Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Tweed and Velvet Christmas Cards

This last week I've been rummaging through my fabric box in desperation for some Christmas inspiration - I came across the red, grey and cream tweed off cuts and thought they went beautifully with some grey silk velvet and some wool worsted suit fabric from a sample book.
I struggled to keep the cards fairly flat so they would go through the post easily, it was hard and I could easily have carried on adding to them as I'm very much a lover of over egging the cake when it comes to embellishments!  However, I stuck with embossing the velvet and adding Pearl drops, and gluing some die cuts on.  Here are a few of them. 

And here are a few more that are going to be hand delivered so I was able to add more bits and bobs!  Not many made this year but perhaps next year I'll give myself a kick up the backside a bit earlier!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone and thank you for all your kind comments and support throughout the past year.

I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW this week.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Autumn Hydrangeas

All summer I've had a beautiful white hydrangea in the garden but over the last few weeks it's turned into the most amazing rusty pinks and reds with hints of golden browns in it.  I just had to dig out the hydrangea die that I used here recently and replicate that gorgeous colour scheme.  I was also inspired by the rich orange browns of the bracken that is all over the New Forest at the moment - I think it's more beautiful while it's dying back than when it's in full greenery.

This was an 'extra' I made with the flower I wasn't happy with - it seemed a shame to waste it -I'll probably add a stamped sentiment when I come to use the card as the bottom half looks rather bare!
Still no Christmas cards and not really feeling that bothered - I can't seem to summon up the enthusiasm for them so might not fit them in this year - although I may get a burst of inspiration next week, who knows!  I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW this week

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Orchid Birthday Card and WOYWW

I love orchids but real ones aren't for me - I can kill pretty much any house plant you care to name, but we have a cousin who has a beautiful collection of real ones and they seem to be always in bloom whenever we visit, so for her birthday card I dug out a never-used orchid die - I've had it for a while and I knew I'd need it one day!  
I kept the design simple with just a silver embossed border stamp so there was nothing to really compete with the ornate flowers.

So as you can see absolutely no Christmas cards made yet and not even a feeling of panic rising up in me either - I'm sure it will kick in soon!

I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW this week.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Loving Ginkgo Leaves and WOYWW

It's that time of year again - time to gather up stray leaves that have fallen from a neighbours beautiful Ginkgo tree and press them for future projects! There's something so appealing about the shape of a Ginkgo leaf.  However they are rather delicate to work with so I needed a Ginkgo leaf die too! This one also embosses the leaf with veins but I've managed to completely erase them with my enthusiastic layering of crackle paste, glossy accents, antiquing cream and Metallic Lustre! 

They are both on MDF bases and the blue one is going to be the sturdy cover of a small journal I'm planning on making.  I had two ideas swimming around in my head so had to try both out - I think the blue one wins!
Happy mistakes - I accidentally dripped some dirty paint water onto the little pipe stems and I rather like the resulting splodges so I added more to both stems and leaves!
I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW this week.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Textile Birthday Card and WOYWW

October is a busy month for birthday celebrations and this week it's my sister's birthday, so here is the card and gift bag I made for her.
I picked up some lovely tweed fabric squares from a charity shop a few weeks ago and decided they would go very well with the beautiful rusty orange coloured silk velvet.
I embossed the velvet with a leaf stamp, covered a couple of buttons with the same velvet, die cut some copper sheet and added some hand embroidery and beading.

I made the origami envelope but needed paper nearly A1 in width to get it to the correct size (6"x6") - it's open so the card just slips in, which is fine when it's not going through the post!

I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW this week.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

A Birthday Card for my Nephew and WOYWW

With my nephew turning 16 and not surprisingly preferring money to anything I might choose for him, I decided to make him a card that presented the cash in a more innovative way than just popping it in an envelope!  
This card is soooo not me!  Apart from the fact it's not my usual style, the whole rigmarole of paint techniques is not my strong point either.   
I covered a piece of card with foil tape, embossed it and covered it with black antiquing cream - in my ignorance little did I know it would all come off in flakes with absolute minimal contact!  I 'glued' the remaining black bits onto the silver with varnish, while keeping my fingers crossed it would all stay on!  So far, so good!

I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW, and if anyone out there can advise on what I should have done to stop the black paint flaking yet control how much I rub off then I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Book Binding and WOYWW

I have long had a love affair with the art of book binding and over the years I've once or twice dabbled with very simple book binding techniques.  Recently I decided I needed a little sketch book for one of my projects so I decided to make my own.
This is a folded paper technique called Blizzard Binding and although fairly simple it's important to be very accurate with the folding - not so easy with big clumpy hands like mine, but I eventually ended up with a little book I was pleased with!
I decorated the front with pieces of hand-made silk paper, pressed Ginkgo leaves and copper foil.

As you can see below each page spread is one sheet of A6 Khadi paper folded in half and held in place at either end by the little folded triangles that flip open and closed - this means you can remove pages to work on, change pages around or replace them as required.

I am linking up with Julia over at What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday this week, and I am also linking up with the Mini Album Makers Challenge.

 Update: I'm so pleased to have been chosen as one of the Top 5 in this month's Mini Album Makers Challenge. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Paper Hydrangeas and WOYWW

These little Hydrangeas are sitting on my desk at the moment - I've had this die for quite a long time and never got round to using it so I decided it was about time to use it or lose it!   I die cut all the petals out, found a polystyrene ball in the depths of my studio and had a go.
The first attempt is the blue one and I think I was a bit mean with the petals, so it's a little 'gappy'.  However, being a perfectionist I had to make another one that I was happier with - hence the pink one!
 They were rather labour intensive but I enjoyed the experiencem although it may be a long while before I get the die out again!
 I shall attach each one to a small circle of card and make them into gift tags.

 I am linking up with Julia over at WOYWW this week.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Playing with Texture Paste

I've had a busy couple of weeks where I just haven't had the chance to do much arty crafty stuff, but I needed a couple of cards for this month, so that made me sit down and do something!
While having a clear out recently I discovered a few pots of texture paste that I have never used so I thought this would be a good opportunity to try them out - luckily they hadn't dried out. 

I'm linking up with Julia over at WOYWW this week.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Alcohol Inks and WOYWW

In my tidying and re-organising frenzy over the last few weeks I have been discovering stash that I had thought lost or had completely forgotten about. Having unexpectedly come across a packet of Yupo paper I remembered how enjoyable Alcohol Inks can be, so decided to have a little play with them. 
I know they are usually beautifully vibrant and rich in colour but I am still in a 'muted' frame of mind and enjoying late evenings in my garden - so my tags are along this theme.

I accidentally discovered that if I add blending solution to the stamped image and then rub it off gently I get a wonderfully faded image, so I was able to layer them and achieve more of a feel of insects at dusk.   

I'm linking up with Julia over at What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday this week.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

More Studio Organizing

I have been doing some gentle sorting in my studio, continuing on from last week - just a little bit here and there in the hot weather - and believe it or not this cupboard has been completely sorted and is looking a whole lot tidier!  When I sit at my desk this is on the far side of the room to my left.   
In the cupboard are treasures such as old bones, dead insects, half a crab, surplus teacups and milk jugs, antique baby shoes and many other precious bits that can't possibly be thrown away.  To the right of the cupboard you can just see my Grandma's carpet beater and some sewing machine drawers stuffed behind a pile of old suitcases (I'm a sucker for a vintage suitcase!)

At right angles to the cupboard I have three small shelves with lots more little precious bits and pieces including my collection of old teacups and saucers.  The individual shelves are generally grouped in colour order and my justification for collecting more treasures is that I often use them in photography!
As you can see I have a strong hoarding instinct but it's coupled with a strong desire to live with no clutter - it's a constant battle!!

I'm linking up with Julia over at What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday.  Why not pop over there and have a nosey around other people's work spaces!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Studio De-Stash and WOYWW

Cooler weather - what a relief - and so much more energy to do things!  I have been having a clutter clear and reorganisation in my studio this week and although the changes aren't big, it feels nicer!
Only the most necessary yarns have been kept (!) and they fitted neatly into four large wicker baskets - at the start my plan was that they would all fit into one, but I think I was being unrealistically optimistic!

More organising on the other side of the room - my large trunk of fabric, sitting at the end of my desk, was sorted out but instead of reducing it I found that once all the fabric was out it wouldn't all fit back in - hence the basket on top is now stuffed with overflow bits and I managed to send one small bundle of fabric to charity!  
This really has to be the ideal lazy-persons desk, as all I have to do is swivel my chair around and everything is within easy reach! My desk is empty as usual, as I can't stand having anything on it, but the pile of A4 boxes in the pictures is where the clutter is kept. Each box is for a different project/subject and the pile is getting taller and wobblier.

I'm joining in with Julia over at What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday this week.