Sunday, September 27, 2015

Go Green!

I've always thought green prints would not be a very popular, so I have never printed much in this colour. However I thought I would print up some of my designs in green - just for the Christmas rush. Tea towels only though.

Most of these will end up in my Etsy shop in a week or two. Very pretty!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Practicing Frame Purse Making

I obtained some inexpensive purse frames and have started perfecting my frame purse sewing technique. Quite tricky particularly the glue part. So far I have managed to get glue on the fabric each time I've made one - not just in the frame channel. I think I am still using too much goop.  Fortunately I seem to be able to get rid of most of it using nail polish remover - once it has well and truly dried.
But they don't look bad at all - now these frames need a bit of road testing.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

More Cushion Covers - and Another (Newish) Print

My linen cushion covers are proving popular so I printed another two using different coloured inks

Lovely flowering eucalypt in white on unbleached (flax) linen...and

The iconic banksia in deep deep navy printed on oatmeal linen - yum.
While I was at it I also printed the banksia to make placemats, a table runner and tea towels.

Tres elegant!

I must have a "thing" about navy at the moment - wattle napkins - one set of 4 now in my Etsy shop!

And it's wattle flowering time right now in my neighbourhood

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pure Linen Cushion Covers

At last I have printed some pure linen cushion covers. I have experimented with linen/cotton blend but nothing beats the beauty and luxury of pure linen. These covers are professionally sewn (pre-shrunk and overlocked seams) and use the same mid weight fabric as my other linen homewares. The size is approx. 48x48cm, and 50cm cushion inserts readily available from Ikea or Spotlight make for nice plump cushions. Now in my Etsy shop - just four to start with.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


I've wanted to learn how to make frame purses for some time, but it has been on the back burner until now. Mr Google found me a purse frame workshop here in Brisbane this weekend and fortunately I was able to book in.  Two hours was all it took for a newbie like me to produce this little beauty, using my fan palm design screen printed fabric.

The class was held at Voodoo Rabbit fabric store (and they are organising more), using a You Sew Girl pattern which included the nice sturdy frame. The class was great value for money!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Botanique Art Bazaar On Soon

Gorgeous art and craft pieces exhibited in the delightful Richard Randall Studio in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Cootha, Toowong.

All the details here!
I'll have some of my new screenprinted cushions and scarves at the Bazaar as well as tea towels, placemats, table runners and shoulder bags and purses.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

My First (Successful) Printed Scarves

Finally some success!

On the right are the fine habotai silk scarves which proved so difficult to print. Now I can experiment with layering and multiple prints.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Getting to Know You....

Getting to grips with new equipment has taken up an enormous amount of time in the last few weeks. I have replaced all my screens with lightweight aluminium and also lightweight wooden squeegees.
I look back to the time - only a couple of years ago - when the squeegee I was using was enormously heavy - 1.5+ kilos and very unergonomically designed. I probably did some damage to my hands and wrists. I certainly couldn't have coped doing the amount of printing I do now.

You would think the changeover would be easy - not so. Not all screens are the same - and it took me a while to find some that suited me - tension and weight wise. The same with squeegees - different types push through different amounts of ink I have discovered. With unexpected effects.

But I think I have finally got the hang of basic fabric printing now with this new equipment, including very fine cotton - scarves have been my latest. But I haven't mastered fine silk (scarves) yet. Lots of painty messes in the studio as I try out different ways and different screens for silk.
And I have discovered Permaset Print Paste - produces lovely translucent colours for scarf printing. Lots of fun playing around mixing colours with this.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cushion Cover Collection

Well not quite a collection just yet, but I have certainly got into the swing of printing them just lately. I have recently replaced all my screens and squeegees and have had to learn the idiosyncrasies of my new tools afresh. Quite a learning curve as there are no black and white rules in screen printing - well not in my experience anyway. Fortunately I have access to lots of old sheet fabric so have been able to practice to my heart's content. Now happy ;-)

And equipped with my new equipment and new knowledge I produced something useful at the end of it all - screen printed cushion covers!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Two Birds, One Stone

I have had two projects in mind for some time now. One - to recut my eucalypt stencil and Two - to further investigate printing cushions.

I haven't been totally happy with my eucalypt print as I felt it was a bit too large and the detail not fine enough. Yet it is popular, so worth the time spent improving. I used the same design and recut  and tried out the print again.
I'm much happier with this result. Table runners and napkins to be printed tomorrow!

My linen supplier has launched a new line - blank linen 75%/cotton 25% ready made cushions, with an invisible zip opening. The fabric is quite light weight, only comes in an off white shade and the one large size - 50cm x 50cm but they look well made and worth a trial. So I printed one up recently using my newly cut eucalypt stencil and am quite pleased with the result. I just need to give it a good road testing now for a while, to see how robust the item is.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fibre Fest - This Weekend

If you are looking for some inspiration this weekend, don't miss this!

Monday, February 23, 2015

New Colour, New Tool

I tried a new colour for my casuarina print, cut last year and tweaked a bit this year - deep olivey green - just like the real tree. Previously I had just printed it in white.

The print is on an oatmeal linen tea towel. For ages I have been wishing I could work out how to remove the background in my photos, or make it transparent, particularly for loading photos into my Etsy shop. Picasa, my favourite editing program doesn't have that feature yet (but it now has 'straighten' which I seem to use all the time for my regularly crooked photos), and I had mucked around using my Photoshop Elements program and the eraser tool, but it all seemed so tedious and time consuming so I didn't persevere - just admired others' photos. And then I discovered Photoshop's Magic Extractor tool while browsing my Photoshop for Dummies book (there are also a couple of videos on YouTube). Voila....

 The trick is to use a strong contrast for the background so the extraction is nice and clean. So the image above started life like this - just photographed on a piece of red card.
Then a quick task to separately identify the foreground you want to keep, and the background to get rid of, using the two little paintbrush tools in the Magic Extractor program. Easy peasy. No stopping me now.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Year, New Print

I am aiming to produce one new print per month - ha ha. I am already one month behind - since it is now February. This one - the lilly pilly (isn't there one in everyone's garden?) was planned and the stencil cut in December and printed last week. Another week of drying and curing and it will be ready to add to my Etsy shop. 

One benefit of being tardy - if I had produced it in January I wouldn't have been able to photograph the magnificent berries now mature on my garden plant. What a colour!