Thursday 30 June 2011

Victory for quilling!!

Well, I'm so excited about the news I'm about to share!!  One of my pieces of quilled jewellery has been selected to represent the county of Hampshire in the UK Women's Institute (WI) Inter-Counties Craft Competition alongside three other winning items!  I had a telephone call this afternoon to tell me the news, and I will be attending a special meeting of Hampshire WI's in October to receive a presentation certificate.  What's more, my entry has been forwarded to the national competition, so you never know ...

Now, obviously I'm very pleased about this on a personal level, but I'm also delighted for the art of quilling.  The entry criterion for this particular craft competition was a piece of jewellery "in any medium". So, as you can imagine, my entry was up against beading, silversmithing and other more widely known craft techniques.  In the past, I have been saddened to see quilling marked down by judges in other similar competitions because they have doubted the durability of items made of paper.  To try and pre-empt this, I included a note with my quilled pieces explaining how I coat them with PVA glue and spray varnish to make them strong and waterproof.  It seems to have paid off!

I entered three separate pieces into the competition, and this pin brooch was the one which was selected:

I created this piece by winding gold-edged black strips with plain black crimped strips to make the teardrops and marquises. The centre is a plain black solid coil with gold-edged black around it, topped off with a classic folded rose. After assembling the pieces, I mounted it on a stick type brooch pin with super glue. Apparently, the judges were VERY impressed!

I also entered these quilled earrings:
and this quilled pendant which - believe it or not - has also just been voted a winner in the Creative Quilling Forum's recent jewellery challenge.

So that's two wins in the space of 24 hours ... I really am on Cloud Nine!!

Wednesday 29 June 2011

One more twisted wheatear

Another twisted wheatear ... two copper-edged P scrolls ... and a little husked leaf = the perfect quilled motif for this card:

Monday 27 June 2011

A new card design with 'twisted' wheatears and huskings

Here's something a bit different, but still exploring the possibilities of twisting the loops that are formed within quilled wheatears and huskings:

To make this card, I printed the yellow background first, then ran it through my printer again to add the two graphic 'medallions' which are obtainable as downloadable 'freebies' from the Papers and Pixels online craft magazine. (The green line and the greeting are also over-printed, of course, using my AppleMac Pages software.) Then I attached the quilled motif, which is made up entirely of experimental pieces that I had created at random over the weekend. This one is a bit different from my usual designs, but I think it works quite well.  I just love all this 'quilling with a twist' ...!

Sunday 26 June 2011

Yet another quilling twist!

Ever since I learned the 'Royal Flower' technique for twisting the ends of husking loops, I've been experimenting with 'twisting' all sorts of quilled shapes!

Yesterday, I thought to myself: "What would happen if I add some twists inside a simple teardrop or closed loose coil?" ... and here's the result:
I just made the coils for these shapes in the usual way, but then captured some inner parts of each coil with a slotted tool and gave them a slight twist. It makes an interesting pattern, I think! The silver 'fleur de lys' shape was made by twisting the outside loops of a 'three-pronged' husking.

So I took this little 'random motif' and added it to a birthday card. My experimental quillings never go to waste LOL!!

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Let's twist again ...

... like we did yesterday! Except that today I've been experimenting with different ways of using the twisted loop effect of the 'Royal Flower' technique.

I made this design by adding a 'Royal twist' to the straight ends of some 'P' scrolls and the outer loops of a simple husking. I also added a second colour (orange) to the inner scroll sections for greater visual impact. A Facebook friend in Australia has already commented that this design has a Medieval look about it, which I think could easily set me off on a whole new quilling style!

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Royal petals and leaves

There's a real buzz over on Facebook at the moment about a new quilling technique for making what's recently been named a 'Royal Flower' (or a type of 'Malaysian Flower'), developed by quiller Asma' Ahmad Bahari of Simple Rhyme.

(For details, do check out the Emirates Quilling Guild page on Facebook if you are a registered Facebook user, or visit this link for an example and tutorial.)

Basically, the technique involves twisting the ends of the loops inside quilled huskings to form curly patterns rather like 'P' coils - and the result is very effective!

Well, of course, I HAD to have a go - and here's my take on the 'Royal' technique:
Instead of the usual flower petal application, I twisted the husking loops within one of my quilled leaves, and then tried it on a non-enclosed husking to make what looks - I hope! - like an unfurling purple flower. There are tiny orange wheatears within the yellow stamens, too.

For the last couple of days I've been having fun making different types of leaves using husking/wheatear techniques, and to my surprise I've found that I can quite easily create them by holding the quilling in my fingers, without using a board and pins. This all began when I started creating closely-wound wheatears for making vortex coils, and I've been really pleased to discover just how versatile this method is. As long as you keep a good grasp on the base of the husking, there's almost no limit on the amount of looping you can do! Just secure the finished husking with a tiny dot of glue.

Sunday 19 June 2011

Quilling inspired by a summer garden

After weeks of warm sunshine, we finally got rain ... and the garden is looking fabulous! Here's a photo I took of one of our hosta plants, whose variegated leaves look wonderful with purple lavender flowers next to them. I've simply echoed the colours by adding some quilling, and I'm pleased with the result of this finished card.

Meanwhile, a friend asked me to make a 50th birthday card for her son who is a very keen gardener. She wanted me to include a quilled garden rake and spade, which I managed to produce after a little trial and error!

And finally ... this has absolutely nothing to do with quilling, but I wanted to share it with you! Yesterday we attended a little country fair at a nearby village, and among the sideshows was a 'human fruit machine'! Yes, instead of the usual 'one-armed bandit' machine, there was a little painted booth with three windows and three real people with a supply of fruit inside. Every time someone came up to play, the people inside the booth picked up their fruit at random and held it up to their window. (There were curtains between, so they couldn't see what their neighbours were doing!) They had pineapples, melons, bananas, grapes and oranges - and just like the real thing, three of a kind got a prize! I've been smiling about this ever since ...

Have a great week!

Wednesday 15 June 2011

A new quilling tutorial

Most of my wonderful Quilliance followers are already accomplished quillers in their own right - so I'm sure none of you really need to read a beginners' tutorial on quilling! However, I thought you might still be interested to see the tutorial that I've recently written and had published in the June 2011 Papers and Pixels (my favourite online crafting magazine).

My 'Quick Quilled Card' project is aimed at Papers and Pixels' many readers who are mainly into digital art and scrapbooking, but seem keen to find out more about quilling after reading my earlier articles (December 2010 and February 2011). I've deliberately kept this project really simple, using a fold-rolling technique to make some flowers. No tools are required other than a cocktail stick, glue and a pair of tweezers. (Plus a card blank and some quilling strips, of course!!) Hopefully it may help to recruit some new enthusiasts to 'our quilling world'.
My finished tutorial project
To view Papers and Pixels, you first need to register for their forum via this link here. It's completely free. Once registered, you can download the June edition of the magazine, and also access past issues which are well worth a read.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Vortex coils in lilac colours

I'm still experimenting with those vortex coils, and this time I've used a few to decorate my ever-popular lilac card. The photo background on the card is a close-up shot of some lilac flowers, showing just how many different colours are actually present in these lovely blooms. I've tried to echo these colours in my quilling, as you'll see:

The left hand vortex combines a single crimped pink strip on the inside with a 'sandwich' strip comprising light pink, dark pink and mauve sections on the outside. The central one is plain purple, made from a single half-length strip and shaped all around to fit. The right hand one is a 'classic' vortex shape - and the one I'm most pleased with -  made from 29cm strips of mauve and light pink, joined at one end. The inventor of vortex coils, Licia Politis, says that the best coiling effects are obtained with longer strips, and she's absolutely right! The more turns you can achieve on your basic wheatear (which then gets flattened first in one direction and then the other), the more detailed and spectacular the resulting vortex will be.

Monday 13 June 2011

Our quilling world

Wow ... I've been absolutely knocked out by all the wonderful comments I received about yesterday's post, both here and on Facebook, where I also posted the news about my quilled card winning a prize. I'd like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. One comment in particular made a big impression on me. It was from Anca, who said: "I am happy for you, and happy for our quilling world". Well, that really made me think. I guess that through our blogs and our internet communications we have actually managed to create our own little private 'quilling world' online - and it's such a great place to be. Whenever I settle down to do some quilling, I really can feel the presence of all my friends throughout the world who share the love of this wonderful art, and it's simply fantastic that we can all support and encourage each other in the way that we do.

Today feels like a new beginning for me now that the festival is over, and here's a new card design featuring some kind of quilled flowering plant that just sprang up in my imagination!! Don't ask me what it is ... all I can say is that the colours echo the purple, yellow and orange of the pansies in the photograph. The leaf bud on the left side is my attempt at an 'eccentric vortex coil' - a technique kindly shared by my friend Licia Politis in Australia. I used green and black strips wound together as a wheatear for this shape, and glued the back to hold the centre of my flattened coil in an offset position, just as you would with a normal eccentric coil. Watch out for some more vortex experiments tomorrow...!

Sunday 12 June 2011

It's a winner!!

Well, I've just finished my three marathon sales days (why do these events always arrive so close together?!), and I'm pleased to report success on several fronts! I've sold LOTS of cards (need to stock up again now!), some quilled jewellery and even one of my woven paper purses which I don't bring out for sale very often these days. I've been booked to give another quilling demonstration later this summer (yippee!!), and - best of all - my quilled flowers card (left) won a prize at our village festival yesterday.

So now I'm tired but happy ... and can't wait to get started on some new quilling projects. Once again, I'd like to thank all of my wonderful blog followers for your encouraging comments - your enthusiasm means so much to me.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Some quilling for a 21st birthday

This week I've been really busy making cards, earrings and hair slides for sale at our village festival on Saturday - finally I am ready!  Plus I have a market this evening and tomorrow morning as well! In the middle of all those preparations, I received an urgent order for a 21st birthday card. So I quickly pulled out my old faithful rainbow background and created this design:

Time goes by so fast, and I really feel as though I've been neglecting my blog. Once the weekend is over, however, I hope to get back to creating some new designs, trying out new quilling techniques ... and more regular blogging, too! So please don't go away - I'll be right back!!

Sunday 5 June 2011

Vortex coil hair slides

Did you notice those multicoloured vortex coils lying on the side in my last post? We'll I decided that a couple of them would be ideal for fixing to some hair slides.

I created these particular vortexes by 'squashing' two wheatear shapes that I had made using a 'sandwich' of different coloured strips (green joined to blue joined to green, and mauve joined to pink joined to purple).  I think they have turned out looking like a bit like sweets (or what I believe my American friends would call 'candy')! Here in the UK, we have a multi-coloured selection of sweets known as 'Liquorice Allsorts', and that's exactly what these remind me of!

I'd like to include a credit here for Licia Politis who first invented the vortex coil. Thanks, Licia - it's a really great shape!

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Work in progress

I'm busy, busy, busy ... but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Right now, I'm stocking up on cards and making some new quilled earrings for sale at our village festival on 11th June. You can see a few of the earring huskings here. Plus I've been experimenting with making vortex coils - a quilling shape that was invented some years ago by the talented Australian quiller, Licia Politis, whose work I greatly admire. And I've got some articles to write, too - for the NAQG newsletter Quill America and the on-line magazine Papers and Pixels.  Just wish there were 36 hours in every day ...


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