Published in issue 18, August 2012
Written by Kirsty from The Little Floating Craft Co
This may sound rather odd but it’s taken me many years to realise that I work my memories of special events or people into quite a lot of my work. I often think of loved ones or of days out we’ve had while I’m creating and it really does influence the end results.
Living in a metal box (that doesn’t sound nearly as romantic as saying “house boat”, does it?) also influences what you do and means that you must think carefully and creatively about the furnishing and décor you choose to turn your abode into a home, and even those clothes and accessories you keep on board, as space is at such a premium.
Even on a boat as big as ours there isn’t that much space for lots of decorative items and we also must take into account an adventurous cat, N’Eville (pronounced N-evil, trust me, he earned this pronunciation!) who enjoys climbing. Everywhere. Sigh.
But as houses get smaller and more expensive it’s not just ‘floaty’ types like me who must consider the dimensions of their home when choosing gorgeous things to keep and to decorate their surroundings.
So when I design things which hold these special memories it’s important to me that these things serve a purpose. It’s lovely to carry memories with you but it’s rather hard to excuse ornaments and a photo album in your handbag but if you were to incorporate those memories into a make-up bag for example, well, that’s just fine!
Left image: Little Venice Calvacade, 2011
Right image: small sailing boat, Cornwall, 2010
I love to build up elements that make those memories stir. It might be a colour or a texture, or I might incorporate some beads or other physical element I actually collected on the day but more recently I’ve worked out various means of actually getting the images from my camera onto my material or object surfaces.
I can pick and choose the best method for the finished item.
This has widened my horizons from my existing block printing or free hand illustrating of different things - decorating and embellishing a storage box, giving a comfy cushion a beautiful finish with an old family photo, a case for your glasses, having a favourite joke or picture of your garden; the possibilities are endless and I’m so excited about it!
There are all sorts of ways of transferring your images to fabric – probably the simplest is fabric transfer sheets which are easily available from craft shops or eBay.
You simply print your chosen image from your computer and then iron them onto your chosen fabric. In this way it can be perfectly positioned and you can then go on and customise the piece incorporating charms and text and whatever means something to you, or simply makes your finished piece pretty.
There are also decal sheets you can use to transfer images on to wooden/glass/ceramic surfaces. They don’t need ironing though!
Don’t forget, it’s always a good idea to seal your work afterwards and something like matte Modge Podge is a great product for doing this, but even a thin coating of PVA glue carefully applied would do the job.
Take a look around you and see if you can give something already in your home a new lease of life and a little more significance? If you absolutely adore the spring flowers from your garden, keep them with you all year round and make a wall hanging perhaps, or take a memorable holiday or occasion photo and make it centre piece on a cushion or if it’s having your kids smiling faces grinning at you that melts your heart the most, then why not make bunting with lots of different pictures of them having fun combined with their date of birth or the year the photo was taken? Think about what’s important to you and you’re bound to love the end results! That’s why most of my creations end up involving the water, boats or campervans… Mr LFCC doesn’t like his photo being taken or I’d have Mr LFCC bunting!
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See more of what we do on www.facebook.com/littlefloatingcraftco - cakes, boats, anything that grabs my attention!
You can also read my blog at www.littlefloatingcraftco.blogspot.com