Friday, 13 October 2017

Pyrography Purse

OMG! I can't believe I've not blogged since July!!! Where does the time fly?!? Blink and you miss it!

Sorry for the radio silence, one overseas family drama and a smashed knee cap later and I'm back... :)

This time I have a rather sweet pyrographed leather purse. Everyone knows that you can pyrograph wood but did you know you can pyrograph other surfaces too such as tooling leather...

Please note you need to make sure that the leather you use is suitable for pyrography i.e. tooling leather available from leather work specialists. (Other kinds of leather can release the chemicals used in the tanning process which, when burnt, can be carcinogenic if inhaled.)

It's rather fun pyrographing leather though and can be much quicker than working on wood. You don't need a lot to get started with pyrography. In fact, all you need is a heat resistant surface to work on and a pyrography tool. I use Efco's basic Pyrography Pen Tool which comes with 6 burning tips and retails at about £15. The only other thing you need is some wood or tooling leather etc to work on. I tend to use stencils for my designs but you can create your own designs for free!

Here's what you'll need if you want to make the little purse pictured above (instructions below)... 

Pyrography Tool (1840001)
Offcut of tooling leather
Ornaments Stencil (9320907)
Black Permanent Marker or Pencil
Waxed Cotton Cord, 1mm Olive (2002567)
Large Needle
Leaf Button (1174785)
Transparent Thread, 0.45mm (1005245)
Awl (1827109)
Screw Hole Punch (1801821)
Knife (1802533), Ruler & Mat
PVA glue
Heat resistant surface to work on

(Efco Product Codes in Brackets)

Step 1. Cut a piece of leather approx. 8 x 20 cm.

Step 2. Position the bottom edge of the stencil just over 7 cm from one short side with the motif (pictured above) in the centre (approx. 2cm space either side). Carefully trace around the motif with a black permanent marker. You can use a pencil instead if you'd prefer but the marker will make it easier to create a strong, dark outline very quickly.

Step 3. Gently trace around the marked out design with the pyrography tool, burning the design into the leather.

Step 4. Fill in the design by lightly running the tip of the pyrography tool over the leather.

Step 5. Build up depth and shading by continuing to go over the design in some areas with the pyrography tool. (nb. at no point should you need to press hard with the pyrography tool - when working with leather a light touch is all that is needed.) 

Don't worry if the leather warps or buckles a little. That is perfectly natural when working with thinner supple leather and the pyrography tool. Once it is all laced up it won't register at all.

Step 6. Turn the leather over and fold the bottom 7cm up. Use the awl to mark where you want to punch holes. Use the smallest hole tip of the screw punch to punch holes in the front and back of both sides. I punched 9 holes down each side - one near the top, one near the bottom, then one in the middle, then one in the middle top and bottom and so on.

Top Tip: If you look at the top left hole you will see it looks a little bigger and darker around the edge - that is because it was the first hole I punched and I created it by punching through both layers from the front. To avoid that (as per all the other holes) you need to, having marked all the holes with the awl, open up the leather and punch each hole individually from the inside out. That way you'll get a much neater finish.

Step 7. Cut two pieces of waxed cotton cord approximately 50cm long. Take one piece and thread either end through the bottom hole (front & back) in opposite directions. Cross over and thread them through the next hole. Continue in the same fashion up both sides.

Step 8. When you've laced about four holes up either side, fold the top flap down so you can work out where to position your button. Sew it in position using transparent thread. Tie a knot in the ends (on the inside), trim the excess and add a dab of glue for extra security. Then continue to lace up both sides to the top.

Step 9. At the top finish the lacing on each side with both ends on the inside of the purse (i.e. instead of passing the threads all the way through both the front and back, thread one through to the inside. Thread the other all the way through and back round again to the inside only.) Tie a knot as tight as possible to the lacing and trim the ends. Tuck the knots down inside the purse. (For extra security you can add a dab of glue if you want to.)

Step 10. To finish your closure use the awl to make two holes 1 cm apart (i.e. 3.5 cm in from either side) and 1 cm up from the edge on the flap. Make another hole 5mm from the edge in the centre. Thread the end of a piece cord (approx. 16 cm long) through the top two holes and tie a knot underneath (trim any excess from the short end). Thread the other end up through the remaining hole and tie a knot at the end of the cord.

Alternatively you could use a magnetic closure (9742310) and fix the button to the flap to hide the metal tabs of the closure fixing. 

You can leave the purse here and consider it finished alternatively you can add more decoration on the flap so that the cord fixing is not as obvious...

I think they make great presents as you could personalise them with designs or words to fit the recipients. They don't have to be used to hold money - they could used for niknaks, jewellery or any small items. I use my purse to store my in-ear headphones in so they don't get tangled up or broken in my handbag!

Happy crafting everyone!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

It's in the Bag!

Hi Everyone

It was great being up at the Hochanda studios again and to catch up with everyone there - they are such a lovely bunch! The DoodleArt stamps, Versafine Inkpad set and mini carrier bags seemed to be the most popular items so I thought I'd share the instructions for the Orient Elephant Stamped Bag I demonstrated on the first show. (If you missed the show but would like to catch up you can do that here.)

Materials needed:
Orient DoodleArt Stamp (45 110 83)
Mini Blue Versafine Inkpad (45 113 15)
Cotton Canvas Mini Bag (12 149 03)
Stamping Mat (45 109 99)
Acrylic Block (45 109 04)
Textile Markers (19 903 12)
Painters Masking Tape (local DIY Store)
Scrap paper
Stamp cleaner or Babywipes
Heat Embossing Tool and Iron for Heat Setting

(Efco product codes in brackets)

Step 1. Use a piece of masking tape to mark where you want the bottom edge of your design to be on your bag. Then place the stamping mat on your work surface with a piece of scrap paper on top and then your masked bag on top of that.

Step 2. Position the orient stamp on your acrylic block and ink it up with blue Versafine ink.

Step 3. Position the stamp face down at the left edge of your bag just above the masking tape, making sure the design reaches the just over the edge without losing any of the elephant. Apply pressure to the back of the acrylic block making sure you pay particular attention to the seam edge of the bag.

Step 4. Slide the bag by pulling on the sheet of paper so that the bag seam is off the stamping mat. Make sure the bag seam butts up tightly with the edge of the stamping mat without actually being on top of it. Then press hard on the whole of the stamp to transfer the ink to the bag.

Step 5. Remove the stamp and you should find the entire image has transferred to the bag.

Step 6. Re-ink the stamp without worrying about cleaning it. Carefully stamp it down lining it up with the edge of the first image and the top of the masking tape. Being clear you should be able to see the first image through the block and stamp as you get close to the bag. 

Step 7. Re-ink the stamp one last time and stamp it next to the second image, again following the top edge of the masking tape. Apply pressure to the stamp paying particular attention to the seam edge of the bag.

Step 8. Once again use the paper to slide the bag off the edge of the stamping mat so that the seam butts up against it. Then apply pressure all over the stamp to transfer the ink.

Step 9. Remove the masking tape and clean your stamp. Heat set the ink with your heat embossing tool before colouring it in with textile markers. 

Step 10. When you have coloured in as much or as little as you want heat set the design with a cool iron for 5 minutes. (nb. Cover with an old cloth with ironing.)

Once heat set, the bag can be washed occasionally. If you want to be able to wash it regularly then you will need to use a fabric ink pad which is deliberately designed to be washable rather than the Versafine one used here. Versafine ink pads are oil based inks which have been designed to get the best images when using detailed stamps. They are also good for your stamps unlike alcohol based ones. The Efco textile markers are permanent and can be washed at 40ยบ once they have been heat set as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Next Dimension in Doodling!

Hi Everyone,

I've been busy getting ready for today's Hochanda TV DoodleArt Shows (at 3pm and 7pm) and reliving my childhood too! I don't know if anyone else remembers the Doodleart posters that used to be available - I know I spent hours and hours colouring them in. 

Anyway Efco have taken adult colouring to the next dimension with their range of DoodleArt boxes and letters...

They can be coloured in with pens and pencils, even watercolour pencils and acrylic markers and embellished with crystals and glitter etc. Some, like the heart design can even be part decoupaged!

Efco have also brought out a range of DoodleArt Stamps some of which tie in with their range of Texture Mats. These are intricate designs which are great for adult colouring and creating backgrounds etc. You can use them to make cards, decorate bags and other items too. 

You can even use them in mixed media projects such as this book cover...

I will upload instructions for the book cover and also how to get the best images on the fabric bags when creating repeating patterns, so watch this space!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Bags of Cork!

Hi Everyone

Here's the instructions for how to create the small cork leather bag I promised Hochanda viewers on my last show...

Cork Leather Sheet (Marron) 45 x 35 cm (3370600)
Cork Tape 5mm x 100 cm  (3374005)
Cork Tape 10mm x 100 cm (3374010)
Cork Tape 20mm x 100 cm (3374020)
Sewing Machine & Thread
Wonder Clips & Pencil
Small piece of Mountboard
Scissors, Knife, Ruler & Cutting Mat

Step 1. Cut a 7 cm strip from the long edge of a piece of cork leather. Cut 2 x 18cm long pieces from the strip and from both pieces cut a 5 mm square from two corners (see photo).

Step 2. Mark the centre of the large cork piece and the middle of the two side gussets. Place the side pieces on the main piece, wrong sides together, lining up the marks and the side edges.

Step 3. Sew approx 5mm in from the edge along the bottom of each gusset.

Step 4. Position the 5mm cork tape approx. 25mm from the edge of the short sides of the bag. (You can use the 20mm tape as a guide if desired.) Sew down the middle of the 5mm tape, securing the ends with back stitching. Trim the ends flush with the Marron cork.

Top Tip: When sewing the tapes in position across the top of the bag make sure you overhang the tape at either end as it tends to travel a little whilst sewing. This will stop it appearing to be too short at the edges.

Step 5. Cut the 10mm cork tape in half. Position the ends approx. 3cm from the side edges, butting them up to the 5mm tape.

Step 6. Sew the ends in position with a square of stitching going onto the 5mm tape to firmly secure the handle ends. (See photo)

Step 7. Sew the 20mm tape along the top edge of the bag on either side, trimming the ends as necessary.

Step 8. Line up the side seams with the gusset on either side and sew them approx. 5mm from the edge.

Step 9. You will need to finish the corners by hand as they will be too tight for the sewing machine.

Step 10. Cut a piece of card 27 x 6.5 cm to help shape the base of the bag.

There are four different cork leather designs available: Marron is the only dark one so you get a great contrast with the cork tapes, but there are also Granulo, Mosaic and Stripes if you prefer a lighter coloured bag.

Cork is also available as paper and fabric (The fabric is called Tissue but it is definitely fabric with a woven backing and not tissue.) Both the leather and fabric can be hand washed and ironed on a low setting.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Creaflexx film from Efco

Hi Everyone

I've just realised I never posted images of the Creaflexx samples I created for the efco stand at Stitches this year - duh! I think my injured shoulder is affecting my brain!

Creaflexx is a film which is malleable when heated and hardens, retaining its shape, when cool. You can rework it if necessary by reheating it. It can be cut with scissors or a knife and can be shaped around heat-resistant surfaces. (It can even be diecut by some of the stronger dies e.g. the thick dies from Sizzix.) It is available as transparent and white sheets both of which can be coloured using various media e.g. paints, inks etc. As you have to work it whilst hot it is advisable to work on a heat-resistant surface and to wear thin cotton gloves to protect your hands.

As I will be demonstrating a tiny glimpse of the world of possibilities open to crafters when using Creaflexx on Hochanda TV on 25th May I thought I had better upload some photos as inspiration for everyone. So here goes... 

Creaflexx Flower

Alcohol Inked Flower Earrings
(coloured with alcohol inks)

Creaflexx Flower

Creaflexx Flower Ring
(coloured with pearl acrylic)

White Creaflexx Frame Embellishment
(coloured with acrylics)

Creaflexx Bangle
(coloured with tissue paper & Mod Podge)

Creaflexx Gift Bag
(coloured with iZink inks)

Creaflexx Gift Bag (reverse)
(decorated with transparent Creaflexx 
coloured with alcohol inks)

White Creaflexx Box Embellishments
(coloured with acrylics)

White Creaflexx Feather Necklace
(decorated with a napkin)

Creaflexx Poppy
(coloured with alcohol inks)

Creaflexx Flower Pin
(coloured with alcohol inks)

Creaflexx Poppies

New Baby Gift Box
(Creaflexx used to support stamped images & diecuts)

These are just a few ideas of what you can create using Creaflexx. It doesn't matter whether you're into card making, scrapbooking, jewellery making or general arts & crafts I'm sure you'll find a use for Creaflexx! For instance you could even make a suit of armour from it...

I will also be demonstrating Efco's Starshine film which is another fab product...

I hope you can join me on 25th May for the Creaflexx and Starshine show!

Happy Crafting!