Sunday, 31 October 2010

Cotton Reel

A few weeks ago I was able to visit the Stamp Attic and buy a Collections Elements spool kit.  Above is what I made with one of the spools - I don't think I meant it to be quite so pretty and the pink is more a raspberry colour in real life but it was dictated by the papers I chose (Creative Imaginations Bliss that I've had quite some time).  Here's the back - I decided to use the Bind-it-All to make holes and lace the spool together rather than try to stick it.
A fun project!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Stewart Gill pasifika collection

I had a lovely surprise last week and found myself in the vicinity of Rainbow Silks.  I've bought from their website before but had long wanted to actually visit the shop so I enjoyed a lovely browse and had to buy a few items to make it worthwhile!  I wish I lived closer so I could visit regularly and I would love to attend some of their classes. But the journey up the M3 and the M25 is enough to put anybody off!
I had already purchased the new Stewart Gill pasifika stencils but took the opportunity to buy the Oceania set of True Colours paints (of course now I wish I'd bought the Tribal tapa set as well as they are equally gorgeous).
So this afternoon I had a little play with the stencils and paints on some brown wrapping paper courtesy of Amazon and the result is above. I haven't decided what I will use it for yet but I love the result!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Woven Bowl

This little bowl is inspired by this post here.  Celia at Cheshire Cheese showed a picture of how she was inspired in turn by Lois Walpole and used a corrugated card cut into petal shapes to weave strips of fabric into a bowl.  Well that reminded me that I had 3 of these:
I vaguely remember cutting them using a papercraft template and thought they would be useful for something but they got put to one side and forgotten about until now!  I already had a ball of 3 knitting wools wound together so I wound the wool in and out of the petals pulling the wool enough to form the bowl shape.  When I finished I just buried the wool ends in amongst the threads.  I turned the ends of the petal back and painted them then added some turquoise gold Moonglow embossing powder and heated it to give the lovely gold glints.  Of course if I'd been sensible I would have done the painting and embossing first as the heat gun was trying to melt the glitzy bits of wool but I didn't know if the idea would work and was just trying it out.  It was so successful I didn't want to unwind it all to do the painting then rewind!

So, thanks Celia for the inspiration!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Ipod holder

I decided to make a little felt holder for my ipod so I can find it when it's in my handbag.  I used some ordinary felt as a base and needlefelted some wool tops to it to make it a bit more interesting.  I stitched some running stitch then added a couple of wrapped washers.  The big washer is also beaded but I couldn't get the beads to show up very clearly.

 For the lining I used some of that non woven stuff that's not really material that came wrapped round my daughter's laptop when she bought it.  It's black and very thin but robust so it made the ideal lining material.
Hopefully I won't have to ferret around in my bag so much from now on! 

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Artsycrafts tickets

I have tickets to the Tim Holtz masterclass!  See here if you don't know what I'm talking about!  I'm thrilled to have managed to get tickets for my daughter and I, it was quite a scrum getting online and they sold out in 40 mins so anyone who missed out has my sympathies.  But I'm not so sympathetic that I'd give up my place!  Now all I have to say is that Britain had better not be snowbound come Feb 25th .....

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Paintsticks piece

I've managed to finish a piece I've been working on off and on for a few months (my usual rate of progress!) A while ago I bought some new colours of Markal paintsticks so I tried them out on some scraps of fabric using Ten Seconds Studio texture moulds. I coloured a couple of the pieces and a background cotton fabric with Adirondack colourwash spray, then cut the pieces up and arranged the interesting bits on the background using Bondaweb to attach them.  I've added stitch, beads, sequins and some gold cord to frame the piece. I die-cut 3 flowers from some gold stuff (that's the extent of my knowledge!), toned them down with patina glimmer mist and added them with beads and stitches.
I had to take the picture on my phone as my camera seems to have given up on me so that's yet another excuse for a poor photo.  Must finish paying for the work I've had done on my kitchen recently before I think about a new camera.

Sunday, 15 August 2010


Yesterday I finished the samples ready for my next but one class so as a reward I had a little play and made a couple of ATCs.
This one uses Paperbag studio images, the little girl looks very like my daughter when she was small - I do a double take every time I see this image.

This uses PaperArtsy stamps coloured with Promarkers.  Both colour schemes aren't my usual choice and I always struggle a bit with green so I'm pleased with the way they turned out.

Today has been spent wrestling my garden into submission - much less relaxing and I now ache all over.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Secret Garden canvas

This is a canvas I made for a class last week at Kraft Crazy at Tidworth.  As you can see it was heavily influenced by the pieces we did at the Artsy Crafts weekend with Lin and Leandra and the tissue paper flower in particular was something we made there. The background has got rather washed out by the flash but uses the Paper Artsy hot pick stamps.  We all got nice and mucky making it and everyone seemed pleased with their efforts.

I've still been playing about with the henna patterns I found at Henna page and here are a couple of pages I made in my sketchbook.

I had some paper that I had sprayed with glimmer mists and I cut it into triangles and then arranged them in patterns on the page and stuck them down.  Then I doodled patterns on and around them - great to do in front of the telly!  I love the results and could just go on and on!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Cosmic Shimmer UTEE

Yesterday I did a class at Kraft Crazy in Tidworth using the Cosmic Shimmer UTEE.  It comes in a range of scrummy colours and all with a gorgeous glimmer.  We managed to avoid burning ourselves, each other and the shop but the smell got quite strong, with 7 people heating embossing powder at the same time and it was pretty messy as the powder does tend to blow everywhere.  All those who didn't drink their coffee quickly found it coated in a layer of powder!  These are the cards we made:

We used a chinese coin to make the seal in the second card and one of the ladies managed to get the coin completely submerged in the UTEE.  She looked to me to work out how to get it out (not unreasonable!) but I was too busy laughing to be any use at all and eventually she managed it herself.  On the last card I rubbed distress stickles over the UTEE arch and it gave a lovely rough finish which looks like stone and I was really pleased with this effect.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Artsy crafts projects

Now that the second Artsycrafts weekend has taken place I can show you the fabulous projects we made.  First up is the canvas in the Mediterranean mix colourway and it's a lovely sampler of a multitude of techniques and products that we got to try. Although we all started from the same point everybody's was different and as I went round the tables looking at all the others I wanted to try each colour combination, they all looked so great.  Notice the rose?  I'd seen the instructions for these on various people's blogs but had always thought life was too short.  Well, now I've made one, it looks great, but ... life's too short!

This is the tree we made, all the embellishments are made of metal.

And finally this cute birdhouse, again the piece behind the birds is embossed metal. It was a wonderful weekend and I'm thrilled with the pieces I made and gateful to Lin and Leandra for the inspiration.

Hands up!

I've used my hand as inspiration for several pieces, mainly because I can't draw but even I can manage to draw round my hand, just like we all used to do when we were kids.  This first image is a machine embroidered piece I did quite a while ago as a mini quilt and which I've always been pleased with.

I then decided to use my hand as a shape to fill in with zentangles and this is the result.

And then I looked at this and thought how good it would look embroidered.  I dug out a piece (very bright!) of fabric that I tie-dyed ages ago when my daughter and I had a fun session, and this is the result:

I really enjoyed doing this, I made it up as I went along rather than drawing it on paper first and copying, I just used a disappearing marker pen to draw lines as I was about to stitch them.

Then, on Chris Gray's blog here (always inspiring, love what she does) she had a link to the Henna page which is a wonderful resource full of patterns used in henna designs on hands.  Like Chris I particularly liked the North African designs and I spent a wonderfully relaxing evening yesterday in front of the tv drawing triangles.

Don't these look great!  The patterns are all broken down to their simplest elements then you add more detail each time to get to the more complex designs.  Drawing for dummies!  So I'm on a roll now and considering how I can stitch these triangles into a band sampler on canvas ....  I love it when all these random inspirations come together.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Artsycrafts weekend again

Well, I had a smashing weekend at the Artsycrafts event run by Leandra from Paperartsy and Lin from L. B. Crafts.  The weekend was very well organised, they had excellent support from Jo, Lynne and Karen and the whole thing was a pleasure from beginning to end.  It was very fast paced though, and they worked us hard but it was lovely to have 3 completed projects (all but a few tweaks and final sticking down) to bring home.  Another group are going in a couple of weeks time so they have asked us not to show the pieces until after that but they were all crammed with techniques and interesting products that it was great to have a play with.
Lin has some pictures up on her blog Yours Artfully and I am in one of the photos - thankfully she caught me when I was actually working hard!
Now I have to start saving to go again ....

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Artsycrafts weekend

I'm lucky enough to be going to the Artsycrafts weekend on Saturday organised by Lin from L.B. Crafts and Leandra from Paperartsy.  Lin has promised we will get messy and suggested gloves for those who don't like mucky hands but I reckon gloves are for wimps!  Coming back with inky fingers will prove I've been!  I've also got birthday money to spend in a relatively guilt-free way so that will add to the pleasure.  Good fun ahead.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Upcoming classes

I have 2 more classes coming up at Kraft Crazy in Tidworth.  The first is Sat 1st May 10-12 and we're making cards using the new distress inks with a really bright spring like look.  The second class will be on Sat 5th June 10-12 using Cosmic Shimmer UTEE.  I haven't had a chance to have a go with that yet so I'm really looking forward to having a play with it and seeing what I can come up with.
All welcome, phone Kraft Crazy on  01980 844010 to book.

Even more exciting news is that my sister in law, Julia, and I will be holding a day long class on Sat 26th June at the Community Centre in Tidworth.  The day will run from 9.30-4.30pm and will include lunch and beverages.  The cost for the day including all materials is £55. Julia and I haven't finalised the projects yet but we hope to include things we don't usually have time to cover in a two hour session and it will be a mix of our two different styles.  So far we have come up with a desk set and a wall hanging but there will be more!  It's aimed at those who want to take their crafting beyond the basics and all are welcome.  If anyone is interested leave me a comment and I will contact you.

In the meantime I've been playing round with ATCs lately and here's a selection:

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Easter cards

Two quick and easy Easter cards, Crafty Individual stamp and Brenda Pinnick papers.  Very spring like.

Texture paste sample book

Last July (that long ago! I thought it was about October!) I played around with texture paste and fabric and made a load of samples - if you click here you can see them covering my dining table.  I'd been meaning to put them into some sort of book and finally a week off work has given me the time to get on with it.
I tried out 3 different texture pastes (Dreamweaver, texture gel and gesso) and knew I'd made notes at the time of what I'd used on each piece but of course I couldn't find them.  Eventually I found them in the first place I'd looked - it had obviously seemed sensible at the time to use the back page of the notebook.  So it's now a more useful record than just leaving them shoved in a plastic bag.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

New Distress Inks

Like many people in Blogland I knew I had to have all 12 new colours of Distress inks as soon as they appeared and I decided to make a sampler of the colours based on a project I found on the Ranger website here.  I applied ink to some old book pages using the applicator tool and stuck the whole piece to a canvas also coloured with ink (stormy sky, rusty hinge and bundled sage - don't you have to have them just for the names?!). The mosaic squares are meant to be stuck on at an angle, the canvas is meant to be straight but as usual my photography skills make everything look lopsided.  The really fun bit, of course, was selecting the embellishments.  Love all the ink colours - buying them all was definitely the right decision.

The sampler was a welcome relaxation after a traumatic start to the weekend.  About 11pm Friday evening water started gushing behind the kitchen sink, the stopcock is outside in the road and guess who couldn't turn it off in the dark!  I did eventually find a lever under the sink which I managed to turn to stop the leak but imagine my daughter and I at midnight on our hands and knees in about 3 inches of water mopping up the kitchen floor.  The plumber is coming Monday morning.

My class last weekend (see post below) went well apart from the fact that I forgot to take the birdhouse stamp and how can you make a card featuring a birdhouse without a birdhouse stamp?  I was so chagrined that I offered to go home and get it (only 50 miles away), but Linda, one of the class, came up with the solution.  For some reason I'd put a birdhouse I'd stamped on a scrap of card in the box and everyone used that to draw round and then overstamped with a background stamp.They all looked very good!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Upcoming classes

I'm teaching a class tomorrow morning at Kraft Crazy in Tidworth called Inky ideas - some more techniques using distress and alcohol inks.  I haven't got the samples here to show but I do have those ready for my class on 27th February which is about memory capsules. Here are the projects we will be making:

The smallest frame is actually a little (2 inch square) accordion book and here is the inside:

And finally back at the beginning of December I went to a class at Rumpelstiltskin in Broadwindsor and Tania gave me a cigar box to decorate.  I didn't finish it at the workshop but finally got it done this week (you can tell I've had a week off work!) and here it is:

It's holding my metal moulding tools.
If only I didn't have to go back to work on Monday I might get some more half completed projects done.  Ah well.


My daughter and I were inspired by Linda's art dolls on her blog Eclectic Visions of an Altered Journey.  I've linked to just the latest one but if you scroll further back you will find more.  So we decided to produce versions of our own.  We used an old Barbie (knew she'd been kept for a reason!) and some Mold n Pour to make a mold of a face and produced it in fimo. The body is chipboard and we've added Stewart Gill paint, stencils, flowers, skeleton leaves and trims.  My daughter drew the shaped paper templates and as is fitting her two are tall and slim whereas mine is rather shorter and squatter.  Here's mine:

And here are my daughters':

Thanks to Linda for the inspiration!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

How lucky am I!

I'm thrilled to be the winner of a giveaway from Lesley Riley, a textile artist whose work I have admired for a long time. When I first discovered art quilts and contemporary textiles a few years ago Lesley's was one of the first websites I found and I loved her fragments and dolls. It was a real revelation to see scraps and images used in that way and to realise that pieces of fabric didn’t have to have perfect finished edges and that fraying all added to the character. I still have in my inspiration folder a picture of a Frida doll that she made and that I printed off but I never imagined that I would actually own a piece of her work.
Click here to see what I've been lucky enough to win. I'm the grand prize winner!  Thanks so much Lesley!