Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Twinkle!

We will all, no doubt, succumb to the call of chocolate and other delicious naughtiness over the next few days. My favourite treats at the moment are Magnums minis, I can hear them calling me from the back of the supermarket as soon as I walk through the doors. In all my years of researching packaging for heat distressing the wrapping on these ice creams is the best so far. I just love the golden and brown tones that all merge together. If you buy mini ice creams you don't feel SO bad. The boxes are wrapped in a large sheet of gorgeous brown wrapping and then each ice cream is individually wrapped in more beautiful wrapping. Fantastic!

I am sure that most of you reading this will already be aware of these delights but just in case they have passed you by, I thought it my duty to share this with you.

Most food packaging can be textured with an iron just as you would Tyvek (see page 70, Hot Textiles). Place your packaging in between two sheets of baking parchment and iron LIGHTLY in a slow circular movement. You are stroking with the iron, not pressing.

Try cutting the packaging into strips and layer up different tones of gold and brown together. If you are lucky some of the strips will stick to each other. The great thing about this type of packaging is that is stays soft after it has been distressed so you can stitch into it by hand or machine. Nothing much happens with a heat gun so stick to using the iron.

Try thick strips, thin strips, adding Tyvek, other packaging, cellophane . . . . . 
All this can be stitched onto a background of dyed craft Vilene or background of your choice.
You could also iron strips onto painted Bondaweb but you would sacrifice some of the texture of the packaging. Just have fun with it and see what happens.

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas wherever you are and a very Happy, Peaceful and Creative New Year.

p.s Hello Jill and Sandy - 6 months to go! x

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Speaking of Ginger Beer . . . !

I am having a weekend off and even though it has snowed we managed to get out for a walk. We stopped for a coffee in a lovely sunny cafe and while we were reading the menu my eye was drawn to the ginger beer float. I haven't had an icecream float for years  . . . . when was the last time you had one?
I hope you are all coping with the run up to Christmas and that the snow isn't causing too many problems for you all.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Hurrah! and lashings of ginger beer!
I've finished the book. The first draft has gone winging its way to my editor. Oh the relief!!!!

 The book is about layering textiles and here are three of the images that have inspired me in the past months. I am hoping the book will be published ready for The Festival of Quilts next August, but it will be a tight schedule, so fingers crossed.

I have had to remove the heat gun from the website as it has been discontinued, I am hoping to find a replacement at the trade show in February. I will let you all know when I have found one. A 300 watt versions will work - but they take time, and if you are like me with the attention span of a goldfish, you want your heat gun to work fast!

I can now get on with putting my house back together after our best ever Open House. I am looking forward to a weekend off  . . . . . and away . . . . Ho! Ho! Ho!!!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Nearly there!

It's 6am and dark outside. The words are flowing now and I have already eaten TWO  pain au chocolat. I am SO naughty. I seem to need lots of treats to keep me going, why is it only bad carbs will do when you are under pressure? I can be slim and gorgeous next week Ha Ha!! once the book has been delivered.

So - this blog is supposed to be about promoting Hot Textiles - not books and snow. 

The sample above shows dyed lightweight pelmet vilene (green) and Spunbond CS700 (brown) cut with a fine tip soldering iron and bonded onto Spunbond CS800 (blue). If you want to iron on your intricate cut outs, make sure you iron Bondaweb on the back of your products before you cut them. You can leave the backing paper on or take it off when you solder, it's a personal choice.
Don't forget your baking parchment on top and underneath and of course, you need to be soldering onto a ceramic tile or similar.

Right back to writing - keep calm and carry on . . . . .

No Richard, I haven't got to the index yet! x

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

pain au chocolat and coffee . . . .

do you dunk yours?
The snow was washed away on Friday night by very heavy rain, it was a miracle. We went to bed with thick snow on the ground and woke up on Saturday morning to virtually no snow at all. We now have freezing fog, which is very beautiful in the garden decorating all the different textures with white lace - but deadly on the roads.

The change in the weather was very timely for a busy Open House weekend. I was particularly pleased this weekend as I sold a large piece of work of my own for a change. It always does my confidence a power of good to sell something - it also helps my groaning bank balance!

 . . of land, sea and sky

'. . . of land, sea and sky' was created on two 'L' shaped canvases by layering hand dyed silk tops onto similarly dyed heavy pelmet Vilene plus and 'knocked back' with toning painted Bondaweb. The whole piece was then painted with acrylic wax to seal the surface. The piece can be hung as one solid work or slightly separated. I shall miss this work but I will feel more inspired to develop some new ideas now.

 . . . . or I will be when I have finished my book, I am nearly there but I am having to get up earlier every day to try to meet the deadline. I am so easily distracted plus has been busy this week.

I am listening to the radio travel and weather news as I write this blog and I hope those of you reading this in Scotland who are suffering such awful weather are safe and warm.

take care and keep in touch

Thursday, 2 December 2010

. . . . be careful what you wish for . . . . . !

. . . . . . well that will teach me to say I have never been anywhere cold before! It's minus five today but feels like minus 10. Now I know what I will be wearing in Alaska. We had another 10" of snow last night. I am well and truly trapped now. This is the view from my window.

I have always loved living on top of a hill at the end of a very large cul de sac, it is very quiet with wonderful views, now I am not so sure. 
Hey ho!!! I have enough food for three more days and it SHOULD clear up a bit by then - I hope. My local shop is a mile away which I could walk to if ABSOLUTELY necessary, but I don't want to fall over. Two of my friends have fallen over and broken their wrists. I had an email from one of my customers in Scotland telling me they had been in Arctic conditions for the past 9 days. 

The most important thing is that we all look after each other. Keep warm and if you are bored, keep in touch . . . . I'm only writing a book . . . . . disturb me anytime  . . . . . x

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Wow it's chilly! The snow has arrived in Brighton and I am trapped in my house so the chains weren't necessary after all. I am happily typing away grooving to the new Caro Emerald album - 'Scenes from a cutting room floor'. It is FAB! The book is coming along well and I HOPE to be ready for the December 10th deadline.

That's enough prevarication - back to the book. I've fed the birds, cleared the ice from the bird baths, done the washing up and written and sent the monthly newsletter so there is no excuse.  

We have two more week ends to go of my Open House - I do hope the snow clears a bit so everyone can get to my house.

I hope you are all keeping snug and warm.

Hello to all of you enjoying warmer temperatures around the world - think of us shivering in our boots!!!!!