Tag Archives: embroidery

Project roundup: some things I’ve been working on!

Projects by Suzanne Forbes March to May 20 2020As usual, I have lots of small bricolage and embroidery projects going, so here’s a roundup!

Motto of EG embroidered by Suzanne Forbes WIP May 2020My Beloved Friend-Muse-Patron Eva said something on twitter I thought made good sense, so I embroidered it as a motto.

On bug fabric of course! It was my first time embroidering text, which is harder than you’d think. I tried two new things.

First, I printed the text on regular paper and used my new LED lightbox to project it through the light cotton fabric. Then, when the piece was finished, I sprayed the hell out of both sides of it with craft fixativ.

Motto of EG embroidered by Suzanne Forbes May 2020On the rare occasions when I’ve done a piece this big, I have had problems with the fabric warping or wrinkling. Especially the big cotton octopus. So I am hoping the craft fixativ, which is an acrylic film, will help prevent moisture from making the fabric stretch.

If you would like to see truly excellent embroidering of (often salty) text mottos, visit my SIL Caitlin’s Insta.

Sacred Heart Bricolage by Suzanne Forbes May 2020 Sacred heart embroidery bricolage!

Sacred Heart Bricolage detail by Suzanne Forbes May 2020I used a commercial heart appliqué as the base and sewed it onto velvet, then heavily re-embroidered it all and added crystals, beads and red plastic pearls from a New Orleans bead string with a lobster on it that had been in my materials stash for decades.

I like to make Sacred Hearts every year, because they are such a powerful symbol of faith. I guess I need a lot of faith this year, cause this is the second one I’ve made so far and it’s only May!


Dragonfly pillbox hat!dragonfly pillbox hat Suzanne Forbes march 2020

No filter, the colors are actually that bright.

I had had this dragonfly floating around in my crafts supplies for at least ten years, getting bent up and dusty. I rescued it, rehabilitated it, studded it with jewels, and attached it to this bright blue commercial pillbox base. I happened to have ordered some hat veiling with velvet dots and some purple pompom trim that all matched perfectly. It all came together delightfully and I really look forward to wearing it outside at some point, Goddess willing.

More bricolage projects coming soon, with a VERY wild insect dolly and her bird-horse steed, when I go on Make-Cation on May 20 🙂

Carnivorous plant art party!

Carnivorous plant art month by Suzanne Forbes November 2019When I let myself go with an obsession, I really let go!

The embroidered pitcher plant is only my second embroidery piece this year – I have had much less time and energy for the most time-consuming art of all, textile art. I used embroidery thread, regular satin sewing thread, two types of metallic thread, iridescent beads, and metallic filament on this piece. The little fly has beads for eyes!

Embroidered Pitcher plant by Suzanne Forbes November 2019It was wonderful to go back to embroidery with a fresh subject, and the curvilinear forms of plants are so satisfying to stitch. The other embroidery piece I finished in 2019 has been sold but the pitcher plant is available.

Polymer Clay Alien Venus Flytraps by Suzanne Forbes November 2019Work has been ongoing with the sculpting of evil alien Venus flytraps; I did a second batch in polymer clay to incorporate translucency, marbling and sparkle.

Basket of Alien Venus Flytraps by Suzanne Forbes November 2019 cuI mixed Sculpey Bake and Bend 50/50 with the translucent clay to get a more flexible, less breakable result, in case any of these get used for wearable art.

Bake and Bend is softer than even FIMO Soft, which helps because I find kneading polymer clay painful on my hands.

Pre-baking all the little teeth to harden them meant I could attach them to the baked leaves by pressing them into the unbaked clay gumline, a rough tube of raw clay laid in the leaf in a horseshoe shape.

In addition, because gluing polymer clay is a moving target, I secured them with Sculpey bake and bond.

Embroidered pitcher plant and Clay Alien Venus Flytraps by Suzanne Forbes November 2019Then I re-baked the leaves with their teeth in. One of the first things I learned about polymer clay was that you can add to your pieces with raw clay and bake them over and over! I was shocked!

After baking the Bake and Bond becomes a translucent, matte glaze over the parts you brushed it on. Then when you paint over it with FIMO gloss, it gets more transparent.

I like to varnish my polymer clay pieces even though the experts suggest it may not be archival – it increases the transparency of translucent clays, which I often use, and creates a nice creepy slick surface.

I left the place at the back of the flytraps where they would be attached to things unvarnished, so that whatever bonding agent I used would adhere to the clay and not the varnish.

Many of the flytraps also have a floral wire stem built in, in case I needed it – if I don’t I just snip it off!

I attached the finished flytraps to the plastic succulents with a glue gun, which some people say holds up well with polymer clay. Because I am a suspenders-and-belt person, I also used some gel crazy glue (gel-type Cyanoacrylate glues or Zap-a-Gap remain flexible, which is important for plastics). I think I will put some of these plant-style flytraps in little pots, with fake moss. The ones shown here are a mix of polymer clay ones and air-drying clay ones. I also added some “silk” floral leaves for color and variety.

You can read here about the first batch of Alien Venus Flytraps, made with airdrying clay, paint, gel medium and a glue gun.Alien Venus Flytraps by Suzanne Forbes November 2019

I also finished shingling the roof of the new dollhouse and I am very proud!!! Endless love to my Mama who brought the laser-cut real asphalt shingles from the US!!!