Saturday, 30 May 2009

Selvedge makes my heart beat faster!

Not that long ago a lovely friend in America, Katie, offered to give away some of her fabric stash. Over here in Scotland I immediately thought of all the amazing selvedges attached to the bits and emailed straight away - my heart beating faster.....

Until I remembered that postage costs a lot to cross the big pond! Deary me, my desire for selvedge scraps and bits of fabrics had shown no bounds! ...but I had a few thoughts about how I could show my appreciation...

A fat padded enveloped arrived shortly (with LOTS of postage stamps!), and inside were gorgeously patterned and beautiful fabrics. Check out the superb magpie above, the blue cherry blossoms and the amazing pink and yellow sunflowers! Baby hares galore!

..... and then I pulled out the selvedges! Masses and masses of wonderfully coloured 'spots'! Aaah - selvedge spots - just like a printers test page but on fabric! So many spots, so many creative opportunities ....

My favourite bits are the brown one near the top and the blue one below that. Can I ever dare to use them? Perhaps I shall just keep them on display!
Katie has a blog which stars her three cats, Franklin, Tasha and Dobby. I stop by every day to have a look at what they have (or haven't, they are cats after all!) been up to. Dobby the ginger one loves to sleep. Franklin the blue loves attention and Tasha the tortie likes to doze Under her quilts!

Franklin and Dobby both looking Very regal!

Tasha with her one good eye and one not-so-good. Very striking markings on her! I have learnt that 'torties' (tortoiseshells) have lots of 'tortitude'!

So as a thank you to Katie, I knew that she loves watercolours and adores her cats, I decided to paint the trio and make them their very own soft sculptures for their personal collections.
Watercolour painting is quite an art and some times it works, other times it really reminds you that it is the boss! This is my second attempt after the first one failed dismally and has been recycled!
I have used watercolour pencils with watercolour on top for definition and depth. On the right hand side is my 'printers selvedge' of colours that I used and this painting is called 'Cats and Selvedge'. It is definitely not your typical 'portrait' but this is how it came together and I know that Katie likes it.
So now for the cats! Well I managed to rustle up a small Baby Feline Sculpture for each kitty. At the back is Franklin playing with bugs, on the left is ginger striped Dobby and on the right is Tasha with her one good, one not-so-good eye. Each feline has individual selvedge spots sewn onto their fur! (Katie has banned them from her sewing room)
... read on ...
Baby Feline Francheski – Soft Sculpture

Please meet baby feline Francheski. Francheski is a Russian Blue, but he doesn’t make a big thing about it, and most people think that it is some type of cheese anyway. He just loves being the centre of attention and will spend hours plotting up ways to steal the limelight. However, on the rare occasion that he manages to sneak into the sewing room he likes to be as quiet as a mouse so that he can do some plastic bag kneading and selvedge strip chewing. He usually has bits of selvedge stuck onto his fur after an exhilarating session, but he likes to pretend that they are insects and he was no-where near ‘that’ room!
He prefers to perch on a stool waiting for an opportunity to shine, but when everyone is out for the count he will have a doze on his very own blue cat and insect quilt.
Baby Feline Dobshzhe – Soft Sculpture

Please meet baby feline Dobshzhe. Dobshzhe is a very handsome ginger and he likes nothing better than to nap after a big meal. He prefers to nap anywhere, on any thing, at any time. However when he is awake he likes to peruse the fabrics in the sewing room. He has kept this a secret and pretends to ‘play’ with his feline toys and whack them high into the air but he is really practicing for grabbing selvedge strips. He has a small secret collection of selvedge spot scraps that he likes to stick on his fur (a thing he has from when he was furless in parts), but what he really wants is a small scrapbook to be able to stick them all in and look at them.
He prefers to lie snugly on a small quilt, irrespective of the finishing of the miters, and to take many deep naps.
Baby Feline Tashenka – Soft Sculpture (one big green eye, one small clear eye)

Please meet baby feline Tashenka. Tashenka just loves to chew plasic bags, especially the ones in the sewing room. The other day she sneaked in there and spent hours chewing and sucking on the plastic – so much so, that before she knew it, she was gnawing on the selvedge strips, making small squeaks and chirps. And being covered in foamy saliva they stuck onto her fur good and fast. When she was finally ‘discovered’ she was fast asleep amid the crinkly, tooth-marked mis-shapen bags with selvedge spots clinging all over her tortie fur.
She prefers to sit comfortably on a small cushion (pillow for the big pond cousins) amid the glorious materials, and bags, in the sewing room.

Katie also likes my Priceless ACEOs and not that long ago won a competition and chose this ACEO above - Learn Something New
Eunice, his dear blackbird friend had lent him a bird book so that he may familiarize himself with the other winged chaps. Priceless was stunned by the resplendent colours of the Hawfinch, Redpoll and Goldfinch…. Learn something new Eunice had said to him, knowledge gives strength. Priceless even learnt their Latin names.

and this one is very appropriate for Katie and has joined her collection - Writing is Forever
Priceless liked to think of himself as a short story writer and he would pen away in the still of the night . He wanted his stories to cross cultures and knew that writing is forever. He always used an ink pen and a huge pad of blotting paper. Infact there was more ink on the blotting paper than on the page! There were also noughts and crosses, words written down to see if they were spelt correctly and ….
(not a single apple in sight!)
I want to thank Katie very much for sending the fabric and the selvedge - it will go a long way and many little personalities will be created from it all. Not a single selvedge spot will be wasted!
Very shortly some Baby Felines will be making their way to my etsy shop and Baby Feline Handmade Cards (just after I finish some hare watercolours first!).


  1. Awww, how sweet! They are adorable ... TTFN ~ Marydon

  2. Wow, you are just amazing! Those cats will be a hit in your shop if you make ones to sell. You did a fantastic job.
    I am the proud owner of a baby hare and bunny and have to say that the love you put in to everything you make comes across clearly in the beautiful items and gorgeous packages you send.
    Wonderful work!

  3. Thank you SO much, Annette! I am so glad you liked all the fabrics and the selvages. The photos looks so good - it's hard to photograph fabric that well!

    The cats send many purrs and say that they are very proud to be featured in your blog. And as you know, I love the baby felines and the wonderful portrait - the photo you took of the three sculptures together is so great.

    Thanks again!

  4. Your water color is spot on. You have captured Dobby, Franklin and Tasha beautifully.

  5. thanks Marydon!

    and Meghann, thanks also - I am rustling up some kitties soon!

    Katie - I agree, taking pics of fabrics is rather difficult and I have a really old camera!

    thank you Lynn!

  6. Wonderful. I love the watercolour and the kitties. And of course the fabrics are gorgeous. The stars are Dobby, Franklin and Tasha, adorable cats.

  7. Your new creations are lovely!

  8. You captured the mishcats WONDERFUL :)
    You are VERY creative,
    I love your work its fantastic !!
    Many greetz from us

  9. I love Katie's cats too! I visit her blog daily!

    thank you furry

    thanks Anya and Kareltje

  10. Lovely watercolor! Must have ben rather different to make those kitty tails after all the bunnies you've created. Thanks for the animal tip on my blog, I bought her book! I've been doing some experiments with the Spots using semi-precious stones and flower essences, I think the book will add yet another dimension, for sure. :~)

  11. I love all your stories and the pictures are sensational, great art, I love it!!

  12. Annette these are wonderful, amazing . Lindax


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