Saturday, 26 October 2013

Burying Mr Dinosaur

In the middle of all the autumn wind and rain here, I am merrily scrapping summery sunshine photos. This photo was taken on a really hot day on a Devon beach - ah Summer, I'm starting to miss you!

I used two of my favourite techniques at the moment on this page. The first one is watercolour paint on stamps...

The next technique I'm loving is a bit of embroidery with some simple backstitch, with a sewing template made by cutting shapes out of scrap paper. I think this chevron design works particularly well.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wednesday Love: Extracting DNA from a strawberry

In our house we love science. The blonde one has been asking "Why?" almost since she could first talk and we love getting scientific with our answers to the many questions. Last Sunday afternoon we extracted DNA from strawberries. The kids loved it - particularly as the result is very gloopy and a bit yucky!

Here's some strawberry DNA...

If you'd like to extract strawberry DNA, here's how it's done. (We used surgical spirit instead of rubbing alcohol).

Saturday, 19 October 2013

An apple tree mandala

I am currently taking part in an online painting class called Bloom True with Flora Bowley. It's really interesting and a great new way to look at painting. I'm really enjoying the process of playing with paint.

One of our class exercises was to draw a mandala pattern, starting in the centre and creating concentric circles where each is a different design. I love pattern and I have been working (slowly) towards making my own patterns. This was a fantastic pattern making exercise and I will definitely be drawing more like this. I took inspiration from an apple tree as I was coming up with repeat motifs.

My lovely family were suitably impressed that I had drawn this. The kids used their most favourite word of the moment - "Awesome" and my husband asked if I had used a stencil. Well done family! I am feeling very appreciated by my family, particularly after I showed them a painting I did as a teenager and the blonde one if it was by Van Gogh!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A Roald Dahl scene in a box

This term's topic homework was to recreate a scene from a Roald Dahl book inside a shoebox. We didn't quite manage to contain it all in a shoe box, mostly so we could furnish the house with Sylvanian Families furniture. The blonde one wanted to make a scene from "George's Marvellous Medicine" when Grandma's taken the medicine and grown so tall that her head pops out of the roof.

Here's the house when it's open. Grandma and George are made from air drying clay (Fimo Air) around a wire frame, which was painted when it was dry.

Here's George...

We left lots of evidence of when George made the medicine with lots of little bottles from the Sylvanians collection. We stuck everything down so that the scene could be easily transported into school without everything getting lost. The large pieces of furniture are stuck down with Copydex (so we can easily peel it off later) and the tiny things are stuck down with strong double sided tape.

The blonde one had another go on my sewing machine and stitched all the tiny curtains, which we threaded onto bamboo kebab sticks. We added lots of Roald Dahl details too by printing off little books (a copy of "George's Marvellous Medicine" is on the bed!) and using Quentin Blake's illustrations as pictures on the walls.

Her teacher was full of praise for the homework and told the blonde one she is a natural artist - she was so pleased.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wednesday Love: Crayon Love

This week I bought a little box of happiness - also known as Crayola crayons. I saw this box of 96 crayons on special offer for only £1.50 (in Tesco). How could I resist! The smell of a new box of crayons takes me back to childhood and I remember so strongly reading the labels on the crayons and loving all the different names for the colours...

There are lots of ideas for using crayons and I've started collecting some on a Pinterest board called "Crayon Love".

We've just got the new book "The Day the Crayons Quit" and it's great. The book is illustrated by my favourite illustrator, Oliver Jeffers. My kids know that all the Oliver Jeffers children's books we have are actually mine and I am letting them borrow them! You don't have to be a child to enjoy a good story and fabulous drawings.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

A celebration postcard

I have finished my postcard for the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap and here it is... This is my first attempt at felting and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The theme for the postcards this year was "celebrate" and I thought of chinese lanterns floating up into the sky (like in "Tangled"!). This was the image I tried to recreate with the felt. It's a little abstract but I think you can see the lanterns.

I tried to get a bit of perspective with smaller lanterns and beads in the background...

I did some free machine stitching around the felted image to add definition.

I hope my swap partner likes it and I'm looking forward to seeing what she has made for the swap.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Wednesday love: Felting

I have been looking at felting supplies for over a year and thinking about having a go. Last Christmas my Mum started making felted Christmas decorations. She asked for my advice as she was convinced I had made a felted robin in the past. I had to correct her that it wasn't me but Kirstie Allsopp on the television who had made the robin. I think it's quite flattering to be confused with Kirstie, but you'd think my own Mum could tell us apart!

I have finally succumbed and this little parcel of soft woolly treasures arrived this week. I have a couple of projects planned already. The first is The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap over at Do What You Love For Life. As it will be my first felting experiment it will be very intriguing to see how it turns out!

The little white felt pebbles are destined to become sheep in various forms for a couple of church projects as we gear up towards Christmas. We have a great sheep initiative at church this year as we are creating a sheep treasure hunt around the town, with sheep knitted by people at church. It is to promote the Christmas services and some of the sheep are hidden at various churches in Clevedon. Look out for more sheep to come on here too!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Cosmo Cricket - Part 2

Here is another layout I've made with my prize pack from Cosmo Cricket. I started out with some more of the gorgeous 8x8 Creative Girl papers and I thought I wanted to put them on this pale yellow background but it didn't look quite right. I brushed on some watered down gesso across the middle of the page and around the edge and it all started to come together.

I love adding texture to my pages and this time I used light modelling paste which I pushed through some star shaped sequin waste. I used a little piece of the sequin waste itself too, just to the left of the photo.

I also added a tiny piece of net to add a little more texture.

I coloured the Cosmo Cricket wood charms from the prize pack with my watercolours and stuck them down, along with some uncoloured wood stars and sequins, on top of the lines of machine stitching.

I love the little group of embellishments in the bottom right hand corner. I got to use a tiny piece of the oh-so-sparkly self-adhesive glitter sheet. Glittery goodness!

Friday, 4 October 2013

I love Cosmo Cricket!

A few weeks ago I was really excited to win a prize on the Cosmo Cricket blog when they were celebrating their lovely new products. This was the parcel I received in the post - so many lovely things! It included an 8x8 pad of their Creative Girl patterned papers, 2 sets of wood charms, tiny text stickers, self adhesive glitter sheets, a project hanger and a "Show Topper" lid.

The page above is the first thing I have made with the lovely new products. I really like the papers as they are light and quite neutral in colour (apart from that gorgeous pink) and so they make beautiful backgrounds.

I stitched my title by drawing around some alphabet stickers on scrap paper and then placing the paper on the layout before piercing the stitching guide with a pin.

Here is some of the self adhesive glitter sheets peeking out through a punched strip I made using a craft punch...

I love how this camera stamp came out (from Cosmo Cricket's Sweet Disposition set) after I painted some watercolour onto it...

Come back again soon to see what else I've made.