Monday, 29 March 2010

Flower Arranging Friday

I did another flower arrangement on Friday - but it was hard to photograph as it was a dismal afternoon.

This is a modern take on a traditionl triangle style
It is another tall one - over 3ft 6in high
I cut the phormium from my garden
In fact all the foliage came from my garden, including the dried flowers
which had dried outside over winter

The flowers I used are Shamrock chrysanthemums
Gerbera, and pale green carnations

I enjoyed making this, and manipulating the foliage.

It smells divine and looks so much better in real life.
You can see all the different textures so much better.
It's in the hall now - so I pass it many times a day, and stop to take in the aromas.

Today when I went out in the rain to see to the chickens, I picked up some flattened daffodils lying in the soil.

I cut a few bits of foliage from the garden hedge to pad out the vase,
and added the few carnations I had left over from the other arrangement

The perfume from these fills the lounge and smells so fresh!
I just can't bare those artificial air fresheners.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Charming? I am not sure!

I have been making charms today - some of them I am not sure about. 
I don't like sending anything out that I would not be happy to receive myself - so please help me to decide which ones are sent and which ones should not.  I have enough time to make some more and these were my first attempt.

These are close ups and much bigger than the charms themselves as the charms are less than an inch square

2 and 3
These are highly magnified!
Stamped into and painted 

These have been made out of Friendly Plastic and painted

Melted and poked about a bit
They look very shiny in real life
Like black polished pebbles

With the exception of the leaves the backs are all this pattern
Sorry about the glare reflection - its shiny and difficult to capture.

Roll, squashed, poked about and painted

Same method but no two are the same

I am not too keen on this one - so I think it will be rejected
I did the veining with a pokey tool and it looks a bit thick

The charms are going on a silver bracelet

As before, squashed and poked

Extra painting

Unlucky for some - this is headed for the bin I think

I copied a dried seed pod- think it didn't translate too well
Maybe I need to paint the pod in the middle - pod colour!

I enjoyed making this one - but now that it is enlarged a great deal - it looks like a beheaded beetle's belly with a six pack!

That's it for now folks.

Please leave a comment on the ones that are rejects.  I really do truly want to know - and I have plenty of time to make some more.

Thank you

Experimenting - making cards

I have joined a Forum 'Birthday Club' and it's great as it forces me to make
cards each month for whoever is on the list.

It seems easier when you have someone in mind for the card rather than just trying to make one for the sake of it.   This lady speaks fluent French - she is also brilliant using inks to make backgrounds.  So I tried my best to do the same.  Of course the main part of the card is on pre-printed paper, but I did enhance it with chalks here and there to give a bit of 'depth' to places.
I also inked on top of the matted cards, and coloured a bit of the stamped image.

I know I have a long way to go until I can perfect my cardmaking skills so that it comes easier to me - but at last now I am starting to enjoy the challenge.

Two more to do soon.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Pizza Box

I made this little pizza box from a template in this months online at Time for Crafting 
 It was the first time I have tried a template and it was fun to do.

I used pre-printed paper as it was my first attempt.
There is also a template for 'MUM and 'MOM' so I had a got at that just for fun

I added a little ribbon tab to make opening it easier and this is what it looks like inside

It's a great size to fit all sorts of things in - and you can tailor make it to suit the gift.

I also made another little one - and used it to send one of my UTEE Vintage pendants to the USA.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Inspired by Linda Elbourne in Craft Stamper April Issue

I made this altered beer mat following Linda's instructions in the magazine - and did it my own way, improvising with my own stash when I didn't have the same things.
I made a template of the beer mat using some recycled brown hardboard.
Then I coloured it with distress ink, and stamped it with stamps originally from Katy's Corner

I embossed half of it with the Cuttlebug spotty folder which made it look lighter

I stamped on some card and coloured it with the same distress ink and mounted it into a book plate, and attached it.

I stamped the Tim Holtz bird on a branch stamp onto card

Coloured it, and cut it out and adhered it to the mat.

I then coated the bird and branch with Glossy Accents' to give added definition and texture
It's not quite dry yet - but I couldn't wait until tomorrow to take a photo

It's the little things that sometimes inspire you the most.

I was re-reading through April Craft Stamper magazine - and was inspired by another featured artist Linda Elbourne

A lovely lady sent me the same beer mats that Linda uses - I said a private thankyou - but publicly I am saying another thank you as it has enabled me to finally have a go at these.  (Sorry I can't put her name or she might be inundated with requests for beer mats - and might end up paralytic)

This is my first effort so not very good - but it is symbolic - and special to me.

A few days ago, I was sitting in the garden in the early evening, relaxing after all the digging I had done.  So what's special about that you might ask?

Well, I was fortunate to get the very latest hearing aids a few days before, and as I sat there I was overwhelmed at hearing the birdsong.  It was beautiful - so many birds - so many sounds - it brought a tear to my eyes I have to admit.  I could hear my chickens before, and the occassional pigeon cooing - but the chorus of birds all around was quite a revelation.

I can see that this isn't very good at all - it's my first attempt.
I covered the beer mat with silver plumbers tape (self adhesive)
Then I embossed it through my Wizard, and coloured it spring green

Went over the floral raised embossing with alcohol inks.
The dovecote, dove and sentiment were stamped on card which was covered in the plumbers tape

It's hanging in the studio,with the date on the back - of the day I heard the birdsong

Sunday, 21 March 2010

If you wonder what I am up to when I am not crafting

You can see here  I am working my socks off up my allotment - growing my own fruit and vegetables - plus messing around in the garden with the chickens.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

It has arrived safely so I can reveal it now

When I saw this painting in a magazine I just had to use it for a friends' bag.
It is in the Tate Gallery in London, and was painted by John Singer Sargent in 1885-6

It is called, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.
The painting is set in a garden in the Cotswolds village of Broadway,
where John Singer Sargent stayed in the summer of 1885.

The children lighting Japanese lanterns with tapers are Dolly (left) and Polly Barnard.
Their father was the illustrator Frederick Barnard – a friend of Sargent’s.
Sargent wanted to capture the exact level of light at dusk so he painted the picture out of doors, in the Impressionist manner.

As autumn came and the flowers died he resorted to painting flowers in pots. The title comes from the refrain of a popular song The Wreath by Joseph Mazzinghi. It was a Victorian song - alas I do not know the words. 

In his painting the lilies and are white - so too the dresses. The background is rather dark because of the light he painted it in. I have taken a bit of 'poetic license' and painted with alcohol inks and a highlight pen on a heat transfer which has been absorbed by the jute.   I personalised the bag by copying the header page from Pat's Blog and coloured that too.  If you haven't visited her blog - do take a look - she makes the most amazing bags - amongst other things!

A little message inside
It looks better in real life - it was a bright sunny day when I took these photos - I am hopeless with a camera!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

I have been a busy bee, but I can't show you anything except......

A sneak peek of something I have been working all day.
I am rather pleased how this turned out in the end.
Lots of copics used in the process.
I don't want it to go to it's new home now
(Only joking)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Two more Oriental cards inspired by 'Jo Blogs'

I have thoroughly enjoyed making these cards - which really makes a change as I get a mental block when I have to make a card usually.

In the process of doing these, I have learned such a lot.

(Apologies for the photographic quality - the cards are straight, and the mounted stamped images - it's the way I took the photos that make them look rather odd.  They were standing on some wallpaper and I seem to have placed them wonky!)
The layout is Jo's but when the paper I ordered arrived, the sheets were not quite the same as Jo's so I adapted the cards a bit.  Which is good, as it is great practice.
As I didn't seem to have the section exactly the same that Jo used, I had to do something to make this look 'more' than just the background, so I did a lot of shading with ink and brown pastels.  As there wasn't a flower at the bottom left hand corner on my paper, I place an oriental coin.   I think I must be using smaller cards - or else the sheets are never quite the same.

Again - photographed wonky - the mounted image is exactly 'square' to the card because I used a Tim Holtz transparent ruler to line it all up.  It is also a deeper red with a graded colour contrast.
This card is more colourful in real life, more like Jo's - but again - my card must be smaller as I couldn't fit in the extra card mounting etc so adapted it and also coloured it a bit and added shading with pastels as it looked a little pale in places

That's it.

I spent the morning at college - rushed home, cooked lunch, put three raised beds up, and made these two cards.

Off indoors now - to put my feet up and study the magazine for another project.
Thank you for looking

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Oriental card inspired by Jo Capper Sandon

This is another layout by Jo which I enjoyed doing.  It more or less followers her layout, but I have had to improvise with materials - such as using ribbon instead of patterned paper.

The previous post was not exactly her layout either - but inspired by hers
If I keep practising, by the time the proper paper comes I should make a good job
This months magazine is really getting me in the mood to try things out.

I have the stamp!

For the first time ever  - when I read my monthly craft magazine, I was so excited to see that I actually have one stamp that was used, and what is more I adored the projects it was used on.  

Have had to improvise - and I can't take a photo for toffee

The artist featured was Jo Capper Sandon

I didn't have any of the papers - but I have gone mad and ordered them.
Jo used black backing paper - I used black felt tip pen until I can get black card
Her designs are exquisite - my attempt doesn't do her design justice

But do you know what - I don't mind. 
I have 'Boogie Nights' on my little CD player in my studio shed.
I am singing along, and I have had such fun.

Just you wait until I get the paper and black card
You will see a remarkable improvement

Off to make another.........

'Dance to the boogie tonight,
Boogies nights are...........'

Monday, 1 March 2010

A chocolate kiss from the USA

A week ago I received a surprise package from the USA

It was a lovely Valentine's surprise from the wonderful Pat

I am beginning to think that we don't celebrate enough in the UK.
Take Valentine's Day for instance.  We send a Valentine or celebrate it with our loved one.
Whereas is the USA , having read a lot of blogs, it seems that they spread their love around to include others.  I think that is brilliant, and I will do so myself in future.
But take a close look at what Pat has made

Isn't  it just cute, and dainty and feminine?
Guess what was inside?
A chocolate kisses tea bag! 
I have never seen these before have you?

So tomorrow afternoon, I shall experience for the very first time
Chocolate kisses in a cup of tea.

*****Oh I forgot to take a photo*****
I also received one of the gorgeous little heart Valentine brooches Pat made.
It is pinned to a jacket in my wardrobe - I will take  a photo tomorrow.

Thank you so very much Pat.

(I am currently working on a couple of projects for two people in the USA)
So might not be blogging much this week