Sunday 10 January 2016

And now it's 2016!

Happy New Year!

And it's been a good start to 2016 as I've already managed to slip back into my alter ego Victorian mood and create a couple of collage pieces. I've spent the last couple of years concentrating on other textile work and studies. Please do pop over to for a look at what else I've been up to, where you can read and follow my other blog.

Here are a few photos of my works in progress:

you can see that the vintage lace is complete with original tea stains, which of course won't wash out but I think it adds to the story. I'll probably add more hand stitch and then decide whether to mount them in frames or do something else with them, maybe make them into little books. 

Each piece is 12"x8"

That's all for now! As always I'd love to receive any comments.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Inertia Rules!

Oops!  The news to report is that there isn't any. I'm ashamed to say that the new project hasn't been touched since my last blog post. I've been busy with lots of other stuff but there is also that strange thing about putting something away when tidying up and then it just gets completely forgotten. Out of sight out of mind!

Anyway I can tell that you're all desperate to know what it's going to be ......JJ.... so I'll tell you. Which of course will save you having to wait in suspense for the next few years. 

It's going to be a nest of three boxes. The structure is supported by coffee stained craft vilene for body, the inside is as shown here, and on the reverse of the vilene is the dusky pinks which will be the outer box. As you can see, so far only the larger box has been covered, I've yet to do the two smaller ones. 

When the vilene is completely covered, embellished and stitched, the sides lift up and the box is formed with ribbons to close tied around shell buttons at the tops. Each box nests inside the other. The idea is that you drop one side of the boxes down to reveal the inner designs, kind of like secret compartments in a treasure chest, and I planned to put little messages inside as well.

Don't watch this space! But I will post photos when it's all finished and ready for sale.

Saturday 29 June 2013

A Sneaky Preview

I've started working on a new project using bits and pieces from my Victorian closet. At first I thought I might be able to finish it fairly quickly but it's amazing how much time it takes to get ideas focused! Auditioning fabrics and embellishments is like a game of put and take and before I know it hours can pass, especially as I have the entire treasure box contents tipped out all over my table and my iPod glued to my ears!! Bliss! #kidinatoyshop

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to post up some photos of a work in progress ~ and that will inspire me to keep going and get it finished. It needs a lot more work and lots of stitch embellishment before I can put it together.

Also there are a further 16 'pieces' to make yet before I can start assembling it!  Can you guess what it will be?

A light prefelt base is behind the hand dyed dusky pink silk to give it some body. It was white to start with so I thought I would coffee dye it just in case it showed through. It went a lovely colour and smelt gorgeous. All was well until I put it under the embellisher machine ....... the dried coffee came out as brown powder all over the machine and stuck to the needle plate! Oops! I thought it was rust at first. Anyway it cleaned up ok eventually (it was everywhere) and my machine also smells very nice now :)

So ....... can you guess what I'm making?

Thursday 25 April 2013

A Little Stash of Treasures

Ooh just look what I found in my Victorian Closet today  ~

these are just asking to be made into something new and lovely don't you think?

recycle   ~   rethread   ~   reuse

It's now the final couple of weeks of college so I need to concentrate on finishing my course work. After that I'm looking forward to making some new pretty things during the summer break, and I need to as I'm very pleased to report that I've sold a couple of things in my online shop.  How lovely! Lots of incentive now to restock the shop. 

Saturday 20 April 2013

Sharing The Love ...

I'm always on the look out for inspirational blogs and websites. I love Pinterest too. It's amazing that through social networking tools we can access stories, photos and tutorials from all over the world. How did we manage before! Today I thought I'd share just a few of my favourite things, so grab yersel' a cuppie and hae a wee browse with me:

a nice photo of a Victorian Closet - mine is of course just as tidy

And here's my Pinterest board for Sepia Moods:

I hope you enjoy ~ I find that one link leads to another and before I know it my coffee is cold! (by the way......I always use coffee to stain fabrics, lace or paper instead of tea, you get a nicer colour and it smells great!)

Sunday 14 April 2013


One of the other things I collect is books. These are not kept in my Victorian Closet but are all over the house. I can't resist a good book and am always reading all the time. Now I confess to a new love ~ and that is my Kindle. Just about the best gadget I've ever owned, I love my Kindle!

As part of my spring clean I've decided to clear out many of my old books. This would've been unthinkable in the past, but now I know for sure that I'll never read them again - if I wanted to revisit any I'd just buy them as ebooks. In our household the number of books runs into the thousands rather than hundreds and I think we are very overdue for a cull.

One of the few exceptions that I couldn't bear to part with, and definitely not suitable for Kindle reading, is my collection of arts, crafts and sewing books. I always have these types of books on my Christmas wish list, they are usually hardbacks and always beautifully illustrated, and above all so inspiring. Each one is a visual feast and I can't really say that I have an out and out favourite, I love 'em all!

Clearly my bookcases are in need of a spring spruce up ~ no cull, just a tidy! That is a bunch of Honesty seed pods that has fallen down the back ~ I wondered where they'd gone!

I was having a  rainy Sunday morning search on and I found this book which I thought looked really interesting:

Lace in Translation 

Book Description
25 May 2010
For "Lace in Translation", the European designers Tord Boontje and Demakersvan and the North American sculptor Cal Lane were commissioned to create site-specific installations recasting traditional notions of lace and its making. These three internationally renowned figures deployed unexpected materials and technologies that range from a hand-woven raffia curtain and laser-cut fabrics, to lace filigree cut into a steel oil tank and burned into grass, to a chain-link fence woven in a Quaker Lace design. 

Here is the link:

I'm not sure I'll buy it, I wish it had the 'look inside' facility which many books have on the Amazon site. Perhaps I could see if the library in Perth would order it in for me, they're usually pretty good.
Does anyone have a favourite art or textiles book they can recommend? I'd love to know what other people's favourites are.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Spring Cleaning

Two weeks holiday from college and the sun is shining! There's still snow in the garden and on the hills, the daffodils have no flowers yet but it seems like a good time for a spring clean and a clear out. After a good spruce up in the rest of the house I started on my Victorian Closet. It was like a game of chess .... everything came out, then got organised, then moved around, then removed altogether, and then it all went back in the closet again!!!  How can I possibly throw anything out. But at least I had a good look at what's hiding in there waiting to be reused.

Whilst rummaging in my drawers I found quite a lot of old buttons. I've started colour matching them and putting them in little jars. I love button jars, they look like sweeties. Here are a few of the white ones:

Then a friend emailed and asked if I had any pink silk ~ answer yes ~ so I've made her up a little package which I'll put in the post for her tomorrow. So that's one thing away! :

Back to playing with buttons now ~ these are the fun parts that I love about spring clear ups.