Acropolis: Inspirational photos #1    Sunday, January 15, 2012

The last couple of days I have been sorting through my photos. My husband and I travel a fair amount and I tend to take SO many pictures. Most of my photos are inspirational photos for future textile design work and I thought, I would share some of my 'artsy' photos in a couple of blog posts with you. Hope you'll enjoy them!

The following photos are a slightly different take of Acropolis, Athens, Greece. While vising this amazing place, we got caught in some heavy showers. The moisture brought the colours out in the beautiful ancient paving on the stairs leading up to Acropolis.

Unique Heart Ornaments, Tutorial    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

As a child my mother every year gotmy sister and I to make Christmas ornaments in the weeks leading up toChristmas. We had little store bought ornaments and I believe that myappreciation for unique handmade ornaments started there. I cannot help making Christmas ornaments, and being able to list them in myEtsy shop: SewDanish has been great. Ilove giving the old Danish/Scandinavian traditional ornaments an updatedtwist as well as designing new.

I developed the technique for theseChristmas ornaments, while I was having fun experimenting and making samples forFibrefusion recently published book ‘Muslin’, which is an inspirationaland experimental work book about creating lovely fiber art using thin, inexpensive,loose weave fabrics.  

For the hearts start by layering 10 -12 layers ofmuslin/calico/turbin cotton in approx. 6 x 8 inch (15 x 20 cm) oblong. Themuslin can be any colour you like. If choosing white/off white you havethe option of coloring the hearts after stitching. 

Draw 2 hearts (or any other simpleshape) on a piece of cartridge paper or ‘stitch and tear’. Don’t cut out. Pinthe pattern along the 4 edges of the muslin bundle. If stitching the hearts free hand onthe machine, you may skip drawing a pattern.

Thread your sewing machine andstitch the hearts either by following your pattern or drawing the  shape in free motion on your machine.

When free motion stitching lower thefeed dogs, release the top thread tension and zero the stitch length. Now youare in control of moving the fabric creating the stitched lines.
OR you can leave your machine‘normal’ with the feed dogs up, normal top tension and stitch length 2.5 – 3.Both will work. I prefer free styling it for a morerelaxed look, but have a play and see what suits you.

Stitch, following your first outline, by going over it at least 4 times. You can stitch these bands as wide oras narrow as you like. The stitch lines need to be very close and partly on topof each other.  Now repeat these stitchlines inside the heart. Depending on the size of the heart repeat once or twice (or more).

Remove your fabric from the machine.With a pair of scissors cut very close along, but not into, the outermost stitchedband.

Now look at your heart and decidewhat areas you would like to cut away between the stitched lines. The aim is tocreate higher and lower areas. With a fine pointed pair of scissors carefullycut through only the 5-6 top layers of muslin. It is easier to cut a few layersat the time than doing it all in one go.

The heart can now be furtherembellished with hand embroidery and or beads. Add a piece of string, twine,raffia or ribbon to hang your hearts.

If you aren’t too keen on theslightly raw, frayed edges, you can seal the edges with a bit of acrylic paintlike shown on the stars.
These stars have a different look tothe hearts, as they were sewn on white muslin/calico and dyed afterwards. Thestars were then embellished with hand embroidery and the surface was ever solightly dry brushed with acrylic paint for added texture.

Please note the boring bits:
These instructions are for personaluse only. You are however welcome to use a single photo and a brief description, linking them back to where you came across the instructions.
These instructions may not berepublished in their entirety without the permission of me, the author,Birgitte Hendricks. I can be contacted here  J

FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE from SewDanish    Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm currently, for a limited time, offering worldwide free shipping from my Etsy shop SewDanish - Scandinavian Textile Art from 19th -30th November 2011.
It is only the second time that I have offered free shipping, so this is your chance to get unique handmade gifts for the upcoming festive season.

Browsing my shop  SewDanish , you will find lots of inspiration whether you are looking for hostess gifts, stocking stuffer or Christmas gifts. Most of my items are either one of a kind or made in very limited editions. If you are looking for unique handmade Christmas ornaments, then please take a look at my Christmas section. Lots to choose from. I like using the old traditional Danish/Scandinavian Christmas ornaments techniques, giving the ornaments a modern twist, as well as designing new ones.

Minimalistic Muslin Cards from SewDanish    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recently Fibrefusion Contemporary Textile Art Group, thetextile group that I belong to, published their 5th book, Muslin, a Stitched Exploration of Loose Weave Fabrics  . While exploring the potential of muslin, I worked quite a few samples that I absolutely love andthat I’m planning on exploring and taking a lot further.

I have for a (long) while been fascinated by workingwhite on white. I have been focusing on and challenging myself to see howminimalistic I can go before there is ‘nothing’. In a busy life where I’mconstantly swapping in and out of ‘my’ three cultures the Danish, English andAmerican, working rather minimalistic gives me a bit of breathing space (ifthat makes sense). J

Removing the color from a design puts emphasis on textureand shading and something very exciting starts to happen. Don’t get me wrong Ilove color, but currently in my work, I prefer to use it quite restrictive, as an accent tothe design.  The cards in this blogpost are made as a result of my Muslin, white onwhite exploration. The small collages are stitched with strips of muslin on totorn pieces of Khadi (cotton rag) paper. Due to the ‘relaxed’ technique all thecollages are slightly different and very organic.  All cards are avaiable from SewDanish - Scandinavian Textile Art

FibreFusion' new Muslin book!    Monday, September 19, 2011

I promised in my latest blog post that I would post a picture of 'my' textile group Fibrefusion's brand new book, Muslin, a Stitched Exploration of Loose Weave Fabrics'. Well here it is :-)
It was so much fun being part of making this book. A new and very exciting process and challenge to see a book take shape.
FibreFusions exhibition at Art Van Go in celebration of our new book will be on display until the 15th of October 2011. On most days Fibrefusion members will be there to meet you and demonstrate various muslin techniques. Looking forward to see you there :-)

NEW BOOK! by Fibrefusion - Contemporary Textile Art Group    Monday, September 12, 2011

Seed heads from Belstead gardens

This is so exciting! The textile group Fibrefusion that I belong to, has just had its 5th book published! The book ‘Muslin, a Stitched Exploration of Loose Weave Fabrics’ is an inspirational workbook using the lovely fabric Muslin throughout the book. The book can be seen and purchased from Fibrefusions website. On the website you'll as well find our 4 previously published books.
In celebration of our new book, Fibrefusion will be exhibiting from the 10th September to the 15th October at Art Van Go There amongst others, you’ll be able to see the samples and finished work shown in the book.

Belstead weekend: Muslin samples galore

Muslin, calico, scrim is such a fantastic, but also quite often an overlooked medium, which is why we chose it as the subject for our book. This past year we have had total fun working, exploring and stretching the boundaries for what can be done with Muslin and scrim. The result was an amazing amount of colourful, stunning samples many of which can be seen in our book. A big THANK YOU goes to Pauline Verrinder Fibrefusions mentor, who has done a huge, wonderful job in writing the text, keeping us honest and pulling it all together.

Belstead weekend: Fibrefusion girls at work.

In August the 16 group members met for a working weekend at Belstead house (link). We partly worked on the tying the last bits up for the book and exhibition at Art Van Go and partly on a new body of design work for upcoming exhibitions. We had a superb time and the weather was beautiful.

Belstead: Beautiful wall design

The missing Aminals :-)    Saturday, August 20, 2011

'Animals'.... hmm... that's quite a challenge. 'Animals' is the theme for our monthly blog hop in the 'Unique Women In Business' (UWIB) group. Looked at my shop SewDanish - Scandinavian Textile Art to see if I could find anything remotely resembling animals or animal prints.

I knew that I wouldn't find any. I don't think that I have ever used animals neither as a design source nor as inspiration for a piece of work. Some years ago I made a quilt, and on the finished quilt (which I didn't like particular) I stamped cat paws, as if a cat just had strolled over the quilt 'I was here and left my mark.....' It was actually rather cute and made the quilt slightly more interesting. Unfortunately that quilt is in storage in the US, so I'm not able to show it to you. I like animals and love watching nature programs on the television, but in real life I have little experience with them. Mind you, we have our lovely old, ginger Maine coon cat who just turned 18 years old last month, so that's gotta count for something :-)

On a recent vacation we stopped at the Greek island of Mykonos. Quite a busy and touristic place, but it definitely still had a lot of Greek island charm.

I spend a lovely afternoon by myself wandering the back streets and ally ways of the main town. Took loads of lovely photos of white painted houses with their colorful trims.
In the lazy heat of the afternoon I came across this family of two adult cats and their 4 tiny kittens. They were semi feral and lived in an abandoned shed. They quietly accepted me hanging out with them and I had a lovely time watching them.

The Arches and Lights of The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey    Saturday, August 13, 2011

I have to say I would LOVE to go back to Istanbul. What a fantastic city! So much to see, so much to do.....and we had so little time. Istanbul has definitely made it on my list of places to revisit.

The following photos are all taken in the Grand Bazaar. A wonderful maze of intense color, sounds, patterns, lights etc. It took a while for us to accept that we would probably get lost in the this maze and just 'let go' and be absorbed. We did get sort of lost, but that actually didn't matter. Eventually we found our way out with our heads buzzing with impressions. I could have spend so much more time there.
Eventually :-)

I absolutely loved the architecture of this covered bazaar. Maybe we were lucky, because it wasn't particular crowded and it wasn't sizzling hot day. I can imagine that both these factors could make it a bit claustrophobic. The vaulted ceilings with bands of decorations were absolutely wonderful. In other parts of the bazaar it almost felt as if you were in a cellar even though still on the ground floor.

A truely amazing place.

Copenhagen, Rosenborg Castle and IPhone    Friday, August 5, 2011

Over the summer one of my trips went to Denmark to visit relatives. Had a lovely time catching up with family. I love living here in England, but one of the downsides are that one just cannot pop in for a short visit. I do miss that, but hey ho life is still pretty good :-)

While staying in Copenhagen we spend a lovely morning playing tourists. Despite all the years I've been living and visiting Copenhagen, I had actually never visited Rosenborg Castle. The castle is in the middle of Copenhagen in one of the lovely parks Kongens Have/The Kings Garden and I have walked passed it hundreds of times, but I never made it inside.

So we spend an absolutely lovely morning visiting the castle before heading back to England. What was a lot of fun was that 1600th century culture mixed with 2000th century technology. While I was paying for the entrance tickets, my husband picked up a little slip with info about downloading the app 'neoreader' for Iphone/Itouch. Relatively new to these gadgets we just had to try. And it was totally amazing. Had our own private tours on our devices, scanning the square pixilated (bar) codes that were on lots of the 400-500 year old artifacts. It was so cool! Anyway before I get carried away, as I do love my Iphone :-) I better show you some of the photos that I took. More design inspiration. I absolutely love the ones from the mirror room!

BTW If you want to read a good novel then I can recommend  'Music and Silence' by Rose Tremain . It's a  historical fiction set at Rosenborg Castle during the reign of King Christian 4th. Excellent book!

Summer Fun Bloghop With SewDanish and Unique Women In Business    Saturday, July 23, 2011

Denmark, June 2011

We are now well into July. Amazing how quicky the time flies when one has fun :-)
After lots of travelling (Italy, Turkey, Greece followed by a trip to Denmark) in Juni and July having a wonderful time, I'm now back home in Britain for at least a little while.

Effesus, Turkey, June 2011 

Shortly after returning back home, we went on a hiking trip to Wales with friends. Had the most superb time, and for Wales, we had the most amazing weather. Did about 25 miles up an down the mountains over just about 3 days, so not too shabby.

Wales,  July 2011

Ever since the weather hasn't been all that fantastic. Actually it's been rather cool with a lot of rain. All the rain we didn't get in the spring with the beautiful weather we had for weeks on end has now caught up with us. At least the garden is happy :-)

Back home in GB :-)
 But to be honest I don't mind the iffy weather that much as it gives me more time to stay indoors, catching up on heaps of stuff that has been postponed with me not being home and not feeling guilty about it.

Freshly dyed threads and fabric

What a great feeling to being almost on top of things. Have done a lot of fabric and thread dyeing this past week. I now have this wonderful pile of color piled up on my worktable. Some of the dyed threads will be listed shortly in my little shop SewDanish others will be used in some of the many project that I'm itching to get on with and finish. 
Hope you are all having a lovely summer where every you are and enjoying what ever you are doing. Take care and stay safe.

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