what they want to do they want to bake...but this requires supervision on my part... so it's not the ideal activity when I want to get my own things done. One of the other favorite choices for my girls, and the one that I love because it gives me free time, is getting them to play with play dough. It is ideal in our house as they will spend hours, literally, playing,,,building things with rocks and play dough, burying things and uncovering them, making footprints from various toys, making scenes and telling stories with the dough... play goes on and on and on... so when one of my small business friends from The Dotty Dough Factory asked if I'd like to try out their make from scratch pack I jumped on the chance because a little 'cooking' and play dough is a double win with the girls.

She sent me pack of flour and salt and a sachet of Kool-Aid and the directions... which were: add hot water... Super easy.

                                                                          You mix

Add water

Mix some more

Then knead

Presto magicka! play dough

The girls were enthused by the process and the absolutely gorgeous smell of fruitiness because of the Kool-Aid. Even over two months later the dough smells great and is still usable (we just used the airtight container the ingredients came into store it). They love playing with dough they made and the youngest (2 years) mentions happily having made it whenever it comes out. (AND it gave me a little time to interact with them and 'set them up' for play, but later gave me the free time to get work down around the house and even get in a little weaving.)

If you want to see some of the work I do please visit me on my FB page, LoomyBin. Or you can visit my shop on Etsy.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Finding peace and joy to create again.


Nothing like a good dose of sunshine and tree shade in the Welsh hills and mountains to give a sense of well being and re-invigorate the creative slump.

Little things       


which are simple 


and divine

P5310165.JPGsomehow let one breathe.

The joy of others completes your own.

And, of course, others’ work makes you breathless with amazement and fills you once again with the wonderment of the world.

If you would like to see more of my work including inspiring photos and handwoven gifts please visit me at my Etsy shop and/ or my Facebook page.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

One Frosty morning: the amazing beauty found in a simple frost

Sometimes it's the simple things which excite and amaze. Something as everyday as a frost can give one such wonderful ideas that you are filled with excitement for the day. Frost creates some many amazing textures...

Like a soft fuzzy coat everything was covered in one way or another.  Once again in the dawn I am a child smiling and happy that a new day has found me alive and well enough to enjoy the frosty light and the quiet that seems to have fallen, muffling the sounds of busy life. A frosty quilted blanket of joy and beauty.

If you'd like to see how these pictures inspire my weaving pop over to LoomyBin or my Etsy Shop

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Woven hearts: A Simple to Elegant weaving project to do without a loom

Woven hearts are easy to make and can be simple to more complicated or 'grown up' depending on the time and effort you put into them.

to be auctioned for the British Heart Foundation Feb 5th
Using pure wool felt and a little embroidery I turned this woven heart into a dainty hanging ornament perfect for gift giving on Valentine’s Day or even Mother’s Day

3 felt hearts I made got turned into a coin purse, a cute dressing up handbag and a hand basket for sweets or toys.

What you will need:
  • Pencil or fabric chalk or felt tip pen for tracing and making light marks
  • Scissors
  • Paper pattern either printed or self made *see footnotes on the pattern for details on how to make your own the graph paper shown is for making your own pattern.
  • Material you’re making your heart out of paper, felt, fabric (the fabric needs to have interfacing on the back to help stiffen a little and prevent too much fraying), etc.
*if doing this with younger children it’s easiest to use felt or thick paper like mulberry paper because it bends and moves easily*
First copy/ print and cut out the pattern or make your own.
(See end of tutorial for pattern)

Trace the pattern onto each material you wish to cut out i.e. paper, fabric, felt.

Use pattern to cut your material

You will need two for each heart.
Fold the pieces in half so the top of each arch matches the top of the other.
Refold so that the ‘inside’ is outside. I.e. any pattern you want is on the inside of the heart. This is so all marks you make are on the inside of the finished product.

this way:
not this way:
Draw a very faint line across the bottom of the arch using the other half of the heart as a guide.
Decide how wide and how many strips you want. You may have 2 to 201 stripes (obviously the wider the strips the easier it is to weave them)

Cut the strips from the fold up to the lightly penciled line at the bottom of the arch.

*Remember go just a little beyond your lightly pencilled line to allow for the bending and filling of the paper*

Refold the arches so that the pencilled lines are all back on the inside and the pattern you want is on the outside.

Weave the strips together as follows:

*Remember when weaving the strips, they need to go through and around the loops of the other side not just over and under as in traditional weaving because you are weaving a 3D item/ open pocket*
Start with the first looped strip on the right half of the heart. Put loop 1 through loop A then put loop 1 around loop B then through loop C then put loop 1 around loop D and through...etc until you get to the end of the strips on the left half.

Push the woven piece all the way toward the top of the heart (toward the arch)

The second looped strip on the right will be done as follows: Loop 2 around loop A then through loop

B then around loop C and through loop D etc. Push all the way to the top against loop 1.

Third looped strip will be done same as first.

Fourth will be the same as the second.

Continue in the same way, alternating the through and around until you finish weaving all the strips into each other.

With the addition of a little paper handle the heart then turns into a beautiful hanging hand basket for decorating or gift giving.

Here is the pattern for the hearts
Blow up this image until it fits nicely on an A4 or letter sized paper to print it off.

Alternately, make your own using the guidelines and tips below:

To see loom woven items visit me at LoomyBin or my Etsy shop. Also catch up with me on Twitter (BethatLoomybin) or Instagram (bethatloomy).

Please join us for the auction for the British Heart Foundation