Sunday 22 November 2015

Festive Cheer - Tilly Rose Style.....

Hello my lovelies...
How are you all?

The dull grey days of the changing seasons are already beginning to 
make a difference to our days...

The British weather has such a powerful hold on our well being don't you think?
It has been raining solidly here for over a week or so now and the ground is so
squelchy and muddy and on top of that there seems to be so much wet washing hanging around
with coats and umbrellas never seeming to dry... 
(I'm not a fan on gloominess...can you tell???)

As much as I love my snuggly warm sweaters, fleecy slippers and cables scarves, Winter and I are not exactly the best of friends.
Every year we do try our very best to get on as friends should do but by the end of each February, we have to call a truce to start a fresh for the next year having grumbled and argued with each other for months!

To brighten these dull days ahead my thoughts have turned most definitely to 
bright cheerier hues of red and green for that special time of year that will be upon us before we know it.

Not sure if it's the Fen bird in me but at this time of year I love nothing more than getting all my winter recipe books out for seasonal treats and all the old favourites...

Have you made your Christmas pud yet? 
or cake?

I know many of you are also thinking of making all your Christmas gifts as well.
Or maybe you are thinking about filling those craft fair tables with gorgeous goodies to sell?
I just love handmadeness (if there is such a word)
It captures loads of love, loads of happiness and more importantly loads of well being for everyone....
One, for those who receive such gorgeousness and two, for those who add a little piece of themselves into every project they make.

I thought you may like some ideas to help use up those fabric & paper scraps that we all have hiding away in the drawers and boxes hidden under the chaos of crafty bliss...

So, over the next few weeks I will be posting  inspirational pics of things I've either made in the past or lovely goodies I've found online to give you all a few ideas for when you may need that
little extra pressie at short notice when Auntie Mabel pops round unexpectedly, or you might need a few extras to add to your craft table at your local school fete?

Here's my first offerings to break you into Christmas in a gentle way...

Want a simple festive project to share with children?
The following projects were all ideas that I have presented in workshops or when I visited schools
and wanted something that all abilities were able to join in with.
They whip up really quickly and add a little handmade magic to your stash of 
handmade loveliness to either sell or give away as pressies.

Cut out small festive shapes from felt such as stockings or trees.
They are perfect for younger crafters to embellish using all those lovely
things you have hiding in your craft stash...
If they don't want to sew you can use glue or double sided tape to secure.

You could always decoupage with fabric or lace doilies?
Again something so simple that all the family can have fun creating to hang as decorations around the home.

Often these little projects are the perfect solution for keeping things simple... especially if you are a beginner or want to craft with younger peeps.

I love visiting a craft fair or school Christmas Fete and always try to buy special designs like these as I think they make Christmas extra special.
They may be a little quirky or perhaps a little wonky in design but for me they shout creativity.
I'm really not fussed if a button is slightly off centre or a heart is maybe a touch too crookedy.
They certainly wouldn't match the standard of Harrods or Selfridges maybe but I have the satisfaction that no-one else in the whole wide world will have one just like me hanging on their tree and for me that is worth it's weight in gold.

I shall bring some more ideas again soon but in the meantime...

have fun stitching and being creative :)

Toode-ooh for now my lovelies!

x x x

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Creating an Autumnal Design - FREE TUTORIAL

Hello my lovelies...
Following on from my last blog post, as promised, here is my tutorial on how to use Mother Nature's inspiration to help you with designing a project....

The number one question I am always asked is "As a textile artist, how do you know where to start when designing?"
the answer is simple... I don't!
I'm a firm believer in letting a design evolve in an organic way and apply this philosophy
to all my designing but I know that many crafters find this concept quite hard to follow.

If you love stitching, by hand or machine, you will want to experiment with colour, texture and of course think of your own designs.
Once you have gained confidence in your actual stitching from using a pattern you will want to move on and start designing your own projects.

I've previously written a tutorial on how to gain inspiration from Mother Nature to help you get started which you can read here

Today I am showing you how to use those ideas in the next stage of your designing...
Using elements from Mother Nature...

I hope you will gain some ideas from the following tutorial....

Creating an Autumnal Design

Last week I collected these leaves on an early morning walk not knowing quite 
what I wanted to do with them.
I simply loved the colours, the smells, the shapes and the textures!
I wanted to capture their beauty for future projects.

So, how to get started transforming them into a design?

Start by photographing each leaf in turn to show more detail and finer points to include in your design.

 Take time to look carefully at the colours, the shades and how the pattern emerges together

The next step is to capture your leaves actually onto paper for future reference.
You do not need to be an artist to do this....

Using a normal HB pencil and piece of plain white paper, simply trace a fine line around each leaf in turn to help you become familiar with the shape of each leaf.

Please do not worry about being exact because you can add a little more detail once you start shading.
You may want to only use the outline of your leaf for a particular design rather than a full leaf so try experimenting with ideas.

I like to use Derwent Artist's drawing pencils but you can use any medium you prefer.
You may prefer to use felt -tips (for a firmer outline), charcoal or even watercolour pencils
that you can later add more detail to.

The process is simply to take things back to basics and look at the shape of the leaf
and how the shading alters the actual look of the leaf.

Allow yourself permission to take time and focus on the leaf itself.....

These doodles will form the foundation of your designs however you decided to use them.
You can keep them as a visual reference and if you combine them with your original photos
you will have a choice of designs.

I chose a few of my leaves to combine to compare shapes and designs....
Here are a few questions that may help you decide what to look for when doodling...

Do you want to capture the glossiness of the surface?

Have you looked carefully at the leaf veins?

How many colours will you need to use?

Don't forget you DON'T have to use the exact colouring...
It is your interpretation.
You are simply using this as part of deciding how you would use your leaves in your design.
There are no right or wrong ways!

Even if you have no idea of how your leaves will be used in a design as yet you will have your doodles in your reference library that you can use time and time again....

You may want to use them for 
- hand embroidery
- free motion embroidery
- machine embroidery
- mixed media collage
- card making

I have used my designs on a piece of calico with some free motion embroidery
which I may make into a bigger piece of textile art

You can see that I have used the actual size of the leaves but you can of course reduce or 
increase your sizes to suit your project.

I often draw with my enbroidery threads creating shading as I work but you may want to work on top of your designs if you have maybe painted them onto fabric.
Of course, you will need to make sure you use washable markers if you intend to launder your actual project.

If you would like some more inspiration for Autumnal projects you can check out my Pinterest board

I hope these few simple rules will help
when starting to design...

I would love to see some of your lovely projects...

Happy stitching...

x x x

Sunday 1 November 2015

Autumnal Inspiration....

Hello my lovelies!
November already.....
Just exactly where has this year disappeared to?
(answers on a postcard pleased to Tilly

It really doesn't seem possible that we are turning our thoughts towards that
time of year....
dare I actually say the  'C' word out loud?

As many of you know I'm really not a lover of the torrent heat of summer but neither am I a fan of the bitterly cold Winter.
 I much prefer the gorgeous seasons of Spring & Autumn...
the seasons when you can wander out in just a thick wooly, some boots and a warm scarf to keep your neck all snuggled.

How about you?
I absolutely adore walking in the Autumn mists and smelling the change of season in the air...
Last week I managed a beautiful walk early in the morning when most people were asleep.
Greeted with early morning mists, dewy cobwebs and damp carpets of muddy grass I ventured out with my little camera for company.
At times like this, I do wish I had a lovely dog to have as a faithful friend to accompany me on my wanderings but hey, you can't have everything in life I guess...

My mission?
Simply to take in the sights, smells and sounds of Autumn early in the morning.
I've always been a fan of early morning since a teenager, when I had a paper round.
There was always something quite magical about the quietness of the day.
My thoughts have never altered and I still love to walk early in the morning when I can.

Mother Nature didn't disappoint and I managed to snap loads of beauties...

I do wish I had a better camera to get the really fine details and sharper colours.
(It's on my Christmas list!)

I love to save my shots for inspiration when designing especially when doing some free motion embroidery.
I always go home feeling very inspired from the sights I capture however big or small and then love taking some time out to doodle away in my journal a little, like a modern version of the Edwardian lady - Edith Holden.
I wonder if she would've enjoyed my sketches and embroideries?

As I wandered home with my collection of wet leaves I had collected along the way I decided I wanted to do a little tutorial for you all to help get started when taking inspiration from Mother Nature as many of you lovelies have said you sometimes struggle with knowing how to start etc.
Watch out for my next blog post with all the details...

In the meantime I'm off for a cuppa or two...
Will you join me?

Toodle-ooh til the next my lovelies!

x x x