Sunday 20 February 2022

2022 Topic 03: Second Life {by Jennie Atkinson} with Gwen Lafleur stamps

Hi everyone, it's Jennie (Live the Dream)  with you today, and I'm here to share with you a lovely china cup which I have given a second life as a tea cup pin cushion.

I often drop books and other bits and pieces off in my local charity store and occasionally see beautiful china cups which have lost their partners (ie saucer and plate) but which really would make a beautiful piece of home décor. I bought this cup for the princely sum of 25p (!) and the lady was very apologetic that there was no saucer...... I loved the open nature of the cup and thought it would make a lovely pin cushion showcasing a number of nice pins which currently sit in a drawer. 

My cup was quite plain in terms of colour so this allowed me to choose some brighter colours for the decoration. Gwen Lafleur's stamps particularly appealed to me as they reminded me of tea parties with their Chinese influence and blossom flowers. There was also a tape measure which fitted the theme perfectly. 

PaperArtsy Infusions: Are you CeriseFrankly ScarletThe Sage

My fabric base is cut from an old triangular sling (which was lying around in the medicine cabinet and now totally outdated). The material is quite thin so I thought it would gather well to fit into the cup. I used the flower stamp from EGL23 in Grey Archival Ink and then painted with watery PaperArtsy Infusions, combining 'Are you Cerise' and 'Frankly Scarlet' to get a bright but not Christmassy red.

The fabric took the Infusions well. I had intended to leave the flower blossoms white but they didn't feel part of the whole, so I made a very watery puddle with the tiniest of The Sage and this gave enough colour without being overpowering.

Once dry I gave everything a final press with the iron and gathered the outside edge, capturing enough wadding inside to fit the cup. This bit was a bit fiddly to get right - easing out all the gathers - but worth the effort. I had no idea how to glue the pad into the cup but used ordinary PVA around the edge of the cup and held it in place until it started to take hold - otherwise it kept popping up! It is now very firmly stuck!


I knew I wanted butterflies to cover the cup and the butterfly from EGL23 was just the perfect size.I love the Stamping with Infusions technique learnt from Scrapcosy (Raquel). (You can see her demonstrating the technique here.) One of the reasons I chose these particular colours was for this technique, so once chosen I tend to stick with the same colours throughout the project. Depending on how much you add to the stamp you can get up to four good impressions! I love this as it means I get four butterflies of similar colours, but they all look a bit different. I do tend to sprinkle the Infusions on straight from the bottle, so this does give a good strong colour.

I like finishing the butterflies with a little bit of brown ink blended around the edges and slightly into the butterfly to give a vintage look.

I wanted a few rolled up flowers to sit on top of the cushion, so using the same Infusions I painted them onto cardstock and then stamped with the lovely hexagon pattern from EGL19 before cutting the spiral and rolling them up.

I realised looking at both stamp sets that there were some lovely smaller stamps which would make little books and embellishments.

The little ledger label made a lovely little stitched book using tea dyed paper and I have used some of the smaller stamps to create individual stamped pages.

The tape measure made another lovely roll up to go with the flowers! again stamped on tea dyed paper.

And finally isolating some of the smaller leaves from the oriental leaves stamp gave me further dimension and colour for the flower cluster.

I love being able to give something a new life and this lovely china cup deserved that! I was surprised how well the old sling material took the Infusions without seeping outside the stamped area, despite the amount of water being used. It is a lovely light fabric and capable of being moulded around wadding, so I shall certainly be using more of it. They are quite big so there is plenty of scope!

When I decided to make a little book as an embellishment I was really torn between which stamps to use, in fact I could have made five or six tiny books covers from the two stamp sets. So if you are into this type of embellishment I would recommend these stamp sets from Gwen. 

As always thank you for joining me and I hope this little project might give you some ideas, not just for making a pin cushion but for using Infusions and Gwen's beautiful stamps in a different way. 

Jennie x

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1 comment:

Victoria Wilding said...

Love all the little details in this teacup! That subtle fabric flower painting is so dreamy and then the butterflies, little books and paper flowers make such a great decorative addition. Beautiful 💖