Sunday 31 July 2011

Breaking the silence!

When Quilliance is silent for more than a couple of days, you know that my time is being taken up by something big.  Sure enough, my main focus for the past few days has been preparing for an art show which took place in our village this afternoon - and I was right there amongst the paintings and the pottery with my quilling!

I took my quilled jewellery and the biggest range of cards that I could muster ... and it was SO worthwhile!  Lots of sales, lots of friendly people, and the huge satisfaction that comes from taking part in a successful event on a sunny summer's day.

The show took place in a big marquee set along the edge of our local cricket green, and it attracted a great crowd of people.  I took along some quilling to do, and quickly gained an admiring audience making the usual comments along the lines of: "that looks so fiddly", and "I would never have the patience to do that"!  Some have signed up for my next demo in a few weeks time, and I'm so looking forward to proving them wrong!

Here's my display, in a picture taken just before the show opened:

The only trouble now is that I've got my regular market again on Friday ... and an awful lot of replacement quilling to do!

Wednesday 27 July 2011

A new quilled watch

I've just finished decorating this craft watch which was the other part of my prize from the Creative Quilling Forum jewellery challenge (along with the 1.5mm quilling strips which I mentioned a few days ago). The very narrow strips are ideal for this application, as you can layer them up and still get the transparent watch cover to fit on over the top. It's a bit of a challenge finding a design to fit into the crescent-shaped working area of the watch, but I decided that half a Royal Flower would be just the thing! I have decorated watches with quilling before, but I particularly like the format of this one because the cover simply snaps into place on the watch face without requiring any glue around the edge. You can buy them from

Thursday 21 July 2011

A 'royal' dragonfly

Why should flower petals be the only recipients of the 'royal' treatment? I decided to create this dragonfly with wings made from huskings with twisted loops, using the technique that quillers around the world are now calling 'royal' after Asma's Royal Flower.

I used copper-edged strips for the borders of the wings, making a sparkly contrast to the rather dark and mysterious pond water that appears in the background photo. I thought the lily floating in this pond looked great against the darkness of the water, and hopefully my dragonfly does too!

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Two more 'royal' huskings to complement some squares

I have always liked this four-square format for my cards, so I have returned to it while fulfilling a special order for a 'first anniversary' design. The couple who will receive it love nature, hence the flower and the butterfly. But I'm glad I left the other two squares plain, as they make the perfect backdrop for these huskings which have received the 'royal' treatment through twisting of the ends!

The 'Royal Flower' technique was invented by Asma Ahmad Bahari, and named on Facebook by Amna Al Fardh. Thanks, ladies - I could so easily sit and make these huskings all day long ...!

Sunday 17 July 2011

Quilling on through thick and thin!

Lauren over at the Creative Quilling Forum kindly sent me a multi-coloured pack of 1.5mm quilling strips as part of my prize for winning the Forum's recent quilled jewellery challenge. I was really looking forward to receiving this, as I normally always use 3mm strips, and I was keen to try using narrower ones for a different visual effect.

Having seen 1.5mm strips in use at the quilling workshop I went to recently, I knew that these ultra-thin strips would make it possible to create some very delicate motifs. In fact, the ladies I met on that occasion all said they would never go back to using 3mm strips again! Now, I'm not sure that I would go quite that far, but it does seem to me that the thin strips offer a lot of potential for use in combination with wider ones.

I quilled this card today, using a motif created with a standard width 3mm husking combined with some layered spirals and teardrops made using the 1.5mm strips. This approach makes it possible to layer quilling without adding to the overall depth, which is particularly important here in the UK where cards need to fit within a maximum 5mm width in order to avoid a mailing surcharge. I also like the way you can work within the background 3mm depth of the main husking to angle the narrower quillings that are layered.

Here are some close-ups to show you what I mean:

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Quilling beneath the waves!

Here's another card design featuring a little quilled octopus, starfish, some weed and a rock!  I used the rainbow coloured background, because the graduating colours give the impression of water laying above a sandy sea bed. I think the sun is shining up above!

So now I have finished re-stocking my card rack (for the moment, at least ...!)

It's time to start working on something new...

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Quilled cards on the production line!

I've sold a lot of my quilled cards lately, which is great! But of course it means that I need to stock up again, pronto, because I've got several sales events coming up between now and the end of the month. The first of these is a Women's Institute meeting on Thursday, where there's going to be announcement about my recent win in the WI craft competition. This has already caused quite a bit of excitement amongst my fellow WI committee members, so I really can't go along to the meeting with a half-empty card box!

On Sunday, I began printing out a load of card blanks with photographic backgrounds: some of my most popular designs, and several that I haven't used for quite a while and had almost forgotten about! I've been quilling them ever since, and although the pictures may have been used before, much of the quilling is quite new as I'm trying to make use of some newly-learned techniques. Here's a small selection ... and I'm hoping to have some totally new ideas to show you before too long!

Saturday 9 July 2011

White on white

Now, you know me ... I really love COLOUR in my designs. But just occasionally I am tempted to do something completely different.

I was given the blank for this card at the quilling workshop I attended last week. It is made from lovely textured paper, and has a prettily cut edge (done, I think, using a Cuttlebug), behind which lies a narrow strip of white glitter paper on the inside of the card. Now obviously I couldn't run this through my computer printer to make a background, so that got me thinking: what kind of quilling shall I do to harmonise with this crisp, sharp white? The answer - more white, to create a delicate, almost sculpted, effect. The result is a card that's very different from the ones I usually produce, but I'm pleased with it. How surprising it is that white quilling shows up so well against a white background - I guess it has something to do with the shadows that are cast.

Anyway, you'll be pleased to hear that my new 'Fine Tip Glue Applicator' worked a treat - it really does dispense miniscule dots of glue when you want it to. I also tried the damp sponge/greaseproof paper technique for getting glue on to the back of my finished motifs, and can recommend this as well. (You can read more about both these items in my previous post.)

Now here's a close-up of the quilling itself... white on white, like an embroidered handkerchief!

Thursday 7 July 2011

Where does the time go?

I've been out and about quite a bit this past week, so there's not been much time for me to do any quilling ...  but hopefully that's all going to change today!  Before I settle down in my craft room, however, there are a few brief items of news I can share:

First, here's another piece of experimental quilling that I did last weekend, comprising some more twisted husking leaves, plus a diamond-shaped crimped vortex coil flower. (What a mixture of different techniques!) The husked leaves have a strip up the middle which is meant to look like a central 'vein'. I've mounted this motif on to another of those digital medallion backgrounds which seem to complement quilling because they look so delicate. For this one, I also decided to colour in the central segment using a gold glitter pen and add a simple quilled heart to embellish it. I think this makes quite an unusual card.

Second, I attended a quilling workshop a few days ago, which gave me the opportunity to meet up with a few other members of the English Quilling Guild who live in my local area. I was very glad I went, as the other ladies were all so friendly, and it was really great to be able to sit round a table doing some quilling all together. I noticed that the others were all using a brilliant little 'fine tip' applicator for their PVA glue, consisting of a small 'squeezable' plastic glue container which is capable of dispensing teeny-tiny dots of glue in a very controlled way - just perfect for quilling! Well, this little gadget made my portable glue pot and collection of messy cocktail sticks look very cumbersome indeed ... so I searched for the supplier online and placed an order straight away. I've only had time to play with my new applicator for a few minutes so far, but it seems to be a brilliant little tool which is going to be very useful and convenient to carry around. The design is very clever, too - you store the container upside-down with a special pin inserted inside the applicator tip so that the glue inside never dries out. You can check out the supplier's web site via this link. She's based in the UK, but ships worldwide.

Now, here's something else I learned at the workshop: if you take a damp sponge, wrap it in greaseproof paper and dispense a blob of glue on to the paper, you can spread out the glue into a thin layer and use it to dip quilled motifs in before attaching them to cards. The dampness prevents the glue from drying out, and so you have a useful reservoir of glue on hand that's just perfect for applying evenly to the reverse side of your quillings. I have always applied lots of little blobs of glue to the back of my quillings using a cocktail stick, but this seems like a much easier, cleaner and more efficient way of doing it ... so I'm happy to pass this suggestion on to you.

When I ordered my glue applicator, I also bought another five to keep in reserve - they are sure to come in handy at my next quilling demonstration which has now been scheduled for an evening in August. I think my participants will find them very handy as they learn to take their very first steps in quilling, and I'm really looking forward to doing the demo once again.

I've also booked a table at an art show which is being staged in our village at the end of this month, where I hope to sell some cards and earrings whilst also doing some quilling for people to watch. Maybe I'll be able to get some more bookings from local groups for my little demo - I certainly hope so! I'll let you know how I get on.

Monday 4 July 2011

I'm taking another 'quill pill'!

Some of you may already have seen this quilled nine-pointed star that I made recently, as I have posted it in a couple of the quilling group albums on Facebook. I originally made it as an exercise in pairing up 'P scrolls and using the 'twist' technique to finish off the ends. But what to do with it? Well, I eventually decided to mount it on to a brooch pin as a piece of jewellery and enter it into this month's 'Take A Quill Pill' challenge, as I haven't entered this for quite a while.

Meanwhile ... well, I've been literally overwhelmed by the response to the news about my WI craft competition success, not just here, but also on Facebook and from my good friends in both the English and the North American Quilling Guilds. Now I'm really hoping that my piece will do well in the national competition finals, because that would generate just the right kind of publicity that's needed to bring the art of quilling into the 'public eye'. To all of you who commented on my posts and congratulated me so warmly, I'd like to say another very big "Thank You" right here. If I failed to respond to any individual post, please forgive me - things went really crazy after I posted my news in various places last Thursday night, and it was very difficult for me to keep up with the response, especially as I was away from my computer for most of the day on Friday. The results from the next stage of the competition will be announced in September, so I'll let you know how I get on.


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