Monday, August 11, 2014

So many projects

I really don't know where to begin and as usual I am playing catch-up but I think the overlay crochet mandala is a good place to start.

I knew I wanted to put it on the wall in the dining room, behind the reading chair, so the first thing I did was to make it a bit firmer by painting the back with some PVA, avoiding the outer edge.

I had thought of hanging it just as it is but then decided to use the frame from this old mirror I bought in junk shop several years ago (see, hoarding is good!).

Mike took the mirror out and made a new backing for me as the old one was very flimsy. Then I gave it a good clean with sugar soap and poked a small bottle brush through all the holes to get rid of the accumulated grime.


I was going to mount it on some cream linen but that didn't look right with the frame so more rummaging revealed a small piece of heavy-weight lining fabric in this green which is almost the colour of the chair so was perfect.  There was just enough to fit the frame as you can see from my mark of the outline so I had no margin for error.

To attach it to the fabric I put some PVA on the middle section of the mandala and then sewed the outer rim of the mandala to the backing fabric to keep it in shape.

I put PVA all over the backing board and placed the fabric on top, being careful to let it go tacky first so it didn't seep through, and smoothed it down so it was nice a flat.

Then I turned it over and snipped the edges so they could be folded over the board and glued in place. Mike secured it in the frame using a few small pins.

Here it is in-situ where you can see how well the background matches the chair and that the colours in the mandala were taken from the curtains and blind.

More frames

Mike has just finished a painting for the lounge and he'd chosen this highly decorated frame as the surround. Again, it was one that had a mirror in originally so we took that out and then I set to work toning down the gold as it was too bright for where it would hang.

I used an acrylic paint (Jo Sonya's is my favourite brand as the colours last and last because they are 'Artist Quality') to tone down the background and line the inner rim.

Then it was just a case of dry-brushing the raised motifs to dirty them a bit more which gave a it a much more subdued feel. the back echoes the matt finish on the woodburner which is near where it will hang. 

I love playing around with paint effects and was very fortunate to go on several courses with the late Jocasta Innes many years ago when we lived in London. She gave me the confidence to produce some amazing paint effects in our previous home which was a very elegant Edwardian house.

Crochet bits

I've now finished all the elements of the next chairback hanging. The central motif is exactly the same as the previous one but I've changed the 2 side panels.

These are the motifs I'll be using; 2 groups of three triangles, 2 plain with 1 beaded, so now I've just got to work out how to join them together into a rectangle. Stripes are favourite at the moment as I don't want anything overly fancy as there's enough going on already in the granny triangles.

Beads and baubles

I'm doing another course on entitled Brilliant Knit Beads with Betsy Hershberg who is an excellent teacher and I'm really enjoying it. These old wooden beads were ideal as a starting point so I just unstrung them and saved all the bits.

I created a little sample piece of knitting as a gauge swatch so I could work out how many stitches I needed to cover my first bead.

Then I used the same weight yarn to cover my first bead. What fun!

I've learnt about beading needles which are really easy to use and I had to knit another swatch for my cover for my first bead with knitted beads (that sounds odd doesn't it but I don't know how else to say it!!!).

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