Thursday, 28 March 2013

Talk about being clever!

Well I tried anyway.


I decided to tart my blog up and couldn’t because the template I had used was a weird one and I couldn’t work out how to remove it. So it now looked all wrong and I wanted a new look so I have started a new one at  

not sure I totally like it yet and I can’t get the header right so I might spend some time designing one.


All future posts will be there so I hope to see you soon.

Monday, 18 March 2013

My bird box

Finally I got this done.





I gave it a base coat sometime last year and then couldn’t decide what to do with it. Then I got the Graphic45 Birdsong papers and had so much left over that I just knew it was right. I made the flowers by cutting them on my Eclipse, so quick and easy and in any size I want. Then I inked them and put them on the box. the final addition of the bird took some finding. Eventually I found one online but when it arrived it was facing the wrong way, really should wait to assemble all the bits at one time. Still it looks OK, you can’t see the long flowing tail on the bird but it sort of takes off the hard edges of the box.


Other projects are in hand but are taking time as layers have to dry.


Have a lovely day, we are off to London to do a bit of work.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A good find

I was looking for something to use the gorgeous Graphic 45 Bird Song papers I had left over from the book and decided I wanted to alter a small set of drawers and make it look like an oriental, black lacquer box. I hunted everywhere for something in wood or MDF but nothing seemed right. Then I popped into one of the charity shops in town and there it was. A wooden jewellery box with 3 drawers and a pull down each end with dingy foam in them, supposedly to take rings. shame I didn’t take any pics before really but it was just a darkish wood all over with tatty handles.


Plan of action was to take off the handles, easy peesie!  they just pulled off. Then give everything a gentle sand and paint it with black acrylic as a bas. That went fine and 2 coats of paint later it looked so different.


The drawers had moulding on them so I highlighted the valleys and then cut strips of Bird Song to fit the tops. Originally I was going to stamp the sides and top but when I did one it just didn’t look right so I covered it up with more paper and kept it really simple. The only other things were the handles for the drawers and the inside of the old ring holders. The handles were easy, I had some pearl beads, very traditional in Chinese circles. The ring drawers took some though but I eventually decided on gold stamped images on red. I used a figure and a willow tree on each.




It now takes pride of place in our living room and, if you look from a distance you could ‘just’ mistake it for a lacquered piece.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Fruit Crates!

Well with artistic license I suppose they are. I found these little boxes at my local store – yes the lovely Artistic Stamper – and knew they were perfect for my herb collection in the kitchen. They are very simply decorated with a base of gesso, some Distress Paint on top. that was left to dry and then I random stamped all over with leaves and flowers. Of course I then had to find something for the small one as it is quite tiny for pots. It is now full of 3 tomato pots which just fit in the top, they are growing on till I can get them in the greenhouse. The pot cover on the big one in the middle needs some attention and I see some red and hot as it holds a chilli plant.





Goodness I have just noticed the sun was trying to shine, a sign of better things to come.


Have a lovely day, we are off to Heathrow this afternoon to drop a neighbour who is off to Australia for 3 weeks –think I am jealous.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Third time lucky!

I have tried twice to post this in the last couple of days, using my iPad, but nothing wanted to work so it is back to the PC and something I know will work.


I know it is nearly 6 months since I last posted, things have been hectic and for several months I didn’t do much craft at all. I am back to it now though and have been for a while so time to catch up. This will a bit random so bear with me.


Where to start – well Christmas might be a good place. I didn’t make Jennie’s workshop at The Artistic Stamper but I got the kit and instructions and spent a day later in the workroom and did most of it, final touches were made at home.







It was made from a circular wooden base and 3 of the small boxes from Configuration Boxes. Paint, glitter, alcohol inks and all the rest.


Another workshop was this canvas using the new Distress Paints and some new stamps from The Artistic Stamper, quite unusual colours for me but It brightens up my display.




On the Artistic Stamper Creative Team Blog Emma showed her creation and I just loved it – hers is here. I made some minor changes and the card base has curled up where Chris has had it on show for ages (note: must use thicker card if I use this shape again!).




Another workshop was book making using Graphic 45 Place in Time papers. We got a whole pad to play with and, with guidance from Jennie, we put a book together. This is mine with a page for each month and pockets to put things in.


graphic 1





     graphic 2


That inspired me to use an MDF book I had covered in gesso some time ago. I have gone a bit oriental at the moment and got the Graphic 45 Bird Song pad and used it on the outside of the box and then made a book to go inside. I also used gold embossing powder on the edge of the book.









book 2



I made a mini canvas which I was quite pleased with, I have another to do but haven’t got any ideas yet.


mini canvas



Finally a clock. I got a couple of cog blanks but have only finished this one so far. The finish came about from watching a demo on TV. They were using Dreamweaver Embossing Paste and, as usual, I wasn’t concentrating totally on it – well I was making my book at the time! Anyway they sprinkled something on the paste and then heated it with a heat gun, the effect was really good so I gave it a try. The thing was I used embossing powder and they had used mica powders but in some ways mine finished effect was more dense and vibrant as they only put a little of the mica n the paste. It does take some heating and really needs one of the long thin heat guns that runs faster than the gun shaped ones. Here is the finished one




It is just leaning on the basket for now, till I find somewhere to hang it.


Projects in the pipeline are 3 fruit crate pot holders for the kitchen window sill, the other cog base, a larger bird box and an old wooden jewellery box than I am turning into an Oriental box. I will try and post them as they are done and not leave it so long next time.


If you got this far thank you!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Prima Home show at Bluewater

I was lucky enough to win a pair of tickets to the show which is on this weekend and I went this morning. What a pleasant surprise form the last one I went to, at ExCel some years ago. This was over both floors with the Stitches show upstairs and the paper craft etc. on the lower floor. Firt though I had to get in with just a printed letter, went to the desk n the ground floor - they sent me to Enquiries on the first floor. They then had to check but in the end it was join the queue with the rest and hand over the letter and I was in! As I was now upstairs I browsed round the wools, fancy sewing machine some nearly £5000.00!!!!!, had a look at some quilting and patchwork, chatted to the West Kent WI ladies and generally enjoyed looking. I had already decided that I wanted to get some wool for a project but wanted to get that last so I went down to the other floor and had a browse. I saw Barbara, she was demoing but had time for a quick chat. There was no-one else I knew though. I found a couple of Dreamweaver stencils I have been after for a while and some papier mâché Xmas trees to alter. They came with some napkins but I am not sure if they will both be covers with them. Then it was back upstairs to get some sewing bits I had seen, a needle threaders - in desperate need of that now as I can't see to do it even with my glasses on! I also got a neat light with a magnifier so I can see what I am doing at night as well. Then it was off to get the wool. Right now I am doing this on my IPad and it won't let me add a photo so I will add that to FB separately. There is no wool in the picture because that is for a special project to come later.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Was it worth it?

Well, yes I think it was.


In my usual fashion I went ahead and made some things but never thought about the end result. 2 crocheted cushion covers later and nothing to stuff them with meant out with the measure, put the details on my phone and off to Dunelm to see if I could get anything the right size. After going through all the cushion pads and converting my inches to cm there was nothing in the right size. Then we spotted some ready covered cushions in the sale and one was the perfect size so round cushion sorted. I sill had an oblong one to fill but nothing was small enough so it was a case of get the best and reduce it in size to fit.


before 1






before 2






Before photos, not really my style but so much cheaper than the plain ones !







The fun was reducing the size of the oblong one, I took so much stuffing out of it I have enough to fill another one, and I found some white fabric in my box to make the pad with too. Anyway that is for the future, here are the finished ones and I have to say I really like them both.


after 1





after 2














The next project is underway, some little stars to hang in place of the bunting for the Christmas look, but more on those nearer the time.


On another subject I will be off to the opening day of Jennies new Craft Store and Art Bar tomorrow. I am really excited to see what they have done.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

We have a new unit all for me!

When Kate’s shop was being closed and lots of the fittings were being sold I managed to get the Ikea unit that had been in the entry porch. I had always loved the way all the things were shown in it, all the workshops and other bits and pieces, and I hankered after something similar as we only have 2 of the four cube sets and they were full of albums. It was perfect but sadly the finish that had worked so well in the shop wasn’t right for the conservatory so, with Chris’s help, it was peeled, sanded and painted white. We then had to wait for someone strong to come and lift it into place.


While all that was going on I was busy crocheting bunting, flowers and a bird to soften it a bit and make it look pretty.


This is the unit with most in place except the flowers, you can just see them on the top left shelf. 20120808_184749








The flowers are now attached and the bird is hanging. The idea is that the flowers will be swapped with Christmas items when the time comes as I have just tied them in place.


Of course I now need more workshops to go to and make some more things to fill the rest up. At least I have my albums all in one place now!


Finally thanks to Jane for the unit and Kate for trying to get it in the van, it was just too big but we got it organised in the end.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Saturday Workshop

I went to the last workshop at Pickleberry on Saturday. Sadly Kate has closed her shop as she is moving to the Midlands to be with her family. It is great for her as things are all coming together and I am pleased it is, finally. Keeping everything crossed that it goes smoothly now.


Kate has been responsible for creating so many new friendships over the last 3 years and so many people are so grateful that she was near (or far) from them to be able to do that.


OK I will get too gloomy and sad if I continue on that vein so let me show you what we made.




Jennie from The Artistic Stamper took us through all the techniques to create this. You can’t see but it is a box with a hinged lid. We painted the outside in a dark colour then stamped and embossed with clear embossing powder. Painted over in a darker colour then waited for it to dry. Once dry we removed some of the paint with a damp cloth to reveal the embossed detail underneath. The we started on the panels. Briefly they are stamped into UTEE, UTEE in a mould, stamped into Terra, metal passed through an embossing folder then alcohol inked, distressed with an embellishment added and finally distressed, stamped and another embellishment added, I have just noticed that my spinner needs to be added to the bottom middle tile.


What a great day, good fun, good company and good laughs.

Busy, busy

I have been making more cushion covers and learned another new crochet stitch. In fact I have changed the way it is shown on the web and found it easier (at least I think so).


The first one is another way of using the wiggly pattern, Instead of working round it is worked diagonally. You will see what I mean - blog 2











It is the one on the right, I have a close up as well which I will post in a minute. The one on the left is my adaptation of crocodile stitch. All the directions online and on You Tube were quite complicated to do but I did do a sample of a couple of rows. Basically they all showed how to do it row by row. Now the stitch is worked on a grid, similar to the wiggly stitch, so I thought I could make the whole grid and use that. Another sample made and it worked so I did it that way. Yes making the grid is tedious but once done it was fine.


Here are close ups of both


blog 4


blog 3

Both were worked in Double Knitting wool and I think they will both wear well.


Off to find the picture of the box I made on Saturday – posting that later.