This is going to be a long post, so feel free to jump to the end result. I don't often give detailed breakdowns of projects, largely because I'm sure other people can do it better, but I enjoyed this project so much I thought you might like to see how it developed.
My starting point was the book 'Stitch, Cloth, Paper & Paint' by Angie Hughes and I would refer you to that for a real breakdown of 'how to do it' (slightly different to my how I did it version!!!). There are several yummy projects in the book but one had caught my eye which was a (faux) Sundial Diptych made from two small canvases.
Aah, stopped at the first hurdle. Nowhere could I find a small canvas even though when you are not looking for one I'm sure they are a dime a dozen. Not to be fazed, I went to a local 'home' store to try and find a cheap frame that I could maybe alter. Couldn't find anything suitable except..... maybe I could do something with this polystyrene packaging.
It obviously needed bulking up, so I used some mountboard to add a backing.
The next step was to create the fabric based covering that was going to go over the whole thing. Basically you need to add interfacing, tissue, netting and then do lots of beautiful stitching. I discovered my interfacing wasn't iron on kind (or I wasn't doing it right) so I helped it along with pva. I had forgotten that my antique sewing machine (it is nearly as old as me) no longer has a functioning bobbin winder so that had to be done by hand. Consequently I wasn't about to practice very much and dove straight in.I also only used ordinary thread so my 'vermicelli' stitchwork is more like a spider that's gone through an ink puddle but the spirit was willing if not very skilful (this is why you have to see the original - the machine work is stunning). The orange bit is tissue and is only orange because that was what came to hand - it all gets covered up anyhow.
So this is what it looks like when it's all attached to the frame, complete with various bits of beading and stitching, plus tissue, paper and extra fabric in various shapes.
Next we add colour, a base of yellow acrylic followed by a mix of blue and green and oddles of cosmic shimmer sprays and micas - it ended up with a great almost leathery texture. I prepared a sheet of paper in the same colours at the same time.
The finishing touch was to punch out flowers from the prepared paper and add as an embellishment along with sequins and stitching.
Before putting the whole thing together I had to cut out some apertures in the inside pieces and put in a picture or other decorative element as well as attaching the string which will hold the top section upright when the 'sundial' is opened. I chose a stamped picture of a vintage lady but instead of cutting out the corner spaces (OK I bottled it) I added some gilding. I then realised that the polystyrene base would not be able to handle screwed hinges, so I made the hinge using some heavily glued mesh.
At last we are finished. Here it is closed:-
A totally useless, if pretty, object made from some old packaging, cloth, paper and paint. Gosh, that sounds like the title to a book!! That's all for now folks!!
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