The Mr. and I visited a nearby lake today to enjoy the snow. We sat on a bench and watched as it fell around us and slowly covered us in the most perfect snow flakes. Just look at these tiny falling stars.
The lovely Ali of veryberry handmade hosted another textile ATC swap this winter. The theme this time was 'small things'. It's a secret swap so no one knows who they will receive their ATC from. That makes it quite a lot of fun as you become a detective, trying to discover what your swap partner might like. Ali allows everyone to state if there is something that they love or hate in the sign-up form which is handy, especially as some of the swappers don't have an online presence. My partner did have an online presence and I can tell you that her work is Ahhmazing. Intimidating? Yup.
The email I received from Ali with my partners details said that she loves anything inspired by nature so I got my designing cap on and brainstormed a few ideas. Small things, inspired by nature - A line of tiny ants? A hummingbird? Close up of a flea?
In the end I settled on a little mouse hiding underneath some leaf litter on a forest floor. I used inktense pencils to 'paint' the background onto some soft calico and then used them again to draw some leaves and seeds onto white dress lining fabric. The inktense pencils took to the dress lining really well and looked a bit like a water colour. Very happy. Now all I had to do was make a mouse. I tried (and failed) to draw a mouse the same way as I did the leaves but it all blended in too much so I decided to embroider the mouse onto some calico. I used the same inktense pencils to sketch it out then filled it in with tiny stitches. I used five colours of thread for the body- dark, mid and light brown, grey and white. Black for the eye and two shades of pink for the hands, ears, nose and tail. I used the inktense pencils again to 'paint' between the stitches to add more definition. The mouse was then appliqued onto the background with a very fine thread and a bed of moss made for him to sit on with lots of tiny french knots. The tail was stem stitched over the top of the 'moss', a few whiskers added and mousey was finished. I embroidered a few stems of grass around mousey to bring the background out then attempted to add the leaves. The dress lining was prone to fray so I used light interfacing to make it a bit stronger and stitched it on with the fine thread. The stitches are almost invisible which I was happy to see. The leaves are only stitched at the top so they can be lifted up to reveal the mouse.
This little mouse ATC took ages to make but I am so pleased with the way it turned out. I hope my swap partner likes it. It was hard to send this wee one away!
I received my happy ATC mail yesterday. It is a little ladybird on a beautifully stitched leaf floating on a river of stitches in a pretty diamond pattern. This ladybird ATC is seriously neat! The lady who made this has a steady hand and miles of patience! I love this ATC. Thank you for making it for me Amanda!
Do you ever join swaps?
Veryberryhandmade's ATC swap is a great one to join as the ATC is just a small size and easily manageable. Ali also has a rule not to send anything else with the ATC except maybe a little card or message so it's not an expensive swap to join.
I'm joining in with Jennifer's Winter Project Link Party over at Thistlebear. I'd recommend a click over there to check out what peeps have linked up as it's always fun and inspiring.
Speak to you soon and happy crafting!