Saturday 30 October 2010

Dual nationality quilling!

In the traditional English village where I live, we are lucky to have a cosy French-style cafe where I sell a few quilled cards and often enjoy a relaxing lunch or coffee. (I would love to include a link for Le Petit Cafe, but they're too busy serving delicious snacks and cakes to have created a web site yet!)

Anyway, they wanted me to make a few quilled Christmas cards to add to my regular basket, and I've designed a few which feature photographs of the village combined with a greeting in French: 'Joyeux Noel' (which means 'Merry Christmas').

It may seem strange to mix French words with such a typically English scene, but that really sums up what the cafe is all about, and the customers really seem to like my cards! Here's the first design I made, with a photo of our frozen village pond in last winter's snow, complemented by a quilled snowflake.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

A pair of quilled poinsettias

Still on the earrings theme, I've just finished another new style for Christmas featuring poinsettia flowers. The petals are made in two groups of three, glued on top of one another in a offset position. This means that I had to mount the quilled fixing ring on the side of one of the lower petals, but I think it works OK. This design looks particularly 'Christmassy' to me, but I'm sure the same method could be used to create other summery-looking styles of floral earrings. So that's another idea to add to the 'to do' list ....!

Meanwhile, I'd like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who responded so favourably to my earlier post '2D quilling - an extra dimension'. I've had so many compliments, my head is in danger of swelling! I think there's real mileage in this idea for quillers who want to create the illusion of depth in their work. Also, I've just had a repeat order from a customer for my 'fantasy flower' card which used a photo of a simple wall-growing plant as a 'leaf' background, so now I'm more convinced than ever that quilling and photography can be complementary arts.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

'Tis the season to quill earrings ...

I have a regular customer who buys quilled earrings from me at our Friday market, and last week she asked me to think about coming up with some 'fun' designs for her for Christmas. So yesterday, I got started on making some ... and instead of my usual Christmas tree earrings (been there, done that!!) I wondered about playing with some traditional English Christmas puddings, complete with brandy butter and holly sprig topping. Well, here they are - a bit over the top, perhaps, but then this particular lady really loves something different, and she is almost always wearing the crazy sheep earrings I made for her (see below) every time I see her!

Since it's Hallowe'en this week, my mind is full of black and orange right now, so I also made these 'dangly' earrings using some great new Paplins strips I've just bought from The Craft Room here in the UK. The orange colour is actually called 'Pumpkin' (ideal for this time of year), and I've simply encased two marquise shapes in a crimped black border and mounted this motif on an 'eye' shape of sparkling copper - another fantastic shade! I'm quite pleased with these, but really need to get back on to my Christmas theme. I'm planning some poinsettia flowers next!

Friday 22 October 2010

2D quilling - an extra dimension?

It's always fascinating to look at other quillers' work, and the various blogs I follow are a constant source of inspiration to me. Many of the projects  I most admire use layers of quilling to create texture and depth - but, because my quilling mostly ends up on greetings cards, it isn't always practical to adopt this particular approach.  Here in the UK, any item thicker than 5mm incurs an extra postage charge, so a design which has coils glued on top of one another is much more expensive to mail. (Not only that, but multi-layer designs can so easily get damaged in transit as well.)

Regular followers of Quilliance will know that I've recently started experimenting with using photos of quilling to produce a low-cost range of Christmas cards. (They're proving popular, by the way, and I've sold several packs already!) But this week I've had another idea: why not create the illusion of extra depth by putting real quilling on top of a photo of quilling?

So I started by creating this quilled motif (it's intended to be vaguely suggestive of an unfurling bud/leaves), which I have photographed for use as a background:

I printed this photo on to a card, and then added some 'real' quilling to look like a flower on top:

Voila! A design which looks just like multi-layered quilling, but without the physical extra depth which the real thing would have entailed. Using this technique I can use the same background for many different flower designs, and it will save time, too, because I've only actually had to quill it once!

Is this a useful new dimension in terms of 2D quilling? I'll be interested to hear what people think!

Thursday 21 October 2010

Quilling for two ... two years on!!

Here's an interesting statistic: out of every 10,000 human births, only 150 will be twins - so it's not altogether surprising that's it's taken me two and a half years to sell the 'Twin Girls' card that I've been taking every week to our village market.

But it did finally get sold last week, so today I settled down to make a replacement - pictured here.

Back in early 2008, I made three sets of 'twins' cards: twin girls, twin boys and 'one of each'. Looking back at them now, it's interesting to see how much my quilled card designs have (hopefully!!) improved over the years.

In those early days, I was struggling with hand-lettering, stencil cut-outs and quilling which was basic to say the very least!

Since then, I've discovered the magic of creating printed card backgrounds for my quilling using my Apple iMac computer - a technique which has led me on to producing photographic designs and so much more ... and I've never really looked back, until now.

Still, here's the original cut-out card that I've just sold (see below), and although I feel very critical of it today, the lady who bought it was full of admiration - so there you go!!

I wonder how many more months/years it will be before the boy twins come along?

Tuesday 19 October 2010

I'm taking a Quill Pill!

I've often wondered about entering some of my quilling projects into a crafting blog challenge, but have never really come across a relevant one - until now! Thanks to Ann over at Ann's Scrap and Edit, I've just discovered a quilling challenge site called Take A Quill Pill, and have decided to enter this card design into the October Challenge for a card which features both a flower and a butterfly.

Regular followers of Quilliance will recognise the flower in the photo background as my favourite purple clematis which I captured in the summer during a visit to a wonderful English country garden. I particularly love this flower for its pale yellow and pink centre which I have tried to reproduce in the quilling using joined-together fringed strips. The butterfly is quite literally a flight of fantasy, with its main wings created using three different colour strips glued at the ends and coiled together. To add a little extra interest, the middle (yellow) strip is crimped.

Well there are already some great entries in the October Challenge, so I don't know how this one will fare - but it's fun to take part something like this. And I'd like to wish good luck to Ann who has also entered a beautiful card.

Here's another close-up of my quilling:

Saturday 16 October 2010

'Off the wall' quilling!

When I was on holiday, I spotted this strange little plant growing on a stone wall:
It doesn't look like much, but it got me thinking: what a perfect background for a quilled fantasy flower ... and here it is:

Thursday 14 October 2010

Quilled blackberries for a new card design

Well, I've made a card using the first of the three photographs I posted yesterday. While I was away, I decided to try introducing more white space around the pictures I use for my cards, so that's exactly what I've done here, and I think it works well. As for the quilling - it just had to be berries! At this time of year, the hedgerows in the Isles of Scilly are vibrant with the red and purple hues of blackberries at different stages of their ripening, offset perfectly by green bramble leaves and the brilliant blues of sea and sky. So this card is my tribute to the incomparable beauty of autumn in the islands.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

I'm back home from paradise ... but what shall I quill?

I've just returned home from a visit to the Isles of Scilly, a wonderful group of rocks and islands in the far south-west of England, just off the Cornish coast. Words really cannot describe just how beautiful these islands are: the sea is blue, the beaches are stunning, the flowers fantastic - and the climate is so mild that you can re-connect with summer, even in the midst of autumn! No matter how often I go there, it always feels like re-discovering paradise!

Many of my quilled cards feature photos that I have taken on the islands in recent years, and my camera has been busy again over the past seven days. Here are three of my favourites from this year's collection which I intend to use as backgrounds for some new quilled designs. But the question is: what shall I quill?

All will be revealed here on Quilliance soon!

Saturday 2 October 2010

Another two Christmas cards

I promised to post the last two of my printed Christmas card designs, and here they are:

I'll be going offline for a few days from Monday, so things will be a little quiet here on Quilliance for a while ... but I look forward to catching up with everyone again very soon!


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