Adorable dachshunds

I was lucky enough to snap up a Dachshund printed fabric off-cut from a Sophie Allport shop last year and was itching to use it in a new artwork design. Finished and mounted before Christmas, I have only just found time to photograph and list in my online shops. I did however remember to take a few in progress shots and thought I’d share these with you to give you an insight into how the picture came together.

Initial design colours for dachshund textile artwork by Ellie's Treasures

Having chosen the light turquoise blue/green felt as the background, initial colour scheme ideas came from the dark red of the Dachshund’s collar so I started by sourcing buttons in complementary colours.

Initial design ideas by Ellie's Treasures

My next stage was to play with fabrics and trims, building a balanced piece with interest from different patterns and textures.

Embellished hound artwork by Ellie's Treasures

Tiny embellishments are added last to give additional interest and prettiness to the artwork before being mounted on a white canvas and finished with my logo on the reverse.

Embellished mounted artwork by Ellie's Treasures

As with most of my products, I try to use as many donated and recycled fabrics and decorations as possible to save materials ending up in landfill. For this particular picture, many of the additional fabrics, dark grey paper, buttons and sequins were all repurposed.

mixed media Dachshund artwork by Ellie's Treasures

To finish, here’s a few interesting facts about these adorable hounds:

* with their German origins, the correct pronounciation of the word “Dachshund” is “Daks-hoont”, with the word “dachs” meaning “badger” and “hund” meaning “hound” or “dog”;

* they have quite a few nicknames, the most endearing to me are “sausage dog” and “doxie”;

* in 1972 Waldie the Dachshund was the colourful mascot for the Munich Olympic Games.

Ref: youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com iheartdogs.com

Textile and mixed media artwork

During GCSE years (or O’level as it was in my day), one of the subjects I took was Fine Art.  I always remember feeling I wasn’t very good at it but did, on my third attempt, secure a grade B having previously received two grade Ds!  I seem to remember we were taught to draw or paint in a particular way and could never quite master it. I have since realised that art isn’t about conforming, there is no right or wrong, it is your own personal interpretation, your way to express what you see and how you feel.

mixed media flamingo canvas artwork by Ellie's Treasures

Texture has fascinated me since junior school, my first memories are of making paper collages and weaving materials by using a hand made cardboard loom.

beautiful textures in nature: rust, feather, wood
gorgeous textures: rust on burnt steel, feather and wood

I have finally rekindled this love by sewing tactile and colourful artwork for Ellie’s Treasures.  I have to admit, it was daunting at first and actually quite frustrating, as I knew how I wanted things to look, but didn’t have the confidence to get there. All I can say is, if this sounds like you, whatever you long to do, keep practising, keep experimenting and you’ll be surprised how quickly you progress.   

After initial fabric and charm framed pictures I moved on to sewing with material scraps, ribbon, trims and embellishments to “build” my first mini canvas.  It took me an absolute age!

hand sewn mixed media picture

Now I love the planning stage and really get stuck in trying this and that until I begin to see something lovely develop. Although there are many times when work is put on the back-burner for a few weeks, I know I will return to it with fresh eyes and be able to finish and be happy with the end result.

Ellie's Treasures mixed media artwork

When a piece comes together, the sense of achievement is wonderful.  That feeling grows even more when someone else shows an interest in your hard work by way of comments and sales – it boosts your confidence no end and pushes you to keep doing what you love.

Ellie's Treasures