Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A $5 redemption

It all started with a $5 redemption. I had until end Jan this year to "spend" it and on the last day, I finally went to Art Friend. I didn't want to spend too much time looking around so when I saw a small pack of brooch pins which cost a little over $5, I thought it was perfect. At the payment counter, the cashier informed me that I needed to spend a minimum of $21 to claim the $5 voucher. Yes, I neglected to read the back of the voucher.

So I went to have another look around and I decided to buy a bigger pack of brooch pins. I grabbed the larger pack but sadly, it did not cost anything near $21. So I had another look around. I finally bought a pack of ZIG fabric pens. These pens are ridiculously expensive so I had no trouble hitting $21. At this point, I should have gone and replaced my big pack of brooch pins for a smaller pack but I was too lazy. So I paid for everything and saved $5. Hahaha. What a great way to get customers to spend.

Anyway, long story short I finally took a look at the pack of brooch pins and realised there are a grand total of FORTY-FIVE brooch pins. These brooches don't make themselves so the past two days saw me toiling away. It's all hand sewing so a great project for me while my hand recovers.

Some time ago I purchased a bunch of wool felt from Lupin Handmade.  The quality of the felt is thinner than the ones I use for my needlebooks.

This is the first brooch I made. I used polyester felt as I wasn't sure the embroidery would cause holes to appear in the wool felt.

Yep, 45 brooch pins.

photo thanks to Dee

No, these aren't my fingers. They belong to Dee who blogs at Dee-Tales. She is really into nail art and I was reading her post one day and saw these crazy white daisies on her nails! When I started making brooches, the only image in my head were her white daisy nails. And so that's what I sewed.

A gazillion chain stitches for the while petals. French knots for the center. Stem stitch and daisy stitch for the stem.

I love this light turquoise felt. I wanted to sew something simple but with beads. This is baby's breath. Once I had to buy a bouquet of flowers for my brother's girlfriend (now wife), I was told the baby's breath were free and I picked so many that they overwhelmed the bouquet. I had to put most of them back. The stems are chain stitch and the beads are little "pearl-like" seed beads.

While sewing on the turquoise felt, I discovered that if you don't use more than 2 strands of embroidery thread, this felt is suitable.

I was on a roll and couldn't put a brake on my beading ambition. I sewed feather stitches to get the wandering vine look and I had the perfect purple seed beads. I must curb the urge to fill up the entire brooch with embroidery and beads.

This was really on a whim. I just wanted to show the effect of snowy grass at night. White on black is so startling!

The problem with embroidery on felt is you can't draw any outlines to guide you. You just have to eyeball it and detailed pictures aren't possible.

This brooch is done on linen. Woo hoo! It's such a relief to be able to draw some guidelines. I used my disappearing ink of course. Oh, the bird is upside down because it is a gravity defying bird.

For my last brooch I went for the layering look. Lupin Handmade has a tute on how to design and make a felt brooch. Go here if you're interested.

I used the same template as my flower-flower applique. It's a basic flower shape. When it comes to layering, I think the natural instinct is to pile on the embroidery and colours. I really held back as I prefer simple to complicated. See the stitches that look like the letter Y? They're called crown stitch. I learn my stitches from a book.

I bought Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches years ago. It was really cheap, only $12. I really, really wanted the earlier edition which is available in the public library but you can't borrow it home.

I have listed 4 of the brooches on my Etsy shop. Go here if you want to have a look.

I got BEAR to model my brooches. He was not quite in the mood.

I demand to see my Bear contract.

What? Am I a girl now?

You know where you can pin your brooch!

Are we done yet?

Apparently not.


Hope you have a good week!

Linked to these parties.
Skip to my lou
Ninth street notions
The Gunny Sack
Get outta my head please
So very creative
Ask Anna
Family Ever AFter
Three Mango Seeds


Kandi said...

I love your brooches, simple yet effective. You spending more to get your $5 discount made me smile, they don't half know how to get us to spend do they?
Kandi x

Dee said...

Oh Jane, again I am laughing at your humour. that bear is too funny.
I am impressed at the inspiration my nails provided for your Daisy brooch. I love how us crafters inspire each other to create and interpret ideas.
The brooches all look great.
Hope your hand heals fast.
I too have been caught by the voucher thing. It is my birthday this month and I just received a $10 off voucher at a clothing store and thought 'oh goody that will be useful'. then I read the fine print and it has to be off full priced merchandise. I only ever buy from their mark downs as they are too expensive to start with and once items are marked down they are almost reasonable. I expect my birthday voucher won't get used.

Little Blue Mouse said...

Aw, poor put upon Bear.
I love how the gravity defying bird brooch is trying to silence him!

Lovely brooches.

Inspired By Felicity said...

I love these - would love to invite you to link up at my "Get Inspired" Monday blog party.

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

These are just works of art -- my favorite is the little upside down bird!

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