Fiona Tranter

Letting off Creative STEAM


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Warren Township HS Bandbooster Craft Fair

Posted by fionatranter on October 31, 2015 at 3:25 PM

Get into the Holiday spirit and come support the CWarren Township Band Boosters Fundraiser Craft Fair


Saturday 7th November, 2015

9am to 3pm


Warren Township High School on Almond Road in Gurnee


With free admission and 100+ vendors it’s a great place to get a jump on your holiday shopping.

I’ll have a selection of holiday bling, geometric designs and beautify made jewelry including the vintage crystal snowmen featured above.

An Original Jewelry Artist and Accessory Show

Posted by fionatranter on November 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Just in time for the holidays our local bead shop "Ayla's Originals" has organized a jewelry and accessory show. This is a great opportunity to pick up gifts for the favorite people on your list and support local artists.

For one day only on Sunday 14th December in Evanston from 10:00am till 4:00pm at the Best Western hotel, 1501 Sherman Ave, Evanston, Il.

More information about the artists, location, transport etc. is available at Ayla's web site.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Autumn Equinox

Posted by fionatranter on September 23, 2014 at 8:25 AM

The inspiration for my latest necklace was changing seasons and the transition from summer into Autumn and the Autumn Equinox seemed like a good day to write about the piece.

The focal leaf is enameled copper that was expertly created by Anne Lichtenstein of Gardanne. I added a couple of Swarovski crystal dangles and a peyote stitch bail in graduating sized seed beads. The rope was created in moss stitch with matte and duracoat metallic seed beads graduating from colour to colour along the length.

There is a special design feature with this piece though; it can be worn two ways. The photograph above shows the leaf hanging from the green and lavender silver beads. Combined with the green and pink of the leaf this reminds me of the cooler days of summer.


However the bail fits nicely between the ends of the rope and covers the clasp so the leaf is nestled against the orange and gold seed beads which remind me of autumn colour changes.

In this photograph you can see the full colour graduation along the length of the rope.

Here is a close up of the lovely enameled leaf. I must admit the leaf looks a little brown on my monitor but the accent colours are actually a lovely pink colour. I used rose gold and silver jump rings to match the silver, bronze and gold beads in the rope.

This is a close up of the rose gold clasp. The rope is twenty inches in length and the leaf is about 1.5 inches long. The piece is available for sale in my web store

Oakshot Cotton work in progress Wednesday

Posted by fionatranter on September 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Back in 2013 I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK. One of my purchases from the day was a pack of fat 1/8s from Oakshot Cotton. I have pondered for quite some time what design would be worthy for this beautiful fabric and finally decided upon the Double Disappearing Nine Patch. I first found this design on pinterest  and was intrigued, then one of the ladies at my quilt guild used the design and I decided I had to have a go. I have not followed the traditional way of arranging the blocks that are created by this technique which I think enhances the rich colours of the shot cotton.

I've used nearly the whole pack of fabric I purchased from Oakshot Cotton and made a table runner and place mats:

The start of a cushion cover:

and a reversible table runner. This book case is a favorite of our cats, its an Ikea design made from pine, which is a soft wood and does not stand up to the cats claws as the land from the jump up. A perfect excuse to make a table runner!

I have to confess I purchased a 1/2 yard of the purple and burgundy Oakshot Cotton from a stall at the International Quilt Festival back in June.

The camera does not do justice to the rich red colour. Perhaps the folks at Oakshot do a better job on their web site.

As you can see the quilting is yet to happen and I am still contemplating a design that will offset the cotton, which out being too intrusive. I'll post pictures once all is finished.

Shimmer and Bling Bead Expo

Posted by fionatranter on August 31, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Several of my designs use glass beads from the very talented Teresa Silbert of Hobo Glass.

Teresa has a booth this coming weekend (7th September) at the Shimmer and Bling Bead Expo and has graciously offered to have some of my work available for sale.

I will be availble in person, with a full range of my latest designs at the Highland Park Bead Bazaar on 21st September.

Here are photographs of some of the work Teresa will have available this weekend.

Sophisticated Closed Curves

This bracelet uses glass ring beads from Hobo Glass along with size 15 Japanese Delicas and Swarovski crystal beads.

The Fi Squared bracelet uses Hobo Glass ring and square beads and size 11 Japanese seed beads in various matte finishes. The design incorporates two closures which provides balance and offsets the glass beads, while also sitting comfortably on the wrist.

Just for fun I also created the Closed Curves bracelet in black and white and bright colours. I have a version of this bracelet and it receives complements whenever I wear it. It's a great piece to wear in the summer with my many colourful t-shirts.

Christmas in August

Posted by fionatranter on August 10, 2014 at 9:10 AM

At a recent Northeast Illinois Modern Quilt Guild meeting one of the quilters brought a beautiful I-spy quilt for show and tell. The inspiration for the quilt was a personal goal to make three quilts from their stash this year and the end result for this quilt was lovely.

This reminded me of a little bundle of 4 inch squares I'd received as a Christmas present one year. The bundle was made up of lots of fun prints but I was not sure what to do with them. The idea of an I-spy quilt intrigued me as we have several nieces and nephews that I think would love to own such a quilt.

I thought I'd make my first cross quilt too and have been cutting up fabric from my stash to compliment the fabrics in the 4 inch square bundles.

I found a lovely white fabric with little flowers on that I thought might work for the white space and the flowers would add a slightly more feminine touch to the quilt. However, as you can see from this photograph, the flowers detract from the white space so I am in the process of exchanging them for a fabric with a pale grey stripe.

So I've officially started getting ready for Christmas !!

Crochet Heart

Posted by fionatranter on June 30, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Since my aha moment last year concerning bead crochet I have been enjoying using the technique to create bangles and ropes. Once you have the beads threaded the project becomes very portable and I've been able to crochet on the plane and in the car and at art and craft fairs. These days even threading the beads is less of a chore as I have a bead spinner and can finally use it successfully.

Here is one of my latest projects. The Lisa Peters Raku ceramic heart was the inspiration for the colours in this piece. The rope was crocheted with tiny size 11 Japanese delica beads and I added a modified Russian leaf to give the heart a little more interest.

The delica beads crochet like a charm. They fall into place very nicely and create a lovely even rope. I used a combination cotton/ polyester thread, which gives the piece great durability with all the drape of a 100% cotton thread.

The sterling silver clasp came from Silver Dash and fits this size rope perfectly. The rope is 6 beads round. The necklace is approximately 18 inches in length and the heart and leaf are just over 1 inch and it's available for purchase in my web store.

19th Annual Grayslake Art Festival

Posted by fionatranter on June 17, 2014 at 8:20 AM

What fun we had this last weekend at the 19th Annual Grayslake Art festival. The weather was perfect, beautiful blue skies, a slight breeze and lots of sun.

Here is Jobi at our booth ready to start the day.

The Grayslake Chamber of Commerce lined up some excellent bands, so we were serenaded all day to big band music, 80's hits, rock and roll!! and by the end of the Fair some great mellow music for winding things down. The News Sun wrote a small piece on the day and The village has a Facebook page with lots of photographs of the vendors and artists who took part in the event. They even managed to snap a picture of me working at the booth.

Jobi and I met some lovely people and our jewelry went home to good homes. I imagine we'll be back in 2015.

Tula Pink Block 4

Posted by fionatranter on June 4, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Here is another Tula Pink block from her book 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. I'm not managing one a week and at this rate I'll be making a quilt for my sisters grandchildren!

This is the layout for block number 4. I used central park fabric designed by Kate Spain for Moda and a kona solid for the purple.

As you can see from the finished block below I had a little snafu with the blue and green blocks, I made them too narrow. However I was able to find suitable alternatives and the finished block looks great.

Grayslake 19th Annual Art Festival

Posted by fionatranter on June 2, 2014 at 8:00 AM

I am very excitied to have been accepted into my first juried show and will be attending the 19th Annual Grayslake Art Festival on 14th June.

The show runs from 10am to 5pm and I will have a selection of my latest designs available for sale.

Jobi from One Cheek Crafts will be sharing a booth at the show and the organizers promise great food, entertainment and activities for kids.

The art festival will be located on Whitney street in downtown Grayslake