Happy New Year!!!

January 1st – a new day, a new year, and a different kind of blog!

Happy New Year one and all :-). My daughter gave me this book for my birthday. It’s poignant because there is one story for every day of the year and each story is 365 words long.

This year I plan to not just present you with a craft experience, but each craft I showcase or explore will have a story behind it. I hope to be able to share with you the highs and lows of creating a drawing a day as I try and improve my drawing in order to finally make a book.
According to my WordPress stats report, I had 7,900 hits on my Squarebird blog over the year. Thank you everyone who has visited, commented, liked and supported me through the experience of writing my first blog. It has led me to new friendships and the discovery of a craft that I love and revisit frequently. It has led to me being able to sell my art and begin workshopping, so others can also learn in a friendly, social atmosphere. It has brought me through trials, where I my patience was tested. An example of this was making the patchwork chicken pin cushion. Not only had a never done patchwork before, I’d also not worked on such a small piece using fabric block panels.
So on the anniversary of my first blog post … Here’s to another 365 days of fun, craft, blogging and sharing. I hope you join me in this next journey. Enjoy your day wherever you are … Happy January 1st! 🙂



Iris Folding with Fabric, Photographs and Paper

Iris folding is great for creating different effects using a range of materials.  Using papers and folding them against a template produces an iris effect such is found in cameras when the shutter opens and shuts. This one of a coffee pot has a basic template and involves placing the folded edge towards the centre, which means you can use scrap pieces of paper or card, fold down the middle of a strip and the rough edges are kept hidden from view when you mount it against a complimentary background.
 I’ve done many iris folding patterns, but most often with patterned papers or the inside section of envelopes.  By duplicating a photograph several times interesting pictures can be made and then turned into greeting cards.  For the first time today, I decided to try identical sections of a repeat pattern of fabric and achieved this result.  I will just need to hem the edge and mount it so that it can either be put in a picture frame for the wall or used for a greeting card. Not sure yet.



A cross is cut by marking the reverse side of the fabric



The squares cut into the back of the fabric gradually increase in size and are rotated.  I stitched these in place, turning the triangles from the cross back on themselves to form a neat edge.



Here are the two patterns, one using fabric and another using a repeated image of a cat.


Tea elephants (no.2)


Using an ordinary teabag this time, rather than fruit tea, I painted three elephants to make a folding card ready for tomorrow.  Although the tea is brown rather than an elephant grey, it gives the impression of sepia :). I hope my mum likes it.


The card was then folded so that the two baby elephants are hidden until the card is opened right out.


Waterfall Card … And handmade envelope

For a waterfall card you will need

8 x 5cm square images
8 x 5.5 cm squares for backing
One A4 sheet of card for the main card
1 x 5cm by 15cm strip of card
1 length of A4 x 5.5cm

I chose some butterfly printed paper which had arrived in the post to make the inside pocket (for my handmade envelope and personal greeting) and the edging on my card. The pull, decorated with another butterfly, is just a folded length of patterned paper. When you pull on the end, the squares move backwards until the last square image is seen. Then you can push the strip upwards and the squares return. I hope my husband likes it.