Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Life and things

I haven't been able to post much over the last short while as real life has been 'in the way'. However I have been busy and promise to put some pictures up shortly. I am not connected to the scanner or camera while I am away from home.

Next week is the Play Day for the Embellisher. I am really looking forward to it, I'm sure we'll have a good time.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Embellisher Taster Day

Well, the first of these was yesterday, and we really had fun.

We had 3 machines. The BabyLock, a Janome and a Bernina with an attachment. Everyone was able to try them for a decent amount of time, and make up their minds as to which one suited their needs.

We used a variety of materials, but mostly yarns and fibres.

I'm looking forward to the next time.

Pictures later

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A handy hint!

Sometimes working on the Embellisher with flyaway fibres is a real nuisance. They can move around and sometimes bounce right off the background. I thought I would tell you about 2 methods of dealing with this.

In both instances you need to lay the fibres where you want them to be.

1 Cover them with a piece of dress net and get meshing through the net. When you have finished you will be able to pull the net away, leaving just the fibres.

2 Work in the same way but substitute a piece of Saran Wrap (Cling Film) and you will find it just as easy.

I have used both these techniques in workshops and students have been amazed at how firmly fibres are held in place. I hope it helps you too.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Janome Xpression

Well I have finally had time to try the Janome. All in all I like it. It was only a quick tryout, another one later perhaps, but it handled felt and fibres famously!

Nothing too strenuous for me at the moment, my emotions are elswhere (

Good to hear that some of you are accepting the challenge. Keep me posted with how you are getting on Don't forget, it's open to owners of Babylock, Janome, Bernina - and any other machine etc

If you want a cautionary tale, have a look here. I can relate exactly to this story!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A challenge

I have to be honest, I have no idea how many people read this blog. However, I know that I get emails from all over the world, so they must generate from somewhere. Many of them confess to the fact that they have an Embellisher machine, but that they have never used it. Some of these machines have stayed in their boxes, still there after 2 years or so.

Today I decided that something must be done. The following link will send you to a new blog with a challenge

Anyone can take part, but I do hope that some of you will be the ones who have yet to discover the joy of taking the machine out of the box ;-)

An Embellisher - now, what else?

Well, anyone following my other blog will probably realise why I have been quiet, however, work must go on, so I thought I would offer these thoughts for you today.

I have an Embellisher, do I need anything else? I'm not suggesting that you go out and buy a new machine to play with, no, rather asking if there are any other pieces of 'kit' that would be of use. I thought I would tell you about 2 items that I find invaluable.

The first is a mini vacuum cleaner. I find this invaluable. It removes the last bit of dust from the machine, and is especially useful around the needle area. Sometimes it is difficult to remove all the fluff from inside the needles. I have a small battery operated machine, and this just does the job beautifully. The best part is that they are available all over and are very inexpensive.
The second piece of equipment I have is slightly more unusual. It is called a 'Hackle'. Here is a picture with some fibres that need conditioning, and with a sample just started
A hackle is an ancient tool for mixing and conditioning fibres prior to spinning. Of course there are other methods of doing this these days, but I find that for The Embellisher it is ideal to have one sitting on the table next to me. It looks a little like a block of wood with a number of nails sticking out! The fibres are gently stroked over the sharp points, and gradually smooth fibres are mixed. I use it a lot, especially when making Nuvo Felt. I don't sell them, but if you need one I suggest you contact Francesa Lawrence at Cae Gwydd, Moelfre, Conwy, LL22 9RL, Wales, UK.

While we are on the subject of Francesca, do try this recipe which I found quite by accident! It's delicious.

Friday, November 03, 2006

My postcard fabric

Well, the postcards for the swap are on their way and possibly already arrived. I thought you would like to see the fabric before the stitching.