Tagged ‘art’


Warmest Wishes – Envelope #10

laing embroidered envelope

Warmest Wishes (c) 2014 Julia Laing

Warmest Wishes

I want to convey my warmest wishes to you… also, I was thinking about staying warm in these chilly days of early Spring. Often when I sew, my hands are freezing. Sitting still so long is no good for the circulation! While I was making this my hands got so cold that it made sewing on the crochet embellishments very tricky indeed but I’m not complaining –  it was also great fun! I used one of my Gran’s old crochet hooks, which I inherited from her more than 20 years ago. She would have approved of the bright scarlet. She was never seen without her red lipstick .


Width 14.6cm Height 15cm


Hand-embroidery and crochet on silk and vintage knitting magazine paper.



Envelopes Project #6 Hello

mixed-media envelope

(c) Julia Laing 2014

Measurements – 14.7cm wide,17.8 in height

Materials – Paper from vintage knitting magazines, silk ,cotton,embroidery thread, mother of pearl buttons.

Hello…thinking about parts of letter writing, in this case, the salutations. For this simple message greeting I used a back to basics, pared down monochrome colour scheme . The word itself was sewn onto cotton by hand using chain stitch.

The word craft was cut out and applied to the paper interior of the envelope as a playful hint to the process involved in its making.


Envelopes Project #5 Reduce Tension

mixed media envelope

(c) Julia Laing 2014

Measurements – 15.5cm wide, 19cm in height.

Materials – Used paper from vintage knitting magazines, hand-dyed silk, cotton, embroidery thread, vintage buttons and safety pin.

I enjoyed being playful with the words; some are cut from old knitting magazines and others are hand-embroidered. The phrase ‘reduce tension‘ came to mind as I started to work on this envelope. Some people knit to relax but I’ve always been a very tense knitter, so ‘reduce tension at end of row‘ made sense to me. The word row has a couple of meanings and it can also be read as ‘to make up reduce tension at end of row’. I like that whoever views it will read something different from it, depending on what they’re looking for.

Don’t think the colour and tone of the green works too well as the writing is not very distinct. If I was doing it again I would use a darker colour to make it clearer to read.



Yours Sincerely

envelope collage

(c) Julia Laing Yours Sincerely Envelope Collage

This mixed media collage was made with Mail Me Art 4 in mind. Now it’s done I’m not sure I want to send it…I just have the feeling I could do better so I’ve sent off for a replacement postcard. There might be time to create something else. Its very hard to be objective about it so soon after working on it. If I put it away for a few days I might feel differently next time I look.


Envelopes Project Catch Up – #1, #2, #3 & #4

I think I mentioned that I was going to restart a project, that never really got off the ground, from last year – that is, to make 100 mixed-media envelopes, with paper and fabric.

The reason I’m giving it another go is that I think a longer-term project will help me satisfy some of my creative urges and help me develop my personal work. I want to look at ideas to do with communication and craft and the envelopes seem a good vehicle for these explorations.

My aim is to explore different techniques so I can improve my skills, but just as importantly, I want to create a routine, where I sit at my desk and work regularly, so the work flows.

Although this was the first envelope I made, I’ve had the idea on the back-burner for years, so have a few idea bubbling away…

So here’s a catch-up on the Envelopes from last year.

Envelope #1 – Fresh Start

Envelope Fresh Start

Materials – cotton, vintage printed linen table napkin, thread.

Measurements – Currently, I’ve mislaid this envelope but will update when it reappears.

A bright, bold, optimistic message to celebrate a new year with a fresh start and a new project. Features hand stitching and the piping emphasizes the construction and shape.

Envelope #2 Now Do It

Envelope 3

Measurements – 14.8cm wide 17.8cm high

Materials – Paper, buttons, recycled diary pages

Typing, collage, paper-cutting & stitch. An internal monologue of negatives and ‘reasons’ not to, needs a bit of personal advice to help combat the resulting procrastination – ‘Now Do It’.

Envelope #3 Wish You Were Here

envelope 3

Measurements – 22.7cm wide 18.3 cm high

Materials – Acrylic paint on brown paper envelope, fabric, postage stamps, thread, glass seed beads.

This is a bright and exuberant envelope, which has been made to look like a closed envelope, with lines of hand-stitching to create the flap and corners.  It began with me arranging the stamps on the envelope and then adding paint and then deciding on the wording, which was cut out with a sharp knife. Mainly I was just concerned with creating an interesting composition and play of colours on the surface. The bright colours look exotic to me and are a sharp contrast to the muted colours of home in Scotland.

Envelope #4 – Trouble Brewing

envelope 4

Measurements – 15cm wide, 16.3cm high

Materials – Paper, ink, watercolour, acrylic paint, buttons, thread, scraps of older drawings and fabric.

Started in 2013 and finished on 5th Jan.

This was the final one from last year, begun when I was starting to feel unsettled, low and just a it lost, last Summer. Finished this year, with the addition of black and yellow, which I think create a disturbing feel.

I’ve finished another couple this year, which I’ll blog about soon.


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