Crafty Bird

Welcome to my nest of fibre, fabric, paper, and beads...

Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for dropping by! I have a passion for all sorts of crafty goodness. Creating items with my hands and heart is a perfect complement to my working life.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

silkscreening on the fly

About a month ago I was in full procrastination mode so I attended a free afternoon workshop on silkscreening at the University of Victoria. It was really nice to take the afternoon off and do some craft therapy! The instructor had done a lot of silkscreening and loved to teach how to silkscreen on the fly, using basic materials that are accessible and, most importantly, cheap! She had some frames already constructed from scrap wood to which we tacked down the "screen" which was made from thrifted sheer curtains! The design was constructed by first drawing a picture on paper and then tracing onto the screen. The sections of the screen that you don't want printed were taped off or blocked off with nail polish. You can see the image I chose to print - the tape is gone because you take it off after printing to easily clean up the paint afterwards.

You can use fabric paint to print on to fabric, like t-shirts, or acrylic paint to print onto paper - which is what we did. Here are my lovely silkscreen images printed on computer paper (this was a free workshop after all!). My tweet little birdie and another image that the instructor had prepared using photo emulsion (which process she explained to us).

I really enjoyed the silkscreening on the fly workshop and hope to do some more images, maybe on t-shirts. I also like the idea of using freezer paper to print images on t-shirts and other fabric. You can find instructions for the freezer paper stencil over at Amy's blog, Angrychicken.

I've also been making a few cards lately. So much fun. I have all of my card making supplies spread all over the table making it very accessible, but not great for eating dinners. Here is one card I can show and that I actually remembered to take a photo of (the others still need to reach their recipients!). I used a background stamp of French writing with stippling of chalk inks over the stamp image in order to create the background. The butterfly stamp was used for the main image and a few purple jewel stickers were added for sparkle. I used my pearl paints on the butterfly to make the wings iridescence. The fern stamp was used on the border and envelope.

I have been listening to a couple of different podcasts on my iPod when I take the bus. There are quite a few wonderful podcasts out there for knitting and crafting (and other topics as well). One that I like very much is a new podcast by Irie at Irie Woman's Fascinating Life. She has a great voice and I find her podcasts relaxing with her easy pace and great music. Go check it out!

And one last shout out to all of you who have left comments - Thank you!! It really is wonderful to hear from people that enjoy my blog!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

me-me-me-me-meeeeeee (and bonnets!)

I have been tagged with my very first me-me by Kathy over at WhileTangerineDreams (hi Kathy!)! I visit Kathy's blog daily (as she is very efficient and posts daily) for news on her crafting and other adventures. We started blogging around the same time and it is nice to 'grow' with another blogger.

So, now for the me-me.....

Five minutes to yourself: how would you spend them, ideally?
Sitting on the couch at home with my laptop cruising bloglines looking at all of your fantastic blogs with a good cup of coffee (cream and sugar please) in my hand with a purring kitty on one side and A sitting on the other. Oh, and in my PJs. Here's my spot right next to Oscar's blanket (allergic to cat hair, ya know).
Five bucks to spend right now; how would you spend it?
I would buy a lovely home design magazine full of great photos - I get such enjoyment from magazines. Of course, five dollars rarely buys a whole magazine so I may have to go with a cup of coffee and pan au chocolate (really, I am not copying you Kathy - that is exactly what I had for breakfast yesterday!) from the Italian Bakery just down the street from my home. yum!

Five items in your house you could part with, right now, that you hadn't thought of already?
Hmmm...this is tough because I think a lot about decluttering and what I can and cannot get rid of. Really, I could get rid of almost everything and survive, but that emotional attachment to 'things' makes it hard to dispense with my possessions. So, probably most of my plants (inside and out), my bed (4-poster shaker style), my dresser (that I have had since a child), my yarn stash (agggghhh), most of my books (double agggghhh). Whew, that was tough.

Five items you absolutely, positively could never part with in your house?
My iron bed I have had since I was a child, which is now used as our couch (see photo above); my childhood and family photographs; Oscar the cat; jewelry passed down from my maternal grandmother; old children's books passed down from my paternal great grandmother.

Five words you love? I'll keep it clean here: quotidien, pensive, concomitant, elucidate, and eh (yah, I use it a lot!).

Thanks, Kathy, for the me-me. I think I will pass it on to the following fantastic bloggers, if they would like to participate!
Blair at
Wise Craft
Anna at
Heather at
Orange Blossom Goddess
Cally at
Cally Creates
Anna at
Amelia Raitte: My Fashionable Life

I mentioned that I was making some children's bonnets from the Kingpod mailorder. Here is a couple of pictures of the finished product. I used some heavy cotton fabric that I have in my stash and different ribbon for each bonnet. I like how the ribbon you use really changes the look of the bonnet from more classic to fun and funky. I love them and think they will look great on their recipients!

Well, it is beautiful and sunny out so I think I will walk a bit on the way to school.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Neat stuff!

Well, it has been a fabulous four-day long weekend! I managed to get in a couple of refreshing walks on the beach in between rain storms, watched many movies, and ate very well (thanks to my lovely partner, A). Unfortunately, Mr. A had to go to work today, but that gave me a day at home to putter by myself. I managed to reorganize my knitting stash closet and even sorted through some yarn I bought at thrift stores that I intend to re-thrift. Um, I think I have developed into a yarn snob! Anyways, there is plenty of yarn in my stash to keep me busy for the next few years, let alone all the yucky yarn. Making the softies for my GTAS buddy has inspired me to make a few skirts for my wardrobe - all using fabric that I have been hanging on to for years. It's not Amy Butler or from some of the other wonderful fabric artists out there right now, but I can't justify buying more when I already have so much fabric!

Before the weekend arrived I received my Kingpod Mailorder package from Amy in the mail! Yeah! I had been waiting impatiently as I knew others had received their packages already. Unfortunately, the mail seems to take an extra couple of days to get to Vancouver Island. So, I opened it up right away and there are so many goodies inside - very fun! Amy included a bonnet pattern in three sizes. I have cut out a few bonnets in the child size for some dear children in my life and hope to have them finished tonight or tomorrow. What a great package and such a sweet pattern.

I also want to show off a fantastic t-shirt I won as a door prize recently. It is made by a local team, Duncan Cairns and his friend (whose name I do not know). The artwork on the front is by Luke Ramsey, who can create a *mean* looking bunny (at least I think it's a bunny)! Thought it was rather Easterish (is that a word) with the bunny and the sunny yellow t-shirt.

I love the back as well - great attention to detail. The bottom says "you are wearing clothes" and the upper symbol is U R in sign language.

I just love unique local items. Bonnet update shortly...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

GTAS goodies are on their way!

Sorry for the long absence from blogging! I have been busy finishing up with the semester and doing a little crafting here and there. As I was away for 3 weekends in March and had an essay to write the first weekend in April, I didn't have much time to get to my GTAS swap so I spent this week finishing up the details and getting my package in the mail to my swap partner. A little late (sorry!), but I hope she and her lovely pets will find it worth the wait. I made two softies and a pillow cover/blanket for my partner and I am pretty happy with how they turned out.
Here is Mr. Ducky - he's a bit of a flowery fellow and enjoys swimming in circles to his right (that would be due to my sewing skills!). Mr. Ducky loves to quack it up as well, especially if you squeeze his head (I put one of those annoying squeakers in there).

This is Mr. Bunny. He's an All American guy who loves fireworks and bar-b-ques. He's a bit of a cheeky bunny and loves to make noise. Mr. Bunny and Mr. Ducky enjoyed hanging out on the pillow cover/blanket made from fleece and denim with a zipper at one end to insert a pillow.
I made these guys from a soft toys book I picked up at a thrift store and I also managed to make these items from items I already had (except for the stuffing). I tried to stick with the "use what you have" theme for April started by Simple Sparrow. You can click on her button for use what you have and it will take you to the Flickr group as well.

I hope Mr. Bunny and Mr. Ducky and the blanket all have a safe and speedy trip to their new home! Bon Voyage!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Oscar Alert!

Oscar wants you to know that his mummy is buried under with school work right now and will be back soon!