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I'm pleased to let you know that, with the help of random.org, I have chosen a winner.

The winning number selected was "4".

Therefore, Melissa H, you have won! I'll be in touch with you to sort out your scarf.

Congratulations to Melissa, and thank you to everyone who entered.
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I'm ridiculously excited to have made it to 1111 likes, thanks to all you wonderful people who have supported me along the way.

I'm having a giveaway for one of my hand painted silk scarves. All the scarves in my online shop (under £25) are included, with international postage included too if required.

This giveaway will run until midnight on Sunday 9th December (GMT).

How to enter ...

Email jane@janecameron.co.uk with the subject line "1111 likes giveaway".

I'd love it if you would like to choose a picture or an update from my FB page and share it with your friends, or tag my page in a status of yours.

I'll use random.org to choose a winner, and will be in touch. The winner's first name will also be posted here.

Good luck!
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Just to let you know that I will be taking part in CraftFest this year, an online craft fair organised by Creative Connections which runs from 24th November to 1st December. There's 250 stalls selling a wide variety of fabulous handmade products, so do pop over to their website to find out more, at www.craftfest-events.com/.



They have also done a post on their blog which showcases the items I'm offering as part of CraftFest ... it's here ... Jane Cameron - Artist

Do pop along and have a look, and visit my website to buy your fabulous items.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like me to make something special for you this Christmas. Thank you!
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How do you look after your silk painting equipment? Are there certain things you do to make sure that your frames and pins are in good working order?

I use the three prong metal pins with my smaller wooden frames. They work really well but do occasionally lose their little spikes and get rusty (especially if I'm using salt).



They're about £3-4 per box so not that expensive, but it does add up over time.

What I do with mine is:

1) Check them all. Discard any with broken pins.
2) Put them all in a dish and add a bit of washing up liquid and boiling water.
3) Leave to sit for about 10 mins, then give them a good stir to remove any loose debris.
4) Drain through colander (not sieve - they get stuck in the mesh!) and rinse well.
5) Lay them out on greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and put in low oven for 10 minutes to finish drying - make sure they don't overlap!

You now have some nice clean pins!

Happy painting!
janecameron: (Default)
So, who has done crochet before? I have always loved looking at crochet, but having not yet worked out how to follow a knitting pattern I didn't think it was something I could do.

However, I do have some crochet hooks so decided it was about time I found out what all the fuss was about.

I was given a beautiful crocheted square and a strawberry and some other lovely bits by Gertie Lee (http://gertieleigh.blogspot.co.uk/) as part of the Popular Crafts Magazine "Strawberry Craft Swap" this month so thought I really should have a go. Isn't this great!



So ... where did I start?

Well, you can get all sorts of beautiful things to do crochet with, but I thought I would start with some normal knitting wool as I had some around the house.



There's some great instructions here: http://learntocrochet.lionbrand.com/ - not only a video, but actual step by step too and you can download the whole lot as a pdf if you want it on your ebook reader or ipad!

So, I had a look at those and decided to have a try. How hard could it be?

Well … here’s my first attempts.



I hadn’t worked out how to hold the hook properly and found that my fingers were getting so tense I could barely hold it! I also hadn’t quite worked out how much of the stitch to crochet, or that I needed to loop both behind AND in front of the stitch for a “single crochet”. Yeah, instructions … reading them would be good! I had a bit of a fiddle about with different sizes of crochet hooks and ended up with a size 4.5 (I think size 4 is recommended for this type of wool, having done some more reading later!)

So, I managed to do a few red pieces but they kept getting smaller … I was trying to make a coaster but it really wasn’t happening …

Having nearly thrown the ball across the room several times I decided to go on to a more restful colour and started work on a bookmark in green wool instead. I thought the shorter rows would make it easier. This went a bit better but still wasn’t right.



I had been looking at some tutorials on Youtube. However, the ones I looked at were right handed, and I’m left handed … so after I finished the bookmark I decided to see If I could do it the other way round, and I also wanted to make something 3D as I was getting frustrated by flat things not staying flat!

This is the video that saved my sanity!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yP7MH3dAsA&feature=channel&list=UL

She’s great! The instructions are clear and, even more impressively, she produces these videos in both left and right handed versions!

So here I have my first successful piece! I’m so happy!



This way of working is much more comfortable, and I made this lovely stuffed heart this morning so it’s a lot quicker than the 2 days it took me to do the bookmark!

I made myself a coaster next. I added a very dodgy frill round the edge and it's not quite square (I forgot about the extra stitches you need at the end of the rows!) but I'm feeling much more confident about it.



Having thought I hated crochet and having never got the hang of knitting patterns, I feel like I have really achieved something new this week. It took me 5 days to get this far, but I hope that this post will help you to progress quicker than I did. If I can work it out, so can you!

Remember that everyone’s learning style is different and that a book is just one option. There will be a set of instructions or a video out there that will make sense for you.

Believe in yourself and try something new today!

Happy crocheting!
janecameron: (Default)
And the winner is ... *drum roll*



... Rob A!

Congratulations Rob! I'll be in touch.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered.
janecameron: (Default)
So, today's craft focus is on ... knitting! If you've always wanted to knit but never got round to learning then there's loads of ways you could go about it.

It depends on what your learning style is - some people prefer to be shown, some people prefer to read it in a book or online, some like to learn in a group and others want to work it out on their own. There's places for each of these, and plenty of resources to help you on your way.



Here's just a few:

Knittinghelp.com is a free website, with videos, dedicated to helping people to learn how to knit.

Ravelry is "a community site, an organisational tool, and a yarn & pattern database for knitters and crocheters". You do need to sign up if you want to join them, but it's worth it. Be warned - it is awesome but will eat your free time!

If you like to go and meet up with people to have tea / beer and do knitting, then there are lots of groups around the world who would be most pleased to see you. Have a look at http://stitchnbitch.org/, who also have a range of books http://www.knithappens.com/. Also do go and visit your local department store's haberdashery department, as some of them host local knitting groups. Other useful organisations are the W.I. and the UK Hand Knitting Association, who recently teamed up to break the Guinness World Record for "the most people knitting simultaneously for fifteen minutes".

In terms of books, have a think about the sort of book you want ... do you want a list of techniques and stitches or do you want a book of projects you can make? Or both!



This is one my husband knitted for me from this book. It's great for small things to knit, which can also be used as embellishments on larger projects.

Do you want something you can wear, something you can use, or something geeky and awesome?



This fabulous Dalek was knitted by my husband for my birthday! He found the pattern on the internet. He's happiest with a few balls of different coloured 4 ply and will sometimes make up his own patterns, while I like to just "sit and knit" and own far too many pretty fluffy scarves as a result!

Knitting is great. You can knit what you want, when you want (apart from on the aeroplane - grr!). You don't have to know loads of fancy stitches or be able to follow a pattern to make a basic scarf - I've had loads of compliments on this one and it's just 3 balls of wool, done on 7.5mm needles, with normal knit stitch. Fabulous yarn can make up for a lot of technical shortcomings! :)



There's also a worldwide "Knit in Public Day" http://www.wwkipday.com/ which happens in June.

There's loads of types of wool out there, from standard sheep to bamboo, from silk to polyamide and everything in between. You can even get wool made out of recycled denim! Check out your local independent shops as well as larger stores and online. When you're just starting out it's a good idea to pop into a shop and get them to advise you on what you need. The internet is fabulous at advice too, but you can't feel the wool on a picture! I find that touch is the most important thing for me when choosing a new wool - I need to know that I like the feel of it or I won't want to wear it.

Knitting needles come in several types - you can get them in metal, plastic or bamboo. I like metal needles in the smaller sizes and plastic in the larger sizes. However, I recently tried bamboo needles and was pleasantly surprised.

I do like knitting - it's not something I would ever do professionally but I enjoy the satisfaction of having made a big fluffy scarf and the way that you can just sit and knit a few rows if you only have a few minutes! With a lot of the other artwork I do it's a "one way" process - knitting is great because you can go back and pick up stitches or unpick your mistakes, or just undo it all and start again if you need to! I made this one last month while we were on holiday - it gave me something relaxing to do in the evenings and the wool was just £1 per ball in the sale bin! It doesn't have to be an expensive hobby ...



Do you have a favourite resource I haven't mentioned, or some hints for someone just starting out as a knitter? Do pop a note in the comments!
janecameron: (Default)
Thanks to all my wonderful fans, I now have over 1000 likes on my Facebook page so, as promised, I am having a giveaway.

The winner will receive a set of three of my fabulous fused glass Christmas tree decorations in their choice of colours. My very popular "sparkly tree" can of course be included in this prize. Postage worldwide is included.



To enter, please email jane@janecameron.co.uk with the subject "1000 Fans Giveaway" by the end of September 2012. I will use random.org to choose a winner and will then contact them for their postal address.

Note: One entry per person. No cash alternative. Your personal fb page must be a fan of my facebook page to enter.
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At last, new dates for my friendly and inspirational silk painting courses are now up on my website. Do pop over and have a look - you can book online too!

Having been recently featured on www.craftcourses.com, places may sell out fast, so book yours today!



Remember, if you'd like a course which isn't listed, or a different date for your group, please do email or phone me and I can arrange something with you or add additional course dates (subject to demand).

If you'd like to have a look at the work some students have painted on previous courses, do pop over to my business facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JaneCameronArtist) - you don't have to login as it's public.

Hope you're having a good summer, and that you have a fabulous long weekend!
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I'm pleased to be able to announce the winner of my "900 Fans" giveaway.



With the help of random.org I have chosen a winner. The winner is ... Ann Hidayat.

Congratulations Ann, and thanks very much to all those who entered.

Jane Cameron
janecameron: (Default)
Thanks to all my wonderful friends, my Facebook page now has 900 fans! To celebrate this, I am having a giveaway.



If you would like to win a most fabulous long 100% silk scarf, hand painted by me, then please email jane@janecameron.co.uk with the subject line "900 Fans Giveaway", including your full name. If you win, I'll email you and ask for your postal address.

For every 50 entries I receive, I will add another long silk scarf to the giveaway, so the more of you that enter the more chances there are to win!

Please do share this post with your friends.

The small print...
Strictly one entry per person. Closing date 30th June 2012. Worldwide postage is included. I will use random.org to choose the winning entry (or entries). Entries will be numbered in order of receipt. My decision is final. Winner(s) will be emailed within 7 days.
By entering this competition you are agreeing to receive very occasional (approx quarterly) emails from me about my art and forthcoming events. Your details will not be passed to any third parties and you can be removed from my list on request. If you don't want to be added to my list, then please put "no mail please" in your email.

If you have reached this post via another source, are on Facebook and not already a fan of my page, I'd really appreciate it if you would "like" me too, though this is not a condition of entering the competition.

Competition run by Jane Cameron
janecameron: (Default)
Yesterday I spent most of the day with my fabulous friend Jacqui, experimenting with machine embroidery. I had done a little bit before but didn't know what my sewing machine (Silver Viscount) could do and Jacqui had offered to help me sort it out and take me through the main techniques. I am much less scared of my sewing machine now, and have also rediscovered the joy of (hand sewn) french knots!

Here's my first "experiment" sheet ...



I particularly enjoyed working on the "nibble" technique, bottom left, and the vermicelli work (second along top row). The chenille technique (top right) is also rather fun, especially if done with multiple layers of fabric.

Machine embroidery does take a surprisingly long time to do, but is much quicker than hand sewing would be. I thought these (3 inch) squares were small, but they seem much bigger once you start to work on them!

I'll definitely be continuing with these techniques.
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If you want any of my work to give as presents, please either call me or order it online before last posting date (UK is 14th December for parcels - all silk painting kits come under this category). You can also "call and collect" if that's easier for you.

I've got a lot of commissions on at the moment (which is wonderful!) so I'm closing my order book until mid January. However, do let me know what you're looking for as I may already have one made or know someone who can help! :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year.

Christmas!

Dec. 5th, 2011 09:03 pm
janecameron: (Default)
Yes, it's now coming into December, and only a couple of weeks left until last posting date.

Please do contact me if you would like to order something, or do check out my website http://www.janecameron.co.uk.

If you want to see my latest work, there are some preview pictures over on my facebook page.

My weekend availability for the first half of next year is filling up rapidly with silk painting birthday parties, shows and courses, so if you are looking at booking a birthday party please do contact me to secure your date.
janecameron: (Default)
It's been a busy month. I'm a year older, the trees are starting to go slightly brown at the edges, and I'm going back to University in a month's time to do an Art & Design Diploma!

One of the big highlights was the Guild of Silk Painters Festival, held at Wanstead House in East London. The screen which the Essex Branch made for the Branch Challenge was amazing! Here's a picture:



This is the "KaleidosCape", which Surrey members worked so hard to produce:



As part of the Festival, we also had people from Quilts for London, a selection of other workshops, "have a go" sessions, and an exhibition of members' work on the theme of Kaleidoscope. I had three items in the exhibition - a scarf, a cushion and a small picture.

I went on a one day wax workshop with Sue Thomas. It was useful to have a whole day to work on layering, and I feel I understand it better now. Working from light to dark, for me, feels somewhat like working in reverse. This piece still needs the rest of the wax ironing out, and may turn into a cushion cover later. I enjoyed working with the wax brush. This piece had at least 10 different coats of wax on it, including a crackle layer at the end.



I'm working on some new fused glass pieces at the moment, so these will probably come up in my next update.

In other news, today I have been reading Jane Brocket's Blog, which is really interesting and quite inspirational. She's the author of books such as The Gentle Art of Knitting and The Gentle Art of Quilt Making.

This afternoon I decided to make biscuits, using an old recipe out of the Readers Digest book "The Cookery Year". However, I was out of some of the ingredients so decided to be creative and make something up! They came out rather well ...



Recipe: Makes about 48 large (2 inch approx) biscuits. If you want to use half an egg, you can halve the quantities!
5 oz granulated sugar
5 oz Olivio (olive spread)
12 oz wholemeal self raising flour
1 egg (beaten)
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp lemon juice

(You could add lemon peel or sultanas if you like.)

Beat sugar and olivio
Add egg
Add flour, golden syrup and lemon juice
Combine

Spoon heaped teaspoons on to teflon sheet on baking tray (you can roll into little balls and squash with fork if you prefer - this will make a lot more biscuits!)

Bake for 12 mins in fan oven pre-heated to 180c.
They will expand a bit.

Remove from tray and cool on baking rack.

Enjoy!

(Recipe (c) Jane Cameron 2011)

I post more regular updates (shorter ones!) on my FB fan page, so do pop over and say hello! Or you can visit my website (www.janecameron.co.uk) for more information on my silk painting courses and to shop online.
janecameron: (Default)
Yesterday I met up with a friend and we went to Knit Nation for the day. "Knit Nation offers classes with amazing teachers, a dedicated Knit-Tea Salon where you can take a break between classes or from shopping in the Marketplace, a fun Charity Bingo party on Saturday night, and a great Marketplace for shopping and perusing."

It was a fabulous day, even for me who isn't that into knitting (I know ...).

I didn't book on any of the classes, but had a lovely time round the Marketplace. Lunch was good too, though there was an epic queue till about 130.

It was lovely to see the crew from The Bothered Owl again - do check out their quirky Lego stitch markers and their fabulous reversible project bags.



Had a great chat to Anna from OneHandKnits (original hand knit designs) - check out her website for amazing patterns, including socks in a TARDIS pattern!

Also there were Sparkleduck, who sell gorgeous wool as well as silk fibre hankies dyed in various colours. Do contact them directly for more information as their website isn't quite up and running yet. I bought some silk fibre hankies and am looking forward to making exciting things with them!

I have to recommend YarnBox. They are really friendly and knowledgeable and have a great choice of wool. I got some Mochi Plus and, even with my limited knitting skills, I'm sure it will make a most fabulous scarf!



One of the ladies from Stitch London was also around, promoting the new Stitch London Book which will be coming out in September. It was lovely to meet her.

I got some fabulous fibres from John Arbon Textiles, including tops made of merino wool blended with wild silk. I'm hoping to dye this myself, so we'll see how I get on!



Talking of dyeing, I had a wonderful chat with Helen Deighan, author of Dyeing in Plastic Bags, Magic Dyeing Made Easy, and several other books. She was doing demonstrations of acid dyeing in the microwave, which was fascinating, and she autographed my book! I bought a Procion Dye kit, which is very exciting, and am looking forward to using it - I can also paint with these on silk (as long as I finish painting within 3 hours ...!). She was lovely, and I hope to go on one of her workshops soon.



So yes, I had an amazing day and definitely hope to go again next year.
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It's July already! Where did all the time go?

Amazing news! I have a two page article in the summer edition of Popular Crafts Magazine on silk painted cards! I'm so thrilled - thanks so much to Kerry for her support. You can see a preview here!

I have been busy with Surrey Artists Open Studios and running courses recently, which has been fabulous fun - thanks so much to everyone who came over to see me, and to those who have attended my courses.

I have run "Silk Scarves in the Microwave" twice in the last month for private groups, and have a couple of Silk Painting Birthday Parties scheduled for later this month which is rather exciting!

I'm currently redesigning my website - the fancy interactive gallery is coming back, as are a new set of course dates and details of all my Christmas craft fairs! Watch this space ...!
janecameron: (Default)
I have put some new course dates up on my website, including three new SATURDAY dates for my beginners course, and a session on silk scarves in the microwave. I am setting a date for a "wax on silk" course soon, so do let me know if you would be interested in attending.

This week I am at the Bourne Hall Gift & Treat Market. It's open from 10-4 and I'll be there until Saturday. I would love to see you there!

I'm starting to get prepared for Surrey Artists Open Studios - my first day open will be 11th June, 11am to 5pm. Please email me if you would like further details.

My summer is starting to fill up with silk painting Birthday parties (age 8 and up), so if you are thinking about booking me over the next few months please contact me soon to ensure I can fit you in.

Happy painting!

Update!

May. 28th, 2011 04:05 pm
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I've got some awesome new things in my Folksy shop, including my silk painting kits and some QR code Father's Day cards (also available in your choice of wording).

New course dates will be going up soon, including dates for "silk scarves in the microwave". Email jane at janecameron.co.uk if you would like to be notified when they go online!
janecameron: (Default)
I am doing a handmade craft fair on 15th May at Caterham School. More details are on my website (http://www.janecameron.co.uk/about.html) and I hope to see you there. If you wish to order anything in advance, you can pick it up at the show and save on postage.

I have run a couple of fabulous beginners courses recently, and been the entertainment for a 9th Birthday party (we did silk painted cards). I have received some fantastic feedback and my courses for next month and beyond are starting to book up.

I'm taking a bit of time out now to work on my City & Guilds in silk painting before I get too snowed under. I have some great new tables for the work room, which are making things so much easier. Today included drawing some broccoli! I'm doing a piece based on natural forms and broccoli has the most awesome cross-section.



My facebook page is continuing apace, and I now have over 50 "likes" which is really encouraging. If you would like to join them, the link is here: http://www.facebook.com/JaneCameronArtist

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