About Me

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I am a lifelong fabric artist who loves bringing a home to life with quirky, unique and sumptuous pieces of textile art. I learnt my craft from sharing many a happy hour sewing with my talented mother. I particularly like collage, free-machining, needle-felting and creating home furnishings using a combination of machine and hand sewing. I love incorporating vintage and reclaimed fabrics, buttons, beads, jewellery and other items in my work to give them a second chance at being beautiful.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

WOYWW - A very special birthday card

Morning all! A very quiet workdesk awaits you all this morning. Yesterday was Ben's birthday and we had his party at the weekend so very little sewing has been on the go this week

I have found time to make a special first birthday card - hungry caterpillar themed of course.

Ben seemed pleased with it anyway.

On my desk this morning I have threads, felt and buttons ready to make another girlie birthday picture for Ben's bestie, Isabelle, who turns one at the weekend, rounding off a long run of first birthdays.

That's all for my crafting this week so I'll round off with some pictures from Ben's party (you can see the bunting, pompoms and cake I made him and nanny Twiglet's banner)  and from his birthday trip to Home Farm, the farm which once supplied Attingham Park (now National Trust). Ben enjoyed his first encounter with piglets, sheep and calves.

Thanks for stopping by, I'll swing by some WOYWW workdesks later today to catch up on your news.

Happy crafting :-)

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

WOYWW - Deck the Halls with...Hungry Caterpillars

Welcome to another What's on your Workdesk Wednesday!

With only three days left until Ben's birthday party my desk has been taken over by all things hungry caterpillar!

I've made bunting and pom poms to decorate the party pad (a.k.a Nanny and Grandad's house). I've done triangular bunting, rectangular bunting and chevron shaped bunting. I am now suffering from bunting maker's finger. What is this hideous blight I hear you say???! Well it is when you chop away so furiously with stiff pinking sheers that you wear a layer of skin off the middle finger of your right hand. Mum blames it on me being a left-hander!

Nanny (Twiglet) has made a fab banner which she is no doubt showcasing over on her blog.

Not much dumfing (needle-felting) has happened this week. I've mainly been trying to find mounts and frames for my latest work.

As anticipated, virtually none of my mounts and frames fit the pictures I've dumfed!! The difficulty is that dumfing and free-machine embroidery both tend to make a piece of work shrink, so what you start with is not what you finish up with! I think I need another sortie to Ikea to track down some suitable frames...

Once mounted, all my new pieces will be going into my Etsy shop.

It's a short but sweet post this week, lots more birthday bits and bobs to finish. Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. I'll hopefully swing by some other WOYWWers today too.

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

WOYWW - Needle-felted miniature gardens, a trip down memory lane and fairground fun

Morning all! Well it's been another busy week at Tilly Tea Dance Towers. Birthday planning continues with gusto ahead of Ben's first birthday, Ive been listing all Ben's baby clothes on ebay and I've finally got round to moving some of my stored items out of my parents house (more about that later). Despite these jobs I've still made time for some dumfing (a.k.a needle-felting).

Here's the workdesk this week...

Now that I am once again absorbed in dumfing, I decided that I needed to stock up on my supply of embroidery threads.

Ok so to be totally honest I was casually browsing the shelves of TK Maxx and spotted this package of brightly coloured skeins and felt that 'have to have it' warm glow we crafters get when we see something nice. You've got to admit it does look tempting. The question is, will I ever disturb the lovely neat rows of thread to use any of it!!

The dumfing I started last week is also on my desk, now embellished and ready to mount. I bet I've got every mount except the sizes I need!

New dumfing has taken place almost every evening. I had almost forgotten how good needle-felting is for helping you to wind down.

I have used the large background piece from last week's desk to start another poppy picture which will be free-machine embroidered, and I've done a few more miniature backgrounds which will be hand embroidered and made into cards or small pictures.

I'm sure by now you will have noticed some extra little friends loitering around my workdesk this week.

These are my 25 year-old Sylvanian families which have been reunited with their loving owner having been boxed up for decades. The intervening years have been spent lodging with mum and dad and, as they've been moving house, I felt it was time to relieve them of their duty of care! I'm not quite sure what I'll do with my vintage Sylvanian empire just yet. The little man may inherit some, whilst other bits might find a new life via eBay. Whatever the future holds for these woodland furries it's been lovely looking back over my childhood!

My last little pic is from earlier in the week when I took Ben on his first carousel. The boy loved it! He definitely has his mum's love of rides so no doubt we'll have many a fun time in the years to come whizzing around Alton Towers, Disney World etc.

Ill be popping over to Julia's Stamping Ground and look forward to catching up with other crafters taking part in WOYWW.

Happy crafting x

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

WOYWW - Needle-felting fun and a peacock

Morning all! With the bank holiday I feel like I've lost a day and WOYWW has come round mighty quick this week.

I'm delighted to say I've been able to make time this week for a little light dumfing (a.k.a needle-felting). With all the busy book and sensory toy making it's been a few months since my last felting session. I guess it's like riding a bike...you never forget, but I have to say I felt a bit rusty as I prodded away with my dumfing tool.

So here's my workdesk. . .

I've managed to do a bit of everything but not managed to finish anything!

There are some hand-felted mini gardens which I got as far as hand embroidering and beading....

I'll be running workshops on these later this year and early next year so I'm keen to make a range of different flowers to demonstrate.

There's a selection of wet felted background pieces which I have worked on with the dumfing machine (the most satisfying crafting activity I know) ready to add foreground flowers. I've used three different colours to try and steer myself away from just doing poppies, which I love.

Finally there is a long strip of poppies which I have free machine embroidered but not yet beaded. The poppy picture in the foreground is a felters's answer to a crib sheet - one I made earlier!

My last little show and tell is not my work at all but a snap shot of Benjamin's work desk following a little (mess-free) painting activity we did this week.

He seemed somewhat puzzled as to why I was encouraging him to squelch and prod a plastic pouch selotaped to the floor but he stuck with it. Here's his finished piece. Though the poster paint has cracked on the canvas, I think you will all agree it is clearly a peacock in motion!!

Thanks for dropping by. I look forward to visiting a few workdesks today via Julia's Stamping Ground

Happy crafting x