Monday, 25 February 2008

Russian Doll,Matryoshka doll, Lino Printing, Mothers Day

As I said in an earlier post I had made a lino cut of a Russian doll. It has been years since I have done lino printing so I was a bit worried it would look as if a small child had done it. In some ways that does look like the case, but I do like the primitive simplicity of the design. Once I got my head round positive and negative space I was well away, and only managed to stab myself once which I think is an achievement for me. I never seem to learn.

As it is mothers day I thought I would try printing some cards. The only problem was I didn’t have any printing ink. I tried using black acrylic paint which kind of worked but the prints were coming out patchy. I had some PVA glue to hand and tried mixing that in with the Acrylic and it worked. I know I’ve probably committed some printing faux-par but with the amount of art materials I already own I’m sure I’ll be let off. I then thought I would embellish the print to add a little colour and make it a bit more mumzy by adding some flowers. I do think it’s quite sweet and might print some for my Etsy shop.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Valentines Day, Banksy, Stencil Graffiti

As you know Valentines Day has been and gone and my boyfriend and I decided not to spend silly amounts of money on each other. However I did want to get him a little something and I noticed he seemed to be loving the graffiti artist Bansky at the moment. My plan was think of how I could make my own version of one of his pieces.
I thought I would have a go at embroidering the image. It’s a very clean, simple image and I knew I would have to get it right or it would look rubbish. I transferred the image onto some fabric by printing out the image onto the wrong side of some acetate and pressing the ink on to the fabric. It wasn’t 100% perfect transfer but I went round the out line with a pen to make it clearer then stitched into it with embroidery silks.
I then made a wooden frame and stretched like a canvas. He was very chuffed with it which made me happy and I might try it on a t-shirt as well as it’s one of my favourite Banksy pieces as well.

Here is what the original Banksy stencil graffiti piece looks in real life. I’m not sure where it is located but if you love stencil graffiti and you have a sense of humour just Google Banksy and look at his other work, it’s amazing.

I have also been having a go at stencil graffiti myself. I saw a great video clip on how to make them from Google-ing stencil garffiti, check it out it was very easy to follow even if you don’t know how to use Photoshop. I had another friends birthday coming up and she loves this British comedian Justin Lee Collins so I thought I would make her a pop art style canvas print/stencil for her. It was a lot harder than I thought. You have to really simplify the image that you are going to work with on Photoshop, so I hope he is still recognisable. I did love doing this and feel there is so much potential if I have the patience cutting out the stencils, it did take quite a while. I have also included the original photo I used for you to compare, any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Resin, Envirotex Lite

This was another little project that I wanted to have a go at for quite a while and something I possibly translate within my jewellery making. I haven’t done any work before using resin but have seen some amazing pieces that have been commercially made and handmade. I love the idea of trapping things and making almost like permanent shrines. I did a bit of research on the net and didn’t find huge amount but did come across a website which has loads of art/craft related project and ideas you could try. The link is and it has a step by step guide to what you need and how to use this resin. You should defiantly check out the other projects as well on the site has been running for a couple of years and there seems to be new projects every month.

These are just my fist try and they are not perfect. I have used a range of materials like playing cards, old books, buttons, glitter and other random bits and pieces. Some of the papers I have used have gone a bit see through, you can still see the text but you can also see what is printed on the reverse. It’s quite interesting but something you can’t control. I did seem to mix far more resin than I needed, it does seem to stretch quite far. I do think there is a lot of potential within this process and defiantly something I’m going to play around with. It could defiantly do with a lot of refining. I think I’m going to turn these into drawing pins and a brooch but I have also seen them made into pendants. These were made from bottle tops but you can use anything with a little depth. I even tried a small shell.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Book of Good Needlework

I've strated to do a lot more textile work at the moment and remembered seeing a very old needlework book that used to belong to my gran. I though it might be worth having another look at. Even though I have done a contemporary textile degree I never really felt I had covered the basics. I only really played around with cross stich when i was younger which I find very controlled. So I thought I would see if i could learn some basic stiched which I could then experiment with. The book was very much aimed at the lady of the house but with some great information and illustrations.

Here is a mini sampler i did just having a go at Stem-Stitch, Back-Stitch, Outlined in Buttonhole-stitch, Chain-Stitch, Buttonhole-Ring Stitch and Satin-Stitch. It's not really much to look at at the moment but I'm trying to keep a record of every thing that I am trying so this blog is almost like my sketch book. I loved the designs where areas were cut out to make a lace like design which is something I'm going to try next. Techniques like this i feel don't date you just have to adapt the designs you use.

Here is a little russian doll brooch I made. It's quite small, I didn't realise how fidderly it was going to be but it has turned out quite well and very cute at 3.5cm high. I used acrylic felt which does seem to have malted a little bit but i do love felt for little projects like this.
I'm loving russian dolls at the moment and have also made a lino cut of one but don't have any printing ink yet to road test it. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Etsy, DuckDownDesigns

AT LAST! Well i have finally got organised and have set up my shop on etsy. I don't know why it took me so long as I have been addicted to this site for at least a month or two now. I have set up my shop with the name Duck Down Designs. This is a name my boyfriend came up with. My surname is Duckworth and I have had numerious nickname through out my lifetime so why not embrace the Duck in me. So Duck Down Designs has been born. Please Check out my shop at . I am concerntraiting on selling my Jewellery designs at the moment so please check it out and let me know what you think.

As i had the shop up and running i wanted to work on the shops apperance. I have been quite envious of some of the amazing banner heading that others have on there shop and so thought I would set out at making one myself. Here is the finished article.
I have always loved those flying ducks that seemed to be around in the 60's and 70's and thought it would be quite fitting. I found a picture of a flying duck on google images and made a fabric collage of it.

I then scanned this into photoshop and had a play around. It didn't take as long as I thought and I'm quite happy with the finished article. I think it definatly make a diffrence to the apperance of the shop and thought I would use it for my blog heading as well.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

January Birthdays

Well as I took the hand made pledge I have also decided to try and make all my birthday presents for friends and family this year. I have learnt the key to this is organisation and I'm very proud to say I managed to make two prezzys for close friends so far. The first was for a friend who got addicted to buttons when we both worked in a button shop in Cardiff, Wales. Apparently world famous but that is coming from the slightly eccentric owner! Any who, I made her a button necklace from antique mother of pearl buttons and pouch/ enverlope to keep it in.

I also have a love for buttons and have made quite a bit of jewellery from buttons. To go with the prezzy you obviously have to have a card and this was just a bit of fun and will make more sense to her that you.

For my other friend we both have an obsession with all things sparkly, Jewellery. I thought she might possibly have enough and came up with the idea of making her a Jewellery roll. I had never made one before so this was a learning process for me. I have taken photos of how i made it which i may include in a later post but here is what the finished article looked like. I have sewn on there I love jewellery and have included 6 pockets and a ring holder. I am very happy with how this has turned out and think i might make one for myself as well.
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