Sunday, 9 December 2012

Canvas commissions

I go to a Toddler group every week with my little boy and for the past year we have been meeting in a different place while our church underwent major renovation work. The Clevedon Family Church welcomed our group in and let us share their lovely space. This week was our last week there before moving back to the newly refurbished church and I was asked to make two canvases as thank you presents. One for the church and one for the lovely lady who has been helping us every week.

This first canvas was the one I made for the church. It's a little bigger than A4 size. My stamping is a bit wobbly but I'm happy with how it turned out.

I started by sticking down pieces of patterned paper onto the canvas. You can see some of the paper showing through the paint here...

I dug out some old alphabet stickers and wrote out the words "love" and "thanks" repeating across the canvas, which I gessoed so they would disappear into the paint.

I then painted and stamped to finish the design, using a variety of stamps so that the Bible verse would fit in. I also discovered when I came to stamping out the numbers - I hardly have any number stamps!

This next canvas was for the lady who helped us every week. My friend tipped me off that this was a verse she liked.

I used moulding paste mixed in my acrylic paint to give it some lovely texture. The sunburst was done with the Crafters Workshop template "Burst". The flowers are from the Insightful Meadow set by Unity Stamps and I stamped them onto an old sewing pattern before using white embossing powder and then tearing them out.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

I knew that would come in handy one day

Recently I have been thinking I have too much craft stash. Is that possible? I think maybe I should have a declutter and get rid of some old bits and bobs that I haven't used in years? Well, this page proved I do need to keep it!

This is a page about when I took the ginger one crabbing last summer and I knew I had the perfect thing hiding away in one of boxes of embellishments. Can you see it here?...

Yes, it's a crab eyelet! I knew that would come in handy one day. Now I can't possibly get rid of things can I!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

We're off to see the wizard

Before everything went pear shaped last month I managed to make it to my local crop and get some pages finished including these two.

In our town we have the longest running cinema in the UK and it has been celebrating it's centenary this year. In the summer there was a fancy dress parade through the town finishing at the cinema and if you came in fancy dress the  you got a free ticket to see "The Wizard of Oz". It was brilliant and the girls loved it. There was a fabulous sense of community and there were cheers and boos and singing along to the songs!

I was doubly excited to find die cuts from the Wizard of Oz at Scrapping the Magic - perfect for my scrapbook page. I took my latest Quirky Kit with me to the crop and combined all the sparkly elements from the kit with the die cuts.

I also completed the quickest page I have ever done. It took me all of 5 minutes but I think it works perfectly. I used 12 x 12 black cardstock, a packet of Batman stickers, some comic book style die-cuts from SEI and a photo. I think that's all it needed...

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Some nice things at the end of a yucky month

So things have been pretty quiet on here this month. We have been besieged by illness in our family for the past four weeks which, thankfully, weren't too serious but have just taken up the whole month. There has been a horrible sickness bug which hit my little boy one week, me the next week, the blonde one the week after and my husband the week after that. It has led me to a very unusual decision... I am not making Christmas gifts this year, or even handmade cards (GASP!!!).

This will be the first Christmas as a grown-up when I won't be sending handmade cards - sorry in advance to friends and family who tell me how they look forward to seeing my designs. I've bought cards from school that my girls designed so they will still be unique - just not the "finished individually at 1 in the morning" unique!

On a much happier note I am featuring in three magazines this month and even made it onto the cover of two of them - yay!

You can see my Scandinavian inspired bag on the front of the current issue of Sewing World.

My Fimo star bracelet is nestled nicely in the bottom left corner on the front of Beads and Beyond, and there is a chipboard robin hiding in the current issue of Scrap365 by me too.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A parcel of layouts

I had a big parcel arrive last week from Scrap365 with lots of my layouts returning home. There are so many I'm going to have to buy a new scrapbook album - which is always a good excuse for a few other goodies to find their way into my shopping basket!

Here are a few of my favourite details you may have seen in the magazine...

A bit of felty softness

Dymo tape love

Corrugated cardboard branches

Lots of lovely ribbons

Fimo - of course

A bit of stitching

Washi tape bunting

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Happy happy tape

Some craft materials make me happy. I can't help it, they bring a smile to my face. Today my two new rolls of washi tape have made me so happy - Black and white chevron tape and film strip tape - YAY!

Is it just me??

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Fimo bracelets and a peacock feather cane

These are the final finished project from my Fimo weekend and I'm so pleased with how they've turned out. I attempted a peacock feather cane for the first time. I could definitely refine the technique a little but it does look like a peacock feather. I wanted to have gold and coloured circles around the feather so that it would look a little like it came from a painting by Klimt. My circles look a little more like fairy lights. I seem to have made a disco peacock feather!

The construction of the bracelet was taught to me years ago in a workshop by Sarah Shriver ( a seriously talented polymer clay artist). I remembered the technique quite well.

This is what it looks like when I'm wearing it...

This is my second attempt at a bracelet. The sections aren't quite as even on this one.

The pattern is made using a layered technique with a Fimo texture sheet pressed into the top. The top layers are then carefully shaved off to reveal the colourful pattern. There is a helpful tutorial here. It was really fun to do and it's very exciting when the pattern starts to appear.

I've had so much fun working with my Fimo over the past couple of weeks and I'm feeling a little sad as I pack it away for a bit so I can get on with my sewing. But I have an exciting new sewing project to work on and I get to immerse myself in fabric so I'll be happy in no time!

Monday, 8 October 2012

After a Fimo demo

I had great fun this weekend working alongside the lovely people from Boxes and Busts at the craft show at Cardiff City Stadium. We had lots of people come and learn about Fimo and everyone was fascinated with how to construct millefiori canes.

The day after a demo I sit down with all the canes I've made and work out how to finish off a project before baking. This sunflower bracelet was one of my favourite makes from the weekend. I used my scrap multicoloured clay as a core for the beads before applying slices from the sunflower type cane I'd made.

I made a few kaleidoscope canes too. I love showing people how to make these patterns as it starts out as a few sausage shapes, but gradually changes into these intricate patterns by a series of cutting and reforming the cane.

There were quite a few finished flower canes by the end of the weekend. I've rolled them to be quite small and sliced them up before baking. I've had an idea for a mosaic with lots of millefiori slices and so this can be the starting point for that project.

I've got another couple of projects just baking in the oven and so come back to see how they worked out.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A Fimo pen

This week I've been having fun playing with my stash of Fimo. I've been working on a project for Beads and Beyond, but you,ll have to wait until December to see that one. This weekend I will be demonstrating Fimo at  the Craft and Hobby Show at Cardiff City Stadium with Boxes and Busts ( who sell jewellery supplies and run fantastic jewellery workshops in South Wales).

I've been asked to demonstrate the new Fimo Pen. It's a plain metal pen - with a great quality Staedtler pen insert - and it can be decorated with Fimo before the metal cover gets baked. I used four new Fimo Effect colours - ruby quartz, agate blue, citrine quartz and blue ice quartz. These gemstone colours have a lovely subtle sparkle to them. I hope you can see that in the photos.

I made a flower millefiori cane and it doesn't take much Fimo to cover a pan and so I had lots left to play with. I made  these beads with the leftover cane. The beads have been threaded onto memory wire to make a bracelet. I don't usually varnish beads, but the varnish on these beads have brought out the sparkle beautifully.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

A rainbow card

I made a card for a friend's birthday this week using scraps of patterned paper. I discovered I have hardly any red papers - do I use a lot of red in my scrapbooks or do I have an aversion to buying red papers? I'm not sure what the answer is here. This was supposed to a rainbow but I realised after I had cut out the papers that I had got the orange and yellow mixed up - oops.

I've been inspired to try this pattern out from various sources and I really like how it turned out. It may be appearing on a scrapbook page soon. Here's where I got the idea from...

A piece of art from You had me at Bonjour

A scrapbook page by Lisa Truesdell
( I love the chevron details on here)

A scrapbook page by Kelly Purkey
(this has been done with mists)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Use it up - Simply Stated rub ons

As I gradually get things back in order after the chaotic summer, I have a new timetable to adjust to as The Boy is now at nursery three mornings instead of two. I decided I wanted my Wednesday mornings to be my play day. I have online workshops waiting to be completed as well as ideas rumbling around in my head. This is my first play day and this is my favourite layout I've made for a long time.

I recently found I had loads of half finished packet of Simply Stated rub-ons by Making Memories. They are an old product which I remember being given at a workshop and being so excited by them - it was quite a while ago...I noticed a copyright 2003 label on the packet! I decided I had to use them up and I managed to finish two packets on this layout. I was quite impressed that the rub-ons still (mostly) worked after all this time.

I've used watercolours, distress ink with a stencil and some acrylic paint on bubble wrap in the background, along with a Maya Road doily strip stamp. I made a wire frame and stapled it on, inspired by the article on craft wire in August's Scrap365.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

80's Glam Sharpie happiness

I was really excited to receive these new Sharpies in the post this week. Of course I am excited - it has a pen labelled "Legwarmer Orange". I am an 80's girl at heart. My favourite all time band is A-ha and I have loved them since I was 7. Ah... neon socks, leather straps around the wrists, big backcombed hair, I even had a royal blue wool dress with shoulder pads and a big black plastic belt.

I keep seeing Sharpies mentioned on craft blogs and Pinterest and so decided I needed to expand my collection, When I saw these on special offer, how could I resist?

Here are some Sharpie projects from around the web, firstly from one of my favourite craft bloggers, Alisa Burke...

Doodle Easter Eggs by Alisa Burke

Wooden key fobs from How About Orange

Leopard Tote bag from P.S. I Made This

Shrinky Dink Pendant from ModPodge Rocks

Red Shoes from The Hidden Seed

Tie Dye T-shirts from Sun Scholars

Wellie Boots from Giverslog
For more Sharpie inspiration, check out their blog. And if you are in need of some true 80's glam, click HERE

Monday, 10 September 2012

Cardboard box space rocket

When I look at which pages are looked at most on my blog, it's actually my cardboard box posts which are always top of the list. Everyone loves a cardboard box! I now have a new label of "cardboard box" to find more cardboard box posts. Over the summer friends have commented on our cardboard box castle, but it has now transformed into a space rocket.

This obsession with space started at the Science Museum in London where the kids were really excited to see actual rockets and a real piece of the moon. The Boy has decided he wants to go to the moon - NOW! (Add stamping feet to that statement).

Us at the Science Museum
We bought a 99p roll of value tin foil and set about changing our castle into a space rocket. The cone on top was made with some wrapping paper stuck onto lining paper to strengthen it.

Here's the inside of our rocket. We have bottle top buttons and a control panel made from the inside of a chocolate box. I even found an old piece of scrapbooking paper with planets on which we made into a navigation screen (by sticking it onto a cereal box).