Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Merry Christmas and WOYWW #289

The builders have gone, the decorating is finished and the tree is up - we're ready for Christmas!  I'm linking up with WOYWW but although there is nothing on my desk, I hope I'm forgiven as all my creative energies have been going into the festive preparations!  Here's a little mosaic of my decorations - red, brown and cream this year - and I managed to acquire an old sled which I'm using to display some of the presents.

To all who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a happy, sparkly and creative one! 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Pine Cone Gift Tags

After last weeks Poinsettia-fest I've still been churning out gift tags like there's no tomorrow but this week I've been making some with a more masculine feel - after several failed attempts I finally got the hang of Tim Holtz's pine cone die - a bit fiddly and time consuming, but I enjoyed myself!  I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW.  Apologies for the appalling quality of the photos - will try and do better next week!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas Poinsettia Tags

I wouldn't say I particularly like Poinsettia plants - I can pretty much guarantee that any given to me at Christmas will be dead by February - however, I'm rather keen on the Tim Holtz Poinsettia die that I've used for my Christmas tags this year.  In fact, I've been making tags like crazy - here's a small selection of what I've been making this week to share with WOYWW.



Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Vintage Moths and Yarn Cards

On my desk this week are some lovely vintage yarn cards I found at an antiques fair recently.  I had to get them as they were perfect for my ongoing project of Decay and Repair.   I love the delicate mint green colour and I knew I had some similar coloured moths in my collection.  

I'm linking up with What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday, why not pop over and have a look at what other people have on their desks this week.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Mosaic Monday and Farewell to Autumn

My last few photos of Autumn...

These last two photos were taken for the Themes of 2014 challenge - there are more photos in the series over on my Velvet Moth Photography blog for anyone interested. 

I'm linking up with Judith over at Mosaic Monday.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Yarn Bombing, Poppies and WOYWW #285

Once again I'm linking up with What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday - for the last few weeks my desk has been strewn with poppies.  I joined a local Facebook group a couple of months ago and we have all been extremely busy crocheting and knitting poppies to decorate a small park in our village for Remembrance Sunday - we managed to make over 4,000 poppies, of which I'm proud to say 130 were mine!  On Remembrance Sunday the group 'yarn bombed' the park and the poppies were put up along the railings.  They were up for a week and during that time a lot were sold to raise money for the British Legion Poppy Day Appeal.   It's been a roaring success and we even made the news!

Our beautifully decorated railings along the park - sadly we've taken the poppies down now and it looks very bare! 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Autumn gift wrap and WOYWW #284

I have been busy making a birthday card and decorating gift wrap and a gift bag for my sister's birthday - she loves Autumn and anything leafy, so I dug out my collection of leaf and acorn rubber stamps and all the ink pads I could find in autumnal colours and got stuck in! 

I recently discovered these tiny little apples that I added to the front of the card - they are made for dolls houses and are 1/12 size - there is a world of delightful miniature stuff out there that I am only just discovering - why have I never seen these before?!!

Also on my desk is the loveliest surprise that arrived in the post last week - it's the most beautiful notebook made by the hugely talented Lunch Lady Jan.  I have been admiring and coveting her fabulous fabrics for a long time, but my favourite has to be this botanicals one, and Jan kindly made this beautiful notebook out of it.  Thank you Jan - it will be treasured and loved.

I'm linking up with What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - why not pop over and see what other people have on their desks this week!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Halloween Gift Tag and WOYWW #283

We are currently living in utter chaos, with the living room being gutted and totally re-done, but this week I managed to do a tiny bit of crafting so I'm joining in with WOYWW.  
My nephews just love Halloween - perhaps it's in the genes as they are half American!   They love anything scary and ghostly, and they always call on us for trick or treat.  I decided to make up a bag of 'grown-up' chocolate for my sister (rather than the eyeballs and gooey brains the boys usually have) - I made a gift tag for it, and also crocheted a little pumpkin brooch for her, so when they all came trick or treating she had a little something for herself!  

I need to get more of the black leaf ribbon - I just love it, but I didn't have enough and it looks a bit sparse on the tag - I would love to have draped it around extravagantly!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Sketchbook Work - Beyond the Enclosure

This week for What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday I've been doing a little bit of work in my sketch book - in fact more work on the boundaries and gardens project, using some old gelli prints I did specifically for it.   I also spilled a lovely new bottle of Adirondack Butterscotch ink over the studio table and the front of my sketch book.  Once the swearing had died down and the ink had dried I tried to squish the book closed and found I rather liked the look of the pages with the unintentional splodge - so that explains the bottom photo! 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Silk Paper and Sketchbook Work

On my desk this week are a couple of sketchbook pages I've done using some of the silk paper I made recently - you can see it here.  The ideas are about boundaries and garden history - the background paper is old pianola music - I found several rolls of it in a flea market quite a while ago and have been keen to use it for a project.  The cocoon with the eyelets in it is now squashed since having to shut the sketchbook - should have thought that one through! 
I'm linking up to WOYWW - if you want to see what's on other people's desks this week why not pop over and have a peek!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Teabag Art, Silk Paper and Beyond the Enclosure Project

It's time for WOYWW again and this week I have been using some of the silk paper I made last week, and continuing with an old theme I often come back to about garden history - there are links back to some older work here and here for any one interested.  I have also had a yearning to play about with teabags for quite a while, since seeing a whole table of them drying and waiting to be used over at Shoshi's blog!  

Silk Paper Making

In amongst the chaos of decorating this week I have managed to create some silk paper - I love making it and I'm thinking of using it in the work I'm doing on gardens.  Although there are two different ways to make it, the simplest and cleanest way is to use coccoon strippings (silk that hasn't had the gum removed).  This is laid out thinly, sprayed with water and ironed.   There are good instructions for both types of silk paper making here for anyone interested.
In the samples below I've ironed crochet edgings onto the silk to create the embossed effect, added silk yarns and used silk rods to get different effects. 

I am linking up with What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday - why not pop over and see what's on other people's desks this week. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Pin Cushions and WOYWW #275

For WOYWW this week I don't have much on my desk - I have managed to spend a week making a pin cushion - yes, just one! Being in the throes of decorating I was quite pleased that I managed to get something done at all!  I decided to use a little vintage patty tin and some favourite fabric scraps with bees on - it's the start of my Christmas gift making - see how organised I am!  

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Christmas Bottle Brush Trees

 It's Wednesday again and time for WOYWW.  This week on my desk I have been finishing off some bottle brush trees that I started glittering a couple of weeks ago.   It's been a great way of using up some of my stash of old beads, earrings and trinkets, and I've really enjoyed feeling festive.  However, the weather has warmed up again and the sun is shining so all Christmassy stuff is on hold while it lasts!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Creative Blog Hop

I've been nominated by the wonderful Shoshi to take part in the Creative Bloggers blog hop this week.  I have been following Shoshi's creative journey for a long time now and she has to be one of the most enthusiastic and diverse artists I know - her work is always inspiring and she generously shares her techniques and discoveries.  The Creative Blog hop happens every Monday and we all answer the same 4 questions, then nominate 3 more people to hop on to.

1.  What am I working on?
I have several projects on the go at the moment - the main one is about decay and repair, which is incorporating my love of moths with my love of antique and vintage textiles.  My background reading to this project is The Subversive Stitch by Rozsika Parker - it's about the social history and relationship between women and embroidery/sewing.  

2.  How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I don't think my work fits into a particular genre, I work in many different styles and mediums, but I do usually have a strong textile theme running through.  I like to have a meaning and concept behind my art work, and often spend quite a long time researching ideas before doing any actual work!

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?
I LOVE doing what I do - I create because I feel the need to and because if fulfills me.   

4.  How does my writing/creative process work?
I am usually inspired by an image or object.  I take the image and start collecting information and researching ideas around it.  For example, one of my current projects is inspired by a large beautiful piece of coral.  I started collecting coral images and looking at the fragility of our coral reefs - this led me to explore how we as humans live and balance life on our planet - I started to think of coral as a delicate base underpinning our lives, representing the fragile planet and how we live on it. By mixing it with architecture I wanted to question how man lives in harmony with nature - this is leading me to explore other ideas, different textures, using other mediums and collecting anything I find that might be remotely relevant to this work! 

Now for the tricky bit - I am supposed to nominate three people. I thought very hard about who I would choose and I tried to find three people who are all very different in their chosen genre, and who I find very inspiring and uplifting whenever I visit their blogs - in fact it was an incredibly difficult thing to do!  However, each person for different reasons was unable to take part and at this point I decided that I wasn't going to start looking for anyone else. I felt uncomfortable at the thought of working my way down a list.
However, although I am not nominating three people I would highly recommend visiting some of the blogs on my 'People I Like to Visit' list - here you will find some fantastic artists and some very happy, inspiring and visually delightful places to visit.  All these people and many others put a smile on my face, lift my spirits when I'm down and inspire me when I have lost my artistic motivation.   A huge THANK YOU from the heart!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Warm and Woolly

It's time for WOYWW again, and this week summer really has disappeared - after last weeks Christmas trees I'm now in woolly scarf mode!  
I found some rather cosy knitting and crochet patterns on the internet and I felt so chilly and miserable over the wet August bank holiday that I dug out my knitting bag and got stuck in!  My newest finds, the little jug and bowl, were sitting on my desk and I noticed how beautifully they matched the wool - what a lucky coincidence!

For anyone interested both lots of wool are Dune by Trendsetter Yarns.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Bottle Brush Christmas Trees and WOYWW #272

I know it's a bit early for a lot of people but already I've been seeing deskers working on their Christmas cards, and I thought it would be nice to get organised and ahead of myself for a change!  So on my desk this week, for WOYWW, I've been making little decorations using bottle brush trees and vintage patty tins.  I also found this large silver plated bowl which will have three different sized trees on it.  So far I have glittered the trees and they are all waiting to be decorated.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Stamp Carving and Peonies

On my desk this week for WOYWW I 've been having a go at stamp carving for a long term project I'm doing on coral.  I usually use lino but decided to give this pink stuff a go - it's Speedball Speedy-Carve block and it's great stuff!  It's so easy to use and following Julie Balzaar's advice of using a glass cutting board it made the job a whole lot easier.

I'm also having a bit of an obsession with Peonies at the moment, so following on from my previous blog post I'm adding some more photos of this beautiful flower.  Sadly after being messed about by me for the photo session they decided not to open up in their vase but stayed as tight buds for quite a while before dying!   They really don't like me!

Monday, 11 August 2014


I was so pleased to find that Mosaic Monday is now being hosted by Judith over at Lavender Cottage - thank you Judith!  Next task - to put together a mosaic to post on it!  I have a great love of Peonies but can't seem to grow them in the garden - they simply disappear over winter, never to be seen again!  I took these photos a few weeks ago after finding a bunch of them in my local store - I was unable to resist!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

WOYWW #270 and Moths and Yellow Roses

I don't know why I'm sharing my desk for WOYWW this week - it's a complete disaster!  The last week of the ICAD challenge just didn't happen for me - below you can see one of several failed attempts at an index card - I somehow couldn't get the ideas out of my brain and onto the actual cards!  I now need to find the Oomph to tidy my desk - I just hate it being messy and unorganized!

Failing at the index cards I turned to my trusty old moths and photographed them on a little pink dish that I picked up in a local charity shop, a rose from the garden and an old book.  Mmm, salmon pink and yellow - not sure about that colour combo - but it's growing on me!